Results tagged ‘ Alex Hassan ’

Homestand Photos, April 20-25

Although the PawSox fell short yesterday of what would have been a franchise-record ten consecutive wins, the team still has the top record in the International League at 15-6.

Since the PawSox have today off before leaving tomorrow morning for a ten-day road road trip, this seemed like the perfect chance to share some photos from the recent homestand where club went 5-1. Special thanks to PawSox contributing photographer Kelly O’Connor (@sittingstillsox) for these great images.

Will Middlebrooks did a lot of this over the last six games. The Red Sox No. 1 prospect finished the home stand with four home runs.

Middlebrooks wasn’t the only one to go deep often. Mauro Gomez received plenty of high fives following each of his five homers over the last six games.

The PawSox first-ever “Bark in the Park” was a huge succes!

Infielder Jon Hee showing off some Matrix ball skills.

Mark Melancon made his Pawtucket debut during the homestand. The righty made three appearances and collected his first save of the year.

We had a chance to see Alex Hassan make some great plays in the outfield with both his glove and his arm.

It was great to watch Rich Hill pitch for the PawSox as he continues to recover from Tommy John Surgery.

As his bat is heating up, outfielder Josh Kroeger made a couple of terrific plays defensively. 

So Will Rhymes doesn’s play for the PawSox, this was too good to pass up. Lots of credit goes to Kelly for noticing that Will shaved his mustache during the middle of the game! (This was later confirmed via Twitter.) I guess he wasn’t hitting well enough with the ‘stache.

Thanks once again to Kelly for these great pics. The PawSox open up the road trip tomorrow night from Columbus in Game 1 against the Clippers. First pitch it set for 7:05 p.m., we’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 6:50.

Talk with you then.



Homestand Photos

The PawSox first homestand of 2012 wraps up this afternoon with a 12:05 first pitch against Lehigh Valley. Here are some photos from the first five games of the season at McCoy Stadium thanks to photographer Kelly O’Connor.

PawSox manager Arnie Beyler and hitting coach Gerald Perry share a laugh during the player introductions on Opening Night.

Pawtucket outfielder Daniel Nava being introduced on Opening Night.

Pre-Game ceremonies on the field prior to Opening Night at McCoy on Thursday.

Easter Candy Hunt! Thousands of pieces of candy were picked up in minutes in-between Saturday’s doubleheader.

Smores, anyone? Nate Spears stays warm during Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Alex Hassan, in his first Triple-A start in right field, gunned down speedy Dominic Brown at home trying to score on a sacrifice fly attempt.

PawSox first baseman Lars Anderson showing off some pre-game ball skills.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias has already dazzled defensively this season.

It seems as if center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin makes a catch like this every night.

Nate Spears signing autographs for some kids above.

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway makes time to sign for some young fans in a sutie.

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is in his second season managing Lehigh Valley.

Second baseman Nate Spears makes a diving stop on a ball in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Thanks again to Kelly O’Connor for bundling up and taking these great pics. Steve and I hit the air at 11:50 this morning for the series finale versus the IronPigs.

Talk with you then.



Goodbye, Ft. Myers

My first Spring Training was a blast.  I saw nine different games, met some terrific people, and learned a lot. I’m timing things right because this morning it’s raining for the first time all week.

Yesterday I went to the PawSox game at the Twins’ facility with my friend Mike Antonellis, the “Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs.” Here are some pics from yesterday’s game.

Former PawSox and Red Sox player, Aaron Bates. Now with the Twins, Aaron was the first player I ever covered to get called up to the big leagues.

Aaron talking with Mike after the game.

Red Sox outfield prospect Alex Hassan playing in his first minor league game since being sent down from big league camp.

Billy Buckner, no relation to Bill Buckner, pitched yesterday for the PawSox. The 28-year-old has appeared in 36 major league games (21 starts) since 2007 with Kansas City and Arizona.

Jeremy Kehrt appeared in seven games (two starts) for the PawSox last year.  The righty pitched for Scottsdale in the prospect-driven Arizona Fall League this past off-season.

The PawSox fell to Rochester 6-2 yesterday with Kehrt getting the start, pitching two innings, and suffering the loss. Both of Pawtucket’s runs came on RBI groundouts in the fifth inning. The only real offensive highlight was a sixth-inning triple by J.C. Linares to right-center. The ground shook when he slid into third base.

