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   1. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 13, 2010 at 09:44 AM (#3587840)
Thanks for all the good news Mikael

:)
   2. Darren Posted: July 13, 2010 at 10:52 AM (#3587849)
I seem to have misplaced the keys--can you put up a midseason MLB thread?
   3. Darren Posted: July 13, 2010 at 10:55 AM (#3587850)
Also, I think you nail most of this but I think you're a little too down on Fuentes and Rizzo, and not quite excited enough about Kalish. Those first two are very young for their level. And Kalish is hitt .300/.400/.500 this year with nice BB/K ratios and 22 steals (having missed some time). That's better than tracking normal development for a CF.

Overall, the big problem in the system is the lack of contact. It shows up in so many of their players.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 12:28 PM (#3587881)
On Kalish, my understanding is that he projects as a corner outfielder, not a CF. (See his SoxProspects page, for instance.) As a future corner outfielder, Kalish is doing well for himself and looking like a solid MLB contributor, if he's got one more tick of power projection in his bat. As a future CF, yeah, Kalish would be looking like a top 25ish prospect. That would be cool. I hope you're right.

On Rizzo and Fuentes - well, Rizzo is a year and a half older, but is playing in AA while Fuentes is in the Sally League. They're both pretty young, but they both have a lot of baseball to learn, and I'm becoming extremely skeptical of the ability of the Red Sox to teach their young hitters how to make contact.
   5. Pingu Posted: July 13, 2010 at 01:18 PM (#3587899)
Its been a rough year for sure. Its hard to imagine saying "Josh Reddick – has looked completely overmatched against major league pitching " could be an understatement, but I really think it is. That random Romero guy was a better bet. Heres hoping it was just a year too early for Reddick, but prob time to go back to thinking of him as a 4th OF.

Every single one of these guys has baggage or has started to develop baggage this season. Kalish is the only one whose improved his stock, which is really sad.

I'd be suprised if we dont see Doubront more this year. He's got at the very least a career in the bullpen ahead of him.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 01:30 PM (#3587911)
Overall, the big problem in the system is the lack of contact. It shows up in so many of their players.
Even the guys who've only been Red Sox for a month or two. Strikeout rates of high picks / high-bonus picks from the 2009/2010 draft classes:

24.2% - Fuentes (60 in 269)
30.6% - Renfroe (19 in 62)
30.1% - Jacobs (22 in 73)
32.1% - Vitek (25 in 78)
30.4% - Brentz (24 in 79)
   7. John DiFool2 Posted: July 13, 2010 at 01:39 PM (#3587925)
pedestrian-for-a-pitching-prospect 65:29 K:BB


But pretty good for a 20 year old in his first year of AA. I can't find his FIP ERA, but it has to be significantly lower than his actual (85 hits in 67 innings with 63 strikeouts doesn't quite add up).
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 01:41 PM (#3587927)
Heres hoping it was just a year too early for Reddick, but prob time to go back to thinking of him as a 4th OF.
I disagree slightly with this take, in both positive and negative ways. Reddick isn't Dave Murphy, a guy with solid skills that may not amount to a full-time major league player. Murphy was always probably going to be a bench player who should have been considered as a 4th OF. Reddick, by contrast, has the tools, particularly raw power and throwing arm, to be a very good major leaguer. But without significant development of skills - contact and control of the strike zone - Reddick won't have any kind of MLB career, bench or otherwise.

So, I wouldn't think of him as a future 4th OF - I'd think of him as a guy with a small chance to be an all-star.
   9. Pingu Posted: July 13, 2010 at 02:06 PM (#3587983)
Fair enough MCoA, I can see the all-or-nothing in Reddick. But thanks for making me even less optimisitic about any value at all from him. That "small chance" is <5% until he shows any ability at all to hit in the upper minors.

I agree that Casey Kelly still has plenty of potential, though I really wasnt impressed w/ the one start I saw on NESN. His curve came and went and he wasnt getting swings & misses on anything but the curve. Seemed to be typical of the type of starts he's been having all year long.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 13, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3588129)
I'm not particularly concerned about Kelly, he's 20 years old at AA. For now I'm content to look for growth and learning more than results.

Reddick is a huge disappointment largely because I was so irrationally high on him. He has been a total disaster above AA.

Iglesias is another one I'm not too worried about. An MLE based on two months of AA performance is not one I'm going to put a lot of stock in. Assuming he truly is a defensive whiz a high .600s OPS is certainly acceptable and I think there is still room for improvement.
   11. Josh Posted: July 13, 2010 at 03:34 PM (#3588182)
I think your take is slightly more pessimistic than I would be, but not too far off. I agree on #1, 3, 4, 6 & 10.

