Archive for the 'Red Sox' Category

MyWorlds Top 100 - 20-11

Monday, March 20th, 2017

20. Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) 7.83 - Michael was the Red Sox first round pick in the 2014 draft. He created quite a buzz last year when his fastball hit 105. The Red Sox made him part of the prospect haul of the White Sox in the David Price trade. Maturity issues are his big obstacle. He has two suspensions in his short career, one for drugs and one for fighting. His fastball is probably one of the top five in the minor leagues consistently hitting triple digits. He complements that fastball with a nice low 90s slider, with a change that he can throw as his third pitch. Single A hitters managed to hit only .147 against him and he was filthy with the strikeouts. Command could use improvement but that should come with time. The White Sox will probably start Kopech in AA. Because he has not eaten up a lot of innings they will be patient with his pitch count. If a major league promotion occurs it will not be until September.

19. Anderson Espinoza RHP (Padres) 8.05 - At 6′0″ with a fastball in the mid 90s the Domincan Espinoza is compared to Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox shelled out a $1.8 million bonus to sign him then traded him to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. What separates Anderson from many pitchers his age is his ability to throw his change with a similar delivery as his fastball, giving him two plus pitches. His curve needs more consistency but it has the makings to be a plus pitch. Despite the glowing reports on his mid-90s fastball that can hit triple digits and a plus change hitters had success against him last year with a .276 opposition average at Low A. His small stature brings discussions of durability, which could result in a move to the pen as a closer. Expect Anderson to start the 2017 season in High A.

18. Nick Senzel 3B (Reds) 8.27 - Myworld has not seen much of Senzel. He was the Reds first round pick in the 2016 draft and to rise this high in many prospect rankings this early in his career is impressive. He has a college bat so a lot is already known about him. In his professional debut in Low A he hit .329. He also had a .982 OPS hitting seven homeruns. What was surprising was his 15 stolen bases, a lot for a player with average speed who plays the hot corner. More will be known about him as he rises up the minor league ladder and faces better pitching. A .415 OBA with a 32/45 walk to whiff ratio was also eye opening and his defensive tools should play out at third. As a college bat expect him to rise quickly in the minor leagues, with a start in High A and a promotion to AA if he continues to find success.

17. Willy Adames SS (Rays) 8.3 - The Tigers originally signed Adames but traded him to the Rays in their playoff drive to acquire David Price. Adames has a lot of upside with a bat that could hit for average and the power to hit for 20 plus homeruns. His tools should allow him to stay at short, though there is some question about his range. A strong arm and quick feet should help with that issue. The Rays have a shortstop opening and Adames hit .274 with a .802 OPS last year in AA. Myworld expects him to start the season in AAA but would not be surprised to see him with the major league club by mid-season.

16. Ozzie Albies 2B/SS (Braves) 8.38 - Ozzie was one reason the Braves felt they could trade Jose Peraza. The 20 year old from Curacao lost out on the shortstop job to Dansby Swanson and appears to be destined for second base. A late season injury last year may have prevented him from joining Dansby on the major league club. Ozzie has speed, the tools to play shortstop and the bat to stay near .300. What he lacks is power. An ability to draw walks with a .358 OBA between AA and AAA will allow him to hit at the top of the order to set the stage for the run producers. Myworld expects him to start his season in AAA with a quick callup when the Braves need help at second base or in a super utility role.

15. Tyler Glasnow RHP (Pirates) 8.68 - Tyler was a fifth round pick in 2012 but at 6′8″ with a lefty arm that hits the mid to upper 90s with his fastball his stock rose quickly. He also has a curve that misses bats and a change that is serviceable. His big issue is finding command. The opposition only hit .190 against him and he averaged over a strikeout per inning. Runners reached base consistently as he walks more than one hitter per two innings. In the major leagues his 4.24 ERA was inflated by a 13/24 walk to whiff ratio in just 23 innings. That lack of command also impacts hitters looking for the fastball when he gets behind in the count and major league hitters burned him for a .250 average. Expect him to start the 2017 season in AAA as he further tries to improve his command by working on a consistent delivery.

14. Rafael Devers 3B (Red Sox) 8.78 - Devers is one player the Red Sox tried to avoid having in conversations in trade talks. The Red Sox have hopes that he will take over the third base position when Pablo Sandoval is done. His lefthanded swing should find the .300 neighborhood with 30 plus homeruns an achievable goal. As a teenager in High A he slugged .448 with most of his power dedicated towards the gaps. As he matures and gets stronger those gap shots should get closer to the fences. His fielding at third will not win any gold gloves but it should do the job. If not a move to first is still a possibility. He lacks the foot speed to fit in the outfield. The 2017 season will see him do damage to AA pitchers.

13. Lucas Giolito RHP (White Sox) 8.82 - Lucas was a first round pick of the Nationals in 2012. Tommy John surgery prevented him from pitching but one start that year and in 2013 it was only rehab. He was considered the top pitching prospect entering the 2016 season but struggles against major league hitters in his major league debut dropped him down a notch. It also convinced the Nationals that they could include him in a trade for Adam Eaton. At 6′6″ with a fastball in the mid to high 90s Giolito can be intimidating. He also has a nice break to his curve and a dropping changeup that leads to a lot of swings and misses in the minor leagues. His velocity dropped when promoted to the major leagues and his command was poor with a 12/11 walk to whiff ratio. He also saw seven balls leave the park in just 21 innings of work, equaling the number of jacks he gave up in the minors in 115 innings. A good spring and a return to the high 90s in velocity could see him open the season in the White Sox rotation. The better bet is he starts the season in AAA.

12. Austin Meadows OF (Pirates) 8.83 - Austin was a first round pick of the Pirates in 2013. Injuries last season limited him to just 87 games. He did reach AAA but in 126 at bats he only hit .214 with a .297 OBA. The left handed stroke of Austin should hit for average as his .311 batting average in AA attests. His power should also come where he should hit 20 plus homeruns every year. The speed is there for him to steal 20 plus bases and cover centerfield, but the arm is below average so if centerfield is not a possibility a move to left would be an alternative. The Pirates outfield is a little crowded so expect Austin to spend his 2017 season in AAA. He is just a major injury away from getting a callup, or a Andrew McCutchen trade away if the Pirates should fall out of the playoff race.

