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   1. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: January 26, 2007 at 01:05 AM (#2286499)
I was very impressed with Pedroia's swing last season, after getting the chance to watch him play. He takes a massive, yet mechanically sound cut. Now, whether he can handle Major League pitching purely from a talent standpoint is still up in the air, but he struck me initially as a guy who’s going pop a ton of doubles off the Green Monster in the years to come.

But what's the deal with him being out of shape? [I’ve heard rumblings here and there]
   2. Darren Posted: January 26, 2007 at 02:43 AM (#2286552)
The big story was that Pedroia came to ST last year heavy, and that the Sox brass were disappointed. I think Shipley and/or Theo has essentially said that they aren't at all concerned with anything in his game, but stressed that he needs to work on his conditioning. It's also been rumored that Pedroia will win or lose the 2B job based on what kind of shape he's in.
   3. Buster Olney the Lonely Posted: January 26, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2286586)
Great job, Temple.

Are there some interesting DFE candidates? I think Brandon Belt falls into this category. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Belt and any others that the Sox might still sign.
   4. Xander Posted: January 26, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2286594)
Thanks guys.

I believe Belt was rated the #3 JuCo prospect, behind Walden (Angels) and Latos (Padres). Though he had a commitment to Texas, Belt actually had a pre-draft deal with the Cubs lined up, so he told other teams to stay away. And on draft day he waited and waited and the Cubs never called. So I'm not sure he's quite the tough sign his draft position would lead you to believe. The Sox talked him into going to San Jacinto, one of the premier JuCo teams in the country. Belt has a high-80's to low-90's fastball, with a good curve and developing changeup. Because he has a good frame and he's athletic, he has substantial room left for projection. If he really puts it together this year, he would be a fine DFE and possibly the Sox replacement for their first round pick they lost.

Some other DFE's to pay attention to are Kyle Gilligan, Kyle Snyder, an Chad Gross. Gilligan is a Canadian SS who has good athleticism and a promising bat. Snyder fell off prior to the draft causing his stock to drop. He was going to go to Miami, but chose JuCo at the last moment. There was a slight controversy of whether or not he actually attended a class at Miami, but that has been dispelled. Chad Gross is a big, powerful 1B prospect going to Cuesta College.

Hope that clears things up. I'll try to keep things updated as the season moves along.

BTW, the college season starts tomorrow; who else is pumped? Actual baseball going on on American soil. Ya gotta love it.
   5. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 26, 2007 at 04:38 AM (#2286601)
What's a "wipeout" slider? Does it sound like it's followed by Dick Dell style guitar work or something? What the heck does that mean,a wipeout slider?
   6. Xander Posted: January 26, 2007 at 04:41 AM (#2286602)
It's just another way of saying a slider with a lot of tilt and break.
   7. Xander Posted: January 26, 2007 at 06:06 AM (#2286634)
BOtL, this is from a Kevin Goldstein Q&A at
The guy I know the most about is Belt – who my Texas contact really loved for his size and upside. He also saw him as raw and inconsistent, and thought DNF-ing him was the best bet.
   8. tfbg9 Posted: January 26, 2007 at 03:47 PM (#2286727)
Dick Dell=Dick Dale, Rough.
   9. Josh Posted: January 26, 2007 at 03:49 PM (#2286730)
Great write ups.
   10. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 26, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2286748)
Nice work, Temple. Thanks.

I like the top prospects in the Boston's system - I think Buccholz and Ellsbury could be solid above average players, but is anyone else bothered by the fact that the top prospects (Pedroia aside) haven't performed past low minors? The lack of strong prospects who've performed at AA is concerning and leads me to believe that Boston's system really isn't very strong. Aside from Pedroia and maybe Murphy, there isn't anyone who looks like they could qualify as depth to the big league team.

The loss of some good position prospect/players to lousy trades is frustrating. Bard, Ramirez, Murton - all these guys could be good contributors now. Hanley was dealt for Beckett, who could still turn out to be pretty good, but Murton and Bard were just given away. Not to mention Freddy Sanchez, Mike Gonzalez, and Anibal Sanchez. The Red Sox system has produced some pretty good players....for other teams. I realize that bringing up prospects is hard for the Red Sox. They need to be above average at basically every position in order to compete at the high level the fans are used to them competing at, and rookies inevitably struggle and make a lot of mistakes. However, it really limits what Boston can do with its $100M development machine.

