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March 31, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Van Belle terrific on mound, Hamilton homers again

For the second straight night, Worcester was the only team in action. They grabbed their first win of the season behind a terrific pitching performance from starter Brian Van Belle (pictured)


The Sox capitalized on a wild pitch from old friend Austin Brice in the ninth inning to take the lead. Nick Sogard singled later in the frame to drive in a pair of insurance runs. David Hamilton belted a home run for the second consecutive night, while right fielder Mark Contreras singled, walked, and stole two more bases to give him three thefts on the year already. Chase Meidroth also singled, walked, and scored a pair of runs. 

Brian Van Belle was outstanding in his first start of 2024, tossing five shutout innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Zack Kelly threw a clean sixth inning, while Cam Booser ran into a bit of trouble. He surrendered two earned runs over two innings but punched out four without issuing a free pass. Chase Shugart picked up the save with a shutout ninth inning to seal Worcester's first victory of 2024. 
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March 30, 2024 at 5:22 PM

Podcast Ep #310: Opening Day is Here!

Ian and Chris Hatfield reunite to break down the end of spring training and the opening day roster. They then move on and discuss the Worcester roster which has a few surprises including Nick Yorke not making the team and Stephen Scott’s release. They also go through the rest of the recent transaction and Chris provides updates on injured players including Noah Song, Alex Hoppe, Nazzan Zanetello, Brooks Brannon and more. Finally, they end the episode by going through your emails! Players discussed include Ceddanne Rafaela, Kutter Crawford, Bobby Dalbec, Richard Fitts, Grant Gambrell, Nick Yorke and more!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gonzalez homers twice as Worcester blows four-run Opening Day lead

3/30 Cup of Coffee: Triple-A Opening Day was on Friday, one week before the rest of the full-season affiliates. Worcester was in Pennsylvania to face Lehigh Valley and held an advantage until the bottom of the ninth, but the game unraveled quickly.


Worcester had a 4-0 lead headed into the bottom of the ninth, but Lehigh Valley made it interesting as Joe Jacques entered the game. Four singles and two walks later and three runs were in for the IronPigs, with Andrew Politi responsible for putting out the fire, as the bases were still loaded and there were no outs. He walked the first hitter that he faced, then Rodolfo Castro hit a walk-off grand slam to cap off an eight-run frame.
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March 28, 2024 at 9:00 AM

2024 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 2 - Pitchers

For the second and final part of SoxProspects.com's 2024 Pre-Season All-Star list, we turn our attention to the mound and recognize seven of the more well-regarded pitchers in the Red Sox farm system. This group features two international signees who were just added to Boston's 40-man roster, three draftees, and two recent trade acquisitions.

Luis Perales: Starting Pitcher, Greenville Drive
Perales, who turns 21 next month, is a Pre-Season All-Star for the second year in a row. Currently ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the organization, the right-hander is coming off a 2023 season in which he posted a 3.91 ERA (4.34 FIP) with 115 strikeouts to 50 walks over 21 starts (89 2/3 innings) between Salem and Greenville. After being promoted in mid-July, he pitched to a 4.95 ERA (6.07 FIP) with 44 strikeouts to 22 walks in eight starts (36 1/3 innings) for the Drive. The native Venezuelan was nonetheless added to Boston's 40-man roster in November for Rule 5 protection purposes and is slated to return to Greenville for the start of the 2024 campaign.

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March 27, 2024 at 2:16 PM

2024 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 1 - Position Players

 Baseball is back. The Red Sox minor league squads will be getting underway this week. With that, the SoxProspects.com team has selected its annual Pre-Season All-Stars. We will begin with the hitters today and continue with pitchers tomorrow. 


Catcher: Kyle Teel, Portland Sea Dogs
Teel, drafted 14th overall last summer, enters his first full season of pro ball as a Pre-Season All-Star. The 22-year-old has already risen to third here at SoxProspects after putting up some big offensive numbers in 2023. He saw time with the FCL Sox, the Greenville Drive, and the Portland Sea Dogs last year, where he hit a combined .363/.482/.495 in 26 games. Teel saw some action in MLB games this spring and hit this bomb on the back fields
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March 26, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Red Sox make late addition to bullpen, release former top prospect

The start of the 2024 Major League Baseball season is just days away, which means it is now time for the final Fort Report of the year. The Red Sox closed out the Grapefruit League portion of their spring schedule over the weekend and will wrap up their two-game exhibition series against the Rangers in Texas later Tuesday afternoon before heading to Seattle for Opening Day. With that, here is a rundown of some key events that took place prior to the club leaving Fort Myers on Sunday.

