Minor League Thread 2024

JM3

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Looking at swinging strike % in the Red Sox MiLB, some notable guys from last year...

Gilberto Batista 50.7%

Most of the top guys are from the DSL... but that is a pretty big outlier even among that group. The top 17 (min 30 innings) is all from DSL & FCL.

Then....

Yordanny Monegro 20% (includes some FCL)
Luis Guerrero 17.1%
CJ Liu 16.8%
Luis Perales 16.5%
Luis De La Rosa 15.9%
Christopher Troye 15.8%
Angel Bastardo 15.5%
Jonathan Brand 15.3%
Alex Hoppe 15.3%
Hunter Dobbins 14.9%
Wikelman Gonzalez 14.4%
Jedixson Paez 14.3%
 

JM3

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A few guys who might have been victimized by bad BABIP luck last year...

Maceo Campbell .407
Brendan Cellucci .390
Chris Murphy .378
Alex Hoppe .374
Noah Dean .358
CJ Liu .354
Chase Shugart .352
Obed Balderas .350
 

Squeteague

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May 8, 2021
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Just wanted to note the swinging strike % on this chart for Yordanny (#2 in Tilt rating) & Perales (#9). This is for pitchers who started at least 5 games & pitched at least 30 innings in A-Ball at 21 or younger.

View: https://twitter.com/Prospect_Tilt/status/1757865886055120959


Of the players on the list, Yordanny is #1 in swinging strike % with 17.96% & Perales is 4th at 17.01%

I believe both Breslow & Bailey are on the record this off season discussing the importance of getting swinging strikes in the zone.
Prospect tilt has David Sandlin highlighted among prospects just outside the top 100.
mid-90s fastball that can touch 98 (reports of him touching triple digits in the offseason) and a slider with good H movement. The changeup and splitter also flash as potential plus pitches from what I’ve seen. Not many people are talking about David Sandlin given his stuff and results and I think he’s a priority add in deeper dynasty formats. He is a name people are going to be hearing more of in 2024. Sandlin is a future mid-rotation starter as an SP2/SP3 with considerable upside for more.”
More on the triple digits from the offseason: during a bullpen session, metrics showed Sandlin hitting 100mph with 20” IVB on his fastball. That’s elite stuff. That’s also absurd and only a handful of pitches; I repeat, pitches, not pitchers, were able to produce those metrics in the big leagues last year. I can’t help but think the Red Sox were privy to these developments and that was the reason they targeted him in the first place.
 

JM3

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Thx Sque. I thought I had posted that in the Acquisitions thread, but I didn't (but there is a bunch of other Sandlin content there).

Next on the SP countdown is yet another player who struggled at Portland this year.

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1759743480874606757


Zef has not had a very successful MiLB career so far, despite throwing hard & having really good strikeout stuff. He was a 3rd round pick in '19 & signed for $500k. After playing short-season Low A in '19, he pitched 14 innings well in FCL in '21 before being promoted to A-Ball, where he had a 6.91 ERA (4.59 xFIP) in 12 starts over 41.2 IP. Back then he was only striking out 8.9 per nine & walking 3.2.

In '22 he spent most of the year in Greenville. He was making mostly long relief appearances & starting some games in the beginning of the season & struggled pretty mightily (ended with a 5.79 ERA in A+ on the season), but he caught fire at the end of the season in mostly shorter appearances:

10 games
15.2 IP
1 run
6 hits
4 walks
15 strikeouts

0.57 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 2.3 bb/9, 8.6 k/9

At that point, he was promoted to Portland, where he continued his run of success - in the face of unimpressive underlying #s: 10.2 IP, 0.84 ERA (5.40 xFIP), 3.4 bb/9, 5.9 k/9.

In '23 he became a real strikeout weapon... but also a gigantic walk machine. On the season he put up:

34 games
43 innings
5.02 ERA (4.77 xFIP)
8.4 bb/9
14.2 k/9
1.70 WHIP

He became a real 3 outcomes pitcher, striking out 33.3% of hitters, walking 19.6% & allowing 7 homers. He'll need to significantly improve his control/command to become a useful reliever. & he turns 26 next week.
 

