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   1. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4199469)
I too have five stitches in my shin after slipping and falling on a diving board at a little league pool party on Sunday.  The kids enjoyed it immensely


I once was being slowly crushed between my and my wife's automobiles. I looked up to see my wife horror-stricken, on the edge of hysteria. In the back seat, my 6 year old son was laughing like it was the funniest Three Stooges episode he had ever seen.
   2. Darren Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4199599)
A lot of write ups of prospects take the easy way out. Sure, they tell you some scouting info and include some stats. But how many actually go deep enough to tell you what a prospect is not hitting? And without that information, how can you eliminate possible future outcomes for that player? Kudos, MCOA!
   3. Darren Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4199601)

Okay, done funning on typos. Almanzar is pretty exciting. He's been around forever so it's easy to forget how young he is. Here's a fun comparison along the lines of the Ellsbury/Bradley one above:


Will Middlebrooks Age 21 - .276 .331 .439, 35 BB / 121 K at Salem,
Michael Almanzar Age 21 - .308 .362 .464, 27 BB / 63 K at Salem

Almanzar's K rate may be the biggest advantage he has (and one he has over seemingly every Red Sox prospect of the past 5 years).
   4. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4199605)
Thanks Jose.
   5. villageidiom Posted: August 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4199806)
Kudos, MCOA!

Okay, done funning on typos.
Not so fast!
   6. Darren Posted: August 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4199834)
I tried to fix it but the edit function had a sad.

Oh well, looks like I'm due to get quite familiar with my own petards.
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4199862)
Heh, I finally figured it out. In fairness, after last night's game Almanzar is hitting .308/.362/.464 so the post is accurate. Just glad you blamed MCoA for it!
   8. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 03, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4199943)
Xander Bogaerts is still awesome.

One thing I have learned from obsessively checking Bogaerts' stats on minor league central is that whoever is doing the coding of balls in play for Salem absolutely hates line drives. Nearly everyone on the team (both hitters and pitchers) seems to have a way below average LD%.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4203358)
Long way from what we might expect but according to WEEI.com Baseball America named Lavarnway the best defensive catcher in the International League. Even if you assume it's a down year for catcher defense in the IL that has to be a positive. According to the article that is the managers of the IL teams who cast that vote.

Full list of Sox here.
   10. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 08, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4203408)
Looks like Pawtucket had a hell of a defensive infield this year.

Also, the Bailey/Reddick trade just keeps getting better, as Miles Head is hitting 341/401/621 in A+/AA.
   11. Dan Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4204712)
Xander Bogaerts promoted to AA Portland.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4204721)
Making some moves this week, Brandon Workman got bumped up to Portland yesterday.
   13. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4204722)
According to SoxProspects only Dylan Bundy (who was promoted yesterday) is younger than Bogaerts in the Eastern League.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 10, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4205731)
That's really exciting with Bogaerts, playing in AA at his age. And just 2-for-5 with a homer in his first game.

Travis Shaw has started off well in Portland, too. 800+ OPS with five doubles and seven walks in eight games. I'm wondering when we're going to start hearing about him as a legit prospect. He got promoted like one.
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4208179)
Couple bits of news;

According to Baseball America a few days ago the Sox signed 16 year old Dedgar Jimenez for $175,000. They describe Jimenez as having an "extra large David Wells-type frame" listing him at 6'3", 254 though they say he's slimmed down to under 230 recently. Of his pitching he sounds like he's got an advanced mix of pitches "Jimenez shows good pitchability for his age with a fastball up to 88-89 mph and flashes feel to spin a curveball. " The idea of a 16 year old Venezuelan David Wells is a lot of fun.

Alex Speier has Arnie Beyeler (PawSox manager) saying Iglesias is ready to go. Long story short Beyeler says that Iglesias is no longer panicking with two strikes and doing more damage when ahead in the count.
   16. villageidiom Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4208255)
Alex Speier has Arnie Beyeler (PawSox manager) saying Iglesias is ready to go. Long story short Beyeler says that Iglesias is no longer panicking with two strikes and doing more damage when ahead in the count.
This is good news. It's the first good news I've seen on Iglesias' offense in a long time. Let's hope it continues.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4208263)
Iglesias has been very streaky in AAA, and helpfully for us, he's grouped those streaks by month so that they're recorded at milb.com.

