Boston Red Sox 2015 Top 20 Prospect Rankings

By: JP Schwartz
Twitter: @Jaypers413

Every year around this time I like to rank each team’s top overall prospects. My criteria are based on A: Past Performance and B: Future Potential (50% of each per prospect)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional scout, nor did I attend any minor league games this year. These lists are the product of my own research of online scouting reports and scouting videos, as well as statistics, and are compiled purely for entertainment purposes.

Send your questions or feedback to me on twitter @Jaypers413

To qualify for these lists, a prospect must have no more than 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues.

BOSTON RED SOX

1: Henry Owens LHP
2: Blake Swihart C
3: Rusney Castillo OF
4: Eduardo Rodriguez LHP
5: Manuel Margot OF
6: Garin Cecchini 3B
7: Rafael Devers 3B
8: Brian Johnson LHP
9: Edwin Escobar LHP
10: Michael Chavis 3B/2B
11: Anthony Ranaudo RHP
12: Michael Kopech RHP
13: Matt Barnes RHP
14: Trey Ball LHP
15: Deven Marrero SS
16: Sean Coyle 2B
17: Javier Guerra SS
18: Sam Travis 1B
19: Wendell Rijo 2B
20: Simon Mercedes RHP

2014 Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospect Rankings

By: J.P. Schwartz
Twitter: @Jaypers413

Every year around this time I like to rank each team’s top overall prospects. My criteria are based on A: Past Performance and B: Future Potential (50% of each per prospect)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional scout, nor did I attend any minor league games this year. These lists are the product of my own research of online scouting reports and statistics, and are compiled purely for entertainment purposes.

Send your questions or feedback to me on twitter @Jaypers413

To qualify for these lists, a prospect must have no more than 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues.

BOSTON RED SOX

1. Xander Bogaerts SS


2. Henry Owens RHP


3. Trey Ball LHP


4. Garin Cecchini 3B


5. Mookie Betts 2B


6. Blake Swihart C


7. Allen Webster RHP


8. Matt Barnes RHP


9. Jackie Bradley Jr OF


10. Anthony Ranaudo RHP


11. Manuel Margot OF


12. Deven Marrero SS


13. Dedgar Jimenez LHP


14. Jon Denney C


15. Joe Gunkel RHP


16. Tzu-Wei Lin SS


17. Wendell Rijo SS


18. Bryce Brentz OF


19. Teddy Stankiewicz RHP


20. Daniel McGrath LHP

Interview With Boston Red Sox Prospect Mookie Betts

By Andrew Martin
@HistorianAndrew
BaseballHistorian.Blogspot.com

The Boston Red Sox haven’t had much go right with their team this year leaving fans seeking positivity anywhere they can find it. Young prospects are one source of optimism, as the franchise has a number of players who are candidates to eventually contribute to leading the team back to winning ways. In 2012 one young player who emerged as someone to keep an eye on was infielder Mookie Betts, who if he continues to develop will play his way into Fenway within the next few years.

The diminutive Betts (5’9, 174 lbs) was a three-sport high school star in Nashville, Tennessee. He bowled and played baseball and basketball, but after hitting .509 as a senior his future was clearly in baseball. He had a scholarship to the University of Tennessee, but the Red Sox drafted him in the 5th round of the 2011 MLB Draft and he started his professional career instead.

Just 19 this past season, the right-handed Betts impressed with the NY-Penn League Lowell Spinners, mainly playing second base and hitting .271 with 31 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 71 games. If he continues to develop and produce it will only be a matter of time before he is writing his own chapter in the record books of the Red Sox.

Having grown up playing three sports (baseball, football, and basketball), how did you end up choosing baseball?
I just feel like it was my best opportunity. I liked playing basketball a lot but I’m too small for that, and baseball has been my love my whole life. I feel like I now have the best opportunity to make it to the top of this sport.

Did you have a favorite team or player when you were growing up?
Not really. I watched everybody and learned from everybody, and that’s how I learned how to play, really.

You had originally committed to the University of Tennessee. Were you going to play just baseball, or other sports as well?>
I think it was just going to be baseball. I wasn’t going to try and do anything else because baseball is really time consuming.

How close were you to actually going to Tennessee?
I didn’t sign until 30 minutes before the deadline. I was pretty sure I was going to go to school, and then the last offer came and me and my parents sat, and we had to really sit and talk about it. We came to the conclusion that this is what I want to do, so school had to be done with.

