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   1. philly Posted: October 07, 2010 at 09:35 PM (#3657798)
Mendez was traded to Tex in the Salty deal. He was the only Sox to make a top 5 and now he's gone, gone, gone.

It would be interesting to see a comparison of this year to others just with respect to the rankings of Sox minor leaguers. Off the top of my head, I would think the number of Sox who appear in the top 10s is substantially lower this year than any other year.

I thought Fuentes (and to a lesser extent Tejeda) was the biggest positive in terms of ranking and report.

Nobody seems to think Lavarnway can catch. There will be occacional quotes from a Sox PD person about how much he's improving, but nothing to suggest that's not just a sad, low rent echo of the Yankees with respect to Montero.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 07, 2010 at 11:47 PM (#3657899)
Mendez was traded to Tex in the Salty deal. He was the only Sox to make a top 5 and now he's gone, gone, gone.
Frick.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 08, 2010 at 12:57 AM (#3657992)
I don't put a lot of stock in exactly where a player ranks on a league list. Some of these leagues were pretty deep this year (the SAL; Lakewood, in particular, was loaded). Some weren't (the NY-P).

-- MWE
   4. The Nightman Cometh Posted: October 08, 2010 at 04:19 PM (#3658605)
Britton is a guy to get excited about. He's coming along slowly after TJ surgery, having worked the whole year on a strict pitch count. Still, he's a lefty who can hit mid-90s and has a potentially plus curve. More than a strikeout per inning and a 3.39 K/BB in his first year back is very encouraging.
   5. Spivey Posted: October 08, 2010 at 04:33 PM (#3658618)
Why on earth did Boston give up so much for Salty? He's not a very good fielder and his hitting had bottomed out with Texas to the point it looked like his upside is backup catcher.

Did they make any statements about thinking they can correct his approach?
   6. Mike Webber Posted: October 08, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3658789)
Hey Mike, can you do the same thing for Royals Ingenuity?
Thanks!
   7. philly Posted: October 08, 2010 at 09:31 PM (#3658923)
Pretty poor showing in the EL - Casey Kelly @10, Iglesias @17, RIzzo @18. Although I should mention that the person who did the Carolina League said that Rizzo would have been top 10 there if he had the 3 extra PAs to qualify.

Not that any year would look good compared to the 2005 Portland team, but take a look at the list from 5 years ago.

FIVE YEARS AGO
(Click here for the complete list)
3. *Hanley Ramirez, ss, Portland
4. *Jon Lester, lhp, Portland
7. *Jonathan Papelbon, rhp, Portland
9. *Anibal Sanchez, rhp, Portland
12. *Dustin Pedroia, 2b, Portland
   8. Darren Posted: October 08, 2010 at 10:04 PM (#3658951)
That's a nice list. Should have kept it together. :)
   9. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 08, 2010 at 10:47 PM (#3658982)
He didn't play this year, but there was a nice article about Westmoreland's progress. It still seems unclear whether he'll ever play pro baseball again, but at least he seems to be getting better.
   10. Darren Posted: October 09, 2010 at 02:11 PM (#3659598)
Overall a disappointing year, of course. But I feel like focusing on a couple bright spots. You have to be encouraged by Kalish, who moved up 2 levels and didn't embarass himself in the bigs at age 22. I feel good about him becoming an average or better regular.

Reddick also seemed to turn a corner somewhere around midseason. He still doesn't walk enough but at least he's making good contact again. There may be hope for him yet.

Doubront has been flying under the radar for years. Much like Kalish, he moved up 2 levels and played well enough in the Majors that I feel good about his future.

Rizzo played reasonably well at AA at only age 20, and he cut down his K's a bit.

The Tazawa injury really sucked, but in a way, it was good news. It explained why, after pitching great at AA and AAA last year, he looked soooo bad in the Majors. I still feel very good about his future.

Lowrie is not a prospect, but his strong finish to the year was a happy surprise. McDonald and Nava aren't prospects either, but both look like they might be useful 4th OFs.

Despite what's written above by others, I like the depth at C. Lavarnway has hit very well. Dan Butler had a very nice year too. Signing Ibarra added one more possibility for the future too.
   11. Textbook Editor Posted: October 10, 2010 at 01:59 PM (#3660138)
#9--That's an incredible piece on Westmoreland, with lots of details that to my knowledge had not been shared before, including this:

Surgery was deemed risky enough that his ability to survive the procedure was far from guaranteed. A single drop of blood had leaked from the mass into the brain to cause the numbness, and the doctors agreed there was an 80 percent chance that Westmoreland would never have a recurrence. Only a few days after the first event, another one occurred. This time the effects were unmistakable.

"In that bleed, I went blind," Westmoreland said. "I went completely deaf in my right ear; I couldn't get up without falling over. It went from something wasn't right to something was really wrong. We determined that surgery would be the best option, because we saw how bad the second bleed was and we didn't want to see how bad a third bleed could be, regardless of what the statistics say."


Wow.
   12. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: October 12, 2010 at 07:44 AM (#3661892)
Some friends of mine knew Josh Reddick through a mutual friend and they grabbed me a personally autographed jersey and ball with his autograph on it.

