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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Official 2019 Red Sox Prospects Discussion

    We didn't have enough activity to justify doing our own prospect rankings over the winter so the list of 2019 assignments seems like as good a place as any to jump start the prospect discussions:

    The Red Sox announced their rosters for the minor league affiliates, and most of their top prospects will begin the year at Double-A Portland, including third baseman Bobby Dalbec, right-hander Durbin Feltman and left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez. But Dave Dombrowski has made it clear in the past he doesnít mind bringing up players to the majors straight from Double A. He did it with Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers.

    The roster at Triple A includes third base prospect Michael Chavis, who could play other positions to increase flexibility, and then a lot of players with some major league experience to provide depth to the big league club.

    The pitching staff will include former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia, once banned for life for getting caught using performance-enhancing drugs three times. Also on the staff is Erasmo Ramirez, Travis Lakins, Bobby Poyner, Marcus Walden, Mike Shawaryn, Chandler Shepherd, Josh Smith, Domingo Tapia, Josh Taylor, Ryan Weber, Dan Runzler and Trevor Kelley.

    PawSox position players include Sandy Leon, Tzu-Wei Lin, Nick Lovullo, Mike Miller, Josh Ockimey, Tony Renda, Juan Centeno, Jake Romanski, Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, Gorkys Hernandez and Cole Sturgeon.
    weei.com

    Others of note:
    1B/3B Triston Casas, Greenville
    RHP Tanner Houck, Portland
    SS CJ Chatham, Portland
    RHP Bryan Mata, Salem
    RHP Alex Scherff, Greenville
    2B Brett Netzer, Portland

    Jay Groome and Rionel Raudes both start the year on the injured list. Groome isn't likely to see the field until August since he's rehabbing from TJ.

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    I'm a little bummed out. I grabbed a bunch of tix to go to the Greenville game Saturday because Pedroia is here for his rehab assignment... then the plan was announced for him to play back-to-back tonight and tomorrow, skip Saturday, and play again Sunday. Oh, well, should be fun to see Casas play. Kid looks like he should be playing basketball.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    13,363
    Whoa, we got Brentz back? Dang, was really hoping he'd capitalize on his opportunity last year. Resigning with us I think means he has no chance at ever being more than AAAA.

    That's disappointing RedSoxtober. I hope it's a good game and Casas impresses. Looking forward to your prospect updates throughout the year, I wouldn't be able to keep much of a pulse on the minors without them.

  4. #4
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    I was hoping that wet conditions would push Pedroia back on Friday but his Thur/Fri/Sun schedule stayed in tack and my tickets were for the only game that he didn't play during the Drive's opening weekend. Oh, well.

    Brannen plays a decent CF but wasn't much at the plate. Casas was a big disappointment. The kid is ridiculously tall -- I call on his 6'4" official height. He towers over everyone. I really didn't like his approach at the plate. He's got an extremely wide stance (Larry Craig wide?) and starts in a pronounced crouch. He seems to be robbing himself of the power that his frame ought to provide. He was DH for the night so I didn't get to see him in the field.

    Aside from those two, there was nothing to write home about. I think that all four position players listed as bench players got starts. The pitchers were terrible with the exception of Alex Demchak (who has a lot of deception in a funky delivery). Sadly, it's at least the second straight weak Drive team to come through. That's not great news for anyone hoping to see the Farm System revive over the next few years.

    The other pseudo-highlight was getting to see Charlie McConnell for West Virginia. Yeah, I have no clue who he is either BUT, he grew up in my hometown of Reading, MA. Not many kids from Reading get drafted so it was kinda cool.

    Alex Scherff did have a nice start on Opening Day: 5IP, 2H, 1BB, 4K, 0R/ER. GB/FB was 3.5 which means he was making the most out of the bottom of the strike zone (where his stuff reportedly has the most life).

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    Darwinzon Hernandez finally made his second appearance of the regular season. The bottom line was fine: two runs over five innings. However, Hernandezís control was an issue again, giving up three walks. Thatís unacceptable when youíre giving up six hits in five innings. He also struck out five.