Kelly has shown improved velocity and is the youngest pitcher in the EL. I also don't think, for example, Martin Perez should be considered much less of a prospect because of the poor showing thus far. Kelly's former rap was average velocity and plus feel. He now has plus velocity and ehh feel. Presumably he won't lose the velocity, so the question is if he gets the feel back or not. His scouting report has improved even though his stats have not.

Kalish's numbers are in leagues without inflated stats. So, his 857 OPS in the IL is in context with a 734 average. He looks like a solidly mid top 100 prospect, if not a tick higher. He isn't Dom Brown. But he is the best OF prospect the Red Sox have had in a number of years.

Fuentes has a league average OPS in a league that is 1.5 years older than him on overage. Its far, far too early to call him anything close to a flop.

Rizzo and Iglesias... ditto Fuentes, except that they are 4 years younger than the league's average.

Doubront has been successful at each level, and while he hasn't been "spectacular" he has been "very, very good." He averaged low 90s in his FB in the majors, and has a 10 MPH separation on his pretty solid CU. And his CB has been generally nice. He is something to be happy about. I'm also intrigued by Brandon Jacobs. Yes, he is SOing out a lot in small sample. But, he is 4 years from the majors - there is enough there to still not focus on the negatives.

I think your post is generally right, but just lacks a bit of perspective.

1. The Sox affiliates are younger than the league average in about all leagues, and are amongst the youngest in most leagues. This is true to an absurd level in Portland.

2. The SO rates for Sox hitters are slightly above league averages, but not by an absurd amount. NY-Penn is the worst offender - and you rightly cite most of them - at about 17% above league average per PA (23.2 vs. 19.8), but BB rate is 8% better than average. GCL is only 6% worse than avg in SO/PA. But, SAL is only about 3% worse than average.

In Portland, they are about 8.5% better than the EL average. And, Paw in the IL is about 4.3% better than average.

I'm not too worried about the numbers yet, as everyone is just so young in comparison to league average. I'll worry about the toolsey crop next year or the year after for some of them.

My biggest worries are the college pitchers: Fife, Weiland, Wilson, Volz have all put up solid (but not dominant) numbers. But more importantly for me, their scouting reports scream low end middle reliever as upside at this point. Signing up for the lotto tickets is well and good for all the toolsey kids, but you need to back that with at least a couple of solid late inning relievers from your college group.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 03:45 PM (#3588206)
Josh -

I don't think we're too far off from each other, but I would push back on one metric you're using - league average in the low minors. The league average Sally Leaguer never cracks a starting lineup in AA/AAA. If you're supposed to be a prospect and you're anywhere near the league average in age or production, you're doing extremely poorly.

Actual prospects in the Sally League have to be 20 years old or younger - Fuentes is not young for a prospect. It's early to call him a flop because he's got tools and touts, but I don't see much reason to cut slack for being 19 in lo-A - if Fuentes is going to be an impact prospect, he's got to perform at this level at this age.

Kelly, at 20 in AA, on the other hand, you're all probably right that I undersold. The fact that he's still making mid-season top 25 prospect lists should be more determinative than his ERA in an 80 IP sample.
   13. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 13, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3588293)
IMHO, the best thing for Reddick would be to keep him at AAA until he can put up at least an excellent half-season. He's been jerked around more often than chicken lately.
   14. Pingu Posted: July 13, 2010 at 04:51 PM (#3588324)
Watching Lars bomb has been worse for me than just about anything. I was really rooting for him to slide Youk back to 3B in 2010/11/12. He's really fallen.
   15. Josh Posted: July 13, 2010 at 05:36 PM (#3588385)
I think you are right that Fuentes isn't performing the way you'd expect an impact player to perform. But, here is another perspective: according to B-R, there are 64 players in the SALly that are younger than 21 (including the lone 17 year old who PHI placed there instead of in XST before mercifully moving his .182 avg to the NY-PENN). Of these, the following have a higher OPS than Fuentes:

Wilmer Flores (repeating, then promoted, and in his own world)
Jonathon Singleton
Wil Tovar
Nolan Arenado
Jefry Marte (repeating)
Jon Villar
Sebastion Valle
Trayce Thompson (but a sub .300 OBP)
Klye Skipworth (repeating)
Hector Sanchez
JP Ramirez
Elevys Gonzalez (part timer)
Jarek Cunningham (missed last year)
Francisco Arcia (part timer)
Jose Altuve

So, 64 players his age, he has a better OPS than all but 48 of them. Of those 15 with higher, two are part timers, three are repeaters, and one has a sub .300 OBP. I think he is holding his own considering his age and the level. Certainly not the profile of of a dominant, shoot-up-the-ranks prospect thus far, but not near a flop. He won't make any top 100 lists this year, I assume. But, he won't lose too much in prospect status either, I'd bet.
   16. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 13, 2010 at 08:52 PM (#3588671)
I've heard before that it's mental for Lars, that he has trouble keeping his head in the game when he tastes failure. Anyone know more?
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 13, 2010 at 09:11 PM (#3588699)
I've heard before that it's mental for Lars, that he has trouble keeping his head in the game when he tastes failure. Anyone know more?