This will do it for me from beautiful Ft. Myers.  Today is a camp day for the PawSox (no games), but tomorrow they’ll host Rochester at 1:00 p.m. EST. My broadcast partner Steve Hyder will be down here for a week starting  tomorrow and will have lots of coverage on his blog which can be read here.

Thanks for your terrific readership this week – it’s been a privilege writing for you each day. I’m sure Spring Training 2013 will be even better, but before then, I’m counting down the 11 days until Opening Day 2012 on April 5th at McCoy Stadium.

Hope to see you there.



PawSox Picture of the Week

Now that we’re under a month away from Opening Day here at McCoy Stadium, it’s amazing how much things are really beginning to ramp up around the ballpark.  Our sales team is staying later each night and are constantly making phone calls throughout the day.  Our maintenance crew is giving a face-lift to some of the field level suites, and our graphics team of Kevin and Bonnie are clicking, highlighting, dragging and dropping like a couple of crazed computer programmers.

Despite the recent frenzy, PawSox President Mike Tamburro took some time this past weekend to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading some classic storybooks to some young PawSox fans.

Although it appears as though Mike is reading a storybook, I’m willing to go out on a limb that Mike is actually telling these kids, “McCoy Stadium is the most affordable, family-friendly entertainment experience in New England.  Do any of you like soda and popcorn?”

All joking aside, Mike, who was recently elected to the International League Hall of Fame, is one of the hardest-working, most well-respected executives in all of minor league baseball.  It says a lot about your organization when the team president makes appearances like this.

Report from the Fort

  • Early indications are that PawSox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has really impressed new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine:

“His offensive acumen is well beyond his years,” said Valentine. “He’ll see a pitcher that he’s seen before and be able to pull down that menu of pitches he throws, understand the speed, the angles, the programs that a pitcher uses to try to get a hitter out.”

Read the rest of what Valentine had to say in this article written by Alex Speier.

  • Speaking of Speier, he conducted a terrific interview with future PawSox outfielder, Alex Hassan.  Here’s my favorite quote from Hassan during their conversation:
“When my eyes tell me that’s a pitch to hit hard, that’s when I swing.”
Listen to the full interview.
  • It was a thrill for me to get to interview the great Joe Castiglione. (Boston Red Sox)

    In case you missed it, Episodes 2 and 3 of PawSox Insider is now available for your listening pleasure on iTunes.  We’ve already received over 500 downloads from our first two shows of the year and hope that you continue to listen “on demand” via iTunes as the season approaches.  You can listen on your computer or download the shows to your phone, iPod, or other portable .mp3 player and take us wherever you go.

          In the latest episodes Steve and I chatted with:
  • Joe Castiglione – “Voice of the Red Sox”
  • Ryan Kalish – Red Sox outfielder
  • Ben Crockett – Red Sox Director of Player Development
  • Arnie Beyeler – PawSox manager
  • Brian MacPherson – Red Sox Beat Writer, Providence Journal
  • Alex Speier – Red Sox Reporter,
  • Thanks to my most recent subscribers: clemson28, jws02673, and kenfish1.  We’re up to 48 subscribers now and I just might have to conduct a brief email interview with my 50th subscriber.  Just think, world-wide fame could be yours if you happen to be lucky No. 50.  Subscribing is easy: just enter your email address in the empty box in the top-right corner of this screen and click “Subscribe.”
  • Along those lines, thanks to all my loyal readers who have helped to get this blog off the ground.  In two months you’ve given me over 11,000 hits and made this the top-read minor league blog during the month of February.  I’m so grateful for your continued support.



PawSox Roster Projection

Since Grapefruit League play officially kicks off this afternoon, what better time than to try and guess what the PawSox Opening Day roster will look like.  We won’t know the actual roster until a couple weeks before April 5, but the good folks at have already given it a guess.

