Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sale Price

If the Boston Red Sox can swing a trade for the possibly available White Sox All Star lefty, Chris Sale, the name of this post would be the front of the Red Sox rotation. But the topic of the post is in actuality what it may cost the Red Sox in players to acquire the best pitcher in the American League.

Chris Sale is only 27 years old, he will not turn 28 until right before Opening Day 2017.  He is signed through 2019 at very short money for a star pitcher.  He is earning $9.15M this year with 12M due in '17 and '18 and 15M in 2019.  He is 71-43 with an ERA of 2.95 for his career.  The White Sox will ask for the moon for him it would seem.  Let's look at some of the rumored asking prices out there for Chris Sale.

First the most common rumor is the White Sox want a package of five top young players, with some major league ready players in the package ideally.  There are also reports Chicago would want at least two pitchers in return to help offset the loss of Sale.  There are a very limited amount of teams who have the young players to make this happen probably Texas, Boston, the Dodgers, and maybe Houston.

We will examine groups of Red Sox players who have been mentioned in Sale rumors and present a package that could entice the Chisox.

The core, the B-Boys: Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Jr.

Several reports claim any Sox-Sox deal must begin with one of these three, plus one of the Sox best two prospects plus more.  Let me be clear there is no chance in hell I would trade Mookie Betts straight up for any pitcher including Chris Sale.  There is the same no chance that I would trade Xander Bogaerts straight up for any pitcher, again including Mr. Sale.  I might, maybe deal JBJ straight up for Sale but I doubt I would (and to be honest I doubt the White Sox trade Sale one for one for Jackie).  I do not think Dave Dombrowski trades any of these three guys either.   The basis of the deal needs to start elsewhere.

The Super Prospects: Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers

Many of the same reports which claim the deal begins with one of Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley go on to say the second piece needs to be Moncada or Benintendi.  I hate to sound like a broken record but I do not trade Yoan Moncada for any pitcher.  This would be akin to trading Bogaerts or Betts two or three years ago.  My preference would be to hang onto Benintendi as well.  This may be difficult to do because there was a report out of Chicago today saying the White Sox would be willing to build a deal with Benintendi as the main piece. Last year when the Red Sox picked Benintendi at number seven overall in the draft, the White Sox were sitting at number eight, and apparently had every intention to take Benintendi there.

If there is to be a blockbuster package it must include one top ten type prospect (that means top ten in all of baseball, just not Red Sox top ten).  If Boston hopes to hold onto both Moncada and Benintendi, luckily they have one more top ten player in their system.  Rafael Devers, a power hitting third baseman, after a slow start to 2016 has been raking of late in Salem. Keith Law of ESPN in his mid season rankings had Devers as the seventh best prospect in all of the game.  At age 19, Devers is further from big league ready, but is a similarly rated prospect to Yoan and Andrew.

So piece number one would be Rafael Devers.

Pitching

With the trade of Anderson Espinoza to San Diego earlier this month for Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox system is not loaded with pitching, the way they are with batters. The two best by far are Michael Kopech, who recently hit 105 on the radar guns, pitching for Salem and the second top 50 type prospect is recently signed number one draftee, Jay Groome.  Groome should not be dealt (even though with new rules in MLB recent draftees can be traded), until Boston has a better idea what they have in Groome.  This may take a year or two. And I do not think they are in position to trade Kopech either (although I would if it meant making the deal or not).

Neither Henry Owens nor Brian Johnson have the panache to be a leading piece in the trade at this time.  I do think however one of them (Owens likely) could be added as a fourth or fifth piece.

Boston does have a couple of other mid range pitching prospects, but likely no one else to spark Chicago's interest.  But Boston certainly does have other pitching to offer.  Out of the current Boston bullpen, Matt Barnes could interest the White Sox (especially if they still believe he could start in the big leagues) and at the back end of a deal Joe Kelly may spark some interest.

But if Chris Sale were to join the Red Sox rotation, Boston could include in the trade package the starter leaving the rotation. Tonight on NESN Nick Cafardo said if the Red Sox included Eduardo Rodriguez in the package it would take only two other pieces to make a deal. Now considering it was Cafardo the other two pieces could be Betts and Moncada, but the question is would you trade E-Rod in a package for Sale?  Rodriguez is not only young, but has over a year of MLB experience.  I cannot imagine any other team offering a better young pitcher.

