Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Ranaudo’
Mike Napoli Almost in the Fold
There have been media reports the Red Sox and free agent Mike Napoli finally reached an agreement – although GM Ben Cherington says nothing is done yet.
Instead of three years and $39 million, Napoli will now get a one year, $5 million deal – which includes incentives that can bring the contract value to $13 million.
The Red Sox will be getting a motivated or upset-at-management player – or maybe some of both.
Napoli’s health situation must really be bad if he had no other alternative than Boston’s low-ball offer.
The situation leads one to wonder how much the Sox can expect to get out of Napoli.
Figure the physically demanding position of catcher is probably out for Napoli if he is an injury risk.
And don’t expect too much DH’ing with David Ortiz manning that spot.
With Napoli at first – expect the Red Sox to grab a lefty bench bat to back him up.
Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay have been suggested as possibilities – but their drawback is they are first basemen only. Ideally, Boston would want more versatility for the bench with a player who can handle both first and the outfield.
Another candidate to consider: Tyler Colvin – The Rockies are building and Colvin is a bench player. Boston should be able to match up for Colvin with an arm and/or good prospect. A lefty bat, Colvin can play first and outfield.
The Boston Herald looked at the top five Red Sox seasons from a first baseman. We will see if Napoli can crack the list in 2013.
Bogaerts Goes Classic
Red Sox super-prospect Xander Bogaerts will represent The Netherlands in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
This will be the first glimpse of Bogaerts against big league competition. Here’s a nice profile of the native Aruban from MiLB.com.
Prospects to Watch
Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Matt Barnes are universally seen as the current Big Three of Red Sox prospects.
A couple of second-tier prospects to keep an eye on:
- Bryce Brentz. He is Boston’s best power-hitting outfield prospect – a spot the big league team could use some help. Brentz had a strong post-season run with Pawtucket last season. The Red Sox hope Brentz’ late season taste of AAA positions him for a strong season. And if that happens, he could be the first outfielder to be called up in 2013, if needed.
- Anthony Ranaudo. Never give up on young pitching, especially if they haven’t had arm trouble in the pros. That’s the position the Red Sox find themselves in with Ranaudo, who had an injury-plagued 2012 season (but not involving his arm). Ranaudo is on a mission to return to form – and if he does, Ranaudo should rise on the Sox prospects list.
Let me start with, I agree teams should build from within through a strong farm system.
But this idea that teams – like the Red Sox – can’t sign free agents that require draft pick compensation is nonsense.
I get as Rob Bradford writes, the pick could turn out to be a quality major leaguer.
But the baseball draft is a crapshoot.
For every Mike Trout (taken #25 in 2009 – what were the other teams thinking?), there is a Daniel Moskos (taken #4 in 2007 – one pick ahead of Matt Wieters, not the money-saving move Pittsburgh was hoping for).
So if the Red Sox think Adam LaRoche (not Mike Napoli and his rumored injury risk) is the answer for the team over the next three years at first base, sign him.
Would you do a trade to acquire a proven major leaguer like LaRoche for:
- Kolbrin Vitek – drafted by Boston in the first round in 2010? Yes.
- Bryce Brentz – drafted by Boston in first secondary round in 2010? Maybe yes, maybe no.
- Anthony Ranaudo – drafted by Boston in first secondary round in 2010? Yes.
- Reymond Fuentes – drafted by Boston in first round in 2009? Yes.
- Bryan Price – drafted by Boston in first secondary round in 2008? Yes.
That said, it is not something a team should do every year because that move reduces their chances at striking gold high in the draft.
And the quality of the upcoming draft should factor into the consideration. With strong draft years something to weigh into holding onto picks.
Lastly, because the Red Sox were among the worst ten teams in baseball last season, free agent compensation would be a second – not a first – pick (and Boston would lose draft money available for that pick too). A position the Red Sox may not find themselves in again (if GM Ben Cherington did a good job this off-season).
A pure philosophy of avoiding free agents because of compensation is wrong-headed.
Just like how trading prospects for established major leaguers typically works out for the team acquiring the proven big leaguer, go for the major league talent.
The Red Sox say they aim to contend in 2013 and to do so, the team needs a quality a first baseman.
If LaRoche is the best choice – sign him, don’t worry about the draft pick.