Here’s what they came up with:

Pojected Starting Lineup (*indicates left-handed batter **indicates switch-hitter) 
1 CF Che-Hsuan Lin
2B Brad Emaus
1B Lars Anderson*
C Ryan Lavarnway
3B Will Middlebrooks
RF Josh Kroeger*
7 DH Mauro Gomez
LF Alex Hassan
SS Jose Iglesias

If Jose Iglesias breaks camp with the PawSox, he likely won't be with the club for very long. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Bench
C Luis Exposito
C Max St. Pierre
IF Pedro Ciriaco
IF/OF Tony Thomas
OF Juan Carlos Linares
OF Daniel Nava**
OF Jason Repko

I have great memories of watching Danieal Nava play in Portland during the 2009 season. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Starting Rotation
RHP Ross Ohlendorf
RHP Vicente Padilla
RHP Clay Mortensen
RHP Alex Wilson
RHP Carlos Silva
6 RHP Brandon Duckworth
7 RHP John Maine

Brandon Duckworth will once again give some stability and veteran leadership to the PawSox rotation in 2012. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projected Bullpen
CL RHP Scott Atchison
SU RHP Junichi Tazawa
SU RHP Tony Peña, Jr.
MID RHP Chris Carpenter
MID LHP Jesse Carlson
MID RHP Sean White
MID LHP Justin Thomas
MID RHP Will Inman
MID RHP Justin Germano
LR RHP Doug Mathis

Junichi Tazawa, who entered the Red Sox system in 2009 with so much hype and promise, pitched in Salem, Portland, Pawtucket, and Boston last season. (Kelly O'Connor)

Projecting a roster at the start of Spring Training is never easy, but it’s still fun (when someone else gives) it a try.  Enjoy the Red Sox game this afternoon and have a great rest of your weekend.



New Jersey’s Green Monster

Ahhh, Saturday.  My clever wife buttered me up this morning by cooking me a pancake breakfast, only to then summon me to curtain-hanging-duty.  So, yes, by taking a blog-break, I’m risking my marriage for you, my loyal reader.

You might remember my video interview with Red Sox prospect Alex Hassan earlier this winter. Among other things, he talked about how he built a replica Fenway Park in his backyard.  The image below might not be an exact replica, but one New Jersey resident sure is a Sox fan.

Ever wonder how a baseball is made?  Here’s a great video my parents found and shared with me.  It’s a little surprising to me that despite modern technology, every major league baseball is still hand-stitched.


Thank you to my three latest subscribers: vteyes, carlosoli, and marlyneg. You can subscribe by by typing in your email address in the top-right hand corner of this page and clicking “subscribe.”

Back to the curtains.  Hopefully I’ll be rewarded for my work with a Chipotle burrito for lunch.



VIDEO: Talking with Alex Hassan & Luis Exposito

Below are two more video interviews I was able to get (along with my trusty camera man, Matt), during last Friday’s PawSox Media Luncheon.

Alex Hassan – OF

A Milton, Ma. native, Alex has enjoyed a productive offseason after suiting up in the prospect driven Arizona Fall League where he played for Scottsdale under PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. If for no other reason, you should click play to learn about his backyard as a kid.

Luis Exposito – C

After spending all of 2011 with the PawSox, Exposito will return to Pawtucket to begin 2012. Learn what he’s aiming to improve upon this year and how being bilingual helps him catch.

Tonight I’ll be attending the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner at the The Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston. I’ll be sure to take some pics and post them on the blog tomorrow. My plan is to then post my final two interviews with Arnie Beyeler and Red Sox Director of Player Development Ben Crockett on Saturday.


VIDEO: Meet Alex Wilson & Brandon Duckworth

I had a great time last Friday during our Media Luncheon here at McCoy Stadium and had a chance to catch up with a number of the invitees. As promised, I’ll be posting those video interviews here on the blog this week and today we begin with two of the best guys you’ll meet in the minor leagues:

RHP – Alex Wilson

The 2011 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year talks about his late season call up to Pawtucket and what it was like working the 5 a.m. shift at Lowe’s Hardware in College Station, Tx. during the offseason.

RHP – Brandon Duckworth

Duckworth, who spent all of 2011 with the PawSox, describes what it’s like to be the veteran in the clubhouse and how he’s learned this offseason that being a mom is the hardest job anyone can ever have.

As you can see, both are great guys and terrific interviews. In the next coming days I’ll be posting my interviews with Alex Hassan, Luis Exposito, Arnie Beyeler, and Ben Crockett.


