Minor league thread 2022

Jed Zeppelin

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Mayer went 3/4 with a 2b and bb.
Blaze 2/4 with his 4th HR in Greenville.
Lugo 1/4 with his 10th triple of the season.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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100 PA samples are small enough to not be particularly meaningful; splitting them even further makes streaks even more prominent. I have no idea if Jordan can hit for power or not; but 50 PA doesnt really say anything - thats less than two weeks of games. Devers was awful for 3 weeks recently - what does that mean? Probably nothing.

These late season promotions arent about how guys do at the higher level - its all about setting them up to hit the ground running at that level next year,.
Not meant to be meaningful. It's what happened. It's news. Besides that, with 19 year old kids, 100 PA samples can be extremely meaningful.

Blaze Jordan didn't hit for any type of power after his first game. I didn't say it was predictable or meaningful. It's what actually took place.

edit: And besides that, we've been hearing for a year now that Jordan can't hit velocity.
 

burstnbloom

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On the latest sox prospects podcast, Ian Cundall did a trip to greenville and saw Blaze and talked to some scouts about the velocity thing and the consensus was he had improved on that front. Encouraging news.
 

Cesar Crespo

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On the latest sox prospects podcast, Ian Cundall did a trip to greenville and saw Blaze and talked to some scouts about the velocity thing and the consensus was he had improved on that front. Encouraging news.
I can't speak specifically to Greenville but there's a lot of encouraging stuff re: Blaze Jordan. The commitment to fitness, the low K%, hitting for contact. He hasn't hit for as much power as expected but he's still 19 and did just transform his body. His ISO in Greenville is .140 and in Salem it was .159. For someone with a 1b/DH projection, that will have to improve. He has plus raw power though, just has to find a way to tap into it.

On the downside, there's not much room for projection outside of his hit tool. With a better hit tool, the power comes into play. Plus, his K% jumped to 25.5% in Greenville (but it's only 107 PA). In Salem, it was 16.1%. That was one of his big question marks.
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David Hamilton is on a hot streak. Last 12 games: .419/.554/.744, 7xbh/3HR, 12bb/9k, 9sb/4cs. Season line is .240/.332/.397.

-
Salem and Greenville are done for the year. Portland plays until the 18th + playoffs. Only guy in Greenville I could see moving to Portland is Lugo.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Portland vs Somerset is live on MLB TV tonight.
Sea Dogs up 4-0 batting top 2.
Ham with a leadoff double, SB (67), and scored on a Rafi basehit. Kavadas followed later with a two-run single. Dearden with a solo homer in the 2nd. Ham with a BB and another SB (68). Rafi now batting with two outs.
Edit: Rafi flies out to the warning track in CF.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Mata went 4.0 ip, 1 hit, 2r/2er, 5bb/7k yesterday.
Valdez went 2/5 with a double. His last 10 games: 45 PA, .381/.422/.762, 3bb/9k. 9 xbh/3HR. He's back up to .244/.324/.488 (.274 BAbip) in Worcester after falling to .173/.277/.346 (.185 BAbip). I don't know where I read it (possibly here) but he has a father who is absolutely obsessed with the strike zone and it's helped Valdez's game lot. Ok, I read it here, actually.

My dad gave me a call,” Valdez said through Worcester bench coach and translator Jose Flores. “He said, ‘You’re doing this and you’re taking your eye off the ball at the very last second. So just make sure you see the ball all the way to the point of contact and you should be able to control that better. "
"Once the season is over and I go back home, I wish I could do a lot more things but my dad is a baseball freak,” Valdez joked. “So he tells me I need to be at the ballpark and working out a lot. It’s constant baseball. That’s his job and his hobby as well."
For the year in AAA (including PCL): 313 PA, .273/.337/.528, .293 BAbip. 36 xbh/17 HR. 26bb/62k. 19.8% K%, 8.3% BB%.
Total in AA/AAA: 518 PA, .304/.387/.573, .344 BAbip, 63xbh/28 HR, 60bb/109k. 21.0% K%, 11.6% BB%.

He's actually striking out less in AAA than in AA, though he's walking less too. (22.9% K%, 16.6% BB% in AA). That's actually pretty encouraging. A lot of times the walks turn into Ks. Here, he's just putting the ball in play more but hasn't had much luck. Still haven't heard much about his defense but he does make the plays he gets to. His 28 HRs would place him 2nd in the Red Sox organization in HRs behind Nick Northcut, who did most of his damage in Greenville but has struggled mightily in Portland. 3rd is a tie between Kavadas, Devers at 26. and 5th is Binelas with 25, I think.

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Rafaela finished 3/5 with a K yesterday
Kavadas was 4/6 with 2 k.
Binelas was 3/6 with 2 doubles. Some BAbip luck.

Binelas for the year across A+/AA: 497 PA, .205/.307/.439, .239 BAbip, 63bb/147k. 47 xbh/25 HR. 29.6% K%, 12.7% BB%. .234 ISO
in AA: 238 PA, .163/.253/.380, .189 BAbip, 25bb/78k. 22xbh/11 HR. 32.8% K%, 10.5% BB%. .217 ISO.
His last 9 games: 40 PA, .324/.359/.595, .407 BAbip. 2bb/9k. 8xbh/1 HR.