JM3

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Cora on Yorke:

“He’s another kid who has been very diligent as far as following the program,” said Cora. “He's always here [in Fort Myers] towards the end season. He shows up early. And whatever [player development] has asked him to do, he's done.”
Yorke on his '23:

“Last year, I took away that it was a step in the right direction,” Yorke said. “Human nature, I always want to do better than what I showed. I’m just really excited to get out there in '24 and show what I can do.”
Yorke on his '24:

“I feel really good,” Yorke said. “I feel like I know what I need to do to get myself ready for the season. And you know, once you do it more than two years, three years, you’re getting used to the lifestyle of it all. It’s been good.”
Cora on Yorke's progress:

“I was very impressed with the body of the at-bats a few years ago, being able to control the zone, hit the ball to right-center [field],” Cora said. “He's a big kid now. He’s not the same guy we saw in Spring Training of '21, and it's a big season for him. He comes here to gain experience and to see how it works. Looking forward for him to get a few at-bats at second base, move him around and get him more athletic so he’s up to the speed of the game at this level and see where it takes us.”
https://www.mlb.com/news/nick-yorke-eyes-breakout-showing-at-red-sox-camp?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage
 

JM3

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Was just looking at my BetMGM app. They don't seem to think Red Sox are likely to win AL ROY.

The favorites are Evan Carter (+275) & Jackson Holliday (+300).

Wilyer Abreu is 11th at +3000.

C Note & Mayer are part of a 6-way tie for 18th at +5000.

(I bet a small amount on the Red Sox over 79.5 wins at even odds... I'm a sucker for the JM smoke)
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1760677643664671024


Having a guy like Sogard in the Top 60 is a bit less silly than when they had a guy like Ryan Fitzgerald in there, but I still don't really see it.

Sogard was a 12th round pick by the Rays in '19 & came over with Roberto Hernandez in the Springs/Mazza deal.

Sogard definitely took a big step forward this past season in Worcester in terms of ability to impact the ball, bumping his ISO from .075 to .125 & hitting 7 homers in a full season compared to 0 in a half season in '22, but he only improved his wRC+ from 93 to 97.

Sogard, who turns 27 in September, is a solid, but not elite defender at a # of positions.

Last year he played:

3B - 328 innings (3 errors)
2B - 276 innings (1 error)
SS - 164 innings (5 errors)
RF - 80 innings (1 error)
LF - 68.1 innings (1 error)

The switch hitter had a .701 OPS against righties last year & .958 against lefties. The mashing lefties thing is somewhat interesting, & he was clearly locked in against them, walking 20 times & only striking out 14 in 111 PAs.

Sogard also struggled away from Polar Park (.855 OPS at home, .675 on the road).

I'm rooting for him, but I don't really see ranking him here & had him 93rd in my last rankings (#94 after adding Sandlin).
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1760808456682975532


I am a bit offended for Rosier that he's next to Sogard here. In addition to being 49 of 56 on steals in the regular season, he also stole 8 of 9 for Glendale.

Rosier, who turns 25 in September, seems to me to have a much clearer path to MLB usefulness than Sogard.

Rosier was quite good against righties (.841 OPS) but awful against lefties (.493 OPS). Would expect Rosier to be a mainstay in the Worcester OF this year.

I have Rosier #38 after addition of Sandlin.
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1761047873209205111


Helly is a bit of a distressed asset due to injury, but he used to be a high end prospect & his stuff plays (except the whole lack of control thing).

I might be too high on him at 42 & may be minimizing his massive downside risk. But anyway, the 6'2 lefty is hopefully ready to go for the 1st significant action since '21.
 
