Minor league thread 2023

Blizzard of 1978

@drballs
Sep 12, 2022
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Wasn’t sure where to post, so figured I’d start the minor league catch-all for 2023.


MLB.com lists Mayer as their second best SS in the minors. They also think his ETA is 2024.

https://www.mlb.com/news/top-shortstop-prospects-2023
That's what I was thinking.He is one year away, but unfortunately Twitter fans don't realize this and are very impatient. That's why losing Bogie doesn't sting to me as much as losing Mookie. I am happy though as just by signing Devers that shows me they will be backing up their bet as Chaim Bloom says.
 

The Gray Eagle

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The Athletic has quotes from the prospects who attended the Rookie Development Program this past weekend, including W. Abreu, Bello, German, Hamilton, Zack Kelly, Mata, Walter, Murphy, Rafaela, and E. Valdez.
https://theathletic.com/4119873/2023/01/24/ten-red-sox-prospects-questions/
Some highlights:

Cedanne doesn't have a preference on where he plays, he just wants to get here and win games:
“To play everywhere, that’s what got me here. So, I can play every position. Offensively, just get on base and try to score runs to help the team win. Just play where the team puts me and help the team win. … Just try to get more base on balls. That’s maybe going to help me more this year, and if I get on base, it’s going to be more runs for the team and we can win more ballgames.”
Walter is healthy:
When the pandemic shut down the minor leagues in 2020, Walter was basically a non-prospect left to work out alone at home in Delaware. When he returned from the shutdown, Walter was a new pitcher. Higher velocity, better stuff, and the results showed in a breakout 2021 season. Hoping to build on that in 2022, Walter was instead shut down in early June with a bulging disc. He’d made only two starts in AAA.
Now that he’s throwing again — “Should be rolling into camp healthy,” he said.
Enmanuel has been working on his defense and baserunning:
I feel I can fit in any way this organization needs me to fit in, and I will do what I can to control (so that) I can be ready for those moments. … For me, I’ve been locked in hard on defense, but also here I’ve been working with our coach here, Corey Wimberly (the baserunning coordinator), trying to lock in on how I run the bases well so I can impact the game in other ways. Ultimately, working on those things and not losing sight of the bat, because the bat is what has gotten me here to this point.”
Murphy is into analytics, and talks the talk, like one of the more in-the-weeds posts on SOSH:
“I think I had much more success against righties,” he said, “because I was able to command a curveball toward the glove side at the back foot — inside to righties — and also put my slider inside and keep it away from the middle of the plate, and then throw the changeup away. Having a good tunnel with the slider and the changeup is ideal. And my best pitch is my fastball, and if I can throw that up in the zone, get guys to swing up in the zone and not give up the long ball like I did in 2021, that was the goal at the end of the day. Keep hitters off balance, throw everything for a strike, and execute pitches on the inner half most importantly.”
About Hamilton:
When they added him to the roster, though, a few Red Sox decision-makers said it was in part because they saw some untapped offensive potential in Hamilton’s game. He hit a career-best 12 home runs last season, but had a career-low .338 on-base percentage. So, the big question — now that he legitimately could be the next man up whenever the Red Sox need a middle infielder — is whether Hamilton can make those offensive strides.
Hamilton himself says "I'm never satisfied":
“Offensively, I think I got a little home-run happy,” he said. “That’s not really the right word, but I was trying to do too much damage when that’s not really my game. I’m a line-drive hitter, gap-to-gap guy, and I think this offseason I was focusing on staying on top of the ball and hitting line drives. And if I miss, miss lower and not in the air, and that’s been the main focus. … I’m definitely excited to be on the 40-man. It means they care about me at least a little bit. … The rule changes definitely help me out. It’s made to get people to try and steal, so I’m excited, because that’s what I like to do.”
 

AlNipper49

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It looks like Darren Fenster is still the minor league infielding coach. He's someone that I figured would shoot up the coaching ranks but seems to have stalled. Anyone know what gives?
 

simplicio

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It looks like Darren Fenster is still the minor league infielding coach. He's someone that I figured would shoot up the coaching ranks but seems to have stalled. Anyone know what gives?
I don't see him in the Speier tweets above, but is it possible that want him in one spot for a bit, given all the high picks they've spent on high school shortstops lately?
 