What do you think? Should the Red Sox hoard their picks – or use them to sign free agents?
Bogaerts landed as the number three player in this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
And he made the list of Offensive Players of the Week at MiLB.com.
You got to like the Red Sox pushing their top prospect to a higher level late in the season. Having Bogaerts play a few weeks in AA will help him get ready for next season.
And also get ready for more Bogaerts hype – which looks like it is deserved. It is clear that Bogaerts is the Red Sox number one prospect – although Matt Barnes gave him a run for his money.
It will be interesting to see where all the minor league pundits put Bogaerts on their post-season lists that look at all MLB prospects.
Could the Red Sox land a player in the top ten or top twenty of the most respected lists?
For readers in the Boston area – Bogaerts and the rest of the Portland team will be at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on August 27 to 30. And don’t forget Portland is only about two hours from Boston.
Developing Pitching. If you want a glimpse into how difficult it is to develop top-flight pitching – read the saga of Anthony Ranaudo. He was a big bonus player after the 2010 draft and this year has essentially been a wash-out, a mix of injury and poor performance. At the same time, it is too early to give up on someone with the potential Ranaudo has – or maybe, once had.
Sox Sign El Guapo II? Boston signed 16-year-old Venezuelan pitcher Dedgar Jimenez who stands at 6-foot-3, 254 pounds. Obviously, I have not seen him – and he is taller than his countryman, ex-Red Sox Rich Garces – but given his size, perhaps Boston landed El Guapo II.
Who do you think was the last Red Sox prospect that was the caliber of Bogaerts? I will go with Hanley Ramirez from the 2005 season – but Jacoby Ellsbury (2007) is right up there.
Ranaudo Hoping to Comeback. It has been pretty much a wash-out year for pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo. He started the season late due to injury – pitched ineffectively for nine games – and then returned to the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. Ranaudo was a big bonus baby coming out of LSU – with grand expectations to match. He hopes to return to the mound this season – in an attempt to make some progress in 2012.
Reyes Starter Kit. Love the description from a scout who called Greenville SS Jose Vinicio a “Jose Reyes Starter Kit.” Nice comparison for a player who just turned 19 years old. The Red Sox have pushed Vinicio and he has proven up to the task. Expect to see Vinicio start to pop up on Top 100 Prospect Lists at the end of this season. He’s a long way off – but looking good.
Hazelbaker Honored. Portland OF Jeremy Hazelbaker was named Eastern League Offensive Player of the Week after hitting four HRs, stealing seven bases and scoring 10 runs. In what was probably a classic understatement, Hazelbaker said, “It was probably one of the best weeks I’ve had in pro ball yet.’’
Ranaudo in Form. Anthony Ranaudo came up big in his last start in Portland with his fastball topping at 97 mph. Why is that big? Trade bait. Should Ranaudo gain premier prospect status, it increases Boston’s options. Trade Ranaudo as part of a deal to gain a premier starter like the Cubs’ Matt Garza (don’t forget Theo Epstein drafted him). Or hang on to Ranaudo if he is getting closer to The Show.
What’s Next for Kalish? Ryan Kalish officially moved off the disabled list and was optioned to Pawtucket. It is a small sample size – but Kalish is tearing it up with the PawSox. Boston’s outfield is starting to get crowded (as Marlon Byrd found out). And it will get more crowded as Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford get ready to join the team. It will be interesting to see if Kalish lands in Boston before September.
Bard Flaw. Daniel Bard declared watching film down in Pawtucket helped him discover a major flaw in this delivery. Aren’t the Sox watching film in Boston? And finding the flaw and fixing the flaw are two distinct activities – as Bard found in his first PawSox outing.
Red Sox Draft. Boston leaned heavily on pitchers in the recent draft. We won’t know for three – or maybe even five – years on how the Red Sox did in the draft. But experts liked their picks. Keith Law gave thumbs up – calling first pick SS Deven Marrero a “steal.” And Matt Huegel looked at the Red Sox strategy under the new draft rules this year – and also gave an in-depth overview on the team’s top three picks.
May Report Card. SoxProspects posted its best and worst performances from Red Sox prospects in May. Some takeaways:
- Last year’s draft looks like it delivered some top talent – notably, OF Jackie Bradley and P Matt Barnes.