May 18, 2021
32
New Orleans, LA
Exciting stuff in the Athletic today: https://theathletic.com/5298462/2024/02/26/keith-law-red-sox-prospects-marcelo-mayer/?source=user_shared_articleTimelines for Marcelo Mayer, Kyle Teel and Roman Anthony: Keith Law on Red Sox prospects

Jen asks Keith Law about Mayer’s injuries, Teel’s defense, and Anthony‘s rise, as well as expected debuts for each. She also asks him about the Sandlin trade (he’s a fan), the infusion of new pitchers to the system (all relievers except Sandlin, with Slaten as highest upside), the Rafaela-Bradley comparisons (mostly lazy), Yorke in the OF (unlikely to hit enough), projections for Abreu (which would make him a borderline ROY candidate), and bullpen chances on Perales and Gonzalez (high for both). Here are some choice quotes (Dopes, please delete if this is egregious — I’m a big fan of their coverage and highly recommend taking advantage of one of their subscription deals):


I edited out everything after this because of the very high amount of quotes you posted from a paywalled site. The rule here that you can post snippets only. I'll also send you a PM - absintheofmalaise
 
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LogansDad

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Exciting stuff in the Athletic today: https://theathletic.com/5298462/2024/02/26/keith-law-red-sox-prospects-marcelo-mayer/?source=user_shared_articleTimelines for Marcelo Mayer, Kyle Teel and Roman Anthony: Keith Law on Red Sox prospects
Thank you for posting, that's a really nice article.

As an FYI, we try to post only snippets or key points of articles here, especially paywalled ones, so you may want to cut some of your copy and paste down.
 
May 18, 2021
32
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Thank you for posting, that's a really nice article.

As an FYI, we try to post only snippets or key points of articles here, especially paywalled ones, so you may want to cut some of your copy and paste down.
Thanks, copy that. It started out as one sentence per graf and there was too much good info. Happy to cut it back if needed.

What a turnaround for Keith Law. A lot of that is due to Anthony, but it’s almost like he’s making it up to us after last year’s exceedingly low farm ranking.

Abreu‘s projections both seem a little crazy and are right about what I’d expect. If that and Valdez’s defensive improvements are real, that trade will go down as one of the best in recent memory. As the Bloom fades, maybe his dubious legacy improves?
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1761047873209205111


Helly is a bit of a distressed asset due to injury, but he used to be a high end prospect & his stuff plays (except the whole lack of control thing).

I might be too high on him at 42 & may be minimizing his massive downside risk. But anyway, the 6'2 lefty is hopefully ready to go for the 1st significant action since '21.
I've fallen a bit behind on this series. I'm irrationally high on JReems' contact skillz & have him 45th. Will hopefully be a fun one to watch this season.

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1761779496779206828
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1761959409117257796


I don't really get the Sena thing (I have him #94), but I hope they're right.

He's 5'10 & walks a lot of guys (over 4 per 9 at both A & A+ this year), & overperformed his metrics & was good in A & underperformed then in A+ & was bad.

He pitched about 30 innings this year & had a 3.64 ERA combined, after pitching 21 innings with an ERA of almost 6 in A-Ball last year. I think they're probably just overinflating his value because he ran hot for 15 A-Ball innings this year (1.20 ERA, 3.52 xFIP), but like I said, I hope to be very wrong & missing something.
 

JM3

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Placing Sena next to another reliever who was promoted from Salem to Greenville also just feels lazy.

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1762155768902492249


The Cepeda ranking seems fine. I have him #54. He also greatly over-performed his underlying #s, but he did it when he was promoted to Greenville. He earned the manager's faith & became a closer, though, & generally seems to have better stuff & actual MLB upside.

Will need to keep the walk #s closer to where they were at Greenville (2.7 per 9) than where they were at Salem (6.3 per 9) if he wants to continue to make an impression, though.
 

JM3

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Only good thing is we have a tiny bit of clarity as this has been in limbo since like August. Would be nice to have some details to know if he should be totally disowned for whatever it is he did. But I'm guessing probably.
 

JM3

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On the far more wholesome end of the news spectrum, I really like this article on Perales & Wikelman. They both know the exact minute they got the call to tell them they were being put on the 40-man. I'm not sure how I feel about the story about his dad making him cry by forcing Wikelman to play baseball when it didn't want to & now he appreciates it, but yeahhh...

Really excited for Perales this year.

Perales said he worked on his entire pitch mix and spent a lot of time in the weight room building strength this offseason. He also added to his pitch mix that already included a fastball, cutter, slider and changeup.

