Category Archives : Minors


Top 10 Prospects: #3 Henry Owens

Photo credit Kelly O'Connor

Photo credit Kelly O’Connor

Top lefty pitching prospect Henry Owens was drafted by the Red Sox in the 2011 draft in the supplemental first round and it’s looking like it was a steal. Owens is very tall for a pitcher at 6-7 and weighs 200 pounds. He has room to add strength though as his weight is a little low for his height. Owens has a very deceptive delivery that has been very effective in fooling hitters.

After a disappointing first season for the Greenville Drive in 2012, he bounced back in a major way in 2013. He started off in Salem and did very well, going 8-5 with a 2.92 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and a 10.58 K/9 rate. This earned him a promotion to Portland where he did even better. He went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, and a ridiculous 13.65 K/9 rate. Henry Owens racks up the strikeouts like none other.

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Top 10 Prospects: #4 Manuel Margot

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Manuel Margot was signed as an international free agent by the Red Sox in 2011 for $800,000 and it’s looking like it was a very good investment to say the least. Margot is an outfielder who is 6-0 170 pounds with room to add strength and fill out more. After all he is only 20 years old.

In his first pro season, Margot was impressive, hitting at a .285/.382/.423 slash with 4 home runs, 10 doubles, and 7 triples as a 17 year old for the DSL Red Sox. Unfortunately he struggled his next season for the Lowell Spinners, hitting only .270/.346/.351 with 1 home run, 8 doubles, and a triple. But last season he bounced back in a major way. He started off the season with the Greenville Drive and did nothing but impress, putting up a .286/.355/.449 slash with 10 home runs, 20 doubles, and 5 triples in only 370 at bats. This earned him a promotion to the high A Salem Red Sox where his performance only got better, albeit with a small sample size. He hit .340/.364/.560 with 2 home runs and 5 doubles in only 50 at bats. Thanks to his breakout season he was named the #72 prospect in baseball by Baseball America.

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Top 10 Prospects: #5 Eduardo Rodriguez

Photo by Taylor Hansen

Photo by Taylor Hansen

6-2, 200 pound Eduardo Rodriguez was acquired by the Red Sox last season in exchange for lefty reliever Andrew Miller. Ben Cherington deserves a lot of credit for the move, as the Red Sox were clearly not going anywhere and he was able to net a very quality pitching prospect in return for a reliever who was going to be a free agent anyway.

In 2013, Rodriguez went 10-7 with a 3.41 ERA with 1.24 WHIP which earned him the #65 ranking by Baseball America on their annual list. He spent the entire 2014 season in AA and showed no signs of slowing down, posting a 3.60 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP while going 6-8. Even more impressive was his performance with the Portland Sea Dogs after he was traded. He seemed to find his groove with the Sea Dogs after struggling with Bowie with a 4.79 ERA. To be fair, he sustained a knee injury early in the season. When he got healthy, Rodriguez did nothing but impress, starting 6 games for the Sea Dogs and put up an spectacular 0.96 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP. His strikeout to walks ratio was extremely impressive at 4.88 and batters only hit .222 against him. Thanks to his stellar 2014 campaign, Rodriguez was ranked as the #59 prospect in all of baseball.

Eduardo Rodriguez features three pitches. He has a 93-94 MPH fastball that got up to the 96-97 MPH range with the Sea Dogs. His fastball has solid command though it can straighten out too much from time to time. His best pitch is his changeup which has plus potential and should be a great pairing with his fastball. It is in the 84-86 MPH range but according to SoxProspects, the Orioles wanted him to throw it in the low 80s instead and after Rodriguez was traded he started to throw it much harder. The proof is in the pudding and he put up spectacular stats. Clearly it made a difference. His third pitch is a 82-85 MPH slider with average potential. He struggles with consistency but it is a solid 3rd pitch for him.

Projection: Middle of the rotation starter ceiling, back end starter floor

 


Yoan Moncada to start season in XST

Yoan Moncada, who was signed to the Red Sox with a $31.5 bonus last month, will start the 2015 campaign in extended spring training in Fort Myers instead of starting the season with the Greenville Drive.

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This move was likely done to allow Moncada to acclimate to pro ball before he dives in to professional baseball. After all, he’s only 19 and he didn’t play last year.

According to the Boston Globe, he will take english classes and engage in other forms of cultural assimilation before taking the plunge into pro ball with the Drive. Needless to say, Red Sox nation is very excited to see how one of the top prospects in all of baseball does.


Top 10 Prospects: #6 (tie) Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers was signed by the Red Sox in 2013 for $1,500,000 and has done nothing but impress since signing the contract. In his first season of pro ball with the DSL Red Sox, Devers hit at a .337/.445/.538 slash with 3 home runs, 6 doubles, and 3 triples in 28 games. He was promoted to the GCL Red Sox where he hit .312/.374/.484 with 4 home runs, 11 doubles, and 3 triples. Thanks to his solid performances he was ranked as the #99 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. He will startoff the 2015 campaign with the Greenville Drive.