I've heard the same thing along with the fact that he's generally just a very introspective guy. I wonder if he tinkers with his swing and his approach more than most instead of just letting his talent win out and saying "0 for 4 happens" he has to find a reason for it and exacerbates the problem.
   18. zenbitz Posted: July 13, 2010 at 09:36 PM (#3588722)
I thought the headline was an Alanis Morrisette joke.
   19. Darren Posted: July 14, 2010 at 01:14 AM (#3588965)
Maybe the Red Sox have just discovered the secret trick that the Yankees have for developing great players who suck in in the minors, like Soriano and Cano.

As for Kalish in CF, I don't know why a guy who's 22/23 in steals this year would have to move off the position. He's playing CF in AAA, and there doesn't seem to be any complaints about his actual fielding so far, does there?
   20. Pingu Posted: July 14, 2010 at 12:21 PM (#3589506)
I could be selectively remembering, but I dont recall any complaints about Ellsbury's defense in center (save for the noodle arm). Then he turned out to be the anti-Jim Edmonds with his jumps.

Ellsbury also stole bases at a pretty good clip.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM (#3589509)
I dont recall any complaints about Ellsbury's defense in center


Quite the opposite, virtually every piece that was written about Jacoby referred to him as a "future Gold Glover" or in similarly glowing terms.
   22. Pingu Posted: July 14, 2010 at 12:32 PM (#3589512)
So which of these guys gets flipped at the deadline this year?

Trying to think if I'm the Royals, shopping DeJesus. I ask for Kalish or Kelly, but no way the Red Sox would do that.

If Reddick hadnt tanked maybe he fits the bill (then again, if he hadnt tanked he'd prob be in the starting lineup tommorrow). I dont see a lot of teams asking for much else off this list. Maybe Iglesias. How much other teams want your guys is one measure of a farm system and its not exactly inspiring.
   23. tfbg9 Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3590728)
Maybe the Red Sox have just discovered the secret trick that the Yankees have for developing great players who suck in in the minors, like Soriano and Cano.


Hanley?
   24. tfbg9 Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3590754)
and I'm becoming extremely skeptical of the ability of the Red Sox to teach their young hitters how to make contact.


Maybe its an unfortunate, but temporary, side-effect of the Org.'s emphasis on teaching their young hitters
to work the count? Maybe not, but if you work counts, generally, you will K more often, no?
   25. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3590782)
I can't find his FIP ERA, but it has to be significantly lower than his actual (85 hits in 67 innings with 63 strikeouts doesn't quite add up).

4.29
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2010 at 12:44 PM (#3591930)
Remember Jed Lowrie? He's finally back playing ball, and he's looking like he's healthy - spent a week in Lowell, dominated against college kids, and in two games at Pawtucket he's 4-for-8 with two doubles and a homer. I assume he won't be ready to join the big club right away, but the Sox could use a second baseman who was actually a second baseman.
   27. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 17, 2010 at 12:54 PM (#3591936)
I assume he won't be ready to join the big club right away, but the Sox could use a second baseman who was actually a second baseman.


That's assuming he doesn't come down with leprosy first.
   28. The Nightman Cometh Posted: July 18, 2010 at 09:40 PM (#3592694)
Lars is now hitting .344/.429/.551 in July.
   29. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 19, 2010 at 05:30 AM (#3592914)
That's assuming he doesn't come down with leprosy first.

That's Hansen's Disease to you, friend.

Great news about Lowrie. Would love to see him come back. Who loses their spot if he does? Shealy's probably the least useful of the guys on the 25-man at the moment, but he's technically the only backup at first base. Which is strange. Patterson, I guess?
   30. tjm1 Posted: July 19, 2010 at 09:32 AM (#3592931)
Great news about Lowrie. Would love to see him come back. Who loses their spot if he does? Shealy's probably the least useful of the guys on the 25-man at the moment, but he's technically the only backup at first base. Which is strange. Patterson, I guess?


You can slap a first baseman's mitt on anyone, and expect halfway decent results. I'd guess Hall has worked out a bit at the position, and Lowrie could, too. There are a few things to learn, but the overall athletic ability of anyone who can play the middle infield is usually enough that they can fake it for a game or two.