JM3

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He has a very detailed LinkedIn. This is what he says his current job duties are:

Minor League Infield Coordinator
Dec 2021 - Present 1 yr 2 mos

-Oversee and drive our organizational approach to developing infielders throughout our Minor League system, from AAA all the way down to our academy in the Dominican Republic, ensuring consistent messaging and principles throughout, with the goal of eventually syncing them up with the goals of our Major League club in Boston.

-Successfully balanced the individualization of player plans while keeping their developmental path in line with our foundational pillars from which we build from.

-Work extensively with affiliate coaching staffs to help administer and carry out our developmental plan and processes on a daily basis for our players over the course of the season.

-Designed and implemented a defensive tracking system for infielders that revealed specific areas for improvement both for individual players as well as for the organization as a whole.

-Created and organized progressive drill packages and unique practice routines that helped players improve and maximize their potential. -Visit our affiliates numerous times at various points in the season to track and evaluate progress and identify new or continuing points of emphasis for our coaches and players to focus on.
Considering how heavily they draft infielders, it could be an important role in ur organization & there's no cap on what you pay your coaches...

https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenfenster
 

The Gray Eagle

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Kole Cottam asked for his release and it was granted:
https://www.si.com/mlb/red-sox/news/red-sox-officially-cut-former-catcher-prospect-after-inconsistent-run-in-minor-leagues-pat3

He was a former 4th round pick. He hit decently in AA last year but poorly in 14 games in AAA. Seems like he realized he would be behind a few others and wouldn't play much in Worcester:
With Caleb Hamilton, Ronaldo Hernandez, and Elih Marrero all in the mix for a spot with Worcester as well, Cottam likely wouldn't have had much of a role with the club in 2023.
 

absintheofmalaise

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The gran facenda
The Eugene Emeralds will be known as the Exploding Whales for four games in April. Merch is available on their site.

The Eugene Emeralds announced it will use an alternate identity for four games starting in April.

The team will use the "Exploding Whales" alternate identity for its April 12, April 22, May 6 and Aug. 19 games, officials said.

In November 1970, a 45-foot-long sperm whale washed ashore in Florence. As is now well known Oregon history, the state's highway division consulted with the U.S. Navy and decided to remove the nearly 8-ton whale with dynamite, hoping the whale would separate into small pieces for animals to eat. During the event, bits of whale flew everywhere, making it the first — and last — time Oregon disposed of washed-up whales with dynamite.
 

Sin Duda

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But maybe not a good game to take your little ones to. "Why are they called the *Exploding* Whales, Daddy?" "Well, it seems a whale beached itself 50 years ago right near here. And they couldn't pull it off the beach, so they blew it to smithereens!"
 

shaggydog2000

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But maybe not a good game to take your little ones to. "Why are they called the *Exploding* Whales, Daddy?" "Well, it seems a whale beached itself 50 years ago right near here. And they couldn't pull it off the beach, so they blew it to smithereens!"
Children need to learn about the patriotic act of blowing stuff up eventually. I'd prefer they learned it with their parents or guardians at a family event like this, rather than in a back alley with a firecracker, a rodent, and a juvenile delinquent.
 

Sin Duda

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Children need to learn about the patriotic act of blowing stuff up eventually. I'd prefer they learned it with their parents or guardians at a family event like this, rather than in a back alley with a firecracker, a rodent, and a juvenile delinquent.
Indeed! That's the way I learned (except it was the woods, an M-80, a frog, and the juvenile delinquent eventually became a felon).
 

chrisfont9

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Children need to learn about the patriotic act of blowing stuff up eventually. I'd prefer they learned it with their parents or guardians at a family event like this, rather than in a back alley with a firecracker, a rodent, and a juvenile delinquent.
Children have the internet and have seen the video 500 times. Don't you worry. Personally I would make them read Sometimes a Great Notion in combo with the exploding whale video. Then you really have captured the Oregon coast.
 

The Gray Eagle

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YTF

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Just tuned in. 1-0 Syracuse. Whitlock giving up two hits to start the third, aided by a double play, runner moves to third and gives up a double to the next batter. Strikes out the last batter (his fourth) to get out of it with just a run. Today's lineup...

62878
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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WooSox win their opener 11-2. Whitlock gave up 1 run, 6 hits, and 1 walk in 4 IP (75 pitches) with 6 Ks. David Hamilton, Greg Allen and Daniel Palka homered. Hamilton (70 SB last year) stole a base and was caught stealing.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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WooSox fall to Syracuse 16-6. Brandon Walter with a rough start: 7 hits, 2 walks, 5 runs, 1 K in 3.2 IP. Cam Booser -- the guy who quit baseball because of injuries, worked as a carpenter, then decided to give pitching another try -- did worse, giving up 5 hits, 1 walk and 6 runs (including a grand slam by Mets uber 3b prospect Brett Baty) in 2/3 IP (both outs were Ks). Every WooSox pitcher gave up at least 1 run.
 

