Results tagged ‘ Xander Bogaerts ’

Holt and JBJ Are All-Stars, Listening Tours Begin

by Josh Maurer

With less than one week remaining until the Triple-A All-Star break, the PawSox certainly have the look of a team that could use the three days off.  Perhaps they’ll be able to gain some momentum before the mid-summer stoppage as they play the final six games against Lehigh Valley, starting with a three-game series at Coca-Cola Park on Tuesday night.

The last (and only) time these teams have met this season was the very first series of the year in which Pawtucket took three of four from the Iron Pigs.  The final two of those games went a combined 29 innings and included an epic 16-inning affair on April 12 in which three position players pitched.

Deven Marrero w. face mask

Deven Marrero and the PawSox last played Lehigh Valley on a frigid opening weekend series in early April

Has it really been nearly three months since these divisional rivals met?  Well, the squads will certainly get well reacquainted over the next six nights.  Entering the home-and-home series the PawSox hold a slim two-game lead over Lehigh Valley in the North Division for fourth place.

Speaking of the All-Star break, the Major League All-Star teams were announced Monday and the Red Sox will be represented in Cincinnati by a popular former PawSox infielder, Brock Holt.  Brock spent most of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 playing in Pawtucket and has since turned himself into one of the premier utilitymen in baseball.


Holt is one of the great success stories to come up from the PawSox in recent years.  He first proved his big-league value by learning to play all over the diamond (almost literally, everywhere but pitcher and catcher), then became an everyday player because of his consistency and productivity at the plate.

Holt hit .281 for Boston in 2014, and this season is batting .295 in 66 games played.  The “Brock Star” made national headlines last month when he hit for the cycle in a game at Fenway against Atlanta, becoming the first BoSox player to do so in 19 years.

Brock is a relentless worker and a great clubhouse guy.  A huge congrats to him on his well-deserved All-Star selection.

Also, you can now vote for Xander Bogaerts for the AL’s “Final Vote” selection to the mid-summer classic.  The young shortstop and former PawSox has had a breakout season for Boston, currently hitting .302 in 80 games in 2015.  Many feel he should have already been included on the American League roster without needing a fan vote.

Back in the International League, it was announced Monday that Jackie Bradley, Jr., who was recently optioned back to the PawSox from Boston, has been named to the IL All-Star team to replace Brian Johnson on the roster.

Jackie Bradley dives for ball

I’ve written extensively about the fantastic season JBJ has had for Pawtucket, and I am happy he’ll get an opportunity to be recognized for all of his accomplishments.  Granted, I’m sure Jackie would rather be playing in Boston right now, but while he awaits his inevitable return to the Major Leagues this is certainly a nice honor to receive.

Starting this Tuesday, representatives from the new PawSox ownership group are beginning what they are calling “Listening Tours” throughout the state of Rhode Island to help facilitate dialogue about their proposal for a new downtown ballpark in Providence.  Here is the information on those tour stops:

Representatives of the PawSox ownership group will embark on a 39-city and town tour of the State of Rhode Island this summer to engage in community conversations about the vision of the proposed Providence multi-purpose ballpark.

The “Listening Tours” will be a facilitated discussion between PawSox representatives andmembers of the community.  Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the design, function and any other aspects of the proposed ballpark.

The first of the community meetings begins next Tuesday, July 7th at 5 pm at the Smithfield Senior Center on William J. Hawkins, Jr. Trail in Greenville.  That kick-off meeting is followed by two on Thursday, July 9th on Aquidneck Island, specifically at the Portsmouth Senior Center, 110 Bristol Ferry Road at 5 pm and the Middletown VFW Hall at 52 Underwood Lane at 7 pm. Dr. Charles Steinberg, Senior Advisor to Boston Red Sox President and CEO, Larry Lucchino, will facilitate all three.

Tuesday, July 7th at 5pm – Smithfield Senior Center, William J. Hawkins, Jr. Trail, Greenville

Thursday, July 9th at 5 pm – Portsmouth Senior Center, 110 Bristol Ferry Road, Portsmouth

Thursday, July 9th at 7pm – Gilbert-Burton VFW Post, 52 Underwood Lane, Middletown

Finally, below is the audio of an interview I did with PawSox infielder Travis Shaw for this past week’s Insider show.  Travis has had quite the past month, having had his first extended time in the big leagues following a red-hot stretch in Pawtucket.  He is very candid about all of his recent experiences in the conversation:

Shaw congrats at plate

Will and I look forward to speaking with you on the radio this week from Allentown.  Lets hope the PawSox get a few back in the win column before the break.  Thanks for reading!