- Portland OF Bryce Brentz was a beast and Greenville 3B Garin Cecchini looks like an “impact player.”
- While it is still early – P Anthony Ranaudo is falling short of pre-season expectations.
- There were no players close to big league ready on the best performer list.
Minor League Round-up. Alex Speier provided his weekly review of the Red Sox farm system. Of note:
- PawSox SS Jose Iglesias is still out with a bad back – which could be an issue if 2B Dustin Pedroia can’t get back on the field soon and help is needed in Boston.
- Lefty pitcher Drake Britton was promoted to AA Portland after a stretch of seven strong starts for Salem – with numbers: 2.76 ERA, 36 Ks in 32 2/3 innings.
- C Blake Swihart – a top pick in last year’s draft – has started hitting well in low A Greenville.
Lavarnway – Trading Chip? Pawtucket C Ryan Lavarnway is known for his bat – but so far, he is not repeating the offensive performance he delivered last season for the PawSox. Lavarnway says he is not sweating the slow start. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia putting up All-Star offensive numbers, look for Lavarnway to be a potential bargaining chip in any deal the Red Sox make to fortify the big league club.
Prior Moving Up. The Red Sox promoted former big leaguer Mark Prior to Pawtucket. Prior is six years removed from pitching in the majors – shows you how far and wide teams will go in their search for quality pitchers.
One That Got Away? Former Sox farmhand Miles Head made this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet. Boston sent third baseman Head to Oakland in the Andrew Bailey trade. Head hit .571/.636/1.143 (16-for-28), 3 HR, 3 2B, 2 3B, 9 RBIs in the past week.
Here’s a quick list of things to watch for among Red Sox Prospects.
Will Middlebrooks. He had a great year in AA Portland last season – but poor results in a short AAA Pawtucket stint. Middlebrooks is a player who has shown steady improvement each year in the minors. Will he continue his progression with the PawSox this season – and establish himself as heir apparent to Kevin Youkilis at 3B? And be ready for a 2012 call-up if Youkilis gets hurt once again?
Anthony Ranaudo. Another “tale of two cities” performer last year. Ranaudo delivered in Low A Greenville but was pretty mediocre in High A Salem. It was Ranaudo’s first year in pro ball – so most likely adjustment was needed to the longer season. Does Ranaudo step it up in 2012 and show he can be a #2 or #3 starter? Do the Red Sox push Ranaudo getting him to Portland during the season?
Xander Bogaerts. He more than held his own as an 18 year old SS in Greenville (16 HRs, 45 RBIs in 72 games). How fast will the Red Sox push Bogaerts – Salem seems likely, perhaps even at the start of the season. Will Bogaerts reach Portland? And the bigger question – how high does he move up the charts on the top MLB prospects lists?
Jose Iglesias. He was a media darling this week – fielding grounders in pre-camp workouts. Iglesias added some muscle in the off-season. Will this additional strength help him move beyond being a good-field, no-hit SS? And whether he hits or not – will the performance of the Mike Aviles – Nick Punto combo – push Boston to promote Iglesias during the 2012 season?
Bryce Brentz. He fits the bill for what the Red Sox need most offensively: a righty power hitter who can play RF. Brentz has a breakout year last season – smashing 30 HRs with stops in Greenville and Salem. Will he continue the success in Portland – with perhaps a jump to Pawtucket during the 2012 season? And establish him as a bona fide big-league power hitting OF prospect?
Who’s on your “watch list” for Red Sox prospects? And what are you watching for them to do in 2012?
Thanks Wake! It’s not ending the way Tim Wakefield wanted it to – but my hat is off to Wake for a terrific career and for his contributions off the field too. Wakefield will always be remembered as part of the 2004 and 2007 World Championships – which obviously have special places in the hearts of Red Sox fans. I will also remember Wakefield as stand-up player willing to do what was best for the team – start, spot start, relieve (15 saves in 1999). He was an excellent fielding pitcher too. Here’s a nice overview on Wakefield’s career from Ian Browne. I am happy Wakefield will continue to be associated with the Red Sox. I expect he will be a popular visitor to the Fenway Park Legends Box.