9) Jose Iglesias – has not shown a great bat, with mediocre contact skills, a poor batting eye, and little power. However, if he’s the defensive player that’s claimed, Iglesias’ less than dangerous offense would be enough to make him only a somewhat below average MLB shortstop. The Cuban bonus baby is still just 20 years old, so he has time for his bat to improve before his defense begins to deteriorate. And his MLE is better than those of the Portland and Pawtucket first basemen, so he’s got that going for him.

MLE: 275/303/361


Let's focus on that second sentence there. The guy is only 20, and already good enough to be a fringe regular in the majors. That doesn't make him a sure thing to be a future star, but it makes him a pretty good bet.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 20, 2010 at 03:37 PM (#3594098)
According to SoSH, the Red Sox just signed one of the best outfielders from the Cuban leagues, Juan Carlos Linares. His hitting numbers in Cuba are pretty great - hits for average and power, draws walks - but who knows how they'll translate.

Linares just turned 26, so one expects he'll report to the high minors, if he's to be worth anything to the Sox going forward.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 20, 2010 at 03:58 PM (#3594115)
On Lars, he's still striking out a lot. The July hot streak is powered by a .476 average on contact. I'm happy he's making better contact when he does make contact, but that K-rate needs to drop at least a step or two before he can be expected to be a major league hitter. Lars' AAA MLE is still 297/346 (307/375 combined with AA).

The guy I'm getting a little excited about is Ryan Lavarnway. I liked his numbers and the reports of solid catching tools, but I wasn't sure how the Red Sox were evaluating him, since he was taking such a slow route to the majors - it's never a good sign when a college kid spends a year in the Sally League. The midseason promotion to Portland, though, suggests that the Sox are now treating Lavarnway as a prospect.

He's handled the promotion very well so far, over four games. Still DHing a bit more than he's catching, though. I'd like to see those numbers start to move.
   33. Pingu Posted: July 20, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3594233)
Still DHing a bit more than he's catching, though. I'd like to see those numbers start to move.

Any idea if this is being done for a particular reason? Seems if you had a catcher w/ already adequate defense that didnt need much developing, you could save some wear on the ol' knees by limiting his time behind the plate in the minors.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 20, 2010 at 06:04 PM (#3594243)
Linares just turned 26, so one expects he'll report to the high minors, if he's to be worth anything to the Sox going forward.

So 26 in Cuban is what 34 here in the States?

Wasn't El Duque "26" when he came to the Yankees?
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 20, 2010 at 08:49 PM (#3594438)
Do you have evidence for this assertion?

A significant number of Cuban players have come over in the last few years without any age-gate scandals.
   36. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 20, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3594452)
So 26 in Cuban is what 34 here in the States?

Wasn't El Duque "26" when he came to the Yankees?


You sure seem to show up in ST a lot when the Yankees are playing well, snapper.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 21, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3595045)
I was complaining in the above post that none of the positive stores of the 2010 Red Sox minor leagues really amounted to impact prospects. Here's one that could be:

LHP Drake Britton has been unhittable in July (14 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 14 K) for Greenville. He's a little old for the league, having just turned 21, but Britton is only now returning from Tommy John surgery, so it's reasonable that he be brought along slowly. SoxProspects says Britton's fastball sits 93-95 and he can dial it up to 97, with a plus overhand curveball. That sounds like one hell of a pitching prospect.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 21, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3595049)
Any idea if this is being done for a particular reason? Seems if you had a catcher w/ already adequate defense that didnt need much developing, you could save some wear on the ol' knees by limiting his time behind the plate in the minors.
I know pretty much nothing about Lavarnway that isn't in his SoxProspects profile, but they say that Lavarnway only started catching in 2007, and his skills are still developing. It sounds like a case where Lavarnway isn't ready for full-time catching duties.
   39. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 09, 2010 at 01:10 PM (#3611700)
Had the opportunity to see Greenville on Saturday night as part of the SABR convention. The Sox don't really have a lot at Greenville and one of the guys I wanted to see (Derrik Gibson) didn't play though he did put in several innings of hard work as first base coach.

Jeremy Hazelbaker had a monster game, a long line drive homer to left-center, a double and a stolen base. If you ignore the fact that he's 22 and playing in Lo A you could talk yourself into him pretty quickly. Fuentes had a quiet game while Alamnzar had a couple of hits and made a very strong throw on one play from third.

The park itself was nice enough. Not anything special but clean and friendly. One of the ushers was telling my father that the park (which evidently is relatively new) really revitalized the area around it which was also pretty nice. They have a Joe Jackson museum across the street (it's his old house) but that was disappointing.

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