About a week after the Drew Pomeranz trade to Boston a report surfaced that Theo Epstein and the Cubs had been trying hard to acquire Pomeranz.  The Cubs did not intend to keep Drew, but the report said the Cubs were going to include Pomeranz in a package for a starting pitcher who was not previously known to be available.  Now I cannot believe the White Sox would have traded Chris Sale across town to the Cubbies, but could Boston use Drew Pomeranz in a similar manner?  Pomeranz is the same age as Sale and is coming off an All Star Game appearance, and is signed for two more years.  Pomeranz could "replace" Sale in the Chisox rotation, and attraction of acquiring some young talent with him from Boston would offset the differences in the two lefties.

So I include in my proposal to Rick Hahn so far: Rafael Devers, Drew Pomeranz.

Big League Ready Talent

If the White Sox, as reported, are looking for the package to include a big leaguer, the third piece of our deal would likely come from the following list:

Blake Swihart
Travis Shaw
Brock Holt
Christian Vazquez

Let's review the list in reverse order.

The White Sox catching is dreadful Dioner Navarro, Alex Avila.  Christian Vazquez would be an immediate and long term upgrade.  Vazquez' poor offensive showing in 2016 might limit his value, but I could see him being attractive to a team with such crappy catchers.

Brock Holt is probably too valuable to the Red Sox as they begin the last two months of the season.  But if the Red Sox could keep Benintendi out of the deal, he comes up to Boston to help out in left field.  If Chicago is looking for players to help them now, Holt fits the bill. Plus Chicago second sacker, Bret Lawrie is a free agent to be, so Holt could play there full time in 2017.

Travis Shaw has been slumping of late, but he has shown he can hit for power at the major league level.  The White Sox seem to have the corner infield spots covered with Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier.  But Frazier is another name Chicago is rumored to be shopping at the deadline, and Abreu would make a fine DH if Shaw manned first. For those who are still Shaw skeptics, this would be considered trading high on Shaw.

But by far the most attractive name on this list, a player who in my eyes is just a notch or so below Moncada, Benintendi, and Devers is Blake Swihart.  Swihart despite being out currently with an ankle injury, could be the answer to the Chicago catching situation detailed above. Swihart has already shown flashes of the strong major league hitter he can be, and likely will be.  Swihart is not someone I would like to trade, and if the Red Sox do they had better hope Sandy Leon is not a mirage or that Vazquez will hit when he is further removed from Tommy John surgery.  But if you are looking to build a blockbuster package and keep all five of Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley, Moncada and Benintendi, Blake Swihart likely needs to be in the package.

Offer so far: Rafael Devers, Drew Pomeranz, Blake Swihart.

This offer includes a major league All Star pitcher, a big league catcher/outfielder, and a prospect rated in the top ten to fifteen in all of baseball.

The rest

For the rest you could look back at any of the Red Sox Maineiacs top 30 prospects.  For another pitcher I would offer one of Travis Lakins, Trey Ball, or Teddy Stankiewicz.  Lakins is the highest rated Red Sox prospect of these three, Ball of course was drafted the highest, and Stankiewicz is the only one of these three at AA.  Henry Owens or Brian Johnson could fit here as well, but I would prefer to send along someone in a lower level.

One player who has had a very strong 2016 is current Sea Dogs shortstop, Mauricio Dubon.  Dubon has also played second base, and with the White Sox having young shortstop, Tim Anderson, Dubon could be a keystone partner for Anderson in the future.

So let's make our final offer: Devers, Pomeranz, Swihart, Dubon, and Trey Ball for Chris Sale.

So would Chicago make this deal?  I am not sure, but this is an offer that does not include the five guys I would not want to trade (plus it keeps E-Rod).  It is also an offer that I feel would be the best Chicago receives unless Texas trades several guys like Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara.  But Texas does not have the pitching to trade to match Pomeranz (and especially not Rodriguez if he was included).

