Archive for the 'Red Sox' Category

Chavis Leads More Hot Prospects

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Michael Chavis 3B (Red Sox) - The 2014 first round draft pick has come back from injury with his bat on fire. A three homerun game after a homerun the day before has given him four homeruns in two games. In four games he is hitting .467 with 8 RBIs. His third homerun in yesterday’s game was a two run walk off homer giving the Salem Red Sox a 7-6 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. At some point the Red Sox need to find a replacement for Pablo Sandoval. Chavez is hitting .467 in the four games.

Christian Arroyo SS (Giants) - Christian has not shown the power for third or the range to play short. His bat is rocking early in the 2017 season. He hit his third homerun, his second in two days to equal the number of homeruns he hit in 119 games in 2016 in 12 games in 2017. A four hit game gives him four multi hit games in five games to raise his average to .479. Christian currently has a 12 game hitting streak since the start of the season.

Cody Bellinger CF - 1B (Dodgers) - Cody is seeing more games in centerfield to get his bat in the lineup. That should have Joc Pederson looking in the rear view mirror. Cody blasted two homeruns yesterday to give him five for the year. 16 whiffs in 13 games is Joc Pederson like but his .360 average is not. He played his second game in centerfield during the two homer game.

Brett Phillips RF (Brewers) - Brett also hit two homeruns including a grand slam to drive in six runs on the same day. The two hits gave him four consecutive games with two hits or more to raise his average to .318. Brett also coaxed two walks in the game to double his total for the year.

Bobby Bradley 1B (Indians) - Bobby Bradley started the season 3 for 28. His power is starting to show his last two games with his second and third homeruns of the year. Last night he drove in five to almost double his RBI total to 11, four more than his hit total. A 4 for 10 spree in his last three games has raised his average to .184. Bradley has big time power with 83 homers his last three years.

Tyler Krieger 2B (Indians) - In the same game that Bobby Bradley hit a three run homer and drove in five runs Tyler was a triple short of the cycle in a four for five day. He was two RBIs short of Bradley in the RBI production. Tyler has slashed hits in seven of his eight games for a .419 average.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - Jon pitched 5.1 innings of no hit relief, walking just one and striking out six in a game Kane County eventually won 1-0. The 2016 third round pick has yet to give up an earned run in 15.1 innings, allowing just five hits. The opposition is hitting him at a .104 clip and he has an impressive 4/20 walk to whiff ratio.

Dylan Cease RHP (Cubs) - Dylan threw six no hit innings in his last start, walking three and striking out seven. With his triple digit fastball many think his best role could be in relief as a closer, but in three starts he has only given up one run, a solo homerun in 15 innings for a 0.60 average. The opposition is hitting .125 against him and he has struck out 22 in 15 innings. Great Lakes got a hit in the seventh inning in a game they lost 3-0.

Hot Starts for the Minor Leaguers

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Myworld was in Philly last week for a volleyball tournament so we got a little behind on the minor league baseball season. Rather than go through each of the players day by day we will summarize some of the hottest players in this 2017 minor league season.

Cedric Mullins CF (Orioles) - There was some talk Cedric would be the break out prospect from the Orioles system in 2017. That breakout has started early in the season. In his first seven games he has gotten at least one hit, with three or more hits in three games. The 13th round pick of the 2015 draft out of Campbell is hitting 18 for 31 (.516) with three homeruns. He was hitting .577 but a 1 for 5 day dropped his average 60 points. Last year Mullins hit 14 homeruns with 30 stolen bases in 36 attempts. In his first seven games this year he has only stolen one base.

Carlos Rincon RF (Dodgers) - The Dominican hit four homeruns in three consecutive games. Half of his hits have been homeruns with a troubling 11 whiffs in 23 at bats. The Dodgers have a crowded outfield trying to find time for Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Andrew Toles. Last year Carlos hit 13 homeruns in 52 games for a .661 slugging percentage. At .913 slugging this early in the season he is a player to watch.

Willy Garcia RF (White Sox) - At one point he was a top prospect of the Pittsburgh Pirates. His bat failed him and the Pirates designated him for assignment in December 2016. The White Sox picked him up on waivers. He’s still only 24. Willy has collected at least one hit in his first six games for a .440 average. Two homeruns have travelled off his bat with RBIs in each game except one for a total of six. Garcia has shown the patience for eight walks and a .633 OBA, putting him in position to score 9 runs. It appears the White Sox have found an outfielder in their rebuilding plans.