Devers is a 3rd baseman with a large upper body, so he has room to fill out in the future. Especially considering he’s only 18. He’s already very physically mature, at 6-0 195 pounds. He is definitely a player to get excited for, as Devers is someone with the skill set that hasn’t been seen in the Red Sox farm system for a long time. According to SoxProspects, he has plus to better power potential and could hit 30+ home runs. He is supposed to have great power to all areas of the field and the ball just comes off his bat differently than other players.9935548233_e9b0f5248f_k

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Top 10 Prospects: #6 Michael Chavis

bos_a_chavis_400x600Michael Chavis is a young 19 year old infielder who was drafted by the Red Sox with their first round pick last season. Baseball America had him ranked as the #26th best prospect in his draft class and the Red Sox signed him with a $1,870,500 bonus. He put up incredible stats in high school, with a .580/.663/1.197 slash and 13 home runs, 9 doubles, and a triple. Chavis hit a home run in 5 different Perfect Game tournaments and won the Perfect Game home run derby.

He struggled quite a bit in his first foray into pro ball, starting 2 for 36. But he improved greatly as the season wore on, hitting .356/.426/.556 in his last 26 games. And he got on base every game of the championship series against the GCL Yankees. He ended the season with a 0.269/0.347/0.425 triple slash with a home run, 12 doubles, and 3 triples.

Although he is not a pitcher, his fastball was recorded at 88 MPH so his arm is a plus tool. He is definitely suited to play 3rd base or shortstop with an arm like that.  Some have suggested outfield or 2nd base but only time will tell at this point.

Perfect Game had this to say about Chavis:

Strong compact athletic build. Right handed hitter, simple swing mechanics, spread stance, quiet load, very quick twitch hands, good hand path to the ball, very fast bat, swings hard and looks to drive the ball, explosive contact with big pull power, back spins the ball and puts it in the air for a long time, sees the ball and handles the barrel, very consistent performer. Underrated physical tools, 6.68 runner, has quick feet at third base, plenty of arm strength, can quicken up release and polish footwork but has all the tools to be a solid defender, also plays the outfield. Compares in many ways to Cubs prospect Javier Baez.

 


Top 10 Prospects: #7 Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a lefty starting pitcher who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2012 out of Florida. He was a two way player but decided he wanted to be a pitcher which looks like a very wise choice now.

He has done nothing but impress since starting his career as a Red Sox. In his first short season he only pitched 5.2 innings but didn’t allow a run and showed off the prowess he exhibited at Florida. In 2013 between his time with the Greenville Drive and the Salem Red Sox he was lights out, pitching 85 innings and starting 19 games. His ERA was 2.54 with a 1.12 WHIP, with 84 strikeouts. His BABIP was a little low but his stats were impressive nonetheless.

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Photo by Kelly O’Connor

 

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Top 10 Prospects: #8 Michael Kopech

Michael Kopech was the Red Sox first round draft pick last season. He’s a right handed pitcher out of Mount Pleasant High School with a lot of upside potential.

In limited playing time last season for the GCL Red Sox, Kopech went 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP, and an impressive 16 strikeouts in only 13 innings. Baseball_Michael_Kopech

He has a great pitchers frame at 6-3 and SoxProspects projects him as a potential #2 starter if things go right for him. Kopech features a 93-96 MPH fastball that has been clocked up to 98 MPH. He also has an 80 MPH curveball with average potential, a slider that has high strikeout potential, and an average potential changeup.

According to SoxProspects, he has issues with consistency with his delivery and needs to work on refining his secondary pitches. He has a long skinny low waisted build and has very flexible actions in his delivery but it has a tendency to be wild right now.

Kopech was 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA and two strikeouts an inning as a senior at Mt. Pleasant High in Texas.  He’ll likely start out the season for the Greenville Drive, if not them then he’ll start for Lowell in June.

Projection: #3 starter


Top 10 prospects: #9 Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011 and had a lot of hype coming in, but has had up and down results throughout his minor league career. In his first season of pro ball, he did nothing but impress, going 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP along with 133 strikeouts in 119.2 innings. Since then his stats have been less than stellar.

barnes1In 2013 he put up a 4.33 ERA in Portland and in 2014 his ERA for Pawtucket was 3.95. To say the least, his recent performance has been less than stellar and far less than what Red Sox brass expected out of him when they drafted him. I initially thought of him as a potential top 3 starter in the AL East but now it’s looking like his ceiling is back end of the rotation or a top bullpen arm. He turns 25 this season so the Red Sox will have to make a decision sooner rather than later.

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