“Right now I’m just working on a split, which is a new pitch,” Perales said. “Hopefully that will help me in the future.”
https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2024/02/527-red-sox-top-2-pitching-prospects-added-to-roster-know-exact-time.html
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1762302465658015920


I'm probably overly high on KCamp (my #24) but he really hit the ground running last year (189 wRC+ in FCL, 124 wRC+ in high-A regular season) & was instrumental in Greenville's title run (7-12 with a double, a homer, a walk & 3 runs & 6 RBI).

Doesn't turn 22 until June & showed good OF instincts despite being a SS most of his life.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I’m pretty excited to see all of the bats from last draft. Teel obviously but the Naz/Anderson/Reiner/Campbell group range from interesting to electric.

Need that next gen to backfill when the studs at AA and above start making their moves to Boston.
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1762505645427748956


Same deal with Coffey who I have 30. I get the concerns with the fastball not being that fast, but he was successful from his arm angle at his speed, & if he can add a bit more mph I think there's some real there there.

In 23 games basically equally divided between A+ & AA...

117.2 IP
3.37 ERA
2.5 bb/9
11.9 k/9
1.11 WHIP

I think he has an outside shot at being a back of the rotation starter with some pathways to being a pretty good reliever.

You might think he would struggle against lefties as a guy coming from his arm angle, buuuut...

OPS by lefties: .648
OPS by righties: .729

He struck out 34% of the 206 lefties he faced (30% of righties). 5.8% walk rate against lefties, 7.4% against righties.
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1763046357240013050


I feel kinda bad, but I'm just not really a TMac guy (#68). Doesn't really move the needle for & turns 25 in April.

Switch hitter who was decent as a lefty (.724 OPS) but bad as a righty (.604 OPS). Got better as the season went on & had a really good September (.924 OPS), which obviously if it's his new level, that would be big, but don't really see it.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Just popping in to thank you @JM3 for all of your posts. Just because we don't always respond to them doesn't mean we are not reading them and appreciating them. It's interesting to read your analysis next to the SP guys, and while I'm pretty sure those guys have spent more hours watching these kids then you, I tend to agree with your rankings. Not a knock necessarily on SP. I just like your "high upside" style of ranking.

McDonough is a perfect example. Yeah, he might play a few seasons in the bigs, but it's really hard to envision him having much impact. I'd much prefer taking my chances with a Kristian Campbell.
 

JM3

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Just popping in to thank you @JM3 for all of your posts. Just because we don't always respond to them doesn't mean we are not reading them and appreciating them. It's interesting to read your analysis next to the SP guys, and while I'm pretty sure those guys have spent more hours watching these kids then you, I tend to agree with your rankings. Not a knock necessarily on SP. I just like your "high upside" style of ranking.

McDonough is a perfect example. Yeah, he might play a few seasons in the bigs, but it's really hard to envision him having much impact. I'd much prefer taking my chances with a Kristian Campbell.
Thx! Yeah, I definitely don't do any in person scouting trips & most of what I see is stats & highlights, but it's still fun to explore different things, & it would be really boring to me if I just blindly followed what SP or anyone else said.
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1763231374226379157


Scott is a guy I think I was too high on at one point (looks like I had him 26) when he was raking at Worcester earlier in the year. One thing I noticed during that streak though is that every single homer seemed to be a carbon copy of the last...cement mixer breaking ball out & away which he crushed. It seemed like teams learned to stop throwing that to him & he struggled mightily down the stretch.

I had Scott 50 on my last list because I stopped feeling like his hitting was good enough to cover for his not good enough defense.

Found my posts toward the end of the season on Scott's slump...

When I start to revisit my ranks I start by moving people based on feel. My feel had Stephen Scott dropping a good ways. Let's see if my feel is supported by reality...

In his last 21 games, Scott is 9-74 with 1 double, 1 triple, 0 homers, 14 walks & 22 strikeouts.

That is a slash of .122/.261/.162 for a .423 OPS.

Yes, it's not a huge sample, but it's troubling for a guy who needs to rake to find a job & is already 26.
Scott was 0-3 with a walk & 3 strikeouts.

So 9-77, 15 walks, 25 strikeouts.

He's making it easier to ensure he doesn't get claimed R5.
Scott turns 27 in May. He's 0-5 with 3 k's so far in Spring Training.

