Well, as you know I attended the Portland Sea Dogs at new Hampshire Fisher Cats series. I got to see some players of the future, and some really big time prospects (and Matt Sheely).
So here is a scouting report and series recap.
Casey Kelly: Kelly pitched yesterday and I was very impressed. I saw him warm up before the game and noticed he did have much velocity. But when the game started, he sure did! His fastball averaged around 92-94, and topped out at 96. He had some sort of two seamer or cutter at around 88-89. His changeup sat around 81-84 with terrific downward movement, and his curveball appeared to be his “out” pitch. It fooled batters and was a nice two strike pitch for him.
What impressed me the most was his location down in the zone. Wherever Expo put the glove was where Kelly’s pitch was going to be. His one hiccup was the high changeup he let Travis Snider take yard.
Ryan Lavarnway: He was the guy I was going into the series looking at. Less than a week removed from Salem, he most impressed me with his power. He hit some bombs in batting practice, and I mean some absolute bombs!
Last night he went 2-4 with 2 RBI. The other games in the series he went 2-5 with 2 R and 5 RBI, and then 1-2 with 2 R, 2 RBI, and a BB.
The only thing that concerns me with Lavarnway is his defense behind the plate.
Kyle Weiland: This was the first time I got to see Weiland pitch, and he dazzled. I loved his slider, though he needs to learn to control it a little better. That slider had so much movement, but maybe for the worst. He changed speeds nicley, and topped out a 94-95 MPH.
Anthony Rizzo: I have always looked at Rizzo as the 1B of the future. I got to see him for the first time in Spring Training, and he was hitting bombs. I got to see him again this series, and things have not changed.
What I like about Rizzo is his ability to hit to all fields. He is not afraid to take an outside pitch to left field, witch is a good sign for a young left handed hitter. Rizzo is that proto-typical power hitting 1B that has been compared to Todd Helton
Dear Theo Epstein,
You are a dope. Nice run-prevention theroy, eh? Scutaro can’t field. Cameron dropped a line drive. Beltre doesn’t know the meaning of the word walk. And why in Hell didn’t you sign some bullpen guys? Rameriz and Delcarmen are triple A players. I’d rather have Joe Nelson and Fernando Cabrera at this point. Even Alan Embree! The JD Drew contract is horrendus. He can’t hit at all right now. But the biggest problem: David Ortiz. Maybe this falls on the manager though. Why isn’t Mike Lowell in there as the DH? The real Big Papi ain’t walking through that door. It’s time to move on, and eat that salary. You where gonna do it with Lowell, a better player.
Another thing. Screw the farm system. It’s Gonzalez or bust. Trade Kelly, Buchholz, Fuentes, Kalish. Win now. Gonzalez is Mark Teixeira. He would put the Red Sox over the edge. Another rumor: Mike Lowell for Jeff Mathis. I like this. Mathis can throw guys out. Put Gonzalez at first, Youk at third, Victor DH. Mathis at catcher. This would be nice.
Love, Red Sox Nation.
The Bruins won their playoff game last night, 5-3. Ryder showed up, Thomas Vanek got hurt, Ryan Miller didn’t shut the Bruins out.
The Celtics won too. KG is likley going to be suspended. He probally deserves it.
Ubaldo Jimmenez of the Rockies threw a no-hitter last night. Not even Jason Heyward could hit him. First in Rockies history.
The Mets and Cardinals went 20 innings last night. Only the Mets…
Aaron Bates watch: Bates went 2-4 for with a double, RBI, anf runin the Pawsox heartbreaking loss to Rochester.
The Blazers need to win next week, or have Rochester lose to clinch the playoffs.
The Celtics lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 94-73 . Paul Pierce appeared to hurt his right shoulder, but stayed in the game. Kendrick Perkins missed his second straight game with a left knee injury. Rasheed Wallace was in the starting lineup.
The Red Sox beat the Twins, 11-5. Clay Buchholz pitched 4.2 innings, giving up four runs in the first two innings, one a two run homer from Joe Mauer. Buchholz also striked out seven batters. David Ortiz and Tug Hullet both his three run bombs. Victor Martinez went 4-5 and Dustin Pedroia went 3-4 with three runs. Scott Atchison, Jonathan Papelbon, Ramon Rameriz, and Hideki Okajima also pitched.
The Flyers beat the Devils, 5-1. They now move ahead of the Bruins by two points, and trail Montreal by two points. The Devils loss keeps them in fourth place.
The Penguins beat the Leafs, 5-4 in a SO. The Maple Leafs now trail the Panthers and Hurricanes by only two points. The Penguins stay in second place.
Duke beat Baylor, 79-71. Duke completes the Final Four, along with Michagin State who beat Tennessee. Butler and West Virgina are also in the final four. Prediction: Mounteneers win it all.
News and Notes: The Penguins will host the 2011 Winter Classic. Who else? They will probally play the Capitals, seeing those are the only NHL teams that are relavant. The Pens already played in the Classic, give somebody else a chance. Have Washington host it at Camden Yards and play a team like Toronto, or Ottawa. Or maybe have Toronto host it. Maybe a team like Minnesota at Target field.
The Mailbag is today! Get your questions in by 5:00 pm!
Congrats to the BC Eageles, going to the Frozen Four!
Today the Bruins play the Buffalo Sabres in a critical game. The Red Sox play the Rays at 7:00 pm. I will be in Port Charlote tomorrow to see Casey Kelly and the Red Sox.
Here is your Sunday recap in Boston sports.
The Red Sox beat the Orioles, 5-4. The Sox where down in the eigth inning, but an Angel Sanchez double and Gil Velezquez single tied it. Mark Wagner homered in the ninth inning to win. Casey Kelly picked up the win and Robert Manuel the save. David Hernandez got the L for the O’s.
The Bruins lost to the Penguins, 2-1. Marc Savard was taken out on a stretcher after a dirty hit from behind by a dirty player, Matt Cooke. Savard took an awkward pass from the left wing and dumped it in, and Cooke came from behind and slammed his elbow into his head. Obvious intent to injure. The NHL says they want to get rid of head shots, but no penalty was called on the play. I expect Cooke to be let of the hook with a two or three game suspension, though he deserves a season suspension in my mind. I’ll talk more about this at news and notes.
The Celtics beat the Wizards, in a comeback win. Down by as much as thriteen in the fourth quater, Ray Allen hit two key three pointers in the comeback. Rajon Rondo missed a free throw down two, and Kendrick Perkins picked up the rebound and passed to Ray who was beyond the arc. He hit it, of course.
The Sabres beat the Rangers, 2-1 in OT. The Rangers gain a point on the Bruins in the Eastern Conference standings, and now sit only two points behind them after the Bruins loss.
The Canadiens beat the Ducks, 4-3 in a shootout. Montreal entered the third period down three goals, and came back to tie. Tomas Plekanic sealed it in the SO. Montreal is now two points behind the Bruins.
The Magic beat the Lakers, 96-94. Kobe Bryant could not hit the buzzer beater this time. Vince Carter threw down 25 points in the win. The Lakers have now lost three games in their west coast swing, to the Bobcats, Heat, and now Orlando.
The 76ers beat the Raptors, 114-101. Yes, the C’s actully have to worry about the Raptors, who are behind them in the divison. Good to gain a game on them. Expect a Celtics-Raptors first round playoff series.
The Oilers beat the Devils, 2-0. Always a good thing, as the B’s need the Oilers to heat up if they want Taylor Hall in the draft. Can Toronto catch them?
News and Notes: I promised I would touch on this topic again and I will. That hit Cooke had on Savard was the second dirtiest hit I have seen this year. The only worse was Mike Richards on David Booth in an almost identical situation that took Booth out 45 games and he missed the Olympics for team USA. Did Richards get suspended? Of course not. Welcome to the NHL. This is the second time Cooke had handed out a hit like this. It’s time the NHL does something.
I was at the Red Sox game yesterday afternoon. Right behind the Sox dugout. Victor Martinez tossed me a ball! That was sweet. I got to see Casey Kelly pitch live for the first time. That kid has some sick stuff. I can see him in the big leagues next year. Or maybe this year. If Kelly is what they think he is, then they can just let Beckett walk without a problem.
Thanks for all the mailbag questions. It will be back again at it’s reaguler time Sunday. Sorry for no recap yesterday, I was at the Red Sox game, then I watched the Bruins and Celtics. Today the Red Sox play the Cardinals at 1:05 pm. Josh Beckett will face off vs Chris Carpenter. I will be in Ft. Myers Wednesday when the Red Sox play the Rays. I expect to see either Lester or Lackey.
Last year I went to roughly 15 spring games. I’ll go to about the same amount this year, I’ve seen Ft.Lauderdale, where the Orioles used to play. Ft.Myers, home of the Red Sox. Bradenton, where the Pirates play. Orlando, with the Braves. In Viera beach for the Nats. Lakeland, home of the Tigers. I’ve seen the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. And Pt.Charlotte for the Rays. This year I will go to games in Ft.Myers(Red Sox and Twins) Pt.Charlotte(Rays), Dunedin(Jays), Kissimmee(Astros), Bradenton(Pirates) and Sarasota(Orioles). My first game is this Friday at Twins. It’s the first time I’ve seen that park. After this year the only parks I won’t have seen in the grapefruit league are the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies. I am right behind the Red Sox dugout for most games. Best seats I;ve ever had at any sporting event. I hope to get some player autographs. Last year I got Joe Maddon in Ft.Myers, and Cesar Cedeno in Viera.
I will see Lester/Wakefield Friday, and I’ll see Buchholz Sunday in Sarasota. I really want to see Kelly pitch this year. That would be so awesome! Anyways, I love spring training games. It gets you so pumped for the reaguler season. Go Red Sox! Remember to ask questions on the mailbag! I’ll post any pictures I get here at the blog! I had some I wanted to put here, but the computer is not coroperating!
Red Sox Top 40 Prospects
This is the top 40 Red Sox Prospects List from Total Bases and BestBostonSports.com. It will cover who I think are the top prospects in the organization, as well as full scouting reports and information. If you think of someone not here, feel free to comment about that and I will see if I can put him on the list. I will start with the top 10.
1. Casey Kelly: Kelly was the Red Sox first pick in the 2008 draft. He started out the 2009 season in Greenville but moved on to Salem. He is expected to start the season in Portland. He has a fastball with good motion and is normally in the 89-93 area. Has a plus curveball and changeup. Has nice smooth mechanics with exellent control. He projects to possibly be ready to be in the MLB after next season, or even a September call-up this year. Outstanding athlete, commited to be a full time pitcher after playing shortstop half of last season and in the Arizona Fall League. Was also offered a scholership to play quaterback at Tennasee.
HS: Sarasota High School
2. Jose Iglesias: Being compared to Ozzie Smith with the glove, Iglesias is obviously great defensivly. Has the makings of a Gold Glove shortstop, and can also play third base and second base. Pull hitter without much power. Has trouble hitting it opposite field. Not much of a line drive hitter, has a lot of seeing-eye type groundball hits.
Free Agent signing
3. Ryan Westmoreland: Kalish was the eighth round pick of the 2008 draft for the Red Sox. A five tool player. Smooth, quick swing. Hits to all fields with tremendous power. Strong arm in the outfield. He was also a high school pitcher, and itched a perfect game.
4. Ryan Kalish: Kalish was the Red Sox ninth round pick in 2006. Has the potential to be a leadoff hitter with a lot of speed and quickness. Groundball hitter with not much pop. Decent paitence at the plate. Good intelegence on the basepaths, has a lot of stolen bases, and was named Red Sox baserunner of the year. If he where to be an MLB starter, he would probally be a corner outfielder. Good range, average arm.
HS: Red Bank Cathlic High School
5. Reymond Fuentes: The Red Sox 1st round draft pick of the 2009 season. Compared to Jacoby Ellsbury, he may even have more speed. Is the cousin of New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. Also has nice power that has develeped nicley for his age, but is mostly a line drive hitter. He could use a better eye at the plate. Will start the season at Lowell.
HS: Fernando Callejo High School(DR)
6. Stolmy Piemetel: Piementel signed as an international free agent in 2006. Is known mostly for his fastball that sits around 90-95 mph. Also has a good curveball and great changeup with terrific downward motion. He often hangs his curveball too often, though it has potential to be a plus pitch if he adjusts to that problem. Will project to start 2010 in Lowell.
Free Agent signing
7. Alex Wilson: Missed the 2008 season due to Tommy John surgery, but the Red Sox took a chance on him. Hard fastball that has slowed since surgery, but is still 94-95 mph and could get back up to 97-98 soon. Played for the Lowell Spinners last season, could jump to Salem or even Portland this season. Good, hard moving slider that misses a lot of bats with terrific downward motion. Average control, struggles with slider control. Mediocre changup that could improve, and tends to hang down the middle of the plate. If he develeps secondary pitches, he could be a starter.
College: Texas A&M
8. Josh Reddick: Reddick is a good contact hitter with very good power to all fields. An agressive hitter at the plate, he tends to strike out often. Obviously without much discipline, the Red Sox have worked with him on seeing more pitches per at-bat and to walk more. Has a terrific arm in the field and looks as if he will be a right or center fielder. Has been compared to some big MLB bats such as Matt Holliday in the power department.
College: Middle Gerogia
9. Anthony Rizzo: Rizzo is probally the best first base prospect in the Red Sox organization. Has a terrific eye at the plate with a very quick bat. Exelent defensive first baseman, who moves with pretty good flexability for his size. Very big frame with a high power ceiling.
High School: Stoneman Douglas High School
10. Lars Anderson: Power hitter with unlimited potential in that catagory. Very good eye at the plate, gets on base a lot. Good opposite field hitter, oddly has trouble pulling the ball for power. Very streaky hitter at times. Good first baseman, though he does not have much range. Not a stolen base threat. Had a disapointing season last year, and is likley to start at Portland and move up to Pawtuckett.
High School: Jesult(Calafornia)
Next week: 11-20. Will feture players sych as Tazawa, Bates, Bowden, and more.
This is a full evaluation of the 2010 Red Sox roster as it stands now. I will look at the lineup, defense, pitching, bench, bullpen, and minor leagues, and try to prove to you complainers that this is a good team.
Lineup: I really like the lineup. I’m not trying to be an optimist, I really like the lineup. I love the combination of speed and power. The bottom of the lineup impresses me with Drew-Cameron-Scutaro. I feel speed is going to come from Jacoby Ellsbury (duh) and Scutaro. Cameron can steal a few as can Pedroia. Don’t even say Drew, I believe he was 2-for-8 in the SB catagory.
On the power side, you got Ortiz, Youk, Beltre, Cameron, Drew, and Victor. Each one of them will hit from 15-30 HRs, maybe more for Beltre or Cameron at Fenway. I feel a big year coming from Youk, I really do.He was hurt a lot of last year, and I think it really affected him. The suspension did not help either.
I also liked the way the lineup is built. I thought last year Pedroia struggled leadoff beacuse he missed the presence of Jacoby Ellsbury. Since he is a base stealer, pitchers are going to throw more fastballs to the next batter in an attempt to pick him off. A fastball gets to the plate fatser, and the catcher can gun it down to second faster. I hope Francona keeps Ellsbury in the lead-off spot, that is where he is supposed to be.
More about the lineup, I would like to see JD Drew bat eighth and Cameron bat seventh. Mostly beacuse it strenghens the bottom of the lineup. Here is the lineup I would like to see:
Pitching: No one can deny this staff. Even if I am wrong and the lineup does suck, the pitching will keep you in games. Defense wins(Look how far the Jets got!). Offense is nice, but defense and pitching is more important(Unless you have Teixeira. And A-rod. And Jeter. And Granderson…..). This is no doubt about it the best staff in the game. You can say Seattle with Cliff Lee and King Felix, and I’ll give you that as the top 1-2 punch in baseball. But Lester. Beckett. Lackey. Dice-k. Buchholz. Wake. They have so much depth! I know this happened last year, and everyone got hurt to the point we needed Paul Byrd, and at least two or three of those guys are going to have to stay healthy. Ok, Lackey, out a month. Fine, Lester and Beckett. Lester out a few weeks? That’s ok, Dice-k/Wake/Buchholz might be pitching good, and Lackey might be back soon. Just theories here.
And either way, I expect some sort of reclamation/Theo Epstein projects like an Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets coming.(John Smoltz!)
Every game we are going to get a six-to-seven inning perfomrance or a quality start. Yes, Lackey has had injury problems. So has Beckett, and Dice-k, and every other pitcher in baseball. You learn to deal with it.
Defense: Joe Maddon called Adrain Beltre the best defensive player he has ever seen, and Maddon knows a damn lot about baseball. He took that team to the world series, and I think we all know who that team is. I don’t get to watch Beltre often, as he played for Seattle, but I’ll take Joe’s word for it. So on the right side of your infeild you got “The best defensive player ever” (I thought that was Darrelle Revis?) and Marco Scutaro, who should have gotten the AL gold glove for shortstop. Then on the left side you have two gold glove winners in Pedroia and Youk. In the outfield is Ellsbury, Cameron, and Drew. Pretty sick. Tell me a better defensive outfield? I think the only team that is in the same class is KC(Gasp!) with Ankeil, Posednik, and DeJesus. Fast outfield. Anyways, we have a good defense basicly beacuse Theo could not find another excuse to have a lackluster offense.
Bench: Solid bench. You got Jeremy Hermida, Bill Hall, V-Tek, and either a guy like Josh Reddick, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, or Aaron Bates. That is, unless another Nick Green type magicaly appears again. Hermida is a decent offensive player. He has some wheels and could be a good pinch running guy. He has a little pop. He was a Marlins top prospect for a while but has not really panned ouy yet. Theo was just taking a chance on some player with potential. Hall is what he is. Good defensivly(Shocker) with no bat. You all know about V-Tek. Can’t hit in the second half. look for V-Tek to have a somewhat of a bounce-back year in a limited role. He has hit well in the first half the last two years. And he may have to be Beckett’s personal catcher.
Bullpen: Who is in this bullpen? Papelbon, Bard, Oki, Delcarmen, Rameriz, the other Rameriz, Shouse, Atchison, Dustin Richardson, Fernando Cabrera, Boof. Meh. I like the top three. That’s about it. I wanted to see the Sox go out and sign either Darren Oliver or Mike Gonzalez, but that never happened. I kinda like Richardson. He dominated the AFL this season. Strikeout lefty. Casey Kelly could be up this year, but I doubt he would be ready to contribute. Shouse is no good. I have no clue who Atchison is. Rameriz is what he is. Delcarmen sucks. I never thought Boof was anything. So yeah, maybe improve the pen a bit. And when I say improve I do not mean Mike Timlin, who is looking for a major league job still.
Triple A: The Pawsox may have better players than last year, where they where awful. The Pawsox finished in fourth in their divison and offered no real MLB ready players. That should change this year, as a lot of prospects shoukd be ready for triple A. Here are some: Micheal Bowdon, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, Josh Reddick, Travis Denker, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson, Aaron Bates, Ramon A. Rameriz, Bubba Bell, Darnelle MacDonald, Jeff Natle, Mark Wagner, Zach Daeges, Randor Beird, TJ Large, Kason Gabbard. Decent triple A roster. Bowdon has seen the big leagues, I honestly don’t think he is anything special. Sanchez is a terrific defensive player. Velezquez is the last minute, desprate, there is absolutly no one else in the world who can help, utility player. I like Reddick, but he’s not major league ready. Denker is a career minor leaguer. Lars is the second most overrated prospect in the system to Bowdon. I have a stupid man-crush on Aaron Bates although he hit around the medoza line in triple A last year. I don’t know anything about the other Rameriz, Bubba Bell did well in triple A last year. MacDonald can run, but that’s it. Natle is a 1B-DH type. Wagner is a catcher who should be on the MLB roster beacuse he can throw out base runners. The only thing I know about Daeges is he killed the ball in Spring Training and I never heard of him again. We got Beird for David Pauly, enough said there. TJ Large had an ERA over 6.00 last year, and Gabbard saved us from trading Lester to Texas for Eric Gagne.
Lower-leval prospects: You probally know most of the names. Jose Iglesias, Casey Kelly, Alex Wilson, Reymond Fuentes, Ryan Westmorland, Ryan Kalish, and Dustin Richardson. Some of these guys may be September callups, the most likley being Kalish. I feel these are the players to watch in the minor leagues next year. Alex Wilson is not really known like Kelly or Kalish, but I feel he has a bright future in the majors. He is a righty, and was the Red sox second round pick last year. He is often compared to AL rookie of the eyar Andrew Bailey. His one down swing, he had tommy John surgery two years ago. Has a hard fastball and his out-pitch is his slider. He spent last year with Lowell and I would be surprised to see him with Salem or Greenville next year.