Needless to say - he is my new favvourite player. The jersey was also signed by Drew, Beltre, Papi ,Dan Bard, Lars and of course Reddick.

Pretty much the greatest baseball thing I own now!!

My friends told Reddick who my favourite players were and he went out and grabbed their signatures - I cried for a week...

I love this team - 130 days until pitchers and catchers report
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM (#3661905)
Really cool story. I'm sorry for being such a downer on Reddick.

I think Darren's right that one thing that can get missed in looking over this year's minor league season is that the players who did well almost all made the majors. And having a good season that gets you to AA is nice, but having a good showing in the majors is a lot better. Doubront and Lowrie look like major league ballplayers, and Kalish looks very likely to be a good one soon. Nava and McDonald will be contributing bench players. (If Nava could learn to play 1B, he might have a role on the bench next year alongside McDonald.)

Another place to put our hope is in the huge number of over-slot draft signings the Sox made this last season. They ended up signing almost everyone, including their two most advanced young pitchers. Anthony Ranaudo, who was rated the top prospect in the Cape Cod League and showed much improved stuff over the summer season, is the big one. Ranaudo was rated the #2 draft prospect in all the land last September by BA (trailing only Bryce Harper) before a very disappointing junior season. If he's recovered the ace-quality stuff he had before this year, he could be the steal of the draft. I'm hopeful he'll be starting in full-season A-ball. Brandon Workman, who made several top-25 lists on draft day, also signed at the deadline.

Actually, there are another couple of over-slot college pitcher signings I didn't know about. Their seventh and eight-rounders were a draft-eligible junior and a sophomore, both of whom took something like second-round money. Plus they got their high school over-slot picks of the second and third rounds - Sean Coyle and Gavin Cecchini. On top of that, there are the two reasonably big Cuban signings, Ibarra and Linares.

None of those guys have played in the minor leagues yet, which gives the Red Sox the largest and best collection of in-the-organization talent yet to have played in the minors that I remember the club having.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM (#3661912)
(Minor correction: Ranaudo was rated the #2 college prospect, not the #2 overall prospect. There were two separate lists. Still pretty good.)
   15. Josh Posted: October 12, 2010 at 12:05 PM (#3661919)
Something else to dream upon: the relative age of prospects in the system. Take a look at the AA list; I think that the biggest difference between someone like Laird and Rizzo is that Rizzo is significantly younger (esp. if Laird isn't a long term 3B). Or Iglesias and Esponisoa (who are pretty different prospects in a lot of ways). When you look through the BA EL list, you get a bunch of birthdays in 87 and 88, until you hit Kelly, Rizzo (both 89) and Iglesias (90!).

Its a different animal.

(It doesn't change your point MCoA, but Coyle, Ubarra and Linares all played in the minors last year, while Workman, Ranaudo, Cecchini [and Hernandez] have not.)
   16. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM (#3661941)
Something else to dream upon: the relative age of prospects in the system.


They pretty clearly have made an organizational decision to push guys past their age level. Off the top of my head I can't think of a guy below Pawtucket who was considered a good prospect that wasn't pushed. It's part of the reason I'm not worried about a guy like Kelly. Assuming he is as good as we are told he is (and I'll defer to those "in the know" on that one) a bit of a struggle at AA may well be more beneficial in the long run than dominating at Hi A would have been.

Phil - that's an awesome gift.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2010 at 01:39 PM (#3661971)
(It doesn't change your point MCoA, but Coyle, Ubarra and Linares all played in the minors last year, while Workman, Ranaudo, Cecchini [and Hernandez] have not.)
Thanks, missed that. I didn't even think to check the GCL for Ibarra and Linares. They're 23 and 26 - I guess the team put them there so they could get introduced to the Sox system and be observed by our instructors. Linares better be playing in the high minors next year, if he's to be anything of use. And Ibarra's basically at that point as well.

I'm not so sure the Sox are making an organizational decision to push their young players. Rizzo got placed in Greenville at 19, which is a little early, but pretty normal overall. His call-up schedule is only about a half-season advanced from that point, and given his solid numbers at every step of the way, he's earned his promotions. Kelly even more so - he also got placed at Greenville at 19, and destroyed A-ball. He's a year advanced from his initial placement / schedule, but he clearly earned it in 2009.

The Sox have a number of young players with good tools and some results, who haven't been pushed at all. Tejeda played the full season at Salem alongside Middlebrooks. They weren't pushed. Drake Britton is still in the Sally League at 21. Lavarnway put up a 900 OPS in Greenville at 21, as a college draftee, but didn't get promoted until the start of the next season.

Iglesias' placement at Portland as a 20-year-old, skipping full-season A-ball entirely, is the one case where it looks like the Sox seriously pushed a prospect. We'll see, I guess, whether it was a good idea or not. Iglesias played well for a kid pushed to the high minors, but 285/315/357 doesn't exactly scream prospect. If the push was the right decision, we should expect to see good progress with the bat next year.
   18. Spivey Posted: October 12, 2010 at 01:58 PM (#3661984)
Could someone comment on #5? Was that discussed in another thread?
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2010 at 02:47 PM (#3662019)
Why on earth did Boston give up so much for Salty? He's not a very good fielder and his hitting had bottomed out with Texas to the point it looked like his upside is backup catcher.