    Durbin Feltman was among those to relieve Hernandez. The young righty chucked another scoreless, hitless frame while striking out two. He has not given up a run over his last three outings ó which have spanned three innings.
    weei.com


    C.J. Chatham already has seven doubles through his first 10 games with Double-A Portland after hitting 20 between Class-A Greenville and Class-A Advanced Salem in 2018. Heís not a big home run guy (nine in 166 minor league games) but heís not devoid of power. His progress in the doubles category leaves reason to believe thereís more to come.

    Home run numbers aside, if you want someone who can hit for average, Chatham is your guy. He only batted .242 in his first season of pro ball, then suffered a costly hamstring injury in 2017 that limited him to seven games, but he blossomed in 2018. In the 19 games he spent with Greenville, he hit .307. He then spent the majority of the year with Salem (95 games), batting .315 with 14 doubles, three homers and a triple.

    Just below Chatham in Salem, Ryan Fitzgerald appears to be playing with all the sliders up on rookie mode. Through 13 games, the 24-year-old shortstop has an OPS of 1.083. Heís hitting .413 with six doubles, two triples and 11 RBI. Last season, he did well with Greenville (.274, nine doubles, eight homers and three triples in 80 games), so thereís reason to believe this stretch isnít solely built on luck.
    weei.com

  6. #6
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    Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata hasnít made too many mistakes on the mound in his three starts for Class-A Advanced Salem this season. He has given up one earned run (0.54 ERA), three walks and 11 hits (0.90 WHIP) over 16 2/3 innings. He also has 17 strikeouts.

    The one earned run scored off of Mata came in the third inning of his start against the Wilmington Blue Rocks on April 6. Since then, he has not surrendered an earned run over 14 innings of work.

    Mata ranks third among Red Sox pitching prospects according to Baseball America, fourth according to mlb.com. He is in the top-10 in the organization on both lists. (Baseball America has his sixth and mlb.com puts him at No. 8.)

    Jordan Weems showed off a little more than his flow on Tuesday against the Trenton Thunder ó the Yankees Double-A affiliate. The righty reliever struck out a career-high seven hitters over 3 2/3 innings of work, giving up one run on a walk and two hits. In his last two outings, Weems has 11 Kís and four walks over 5 2/3 innings.
    weei.com

    Interestingly enough, Weems was originally a catcher who came in with Swihart and played his first couple of seasons as Swihart's platoon partner.

  7. #7
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    Red Sox 2018 fifth-round draft pick Thad Ward is nine starts into his first full season as a professional pitcher and currently averages just under 5 2/3 innings per outing. Through his first four with Class A Greenville, Ward went five innings three times and 4 1/3 innings once. During that span, he had a 4.19 ERA. Since then, heís lasted six or more innings in four out of five outings, posting a 1.50 ERA throughout the stretch to bring his season mark down to 2.50.

    Some of Wardís best work has come in his last two outings. He hasnít surrendered a run in 14 1/3 innings, most recently throwing seven scoreless on Monday in the Driveís 4-0 win over the West Virginia Power (Mariners). Ward struck out seven, bringing his season total to 58, gave up four hits and didnít walk anyone. Mondayís start was only the second outing where Ward didnít walk someone this season. Heís had a few instances where control has been a problem, walking 14 over 24 innings from April 16 to May 3. But in his last 20 1/3 innings, Ward has only given up two free passes. On the year, he has a 1.09 WHIP and is holding opponents to a .204 average.
    weei.com

  8. #8
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    THE REALITY OF THE RED SOX FARM SYSTEM

    "It's not as bad as everyone says it is."

    That was one from American League talent evaluator who spent a good chunk of his time in 2019 scouting the Red Sox' farm system.

    Asked to identify the five most intriguing Red Sox minor-leaguers (Double-A and higher), this was his list:

    1. Starting pitcher Bryan Mata. "He reminds of a young Carlos Zambrano. ... Probably projects to be a No. 3."

    2. Outfielder Jarren Duran: "Sort of a Jacoby Ellsbury-like without the power. He's still getting used to playing the outfield, which is understandable. He makes up for some bad routes with his speed."

    3. First baseman Bobby Dalbec: "Could be a Four-A guy or a perennial big league All-Star. He obviously has the kind of power that works in the game today but does guess on pitches too much for my liking right now. ... He's a really, really good defender."