11. Victor Robles OF (Nationals) 8.85 - Victor Robles has all five tools to make him a superstar. He will hit for average (.305 in low A), carries the potential power to hit 20 plus homeruns, has the foot speed to steal 50 plus bases and the tools and arm to play either center or right. At 19 years of age he held his own in High A, hitting .262 with a .354 OBA. A good work ethic and a leader in the clubhouse could add a sixth tool to his skills. It is difficult to watch these tools and show patience with him to allow him to develop in the minor leagues. With less than 200 at bats it may be best for Robles to start the season in High A with a promotion to AA once he achieves success.

Myworld’s Top 100 - 40 -31

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Spring training games and the WBC games are making it hard to complete this list. Here are the next ten, 40-31 as we trudge down to number one.

40. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - The Canadian was the Braves second first round pick in the 2015 draft. Not an overpowering pitcher with a fastball in the low 90s, he relies on the command of his above average curveball and change to force hitters to make weak contact. Last year he averaged just 7.9 whiffs per nine innings at Low A. Next year should see a promotion to High A. Eventually he will fill a role in the middle or back end of a rotation.

39. Blake Rutherford OF (Yankees) - Blake was the Yankees first round pick in 2016. He starred for the under 18 United States baseball team that won the gold medal, batting in the middle of their lineup. The Yankees hope to see enough power from him to bat in the middle of their lineup. Last year he hit .351 in rookie ball in a little over 100 at bats, slugging .570. Average speed will leave him in right field, the only tool he lacks from competing as a five tool player.

38. Bradley Zimmer OF (Indians) - Bradley was the Indians first round pick in 2014. The Indians still have hopes to put him in centerfield, but myworld thinks he lacks the speed to play there. We think he is a better fit in right field, but perhaps we have seen him on bad days when he takes poor routes. His bat should hit for enough power to fit in right field with 15 homeruns last year. That included a power outage in AAA when he could only hit one over the fence in 150 at bats. Zimmer has the speed to be a 20/20 player. If he can cut down on his strikeouts his average could rise above .250.

37. Yadier Alvarez RHP (Dodgers) - The Dodgers continue to spend big bucks on Cuban players with little success. Yadier was signed to a $16 million bonus, which is the second highest bonus they have paid to a prospect, the $28 million they signed for Hector Olivera the number one bonus. Yusniel Diaz ($15.5 million), Yasiel Puig ($12 million) and Alex Guerrero ($10,000) round out the top five bonuses for the Dodgers and they all happen to be Cuban players. Since arriving in the United States Yadier has seen his fastball hit triple digits, sitting mainly in the mid-90s range. Commanding that fastball can be an issue with 21 walks in 59 innings. Adding a change as a third pitch will put him in the rotation, otherwise he will fill a role as a closer. The Dodgers could start him in Low A where he has already achieved success in 9 starts or push him with a promotion to High A. At 6′3″ he has a good frame for a pitcher.

36. Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - The Astros already have his brother Preston on the team as a fifth outfielder. When Kyle is ready to play he will be the starting centerfielder for the Astros. Kyle was the first round pick of the Astros in 2015. All the tools are there to make him an impact bat, especially since he hits from the left side. The one tool he may be short on is speed, which could move him to right field where his arm is more than adequate to play the position Last year in a brief call up to High A he hit .339 with a 1.096 OPS. The Astros may start him there to begin the 2017 season and then promote him if he continues to maul High A pitching.

35. Josh Hader LHP (Brewers) - He has already been traded twice, from the Orioles to the Astros and now to the Brewers. For the Orioles he was their 19th round pick in 2012. His hair has grown since then and his velocity has increased, hitting the mid-90s. That is plenty of speed for a left handed pitcher. Last year he average 11.5 whiffs per nine innings at AA and AAA. A slider gives him a good second pitch but his change is still lacking. Trouble with finding the strike zone in AAA resulted in a 5.22 ERA when he walked 36 in 69 innings. The Brewers would like to see him have success at AAA before they promote him to their major league rotation. They would also like to see him improve his change to give him three pitches.

34. Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Blue Jays) - His talent level falls short of his dad. His arm is not as powerful and his hitting tools also fall short. He’s probably a little better at taking pitches, but still puts his bat on the ball when he swings (33/35 walk to whiff). His arm is not a rifle but it is good enough for third. More stocky than his dad, he should hit for power. Despite his 15 steals last year Vladimir is not fleet afoot. This makes third base a better position for him. Expect to see him start the 2017 season in Low A.

33. Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - The Athletics may regret trading Addison Russell but they got Barretto in the Josh Donaldson trade. He could be the player Russell is now, with good pop for a shortstop. His defensive tools do not stand out so a shift to second is possible, but the Athletics will keep him at short to let his average tools develop. He has decent speed, stealing 30 bases last year so a move to centerfield is also a possibility. Where ever he plays a plus bat that should hit in the neighborhood of .300 with 20 plus homerun pop will find a position to play. Expect the A’s to start him at AAA with a promotion to the major league team in September. Marcus Semien also has average tools for a shortstop so the Athletics will have to find a match and move one of the players to second.

32. Kolby Allard LHP (Braves) - The Braves traded for a number of pitching prospects who were first round picks from other teams. Kolby was drafted by the Braves in the first round of the 2015 draft. The fastball is not overpowering, sitting in the low 90s but he complements it with a plus curve and a solid change, besides throwing lefthanded. His command is also excellent. He didn’t appear to be bothered by a back problem that dropped him in the draft and limited his 2015 season to three starts. For the 2017 season he may start it in Low A where he had some success last year.

31. Jason Groome LHP (Red Sox) - Jason would not have dropped as far as he did in the 2016 draft to get to the Red Sox in the first round if not for some questions about his character. At 6′6″, throwing lefthanded with a fastball hitting the mid-90s with room for more growth as he matures, Jason could end up in the top of a rotation. His curve is good and his change is in the developmental stage since he did not use it much in high school. The Red Sox hope to begin his 2017 season in Low A.

