Results tagged ‘ Boston Red Sox ’
After some minor technical issues, our PawSox Insider podcast page on iTunes has been fully updated and now has the two most recent episodes of the show.
PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler joined us to talk about Spring Training, his early observations of JetBlue Park, and what it ‘s like working with Bobby Valentine. Joe Castiglione, the long-time “Voice of the Red Sox,” spoke to us from Ft. Myers and talked about his excitement for the upcoming season. In the final segment, Alex Speier, Red Sox reporter for WEEI.com, talked with Steve and me about Valentine, Andrew Bailey, Jose Iglesias, and what he watching for in 2012.
Episode 3 Summary
Ryan Kalish phoned in from Spring Training in Ft. Myers and talked about how his rehab from shoulder and neck surgery is coming along. In the third segment of the show, Ben Crockett, the Red Sox Director of Player Development, chatted about how he’s transitioning into his new job and what his day-to-day is like during Spring Training. To wrap up the show, Brian MacPherson, the Red Sox beat writer for the Providence Journal, talked about his recent visit to Spring Training and what he feels are the most interesting storylines to keep an eye on entering the 2012 Red Sox season.
Thanks for listening to the show; we’re really excited to now have it on iTunes. As always, if you ever have any ideas or suggestions for the program, don’t hesitate to let me know.
Highly anticipated each year, earlier this morning Keith Law of ESPN released his Top-100 minor league prospects lists. I’ve always been curious about how long it takes him to make the list. I’d have a hard time ranking the Top-10 in any given system, let alone the Top-100 out of a pool of everyone.
Reading the complete list requires an EPSN Insider subscription, so out of respect for Mr. Law, I can’t exactly copy and paste all 100 names. I do, however, feel the liberty of sharing with you which two Red Sox prospects were represented on the list and what he wrote about them.
No. 62 Overall: SS Xander Bogaerts
“The Red Sox were aggressive with the Aruban-born Bogaerts, promoting him from the Dominican Summer League right to full-season ball, where only Jurickson Profar and Bryce Harper were younger among regular position players. But Bogaerts held his own due to excellent bat speed and enough pitch recognition to keep himself afloat. He starts out very wide at the plate and closes slightly when he gets his front foot down. The ball really comes off his bat well, thanks to strong wrists and forearms and a very rotational swing with great extension through contact.
He spent the year at shortstop, making an error every three games, but isn’t likely to stay there with third base the probable destination. He has the arm and feet for it, assuming he does indeed outgrow shortstop. Boston’s system is thin right now, with several prospects who project as solid regulars but nothing more. Bogaerts is the Red Sox’s best chance right now to produce an All-Star.”
No. 100 Overall: C Blake Swihart (Sw-EYE-heart)
“Swihart is raw on both sides of the ball but extremely athletic with the bat speed and arm strength to profile as a potential All-Star at a number of skill positions. As a hitter, he can get out on his front foot early and doesn’t finish rotating his hips to produce the power his swing should allow, but the bat speed is there and he has a decent feel for the strike zone. As a catcher, he can throw and has already improved his release time since signing with Boston.
Having played a number of positions in high school, Swihart needs to work on receiving and game-calling. Given time and regular reps behind the plate, he could be similar to Matt Wieters, a switch-hitting catcher (perhaps with less power) who can add value through catching and throwing. If he has to move to another position, such as third base, he could still end up an above-average big leaguer but would obviously lose a good bit of his value.”
So there you have it. Two Red Sox prospects made the cut, and somebody had to be No. 100! Interestingly enough third baseman Will Middlebrooks (Baseball America’s No. 1 Red Sox prospect) didn’t make the list, neither did shortstop Jose Iglesias.
It’ll be some time before we see either Bogaerts or Swihart here at McCoy Stadium. The 18-year-old shortstop finished last season with Low-A Greenville, while Swihart, 19, played in an exhausting two games of rookie ball last year.
Although Boston doesn’t have a top-flight prospect like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, what it does have is a good core of “solid” prospects (mostly offensively) and plenty of youth.
Sound the didgeridoo, the Red Sox have inked 17-year-old Australian southpaw, Daniel McGrath.
The ace pitcher was mulling over the decision to sign a pro contract or travel to the States to play college ball. The deal was reportedly made official at his Melbourne home in front of substantial gathering of Australian media.
One (unnamed) major league source stated that as many as 15 big league clubs were interested in the 6-foot-3 lefty whose fastball has been clocked at 91 mph. Fortunately for Boston, “Red Sox Nation” extends to Australia. The Sox happen to be McGrath’s boyhood team which swayed him to turn down more lucrative offers to sign with Boston.