Josh M

Friday News and Notes From The Fort

The weather in Florida on Friday featured rain throughout the majority of state.  That forced the cancellation of many spring training games today, including a scheduled PawSox home game against Norfolk at JetBlue Park.  Before the rains hit, however, the Red Sox held several intrasquad scrimmages on the minor league fields in the morning.

In one of those, the Pawtucket and Portland groups faced off in a six-inning contest that featured several big names.  In the PawSox lineup this morning were Shane Victorino, Christian Vazquez and Xander Bogaerts, with starting pitcher Joe Kelly working the first three frames on the mound.

Kelly pitching

Joe Kelly working on the back fields at JetBlue Park on Friday morning

Kelly, working his way back from a biceps injury, allowed one run and struck out five in his three innings. Bogaerts and Victorino each played the entire game, while Vazquez left after catching four innings.  Garin Cecchini and Bryce Brentz, each optioned from major league camp on Thursday, were each in the lineup for the PawSox in the short affair.

Victorino AB

Shane Victorino took several at-bats for the PawSox team in the intrasquad game Friday morning

I ran into former PawSox utilityman Justin Henry this afternoon at the complex.  Henry, a very popular member of the squad for the past few seasons, retired from playing after Pawtucket won the Governor’s Cup last September.

The good news is Henry has accepted a coaching job with the organization and will be working with the Red Sox South Atlantic League affiliate in Greenville, South Carolina this season.  He will make a terrific coach and I wish Justin nothing but the best in his new career.

justin henry

Justin Henry will now be coaching in the South Atlantic League for the Greenville Drive

Not much else to report on a quiet day in Fort Myers.  On Saturday the PawSox head to Port Charlotte to take on Durham at 1pm.  I’ll have a recap here shortly after the contest concludes.

Also, don’t miss PawSox Insider on Saturday from 1-2pm on WHJJ (920 AM) for interviews with Kevin Boles, Travis Shaw, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe and Portland Sea Dogs broadcaster Mike Antonellis.

Have a great Friday night!

Josh M

2013 Red Sox Top-10 Prospects

Although it’s not yet 2013, it’s never too early to take a look at the Red Sox top-10 prospect list published by Baseball America.

What first caught my eye is that while only three of listed prospects are pitchers, all three rank within the top-five — and none are yet to reach Pawtucket.

It might be hard to find a more promising top-three in any other farm system entering next year. No surprise shortstop Xander Bogaerts is ranked No. 1 overall. Only 20-years-old, Bogaerts split 2012 between High-A Salem and Portland where he combined to hit .307 with 20 home runs and 81 RBI. PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler, who spent some time around Bogaerts at the 2012 Futures Game in Kansas City, commented later that his talents reminded him of Hanley Ramierez.

Like Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. split 2012 between Salem and Portland where he led all Sox farmhands in runs scored (89), walks (87), and on-base percentage (.430). He was second in the system in batting average (.315) and doubles (42). Add to his numbers the fact that Kevin Thomas (@ClearTheBases) of the Portland Press Herald told us on PawSox Insider that Bradley’s defensive abilities in center field surpass even the great Che-Hsuan Lin.

At No. 3 on the list, right-hander Matt Barnes has a good chance of seeing Pawtucket in 2013 — just like Bogaerts and Bradley. Barnes topped the Red Sox system with 133 strikeouts and was third in ERA (2.86) and WHIP (1.05). In his first pro season after being taking 18th overall by the Red Sox out of the University of Connecticut, Barnes walked just 29 batters over 119 2/3 innings pitched.

To read the entire online article from Baseball America, click here.



Bogaerts’ pro career began in 2010 as a 17-year-old playing in the Dominican Summer League. (Kelly O’Connor)

That’s a Touchdown?

Just like in your office, the big topic of conversation this morning around McCoy Stadium centered around Golden Tate’s catch/no-catch/offensive pass interference/blown call/touchdown. One of the best tweets I read following the catch came from Luke Rodgers (@thelukerodgers): “In Golden Tate’s defense how incredible is it to make a no-handed catch?”