Bruce Leads Mets; Tebow Struggles in Debut

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Jay Bruce slugged a two run homerun, smoked an RBI double and made a diving catch in right field to contribute to the Mets 8-7 win over the Red Sox in exhibition play today. It was a game in which Tim Tebow made his debut. Tim struck out twice, his last at bat three times looking at all three pitches, grounded into a double play in which a runner scored from third, was hit by a pitch and doubled off first when he broke off the bag on a line drive caught by the second baseman.

Jay Bruce was responsible for the Mets scoring their first run in the first inning. With runners on first and third with one out Neil Walker broke for second. Jay Bruce swung and missed at a 3-2 pitch to strike out. Walker stopped half way between first and second to get in a run down to allow Curtis Granderson to score from third.

The Red Sox jumped on P.J. Conlon in the fourth inning. P.J. had no velocity and no command leading to a bad recipe of walks and hits. Sam Travis walked and Allen Craig bounced a ground rule double over the fence in left center. A single by Rusney Castillo scored one to tie the game. Conlon was able to get his first out of the inning on a ground out to second but Craig scored to make it 2-1. Christian Vazquez walked and Castillo and Vazquez pulled the double steal. The throw from Travis d’Arnaud went over the glove of L.J. Mazzilli at third, allowing Castillo to score. Marco Hernandez ended the scoring with an RBI double into right centerfield.

The Mets bounced right back in the bottom half of the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes bounced a single off the right hand of Rick Porcello. He stayed in the game but gave up a two run shot to Bruce and booming double in left center field to Lucas Duda. He was pulled in favor of Noe Ramirez. Noe walked the first batter he faced and gave up a infield single to Amed Rosario to load the bases. This brought up Tim Tebow to the buzz of the crowd. He got behind in the count 1-2, made solid contact, but right at the second baseman who turned a 4-6-3 double play. Tebow fans will argue the double play grounder that allowed the Mets to score their third run of the inning proved to be the difference in the game.

The Mets tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Curtis Granderson led off the inning with a double. After two were retired Jay Bruce ripped a double down the right field line to score Granderson. He barely beat the throw into second from Bryce Brentz.

The Mets should have put the game away in the sixth with three runs to put them ahead 8-4. Travis d’Arnaud led off the inning with a double. A high chopper up the middle was played poorly by Deven Marrero and trickled into centerfield, d’Arnaud settling for third. Tim Tebow came up with another opportunity to drive in a run. He got hit by a pitch on a 1-1 count to load the bases. L.J. Mazzilli lined one to second, Tebow wandered too far off first and was easily doubled off. A walk to Ricardo Cespedes again loaded the bases where Neil Walker cleared them with a double ripped down the third base line. Luis Caprio pinch ran for Walker and when Kevin Kaczmarski singled to right center it appeared Caprio loafed home and was ultimately thrown out at the plate.

Allen Craig hit a two run homer in the seventh to close the Red Sox lead to 8-6. The Red Sox rallied in the ninth with a hard line drive single by Rafael Devers up the middle in centerfield. Junior Lake walked and Matt Dominguez singled to make the score 8-7. Corey Taylor, who has both girth and velocity on his fastball struck out Jake Depew and Steve Selsky to end the game.

Game notes: The most popular player in the stadium today was Tim Tebow. The crowds thronged around him for autographs and there was a lot of buzz and ipads being taken out for pictures during his first at bat. Rick Porcello threw nothing but fastballs down the middle to him and Tebow struck out, swinging and missing at the second struck and taking the first and third strike. Fans thought it was an accomplishment when he made contact in his second at bat, despite the fact that it was a ground into double play. It did score a runner from third but Tebow gets no RBI. He was hit by a pitch his third at bat then wandered too far off first on a line drive to second, getting doubled off. He took three pitches for strikes off journeyman pitcher Brandon Workman. From what myworld saw Tebow will not sniff the major leagues based on his talent. He may make it if the Mets need an increase in attendance…The Mets stadium in St. Lucie is one of the older stadiums on the east coast. The aisles are very narrow where the concessions are resulting in a number of log james. The scoreboard is very nice but it provides no spring stats as the other two scoreboards in Jupiter and at Nats/Astros…Amed Rosario had an impressive defensive game at shortstop, making all the routine plays and then covering the tough plays and making them look easy…Bryce Brentz hit two doubles that carried over the outfielders heads…Noah Syndergaard started and threw the hardest fastball, consistently hitting 96-98…Myworld likes the defense of Josh Rutledge. We think he will make the team as a utility player…Andrew Benintendi was schooled by Curtis Granderson. On a fly ball to left Curtis faked a tag and jumped off the base. When Andrew threw to second, taking the bait Curtis broke for third and was safe without a throw…Luis Caprio was thrown out at home on a play he appeared to lack the hustle when racing for home. He was easily thrown out…

30 Teams in 30 Days - Boston Red Sox

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

With this article we have finished our American League predictions. Next we’ll move to our National League predictions.

Overview - The Red Sox won the American League East title giving David Ortiz a nice retirement present. They could not complete the ceremony, losing to the Cleveland Indians and their old manager Terry Francona in the American League Division Series. David Price continued his struggles, giving up five runs in less than four innings in his playoff start. None of the other starters got past the fifth inning as they got swept by the Indians. To address their starting pitching they replaced Clay Buchholz with Chris Sale, but that may not be enough if David Price misses the season because of Tommy John surgery.

Strengths - When we started writing this piece we thought starting pitching would be a strength. They traded a boat load of talented prospects to acquire Chris Sale from the White Sox. He was to fit between David Price and Rick Porcello to make a very formidable trio in the rotation. Price had a poor year by his standards last year but most expected a comeback. Now there are reports that he may miss the season for Tommy John surgery. Myworld would be surprised if Rick Porcello repeats the numbers he put together in 2016 so a better year from Price would cancel out a worse year from Porcello and Sale would be much better than Buchholz. That blueprint is not being written. Stephen Wright also had an excellent year that will be difficult for him to repeat. That may leave it up to Eduardo Rodriguez and/or Drew Pomeranz to take up the slack. The Red Sox do have some depth in their rotation. They also have the potential for a solid bullpen with the acquisition of Tyler Thornburg to set up Craig Kimbrel. Don’t under estimate the possible contribution of Joe Kelly to the bullpen. His fastball will be much better in shorter outings. The outfield may be the best in baseball with Jackie Bradley finally figuring it out, Mookie Betts having another MVP season and the rookie Andrew Benintendi picked by most as being the top prospect in baseball. Chris Young is a starter on many teams but a solid fourth outfielder for the Red Sox. Up the middle they are solid with Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts, one player on the down side of his career but still with the capability of putting up good numbers and the other on the upside. It is a good mix for teams to have.