258/304/298, 326 AB, 10 XBH, 22 BB, 44 K, .295 BABIP - Full season 2012

200/274/212, 85 AB, 1 XBH, 8 BB, 16 K, .246 BABIP - April
341/364/427, 82 AB, 4 XBH, 4 BB, 5 K, .355 BABIP - May
(Injured almost all of June)
242/287/253, 99 AB, 1 XBH, 6 BB, 16 K, .289 BABIP - July
304/360/391, 46 AB, 4 XBH, 4 BB, 6 K, .350 BABIP - August

As you can see by the XBH and K rates, this isn't just BABIP fluking - he's also making more contact and hitting for more power in his good months. There is a not-entirely-implausible narrative of Iglesias' season in which he makes a real step forward in May, gets hurt and spends a month getting back into baseball shape, and returns to hitting well in August.

It's not likely, but if you're looking for some numbers to put together with the Beyeler quote to give you optimism about Iglesias, that's where you could go.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4208271)
Here's Dedgar Jimenez.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4210249)
In less happy news it's kind of falling apart for Daniel Bard. He's got 12 walks in his last 6 outings totaling 5.2 innings and on the season has walked 29 in 29 innings since being sent down.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4210253)
I would bet large sums of money that we'll discover this offseason that Bard blew out his elbow May 1st or so. He's pitching like a guy without a working pitching arm.
   21. villageidiom Posted: August 17, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4210262)
I would bet large sums of money that we'll discover this offseason that Bard blew out his elbow May 1st or so. He's pitching like a guy without a working pitching arm.
Bard has always had bouts of control struggles, hasn't he? Certainly not as prolonged as this.

It could be the difference between this and the other times is due to injury, and given the team's medical expertise it wouldn't surprise me. But it could be he's got the same (mental?) issues he's had before, but just not really finding a way out of them now.
   22. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4210847)
Mark Prior released to make room for Pedro Beato.

I guess it makes sense but in this shitshow of a season one of the few things I was hopeful of was the chance to see Mark Prior at the big league level. One inning, one batter, one ####### pitch, that's all I wanted.
   23. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4210854)
I guess it makes sense but in this shitshow of a season one of the few things I was hopeful of was the chance to see Mark Prior at the big league level. One inning, one batter, one ####### pitch, that's all I wanted.


Yeah, that stinks. He's gotta catch on for somebody though, right? The Cubs should bring him back for a sad encore.
   24. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4210887)
Keury De La Cruz isn't many people's idea of a good prospect, but he's having a nice season down in A ball as a 20 year old - 316/362/553, with 18 HR.

It's nice to see some quality seasons out of a few prospects this year after a bunch of disappointments last year. Really, with the emergence of Doubront (who's had flashes of looking very good) and Middlebrooks, it's been a nice year for the farm system. The only real disappointments have been Iglesias and Ranaudo, who probably aren't totally lost causes, but certainly have a lot of work to do.
   25. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4211411)
Alex Speier tweeting that 1st round pick Brian Johnson was hit in the head with a line drive at the Future at Fenway game . According to Speier;

"Johnson was moving one eyewitness said he waved on way off field"

"Johnson is at hospital but apparently alert."
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4211452)
We need some happiness around these parts, and since I'm clearly not the guy to provide it - here's a note I got from Uncle John two days ago, fresh from watching a great game in Portland:
Just a quick note to let you all know that I've seen the future SS for the Red Sox and his name is Xander Boegarts! This phenom absolutely crushed a HR to right center that cleared everything, landing in the trees outside Hadlock, easily 425+ feet!

Also witnessed Brandon Workman's double A debut last night, and was extremely impressed. He had solid mechanics, superb command and after establishing his 95-96 mph fastballs, showed poise and decent changeup (two swinging K's) and what looked like a cutter too. No ####, he's probably better than Beckett right now!