    4. Infielder C.J. Chatham: "I really like Chatham because I can see him having the ability to play all four infield positions. He puts the ball in play." (Note: Chatham finished the minor-league season dabbling in some time at second base.)

    5. Pitcher Tanner Houck: "They should keep him as a reliever. It's good he's gone back to prioritizing that two-seamer instead of worrying too much about throwing his four-seam fastball."
    weei.com

  9. #9
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    Corey Wimberly has more experience than most with the minor-leaguers from the Red Sox organization who currently find themselves in the Arizona Fall League. But what the manager of the Single-A Salem Red Sox has witnessed over the last month while coaching for the Peoria Javelinas has left quite an impression. Here are Wimberly's observations regarding five AFL participants with ties to the Sox:

    Tanner Houck: "He's really come out here and taken a step forward. He's been a guy who is really working on developing his offspeed more and I think he has made huge strides. ... They've polished up some of his off-speed pitches and he's been outstanding. He's made huge strides. I'm proud of him. ... He's throwing his changeup and his slider more. Most of it was learning how to use it and not giving up on it. Being able to adjust pitch to pitch. He's understanding each pitch serves a purpose even if it's not a strike, what it does to a hitter and how it makes him vulnerable. He's learned that and picked it up well."

    Jarren Duran: "He's going to compete no matter what. He's going to find a way. For me, it was just getting comfortable in Portand where guys probably have better command. We worked on some slight mechanical changes in his swing but nothing drastic. It has seemed to pay off. I'm excited for him. He's in a good spot right now ... Ever since I've seen this kid step on a professional field, because I've had him the last two years, he takes every at-bat personal. It's a battle between him and the pitcher. It's serious every time he gets in the box. I don't think him being overconfident or under-confident had anything to do with his struggles. I think he went through a little phase. This was his first full season so he played a lot of baseball this year. I'm excited for where he's at. It seems he hasn't missed a beat.

    Bryan Mata: "Mata is opening up some eyes. We've seen a tick up in his velocity. He's been up to 99 (mph) with an electric arm over and over. From my first year of coaching, I've seen him go from 88-91 and now to see him at 99 ... Just sitting sinker at 99 is unbelievable. He's opened some eyes out here for sure. ... I think just being in the bullpen, coming in throwing one inning at a time he has really let it go and hasn't had to pace himself. It's fun to watch him come out of the pen right now."

    Yoan Aybar: "He's a lefty who is throwing upper-90's. He's been 95 to 99, showing some electric stuff. He's making great strides. His slider is electric as well. And this is his first full season pitching, as well. He's made some huge strides." (Aybar made the switch from position player to pitcher in 2018.)

    Marcus Wilson: "He's just been on a tear ever since the second half of the season in Salem. He's opened up some eyes. He's been a guy if you just take off that first half of the season he's a guy who for sure has big-league ability. It's exciting to watch guys like him be successful." (Wilson was acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Blake Swihart.)

    C.J. Chatham: "C.J. has been working on a position change, working at second base quite a bit just trying to get him more versatility. Obviously second base in the big leagues for us, we don't know how Pedey is going to be next year.... He's done well at the position. It's just getting used to all the different turns, especially out of shifts and stuff like that which are coming into play. So we've been working with footwork around the bases a lot. He will be able to transfer into that position pretty easy. I just feel like if you're a shortstop at this level you can kind of play everywhere. It's just about getting comfortable."
    weei.com

  10. #10
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    Following up ^^

    Chatham (.243/.289/.314, 70AB/16K) had a fair AFL. You would hope to get a bit more at the plate in a league generally known for inflated offense. He was, however, making a switch to 2B and that may have had an impact. 18 games in the season is not bad.

    Duran (.267/.337/.400, 90AB/20K/7SB/5-2B/2-3B) was the offensive force. Given his superior glove, it's a nice line to see. I could see him making the AA-MLB jump if the Sox trade one of their OF.

    Tanner Houck (3-2, 2.70ERA/23.1IP/19H/7BB/26K) continued a nice 2019 season. He could be the #5 in the rotation next year. Even with growing pains it wouldn't be hard to match what the team got out of the fifth spot in the rotation for pennies on the dollar.

    Mata maintained his post-promotion form which, unfortunately, isn't saying much. Yoan Aybar the same.

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