He hasn't really been that much different in AA than A+ minus some brutal BAbip luck. In A+, his BAbip was .285. The power is definitely legit though. In AA, he has 12 singles, 10 doubles, 1 triple and 11 HR. Still youngish too. Not a total lost cause but he really needs to work on cutting down the ks.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Well, at least one player was promoted to Portland from Greenville. MR Jacob Webb. I haven't heard how hard he's throwing but at one point he was close to triple digits. Looking at updated reports, his velocity has rebounded to those levels.

He's pitched at 3 levels this year. Combined: 43 games, 3.23 era, 55.2 ip, 28bb/87k. 1.347 WHIP. 35.2% K%, 11.3% BB%.
last 19 games: 2.82 era, 22.1 ip, 3bb/32k. 0.852 WHIP. 36.0% K%, 3.4% BB%.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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End of season recap for the top prospects (and guys I like) at Salem and below. In the process of doing Greenville. Mostly ignored DSL because if a player is really worth noting at that level, they end up getting noted. No one really has.

Miguel Bleis: His season was cut short but he lived up to the hype and then some. He struck out a bit but was trending in the right direction. Could afford to walk some more too. Should be a plus defender at CF with a small chance of outgrowing the position. 5 tool player who can add value in all facets of the game.

40 games, 167 PA, .301/.353/.543, .394 BAbip. 10bb/45k. 23 xbh/5 HR. 18/21 sb. 6.0% BB%, 26.9% K%, .242 ISO. In his last 36 PA, he had 3bb/4k.

Roman Anthony: He showed a decent eye in limited play, though hasn't shown much power yet. Walked more than he struck out in Salem, though his bat went cold.
20 games, 83 PA, .306/.374/.361, .314 BAbip, 9bb/8k. 4xbh. 10.8% BB%, 9.6% K%. Played mostly in CF.

Mikey Romero: Showed some decent pop in Salem but had 1bb/11k in 44 PA. He walked more than struck out in the FCL. Has played mostly SS but has spend a bit of time at 2b.
19 games, 87 PA, .304/.368/.506, .343 BAbip, 8bb/15k, 11xbh/1 HR. 9.2% BB%, 17.2% K%.

Johnfrank Salazar: Struggled a bit in Salem after a very good FCL campaign. 5bb/17k in 83 PA at Salem, 17bb/9k in 122 PA at FCL. Hasn't hit for much power and has played every infield position.
51 games, 205 PA, .296/.386/.394, .347 BAbip, 22bb/26k, 14xbh/0HR. 10.7% BB%, 12.7% K%.

Allan Castro: struggled out of the gate but finished his FCL season strong, earning him a promotion to Salem where he held his own factoring in luck. OF with plus power and advanced hit tool for his age.
49 games, 179 PA, .260/.346/.429, .325 BAbip, 19bb/45k, 14 xbh/3 HR. 10.6% BB%, 25.1% K%.

Chase Meidroth: This year's 4th round pick had a great start to his amateur career. A very young junior, this is technically his age 20 season (he didn't become a pro until 21 though). He has walked more than he has struck out and has hit for some power. Should stick at 2b. I'm guessing he starts next year in Greenville and if he does well, could earn an early promotion given his pedigree. He was the only college hitter selected this year. I'm extremely high on him and can't wait to see how he progresses as he moves up in levels.
22 games 96 PA, .316/.438/.540, .318 BAbip, 14bb/11k, 9xbh/4 HR. 14.6% BB%, 11.5% K%.

Eddinson Paulino: He really came into his own after the first month of the year. He had an incredibly consistent year topped off with an exclamation point. Paulino started to play some CF this year and there is reason to think he can stick there. All his tools project to around average but some could end in the above average area. There is no real weakness in his game. The sum is worth more than the individual parts kind of guy, Sox have many. He should be in Greenville to start his age 20 season next year. (Turned 20 in July)
114 games, 539 PA, .266/.359/.469, 64bb/105k, 58xbh/13 HR, 27/32 sb. 11.9% BB%, 19.5% K%.
Last 20: 97 PA, .374/.454/.651, .406 BB, 13bb/15k, 13 xbh/5 HR, 5/7 sb.

Brainer Bonaci: Brainer had an interesting year. A tale of 2 halves. While it could just be random noise, he just turned 20 in July and has average raw power. He hit for more than 3 times the power in his last 52 games than he did in the first 56 while mostly maintaining the same BB/K numbers. It's always hard to tell with 19-20 year old kids if they are just in a hot stretch or maybe something clicked. Scouts always seem to love him, or at least his character/make up. (Turned 20 in July)
First 56 games: 264 PA, .244/.371/.304, .308 BAbip, 44bb/47k, 10xbh/0 HR. 10/13 sb. .060 ISO.
Last 52 games: 230 PA, .283/.426/.483, .333 BAbip, 45bb/42k, 21xbh/6 HR. 18/21 sb. .200 ISO.
Year: 108 games, 494 PA, .262/.397/.385, .319 BAbip, 89bb/89k, 31 xbh/6HR. 28/34 sb. .123 ISO.

Luis De La Rosa: Struggled to finish out an otherwise good season. The pitcher will need to add some velocity to have success but has an intriguing profile. (19 years old)
15 games, 3.70 era, 48.2 ip, 21bb/58k. 1.171 WHIP. 27.5% K%, 10.0% BB%.

Hunter Dobbins: His stuff has returned after TJS but he struggled to finish out the 2nd half. Ended up with very pedestrian numbers but has good stuff if he can harness it.
17 games, 5.22 era, 69.0 ip, 22bb/68k. 1.507 WHIP. 22.6% K%, 7.3% BB.

Luis Perales: Really came out of nowhere this year to establish himself as the most exciting arm under 20 in the organization (He's 19). Earned a promotion to Salem after dominating the FCL. He struck out 30.8% of the batters he faced in Salem, but also walked 21.2% of them. He has a very wide range of outcomes but he has ace type stuff. Hope he stays healthy because he's filth.
13 games, 1.77 era, 35.2 ip, 20bb/50k, 1.121 WHIP. 34.2% K%, 13.7% BB%.

Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz: Another pitcher who dominated the FCL and earned an and of season promotion to Salem. The 18 year old has a very good 3 pitch mix that should play up if he adds some velocity, as he's projected to do.
13 games, 1.88 era, 38.1 ip, 15bb/42k. 1.200 WHIP. 26.1% K%, 9.3% BB%.


Greenville list of players reviewed next: Hickey, Mayer, Jordan, Lugo, Yorke, Wikelman, Luis Guerrero, Encarnacion. (Kavadas and Webb are in AA).
 

Cesar Crespo

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Marcelo Mayer: The jewel of the organization, he didn't disappoint. There wasn't much to dislike about Mayer's 2022 campaign, though the strikeouts are worth watching. After being promoted, he went 1/18. The next 97 PA, he hit .313/.433/.538, .396 BAbip, 16bb/23k, 9 xbh/4 HR. Those numbers are very similar to his numbers in Salem.
Overall: 91 games, 424 PA, .280/.399/.489, .365 BAbip, 68bb/107k, 45 xbh/13 HR. 17/17 sb. 16.0% BB%, 25.2% K%.
Worth noting: Over his last 21 games in Salem, he had 28bb/21k in 103 PA. He really started to figure out the league. Prior to that, he was at 23bb/57k in 205 PA. Pretty stark difference.

Nathan Hickey: The Red Sox 5th round pick in 2021 (closer to 2nd-3rd round money). He had an incredibly encouraging season with the bat. While a lot of his value depends on if he can stick behind the plate (projects to below average), there's now reason to believe he might hit enough for 1b or LF. Had just as much success in Greenville as Salem, though more power, less bb, more ks.. We will know more about him next year when he's at an age appropriate level at Portland but he mashed this year. Got overshadowed a bit by Kavadas but Hickey's probably the better prospect. It's close.
75 games, 328 PA, .263/.415/.522, .309 BAbip, 63bb/78k. 34xbh/16 HR. 19.2% BB%, 23.8% K% (26.7% in A+).

Blaze Jordan: He's started playing a bit more at 1b this year and will have to hit for more power than he has if he plans to make the majors. His power will largely depend on how his hit tool develops. He seems to be dedicated and a hard worker, having gotten into much better shape after being drafted. Still really young.
120 games, 521 PA, .289/.363/.445, .339 BAbip, 48bb/94k, 45xbh/12 HR. 9.2% BB%, 18.0% K% (25.5% in A+)

Nick Yorke: Yorke really struggled in his age 20 season, failing to hit for average or much power. Especially disappointing considering how well he did last year. He's fell out of some top 100 lists and his value has definitely taken a hit. He's also been fighting injures all year and has had some bad BAbip luck. Next year will be a telling year in AA, though AA always tells us a lot.
80 games, 373 PA, .232/.303/.365, .288 BAbip, 33bb/94k, 22 xbh/11 HR, 8.8% BB%, 25.2% K%,

Matthew Lugo: The 2nd round pick of 2019 got some press early on with a hot start to the season. He struggled mightily in July and fell out of the public eye some. He had a monster finish to the year to get some of the attention back. He should also start next year in Portland, probably at 2b or 3b. More than doubled his ISO year over year.
114 games, 512 PA, .288/.344/.500, .330 BAbip, 35bb/100k, 53 xbh/18 HR. 20/27 sb. 6.8% BB%, 19.5% K%.

Wikelman Gonzalez: Big time arm and still only 20 years old. Was a completely different pitcher since August, earning himself a promotion to A+ where he continued to do well.
Year: 25 games, 4.21 era, 98.1 ip, 54bb/121k, 1.322 WHIP. 28.3% K%, 12.6% BB%.
Last 7: 2.18 era, 33.0 ip, 10bb/39k, .970 WHIP. 29.3% K%, 7.5% BB%. In A+, it's 32.9% K%, 8.6% BB in 17.0 ip.

Luis Guerrero: I think the rankings are dragging behind the results and the scouting reports or there's just a very strong bias against bullpen arms (there is). But even here, no one really mentions him. Out of actual relief prospects, he's probably the best. He sits in the high 90s and tops out at 100. His velocity has improved drastically since being drafted last year. His fastball and splitter are potential plus offerings and his slider is potentially average. Reportedly has a curveball too but maybe he ditched it. It's his splitter that really separates him from the pack though.
Year: 27 games, 3.23 era, 39.0 ip, 17bb/59k. 1.103 WHIP. 35.5% K%, 10.2% BB%.
A+: 7 games, 2.08 era, 13.0 ip, 3bb/19k. 1.077 WHIP, 34.5% K%, 5.5% BB%.
last 18.1 ip, 4bb/30k.

Juan Daniel Encarnacion: Has an intriguing mix of pitches and has seen an uptick in velocity. If that continues to improve, he becomes an interesting arm.
26 games, 4.05 era, 113.1 ip, 42bb/129k, 1.271 WHIP. 26.5% K%, 8.6% BB%.


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4 of Greenville's every day players will be 20 years old next year. Mayer, Jordan, Bonaci, Paulino. The last Red Sox player (positional anyway) to make Portland in their age 20 season is Rafael Devers in 2017. Then Margot in 2015, Bogaerts (20) in 2013, Bogaerts (19) in 2012,Heiker Meneses (known filler even at 20) in 2012, Heiker (filler at 19, too) in 2011, Jose Iglesias in 2010, Anthony Rizzo in 2010, Lars Anderson in 2008, Josh Reddick in 2007 (barely, 1 PA), Hanley Ramirez 2004.

Over the last 20 years, the Red Sox have had 9 players reach Portland by age 20 or younger. One was known to be organizational filler in Heiker. Lars flamed out before making the majors. Devers, Bogaerts, Rizzo and Hanley were smashing successes. Iglesias and Reddick had/are having solid careers. Margot is on his way to having a good career. That's an insanely good list and the Sox have a chance to have 4 players make AA next year by age 20. 7 of 9 went on to be (maybe even above) average players or better.
 
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Marcelo Mayer: The jewel of the organization, he didn't disappoint. There wasn't much to dislike about Mayer's 2022 campaign, though the strikeouts are worth watching. After being promoted, he went 1/18. The next 97 PA, he hit .313/.433/.538, .396 BAbip, 16bb/23k, 9 xbh/4 HR. Those numbers are very similar to his numbers in Salem.
Overall: 91 games, 424 PA, .280/.399/.489, .365 BAbip, 68bb/107k, 45 xbh/13 HR. 17/17 sb. 16.0% BB%, 25.2% K%.
Worth noting: Over his last 21 games in Salem, he had 28bb/21k in 103 PA. He really started to figure out the league. Prior to that, he was at 23bb/57k in 205 PA. Pretty stark difference.

Nathan Hickey: The Red Sox 5th round pick in 2021 (closer to 2nd-3rd round money). He had an incredibly encouraging season with the bat. While a lot of his value depends on if he can stick behind the plate (projects to below average), there's now reason to believe he might hit enough for 1b or LF. Had just as much success in Greenville as Salem, though more power, less bb, more ks.. We will know more about him next year when he's at an age appropriate level at Portland but he mashed this year. Got overshadowed a bit by Kavadas but Hickey's probably the better prospect. It's close.
75 games, 328 PA, .263/.415/.522, .309 BAbip, 63bb/78k. 34xbh/16 HR. 19.2% BB%, 23.8% K% (26.7% in A+).

Blaze Jordan: He's started playing a bit more at 1b this year and will have to hit for more power than he has if he plans to make the majors. His power will largely depend on how his hit tool develops. He seems to be dedicated and a hard worker, having gotten into much better shape after being drafted. Still really young.
120 games, 521 PA, .289/.363/.445, .339 BAbip, 48bb/94k, 45xbh/12 HR. 9.2% BB%, 18.0% K% (25.5% in A+)

Nick Yorke: Yorke really struggled in his age 20 season, failing to hit for average or much power. Especially disappointing considering how well he did last year. He's fell out of some top 100 lists and his value has definitely taken a hit. He's also been fighting injures all year and has had some bad BAbip luck. Next year will be a telling year in AA, though AA always tells us a lot.
80 games, 373 PA, .232/.303/.365, .288 BAbip, 33bb/94k, 22 xbh/11 HR, 8.8% BB%, 25.2% K%,

Matthew Lugo: The 2nd round pick of 2019 got some press early on with a hot start to the season. He struggled mightily in July and fell out of the public eye some. He had a monster finish to the year to get some of the attention back. He should also start next year in Portland, probably at 2b or 3b. More than doubled his ISO year over year.
114 games, 512 PA, .288/.344/.500, .330 BAbip, 35bb/100k, 53 xbh/18 HR. 20/27 sb. 6.8% BB%, 19.5% K%.

Wikelman Gonzalez: Big time arm and still only 20 years old. Was a completely different pitcher since August, earning himself a promotion to A+ where he continued to do well.
Year: 25 games, 4.21 era, 98.1 ip, 54bb/121k, 1.322 WHIP. 28.3% K%, 12.6% BB%.
Last 7: 2.18 era, 33.0 ip, 10bb/39k, .970 WHIP. 29.3% K%, 7.5% BB%. In A+, it's 32.9% K%, 8.6% BB in 17.0 ip.

Luis Guerrero: I think the rankings are dragging behind the results and the scouting reports or there's just a very strong bias against bullpen arms (there is). But even here, no one really mentions him. Out of actual relief prospects, he's probably the best. He sits in the high 90s and tops out at 100. His velocity has improved drastically since being drafted last year. His fastball and splitter are potential plus offerings and his slider is potentially average. Reportedly has a curveball too but maybe he ditched it. It's his splitter that really separates him from the pack though.
Year: 27 games, 3.23 era, 39.0 ip, 17bb/59k. 1.103 WHIP. 35.5% K%, 10.2% BB%.
A+: 7 games, 2.08 era, 13.0 ip, 3bb/19k. 1.077 WHIP, 34.5% K%, 5.5% BB%.
last 18.1 ip, 4bb/30k.

Juan Daniel Encarnacion: Has an intriguing mix of pitches and has seen an uptick in velocity. If that continues to improve, he becomes an interesting arm.
26 games, 4.05 era, 113.1 ip, 42bb/129k, 1.271 WHIP. 26.5% K%, 8.6% BB%.


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4 of Greenville's every day players will be 20 years old next year. Mayer, Jordan, Bonaci, Paulino. The last Red Sox player (positional anyway) to make Portland in their age 20 season is Rafael Devers in 2017. Then Margot in 2015, Bogaerts (20) in 2013, Bogaerts (19) in 2012,Heiker Meneses (known filler even at 20) in 2012, Heiker (filler at 19, too) in 2011, Jose Iglesias in 2010, Anthony Rizzo in 2010, Lars Anderson in 2008, Josh Reddick in 2007 (barely, 1 PA), Hanley Ramirez 2004.

Over the last 20 years, the Red Sox have had 9 players reach Portland by age 20 or younger. One was known to be organizational filler in Heiker. Lars flamed out before making the majors. Devers, Bogaerts, Rizzo and Hanley were smashing successes. Iglesias and Reddick had/are having solid careers. Margot is on his way to having a good career. That's an insanely good list and the Sox have a chance to have 4 players make AA next year by age 20. 7 of 9 went on to be (maybe even above) average players or better.
Any good reports on how Mayer has been in the field?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Any good reports on how Mayer has been in the field?
It's all been encouraging but it's hard to tell how much is projection and how much is now. Like, WMB was projected to be a GG. Instead, he was merely average. I'm guessing Mayer is going to be at least fringe average at SS given the reports, probably better than that. I'm just not sure how good he is at the moment, maybe he's already fringe average. Where as someone like Luis Ravelo could play plus defense at the MLB level right now. There's no projection.

Outside of Portland, I don't really get to see these guys often myself to get a good feel on their D.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dalbec went 2/4 with 2 HR today. He was 2/3 with 2 HRs and a BB yesterday
Valdez was 1/3 with a double, bb.
Mata went 5.0 ip, 9 hits, 1r/1er, 0bb/7k.

Rafaela was 0/4 with 2k.
Lugo was 0/4 with 2k
Kavadas was 0/4 with 3k

This was Portland's last regular season game. They just finished 6 games in a row against Somerset just to play Somerset again in a best of 3.
 

simplicio

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Do we know anything about Eybersson Polanco? 1.78 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 12 starts seems like a pretty good place to start a career.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Not really but he doesn't really strike anyone out. He's 19 though so maybe he's another control pitcher in line for a velocity jump. He signed for $50k last year.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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David Laurila has a piece on Niko Kavadas on Fangraphs today. Here's one quote:
I recently asked Portland Sea Dogs development coach Katie Krall what makes Boston’s 2022 Minor League Player of the Year as good as he is.
“Niko understands his thumbprint as a hitter,” she said of Kavadas, who came to the plate 515 times and augmented his 110 hits with 102 walks. “He knows where he does damage. He’s got a disciplined approach in terms of the types of pitches he’s looking to hit and doesn’t chase a lot. If you look at his heat map, he does most of his damage belt to below, so a message we’ve tried to hammer home with him is to focus on that. He’s really bought into it. Even here in Double-A, where he hasn’t had the same results that he did in Greenville, the underlying processes are trending in the right direction.”
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/red-sox-milb-player-of-the-year-niko-kavadas-crushes-baseballs/
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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David Laurila has a piece on Niko Kavadas on Fangraphs today. Here's one quote:
I recently asked Portland Sea Dogs development coach Katie Krall what makes Boston’s 2022 Minor League Player of the Year as good as he is.
“Niko understands his thumbprint as a hitter,” she said of Kavadas, who came to the plate 515 times and augmented his 110 hits with 102 walks. “He knows where he does damage. He’s got a disciplined approach in terms of the types of pitches he’s looking to hit and doesn’t chase a lot. If you look at his heat map, he does most of his damage belt to below, so a message we’ve tried to hammer home with him is to focus on that. He’s really bought into it. Even here in Double-A, where he hasn’t had the same results that he did in Greenville, the underlying processes are trending in the right direction.”
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/red-sox-milb-player-of-the-year-niko-kavadas-crushes-baseballs/
I like Kavadas.... .but as a 23 year old in Portland isn't he old for the league? And as a poor defensive 1B, he seems likely to be at best a DH. Have they tried him in the OF? Will his bat hold up enough to cover his defensive shortcomings? My take on him is that he's another AAAA guy (like Binelas) that might catch on with another team and put together one or two above average seasons but nothing spectacular.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I like Kavadas.... .but as a 23 year old in Portland isn't he old for the league? And as a poor defensive 1B, he seems likely to be at best a DH. Have they tried him in the OF? Will his bat hold up enough to cover his defensive shortcomings? My take on him is that he's another AAAA guy (like Binelas) that might catch on with another team and put together one or two above average seasons but nothing spectacular.
He was a college draftee. All college draftees are old for the league. He did what he was supposed to do though and then some.

He's a DH type. His bat will have to carry him. Unlike Binelas, Kavadas is putting up results. He probably won't work out.

FWIW, those awards don't really mean anything. No one thought anything of Denyi Reyes despite him winning Sox POY in 2018. They are just awards given out to the best performers.

Kavadas was the best hitter in the Sox system this year. He probably deserved the reward. Doesn't mean anything at all about his future success though. As you said, he was old for the league.

Next year will be the telling year for him and Nathan Hickey, another college kid who was a bit too old for the level.

Ironically enough, Chase Meidroth is a college kid but was still in his age 20 season this year. He'll actually be the correct age if he starts the year in A+, and there's no reason he shouldn't.



Anyway, I kind of share your opinion but I have some hope Kavadas will be more than a AAAA bat. I think Binelas was promoted to AA too soon so hopefully he rebounds some next year.

Also, Binelas isn't a AAAA bat. I mean, he might end up being one but he hasn't really mashed at any level. He's also too young to give up on.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Speier has a nice general overview of this year's minor league system in the Glob.

For most players aside from Rafaela and perhaps Eddinson Paulino, it was a year of steady progress rather than breakouts. For others such as 2020 first-rounder Nick Yorke, it was a season of learning through struggles and adversity.

Perhaps most significantly, the big league arrivals of Bello and Casas represented the emergence of potential cornerstone players, with more to come from a farm system that no longer requires evaluators to squint to see future contributors.
He listed standouts and strugglers at the various positions:

Standouts: Marcelo Mayer, Ceddanne Rafaela, Miguel Bleis, Triston Casas, Niko Kavadas, Enmanuel Valdez, Blaze Jordan, Nathan Hickey, Bryan Mata, Brandon Walter

Struggled: Nick Yorke, Jeter Downs. Alex Binelas
 

Cesar Crespo

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Kavadas was also 23 and in A/A+ for most of the year. Even for a college player, he's on the old side. He turns 24 on October 27th.

On the bright side of being old.. if you do what is expected of you, you reach AA by your 2nd season. If he does well there, he's in AAA by June and possibly in Boston in August.
On the downside of being old, if he struggles out of the gate next year and finishes the season in AA... he'll be 25 for his first AAA exposure and will have to hit at a ridiculous level to get people to forget about 2023.

College players are damned if you, damned if you don'. If you don't hit, you're done. If you do hit, you were supposed to. Doesn't seem that fair but it's actually pretty accurate. Even if they bounce back their 2nd year, it's not really any better. This was especially true when college players would go to Lowell for a 100-150 PA. Brentz struggled mightily and even though he had a decent bounce back year, that initial struggle is often very predictive. There were even doubts/red flags about Bobby Dalbec after his time in Lowell even though he slashed .386/.427/.674. It was because a college kid shouldn't have 9bb/33k in 143 PA vs vastly inferior (and in some cases, still physically developing) competition. He's a 21 year old man against 18 year old boys. And the next year in A ball, Dalbec unsurprisingly struggled.

Dalbec started and finished his first full season of baseball at the A level.
Niko Kavadas started his first full season of baseball at the A level and was promoted twice, finishing the year at AA.

Kavadas got exactly 100 PA in AA. Slashed .222/.370/.333, 390 BAbip with a 16% BB%, 40% K%. He also had 2 HRs. Here, it's really easy to see why striking out 40% of the time is problematic. Hitting .222 with a .390 BAbip is hard to do.

In A+, he had a 26.1% K%/19.9% BB%.
In A, it was 27.6%/21.3% BB%

I was initially encourage by him moving up a level and keeping mostly the same K%. With players of his mold, I'm always worried as they move up the walks will turn into ks. He actually walked less too. He struck out or walked in 3% less of his PA. Then we get to AA and my fear starts to take shape (very SSS).

In AA, 58.0% of his PA ended in a K or BB.
in A+, 46.0% ended in a K or BB.
In A, 48.9% ended in a K or BB.

The power disappeared as he moved up too, but again it's only 100 PA.

On Soxprospects, Kavadas is ranked 22nd. That seems about right. His entire value is in his bat and how the bat will hold up at AA and beyond is very questionable.

Personally, I like Enmanuel Valdez considerably more than Kavadas. Far better plate discipline (or at least he strikes out less), and more versatile defensively (kind of, they are both DH types but you can possibly plug Valdez other places than 1b). Valdez had a 21.6% K%/11.1% BB%. He puts the ball in play far more often and the ISOs are comparable (.267 for Niko, .246 for Valdez). While mostly the same age, Valdez is 2 months younger and spent half the year in AAA. He's much further along. I like Nathan Hickey more as a hitter than Niko too, but Hickey might stick at C.

I think this board would like Enmanuel Valdez a lot more if he was already in the farm system rather than traded for. He should be talked about more than Niko but he's not. Probably doesn't help that his overall line in Worcester isn't that great but he was somewhat unlucky. He also has a father who is obsessed with the strike zone. He actually works in baseball and plate discipline is his expertise. It's helped Valdez greatly in the last 2 years. Enmanuel has evolved into a completely different hitter. It sucks he doesn't have a real position because the dude can rake.

Valdez is closer to Casas re: plate discipline (few less walks, few more ks). Kavadas is more Franchy Cordero/Bobby Dalbec. He's going to strike out a ton, and Dalbec actually walked in the minors.

Unlike Valdez, Niko doesn't have a split (yet). Sometimes R/L splits don't start to show themselves until AA/AAA.

Anyway, probably too much time spend on guys who will most likely end up with less than 500 career PA at the MLB level. There's always a chance though, especially with Valdez if they can find him a position.

They are all or nothing. Niko is going to have an OPS+ of 120 or higher to have a job in the majors. There's no side job for him. He's either the every day 1b/DH or he is nothing. Valdez slightly breaks that mold since he can "play" multiple positions. There's a possibility they can hide his bat at a few positions so he'd be an ok super sub type.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Speier has a nice general overview of this year's minor league system in the Glob.



He listed standouts and strugglers at the various positions:

Standouts: Marcelo Mayer, Ceddanne Rafaela, Miguel Bleis, Triston Casas, Niko Kavadas, Enmanuel Valdez, Blaze Jordan, Nathan Hickey, Bryan Mata, Brandon Walter

Struggled: Nick Yorke, Jeter Downs. Alex Binelas
Hey, someone else giving love to Eddinson Paulino. I'm not sure how he wasn't a stand out though. He had a better year than Blaze Jordan and almost every publication has him ranked higher than Blaze Jordan. He also showed some promise in CF. I'd put Matthew Lugo's season over Blaze Jordan's too.

Paulino is weird. He's on list. He's on some top 10 organizational list. He had a monster finish to the year. It was his age 19 season and he slashed .266/.359/.469 in A ball.

I said it earlier this year when someone through Paulino's name into a trade and I was against it. He has a very real chance of being a top 5 organizational prospect and a top 100 prospect in all of baseball. His scouting reports are lagging behind. They say he's pretty much average at everything but a few of the skills are looking above average now. Either that or he's going to max out at 53-55 in all his tools. A player who is average at everything is probably better than an average player. If that makes sense.

Last 152 PA: .336/.434/.578, .372 BAbip. 23bb/25k. Could just be a very good stretch or it could be a young kid starting to figure shit out.
Ignoring the first month of the season: 457 PA, .279/.375/.486, .323 BAbip. 58bb/82k. 50 xbh/12 HR. 26/31 in sb. He does everything. He's somewhat like Ceddanne Rafaela. He can play 2b/SS/3b and has been playing CF.. so he can probably play RF and LF too. He'd only be passable at SS but the other positions he projects to average (CF is a work in progress).

People should be liking Paulino a lot more. He showed serious growth at the plate. Him and Lugo are really hard to put a finger on. I guess we'll know more next year.
 

Cesar Crespo

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FWIW, Brayan Bello is no longer officially a prospect. After 50 innings, pitchers lose prospect status and rookie status.

So the Sox top pitching prospect is now Bryan Mata or Brandon Walter. If Wikelman starts 2023 the way he finished 2022, he could make a quick push to AA and the sox rankings quickly. He'll need to be on the 40 or exposed to the Rule 5, but he's so far away he probably won't be picked.
 

RoDaddy

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Speier has a nice general overview of this year's minor league system in the Glob.



He listed standouts and strugglers at the various positions:

Standouts: Marcelo Mayer, Ceddanne Rafaela, Miguel Bleis, Triston Casas, Niko Kavadas, Enmanuel Valdez, Blaze Jordan, Nathan Hickey, Bryan Mata, Brandon Walter
Some Sox minor league years have been especially memorable for different reasons, such as the ridiculous 2007 Lancaster JetHawks desert 200+ home run team, the great 2014 Portland team, and what I call the golden age when we had X, Mookie, 10D and Devers coming up. To me, this year was memorable because of Ceddanne. He came out of nowhere to shock, excite, awe and enchant us - especially when you consider he's only 5'8'' and 150 lbs and also looks eerily like Mookie B at the plate!!
 

LogansDad

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Only because Bello isn't a prospect. Everyone moved up a spot.

Kinda surprised they removed them. They are always slow with graduating players.
Gotcha, the rankings had him as 8 in parenthesis, so I guess that was start of the season and not the previous rankings.

Thanks again for everything you've done in this thread!
 

Cesar Crespo

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Gotcha, the rankings had him as 8 in parenthesis, so I guess that was start of the season and not the previous rankings.

Thanks again for everything you've done in this thread!
FWIW, the number in parenthesis on Sox Prospects was their ranking to start the season.

From the last update, (Going all off memory which is really good but not perfect) Bello graduated (and I think maybe Crawford, but he may have graduated the previous update), Romero has leap frogged Walter and moved up 2 spots. Paulino re-enters the top 10 (11 to 9) and Anthony went from 12 to 10.

There was a lot of movement in the 10-20 range. Wong moved up to 11, which is 10+ spots. Murphy dropped from 10 to 12. Wikelman moved up two spots to 13. Perales moved up 2 spots (17 to 15). Lugo moved up 4 (21 to 17) Bonaci moved up 6 (25 to 19). Weirdly, Hickey fell from 19 to 20. He continued to rake at A+ so it must be about his D at the C position and whether he will be able to stick.

Looks like the 20-30 range mostly stayed the same outside of Elmer Rodriguez Cruz who I believe was in the 31-60 (37ish) range prior.

2 of my binkies are now ranked. Though, I don't think they will be binkies for long. They are going to be legit prospects. Luis Guerrero is at 45 and Chase Meidroth is at 46. Guerrero has some nasty stuff and has seen his velocity climb from 92-93 topping out at 95 to 96-98 and topping out at 100. His splitter is potentially game breaking. He has the best raw stuff of any reliever in the farm system. With Bello gone, he's probably right behind Perales and Wikelman as far as stuff is concerned.

Now that my top binky is gone, Chase Meidroth replaces him. I'd be shocked if he wasn't in the Sox top 20 next year, if not the top 10. I think he has a shot of a top 100 list too. I could very well be wrong but he just gives me Dustin Pedroia vibes. I'm not saying he'll be as good as Dustin but he's the small, pesky kid full of hustle who is constantly questioned. They have a ton of similarities too, like being 20 year old juniors. Both are from California. Pedroia is listed at 5'9, 170. Meidroth at 5'10, 170.

Pedroia after being drafted: 185 PA .357/.435/.535, 19bb/7k, 19xbh/3 HRs. 2/4 sb.
Meidroth after being drafted: 96 PA, .316/.438/.540, 14bb/11k, 9xbh/4 HR, 4/6 sb.

Pedroia had a really big advantage in the K% department but it was also a different era back then. Even with that said, striking out 7 times in 185 PA was f'n ridiculous even in 2004. Meidroth walked 1.5 times more often but struck out 3 times as much. Meidroth's K% was 11.5%. That's an awesome number. Dustin was at 3.7% which is outlier elite. Having an elite skill is a huge advantage. Still, I'm pretty excited about Meidroth and think he'll be a fast riser in the system and could potentially be an every day player. It will largely depend on how much power he hits for. He's my sleeper for next year.


--

On a side note, without Bello in the system, the top 10 doesn't look nearly as strong. Bleis and Rafaela are fringe top 100 prospects. The Red Sox will most likely have 2 prospects in the top 100. The average team has 3.3. They do have a handful of players with top 100 potential, though (Perales, Romero, Paulino). Of course, the Sox also have 2 top 20 prospects which is more important.

Without Bello, the system is going to be closer to 15 than top 10. I can see that being a talking point this offseason for people who don't like Bloom. I think the farm system has so much depth that even if it's not high quality... it's almost a given some will turn into high quality. I like what Bloom has done with the farm even if a lot of the players he didn't bring in. They are developing under him. He's also doing a really good job identifying pitchers who will increase their velocity (Guerrero, Perales, and finding players who will recover their velocity (Dobbins, Webb).

2021 draft
Cruz: 90-93, tops out at 95. Turned 19 in August. Expected to gain velocity but hasn't yet.
Wyatt Olds: 93-95, tops out at 98. Already threw hard.
Dobbins: was throwing 94-96 and topping out at 98 but by the time he was drafted he was at 92-93 and topping at at 95. He's back up to 94-96 and topping out at 98.
Litwick: 95-97, topping out at 99. Already threw hard.
Troye: 94-96, tops out at 99. Already threw hard
Webb: Threw 94-96 topping out at 99 but when drafted, was sitting at 91-93 and topping out at 95. He's back to 94-96, topping out at 99.
Guerrero: Was around 92-93 topping out at 95. Now 96-98 and topping out at 100.
Uberstine: 92-94, tops out at 95. Still does.

The Red Sox selected 8 pitchers in the 2021 draft. 3 of them have seen an increase (or a rebound) in velocity. 3 were already velocity guys, one is a young projectable arm (and is the highest ranked and highest pick of the bunch), the other is organizational filler.

The international pitchers from 2021 are still too young and in development so we'll see how those pitchers develop. 2019 signing Luis Perales has the best stuff in the farm system and saw his velocity jump from 90-92 to 96-98 with an advanced curveball at 19 years of age.

I hope they keep Bloom around long enough to see if the farm system pays off, assuming the MLB team isn't very good the next year or two. Hopefully he has until 2025. I like what he's doing, it's just going to take a few years to get the system in place.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Ah, found the Hauser analysis! This was the interesting part to me:

So once you weed out the really terrible defenders, you get a list of 15 ... with a lot of NBA players on there. Curry, of course. Kispert. Duncan Robinson. Cameron Johnson. Desmond Bane. Of the bunch, Hauser has the best three-point shooting percentage. His block rate is also near the top. When I first saw him in summer league, I thought he was a crap defender and wouldn't last long in the NBA. Since then, I've seen some promising signs that have left me less sure.
Can he hit a fastball though?