If the White Sox really want to trade Chris Sale this package might get it done.  But to be honest, I am not convinced Sale will be traded.  Jose Quintana, anyone?







Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Night Baseball Live Chat Red Sox @ Yankees 7-17-16

Welcome to another Red Sox Maineiacs Sunday Night Baseball live chat!
Live Blog Red Sox @ Yankees Sunday Night Baseball Live Chat
 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dave Dombrowski Deals- Exit Espinoza

As the All Star Break wound to a close, I was preparing to post some thoughts on several positive developments in the first half of the season.  Such as not only can Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit enough to be a starting outfielder in the big leagues, it turns out he can hit enough to be a starting outfielder in the All Star Game.  Yes David Ortiz has plenty left in the tank at age 40 and Hanley can play an acceptable first base. And more including the continued blossoming of Betts and Bogaerts.

But before I could compile that post, Dealer Dave Dombrowski struck.  On the last night of the All Star break, the Sox made the deal for a starting pitcher everyone felt they so needed.   But the timing, nearly three weeks before the trade deadline was surprising.  And then the players involved and the structure of the deal completed the surprise.

Boston acquires lefty starter Drew Pomeranz from San Diego straight up for the Red Sox top pitching prospect, 18 year old Anderson Espinoza.

First, let's talk some about Anderson.  It has been decades, if ever, that Boston had this type of pitching prospect, when you factor in his age.  And this is not just the Red Sox overrating a prospect.  For example on the day of trade, Keith Law of ESPN came out with his mid season rankings of baseball's top prospects and Espinoza was #14 ( fourth best pitching prospect).  Espinoza has a fastball in the 97 mph range and a curveball and change up that are considered plus pitches by the scouts. Pedro Martinez, who Espinoza draws comparisons to, was quoted earlier this year as saying Espinoza was one prospect that cannot be dealt. At age 17, he completely dominated the rookie leagues, but this year while he was having an acceptable season at low A Greenville, his ERA is 4.38. He also was the youngest player in the entire league.

Pomeranz is a every bit an interesting case as Espinoza. Once upon a time, he was Espinoza (except not age 18).  Drew was drafted out of ole Miss by Cleveland fifth overall in the 2010 draft and was progressing quickly towards Cleveland, when the Tribe traded him ( and their second best pitching prospect, Alex White) to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez.  Since that time Pomeranz fell into a spot starter, mostly relief pitching role.  He also has bounced from Colorado to Oakland and then traded last winter to the Padres.

Pomeranz, a big 6'6' 240 pound lefty, pleaded for a shot at the rotation this spring and won a job.  In 2016 Pomeranz was so effective that he was in this week's All Star game and pitched one inning. He has the lowest batting average against in MLB in 2016: .184 and  with a 8-7 record with an ERA of 2.47.  Three of his losses are 1-0 to Clayton Kershaw and a pair of 1-0 and 2-1 losses to Johnny Cueto.

With the extreme lack of starting pitching available on the trade market, some observers considered Pomeranz and Oakland's Rich Hill as the best pitchers who will be actually up for trade.  Besides his 2016 performance, there is another reason Pomeranz may have been the best available and perhaps why the price tag was so high.  Pomeranz is only making $1.35M this season and cannot be a free agent until after the 2018 season.

This deal could go one of several directions.  Best case scenario Dave Dombrowski has again identified a pitcher on the upswing as he reaches his prime years.  The best previous example is Dombrowski dealing for just some guy from Arizona named Max Scherzer. Then it is just as possible the Pomeranz first half of 2016 has been an aberration and he will return to his spot starter/reliever results.

Espinoza may very well become Pedro Martinez,, but he is also still 18, and not only has an unsure future, but at best is two years away from the big leagues if not more.  One sign of the high regard Espinoza has is the fact the Padres traded a 27 year old lefty All Star starter under control for 2 1/2 years straight up for him.  From Boston's point of view trading only Espinoza reduces the risk of losing a superstar of the future.  The last time the Sox traded their best pitching prospect to the Padres it was Casey Kelly for Adrian Gonzalez.  But the Sox included some other minor leaguers and one was Anthony Rizzo.  Losing Casey Kelly has not hurt a bit, but man it would have been nice to have Rizzo.