Weaknesses - They have some. Pablo Sandoval is a mystery at third. He has failed two seasons in a row. The Red Sox are banking on his success in 2017. They traded Travis Shaw to give Pablo the position. If he fails the only option is utility player Brock Holt or rush Rafael Devers. Non-roster invitees Allen Craig or Matt Dominguez may make the team if Pablo has a poor spring. Myworld does not think Sandy Leon will come within 100 points of his .310 average from last season. He hit a blistering .373 against lefthanders. Expect Christian Vazquez to be the starter by mid-season. The Red Sox will miss not having David Ortiz at DH. They have Hanley Ramirez but he will be no David Ortiz.

Non-Roster Invitees - We see either Allen Craig or Matt Dominguez making the roster as insurance against a Pablo Sandoval flop. Whoever has the better spring will get the back up job and occasional DH and first base responsibilities. Rusney Castillo finds the outfield a little crowded. He needs to have a good spring to be an attractive trade candidate.

Breakout Prospects - The big one will be Andrew Benintendi, who has replaced ex-Red Sox Yoan Moncada as the best prospect in baseball. He is probably the favorite to win rookie of the year. Sam Travis missed most of the 2016 season but he has a power bat that could be used at first base or DH against lefthanders. That would allow Hanley Ramirez to play some first base. He needs to catch up some in AAA before the Red Sox consider him. Brian Johnson is depth in the starting rotation. The lefthander does not have overpowering stuff but he was a first round pick in 2012 and made his major league debut in 2015 with one start. Deven Marrero is a smooth fielding shortstop with a light bat. He could be used in a utility role should a need arise.

Prospects to Watch - The Red Sox traded a number of their higher level prospects to acquire Chris Sale and Tyler Thornburg. The best of the young bunch is Rafael Devers, who is a hitting machine. The Red Sox expect him to compete for batting titles and hope his defense continues to progress at third base to take over for Sandoval once his contract expires. Jason Groome was the Red Sox first round pick in 2016. Character issues allowed him to drop to the Red Sox when many thought he might be the first pick in the draft. Trey Ball is another first round pick (2012) who throws lefthanded who should start the season in AA. His fastball has lost some zip since his high school days but the Red Sox hope his other pitches (slider/change) will help him succeed. He has yet to achieve a two to one strikeout to walk ratio in the last two seasons. Bobby Dalbec had a nice season in rookie ball hitting .386 with a 1.101 OPS. It will be interesting to see if he can come close to those numbers in 2017. He was the Red Sox fourth round pick in 2016.

Expected Finish - The Red Sox should win this division. If they lose Price it will make it harder but they have enough prospects that they may be able to trade for a starter at the deadline if their depth fails them.

The Sox Rosters Based On the Domestic Drafts

Monday, December 19th, 2016

There are 8 teams to go, six after these two. With Christmas coming up it is time to hang up the stockings up by the fireplace and take a look at the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox domestic drafts to see what kind of rosters await us for 2017. The Red Stockings seem to have trouble finding starting pitching. They pack up on the outfielders, so maybe a few of those players could step on the mound. The White Stockings have drafted a couple top of the line pitchers, but they would be hurting to score runs with the lineup they would be forced to put out there every day. It is probably one of the worst rosters we’ve seen of the first 22 teams we’ve taken a look at. Dustin Pedroia was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft and is not included on this roster since we are only looking at players drafted from 2005 and later. With all their first round picks over the years you would think the Red Sox could have done better.

Boston Red Sox

2005 - Jacoby Ellsbury (1) OF, Clay Buchholtz (1) RHP, Jed Lowrie (1) 2B, Pedro Alvarez (14 - DNS) 1B, Charlie Blackmon (20-DNS) OF, Kirby Yates (26 - DNS) RHP, Jason Castro (45 - DNS) C
2006 - Justin Masterson (2) RHP, Kris Negron (7) UTL, Brandon Belt (11 - DNS) 1B, Josh Reddick (17) OF, Logan Shafer (31- DNS) OF
2007 - Nick Hagadone (1) LHP, Will Middlebrooks (5) OF/3B, Anthony Rizzo (6) 1B, Ryan Pressly (11) RHP, Justin Grimm (13 - DNS) RHP, Hunter Strickland (18) RHP, Yasmani Grandal (27 - DNS) C
2008 - Casey Kelly (1) RHP, Ryan Lavarnway (6) C, Christian Vazquez (9) C, Alex Meyer (20 - DNS) RHP, Anthony DeSclafani (22 - DNS) RHP, Travis Shaw (32 - DNS) 3B, Yan Gomes (39 - DNS) C
2009 - Reymond Fuentes (1) OF, Alex Wilson (2) RHP, Luke Maile (43) C
2010 - Bryce Brentz (1) OF, Anthony Ranaudo (1) RHP, Garin Cecchini (4) 3B, Jason Garcia (17) RHP, Hunter Renfroe (31-DNS) OF
2011 - Matt Barnes (1) RHP, Blake Swihart (1) C, Henry Owens (1) LHP, Jackie Bradley (1) OF, Mookie Betts (5) OF, Travis Shaw (9) 3B, Mac Williamson (46 - DNS) OF
2012 - Deven Marrero (1) SS, Brian Johnson (1) LHP, Pat Light (1) RHP, Alex Bregman (29 - DNS) SS
2015 - Andrew Benintendi (1) OF