It’s a…touchdown? (Timothy Burke via ESPN)

PawSox Notebook:

  • The off-season is off to a fast start in Buffalo where the Bisons recently announced they are the new Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bisions, who have spent the past four seasons as the Mets’ top affiliate, are essentially swapping parent clubs with Triple-A Las Vegas — the Jays’ top affiliate for the past four years. For Toronto, the affiliation change brings them back to upstate New York where they spent 30 years with Triple-A Syracuse before moving to Sin City. Distance between Las Vegas and Toronto: 2,256 miles. Distance between Buffalo and Toronto: 100 miles.
  • Have questions about Jose Iglesias in 2013? Wonder about the future of Bryce Brentz, Xander Bogaerts, and other top prospects? Ian Browne covers all that and more in his latest Inbox column.
  • In addition to writing about delicious cider donuts yesterday, I also listed the Red Sox minor league award winners. Among them was Single-A third baseman Garin Cecchini who was named the Red Sox Baserunner of the Year after topping all Boston farmhands with 51 stolen bases. Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) of the Providence Journal wrote a nice piece on Cecchini Tuesday morning that is well worth a read.
  • If you’re like me, you love a good hamburger. If that’s the case, you’ve no doubt wondered where in Japan you can get the best hamburger, right? Today is your lucky day because my brother-in-law (and die hard Sox fan), Stephen, is living in Japan for a year and keeping a blog. In his latest entry, “Stephen-san” tells us where to track down Japan’s best hamburger.  You’ll also be shocked to learn how much peanut butter costs.



Cider Donuts & 2012 Red Sox Minor League Awards

The off-season is officially here. With no more bus rides, hotels, and press box dinners until April 2013, this past weekend was the perfect time to re-introduce myself to my wife, Heather.

Our first date of the off-season was on Saturday when we joined some family and went apple orchard hopping. We tasted some of the finest cider donuts, apple cider, and, of course, apples, New England has to offer. I always thought the traffic around Fenway was bad until I saw the line of cars waiting to get inside Honey Pot Hill orchard in Stow, Ma. (just think of the final scene from Field of Dreams).

For as much as we all love baseball, it was a nice change to enjoy a Saturday with family. I’ll never be able to repay Heather for surviving my schedule during the season. She’s endured countless dinners, holidays, and weekends by herself while I’ve been away calling a baseball game.

Look closely and you can see the specks of cinnamon sugar all over my face from a day’s worth of cider donuts.

Transitioning from apple orchards to baseball…In case you missed it, the Red Sox recently announced their 2012 Minor League award winners. All information was provided by the Red Sox media relations department:

Pitcher of the Year: Brandon Workman 

Workman combined to go 10-8 with a 3.50 ERA (54 ER/138.2 IP) and 130 strikeouts in 25 starts between High-A Salem and Double A-Portland. The 24-year-old ranked among organizational minor league leaders in strikeouts (T-2nd) and wins (4th), and among Carolina League leaders in ERA (4th, 3.40), WHIP (2nd, 1.09) and opponent batting average (2nd, .244). He was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for April 23-29 after tossing a 6.0-inning, three-hit shutout in a start on April 27. Workman was selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Offensive Player of the Year: Xander Bogaerts

The 19-year-old Bogaerts hit .307 with 37 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 81 RBI and 44 walks in 127 games with High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, including a .326 average (30-for-92) in 23 games for the Sea Dogs. He was named Carolina League Player of the Week for July 30-August 5 and was selected as a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star. He also represented the Red Sox organization at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, playing for the World team. After an August 9 promotion to Double-A, Bogaerts hit safely in 19 of 23 games with Portland, including 10 multi-hit contests. Named to Baseball America’s 2012 Minor League All-Star Second-Team, he ranked among organizational minor league leaders in home runs (T-2nd), RBI (3rd) and batting (T-4th). Bogaerts signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in August of 2009.

Defensive Player of the Year: Jackie Bradley

Bradley committed just seven errors in 260 chances for a .973 fielding percentage in 115 games between right field (1 game) and center field (114 games) with High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He batted .315 (146-for-463) with 42 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 87 walks and 63 RBI in 128 games with Salem and Portland. The 22-year-old hit .359 (84-for-234) with 26 doubles, 34 RBI and 52 walks for Salem before making his Double-A debut on June 21. Bradley was named Topps Player of the Month in the Carolina League for May, batting .382 (34-for-89) with 21 walks to lead all CL hitters. He ranked second in Boston’s minor league system in batting average, was selected as a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star and named to Baseball America’s 2012 Minor League All-Star Second Team. Bradley was selected as the fourth pick by the Red Sox (sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds, 40th overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Base Runner of the Year: Garin Cecchini

The 21-year-old Cecchini led the Red Sox organization with 51 stolen bases for Single-A Greenville, third-most in the South Atlantic League, and was caught stealing just six times for an 89.4 percent success rate. He led qualifying South Atlantic League third basemen with a .944 fielding percentage, committing 14 errors in 251 chances. Named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star, he ranked among league leaders in doubles (T-3rd, 38) and runs scored (T-4th, 84). Cecchini was selected as the sixth pick by the Red Sox (4th round, 143rd overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: Keivin Heras

Heras was 6-1 with a 2.03 ERA (14 ER/62.0 IP) in 13 starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox. Named a DSL All-Star, the 18-year-old held opponents to one earned run or less in nine of his 13 starts. He led the team in wins (tied) and innings pitched.