Josh Ockimey 1B (Red Sox) - Josh has struggled his first three years in the minors. The fifth round pick in the 2014 draft did break out to hit 18 homeruns last year, but that came with a .226 average. He hopes to do better in 2017, working on his ability to make better contact. So far so good early in the season with a 12 for 27 start for a .444 average. His only homerun was hit on opening day but the power will come. The patience at the plate continues with four walks in seven games.

Jomar Reyes 3B (Orioles) - A six game hitting streak to start the season for the Manny Machado replacement at third base. The Dominican is repeating the Carolina League after hitting just .228 last year. He will not stay there for long after his 13 for 20 for a .520 average start of the year this year. His bat has only been able to power one homerun but the power will come.

Dane Dunning RHP (White Sox) - He was the other pitcher acquired from the Nationals for Adam Eaton. The less heralded pitcher was a first round pick in 2016. He made his opening day start, working six innings and allowing just one run. He struck out 8 in his six innings of work.

Marcos Diplan RHP (Brewers) - He threw five innings of no hit ball in his opening start in the minor leagues. The Brewers acquired Diplan from the Rangers in the Yovani Gallardo trade back in 2015. He walked three and struck out five. The Dominican is not a hard thrower with a fastball that sits in the low 90s. His slider is a good pitch. Last year Marcos struggled in the Florida State League (4.98 ERA).

Forrest Whitely RHP (Astros) - At 6′7 the 2016 first round pick of the Astros is a pretty intimidating presence. His fastball comes in at the mid-90s with lots of swings and misses (12.5 per nine in his opening season in 2016). His first start in Low A he allowed just one hit in five innings of work, striking out six in five innings of work.

Top Prospects Opening Day

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

The minor leagues had their opening day yesterday and below were some of the stars:

Cedric Mullins CF (Orioles) - Cedric may only be 5′8″ but last year he hit 14 homeruns and stole 30 bases playing at Low A Delmarva. That is a good measure of speed and power. He skipped High A Frederick to play at AA Bowie this year and went 4 for 5 with a triple and homerun with two runs batted in the leadoff spot in a 13 - 7 opening day win over Akron. The 13th round pick has gotten a lot of press about being the Orioles most likely prospect to have a breakout year.

Yu-Cheng Chang SS (Indians) - The Taiwan native drove in five runs in a 13-7 loss to Bowie. He finished the day 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. His defense may be better suited for third but the Indians will keep him at short. Last year he hit 13 homeruns in High A. If he can play short he would be a player to provide power at the position.

Forrest Wall CF (Astros) - The Rockies drafted him in the supplemental first round in 2014 but could not find a position for him. The Astros acquired him, stuck him in centerfield and he went 3 for 5 with a double and homerun on opening day. Wall could always hit. His defense at second base was always an issue. Perhaps centerfield is the answer to get his bat in the lineup.

Travis Lakins RHP (Red Sox) - A sixth round pick of the Red Sox in 2015, he struggled last year in the Carolina League with a 5.93 ERA. He got the opening day nod in a start for Salem throwing 5.1 innings without allowing a run and striking out 9. His fastball sits in the low 90s with the potential to reach mid-90s. His success will come from plus secondary pitches and improvement in command. Despite his good outing the Down East Wood Ducks rallied for six runs in the ninth inning to win 7-6. The Down East Wood Ducks? Where did that name come from?

Andrew Moore RHP (Mariners) - Moore went six innings for the Arkansas Travelers, allowing just one hit and striking out seven. The Travelers also lost their game when Corpus Christi rallied for two runs in the eighth to win 2-1. Moore was a Competitive Balance Round B draft in 2015. He is not overpowering with a fastball in the high 80s to low 90s. Command and effective secondary pitches will be keys to his success.

Myworld’s Top 100 - 10 -1

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Myworld finally finishes our top 100 list. It took awhile to post the top ten. Next in line are the organizational rankings for the major league farm teams.

10. J.P. Crawford SS (Phillies) 8.85 - J.P. did not have a good year from an offensive perspective, hitting just .244 in AAA with a .318 slugging percentage. He does have a smooth glove and makes solid contact, walking almost as many times as he whiffs (232/243). The Phillies current shortstop Freddy Galvis also has a smooth glove so J.P. will have to show a better bat if he wants to replace Galvis. The power may be less than Galvis but the overall consistency with the bat and glove may tip the job to Crawford. He lacks the speed to steal bases but the Phillies hope his high walk rate will be enough to make him a successful leadoff hitter.