How did you know the Red Sox were interested in drafting you?
They came and watched me in high school. I went out and ate with my scout and the day of (the draft), they called me and I talked to them. They asked me, “would you be willing [to sign in] the fifth round”. Of course I was. I wasn’t expecting it. Me and my mom were just sitting there watching tv and we heard my name. After that, been busting; really.

After you signed with Boston, did you do anything special to celebrate for yourself or with your family?
Two days after (the draft) I was up in Boston. After that we haven’t done anything.

What is one thing you are hoping to work on and improve the most this season?
My strength and my mental game. Baseball has got a lot of mind games going on, and I feel if I get my mind stronger I will become stronger and develop more as a player.

Boston Red Sox 2012 Mid-Season Top 5 Prospect Rankings

By: J.P. Schwartz
@Jaypers413

As we are now halfway into the season and the signing deadline for 2012 draft picks has passed, here is my revised list of top 5 prospects in the Boston Red Sox organization.

Remember, a prospect must have fewer than 130 ABs or 50 IP in the Major Leagues to qualify.
(Stats through 7/17/2012)

1) Xander Bogaerts
Highest Level: High-A Salem Red Sox
2012 Stats:
MILB: .286, 17(2B), 2(3B), 12HR, 48RBI

2) Matt Barnes
Highest Level: High-A Salem Red Sox
2012 Stats:
MILB: 7-3, 2.41ERA, 86IP, 19BB, 105K, .211BAA

3) Jackie Bradley
Highest Level: AA Portland Seadogs
2012 Stats:
MILB: .349, 35(2B), 4(3B), 3HR, 45RBI, 19SB

4) Deven Marrero
Highest Level: Short-A Lowell Spinners
2012 Stats:
MILB: .266, 6(2B), 1HR, 5RBI, 8SB

5) Blake Swihart
Highest Level: Low-A Greenville Drive
2012 Stats:
MILB: .265, 11(2B), 3(3B), 4HR, 35RBI

Send your questions or feedback to J.P. on twitter @Jaypers413

Interview With Boston Red Sox 1st Round Pick Pat Light

By Andrew Martin
@HistorianAndrew
BaseballHistorian.Blogspot.com

The struggles of the 2012 Boston Red Sox have been accentuated by the decline of their starting pitching. Having had some fairly significant recent misses in free agency with Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey, new GM Ben Cherington hopes to rebuild the team’s pitching depth through sound drafting and developing. He took two pitchers in the first round of this year’s draft, and Pat Light, the 37th overall selection, is someone the organization is very excited about.

Light is a big righty with a mid-90′s fastball and developing and projectable secondary stuff. After going 20-0 during his high school career he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 28th round in 2009, but elected to attend Monmouth University (NJ) instead. He dominated in college, culminating with his inclusion on this year’s Golden Spikes Award watch list, all while going 8-3, with a 2.40 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 101.1 innings. His impressive production and steady improvement all appealed to the Red Sox, who believe he can be a quality major league starter.

Light recently signed his first contract and was assigned to the short season Lowell Spinners. I was able to catch him coming off the field after conditioning drills earlier this week and got to find out a little more about this exciting young pitcher.

How did you first become interested in baseball?
My dad was a big baseball player. He got me into it when I was real young. So, it has been basically from birth that I have been playing baseball.

Who were your favorite team and player when you were growing up?
Frank Thomas, playing for the White Sox; that was my favorite player growing up. He retired and ever since then I have just been a fan of baseball.

Is there a pitcher you model yourself after?
I guess I would say back in the day it would be Roy Halladay. He has that two-seam sink that I used to have that I am trying to get back. Right now don’t know if there is really a pitcher that I can model myself after. I’m kind of a hard throwing guy with some good secondary stuff. I don’t know if I am as developed as some of those big guys yet.

Can you run through a little bit of what your draft experience was like?
It was exciting. It was a year long process. Once the draft ended last year, it started up for me. It was exciting though and a good year. The fall was exciting with all the teams coming to watch me pitch and my teammates. You don’t get that exposure a lot coming from a small school like Monmouth. The spring obviously was awesome, as there were scouts at every game. Finally draft day was June 4th. I was sitting around my tv right around 6-ish with my family and ended up getting drafted around 11:30 by the Red Sox, a storied franchise. It couldn’t have been better.

Have you been to Boston yet or interacted with anyone from the team?
I went to Boston two days after the draft. I was up in Boston doing some physical work and getting some tests done on me, and stuff like that. I was able to sit in the locker room for about two hours, so I got to meet most of the guys and see how they did most of their daily stuff.

What is one thing you are hoping to work on or improve the most this season?
I would say my secondary pitches. I do want to get that two-seam back running, but right now my main focus is getting that secondary stuff refined to catch up with my fastball.