Roster

C - Jason Castro, Yasmani Grandal, Yan Gomes, Ryan Lavarnway, Christian Vazquez, Luke Maile, Blake Swihart
1B - Anthony Rizzo, Brandon Belt, Pedro Alvarez
2B - Jed Lowrie, Kris Negron (Dustin Pedroia drafted in 2004 second round)
3B - Travis Shaw, Will Middlebrooks, Gavin Cecchini
SS - Alex Bregman, Deven Marrero
OF - Jackie Bradly, Mookie Betts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Charlie Blackmon, Josh Reddick, Andrew Benintendi, Logan Shafer, Reymond Fuentes, Bryce Brentz, Hunter Renfroe, Mac Williamson
SP - Clay Buchholtz, Alex Meyer, Anthony DeSclafani, Matt Barnes, Henry Owens
RP - Hunter Strickland, Kirby Yates, Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, Ryan Pressly, Justin Grimm, Casey Kelly, Alex Wilson, Anthony Ranaudo, Jason Garcia, Brian Johnson, Pat Light

Chicago White Sox

2005 - Clayton Richard (8) LHP, Chris Carter (15) 1b, Jordan Danks (19 - DNS), Bobby LaFromboise (23 - DNS) LHP
2006 - Hector Santiago (30) LHP, Jacob Petricka (38 - DNS) RHP
2007 - Nate Jones (5) RHP, Jabari Blash (29 - DNS) OF
2008 - Gordon Beckham (1) 2B, Daniel Hudson (5) RHP, Jordan Danks (7) OF, James McCann (31- DNS) C, Marcus Semien (34 - DNS) SS, C.J. Cron (44 - DNS) 1B
2009 - Josh Phegley (1) C, Tracye Thompson (2) OF, David Holmberg (2) LHP, Brian Goodwin (17 - DNS) OF, Kevin Chapman (50 - DNS) LHP
2010 - Chris Sale (1) LHP, Jake Petricka (2) RHP, Addison Reed (3) RHP, Tyler Saladino (7) UTL
2011 - Erik Johnson (2) RHP, Marcus Semien (6) SS, Chris Bassitt (16) RHP, Chris Devenski (25) RHP
2012 - Chris Beck (2) RHP, Micah Johnson (9) 2B
2013 - Tyler Danish (2) RHP
2014 - Carlos Rodon (1) LHP
2015 - Carson Fulmer (1) RHP

Roster

C - James McCann, Josh Phegley
1B - Chris Carter, C.J. Cron
2B - Gordon Beckham, Micah Johnson
3B - Tyler Saladino
SS - Marcus Semien
OF - Jordan Danks, Jabari Blash, Trayce Thompson, Brian Goodwin
SP - Chris Sale, Carlos Rodon, Hector Santiago, Daniel Hudson, Chris Devenski
RP - Clayton Richard, Bobby LaFromboise, Jacob Petricka, Nate Jones, David Holmberg, Kevin Chapman, Addison Reed, Erik Johnson, Chris Bassitt, Chris Beck, Tyler Danish, Carson Fulmer

Centerfield Prospect Review

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Other than shortstop these are the darlings of major league baseball. Everyone is looking for the next Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle or Michael Trout. Below are the top ten players named by Baseball America as the best centerfielders in the minor leagues before the start of the 2016 season. Myworld will take a look at their season to see how their prospect status has progressed or regressed.

1. Byron Buxton (Twins) - The Twins are waiting for him to put his tools together. Former number one picks Denard Span and Aaron Hicks were slow learners. This is the second major league season for Buxton and the second year he has struggled. A September hot streak gives the Twins some hope that perhaps he is starting to figure things out. If he can make a little more contact he has the potential to be a five tool player. There is nothing more he can prove in the minor leagues.

2. Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox) - The Red Sox are loaded in centerfield. Andrew is not going to supplant Mookie Betts or even Jackie Bradley from the position. But he has the bat to fit in left field. Scouts expect him to hit over .300 with 20 plus homeruns. A late season callup has seen him take over the troubled Red Sox left field slot. Average speed prevents him from being a five tool player.

3. Lewis Brinson (Rangers) - If the Rangers do not resign Ian Desmond there will be no tears shed by management. Lewis appears to be ready to take over the position. Ideally the Rangers would like him to play half a season in AAA after only hitting .237 in AA with just 11 homeruns. He lacks big time stolen base speed, but his instincts and routes make him an excellent centerfielder. There is enough power in his bat to hit in the double digits in homeruns.

4. Anthony Alford (Blue Jays) - A quiet year for Alford. His body is built for football, but his swing does not incorporate over the fence power. He should fit in centerfield. Alford hit just .236 in High A with 9 homeruns. He needs to do better to reach his potential.

5. Bradley Zimmer (Indians) - Myworld was not impressed with what we saw of him in centerfield. With the trade of Clint Frazier to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade Zimmer appears to have won the centerfield job. He strikes out a lit (over 150) but carries some pop in his bat. Myworld is convinced the corner outfield position is best for him, with the arm to play right field. With vanilla AAA offensive numbers he will probably see at least half a season in AAA.

6. Victor Robles (Nationals) - Michael Taylor’s inability to make contact set the stage for Victor Robles to be the Nationals centerfielder of the future. That was until Trea Turner took over the position. The resume for Victor is tremendous speed to cover ground in centerfield and steal bases, but the power is lacking to fit in a corner. Victor Robles played half a season in High A so he is still a couple years away from forcing the Nationals to make a decision of who to commit to for centerfield.

7. David Dahl (Rockies) - His .300 plus batting average in a late season callup has already sealed his position for next year. The Rockies may have to trade Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon to make room for him. The outfielder who lacks a spleen should hit for double digits in homeruns, compete for batting titles in the thin Rocky Mountain air and play enough defense to fit in centerfield. His biggest challenge will be to avoid injuries that have forced him to miss almost two complete seasons.

8. Trent Clark (Brewers) - The 2015 first round pick of the Brewers slumped with the bat this year playing in a full season league. His average dropped more than 70 points and his slugging was absent (.344) in 2016. There is enough speed in his legs to cover the ground necessary to play in centerfield. If his power does not pick up that will be the position he will fit best at.

9. Manuel Margot (Padres) - One of the players the Padres acquired for Craig Kimbrel to juice up their farm system. The potential four tool player has earned a September callup for the Padres after his success in AAA. The one tool he is lacking is power, though that may develop as he matures. Expect him to win the centerfield job for the Padres next year, if not at the start of the season, then by mid-season.