Earlier this month I enjoyed a game where Jackie Bradley, Jr. lead off a game with HR to right off a lefty starter, lined a rope into left and made a running "Willie Mays'" basket catch to save a run, he's the real deal.
NESN needs to pack up their whole operation and relocate up the coast for the rest of the summer.
   27. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4211707)
Just back from a trip to Portland where some Friday night rain and a Peter Hissey double in the 7th inning of a scheduled 7 inning game gave me 13 innings of baseball for the price of 9. Thoughts on a few guys of note which I hope won't have the same jinxing effect as my Spring Training visits do;

Jackie Bradley - I am in love. Screw the offense, watching this guy play defense is a treat. I had a seat right behind home plate which gave me a great vantage point to watch him get tremendous jumps on everything. He reminded me a lot of Devon White, great jumps, easy gait, sure hands. What I saw is a player who is not going to be all over ESPN webgems but is going to rate very very well in UZR or whatever your metric of choice is. He also showed off a strong arm on a couple of occasions (albeit once with an overthrow but damn he got something on it).

At the plate he's a bit less refined. While it wasn't an issue tonight I can see his swing getting a bit long but it's a swing with some anger behind it. It's not a Carl Crawford swing or even Jacoby Ellsbury's upper cut but a swing looking to get line drives and use the whole field. Also, for what it's worth he is waaaaaay up in the box. His back foot looks like it is in front of the point of the plate. Not sure that's meaningful but thought I'd share.

Xander Bogaerts - Unfortunately he DHed both games so I didn't get to see him in the field but I liked what I saw at the plate. He's lean but you can see where he will fill out and why people think he'll move off shortstop. Think Will Middlebrooks but shorter. His swing is great and he showed power everywhere; a homer to left-center, a line drive double to right-center but I was most impressed by a towering fly ball to the track in center. It was the sort of towering drive like the occasional 8 second pop up that Manny would hit where you just have to have raw power to hit it.

The negative is a bit of an attitude. On the fly out he cursed loudly in spanish and flung his bat. No biggie there but the previous at bat an 0-1 pitch was called a strike (bad call). Bogaerts took himself out of the at bat, he looked not ready for the next pitch that fortunately bounced then gave a half-hearted swing at a pitch in the left-handed batter's box for strike three.

Christian Vazquez - He only played the first game (of which I saw five innings). Offensively he's right on top of the plate and has got a great swing and hit the ball hard. Defensively his footwork looks off to me. His feet are very wide behind the plate and on throws to second at the start of each inning he did this sort of jump turn thing. None of it is unfixable but there is work to be done. Also, I'd say he's built like a fire hydrant but he's not nearly that tall or lanky. I can see his weight being an issue for him.

Travis Shaw - MCoA (I think it's him, maybe Darren) has been asking why he's not showing up more on prospect lists. I had wondered too but after seeing him tonight I get it. I can't put my finger on it but he just doesn't look right. He's a bit bottom heavy body-wise and while he is fine now I would bet in 3-4 years he's going to be very slow and his swing didn't look like it generated much power. This is all based on one game of course and all of that could have been said about Kevin Youkilis a decade ago, if he keeps hitting then he will force himself onto those lists. If I didn't know anything about any of the players tonight I would have had about 7-8 guys ahead of Shaw in a post-game write up.

Jeremy Hazelbaker - I like this guy and have since I saw him at Greenville two years ago. Sox Prospects ranks him 38th and they know these guys 100 times better than I do. He had a beautiful bunt single and lined a triple over the centerfielder's head (well, it should have been caught but he hit it on the screws to the warning track). I see a guy with some power, plus speed and good defense and can't understand why he doesn't project at least as a solid 4th outfielder. I think he can be David Murphy fairly easily, maybe slightly different in form but easily as useful and I can see him eclipsing Murphy.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this. Consider yourself forewarned I'm heading to Lowell in a week and a half so you'll get another one of these then.
   28. dave h Posted: August 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4212989)
Awesome, thanks for the update Jose. I'm going to catch Portland when they visit New Britain this Wednesday, hopefully the big guys are in the lineup.
   29. Mattbert Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4213251)
Great stuff, Jose. Thanks for sharing.
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 21, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4213490)
Jackie Bradley left last night's game with an injured ankle. There seems to be optimism that it is not serious. From Sox Prospects;