AlNipper49

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Yorke in Portland has me concerned. He really hasn't shown a ton in the last 1.5 years. At some point I guess that you have to see what you have, but I'm extremely skeptical.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Yorke in Portland has me concerned. He really hasn't shown a ton in the last 1.5 years. At some point I guess that you have to see what you have, but I'm extremely skeptical.
He had a very good stretch to end the season last year and was battling injuries. But generally agree- he needs to perform consistently good this whole year or he’ll be an afterthought after ‘23
 

Chainsaw318

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Yorke in Portland has me concerned. He really hasn't shown a ton in the last 1.5 years. At some point I guess that you have to see what you have, but I'm extremely skeptical.
Agree that Yorke had a bad one last year. A couple of nagging injuries to different parts of the body, and he wasn’t great when he wasn’t injured. He was decent in the fall league.

That said, categorizing the latter part of his 2021 as part of a period of disappointing hitting would not seem to be correct, as he was good in Salem in August 2021, and on promotion to Greenville late in the month, was very good through the end of the year.

21 Games, 84 AB, 6 Doubles, 4 HR’s, 11 BB’s, 333/406/571. A 977 OPS can’t really be disappointing, even in a small sample.

It would be fun if last year was a bump in the road and not hitting a ceiling. A little optimism remains in the scouting loving the bat to ball skills and some of the power and selectiveness was still being present last year in his batting line.

Made to opine right now, I’d think the bat is good enough to play second, but I worry the defense isn’t going to be good enough, and he may not hit enough to be a starting outfielder.
 

TimScribble

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On the mlb app, add Boston as your favorite team. Click watch and it should be there as an option.
 

RoDaddy

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Impressive Portland line-up to start the season with Yorke, Rafaela, Kavadas, Scott, Lugo, Binelas and Koss 2 through 8. Should be a fun offense before some of them start moving up to AAA.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Here is Miguel Bleis throwing a runner out at 3rd by a country mile.


He is also 1-2 with a 2b and bb.
 

Sin Duda

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Hey, I was checking out our catching situation in the MiLB, and I think everyone knows 23 y.o. Nathan Hickey is our top prospect (#19 at SoxProspects). But look at this statistical oddity from his 2022 season at Salem (Low A) and Greenville (High A): splits were .271/.429/.507 - .936 OPS in 182 PA at Salem, and .252/.397/.539 - .936 OPS in 146 PA at Greenville. In addition to having identical OPS at each stop, it's more important that our LHH catcher displays a good batting eye and decent power. He'll likely have to stay at catcher to make the the parent club, and to do that he will need to improve his defense, which SoxProspects calls "fringy".

A recent SoxProspects writeup as Hickey prepares for his start at Greenville.

Catcher: Nathan Hickey, Greenville Drive
A fifth-round pick in 2021, Hickey repeats his spot as the catcher on the All-Star squad after a strong 2022 campaign. He hit .271/.429/.507 in an initial assignment to Salem, following that up with a .252/.397/.539 after his June promotion to Greenville. He tallied 18 doubles and 16 homers between the two levels while working a 19.2 percent walk rate. Hickey returns to the Drive to start 2023, where his pop and advanced approach should lead to continued strong production.


And if you're wondering about other catching prospects we have in the pipeline, 2022 9th round draft pick Brooks Brannon had a 1.379 OPS in limited PAs in the FCL. I don't see any news on his assignment for 2023, but it looks like he'll start in the FCL again, since it seems he's not assigned to Salem. He's only 18, turning 19 in May.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Garrett Whitlock started Opening Day for both the Woo Sox and the Sea Dogs.
I think that might be an all-time record for most Opening Days started in one season (but I would guess he's probably tied with some others who must have done the same thing at some point.)

I doubt anyone is likely to start more Opening Days in one season anytime soon. Now he just needs to start the opening game of the postseason for the Red Sox this year to make it an unbreakable record.

He's thrown 10 innings, allowing 2 runs and 2 walks with 14 Ks.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Mata struggled with control, walking 5 of the 18 batters he faced over 3.2 ip. The good news is he also struck out 6, though it could be a case of effective wildness.

Still in the midst of cold days, which I’m sure can have an impact.