10. Brett Phillips (Brewers) - One of the players the Brewers stole from the Astros for Carlos Gomez. While he can play centerfield his average speed makes a corner outfield position his best bet. The Brewers minor league outfield depth is growing and Brett will need to hit better than .229 to get one of those major league opportunities. An inability to make contact (154 K’s) has been the big reason for his low average.

Shortstop Prospect Review

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Shortstop was a very talented position this year so myworld will take a look at the top 20 prospects at the position as rated by Baseball America to see how their 2016 season went.

1. Corey Seager (Dodgers) - Not much needs to be said here. Corey is on his way to winning the NL rookie of the year award, leading the Dodgers to the NL West Division crown. He’s hit for power and average and kept his miscues on the field to a minimum.

2. J.P. Crawford (Phillies) - Still the Phillies shortstop of the future despite his struggles at AAA (.244). He hit well at AA but with only seven homeruns and 12 stolen bases at the two levels his offensive production falls short of what is expected. He finished the season with a .688 OPS. While his defense will get him to the major leagues the Phillies would like to see a little more offense. Freddy Galvis is all that stands in his way in the major leagues.

3. Orlando Arcia (Brewers) - Compared to his 2015 season his offensive production in AAA was a bit of a disappointment this year. Like Crawford defense is his calling card and a late season major league callup has seen his offensive struggles continue. The Brewers could always move Jonathan Villar back to short if they feel Arcia is not yet ready for the major leagues to begin the 2017 season. It is only a matter of time before he takes over the position.

4. Trea Turner (Nationals) - With an earlier callup and more at bats he would be giving Seager a run for the rookie of the year honors. Turner has moved to centerfield and has filled the leadoff roll for the Nationals, hitting .340. What has been a surprise to his season is the power he has shown in his bat.

5. Dansby Swanson (Braves) - A trade the Diamondbacks will ultimately regret and could lead to massive changes in the administration. Swanson has been rotating with Ozzie Albies for the Braves shortstop job, but Swanson appears to have the upper hand at the position. Swanson got the head start with the first September callup. He should provide an offensive bat with power for the position.

6. Jorge Mateo (Yankees) - His ultimate position may be at second base after the season for Didi Gregorious this year and the late season acquisition of Gleyber Torres. Mateo has shown a little pop but speed is his big tool. A mid-season suspension because of his impatience about not being promoted to AA is the only taint to the 2016 season, though his offensive numbers have fallen short of what he produced last year. His stolen base production especially dropped in half from 82 to 36.

7. Raul Mondesi (Royals) - The only player to appear in a World Series game before he ever appeared in a regular season game. Offense will be the big question mark for the son of Raul Mondesi Sr. He lacks the power of his father but has a smooth glove to play the position. A mid season major league callup has resulted in an offensive struggle to hit major league pitching (.181). The Royals would like to see better than a .484 OPS at the position.

8. Brendan Rodgers (Rockies) - The Rockies 2015 number one pick may have to find another position after the explosion from Trevor Story, who was rated 19th on this list. Story was a first round supplemental pick in 2011 and got the first opportunity. Rodgers is expected to have the bat and the power to play third base, but Nolan Arenado sits there. Fortunately, the Rockies have a couple more minor league seasons to figure out what they want to do with Rodgers, but his potent bat will get him in the lineup.

9. Gleyber Torres (Cubs) - The Yankees acquired Torres from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade. The Yankees will have to find a position for him. He did hit 11 homeruns and slugged .421 and at age 19 it is expected his power will continue to develop, so third base could be an option. The Yankees currently have a hole there, with Chase Headley the current alternative. Miguel Andujar is a possible suitor for Torres in the minor leagues.

10. Tim Anderson (White Sox) - Last year with the Dodgers Jimmy Rollins lost his shortstop job to Corey Seager. This year he lost the position to Tim Anderson. Tim lacks the offensive numbers of Seager but his glove is better. It has been a disappointing season for the White Sox but Anderson gives them a building block at shortstop.

11. Willy Adames (Rays) - The Rays picked up Adames from the Tigers in the David Price trade. The Rays are still unsettled at short but Adames had a solid season to punch his ticket in for the position in 2017. He had a solid season at AA so expect him to take over the position at the mid season mark.

12. Javier Guerra (Padres) - He was the big piece the Padres acquired from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade. The 2016 season was a big disappointment with a .199 average and 141 whiffs. The Padres hope the 2016 season is an anomaly and will hope for a bounce back in 2017.

13. Nick Gordon (Twins) - Another son for Tom Gordon from a different mother than Dee Gordon. Nick shows good speed but lacks power. His defense will get him to the major leagues, but his lack of offense may make a utility role his best option.

14. Amed Rosario (Mets) - The Mets have been hunting for a shortstop for a long time. What they have had at the position for the last couple years have been good bats who lacked range to cover the position. Amed should solve all that. His bat should be good enough to create some havoc, after hitting .341 in a mid-season callup to AA. Power is not there but his defense is something the Mets have not seen at the position in a long time.

15. Christian Arroyo (Giants) - He will not supplant Brandon Crawford at the position. He could be one of those in between players who lacks the range to play short and is a little short of power to play third. Second base could be his ultimate destination. He does not have a lot of speed and his power is absent so he is a bit vanilla in the talent department. A utility role could be his best hope for a major league job.

16. Ozzie Albies (Braves) - The Braves traded Jose Peraza to the Reds last year after seeing what they have in Albies. With the acquisition of Swanson the ultimate position for Albies may be second base. Fortunately for Albies the Braves have no player at the position with the talent to block him. Speed is his best tool, power his worst.

17. Jorge Polanco (Twins) - Polanco may get an opportunity to play short before Nick Gordon. His defense is not as flashy but he shows a better bat. He has held his own in the major leagues with a .283 average, playing second, third and short. A utility role may be his ultimate position.

18. Deven Marrero (Red Sox) - Deven is blocked at short by Xander Boegarts. His glove is smooth but his bat comes up short. A utility role or trade to another team is all he can hope for, but even after a trade his .198 average in AAA falls far short for what teams want to see in a bat at the position.