Can you imagine trying to scout a 13-year-old kid? Well, that’s exactly what Jon Deeble, the Red Sox scouting director for the Pacific region, did when he saw McGrath pitch four years ago. Fittingly, it was Deeble who represented Boston at McGrath’s signing Tuesday.
McGrath is scheduled to visit Fort Myers during Spring Training for roughly a week or so, but will return to Australia where he’ll graduate from high school in December (wonder if he has a hard time getting a date for the prom).
Some die-hard PawSox fans might be familiar with the name Shane Lindsay. For what it’s worth, the Australia native previously pitched for the Melbourne Aces (like McGrath recently did) and has spent part of the past two seasons pitching in the International League against the PawSox. First with Columbus (2010) and more recently with Charlotte (2011).
It’ll be some time before we see the Aussie here at McCoy Stadium, but he creates yet another intriguing minor league story for the Red Sox this season.
The thing I love most about working in the Red Sox farm system is the fans. There’s a good chance that you love your minor league teams more than any other fans out there. I experienced this firsthand during the 2009 season when I worked for the Portland Sea Dogs and we had fans in the ballpark for all nine innings during those cold, rainy April nights.
I’ve been told that fans here in Rhode Island are just as passionate as those in Maine and I’m wanting to see it first hand. That’s why we’ve created a new contest where we’re seeking out the PawSox Fan of the Week.
It’s pretty simple: send me a picture showing why you are the biggest PawSox fan out there. We launched this contest yesterday and I’ve already received about 15 emails. While some of the pictures are good, none have blown me away. Although pictures of you, the fan, from McCoy Stadium cheering on the PawSox are nice, what I’m really looking for is a picture taken specifically for this contest. Deck yourself out in all your PawSox gear. Dress your brother and sister up like Paws and Sox. Build a replica McCoy Stadium in your backyard (too much?). Bottom line, do something over the top.
What will you win if selected? The winner receives four tickets to the PawSox double-header on April 7. Plus you’ll be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE of 4 tickets to an upcoming 2012 Red Sox game at Fenway Park with a limo ride to and from the game! Of course, you’ll also get your picture posted to our Facebook wall.
Email your (over the top) picture to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the headline “PawSox Fan of the Week.” Tell me you heard about the contest from this blog and you’ll get extra credit points.
The winner will be announced Friday afternoon.
Don’t let me down.
Today is not a fun day at McCoy Stadium. It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s Monday, but everything to do with the man pictured to the left. Short debates have been had here at the ballpark among co-workers as to whether or not last night’s loss was more deflating than the loss 0f 2007. As a guy with no ties to the Patriots, I’m trying to stay low, keep my mouth closed, and avoid eye contact with pretty much everyone.
As sad as I am that football season is officially over, the bright side is that we’re now even closer to the beginning of baseball season. It’s crazy to think that pitchers and catchers report on February 19 – that’s in 13 days! Speaking of which, looks like I’ll be out in Fort Myers for Spring Training March 18-24. I can’t wait to get out there, see the new facility, and start covering the team. I’ll be blogging daily and also conducting interviews to share here and at pawsox.com.
Here are some news and notes the I found interesting this morning:
- For the first time since 2008, the annual Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game will be played on Cape soil. This year’s “Mid-Summer Classic” will be at Whitehouse Field, home of the defending league champion Harwich Mariners. Recently the game has been hosted by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Sox once again invited the Cape League to Fenway this season, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a date that worked for both parties. Despite not hosting the All-Star Game, the Red Sox have declared Sunday, July 22, as Cape Cod Day at Fenway Park. The Cape League will hold the qualifying round of its Home Run Contest at Fenway that day.
The Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and fellow members of the International League, are working towards a new ballpark in Charlotte’s Uptown area. The club has been looking for a new ballpark deal for years now, but various economic occurrences have delayed the project. Some good news for the Knights is that Mecklenburg County has tentatively approved spending $8 million on a new ballpark and will provide the land for the project. The city of Charlotte is now having talks about putting in somewhere between $6 million and $11 million. No matter the ballpark, I’m just hoping for an Emily Maynard sighting when we travel to Charlotte (her hometown).
- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was the keynote speaker at a recent banquet to honor the participants in Major League Baseball’s Venezuela-Dominican Republic Showcase. According the redsox.com, “the event was held at the Mets complex in Boca Chica where 25 prospects from each country displayed their skills in front of more than 200 big league scouts in a series of drills that included the 60-yard dash along with infield, outfield and batting practice — before wrapping up with a six-inning game on Friday.”
- Fun fact of the day: after last night’s game in Indianapolis, 15 of the 46 Super Bowls have been played in a city with a minor league baseball club.