Parker had a small article today where Jake Faria & PENROD were complimenting Scott's pitch calling.

View: https://twitter.com/BeyondtheMnstr/status/1763301703288234041


But the other catching stuff was rough...good IPEP, but his cs% was 2nd worst in the org behind only Hickey. 13% isn't cutting it.

The Hickey stat has me curious about all the catchers in the org, so let's put them all in one place. I did the main DSL ones yesterday, but will add the others. The stat at the end is the # of innings per error + PB (higher #s good). I'll tentatively call it "IPEP" & round it to the nearest whole inning. I believe this is everyone on the list who caught at least 50 innings this season. Will use this to inform my relative rankings some. To a large extent I think I already have it baked in less formally on most guys, but it really shows just how bad Hickey & Scott are with the running game & how they probably do not have a future at catcher. The fact that Enmanuel Martinez (#200) & Daniel McElveney (#204) caught like 20 innings each this season despite I believe being healthy is a pretty good indication that they are both ranked too high.

(#166) Elih Marrero (AA): 289.1 innings, 26 steals, 16 caught stealing (38%), 4 errors, 3 PB (41 IPEP)
(#86) Kleyver Salazar (DSL): 234.2 innings, 35 steals, 20 caught stealing (36%), 1 error, 8 PB (26 IPEP)
(#54) Andruw Musett (DSL): 216 innings, 30 steals, 16 caught stealing (35%), 5 errors, 4 PB (24 IPEP)
(#256) Anger Romero (DSL): 75 innings, 20 steals, 11 caught stealing (35%). 3 errors, 5 PB (9 IPEP)
(#80) Gerardo Rodriguez (DSL): 136 innings, 18 steals, 9 caught stealing (33%), 3 errors, 2 PB (27 IPEP)
(#225) Diego Viloria (FCL): 128 innings, 20 steals, 10 caught stealing (33%), 5 errors, 5 PB (13 IPEP)
(#12) Johanfran Garcia (FCL/A): 259.2 innings, 41 steals, 19 caught stealing (32%), 6 errors, 4 PB (26 IPEP)
(#3) Kyle Teel (FCL/A+/AA): 166 innings, 29 steals, 12 caught stealing (29%), 3 errors, 3 PB (33 IPEP)
(#121) Alex Erro (A+/AA): 395.2 innings, 48 steals, 20 caught stealing (29%), 9 errors, 5 PB (28 IPEP)
(#156) Frederik Jimenez (DSL): 70 innings, 17 steals. 7 caught stealing (29%), 2 errors, 2 PB (18 IPEP)
(#78) Enderso Lira (A): 495.2 innings, 117 steals, 43 caught stealing (27%), 16 errors, 11 PB (18 IPEP)
(#228) Liosward Marin (DSL): 146.1 innings, 34 steals, 12 caught stealing (26%), 3 errors, 5 PB (18 IPEP)
(#63) Ronaldo Hernandez (AAA): 430 innings, 45 steals, 15 caught stealing (25%), 7 errors, 5 PB (36 IPEP)
(#34) Brooks Brannon (FCL/A): 75 innings, 21 steals, 7 caught stealing (25%), 1 error, 3 PB (19 IPEP)
(#189) Juan Montero (A): 192.1 innings, 42 steals, 13 caught stealing (24%), 6 errors, 3 PB (21 IPEP)
(#134) Yorberto Mejicano (A): 113 innings, 33 steals. 9 caught stealing (21%), 4 errors, 1 PB (23 IPEP)
(#82) Ronald Rosario (A/A+): 610.2 innings, 130 steals, 30 caught stealing (19%), 19 errors, 14 PB (19 IPEP)
(#215) Matt Donlan (A+/AA): 50.1 innings, 9 steals, 2 caught stealing (18%), 2 errors, 2 PB (13 IPEP)
(#41) Stephen Scott (AA/AAA): 520.1 innings, 86 steals, 13 caught stealing (13%), 3 errors, 12 PB (35 IPEP)
(#24) Nathan Hickey (A+/AA): 646 innings, 129 steals, 10 caught stealing (7%), 12 errors, 7 PB (34 IPEP)

It's sorted by caught stealing %, but that's a bit of a red herring with the DSL guys. For reference purposes, JOHANFRAN threw out 45% in the DSL in '22. On the SP pod they were mentioning that Marrero would probably be in AAA next year for his defense, along with Scott & next year's version of Caleb Hamilton & they expect Hickey to start in AA again (& suggested he work on his 1B & LF skills).
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1763575514826936604


I'm in on JEDI. He fits the criteria the new bosses look for in terms of control (best in org 1.28 bb/9 last year). & he had a really successful age 19 season in A-Ball. 3.31 ERA, 3.46 xFIP in 84.1 IP.