9. Brendan Rodgers SS/2B (Rockies) 8.87 - The Rockies currently have Trevor Story at short but his 27 homeruns would make him a nice fit at third. A lot will depend on how Rodgers handles short as he climbs the minor league ladder. Last year he hit .281 with 19 homeruns at Low A. The 2015 first round pick also has the power to move to third. Brendan won’t give you tremendous range at short, but he will give you consistency, though he did make 16 errors in 70 plus games in Low A last year. Look for Brendan to start the season in High A. His bat will determine if he gets a promotion to AA.

8. Eloy Jimenez OF (Cubs) 8.87 - The Cubs have another big bat lying in wait in Low A. Last year the Dominican hit .329 with 14 homeruns in Low A, stitching together a .901 OPS. Eloy would be a five tool player if he carried a better arm. If his speed does not allow him to play center field he will move to left. The speed is not burner so there will not be a plethora of stolen bases. What will separate Eloy from the others is his power accompanied by a high batting average.

7. Cody Bellinger 1B (Dodgers) 9.12 - Combine a glove that should win gold gloves with a bat that should produce 30 plus homeruns a year and you could have an Anthony Rizzo type of player. Adrian Gonzalez is currently occupying first base for the Dodgers so Cody is getting some playing time in the outfield. His speed is good for a first baseman and he has a strong arm, but he won’t win any gold gloves in the outfield as he will do at first base. In an 11 at bat debut at AAA he hit three homeruns and hit .545. This is where he will start the 2017 season. At AA he socked 23 balls over the fence for a .843 OPS.

6. Amed Rosario SS (Mets) 9.13 - The Mets have been dealing with the redwoods of Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores at shortstop. Once they see the ground Amed can cover in the dirt Met fans will realize what a true shortstop can do. Last year he hit .324 at High A and AA with five homeruns. He will not show a lot of power but if he can hit above .270 his defense will justify his play at short. Expect him to start the season in AA. Myworld was impressed by what we saw from him in spring training. The dilemma the Mets face in a couple years is they have another gold glove fielding shortstop in Andres Gimenez, who will make his United States debut in 2017.

5. Gleyber Torres SS (Yankees) 9.58 - The Yankees acquired Torres in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Torres spent the season in High A. With Didi Gregorius at shortstop the Yankees can show patience with him. When he is ready he will show tools far greater than Didi, with the bat and with the glove. The power began maturing last year with a career high 11 homeruns. He shows enough patience at the plate to take walks, putting together a .354 OBA. The only tool in his game that is not above average is his speed, which is considered average. Torres should start the season in AA in 2017.

4. Alex Reyes RHP (Cardinals) 9.72 - He would not be on this list if not for a 50 game suspension for a drug of abuse that delayed his start to the major league season. He should appear on this list next year after learning he will undergo Tommy John surgery, forcing him to miss the 2017 season. His fastball explodes to the plate in the high 90s, occasionally hitting triple digits. His breaking ball and change are also plus pitches leading to 10.2 whiffs per nine innings in a 46 inning major league debut. The Cardinals were hoping he would team up with Carlos Martinez to give them two fireballers to head their rotation. Time will tell how much his pitches will be impacted upon his return in 2018.

3. Dansby Swanson SS (Braves) 9.73 - The Diamondbacks made Dansby the first pick in the 2015 draft. They made a horrible trade, giving him away to the Braves as one of three players for Shelby Miller. Dansby went from High A to the Braves major league roster last year, hitting .302 for the Braves. He appears to have beaten out Ozzie Albies for the Braves shortstop job. Miller struggled with the Diamondbacks for a 6.15 ERA. Dansby will be the starting shortstop for the Braves next year. His defense is smooth, his offense should contend for batting titles and his all around game should make him an All Star.

2. Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) 9.8 - He was number one on this last year but his struggles in his major league debut dropped him down a notch. Now he has traded his Red Sox for White Sox. There is no question that Moncada will hit, but 12 whiffs in 20 major league at bats indicate he still has some issues to work on. Perhaps trying to learn a new position (third base) impacted his bat. The White Sox will keep him at second. His bat should hit for power and average and his speed could translate to 30 plus stolen bases. As he matures he could eventually be a 30/30 player (homeruns/stolen bases). Expect Yoan to start the season in AAA with a major league callup possible once he achieves consistent success.

1. Andrew Benintendi OF (Red Sox) 10 - Andrew should win batting titles with enough power to hit 30 plus homeruns. He also has the speed and range to play centerfield but the Red Sox have that position covered with Jackie Bradley. Andrew will fit in left field. If he finds success in the major leagues maybe his next goal will be to find world peace. There doesn’t seem to be anything Andrew has trouble achieving success at. Starting the season Andrew will be favored to win the Rookie of the year award.

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.