(Bradley) turned his left ankle making the turn at second base on a Jeremy Hazelbaker base hit. He was removed from the game, but was able to put weight on the left leg, giving hope that it is not a serious injury


Evidently the field was wet and immediately after that there was a 30 minute delay while they dried it up.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4213508)
Down in the DSL, bonus baby Manuel Margot had a solid game, with a double, triple and a walk in five PA. His season stats are not whelming (273/372/406), but they're solid for a very young kid, and his K/BB is eyepopping, especially for the Sox system. 34 walks against 25 strikeouts in 250 AB. He's a speedy (32 SB, 7 3B) center fielder who got a significant bonus, so presumably he's got strong underlying tools. I'm excited to see what Margot can do stateside next year. A toolsy kid who can control of the strike zone seems like a good bet for a breakout prospect in the future.
   32. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4215153)
Longtime ex-prospect and former 1st round draft choice (of the Mariners) Josh Fields looks to be finally finding some success in the Red Sox system. He's always struck out a lot of dudes (career 10.5 k/9), but he's also walked a lot of dudes (career 5.2 bb/9). This year he seems to be getting those walks under control while still striking dudes out. Ordinarily a 26 year old having a good year in AA isn't that exciting, but given Fields pedigree it's possible he could be a contributor in the bullpen in the near future.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4215671)
This doesn't fit the thread exactly, but what do people think should be the plan for Tazawa next year?

I went to the game last night, and he was throwing hard. Is he permanently a reliever now or could/would they stretch him out in spring training next year?
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4215686)
I was impressed by Tazawa's stuff early in the season. He's always had a starter's arsenal, and I was surprised he wasn't given an opportunity to start in AAA this year, given how good he was in the minors before the injury. My guess is that the Sox don't think he can handle a starter's workload and stay healthy. (This of course could be a huge misevaluation.)
   35. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4215694)
I love Tazawa. Every time I see him pitch I think of Foulke in the way he is deceptive and seems to be able to get in on hitters even without throwing 96 (how hard was he throwing last night?). I'd love to try him as a starter but I think he's a bit down the depth chart; Lester, Buchholz and Doubront are probably definites and Lackey is close to it. That leaves some battling for a fifth spot which right now I'd have Morales ahead of Tazawa. Also, I expect that they will bring in a starter either in trade for Beckett or as an FA, not necessarily a star, but someone who would be ahead of Tazawa.

I think you stretch him out like they did with Aceves this Spring but with an expectation that he starts in the bullpen (communication...whee!!).

Incidentally, I feel compelled to note my two previous comments on this thread;

From Saturday;
Thoughts on a few guys of note which I hope won't have the same jinxing effect as my Spring Training visits do;

Jackie Bradley


and Tuesday;

Jackie Bradley left last night's game with an injured ankle.



   36. Nasty Nate Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4215725)
If he's only relieving next year, I hope they give Tazawa a chance at some important innings.
   37. Dan Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4216260)
I love Tazawa. Every time I see him pitch I think of Foulke in the way he is deceptive and seems to be able to get in on hitters even without throwing 96 (how hard was he throwing last night?)


According to Pitch F/X, he did in fact hit 96 last night. (Well technically it only said 95.9, but close enough).
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4216308)
Wow. Where did that velocity come from? That's kind of out of nowhere isn't it?

Looking at FanGraphs it's not that far out of nowhere. He's been about 1-2 MPH faster pretty consistently since his July recall. Wonder if they did something mechanically at Pawtucket.
   39. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4219900)
1st round pick Deven Marrero left last night's game in the first inning after being hit on the hand with a pitch and is day to day. It doesn't sound like a big deal but I am going to the Spinners' game tonight and was really hoping to see him.
   40. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 29, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4220938)
I went to the Spinners game last night and ultimately wound up watching very little of it. I was with the little league team I coach and their families and we were chatting most of the night. Before the game we got to go into the Spinners' dugout and meet with a couple of players (Greg Larson and Mike Augliera) and that was pretty interesting. They mentioned that the coaches weren't making many substantive changes to their pitching styles, more tinkering than anything else. They also said that it was much less intense than their college seasons. The most interesting thing to me was when they said that each player had been given an individualized nutrition plan for the off-season.

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