Category Archives : Interview

Interview with Daniel Butler

Daniel Butler is a righty catcher who has been in the Red Sox organization since 2009. He was undrafted out of Arizona and signed with the Red Sox for $10,000. It’s been a bargain for the Red Sox so far, to say the least.

He started off slowly with Lowell, hitting .179/.261/.282 with 3 doubles, a triple, and a home run. But he bounced back in 2010. He hit .327/.406/.523 with with 6 home runs, 18 doubles, and 3 triples in 61 games in Greenville. He earned a promotion to Salem and didn’t slow down much, hitting .292/.434/.425 with a home run and 12 doubles in 35 games for the Salem Sox.

Butler started out 2011 with Salem and put up solid stats. He posted a line of .247/.350/.417 with 11 home runs and 20 doubles in 91 games. He was promoted to Portland, where he hit .212/.316/.288 with 5 doubles in 21 games.

So far this year he’s hitting .241/.336/.397 with 5 home runs, 10 doubles, and 2 triples in 57 games. He’s had a very up and down season but he’s put up good stats for a catcher and is a good asset for the Red Sox to have. He is a very good defensive catcher and should be a reliable backup for the Red Sox down the line.


Interview with Zach Gentile

Zach Gentile was the Red Sox 49th pick in the 2008 MLB draft. He started out the season in Lowell in 2008, and struggled mightily. He hit .222/.271/.259 in 40 games for the Spinners. He had no home runs, 3 doubles, and a triple.

He improved in 2009, hitting .281/.363/.340 in 88 games for the Greenville Drive. He hit a home run, 11 doubles and 2 triples. He took a step back in 2010, hitting .233/.326/.285/ with 13 doubles, 2 triples and no home runs in 98 games for the Drive.

He got the bump up to Salem in 2011, where he hit .273/.366/.320 with no home runs, 10 doubles, and a triple in 80 games for the Salem Red Sox.

Gentile got promoted to Portland this year, where he got off to a hot start. In May (he only played one game in April), he hit .333/.378/.381 with 2 doubles in 13 games for the Sea Dogs. Unfortunately he couldn’t get anything going in June. He hit .080/.148/.080 with no extra base hits in 7 games for the Sea Dogs. He was demoted to high A Salem.

Zach Gentile is 5-8 165 pound lefty (who throws righty) who usually plays in the infield, but can also play in the outfield. According to SoxProspects, he’s considered a gritty player like Dustin Pedroia.



Interview with Pete Ruiz

Pete Ruiz was the Red Sox 10th round draft pick in 2008. He was drafted as a starter out of Santa Barbara City Junior College, but now is a right handed reliever for the Salem Red Sox. He had been a starter up to last year, but the Red Sox thought he’d be better off as a reliever.

That move has paid off so far, as Ruiz has dominated for the Salem Sox. He’s 4-1 this year, with a 1.14 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He’s striking out 9.1 batters every 9 innings, and has yet to allow a home run in 23.2 innings of work.

He is best known for his priceless impersonation of Tim Kurkjian of EPSN’s baseball tonight. It’s a must watch, so check it out. It’s one of the funniest video’s I’ve seen in a while.



Interview with Jadd Schmeltzer

Jadd Schmeltzer was the Red Sox 49th round draft pick in the 2011 MLB draft. He was a pitcher for Cornell (and a tight end on the football team in his freshman year) and is currently on the Lowell Spinners active roster.

Last year, Schmeltzer went 0-2 for the GCL Red Sox with a 2.92 ERA and a WHIP of 1.22 in 24.2 innings.

Currently, he has a 7.50 ERA in 6 innings of work for the Lowell Spinners. Opponents are batting .360 against him, but his BABIP is extremely high at .462, which suggests he’s been very unlucky so far.

Last night, he pitched 3 innings for the Spinners, allowing three hits, one earned run, two walks, while striking out one.


Interview with Kyle Stroup

Kyle Stroup is a righty pitcher who was drafted by the Red Sox out of high school in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. He pitched 24 innings for the GCL Red Sox in 2009, with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. He tore the ACL in his right leg in 2010 and missed the whole season.

He was much improved in 2011, going 6-6 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 95.2 innings. He struck out 7.1 per 9 innings and had a 2.88 SO/BB ratio. He was impressive for the Drive, but his luck took a hit again this year.

Stroup tore his ACL in his left leg in Spring Training this year, and is currently rehabbing it in Fort Myers.

He has a great pitchers frame, weighing in at 235 pounds and measuring in at 6 foot 6 inches. He was projected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds but he fell due to his bonus demands, according to He ended up signing for $150,000.