Where would Hansen be, talent-wise, on this list? Is he just in some no-man's land between prospect and washout? I don't know what to think about him anymore.
   11. Sexy Lizard Posted: January 26, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2286788)
Mike Gonzalez

Gonzalez came from the Pirates in the original part of the Scott Sauerback trade saga, pitched 1.2 innings at Pawtucket, and then, when it turned out that Brandon Lyon was broken, went back to Pittsburgh as part of negotiations to prevent the Pirates from crying foul to the Commissioner's Office. I agree with the general point that the Sox have given away a lot of young talent, but Gonzalez doesn't really fit in with that. He was with the organization for 8 days.
   12. covelli chris p Posted: January 26, 2007 at 05:56 PM (#2286797)
mcgriffy, i wouldn't sweat it. we graduated (or traded) a bunch of players last year: papelbon, lester, sanchez, hanley, the cla, delcarmen, and hansen. the high minors are going to be weak when you graduate 7 players. hopefully next winter, the high minors will be strong and the low minors will have some players ready to graduate to AA. as far as the trades go, losing hanley and sanchez hurts, but that was a big trade. the cla is the only one that was a real loss without anything in return--i'm still not convinced that murton will hit for enough power to be much of a corner OFer.
   13. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 26, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2286800)
Thanks, my mistake. That trade always confused me.
   14. Hairps Posted: January 26, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2286833)
Great write-ups, temple.

Care to "tier" these dudes as far as "uber prospect" "really really good prospect" and so on...
   15. JB H Posted: January 27, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2287109)
It's kind of a joke at this point but I still think Pedroia is a pretty awesome prospect. I would rank him #1 without thinking twice. I'm probably alone in that though.

I like Ellsbury a lot. If he can manage a 760 OPS he'll be a very good major leaguer. It's not exactly a given that he'll hit that much though.

I have a hard time getting excited about Low-A pitchers, but Buchholz seems like the best Low-A pitching prospect the Sox have had in a long time
   16. Xander Posted: January 27, 2007 at 05:39 AM (#2287114)
Since this seems like it could be the de facto Sox minor league thread from now until at least spring training, I'll just put it here that the Sox signed Colombian pitcher Randy Consuegra for 100K a couple months ago. He's a pitcher and he's young (and he's the god son of Edgar Renteria). You will most likely never hear from him, but I still want to memorialize the signing here. The Mets, Mariners, and Twins were also after him. He doesn't have a large body of work, but he did hit Youliesky Gourriel with a pitch.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: January 27, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2287207)
"I realize that bringing up prospects is hard for the Red Sox. They need to be above average at basically every position in order to compete at the high level the fans are used to them competing at, and rookies inevitably struggle and make a lot of mistakes."

This is a very important point.
   18. tfbg9 Posted: January 27, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2287267)
Yeah, but an equally important point is that if you don't tolerate the labor pains, you aren't going to enjoy the fruits of a young player who is pre-arb eligible and is still improving.

There's are influential "HEY! DO SOMETHING!" contingents at work in Boston that gather momentum when a young ballplayer screws up--Ordway/WEEI, Shanks, etc. If a rookie hits .190 for April and May there will be a groundswell of indignation that the Brass fears in a real way, I think. Its all part of the insane ammount of attention the team recieves. Pedroia better hit early on.
   19. tfbg9 Posted: January 27, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2287269)
***There are*** grrrr!
   20. Sean in Sydney Posted: January 28, 2007 at 11:30 PM (#2287772)
Thanks Temple
   21. Xander Posted: January 28, 2007 at 11:37 PM (#2287775)
Sean in Syndney, how up to date are you on Aussie baseball?
   22. Hairps Posted: January 29, 2007 at 04:54 PM (#2288203)
I thought Sydney was Temple's mom.
   23. Xander Posted: January 31, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2289237)
Shouldn't you be on your knees with DRH somewhere?

The Sox have signed 17-yeard old former LLWS stud pitcher Dennis Neuman out of Curacao .(upper left) Details are forthcoming.

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