Did they make any statements about thinking they can correct his approach?


I haven't read anything other than the usual Theo Epstein corporate speak on the subject but I think it is a safe assumption that they feel they can get him right. Evidently the hand injury was not something the Sox or Rangers knew about, I don't know if that would have changed their opinion. As for Mendez he is well regarded but he didn't exactly burn it up this year. I don't think he would have been a top 10 prospect for the Sox at the end of the year so I think he's still at that "lottery ticket" stage rather than "guy on his way" stage.

I'm not so sure the Sox are making an organizational decision to push their young players.


I disagree with this. Whatever the reasons all of their top ten prospects started the season at a level at which they were below league average in age (Westmoreland likely would have and Tazawa probably would not have). The Sox had the youngest team in the league at every level from Lowell through Portland (hitters' age only). Maybe they aren't forcing guys, maybe it's just the way guys are developing but it seems like there is something organizationally at work.
   20. Josh Posted: October 12, 2010 at 05:42 PM (#3662217)
1. I think the Sox pushed their prospects - they commented that they think they did (Hazen said - or at least implied - as much a few times, and I think Theo did, too). But, a better indication is that the Red Sox team ages for most minor league teams were well below average. This is a departure from prior years (esp in AAA) where the teams were a little older than average.

To follow-up on Jose's point, take a look at the Seadogs. In 2010, their average hitter age was under 23. From 2006-2008, the average age was over 24 (it was the same for the years prior, with a small deviation in 2005); 2010 was easily the youngest year since they've been part of the Sox organization, by a good number of months. The same was basically true of the pitching staff (youngest since a Sox affiliate). The hitters were easily the youngest in the league. The pitchers were the third-youngest.

Another way to look at it: There were 9 hitters under age 22 who had 150+ PAs in the EL. The Sox had 3 of them (Lin, Rizzo, Iglesias). No other team had 2. Casey Kelly was one of the youngest pitchers in the EL. Doubront, even, was one of only 50 pitchers in the EL under the age of 23. They were a young team.

A lot of that may just be a reaction to the drafts of the last few years - the more HSers you draft, the younger your teams will be. But, at least that was an organizational philosophy, too.

2. Salty's haul wasn't that big. Mendez is a pitcher with a solid FB (generally, low to mid 90s) and nothing much else, though the ability to do more. He was pushed to A and apparently looked horrible according to the reports on SP I read. McGuinnis was an old-for-his-level 1B prospect with a poor scouting pedigree. I hope he does well. The odds are against him. If you can't trade him, you can't trade anyone. Michael Thomas was a catcher who is being converted to pitcher. I assume if the Sox didn't convert him, they'd release him. You can dislike Salty and think he has little shot to be a major league backup, let alone starter. But it is hard to see how the Sox "gave up so much" for him.

3. After a spell in the GCL, Lineras was in AA in 2010. Iberra went to in A+. I assume Lineras will be in AA or AAA in 2011 and Iberra in AA (maybe A+). I don't think the consensus (read: Chris Mellon at SP) believed that Lineras looked that great in his short time, but I don't really think that's a great read on him given his story.

I'm excited to see how Renaudo does in 2011. I'd be really depressed if he turns into a dud.
   21. Mo Vaughn Down The Road Posted: October 15, 2010 at 12:31 AM (#3664150)
What?? No Jason Place?
   22. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 04, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3683521)
Not sure where else to put this but Baseball America released their top ten today;

1. Casey Kelly, rhp
2. Jose Iglesias, ss
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
4. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp
5. Drake Britton, lhp
6. Reymond Fuentes, of
7. Josh Reddick, of
8. Felix Doubront, lhp
9. Stolmy Pimentel, rhp
10. Garin Cecchini, 3b

They are still high on Kelly despite the bad year. They have write-ups on all ten plus a chat.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: November 04, 2010 at 01:47 AM (#3683523)
Not sure where else to put this but Baseball America released their top ten today;

1. Casey Kelly, rhp
2. Jose Iglesias, ss
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
4. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp
5. Drake Britton, lhp
6. Reymond Fuentes, of
7. Josh Reddick, of
8. Felix Doubront, lhp
9. Stolmy Pimentel, rhp
10. Garin Cecchini, 3b


Is this a prospect list or a Name-of-the-Year bracket?
   24. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 04, 2010 at 02:19 AM (#3683540)
In the accompanying chat Callis said the top four would all likely be in the overall Top 100. If you have the subscription to their online stuff I recommend the chat, I found it interesting and optimistic.
   25. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 04, 2010 at 02:52 AM (#3683559)
I'm assuming Kalish accumulated too much major league time to be on that list?
   26. OCD SS Posted: November 04, 2010 at 03:04 AM (#3683563)
#25: Yep.

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