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Posts Tagged ‘Red Sox Prospects

Red Sox: Around the Bases

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Hats Off to Cherington

With the Red Sox clinching the AL East, there are so many good stories – on and off the field. But want to take a minute for a shout out to GM Ben Cherington.

Talk about a man with a plan – and a plan that worked.

He built a worst to first division winner – says Cherington, “This team was a lot about the sum of the parts, the whole, instead of any individual.”

Cherington not only reshaped the team for this season – but looks like he built a foundation for the long term.

American League Wild Card

Would like to see the Indians hold on for a wild card spot.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona has done a great job turning his team around.

Plus the Indians – should they win the one game wild card crapshoot – would not only be an easier match-up for the Red Sox than the Rays or Rangers, but a much more interesting one.

And Tito’s return to Boston for the playoffs would be cool.

While we are discussing the wild card – think the Rays would be a better match-up than the Rangers for the Red Sox in the ALDS. But also feel both would be tough teams to face.

Ellsbury Likely to Return

It appears Jacoby Ellsbury is getting closer to returning to the field from his foot injury.

Ellsbury did baseball activities today and manager John Farrell said he hopes to see Ellsbury play on the coming road trip.

That should help Ellsbury get tuned up for the post-season – and give Boston a good idea on whether he will be ready to go for the playoffs.

Farm System Report

Red Sox farm teams finishing tied with the Cubs in tenth place in organizational standings among major league teams, based on their overall domestic minor league winning percentage. The Red Sox system had a .504 winning percentage – same as last year.

Boston had one farm team – Salem in the Carolina League – win a championship. The Astros finished number one overall – so maybe there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for Houston.

Henry Owens has been named the team’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year and second baseman Mookie Betts has been named Minor League Offensive Player of the Year.

Written by Albie Jarvis

September 21, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Around the Bases with the Red Sox

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Some quick thoughts on the Boston Red Sox

Buchholz Better. Read Clay Buchholz was better in his second rehab start with Pawtucket. I am treating these games like Spring Training. The numbers mean nothing. The good sign is Buchholz is reporting no pain or discomfort. Let’s see how he does against big league batters.

Sox Add McDonald. Like the trade acquisition of infielder John McDonald – a strong defender – today by the Red Sox. Boston gave up a marginal prospect, pitcher Nefi Ogando. The Sox have some unproven infielders in Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts – so McDonald provides a defensive replacement if they are lifted for a pinch-hitter. And McDonald provides a ready second base option to back-up Dustin Pedroia.

Where Owens Stands. Prospect lefty starter Henry Owens has had a terrific year. Yet the scouts are mixed on him – with the nay-sayers saying his stuff is not good enough. Put me down as bullish on Owens – with an expected arrival sometime in 2014.

September Call-ups. Starting tomorrow the Red Sox can expand their roster beyond 25 players. Expect some familiar faces to join the team right away – like C Ryan Lavarnway and INF Brock Holt. And then look to see players like OF Jackie Bradley Jr. come back to Boston once the Pawtucket season closes – after the PawSox ride through the playoffs.

Red Sox Prospects Round-up

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Taking Stock of Red Sox Prospects

MLB.com updated its list of the Red Sox top 20 prospects.

Of course, SS super-prospect Xander Bogaerts heads the list. And the rest of the top five:

  • Jackie Bradley Jr. – OF
  • Allen Webster – RHP
  • Henry Owens – LHP
  • Matt Barnes – RHP

Headlining the players new to the list is first round draft pick LHP Trey Ball, who debuted at #8.

Boston has eight players ranked on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects list, tied with the Astros for the most of any team. Bogaerts placed #6 on the top 100 list.

The Red Sox are in prime position – prospect-wise – for the trade deadline. But expect them to be more focused on the long term than this season – holding onto their best prospects.

Barnes Revival

Barnes made this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet – placing at #5.

Over his last eight starts, Barnes has a 2.91 ERA with 50 strikeouts (13.2 per nine innings) and 19 walks (5.0 per nine innings).

I think Barnes is on the “bubble” as a keeper. He has talent but the Red Sox are deep in pitching prospects.

Quick Hits

Red Sox Trade Deadline Thoughts

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Cliff Lee on the Trade Market

Philadelphia is listening to trade offers for lefty starter Cliff Lee.

Figure the Red Sox to be kicking the tires on this one.

Lee is a difference maker who can alter the race.

His salary ($25 million a year) probably limits his market to the Sox, Dodgers and maybe the Yankees (they have the money but may not have the commitment to this season).

Texas would have been on the list – but guessing the Matt Garza trade probably knocks them off the list.

Package Deals

Reading who is on the trade market – a few teams have starter/reliever combinations that could appeal to the Red Sox. Examples are:

The White Sox with Jake Peavy and Addison Reed. And Kansas City with Ervin Santana and Luke Hochevar.

The price-tag would be steep for either combination but a package could make deals more appealing to Boston.

For instance, Reed would bring a young arm with the 32 year old Peavy, which may ease Boston including someone like 3B Will Middlebrooks in a deal.

And Hochevar would add a player who doesn’t hit free agency until 2015 in a package with free agent to be Santana – giving Boston a return that extends beyond this season.

Looking for Relief

Interesting the Red Sox weren’t mentioned as a team checking Brian Wilson on the comeback trail.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he is not being evaluated by Boston. Wilson’s value includes post-season experience and he requires no compensation, as a free agent.

Keep Best Young Arms

The big performance by Chris Archer of the Rays today versus the Yankees today provides a good reminder to Red Sox brass: Keep your top pitching prospects.

Archer went to the Rays (a team that knows pitching) in the Matt Garza trade in January 2011.

Right now would rather have Archer than Garza – without even taking into consideration the salary difference or Archer is a free agent in 2019 and Garza is after this season.

