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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Lockout Files - Spring Training

Well the big news in baseball of course is spring training.  Late February, all eyes have turned toward spring training and nothing else.  NOTHING ELSE.  Anyway, I know you are all especially interested to hear what I am looking forward to my trip to sunny Florida in ten days and I thought I’d share that with you.

Going to Games - Last year was the first time since…god 1999? that I hadn’t attended a Spring Training game and frankly 2020 camp was a pretty morose place on the heels of the Mookie deal.  Simply attending games with an air of excitement would be a really wonderful thing.  Of course there remains the chance that won’t happen due to the current labor issues but even if there are no big league games I hope to attend at least one minor league game because…

Marcelo Mayer - The Sox have developed some remarkable talent over the years but I’m trying to remember the last guy that came into the system with such a level of excitement right away.  Part of this of course is that the Sox have been so successful over the years (did you know they have won more World Series in the 21st century than any team?) that they have rarely had high draft picks.  They whiffed on one (Trey Ball) and the other (Andrew Benintendi) was an exciting player early on but not a “potential stud” type.  Mayer though, man the hopes and expectations for him are something else.  I have never seen him play and even if nothing is happening getting to see Mayer on the backfields would be fun.  I remember seeing Rafael Devers back there and even as a 17 year old you could see the immense power.  While other kids would occasionally pull a ball that would squeak over the fence Devers was clearing the fences by 20 feet to all fields.

Triston Casas - I got a good look at Casas and his family in 2020.  No really, his aunt and abuela were watching him work out and I chatted with them for a bit.  Very nice people.  Anyway, Casas is on the fast track now and it’s a matter of when not if he makes the bigs.  Obviously he is a guy who there is question about in spring as he is on the 40 man roster so he is locked out by the owners at the moment but if camps open I’ll be curious to see him in early inning appearances with the big club.

Happy Faces - This is a little thing but one of the best parts of spring training is the joy on everyone’s face.  We all turn into kids again and the actual kids are clearly having a blast.  This is especially true in 2022 in a world that is SO frustratingly fractured the camaraderie and joy at a spring training game is a welcome respite from the day to day grind of a world that increasingly feels like it is going backwards.

Alex Binelas - One of the key parts of the Renfroe/Bradley deal this is a guy I am curious about.  I know he is well regarded but he is not a top 100 prospect or anything.  I am interested to see what the Sox have here and how he fits in.

People in Shape - NO COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY PLEASE! Anyway, your faithful correspondent notwithstanding if the big boys are in camp I will be looking to see if anyone shows up out of shape.  Rafael Devers is a guy who notably has run into some issues in this regard in the past and obviously he is a key component to what the Red Sox are going to do in 2022 and beyond.

Anyway, hopefully there will be real big boy baseball to be seen starting on March 8 when I show up.  If not, well I will console myself by sitting at the pool with a mojito or three.

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 23, 2022 at 09:22 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: February 23, 2022 at 02:00 PM (#6065961)
My money's on the mojitos. Not literally; you can buy your own.

I look forward to some day going to spring training. It always sounds like a lot of fun.
   2. Darren Posted: February 23, 2022 at 03:51 PM (#6065970)
You mentioned a couple prospects, so I wanted to share--Fangraphs just put out their top 100, with the following Sox making the list:


Triston Casas, 55, #16
Marcelo Mayer, 55, #19
Nick Yorke, 55, #29

No one else from the Sox on there, which is probably about right. I'll be interested to see how Casas's physique looks since he recently said that he was weighing in at 265. Yorke is interesting in that looking at his scouting grades, the only category that grades out above average is his hit tool (35/60). Some lowlights: fielding (30/40) and throw (30). But overall, they still seem very high on him, which is nice.

Read the whole piece, it's great.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 24, 2022 at 08:17 AM (#6066046)
From what I've seen in him Casas is a BIG dude. Not in a bad way, he's just built like a brick shithouse. Not that we can put a lot of stock in this stuff but Chris Davis is listed as 6'4" 255 on BBRef and Casas is built somewhat similarly. The 265 doesn't worry me if it's apportioned OK.
   4. Darren Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6066093)
I agree that it's not necessarily a concern. But he was originally a pretty wirey looking guy and how/where he added that weight will be important. In the one recent video I saw of him hitting in a cage, he looked a bit stocky, but that was far from conclusive.
   5. Textbook Editor Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6066095)
Gotta be honest; the vibe I am getting is that 2022 won't have baseball at all.
   6. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:45 PM (#6066096)
Yeah but that's my point. He doesn't look wiry in person, his body looks to me like someone who has room to grow into it.
   7. pikepredator Posted: February 25, 2022 at 07:29 AM (#6066154)
Happy Faces - This is a little thing but one of the best parts of spring training is the joy on everyone’s face.  We all turn into kids again and the actual kids are clearly having a blast.  This is especially true in 2022 in a world that is SO frustratingly fractured the camaraderie and joy at a spring training game is a welcome respite from the day to day grind of a world that increasingly feels like it is going backwards.


I'm kinda hanging on to this comment by my fingernails given everything that is and isn't happening in the world right now.

C'mon, spring training. You can do this!! We believe in you!
   8. SandyRiver Posted: February 25, 2022 at 03:24 PM (#6066196)
From what I've seen in him Casas is a BIG dude. Not in a bad way, he's just built like a brick shithouse.

The Fangraphs article likened his build to Paul Bunyan.
   9. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 25, 2022 at 08:20 PM (#6066212)
Watching game 1 of the 2007 ALCS because why not. Anyway in the 3rd inning the Sox lost a couple of runs temporarily when a ball deflected off Gutierrez into the stands. Had he not touched it it probably would have been a triple or ITPHR. Now it didn’t matter because the Sox pushed both runs across in the inning and won the game handily but it was reminiscent of the Renfroe play in this year’s ALDS.

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