VIDEO: Nearly Naked Man Runs A Muck On Field At Rogers Center During Red Sox vs Blue Jays Game

It’s just six games into the Major League Baseball season, and we have our second fan on the field video. A couple of days ago we showed you a guy dressed as Batman running loose at Camden Yards. Today we stay in the AL East where this fan decided it would be wise to drop trow and run around nearly naked at Rogers Field in Toronto during Tuesday night’s Red Sox vs Blue Jays game. He evades security for a good minute before getting taken down hard. Enjoy.

Q&A With Boston Red Sox Prospect Boss Moanaroa

By: Andrew Martin
@historianandrew
BaseballHistorian.Blogspot.com

The Boston Red Sox look high and low to ferret out prospects for their farm system. In recent years they have expanded their efforts outside of the draft, and have scouted in countries like the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, and Australia. A number of intriguing talents have been uncovered, with one of the most recent finds being Boss Moanaroa, a powerful first baseman out of Australia.
Just 20 years of age, Moanaroa already has three professional seasons under his belt, making it as far as short season Lowell this past year. The Red Sox are taking it slow with him because of his limited experience and raw skills, but have to be pleased with what they have seen so far. In 105 games the left-handed hitter has put up a .258 average, with 7 home runs and 47 RBI. His .351 OPB is also impressive for someone his age, and while he is still acclimating to first base, the Red Sox believe he is making progress.
This past season I caught up with Moanaroa to check in with him about his path to professional baseball.

How did you first become interested in playing baseball?
It was by my dad, in Australia. He actually played cricket and softball. He played that for a while, he played when he was young actually. We actually started off in t-ball, and went from there.

Was it through softball that you grew to like baseball?
I didn’t really play softball. I watched it, but my dad told me I needed to try baseball. We went along with that, and I’m glad I did.

How did you first find out that the Red Sox were interested in you?
There are Australian scouts for different organizations, and I guess they approached me. It just went from there. For me it was just a shocked because I was 16. We talked and had a one-on-one session, and it went from there.

Did your brother (Moko) sign at the same time?
No. He actually came over here, and the first game he played, he hit a home run. They put a contract out, and it went from there as well.

When you signed with Boston, did you do anything special for yourself or your family?
We actually went out for a big dinner. It wasn’t really too out of control; just had the family over.

How has it been adapting to the United States and minor league baseball?
A challenge is the routine you have to get in to. You play every day, and in Australia, you probably play like twice a week. The main thing for me has just been getting into my own routine and sticking with it. I’m doing really well so far, so I have to keep that up.

Complete Listing Of Boston Red Sox Minor Leaguers On Twitter

Here is a list of Boston Red Sox Minor League Prospects who you can follow on twitter. Please tweet us @MinorLeagueBlog if you know of someone we are missing.

Chris Balcom-Miller — @C_Bmiller89
Drake Britton — @drakebritton
Jackie Bradley Jr. — @JackieBradleyJr
Dusty Brown — @TheDustyBrown
Caleb Clay — @CalebClay
Keith Couch — @KeithCouch55
Sean Coyle — @SeenCoyle
Ryan Dent — @LB_D3NT
Drew Dominguez — @DrewingWork
Luis Exposito — @Expo2323
Matthew Fox — @FoxRedSox16
Seth Garrison — @SethMF7
Alex Hassan — @AlexEH27
Jeremy Hazelbaker — @J_Hazelbaker
Jayson Hernandez — @Jays0n_Hernan
Peter Hissey — @P_Hissey
Tommy Hottovy — @TommyHottovy
Swen Huijer — @SwenHuijer
Brock Huntzinger — @BDiesel24
Jose Iglesias — @JoseIglesias_SS
Matty Johnson — @Matty_j870
James Kang — @Jkang11
Jeremy Kehrt — @jk9er
Matt Kramer — @MDKramerica
Will Latimer — @lattyfatstacks
Tyler Lockwood — @tylerlockwood
Michael McCarthy — @mmccarthy35
Will Middlebrooks — @16WMBrooks
Boss Moanaroa — @BossMoanaroa
Daniel Nava — @dnavs33
Kendrick Perkins — @KCHOICE23
Noe Ramirez — @NOERAMIREZ24
Anthony Ranaudo — @anthony_ranaudo
Blake Aubry Swihart — @BLAKESWIHART_1
Ryan Westmoreland — @RWesty25
Brandon Workman — @b_workman12
Madison Younginer — @MYounginer

VIDEO: Red Sox Prospect Ryan Westmoreland Thanks Barrow Neurological Institute For Saving His Life

Baseball became secondary for Boston Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland (KEY ROOKIE: 2008 Razor Letterman) when he underwent surgery in March of 2010 to remove a cavernous malformation from his brain stem. He had the surgery performed by Dr. Robert Spetzler at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Westmoreland, who recently faced live pitching for the first time since his surgery, shares this thank you to the Institute for saving his life and shares his story of overcoming the odds to once again play the game he loves.