Interview with Nathan Minnich

Nathan Minnich was the Red Sox 8th round draft pick this year. Minnich is a left handed 1st baseman who dominated Division 2 baseball for Shepherd Rams. This year, he hit a ridiculous .487/.645/.980 with 21 home runs, 12 doubles, and 72 RBI in 52 games. He also walked 62 times while only striking out 24 times. Thanks to these amazing stats, he won the Tino Martinez award. The Tino Martinez award is given to the top player in Division 2 baseball. He was also named the national player of the year by the National College Baseball Writers of America, Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association, and he was a unanimous All-American.

Nathan Minnich did nothing but impress for the Rams during his college career, but he still has to prove he can hit against superior competition. While Minnich is capable of adjusting to better pitching, it’ll be a tough transition for him.

Either way, he has a lot of power and is known for having excellent plate discipline. He is expected to start the season at Lowell as a bench player, according to


Interview with Red Sox Draft Pick Pat Light

Pat Light is a hard throwing righty out of Monmouth University who was drafted by the Red Sox with the 37th pick of the draft this year. That pick was one of the compensation picks the Red Sox received when the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon.

Light is 6 foot 6 inches and weighs 200 pounds. In his most recent season, he went 8-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 14 starts for Monmouth. He struggled in his first two years there though, going 6-1 with a 4.94 ERA. He has made some big improvements since then, and should start the season with the Lowell Spinners once he signs.


Interview with Lars Anderson

Lars Anderson was the Red Sox 18th round draft pick in 2006, and he used to be their top hitting prospect as well. A lot has changed since his breakout year (2008 in Portland) to say the least, but even though he’s not getting recognized as much these days, he’s still putting up impressive stats and showing off his talent.

So far this year, he’s hitting .238/.370/.443 with 6 home runs and 11 doubles in 42 games. His average isn’t there obviously, but his extremely low BABIP of .200 may have something to do with that. Even more impressive is that Anderson has handled his shift to the outfield (note: he’s still playing 1st base as well) very well so far.

If he can refine his outfield play, he could be a great trade chip or 4th outfielder for the Red Sox down the line.

Photo by George Campbell



Getting to Know Ryan Westmoreland

For those of you unfamiliar with Ryan Westmoreland, his story is less about baseball than triumphing over great hardship. Whether he ever makes it to the majors or not, his hard work, fearlessness, and passion for the game of baseball should prove inspiring to many.

Ryan Westmoreland grew up a Red Sox fan while living in Rhode Island. He dreamed of playing baseball professionally under the bright lights at Fenway Park, as so many young boys do. Westmoreland was particularly talented and excelled at hitting. While playing ball at Portsmouth High School, he was named Rhode Island’s Player of the Year in both 2007 and 2008. The opportunity to play professional baseball would soon become a reality.

In 2008, Westmoreland was drafted in the 5th round out of high school. He received a $1,604,000 signing bonus and would earn $2 million over 5 years; enough to dissuade him from going to college. He made his professional debut on June 19th, 2009 for the single-A Lowell Spinners. He hit .296/.401/.484 with 7 homeruns in 60 games, before breaking his collarbone which would require surgery.

By the end of the year, he was rated as the Red Sox best positional prospect. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Ryan as the 32nd best prospect in baseball and former Red Sox Scouting Director Jason McLeod (Now working under Theo Epstein with the Chicago Cubs) had said that Westmoreland had the highest upside of any player he had scouted in his 5 years with the organization. Drawing comparisons to Grady Sizemore, had this to say about his skillset:

“A true five-tool talent with tremendous upside. Sturdy, athletic build with the ability to add strength.  Open stance. Keeps his hands high around his helmet and goes into a bit of a crouch as the ball approaches. Smooth and quick swing. Patient and selective – waits for his pitch. Above average power potential with a terrific approach. Hits to all fields.  Elite speed with excellent base-running skills. Strong arm with excellent outfield range. Very intelligent”

In the spring of 2010, Ryan’s bright future took a grim turn. Westmoreland began experiencing headaches and numbness on the right side of his head. On March 5th, he was diagnosed with a “cavernous malformation of the brain.” Ryan had experienced bleeding in the tumor. If the tumor bled again, he could lose his vision and motor skills, and could even die. And it did bleed again. (more…)

Interview with Travis Shaw

The last time we talked to Travis Shaw was after he was drafted by the Red Sox in the 9th round of last year’s draft. At the time he was just an unknown corner infielder out of Kent State.

Now, he’s in high A and dominating the competition. So far this year, Shaw is hitting .340/.418/.535 with 4 home runs, 15 doubles, and 3 triples in 44 games for the Salem Red Sox. What’s even more impressive is how well Shaw has hit lefties this year. Although he’s a lefty, he’s hitting .444/.469/.800 with 3 home runs and 7 doubles in 40 at bats. Small sample size sure, but impressive nonetheless.

The way Shaw has been hitting, it’ll be hard to keep him in A ball for much longer. Should he get a chance at Double A this year, watch out for him to start gaining the attention he deserves.

Travis Shaw