Latin Program Player of the Year: Manuel Margot 

Margot hit .285 (74-for-260) with 10 doubles, 45 RBI, 36 walks and 33 stolen bases in 68 games for the DSL Red Sox. The 17-year-old ranked third among DSL leaders with 33 stolen bases and was selected as a Dominican Summer League All-Star. He paced the club in hits, RBI, stolen bases, runs (49) and total bases (110).



Bogaerts did nothing in 2012 to keep scouts and fans from thinking he is one of the most talented prospects entering the 2013 season. (Kelly O’Connor)

Carl Crawford Rehabs with PawSox

Following the three-day All-Star break, the PawSox are back at it tonight versus the Buffalo Bisons from McCoy. Joining them this evening will be Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford who begins a new 20-day rehab assignment.

Crawford rehabbed from June 23-30 with the Gulf Coast Red Sox and continued from July 3-5 with Portland before suffering a left groin strain while running out a triple on July 5 in New Hampshire. Having not played for the past six days, Crawford is eligible to begin a new rehab assignment.

Originally a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 1999, Crawford is yet to suit up for the Red Sox this season after suffering wrist, elbow, and groin injuries. (Kelly O’Connor)

The second-year Boston outfielder went 3-for-14 with five walks in five games for the Gulf Coast Red Sox, and 4-for-10 with a triple, RBI, and two walks in three games for Portland.

PawSox Notebook:

  • Ryan Lavarnway, Pawtucket’s lone mid-season All-Star not in Boston, finished last night’s Triple-A All-Star game 1-for-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of over 18,000 in Buffalo.
  • Red Sox pitching prospect Matt Barnes needed just two pitches to record two outs Sunday evening at the Futures Game in Kansas City.
  • Barnes’ Salem teammate, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, suited up for the World Team and finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts as the designated hitter.
Doug Mathis (6-6, 4.05 ERA) starts tonight for the PawSox and will be opposed by Jeremy Hefner (4-2, 2.50). First pitch is set for 7:05, we hit the air at 6:50 with the pre-game show.

Talk with you then.



Red Sox Farmhands Selected to Futures Game

The Red Sox will be represented by two young promising prospects at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game held on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes (U.S. Team) and shortstop Xander Bogaerts (World Team), both with High-A Salem, have been selected to represent the Red Sox organization at the game. The PawSox will also be represented at the event by manager Arnie Beyeler who has been selected as one of the coaches for the World Team.

“I’m very excited,” Arnie said from the visiting clubhouse in Syracuse today. “I feel honored to be selected. It should be a lot of fun to get to a big league ballpark and spend time with some real talented young players.”

Barnes, 22, was taken by the Red Sox with the 19th overall pick last June out of the University of Connecticut. He began the season with Single-A Greenville where he flat out dominated. He went 2-0 in five starts and compiled a microscopic 0.34 ERA (1 ER/26.2 IP) while walking four and fanning 42. Numbers that resembled a video game more than anything else, he allowed just 12 hits.

Barnes has struck out 95 batters in 72 2/3 professional innings pitched (Kelly O’Connor).

Barnes was then promoted to High-A Salem where in eight starts he’s gone 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (7 ER/46.0 IP) with eight walks and 53 punch outs.  With the Salem Red Sox he’s been paired with the 19-year-old Bogaerts who hit .293 over the first half of the season.

One of only two 19-year-olds in the Carolina League, some argue that Bogaerts should be the Red Sox No. 1 prospect because he may have the highest ceiling. At 6-foot-3, he could wind up being too big for a shortstop, but for now that’s the only defensive position he’s played in his young pro career.

Ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox No. 2 prospect, Bogaerts clubbed 16 homers as an 18-year-old with Single-A Greenville in 2011. (Kelly O’Connor)

For the complete rosters, click here. Current Red Sox players to suit up in the Futures Game include:

  • Josh Beckett
  • Clay Buchholz
  • Aaron Cook
  • Carl Crawford
  • Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Will Middlebrooks

Enjoy the game, and keep an eye out for Arnie who will probably get an inning or two coaching third base.