Interview With Boston Red Sox Dutch Pitching Prospect Swen Huijer

By: Andrew Martin
@RedSoxFanNum1
BaseballHistorian.Blogspot.com

The profile of Dutch baseball is rapidly gaining prominence. In addition to just beating Cuba in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, more and more players from the Netherlands are signing professional contracts to play in the United States. There are only two current Dutch players in the major leagues, Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Rick VandenHurk, but more are on the way from the minors, as baseball has made big gains in popularity in the Netherlands, where soccer is king.

One of the Dutch minor league players is pitching prospect Swen Huijer. The lanky 6’9 right-hander was signed by the Boston Red Sox as a free agent in 2008. He has been groomed slowly thus far, pitching in the Gulf Coast League his first three seasons, and playing for short season Lowell in 2011. It was a successful campaign at Lowell, as he went 2-2 in 14 relief appearances, with a 2.43 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 40.2 innings. He has pitched effectively in each of his professional seasons, and it will be interesting to see how he does in 2012.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the soon to be 21 year ould Huijer and found out a little more about his experiences playing baseball professionally in the United States, what he does to prepare to take the mound, and his involvement with Dutch baseball.

What do you feel you improved upon most in 2011?
From December on, when I started playing catch, I tried to work on my off-speed a lot since these where very raw. During extended spring I seemed to start to get the hang of it and got more feel for my change-up. My curveball wasn’t as loopy as it was before because I gained a couple miles velocity.

During the off-season, is it difficult to find a balance between relaxing and keeping up on your conditioning?
From the moment I come home I take a couple weeks off from baseball. I try to give the body at least four good weeks rest before I start working out again. Once October comes I’ll run six or seven miles, at least three times a week. Next to that I’ll spend four days a week lifting weights and doing lots of agility.

Prior to signing a professional baseball contract, you went to cooking school and were going to be a chef. Do you find time to cook in the off-season? What are your specialties?
In my first off-season I worked a lot in the kitchen where I finished my internship. After that, I really wanted to focus on baseball. So I started giving baseball clinics throughout the Netherlands. Last year I got a job offer as a pitching instructor for the MLB Baseball Academy in Amsterdam for the time that I’m home. This way I can help raise the level of baseball in the Netherlands by teaching them what I’ve learned in the last five years in the States. It’s a lot of fun and I get to work with the best talent that we have in our country. So all I do right now is cook at home for friends and family, and experiment with recipes. One of my favorite ingredients to work with is duck. No matter if you want it classic with an orange sauce, or maybe smoked on top of a salad, duck is always tasty!

Talk about your status with the Dutch National Team. Will you be playing for Netherlands during the 2013 World Baseball Classic?
A lot of people know that the Dutch won the World Championships in Panama two weeks ago. It proves that beating the Dominican Republic twice in the previous WBC tournament wasn’t just luck. It shows that we do know what were doing even though were not able to play the game as much as you do in the States. I still practice indoors with the squad during the winter to get my arm in shape for spring training. Hopefully I’ll be able to fight for a spot for the WBC in 2013.

Who has been the most influential person for you in the Red Sox organization in terms of giving coaching you or providing advice?
I think everybody in the organization has had a huge impact on my life; from coaches, to teammates, to people that work in the front office. You learn a lot from everybody that is around the game. Two people that really helped me adjust to my new life in the United States were Goose Gregson (pitching coach) and Dave Tomlin (manager). They really looked after me and kicked my ass into the right direction where needed.

How much contact do you have with the Red Sox organization during the off-season?
Since I live in the Netherlands during the off-season it’s hard for the Red Sox to check up on me. It’s my own responsibility to follow the program they give you and be ready when March comes. In the end that’s the reason why you’re a professional athlete, right?

What do you think about more: Wondering if you will make it to the major leagues or thinking about what it will be like when you do make the major leagues?
At this point it’s not even crossing my mind. All I want to do is get in the best shape possible for spring training, pitch in a league where the Red Sox put me, and whatever happens, happens. It’s a long way to the top, but I’ll do everything that’s in my own control to get there.