The key is going to be whether he can see another jump in velo, but his curveball & changeup are already quite good & the level of pitchability seems high. Maybe the new guys will have him add a slider or sweeper, too.

I have him #29.
 

JM3

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PENROD

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1763735349543555247


My #36. Signed later in the year out of indy ball. Just dominant every step of the way.

For Missoula he had a 2.98 ERA in 54.1 innings which iirc led the league by over a run when he left.

Meh, I'll just quote the Penrod portion of my post from a few weeks ago...

In terms of Penrod, he has had a crazy journey through Independent ball & arm injuries... but his stuff plays. Last year in Greenville he had a 2.18 ERA after showing up toward the end of the year, allowed 3 runs in 10 innings in the playoffs, picking up 2 wins, & then 1.29 in the Arizona Fall League, which is a pretty big step up in competition from High-A.

I think his most likely outcome, assuming health, is power lower leverage relief arm, with an upside for much more if he gets in the lab & they can tighten up a 3rd or even 4th pitch.

Interestingly enough, Penrod actually was much much better against righties last year than lefties (.447 OPS against righties, .852 against lefties).
Penrod has 1 scoreless Spring Training inning so far...60% strikeout rate, 40% walk rate.
 

JM3

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JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1764122424365195344


He's my #35 but I wonder if I might be a bit to high on him based on a tiny AAA sample size (1.69 ERA in 10.2 IP). He started the year in Greenville & wasn't great (4.88 ERA in 31.1 IP) & was pretty good in Portland (3.42 ERA in 84.1 IP), but his underlyings weren't great (9 k/9, 3.4 bb/9, 3.91 xFIP) & it was his age 25 season.

He's a good comeback story, though, & hopefully after a full year of actual pitching he'll have a nice base to build even further this season. & maybe Bailey has him in the lab working on a slider.
 

JM3

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He looks in that video like the sort of 5'10 I am. Which is to say, not 5'10.
There's a chance that's filmed over multiple years.

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1764324628573438232


Not being able to hit or field would be a problematic combo. He threw out 7 of 28 attempted stealers last season.

Only managed 77 PAs last season before succumbing to injury. He was ok in FCL (106 wRC+) & then had a very eventful 25 PAs in A-Ball...

7 hits
8 strikeouts
1 walk
3 homers
167 wRC+

If Brannon is healthy he could go way up or way down in the rankings. I have him 34. He turns 20 in May.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Brannon is one of those guys that,if he has a solid, healthy, year, could bring us some thing useful in a trade. Depth at the C position is always a good thing.
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1764493428463702292


Rogers feels very reliever-y in terms of size (5'11), pitch mix (fastball, changeup, sweeper) & length of start (4.2 innings). Plus he's a lefty who allowed a .576 OPS against lefties (.706 against righties).

The 23 y/o was a 3rd round pick & was the 2nd highest pitching prospect investment in the Bloom era iirc ($447,500 signing bonus, behind Drohan's $600k).

Stuff-based analytics like his stuff, but he's got to take several steps forward in command, control & stamina to become a legit starting pitching prospect. It's never good when you average more walks per 9 (5.7) than you do innings per start. But 13 k/9 means you're doing something right, or at least interesting.

I have Rogers #37.
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1764674663232282984


I wonder how much of CT hype relates to his brand building & how much relates to his pitching.

The good...

In 18.2 innings in high-A he struck out 37 hitters (18.2 per 9 innings) & had a 1.96 ERA (2.41 xFIP). He throws hard with good fastball shape.

