Category: Boston Red Sox

Trade Report – Brusdar Graterol – RHP – Traded to Boston Red Sox

Trade Report – Brusdar Graterol – RHP – Traded to Boston Red Sox

The baseball work was set ablaze late Tuesday night as the biggest blockbuster in recent years hit Twitter. Mookie Betts and David Price (and his contract) are heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda is headed to the Minnesota Twins, while Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol are headed to the Boston Red Sox. In a corresponding move, Joc Peterson is heading down the 405 to the Los Angeles Angels and Luis Rengifo is headed up to the Dodgers.  Other pieces are involved in this deal and a post will go up breaking down Andy Pages and any other prospects once the physicals are done and the trade is final.

Every one of the players in the deal has seen MLB time, and only Graterol still has rookie eligibility, so he is the lone player that fits for this site. He saw just 9.2 innings over 10m games, all in relief, where his power sinker was his go to offering. If the Red Sox decide to keep him in the bullpen, he has the makings of a dominant reliever, but I am not ready to write off his starting career just yet. He has that sinking fastball along with a more traditional four-seamer give him the power offering, while he has a slider that sits just under 90 MPH and a two-plan curve to keep hitters even further off balance. I don’t have much faith in the change, but it is not an offering without upside.

His delivery has some late effort and short arm that leaves some concern, but the body suggests he can hold up to the innings and there is plenty of athleticism in his delivery too. When he is working as a starter there is less violence in the end of the process and there is very little concern from me on that. Overall he is immediately the best prospect in the Red Sox system and good enough to open the season in the rotation.

 

Boston Red Sox 2020 Preseason Top 10

Boston Red Sox 2020 Preseason Top 10

1)

Player: Triston Casas
Position(s): 1B/3B Opening Day Age: 20 2019 Highest Level: A Adv.
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 238 lbs.
Quick Report: Hands down the class of the Red Sox system, Casas provides a legit power bat with a defensive profile that allows for some flexibility. He is painfully slow making third base a true secondary position, but he has good hands and a strong arm. The defensive profile really lends itself to be a plus defender at first. He makes plenty of contact despite striking out 118 times in 120 games a season ago, but he did put up 20 home runs in his first full season. The body and lofty swing will allow for plenty more power to show up and he can become a 25-30 HR bat in the middle of the Red Sox order, but is probably two full seasons away from debuting in Boston.

2)

Player: Bobby Dalbec
Position(s): 3B/1B Opening Day Age: 24 2019 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: Dalbec looked good in Mexico at the Premier12, but the lack of ability to hit for average will always limit his potential impact. The bat head gets down on the ball with ease, but he will chase out of the zone frequently and is pop up prone. When he does make solid contact, the ball flies, so there is definitely plenty of potential to impact a game with the bat. He is a solid defender at third with good hands and a cannon of an arm, but his range is quite limited due to his lack of foot speed. He, like the guy ahead of him, is best suited for first, but has a much better chance to earn regular time at third as he has a bit more range and an even stronger arm than Casas.

3)

Player: Jarren Duran
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: Easy plus speed and good enough reads to hold down center, Duran has a chance to make an impact in the field and on the bases. The bat is nothing special as the bat speed is nothing special and there is rare effort in the swing for a left-handed hitter. The shoulders are stiff and the bat feels as though it has to fight against his body. Despite that, he has hit well over .300 in his season and a half of pro ball and found his way to AA a season ago. He does not draw enough walks, something that could definitely benefit him given the wheels, but there is plenty of potential there. He showed better patience in the AFL and he looked to drive the ball a little more, but he is best suited to shorten the swing, go the other way, and make an impact by stretching singles into doubles and playing a solid center field.

4)

Player: Bryan Mata
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 20 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: I have Mata listed at 175 lbs. as it is the heaviest I have seen him listed, but he is easily 200 lbs., and that is weight works for him. He has a fastball that will get up to 99 while sitting up to 97 to go with a power slider and an above average change. The curve was once a quality pitch but he has struggled with it the past couple seasons. He created plenty of depth with an upright low 3/4 slot delivery that creates some run on the fastball. There is some late effort and stiffness in the delivery that leaves some concern, but Mata is the only pitcher in the Red Sox system with a better chance than not to make it as a starter.

5)

Player: Jay Groome
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 21 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’5” Weight: 220 lbs.
Quick Report: No player had as much hype as Groome heading into the 2016 MLB draft, but real makeup concerns contributed to him slipping to pick 12 and into the Red Sox lap. Since arriving it has been a mixed bag, as he has flashed the plus fastball and curve at times, but the change has lagged behind and command has been a real concern. Add to that there have been weight concerns, and Tommy John surgery in 2018 means he has pitched just four innings the past two seasons and just 44.1 in full season ball thus far in his career. If he can come back healthy and in shape, Groome could skyrocket back into a top 100 type prospect in baseball, but he could also tank and land outside the Red Sox top 10 a year from now.

6)

Player: Gilberto Jimenez
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 19 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Switch Throws: Right Height: 5’11” Weight: 160 lbs.
Quick Report: Jimenez was signed for just $10k in 2017 but has quickly rocketed up the Red Sox prospect ranks. He has a first off the bus body that screams power, but that doesn’t really translate to the box. Instead he is a plus speed switch hitting center fielder that has homered just three times in his two pro seasons. He also lacks discipline at the plate, striking out well more than twice per walk, but he does a good job making contact from both sides of the plate. He should get the opportunity to make his full season debut out of camp this Spring, and has a future as a leadoff man patrolling center, there is just a lot of time and growth between now and reaching that potential.

7)

Player: Noah Song
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: If not for the Naval commitment, Song would come in fifth for me. I voted Song ahead of Adley Rutschman in the Dick Howser Award voting a season ago. He has four average to better pitches and commands the zone well. He comes out of a 3/4 slot with limited effort and plenty of extension allowing his fastball to play even harder than his mid-90s velo. His fastball runs as does his change, while his slider dives out of the zone late and a hammer curve. He doesn’t have front end upside, but landing as a number three starter is a real possibility and I would not be shocked at all to see him reach that potential.

8)

Player: Tanner Houck
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: Where Houck will ultimately end up is a real question. He has seen time as a starter and as a reliever, and it seems nobody con come to a consensus which role fits him best. I am pretty well done with him as a starter and I think he could be a high quality reliever. He has a low 3/4 cross body delivery with a slider that sprints away from righties and a fastball that will get up to 96 while bearing in on their hands. His curve is good enough but the change still has a lot of work to go. Given there is effort in the delivery, I see him as a mid-relief guy early in 2020 with a shot at becoming a quality late inning arm before too long.

9)

Player: Thad Ward
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: A Adv.
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 180 lbs.
Quick Report: Ward is long and lean with four pitches that flash average to better but very inconsistent. He creates some deception with multiple speeds in his leg kick that allows his fastball play faster than the 91-93 he typically sits. The change does not have enough velo gap off the fastball and the curve spins too often. His slider is easily his best secondary offering, bordering on plus potential, and will likely be the carrying pitch. My guess is he will shed the change and/or curve before too long and transition more into relief where the fastball should tick up and the slider could really play well.

10)

Player: Matthew Lugo
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 18 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: Lugo and Song were my favorite selections for the Red Sox in the 2019 draft. Lugo has a big load in his swing that he times quite well and keeps his hands back well even when he mistimes the kick. The hands clear well and there is some natural loft to the bat plane. There is little doubt he can stick as a shortstop long term, showing plenty of arm and quickness to go with natural instincts at the position. I am hopeful he starts the season in Greenville where I expect him to show well enough to land in the top five in next year’s Red Sox list.

Just Missed:

C.J. Chatham – SS – 25 – AAA
Cameron Cannon – INF – 22 – A Short
Nick Decker – OF – 20 – A Short
Brandon Howlett – 3B – 20 – A
Antoni Flores – SS – 19 – A Short

 

Trade Report – Marcus Wilson – Outfielder – Traded to Boston Red Sox

Trade Report – Marcus Wilson – Outfielder – Traded to Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox revolving trio of catchers is officially a thing of the past, as they dealt Blake Swihart to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Marcus Wilson ($500K in international money is included in the deal, but reports have seen the money going in both directions, unsure at the time of this writing who actually received the money but I do believe it is Arizona).

Wilson is an athletic outfielder with plenty of tools, but has yet to really put together a season that matches his potential. The speed is easily above average to plus although he has only stolen more than 16 bags in a season once. He has enough instincts to stick in center with enough arm to be serviceable in right, although he is best suited in center or left.

The swing is big, violent, and inconsistent. He has some bat wrap up by the ear, a decent leg kick, and soft wrists that lead to more check swing strikes than most. His hips also open early, limiting his ability to cover the outer half of the plate, which is one of the reasons he struck out in nearly 30% of his trips to the plate in 2018. There is real raw power in the bat, although none of it has shown in game action, as his best power season was just 10 home runs in a season he slugged .369.

The approach at the plate is well below average, but the bat speed is above average leaving an upside of a future average hit tool still conceivable, although it is most likely a future 40 grade tool. The raw power is real and there is still plenty of projection in his body, so average to better game power is something that is reasonable to expect. The future for Wilson is most likely a 4-A type player, but he could find himself a role as quality fourth outfielder thanks to his athletic tools that will allow him to play all three positions and provide pop.

Prospect Call Up – Boston Red Sox – Michael Chavis – 3B/1B/2B

Prospect Call Up – Boston Red Sox – Michael Chavis – 3B/1B/2B

Boston Red Sox fans have long been waiting for this news, Michael Chavis is in the big leagues. Chavis ranked at the top of my Red Sox list heading into the year, and my number 115 prospect throughout baseball. The room on the roster in Boston was made as the Red Sox placed Eduardo Nunez on the 10-day IL and DFA’d Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez’ spot is actually taken by Marcus Walden who was called up when Dustin Pedroia was placed on the IL a day ago, Tzu-Wei Lin was also called up with Chavis.

Chavis doesn’t lack for power, although he did serve an 80-game suspension a season ago for performance enhancing drugs after hitting 31 home runs in 126 games the season before. He is off to a hot start this season, hitting four home runs in 12 games, but hitting just below his career average of .257. The hit tool might be the tool scouts vary most on, some think he will end up about average while others feel he will never be better than well below-average. The hit tool, PEDs or not, grades out between above average and plus, so there are few question on that side.

The other big question with Chavis is his defense, as scouts have soured on him at third base in recent years after he entered pro ball as a high school shortstop, most feel his future is at first base given Rafael Devers has him blocked at the big league level. He has seen time at second base, in fact five of his 12 games so far this year have come at that position, and he will likely make his debut at that spot given it was Pedroia and Nunez who landed on the DL. Baseball has seen many natural third basemen get run at second recently and, while he will likely never be better than below average there, Chavis could be the answer for the Red Sox at that position this season.

My overall take on Chavis is that he doesn’t really have a long term spot with the Red Sox unless the hit tool moves closer to average as he would make for a solid first baseman, or if the experiment at second allows him to stick there which would make him a high quality bat at the position. There was a time he was tabbed as a potential future All-Star, which I don’t think is still in the cards for Chavis, but a 50 grade player who sees time at third, second, first, and left while bringing enough power to the lineup to make up for the below average defense is probably where he ends up fitting in.