Pitching Problems. Alex Speier zeroed in on what he sees as the real problem with the Red Sox pitching staff – no prospect emerged as a critical contributor in 2010 or 2011. I agree – and this is an issue one can extend to the entire team. Red Sox management promised a player development machine – but the results have not been there the last few years. This contributes to late season holes (like last September when Boston had no one in AAA who could be counted on to deliver one quality start). And to big (and bad) free agent investments like John Lackey. But there is good news. The status of prospects can move up quickly as they progress through the system and the Red Sox appear to be strong in the lower minors. Keep an eye on Anthony Ranaudo and Matt Barnes in the coming season. While they may not help in 2011, how they play will tell you whether Boston is developing any premium pitching prospects.
Still Big Spenders. Jeremy Lundblad went through the numbers on the Red Sox 2012 payroll – and they show Boston has definitely not gone cheap. This coming season will most likely be the highest payroll in team history. The big issue is bad contracts – notably Lackey, Daisuke Matuszaka and Bobby Jenks. And we will learn if Carl Crawford should be added to that list. This past off-season GM Ben Cherington took a conservative approach in the free agent market (hello, Cody Ross and Nick Punto). A big test on for Cherington comes in the future, when he makes a big-money, long-term commitment – does he demonstrate better judgment than his predecessor?
Theo Compensation. Gordon Edes has an update on the Theo Epstein compensation from the Cubs – no major league player or premium prospect coming to Boston (although Edes puts Josh Vitters on the not-coming-to-Boston list, someone not typically considered a top prospect). Edes reports the Red Sox still hope to get a quality prospect – a player who has a chance to contribute at the major league level one day. My prediction (with my typical caveat – I don’t know anything) – pitchers Trey McNutt or Chris Carpenter. Who do you think Boston will receive as compensation?
Cody Ross is Mr. Average. Christina Kahrl wrote about the players who are the statistical average in offensive production at every position – with Red Sox newcomer Cody Ross grabbing the leftfield spot. Ross is a good, low-cost pick-up late in the off-season.
Wakefield Wants to Return. Tim Wakefield again voiced his strong preference to come back to Boston and pitch one more season with the Red Sox. Despite the uncertainty in the Red Sox rotation, I don’t see Wakefield coming back. But it would be strange seeing Wake pitch for another team. Probably strange for Wakefield too. Look for him to retire.
Ranaudo ready for more. MILB.com spoke with Red Sox pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo who said he is hoping to start the season at AA Portland. Ranaudo is very active on Twitter – @anthony_ranaudo – if you are looking to follow someone new.
Oswalt Looks Heading South. Jon Heyman writes it looks like the Cardinals and Rangers are Roy Oswalt’s top choices – leaving the Red Sox to look elsewhere for a starter. My top pick for the Red Sox would be Edwin Jackson with Gavin Floyd number two (Jackson gets the nod only because he is a free agent). If Boston is truly satisfied with the starting rotation (as management says), St. Louis is shopping Kyle McClellan to clear salary room for Oswalt – and he would be a good addition to the bullpen. Kind of what they hoped Dan Wheeler would produce last season.
It’s been a tough, injury-filled year for OF Ryan Kalish. He’s back on the field at Pawtucket and Michael Vega reports he is hitting his stride. Expect Kalish to be called up when the rosters expand in September. Scott Lauber looks at the players who could be on the short list to be brought up. Should be an interesting battle between Kalish and Josh Reddick to replace J.D. Drew in RF next spring.
The Red Sox top 3 2010 draft picks are together – performing well – at High A Salem. Maureen Mullen profiles Kolbrin Vitek, Bryce Brentz and Anthony Ranaudo.
Monday is deadline day for signing 2011 draft picks. One name to watch is Senquez Golson, Boston’s 9th round pick – a player who dropped because of rumored bonus demands of $1 million. Golson has leverage as a football player already practicing for the upcoming season at Ole Miss – but the local paper reports it is increasingly likely Golson will sign with the Red Sox. Here’s what Peter Abraham had to say about the likelihood of the Red Sox signing their top picks. And Alex Speier looks at the Red Sox top picks and their status.
Tuesday is the New York-Penn League All-Star game in Lowell. Four Spinners made the team – OFs Matty Johnson, Keury De La Cruz and Seth Schwindenhammer, and injured 3B Garin Cecchini.