PHOTOS: Hot Stove League Party at McCoy

The 35th annual PawSox Hot Stove League Party was a great success.  A big thanks goes out to everyone who helped make it possible.  If you weren’t able to make it, below are some photos I took throughout the night.

(Note: If you’re a subscriber to the blog and are reading this in your email, the best way to view the photos is by clicking the headline link above.)

PawSox pitcher Brandon Duckworth answers a fan’s question during the Q&A portion of the evening. Catcher Luis Exposito is to his left, pitcher  Alex Wilson to his right.

Everyone who attended the Q&A session then had the opportunity to get autographs from all three players.

Fans listening to the players answer their questions. The room you see is actually the PawSox batting tunnel that was cleared out for the event.

Riot control.

In the PawSox clubhouse manager Arnie Beyeler and outfielder Alex Hassan held a Q&A session of their own followed by autographs.

I had a great time at my first PawSox Hot Stove League party.  On Monday I’ll post some of the video interviews I did with the players during the Media Luncheon that day.  Have a great weekend, stay warm, and enjoy the NFL playoffs.


Hot Stove Party Invitees – Alex Hassan

You’re invited this Friday, January 13th to the 35th Annual Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove League Party at McCoy Stadium.  This FREE event is open to the public and gives our great fans a chance to get autographs and photos with some terrific Red Sox prospects.  I’ll profile each player on the blog this week leading up to Friday.

Today we start things off with Alex Hassan.

Ht.: 6-3      Wt.: 195      Age: 23     Hometown: Milton, Ma.    Drafted: 20th Rd., 2009

Hassan at the Futures at Fenway Game in 2010 (Kelly O'Connor)

Alex spent all of 2011 with Double-A Portland where he hit .291 over 126 games while clubbing 13 home runs and driving home 64 runs.  His defensive versatility was seen last year by playing all three outfield positions with the vast majority of games coming in left field where he stood in front of the “Maine Monster.”

The former Duke Blue Devil actually appeared in three road games for the PawSox in 2010, all in Scranton/WB.  In other words, there’s a good chance that this Friday will be his first time at McCoy Stadium.

Judging by the numbers, one of the impressive facets of Hassan’s game is his walk to strikeout ratio.  I thought it’d be fun to compare his 2011 Double-A BB/K numbers to those of Josh Reddick’s 2009 season in Portland:


Games Played: 63     Walks: 30     Strikeouts: 62

(*Expanded to 126 games: 60 BB/124 K)

Games Played: 126    Walks: 76     Strikeouts: 79

Of the 13 players in the Double-A Eastern League that hit .290 or above in 2011, only one player drew more walks than Hassan (Matt Rizzotti, Reading, 79).  In fact, his 76 walks were second to only Pawtucket’s Lars Anderson’s 80 in the Rex Sox farm system.

The soon-to-be PawSox spent this fall playing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions.  There he played alongside the top two prospects in all of minor league baseball: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.

This fall, Hassan actually had better numbers than Trout – the only player of the three to have seen big league action.

Games: 25     Avg.: 333     HR: 6     RBI: 26    BB: 11     K: 22

Games: 25     Avg.: 253     HR: 2     RBI: 7       BB: 15     K: 16

Games: 25     Avg.: 245     HR: 1     RBI: 5       BB: 15     K: 33

OK, enough with the numbers, we’ll wrap this up with some fun stuff …

  • Originally drafted as right-handed pitcher but wanted to play outfield
  • Played in the Cape League in 2008 for Orleans where he played both positions
  • There he hit nearly .290 and made the Cape League All-Star Team
  • The following spring, he made the All-ACC second team as a junior and was drafted by the Sox
  • Boston eventually determined he had a chance to make a bigger impact at the plate than on the mound.
  • He’s probably smarter than all of us, was a psychology major at Duke.
  • Was also a National Honor Society member in high school
  • Threw a no-hitter in his first high school start as a freshman in 2003 at Boston College High School.
  • As a kid, his parents helped him build a mini-Fenway Park in his backyard complete with a tall plywood Green Monster, a mini Pesky pole in right, and a Citgo sign he dug up at an old gas station.

Without a doubt, Hassan should be fun to talk to this Friday night.  Hope to see you there.



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