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


Red Sox Outfield Quandary – The Most Fascinating Aspect of Spring Training

More often than not, if you’re a baseball team coming off a last place finish, the problems you have carry over with you into next year’s Spring Training aren’t likely to be deemed as positive. Due to a variety of mid-season and off-season transactions, however, the Red Sox have entered 2015 with one very positive problem in particular: an immense amount of talent and depth in their outfield. With seemingly seven major league caliber outfielders battling it out for four, maybe five roster spots, the level of competition proves to be friendly, but fierce. These players, of course, are “newcomer” Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. Each player, what tools he brings to the table, and his likely future with the team are profiled below.

Hanley Ramirez: A true prodigal son story indeed, as the former top prospect returns to the organization that developed him before dealing him to the Marlins for Josh Beckett. The former shortstop is moving to left field, as has been confirmed by both General Manager Ben Cherington and Manager John Farrell. However, while his job is secure, there is no doubt that his defense in left could be shaky, especially early in his transition to left. The impact that this could have on games definitely bears watching, regardless of how much his bat helps what was a putrid lineup in 2014. Prediction: Starting LF for all of 2015 season (not really going out on a limb there)

Mookie Betts: One of the most fascinating stories in an otherwise disappointing 2014 season was the meteoric rise of Betts from Single-A ball to the big leagues. The converted infielder hit and got on base at a phenomenal clip at every level he played at in 2014, and even made the transition to the outfield smoothly as well. After bulking up in the offseason, his spring has gotten off to a fantastic start as well, to the point where many prognosticators believe he should be the team’s opening day center fielder. The fact that Betts has minor league options does help the Red Sox in the event that they cannot move more established players off the roster, but his performance (at least so far) dictates that he should play every day. Betts profiles as a leadoff hitter better than almost anyone on the roster as of right now, which will ultimately play in his favor. Prediction: Starting CF to start the season (in RF by the end)

Rusney Castillo: A big name International Free Agent signing last summer and part of the Red Sox’ concerted efforts to tap into the Cuban talent pool, Castillo figures to be a big part of the Red Sox’ present and future. This spring, he has been slowed by an oblique injury, and his recovery time could be a factor in how the roster shakes out as the Red Sox break camp. His relatively large contract might be a reason why he starts on the big club in 2015 for the PR-conscious Red Sox, but there is a chance they use his minor league eligibility as a chance to keep him in Pawtucket for the first couple weeks of the season, depending on how quickly he can get back into spring training games. There is no question that he will be playing every day at some point in 2015, however, as well as going forward. Prediction: On the Opening Day roster (splitting time with Betts/Victorino until one of them is moved off the roster)


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.


Red Sox fall to Phillies

The long ball did the Red Sox in as the Philles beat them 11-4. Jordan Danks, Cory Phelps, and Ryan Howard all went deep in the win for the Phillies.

Daniel Nava had a big game for the Sox, going 2-3 with a home run, two runs, and 2 RBI. Swihart put in another good effort for the Red Sox, putting up a line of 2-3 with an RBI. He’s hitting .538 with an OPS of 1.383 in Spring Training so far.

The pitching left a lot to be desired. Justin Masterson got lit up, allowing 6 runs in only 3.1 innings, along with 7 hits and 2 home runs. Wade Miley also got lit up for 4 runs in 3 innings as well.

The Red Sox go up against the Cardinals next.


Red Sox notch another win against Pirates

The Red Sox got another win yesterday, beating the Pirates 5-1 behind top notch pitching. Clay Buchholz started the game for the Sox and went 3 innings, allowing 4 hits, an unearned run, and a walk while striking out 2 Pirates.

One of the Red Sox’s top pitching prospects Eduardo Rodriguez had a very impressive outing, pitching 2.2 innings allowing 3 hits, no runs, while striking out 4.

Shane Victorino had an impressive game, going 1-2 with a walk and an RBI. And stars Big Papi and Pablo Sandoval both went deep in the win. David Ortiz went 1-2 with 3 RBI and a walk while Sandoval 2-3 with the solo home run.

Miguel Celestino closed the game out for the Red Sox with a perfect inning.

Phillies scouting Garin Cecchini, Cole Hamels rumors intensify

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Phillies sent one of their top scouts to the Red Sox Yankees game yesterday and they were likely looking at prospect Garin Cecchini, among others. The Phillies sending out their scout further intensifies the Cole Hamels speculation as both the Red Sox and the Yankees have been in trade discussions for Hamels in the past year.

Charlie Manuel (former manager and current assistant to GM Ruben Amaro) believes Garin Cecchini is a rising start and rightly so. He’s been doing quite well in Spring Training this year but he struggled at AAA last season. He was ranked by as the #57 prospect in baseball before the 2014 campaign and #51 by And rightly so. Between Salem and Portland in 2013, he put up a .322/.443/.471 triple slash with 7 home runs, 33 doubles, and 7 triples. The potential is there, that’s for sure.


Red Sox defeat Yankees in an offensive explosion

In their first game of many against the Yankees this season, the Red Sox bludgeoned the Yankees 10-6. It was an offensive explosion for the Red Sox, who netted 18 hits and 2 walks in the win.

Mookie Betts had a fantastic game, going 3-4 with a double. Sox prospect Bryce Brentz also had a solid game, going 2-5 with 2 runs. It was the game of young players exploding for the Red Sox, to say the least. Garin Cecchini went 2-5 with 3 RBI and Travis Shaw went 2-4 with 2 runs, a home run, and 3 RBI.

Joe Kelly started the game for the Sox, pitching 3 innings allowing 3 hits, two runs, while striking out 4 and walking one. Craig Breslow and Edwin Escobar both threw no run innings.

Alex Rodriguez had his first home run of Spring Training but I doubt you Sox fans out there care too much about that.


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.


Photo by Kelly O’Connor



Red Sox dominate Rays

In their 7th game of Spring Training the Red Sox beat the Rays 5-1 behind dominant pitching and a solid offensive performance.

Justin Masterson dazzled in his 2nd Spring Training start to say the least. He pitched 3 dominant innings, allowing no hits or walks, while striking out 4 Rays. Koji Uehara followed him with a one hit inning with two strikeouts. Top Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens also was dominant in the win, pitching 2 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts.

On the offensive side, the Red Sox were impressive as well. They racked up 9 hits and 4 walks. Hanley Ramirez, Garin Cecchini, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all doubled. Cecchini batted in 2 Red Sox and Bradley Jr. went 2-3 with an RBI.

The Rays were just a mess all around. Their pitching got lit up, their bats were silent, and they were also brutal in the field. They committed 3 errors. Not exactly the start they wanted to Spring Training (they’re 1-4).

Shane Victorino returned to play which was a big plus for the Red Sox, although he went 0-2.

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