19. Trevor Story (Rockies) - A Jose Reyes domestic assault charge gave Story an opportunity at short and he ran with it, slugging 27 homeruns in 97 games before an injury ended his season early. He will get consideration for rookie of the year but failed to get the at bats to win the award. The big question with Trevor is his ability to play defense to stay at the position.

20. Gilbert Lara (Brewers) - Arcia will have to fail at the shortstop position if Lara hopes to get the job. Lara is still in rookie ball as an 18 year old so the Brewers have plenty of time to see if Arcia can earn the position. Lara has shown a quiet bat, but he is still young and developing. Defense is his calling card.

Third Base Prospects Review

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Myworld has already taken a look at the first and second base prospects as ranked by Baseball America. Now we take a look at the third base prospects who were rated in the top ten before the season and analyze what kind of season they had in 2016 and where will that take them in 2017.

1. Joey Gallo (Rangers) - You would have expected a permanent position in the major leagues this year after back to back 40 homerun seasons in 2013 and 2014. His primary position is taken by Adrian Beltre, who signed an extension to play a couple more years at third base. With Prince Fielder retired the DH spot is open and he has seen some time in the outfield. Better contact at the major league level would help his cause as 68 whiffs in 125 at bats is just not going to cut it. Spring training next year will determine whether he plays first base, left field, third base or DH. Nomar Mazara was able to have success when promoted to the Rangers to play right field. Gallo has to show success too if he wants to stick.

2. Rafael Devers (Red Sox) - Just what the Red Sox need, another player with primo hit tools. Fortunately for other major league teams he played all of this year in High A so he has a couple years before he sees the major leagues. Fielding issues could be a problem forcing a move to first base. The power has yet to show but he won’t turn 20 until October of this year. This year he hit .284 with 11 homeruns. There is no one to block his path at third base and Hanley Ramirez could be ready for DH if Devers needs to move to first.

3. Ryan McMahon (Rockies) - The Rockies already have a third baseman in Nolan Arenado. That has not forced the Rockies to move Ryan from third base. Like Gallo he strikes out too much (161) which leads to low averages (.240). His homerun numbers (12) also took a dip. His lack of speed makes a move to the outfield a problem so if Arenado stays a Rockie the only alternative for McMahon is first base. For that position he needs to show more power.

4. Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates) - The Pirates drafted the son of Charlie in the first round of the 2015 draft. There is still a lot of minor league ball in his career, with just 250 at bats in Low A. His bat is supposed to show power but last year in 180 at bats he did not hit a homerun. This year he sent 6 over the fence. Hayes has the defensive chops to play the position but at 210 pounds he needs to keep his body toned to stay there. Hayes still has a couple more years in the minors before his future is determined.

5. Matt Chapman (Athletics) - The Athletics have a number of corner infielders in their minor league system. Chapman last year slugged 36 homeruns to put him on the radar for either first or third base. Like many power hitters he also strikes out a lot (173) so those will have to be reduced if he wants to hit for a decent average. A .197 average in 76 at bats in the AAA Pacific Coast League is a little disappointing, but he played in Nashville, not considered one of the Pacific Coast League hitter’s parks.

6. Austin Riley (Braves) - Riley was a supplemental first round pick for the Braves in 2015. Ahead of him in AAA is Rio Ruiz, a second round pick of the Astros who the Braves acquired in their 2016 franchise sale of all their veterans. Riley has some pop (20 homeruns) but at 230 pounds he may need to move from the hot corner. Freddie Freeman will have first base for awhile and Riley lacks the speed to move to the outfield. His power should win him the third base job over Ruiz if he can show he can defend the position.

7. Colin Moran (Astros) - The Marlins made him a first round pick in 2013 after he led all college players in RBIs. The Marlins later traded him to the Astros. With the Astros there is just no room for him at third base with Yulieski Gurriel and Alex Bregman already sharing the position. Colin has not shown the power to star at the position but at 24 and playing in AAA he is ready for the major leagues. His best opportunity to make the major leagues is if the Astros trade him for a veteran player to help them navigate a playoff race. Myworld does not see a lot of major league opportunity for him.

8. Jomar Reyes (Orioles) - At 6′4″ Jomar may be a little too big to settle at third base. A move to first base is a strong possibility. He needs to show a better hit tool to be considered for a major league position. His walks to strikeouts is poor (25/102) leading to a poor average (.228). He is still down in High A so the Orioles can still show a lot of patience with him.

9. Miguel Andujar (Yankees) - He seemed to tap into his power this season, rising to AA where he combined for 12 homeruns. His average sits in the .270s despite a propensity to strike out. Miguel has all the tools to play the position and no one on the depth chart to impede his path to the major league roster. He still needs to play another year or two in the minors before the Yankees consider promoting him.

10. Jeimer Candelario (Cubs) - He may move Kris Bryant permanently to the outfield. His power falls way short of Bryant but his defense at third base is much better. He also makes better contact (70/99) with the ability to draw walks. The Cubs gave him his major league debut this year but a .091 average with five whiffs in 11 at bats shows he needs more seasoning.

Second Base Prospects Review

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Myworld is taking a look at each of the positions in which Baseball America identified as the top ten players in the minor leagues. Today we will take a look at second base.

1. Yoan Moncada (Red Sox) - He is considered the best prospect in baseball, but the position of need for the Red Sox appears to be third base. That is the position he is playing since his callup to the Red Sox. His speed is his best tool (45 stolen bases) but Yoan has a thunderous bat that is potent enough to play third. He has the potential to become a 30/30 player if his power develops. He makes contact to consistently hit .300.

2. Jose Peraza (Reds) - He had been playing utility for the Reds, riding the roller coaster ride from the minors to majors. In his recent callup he collected a series of multihit games that raised his average from .250 to .350. The Reds are now looking at him as a permanent solution to shortstop. Their hope was to trade Brandon Phillips and move Peraza to second base, but Phillips rejected a trade to the Nationals. So Pereza was stuck in a utility role, playing centerfield, shortstop and second base. When his at bats were limited he was demoted to the minors to get at bats. The Reds have talked about trading the injury plagued Cosart after the season.