Anderson signed to one-year deal
The Red Sox added to their bullpen mix on Sunday by signing right-hander Chase Anderson to a one-year major-league deal. Anderson, 36, is a veteran of 10 big-league seasons and most recently split the 2023 campaign between the Rays and Rockies, pitching to a 5.42 ERA over 19 appearances (17 starts) spanning 86 1/3 innings of work.

Anderson had been in camp with the Pirates on a minor-league contract this spring, but he opted out of that deal after appearing in four Grapefruit League contests and was granted his release on Saturday. The Red Sox obviously wasted little time in pouncing on Anderson, who will earn a base salary of $1.25 million and up to $500,000 in performance bonuses. With Boston, he figures to serve as a long reliever who can also make spot starts when needed.

Giolito placed on 60-day IL, others could soon follow
In order to clear a spot for Anderson on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox placed fellow righty Lucas Giolito on the 60-day injured list. Giolito, of course, underwent a successful right elbow ulnar collateral ligament repair with internal brace procedure earlier this month and will likely miss the entirety of the 2024 season as a result.

Like Giolito, Liam Hendriks will also begin the season on the 60-day injured list as he continues to work his way back from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last August. Chris Murphy, meanwhile, could also be headed for the  IL with an elbow injury that first popped up after his last outing on March 14. The 25-year-old lefty is scheduled to get a second opinion on his elbow from Rangers team physician Keith Meister early next month and may require surgery, according to The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.

Rodriguez makes team, Cron does not
On Friday, a pair of veterans on minor-league deals with the Red Sox triggered the opt-out clauses in their contracts, giving the club 48 hours to decide if they would be added to the active roster or not. Ultimately, reliever Joely Rodriguez was informed on Sunday that he had made the team while first baseman C.J. Cron was told otherwise. 

Rodriguez will be the lone southpaw available to manager Alex Cora out of the bullpen to begin the season. Brennan Bernardino was in the mix all spring, but was somewhat surprisingly optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Monday night. Cron, on the other hand, is believed to be exploring his options on the open market but could be brought back by the Sox on a minors pact, per MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo.

In the wake of these decisions, it now appears as though Bobby Dalbec will make Boston's Opening Day roster since he can provide positional versatility off the bench. Lucas Luetge, who had been competing with the likes of Bernardino and Rodriguez for a bullpen spot, will report to Worcester since his upward mobility clause is no longer in play.

Other transactions
The Red Sox released six minor-leaguers on Sunday: Cron, infielders Joe Dunand and Lyonell James, outfielder Gilberto Jimenez, and right-handers Maceo Campbell and Garrett Ramsey. Of those six, Jimenez stands out the most since he was once considered one of the top prospects in the organization. Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic for $10,000 in August 2017, the 23-year-old peaked at No. 4 in our rankings during the 2019 offseason. Despite showing signs of promise in the lower minors, he never advanced past High-A.

Key links
Ceddanne Rafaela and Justin Slaten are among the rookies who have already been told that they have made the Red Sox' Opening Day roster. Rafaela and Slaten each reacted to the news in separate conversations with MLB.com's Matthew Ritchie and WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, respectively. 

Several members of the SoxProspects.com staff were in Fort Myers this past week for minor-league spring training at Fenway South. Among the key takeaways, both Ian Cundall and Chris Hatfield liked what they saw from 18-year-old infielder Starlyn Nunez, who is set to make his stateside debut in the Florida Complex League this coming season.

For additional Red Sox prospect coverage, be sure to follow Ian (@IanCundall), Chris (@SPChrisHatfield), Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg), and the SoxProspects account (@SoxProspects) on Twitter/X if you don't already!

Minor-leaguers in major-league games
Each year, we track the players who are not in major-league camp who get pulled over for MLB games. Here is the final tally, with current ranking in parentheses, of the 54 minor-leaguers who were featured in Grapefruit League action this spring:

Pitchers: Jason Alexander, Brendan Cellucci, Felix Cepeda (48), Theo Denlinger, Jordan DiValerio, Juan Encarnacion, Zach Fogell, Gabriel Jackson, Robert Kwiatkowski, C.J. Liu (56), Wyatt Olds, Zach Penrod (39), Garrett Ramsey, Cody Scroggins, Reidis Sena (49), Noah Song, Dylan Spacke, Nate Tellier, Christopher Troye (34), Brian Van Belle, Jacob Webb, Jeremy Wu-Yelland, and Ryan Zeferjahn (54).