If the Red Sox could win the World Series again in David Ortiz' final season, and Drew Pomeranz helps in this quest, then likely this deal is a win.  Even if Anderson Espinoza wins a string of Cy Young Awards.




Saturday, July 2, 2016

RSM Red Sox Top 30 Prospects- July 2016

 We are now past the the minor league All Star games and a number of the prospects on our list have been promoted.  In addition the amateur draft occurred in early June.  By the end of June only one of the first five picks for Boston has signed, second rounder shortstop CJ Chatham, and he joins our list.

The Sox first round pick lefty pitcher Jason Groome, a high schooler from New Jersey, is expected to go right up to the July 15 deadline to sign, but most observers expect he will and he and some of the other draftees may join these rankings a month from now.

As always the number in { } behind the player's name is the previous month's ranking.  The team listed is the current assignment as of June 30.  The hitter's line is HR/RBI/BA/OBP/OPS and for the pitcher's W-L/ERA/WHIP/K-BB.


1. Yoan Moncada, 2B- Portland {1}. On June 20 the much anticipated promotion of Moncada to AA Portland happened.  In 61 games at Salem, Moncada finished at 4/34/.307/.427/.923 with 25 doubles and a trio of triples.  Yoan also stole 36 bases.  In his 40 at bats with the Sea Dogs, Moncada is off to a .250 start with one home run, triple  and double each.  At the beginning of his AA career, the Red Sox have chosen to keep Moncada at second base.  But do not be surprised if the next move in Moncada's career is not a quick promotion to AAA but instead a position change, maybe to third base.  Moncada has been named to play for the World team in the Futures Game in San Diego.

2. Andrew Benintendi, OF- Portland{2}. After an initial adjustment to AA, Benintendi has caught fire again in June.  His Portland line for June is 4/17/.305/.362/.886 with 11 doubles.  Now that Benintendi has been joined by some of his former Salem teammates, it will be interesting to see how high the Sea Dogs fortunes can rise. Benintendi will join Moncada in the Futures Game opposing him while playing for Team USA.

3. Rafael Devers, 3B- Salem  {4} Devers climbs back up to number three on the foundation of a resurgent June.  Despite hitting .238 for the year through June, Devers rebounded nicely in June hitting 0/9/.313/.352/.738.  If Devers continues to be hot at the plate in July it will be intriguing to see if he is the trade chip Dave Dombrowski tries to cash in for pitching.  Or could Devers make himself too strong a prospect to deal?

4. Anderson Espinoza, RHP- Greenville {3}.  For an eighteen year old pitching in the South Atlantic League where the average age is around 21, Anderson is having a strong campaign for his Drive team: 4-7/3.95/1.33/62-25 in 15 starts for 66 innings.  Espinoza is not completely dominating opponents as in 2015, and likely is looking at a complete season at Greenville.  But despite a few bumpy starts, Espinoza has also flashed the explosive stuff and is still one of the elite pitching prospects in all of baseball.

5. Sam Travis, 1B- Pawtucket {5} Travis of course is out for the season with the knee injury we discussed last month.  If not for the injury Travis was considered a top trade chip if the Sox dealt for pitching and tried to hold onto the big four on this list.  The question is if some team is rebuilding for beyond 2016, would they still take Travis in a deal?

6. Michael Kopech, RHP- Salem {6}.  After his off the field broken hand injury in spring training, Kopech has had some movement in his 2016. Some.  Kopech left extended spring training and was assigned to Lowell and made the Spinners Opening Night start.   Kopech went 4 1/3 innings in the opening start allowed no runs on four hits.  Michael walked and struck out four each.  After that one start Kopech was promoted two rungs to Salem.  On the day Kopech was scheduled to make his High A debut, he was scratched from the start with what was called a leg cramp.  He has since been diagnosed with a calf strain, and while not considered serious, Koepch was on the Salem DL as June ended.

7. Michael Chavis, 3B- Greenville {7} Chavis was activated from the disabled list on June 6 and returned to the Drive lineup for the first time since April. