Minor league thread 2022

Heating up in the bullpen

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As excited as I am about him, this seems like a fast promotion - and AA is a big leap. What's the rush? While young, he wasn't anything exceptional in previous years as he's been this year, so we only have a 2 month break out period to go by. Couldn't we wait longer to be sure it's real - and also for him to improve his plate patience, which seems critical for a speed guy like him?
All great points. Regardless, I’m psyched because it works out great for me. I just got to watch him play in Winston-Salem yesterday, and I’m going to watch him play in Portland next Sunday.
 

BringBackMo

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It’s a very interesting question as to whether they are rushing him. We know they like to push their best prospects and it feels like that has only increased under Bloom. There’s also been a lot of talk about how the elimination of rookie league ball has led to a kind of watering down of the minors all the way up to AAA, apparently because a lot of guys who would have been in, say, Lowell are instead in Salem, pushing guys up to Greenville, and so on. I wonder if they feel like he’s actually maxed out his development in hi-A because of this effect and is ready to be pushed in AA. Total speculation on my part, of course. Regardless, I share everyone else’s excitement about the move.
 

BigSoxFan

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Rafaela 0-4 in his first AA game but no K’s. On the bright side of things, Mayer just jacked one.
 

RoDaddy

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Can't ever remember anyone doing what Drohan's done tonight. Even the Clemens/Wood 20 k games might not have had that many strikeouts in 5 2/3. Interesting to see so many late swings on Drohan's supposedly average fastball

I'm disappointed that Binelas average has fallen to .225. I was excited about him as a prospect earlier in the year - think we all were. Guess I'd add Yorke, Groome and of course Downs to the disppointment list for this year as well.
 
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Manzivino

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It’s a very interesting question as to whether they are rushing him. We know they like to push their best prospects and it feels like that has only increased under Bloom. There’s also been a lot of talk about how the elimination of rookie league ball has led to a kind of watering down of the minors all the way up to AAA, apparently because a lot of guys who would have been in, say, Lowell are instead in Salem, pushing guys up to Greenville, and so on. I wonder if they feel like he’s actually maxed out his development in hi-A because of this effect and is ready to be pushed in AA. Total speculation on my part, of course. Regardless, I share everyone else’s excitement about the move.
Rafaela is also Rule 5 eligible this winter, and his defensive profile fits a guy who could stick on an MLB roster for a year. The FO probably thinks it’s worth pushing him early to get more info before they have to make a 40-man decision with him.
 

mwonow

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Can't ever remember anyone doing what Drohan's done tonight. Even the Clemens/Wood 20 k games might not have had that many strikeouts in 5 2/3. Interesting to see so many late swings on Drohan's supposedly average fastball

I'm disappointed that Binelas average has fallen to .225. I was excited about him as a prospect earlier in the year - think we all were. Guess I'd add Yorke, Groome and of course Downs to the disppointment list for this year as well.
By end of year, Downs might have that list named after him
 

Cesar Crespo

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Rafaela is also Rule 5 eligible this winter, and his defensive profile fits a guy who could stick on an MLB roster for a year. The FO probably thinks it’s worth pushing him early to get more info before they have to make a 40-man decision with him.
Pretty sure that choice is already made. He's going on the 40.

I don't think they are rushing him. He was starting to mash at the end of 2021 and it carried over this year. .330/.368/.594 in 209 PA. He did have a .409 BAbip but even with normal luck, he'd have a solid line. His plate discipline could use some work but that's something he can work on in AA. There's really no reason to keep him in A+. He's young for AA but not super young at 21y9m.
 

AlNipper49

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Bloom is behind the women in the blue shirt
For any visitors to GVL that’s section 108. Always a great place to sit as you’ll usually see some of the org folks (Varitek was a fixture for awhile) and, most importantly, you can have beers delivered to your seats with an all that they have.
 

TimScribble

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Drohan could be filthy at Florida State. Inconsistent at times but averaged over 13 K/Per 9 his last year.
 

BigSoxFan

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Rafaela 0-4, 2Ks. Now 1-12 in AA. Hope he settles down but quite possible he’s not quite ready for this level.
 

RoDaddy

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4 hits for Ceddanne tonight including one 2- and one 4-bagger. Who says he might not be ready for AA?! Oh wait, that was me
 

BringBackMo

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And because I think we’re already maybe taking this kid for granted, Mayer is slashing .318/.385/.533 in 102 PAs.

They’ve been cautious with him (as they should), so he has fewer PAs than some, and there’s still a long way to go, but I remember Speier talking last year about how big a deal it is for a prospect to go .300/.400/.500 across a full minor league season at any level. The players who’ve done it are really, really good. I wish I could find his list. It was pretty impressive. Anyway, Marcelo Mayer is just looking like a fantastic player. He’s my personal number one in the system.
 

Bertha

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Was in Portland yesterday. Rafaela’s 1st hit was a line shot off the monster, one hop directly to the left fielder. He made a solid throw, and Rafaela beat it. Most get thrown out on those or stop at first base.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Northcut had a 3 HR game on the 10th, and another HR on the 11. Yesterday he went 1/3 with a double and 2walks.

For the year, 210 PA, 197 AB. 20 HR. Slashing .231/.286/.574 with 12bb/79k. Talk about 3 true outcomes.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Also Rafaela is at .332/.371/.605 for the year, combined at both levels in 237 PA. Given the rest of his profile, if he continues to hit like this... it's going to be pretty hard to rank him. If the bat wasn't in question, he's right there with Casas and Mayer. Of course, the bat is in question. But so wasn't Mookie's his 2nd full season in the minors, because of his stature and the fact his 1st year was devoid of any power. It's also why Mookie never ranked any higher than the 60s and 70s on prospect lists. His bat was for real and he forced his way to the Majors the following year. He obviously would have been a top 5 prospect had he been eligible in 2014.

Anyway, back to Rafaela. 35 xbh in 223 AB this year. He had 25 xbh in his last 197 AB of 2021. That was over 209 PA in which he slashed .285/.325/.523 on a .311 BAbip.

So over his last 446 PA, he's OPSING well over .900. I compared him to Javy Guerra once. He was an all world defender who wasn't supposed to hit. Then at 19 in Low A, he slashed .279/.329/.449 with 15 HR in 477 PA. Based on that season, Guerra shot up the prospect rankings and was ranked in the 50s in all the major publications. Rafaela is totally outpacing that right now, but he's also a bit older.

Rafaela also didn't have an age 19 season. In Low A at age 20, he slashed .251/.305/.424 with 10 HRs in 432 PA. Most of the production was done in the last 209 PA noted above. The first 223 PA that season, he slashed .219/.285/.328 with a .266 BAbip.

Long winded way of saying I have no idea where he's going to be ranked at season's end. I could see him being as high as 3 or as low as 12-13.


My binky Pedro Castellanos has been mashing of late too. He was having a terrible year but has turned it around the last 93 PA. .371/.387/.652 with 5 HRs. 2bb/16k and a .406 BAbip though. Up to ..262/.292/.446 for the season.


Also, a lot of the hot starts have started to fizzle. The cream is starting to float to the top. Binelas and Hamilton are starting to look suspect while Rafaela continues to separate. Groome looks noticeably worse to me than he did at the end of last year.

Lugo hasn't had the best June (.211/.286/.500) but is still hitting for power. At .281/.343/.518 for the season in 220 PA. He currently has 27 XBH (6 HRs). Last year, he had 27 xbh (4 HRs) in 469 PA. So, he's equaled last year's production in less than half the time. Still surprised he doesn't get more hype around here or elsewhere (there is one major evaluator who likes him, I think it's Keith Law). He's a 5 tool prospect, just turned 21, was a 2nd round pick, went to Carlos Beltran Academy for High School. He has everything one would look for. I think a lot of players who made their debuts in 2019 and struggled got written off because there was no 2020, but it's just a feeling. His 2020 didn't exactly help but he did finish the year strong (.303/.383/.429 in 274 PA). He could be a candidate to break into the top 10, though there aren't many spots.

Andrew Politi continues to impress. 1.69 era in 8 games, 10.2 ip, 15k/4bb in Worcester. Combined between AA/AAA: 2.25 era, 20 games, 24.0 ip, 15 hits, 6r/5er, 3 HRA, 7bb/35k. 36.4% K rate, 7.3% BB rate.

The invisible Chris Murphy (less so now that Walter and Bello are in AAA) has continued his solid campaign. 2.56 era, 59.2 ip, 35 hits. 23r/17er. 3 HRA, 25bb/75k. 1.006 WHIP. 31.3% K rate, 10..4% BB rate.
vs L: .180/.286/.295 in 70 PA. I've mentioned it a bunch of times, but if he can get lefties out... he's going to have a MLB career as a SP.

Jeter Downs is now slashing .185/.315/399 in 200 PA with 25bb/65k and 10 HR. He just doesn't make enough contact.
 

RoDaddy

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Lugo hasn't had the best June (.211/.286/.500) but is still hitting for power... He's a 5 tool prospect...
5 tool or 5 half tools?

Big up to Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez who have been on a pretty good tear the last month or so after a slow start, reminiscent of the end of last year. In fact, they're now slotted 3/4 in the WooSox order! The Sox catcher outlook seems improved including Vasquez hitting half decent again with the big club
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Seabold went 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 65 pitches, 49 strikes. His ERA is 2.01
Politi went 1 IP, 0 R, 2 singles, 3 K, 19 pitches, 12 strikes. All 3 Ks were swinging. His AAA ERA is 1.54 in 11.2 innings over 9 appearances. He had 13.1 innings over 12 appearances at Portland this year before getting promoted. (But also pitched all last year at Portland, though as an unsuccessful starter until they started using him in short relief outings -- 5 total -- in late August.)
Duran was 1-3 with a HR and a BB; sitting at a .910 OPS
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Murphy takes a hard-luck 2-0 loss for the Sea Dogs.
He went 6 IP giving up 2 R on 5 H (2 solo HRs), 1 BB with 3 K.
Rafaela 0-3 with a BB and a K as the Sea Dogs only scraped out 5 H and 4 BB with 13 K. Rafaela's AA OPS slipped down to .996.
(Btw, terrific piece detailing Rafaela's rise through the system on SoxProspects: http://news.soxprospects.com/2022/06/scouting-box-score-ceddanne-rafaela.html)
 
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Heating up in the bullpen

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Greenville loses 10-6.
Lugo goes 2-5 with 2 HR
Binelas 2-5 with 2 2B
Northcutt 0-3 with 2 BB
(Edit: York was out, as he has been since 6/7, with back tightness per SoxProspects.)
One bright spot on the mound was Jacob Webb, making his first A+ appearance after being promoted from Salem. He went 2 IP with 2 H and 1 R (unearned) with 3 Ks. At Salem he threw 24.2 IP over 18 appearances with a 2.19 ERA. He gave up 21 H, 19 BB and 2 HBP with 39 K. Too many walks, but a juicy 14.5 K/9. SoxProspects has him at #57.
 
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Heating up in the bullpen

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Salem trounced Delmarva, 12-3 behind 9 hits (3 HR and 1 2B) and 13 BB.
Kavadas gets star of the game, going 3-3 with a double, homer (8), and 2 walks.
Paulino was 1-3 with a HR (4), 3 BB and 2 SB
Mayer 0-2 with 3 BB
Blaze Jordan was 3-5 with a HR (4)
Brainer Bonaci was 2-4 with a BB
Wikelman Gonzalez, staked to 2-0 and 8-1 leads, went 5 IP giving up single runs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. His final line was 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 earned), 3 BB, 5 K
 

LogansDad

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FCL has started up and Miguel Bleis, who signed last January out of the Domincan Republic is getting some looks. His first 23 PA he's got a .348 OBP, .898 OPS with a homer and 2 steals.
 

burstnbloom

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FCL has started up and Miguel Bleis, who signed last January out of the Domincan Republic is getting some looks. His first 23 PA he's got a .348 OBP, .898 OPS with a homer and 2 steals.
i highly suggest heading over to sox prospects message board to see the videos of him casually flicking the ball to the outfield wall. I have to keep telling myself not to get too excited about a kid this young.
 

RoDaddy

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Two more dingers and 5 ribbies for Ceddanne tonight and he's now rocking an OPS of 1.166 in AA! Is 33 ABs too early to get overly excited about b/c I'm now wondering if we're looking at someone with Mookie-lite big league potential
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Two more dingers and 5 ribbies for Ceddanne tonight and he's now rocking an OPS of 1.166 in AA! Is 33 ABs too early to get overly excited about b/c I'm now wondering if we're looking at someone with Mookie-lite big league potential
I really want to make that comp, but Ceddanne doesn't have Mookie's plate discipline. 55 Ks to 12 BBs this year; 204/65 for his career. So far 4/2 in the small sample of Portland. Would love for him to be working on that as the final piece of the puzzle that will get him to The Show.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Not the greatest start for Bello tonight as the WooSox fall to the Mud Hens 5-2. Bello went 5 IP giving up 3 R on 5 H (including a solo HR) with 2 BB and 8 K. He was looking pretty good through the 5th inning, having given up just the solo HR in the 2nd and sitting at 85 pitches. But he came back out for the 6th and gave up a first-pitch double, a four-pitch walk, and a run-scoring double to end his night. (His third run allowed came in on an ensuing sac fly.)
Meanwhile the offense mustered only five hits including a double by Connor Wong on a 1-4 night.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Sea Dogs beat Reading 6-1 on the strength of the aforementioned big night by Ceddanne Rafaela.
Jay Groome posted an excellent start, throwing 7 shut-out innings while giving up 2 hits and 4 walks and striking out 5.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Greenville pitching got shellacked again, the Drive losing 13-6 to the Hickory Crawdads.
Lugo was 3-5 with another HR (9) after two last night.
Binelas was 1-4 with a BB; Northcut 2-3 with 2 BB; and Folk Hero Big Joe Davis 2-5.
 

BringBackMo

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I really want to make that comp, but Ceddanne doesn't have Mookie's plate discipline. 55 Ks to 12 BBs this year; 204/65 for his career. So far 4/2 in the small sample of Portland. Would love for him to be working on that as the final piece of the puzzle that will get him to The Show.
Agree that a league MVP and one of the highest paid players in history is not the best comp for him. But there is simply no question at this point that he has established himself as a major prospect with a very high ceiling and, thanks to his glove and speed, a very high floor. He’s going to start showing up on top 100 lists soon.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Agree that a league MVP and one of the highest paid players in history is not the best comp for him. But there is simply no question at this point that he has established himself as a major prospect with a very high ceiling and, thanks to his glove and speed, a very high floor. He’s going to start showing up on top 100 lists soon.
When people had questions on Betts, they compared him to Tony Phillips. Tony Phillips is probably the better comp for Rafaela. At least atm. If Rafaela continues to mash, he's gonna be up there.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Have to love when low-bonus/low-pedigree guys come out of nowhere like this. And it always feels at least a little more exciting/promising when it's an IFA like Rafeala—or Bello, who made a big leap coming out of the lost 2020 season—because those guys often enter the minors with more room for all-around growth (physical, dietary, training, coaching, etc), which could mean the improvement is tied to something tangible and less likely to be a random fluke.

The fact that he is showing this much in-game power is impossible to ignore. I'm always a little paranoid about fast guys hitting well in the minors without the benefit of seeing the game. The defenses are so much worse that there's always a chance it's a bit of a mirage. But can't argue with hitting it over the fence.
 

Farty Barrett

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Agree that a league MVP and one of the highest paid players in history is not the best comp for him. But there is simply no question at this point that he has established himself as a major prospect with a very high ceiling and, thanks to his glove and speed, a very high floor. He’s going to start showing up on top 100 lists soon.
Rafeala was written about by David Laurila of Fangraphs. Mentioned he speaks the same 4 languages as Xander!
I would love for those two to play on the same team.
Currently, Rafeala is slugging .788 with a .269 BABIP
 

BringBackMo

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Rafeala was written about by David Laurila of Fangraphs. Mentioned he speaks the same 4 languages as Xander!
I would love for those two to play on the same team.
Currently, Rafeala is slugging .788 with a .269 BABIP
Right now, I have him sixth in the system. Love to hear where others have Ceddanne the Man right now. And, actually, love to hear everyone's top 10, too. (Anybody have Matthew "Luigi" Lugo cracking the list?) Here's mine:

1 Mayer
Couldn't be happier with this kid. Difficult not to get ahead of myself when thinking about his future. I think he'll be in Portland at some point next year.

2 Casas
His age, power, and overall approach make him secure in this spot for the moment. But...I know I've posted this before, but last season Alex Speier pointed out that even though you can see Casas' potential, he's never really dominated a level for a full season the way sure-fire prospects usually do. As a first baseman, he's gonna have to really hit to be able to make an impact. Even before he got hurt, this season had started out as a mild disappointment, and I can definitely see the guy in third place in my personal (bullshit) rankings passing him before long.

3 Bello
The most exciting pitching prospect to come along for the Sox in a while. I expect him to have a role in the Sox bullpen by the end of the season, and overtake Casas.

4 Yorke
Disappointing season, but in some ways it's comforting to know that injuries--as opposed to talent or approach getting exposed--appear to be the cause. Here's hoping he gets healthy in the second half and resumes raking. For now, he drops to fourth for me.

5 Duran
Has continued to refine his approach and has had a terrific offensive season so far at the plate. Defense is still a big question mark, as is whether he'll be able to hit in the big leagues.

6 Rafaela
Glove, arm, speed, and plus in-game power. K/BB raises questions about how his approach will translate as he rises through the system, but there's just so much to love here.

7 Mata
I've long had a big prospect crush on this guy, and his raw stuff reportedly continues to be overwhelming coming off of TJ. Said to have some control/command issues.

8 Walter
If you want to make the case that Walter should rank above Mata, I can see it. A K/BB savant with above-average stuff and a funky delivery, I see him potentially pitching out of the Sox bullpen at some point this year.

9 Seabold
Had injuries last year, and his stuff was reportedly diminished, but he's continued to have success in Worcester this season, while striking out a batter an inning.

10 Bleis
I'm totally just parroting SoxProspects with this one, as the only thing I know about his comes from the raves they have thrown his way. Said to be an exciting power-hitting CF with an advanced approach and above-average speed.

Love to see how others rank the top ten.