Position players: Roman Anthony (1), Alex Binelas, Kristian Campbell (47), Allan Castro (15), Juan Chacon, Cutter Coffey (38), Nick Decker, Kelvin Diaz, Drew Ehrhard, Albert Feliz, Max Ferguson, Jhostynxon Garcia, Mickey Gasper, Gilberto Jimenez, Blaze Jordan (20), Niko Kavadas, Christian Koss, Ahbram Liendo, Eduardo Lopez, Matthew Lugo (55), Elih Marrero, Marcelo Mayer (2), Tyler McDonough (43), Tyler Miller, Eddinson Paulino (18), Angel Pierre, Luis Ravelo (45), Phillip Sikes, Karson Simas, Kyle Teel (3), and Miguel Ugueto.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Jimenez and Kyle Teel by Kelly O'Connor
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at 12:05 AM

Podcast Ep #309: Boots on the ground in Fort Myers!

Ian and Chris Clegg are back from the annual SoxProspects trip to Fort Myers with news from the backfields on a plethora of prospects. For the hitters, they go through a few guys at each position who stood out and then did the same with the pitchers based on projected starting level. Players discussed include Roman Anthony, Marcelo Mayer, Yoeilin Cespedes, Richard Fitts, Franklin Arias, Blake Wehunt and more!
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March 15, 2024 at 11:07 AM

Podcast Ep #308: Spring Breakout Game Preview

Ian and Chris Clegg reunite to discuss the latest news from Red Sox camp, including Brian Bello’s extension and Ceddanne Rafaela and Justin Slaten’s strong performance so far. Next, they discussed the Red Sox roster for the spring breakout game and previewed the Braves’ roster as well. Finally, they wrap the episode up with a brief Spring Training trip preview and go through three players each that they are excited to see!
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March 12, 2024 at 9:00 AM

Fort Report: Sox extend Bello; Mayer makes spring debut

The Sox had a good week on the field, going 4-2, including a pair of wins over the Rays in the Dominican Republic. But that was all secondary news, as Boston locked up a promising young pitcher for the next six years. 

Bello signs six-year extension
The biggest news this past week for the Red Sox was the announcement of Brayan Bello's (pictured) contract extension. The deal is for $55 million and includes a seventh-year club option for $21 million. Bello will be a huge piece of Boston's rotation until at least 2029. The right-hander established himself last season, tossing 157 innings in 28 starts with a 4.24 ERA. That ERA ballooned due to an eight-run outing in his penultimate start, but he had a string of 21 starts from the end of April through August in which he had a 3.20 ERA.

Mayer makes spring debut
Marcelo Mayer, our second-ranked prospect, appeared in a major league game for the first time this spring. He came in to play shortstop and in his only at-bat, he roped a double down the left-field line. 
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March 8, 2024 at 10:23 AM

SPPod Ep. #307: An Exercise in Allocation

Chris and Ian are back together after a few episodes and jump right into the thick of Spring Training, talking about the recent transactions and the impact of the Lucas Giolito injury. They also discuss Ian’s recent article on the Red Sox draft strategy and how it has impacted the clubs ability to develop high end starting pitching. Finally, they close things out with your emails!
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March 5, 2024 at 9:00 AM

Fort Report: Song debuts; Cron signed to minor league deal

It was a full week of games, with Boston going 4-3. Some highlights from the week were Roman Anthony going 2 for 2 against Detroit, Noah Song (pictured) earning a save against Tampa Bay, and Rule 5 pick Justin Slaten continuing to cement his place in the major league bullpen. 

Grissom strains groin
Vaughn Grissom's status for Opening Day is in doubt as he is recovering from a groin strain. Pablo Reyes and Enmanuel Valdez are the two most likely candidates to get the start at second base on March 28 in Seattle.

Latest podcast
After recapping the first weekend of games and some recent transactions, Ian sits down with Geoff Pontes of Baseball America in the latest episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast. They discuss some of the key underlying metrics they look at when evaluating prospects, and also talk about some upcoming rule changes for the minor leagues. 
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