Add in – would rather have Archer than the prospect package the Cubs received for Garza. They all are a roll of the dice.

Which pitchers do you think the Red Sox should make their priorities?

Red Sox Prospect Update

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Prospect Options for Red Sox Holes

One of the great benefits of building a strong farm system is creating organizational depth that is available to address issues that pop up during the season.

John Tomase walked through the top ten options of Sox prospects who could play a role down the stretch run.

Of course, SS Xander Bogaerts leads the way and Brandon Workman is in the second spot – with Workman potentially playing role as a starter or in the bullpen.

Two sleepers: Drake Britton who could get the chance to fill Andrew Miller’s shoes as a lefty in the bullpen (even with Matt Thornton here). And Will Middlebrooks as a bounce-back player – the Sox need more right-handed pop.

Bogaerts Kudos

Keith Law placed Bogaerts at #3 on the mid-season update to his top 50 baseball prospect list (subscription required).

3B Garin Cecchini continued his meteoric rise up prospect lists coming in at #21. Law wrote Cecchini has one plus tool – “he can hit.”

Also on the list: OF Jackie Bradley Jr. at #24 and LHP Henry Owens #31. Blake Swihart made honorable mention.

Not a bad turnout for the Boston organization and note: Baltimore placed three players on the list. While New York, Toronto and Tampa Bay each landed one.

One that Got Away

Here’s one for all the prospect hoarders this trade deadline. Oakland pitching prospect Raul Alcantara was recently named California League pitcher of the week by MiLB.com. Alcantara, sent over to the Athletics in the Andrew Bailey deal, is 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA this season.

Red Sox Trade Deadline Approach

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Like Sean McAdam’s piece on the Red Sox “philosophy” as they approach the trade deadline.

It is: Yes, look to address team holes for a playoff run this year – but so in a way that does not “sacrifice the inventory of accumulated prospects for short-term gain.”

One of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington’s most important jobs is evaluating his own organization’s talent.

Prospects are typically prime currency in mid-season deals.

Cherington needs to assess who are the keepers in the Red Sox system (the untouchables – and the hard deal unless the return is big) and who is expendable.

And he also needs to be checking in with his fellow GMs about their assessments of Red Sox prospects – with an eye towards identifying which expendable prospects may be more highly valued by potential trading partners.

Dialing up Bullpen Help

The priority of picking up a reliever before the trade deadline may have moved up a couple of notches with the shoulder injury to Andrew Bailey, who may be out for the rest of the season. The Bailey injury adds to Boston’s bullpen woes – with Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Miller already out for the rest of the season.

The Sox added to their organizational depth, signing to Pawtucket veteran relievers Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon, neither of whom should be counted on for more than emergency help unless they are struck by a lightning bolt of Bartolo Colon-like rejuvenation.

Still think Boston may be looking at their young arms as primary reliever options.

Looking forward to seeing LHP Drake Britton get into some more big league games.

Brandon Workman could slide into a bullpen role if Clay Buchholz comes back or the Sox add a starter in a deal. And Alex Wilson should go back into the back-end of the pen when he comes off the DL.

The guy I am wondering about is Rubby De La Rosa.

He would seem like a natural for moving into relief for the rest of the season – but his last three games for Pawtucket have been disasters.

Shoring up Starting

Put me down as someone who is not big on Bud Norris as a Red Sox rotation addition.

I get Norris’ theoretical value – maintaining player control beyond this season and that he has a reasonable salary cost.

The starting point in any player addition should be talent. And Norris is not a difference-maker pitcher.

Not to mention – he probably has never pitched in a game that has mattered in the major leagues.

Rental players – like Matt Garza or Ervin Santana – are potentially better acquisitions if the team can get them for “rental prices.” And note: the actual cost may be more than what it takes to get Norris – because they are better than Norris.

Yes on Pedroia Deal

Word is the Red Sox are closing in a massive contract extension with Dustin Pedroia.

He is Boston’s cornerstone player so being sure he stays in Boston makes sense.

Checking Out Red Sox Trade Rumblings

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Here’s a quick run-through on Red Sox trade rumors and suggestions making the rounds.

On Guard for Garza

Jon Heyman places the Red Sox as a “major threat” to land Cubs starter Matt Garza. Heyman cites Boston’s pitching prospect depth as a key trade asset. Jim Bowden puts the Red Sox on the short list of teams interested in Garza along with the Rangers and Diamondbacks (subscription required). Boston has the farm system to compete with Texas and Arizona. Like Garza as a rental – understanding they would be high-rent prices – not as a long-term option (don’t want to make a long-term commitment given his recent injury history).

Getting Jesse Crain

Dave Cameron lists Jesse Crain as a guy to get to bolster the Red Sox bullpen, writing Boston should send SS prospect Deven Marrero to the White Sox in return (subscription required). Okay with this deal with one big condition – Boston needs to get some demonstration that Crain is healthy. If no, no go. And by the way, Crain says going to the first place Red Sox would be fun.

Red Sox Prospects that Could Go

SoxProspects reviewed Boston’s farm system and tiered out the team’s minor leaguers that could be available in deals. Look for the “Solid B prospects” to be the ones most likely to go. A list that includes Marrero,  C Blake Swihart, OF Bryce Brentz, RHP Brandon Workman (got to think he bolstered his trade value in Oakland), LHP Drake Britton and more. Baseball America provided a mid-year update to its top 50 prospects list, with the untouchable SS Xander Bogaerts placing at #4. Three others made the list: Jackie Bradley Jr., Anthony Ranaudo and Garin Cecchini (I could see the last two move in a really big deal – think Cliff Lee-type trade).

What moves do you think the Red Sox will make before the trade deadline? Which prospects will be most likely to go?

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