He was fine after being promoted to Portland, 3.77 ERA in 31 innings (3.88 xFIP), 14.5 k/9. He was also selected to play in the AFL.

The not so good...

He is wild af. Even while dominating in high-A he walked 4.4 per 9. That increased to 7.8 per 9 in AA. He also walked 6 in 8.2 innings in the AFL.

He's 25 & will need to take a really big step forward in ironing out his mechanics if he wants to progress through the system.

I have him #39.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1764859802738479502


This is kind of an interesting claim. Walter definitely hasn't had success against MLB lefties, who had an .881 OPS against him compared to .864 for righties.

He was good overall on the season with a .653 OPS against lefties compared to .822 against righties, & the MLB sample-size was small... but he definitely hasn't shown the ability to be an MLB lefty specialist, yet & he is already 27, so I would say his floor is AAA pitcher.

There are worlds where he gets better at pitching & becomes useful, but I'm not overly optimistic (as evidenced by him currently being my #55).
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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Good time for the Franklin Arias discussion after Pipeline ranks him #15...

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1765091795833106804


He just turned 18 & last season in the DSL he walked 11.9% of the time & only struck out 8.8% of the time. 144 wRC+.

Pipeline says he's the best defensive SS in the org, which is pretty high praise. I always feel like I'm high on Arias because I have had him way ahead of SP until recently, & still have him a bit ahead (#26), but then Pipeline comes in off the top rope with the 15 thing.

The defensive scouting report is enough for me to probably move him up a few spots in the next ranking, but how he does this season will be a huge test.
 

JM3

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Alcantara over Arias is kind of mind-boggling to me.

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1765222214155280719


He was a shrewd signing for $30k (Arias was $525k), but did not have as good of a DSL season as Arias hitting at the same age (Alcantara is a year & 17 days older):

Arias: .350/.440/.453, .893 OPS, .102 ISO, .442 wOBA, 144 wRC+

Alcantara: .302/.406/.397, .803 OPS, .095 ISO, .420 wOBA, 126 wRC+

& then Alcantara followed that up by struggling in the FCL in 176 PAs (.654 OPS, .067 ISO, 82 wRC+) & then struggling harder in A-Ball for 83 PAs (.534 OPS, .054 ISO, 58 wRC+, 32.5% strikeouts).

Of course it's possible that Alcantara will be the better player someday this far out in the developmental curve... but I'm not really sure what SP sees from the level of priority signing, DSL seasons, & Alcantara's last season to want to rank Alcantara ahead of Arias.

I have Alcantara #48. Hopefully he hits better this year & can move up. One silver lining which I think I only just noticed (or noticed earlier then forgot) is that he got a lot better in A-Ball after an awful start...

1st 9 games
2-29
4 walks (12.1%)
14 strikeouts (42.4%)
1 double

.069/.182/.103, .285 OPS

Last 12 games
13-45
3 walks (6.2%)
13 strikeouts (27.1%)
1 homer

.289/.333/.356, .689 OPS

So it looks like he got more aggressive earlier in the count & it led to better results (.387 BABIP probably didn't hurt either).

Anyway, that's a bit more of an optimistic timeline & maybe I'll bump him up a smidge next rankings. Like he probably deserves to be a little ahead of Starlyn Nunez who had a similar DSL season offensively (129 wRC+) but doesn't have the defensive profile of Alcantara.

STARLYN, though.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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Hoppe!

View: https://twitter.com/SoxProspects/status/1765450364684247324


I feel like I'm a bit of a Hoppe stan, but I guess not since I have him #33.

The downsides are that he was an older draft pick & is already 25, he's relief only, doesn't have optimal height at 6'1, & didn't have great ERAs last season (3.93 in 34.1 IP at Greenville & 4.50 in 14 IP at Portland).

The plusses are he throws very hard, strikes out a lot of people (11.9 k/9) & doesn't walk that many people (3.2 bb/9 on the year, but only 2.1 bb/9 in his last 32 games), has good stuff, & his underlying metrics show he was better than his results (including a 3.19 xFIP in A+ & 2.97 in AA).

So yeah, maybe I'm underrating him a bit? He's my 3rd highest rated pure reliever after Guerrero & Slaten, though.