3. Ian Happ (Cubs) - The Cubs have bounced him around from second base to the outfield. The position for this year is second base. He shows a little power with 15 homeruns and a .445 slugging percentage. His strikeout numbers are high and his defense is not gold glove so there are still things he needs to work on in the minor leagues.

4. Brandon Drury (Diamondbacks) - He was originally a third baseman, but with Jake Lamb taking over the position the Dbacks moved him to second. He showed power for the position, but his defense was suspect. He has seen more time in the outfield this year because of injuries to the Dbacks outfielders where he is hitting .263 with 10 homeruns. Once the outfield finds its health the Dbacks will have to find another position for him. His power is probably a little short for a corner spot and he lacks the speed and range to play center.

5. Alen Hanson (Pirates) - Next year he may find a role as a utility player. Alen has speed but his bat could be a question mark. He has nothing more to prove in the minors. Josh Harrison seems to have second base covered for the Pirates but he will soon be eligible to ask for the big bucks, which could give Hanson an opportunity. The Pirates called him up for some September appearances to see if he can help them next year. He has at least been suspended by two different managers for his surly attitude.

6. Alex Blandino (Reds) - Alex is not having the kind of year that will get him promoted to the Reds. A .232 average will guarantee at least one more season in AA. In a brief callup last year to AA he only hit .235 in limited at bats. His gap power of previous years has also been muted, with only a career low .337 slugging percentage. Jose Peraza will get the major league opportunity next year while Alex will see at least one more season in the minors.

7. Rob Refsnyder (Yankees) - His defense at second is suspect and Starlin Castro also owns the position. Rob does not appear to have the power to play third or a corner outfield on a more permanent basis. He does have the potential to hit for a high average, but that will only give him a utility role for the Yankees.

8. Forrest Wall (Rockies) - The Rockies first round pick has an electric bat but suspect defense. The bat has failed to reach the .300 neighborhood after his first year, but that is where many think he will reside. Playing in Colorado will enhance that possibility. His power has not really developed with a career .408 slugging percentage. With his struggles on defense Wall will need to improve on that to get a major league opportunity.

9. Scott Kingery (Phillies) - A second round pick of the Phillies last year, Kingery has not shown a thunderous bat. Playing in the band box of Reading his slugging average has dropped to .333. His walk to whiff has also worsened to 5/36. He needs to improve on those if he expects to be an offensive oriented second baseman. His defense is not that stellar to support a weak bat.

10. Willie Calhoun (Dodgers) - The Dodgers have to be pleasantly surprised by the power he has shown in AA (27 homeruns). At only 5′8″ that kind of power was a little unexpected. If his defense does not pan out at second base the Dodgers will find a position for him to accommodate his 30 homeruns bat. Myworld would like to see him replicate those numbers next year before we get too excited.

First Base Prospect Review

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

At the beginning of the year Baseball America came out with a list of the top ten prospects at each position. Myworld takes a look at the top ten at each position to determine how well the 2016 season has gone for them. Today we take a look at the first baseman.

1. A.J. Reed (Astros) - He competed with Jonathan Singleton and Tyler White for the first base job this spring. Reed had a decent spring but White won the job. White could not keep the job but Reed did not earn a call up and utility man Marwin Gonzalez has been seeing most of the playing time at first base. It was an opportunity missed for Reed. Perhaps next year will be better.

2. Josh Bell (Pirates) - The Pirates signed David Freese to share the first base job with John Jaso. Bell got a brief callup early in the season but late August and early September will be his opportunity for him to show the Pirates what he has to offer. Some question whether he will hit for enough power to play the position. He was an outfielder before being moved to first base because of the Pirates crowded situation at that position.

3. Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) - With Adrian Gonzalez at first base there is no room for Bellinger. He got a recent callup to AAA after slugging 23 homeruns in AA. In 11 Pacific Coast League at bats he has hit three homeruns with a .545 average. Next year should be his opportunity to make his major league debut.

4. Jake Bauers (Rays) - There is not a lot stopping Bauers from winning this position with the Rays. Brad Miller was moved from shortstop to play first base but that may not be a permanent move. Bauers has spent the whole year in AA and like Bell there is some question whether he will show the power to be a solution to the Rays first base hole. He has 14 homeruns this year are a career High for him. Richie Shaffer struggled this year so Bauers may be tops on the Rays depth chart for this position.

5. Dominic Smith (Mets) - Another hitter short of power. The end of season injury to Lucas Duda opened the door for Smith. The Mets felt their best option was to trade for the more experienced player James Loney, who like Smith lacks the power for the position. Smith has spent the full 2016 season in AA and has hit 14 homeruns, a career high for him. His .302 average and .294 career average shows he is more consistent with the bat than Bauers.

6. Bobby Bradley (Indians) - Power is not a problem for him. Making contact can be a challenge. His 29 homeruns has come with 170 strikeouts. He has spent the whole season in High A. Expect a hitter with a low batting average with lots of power. He is still a couple years away from the major leagues. The Indians have Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli for first base this year so they will need a player to cover this position in a couple of years.

7. Sam Travis (Red Sox) - In late May his season was ended with a torn ACL in his left knee. Travis Shaw has had an off year so with the Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval north of 30 the Red Sox would like to keep the reservation for Travis to play first base sometime in 2017. He did play 47 games in AAA before the injury.

8. Josh Naylor (Padres) - The Canadian first round pick has light tower power. The Marlins included Naylor in a trade to the Padres for Andrew Cashner. Naylor has 12 homeruns this year after being a first round pick of the Marlins last year.

9. Byung Ho Park (Twins) - Signed out of Korea after leading the KBO in homeruns for consecutive seasons. The start of the season was good but the middle season saw a struggle where he hit a couple decades below .200. The Twins set him to the minors to work on his swing after his struggles.

10. Renato Nunez (Athletics) - Nunez has shown double digit power for the last five years in the minor leagues. The Athletics minor leagues is littered with corner infielders. In a rebuilding phase the Athletics are looking for someone to play first base at the major league level. Nunez has hit 23 homeruns in the minors in 2016.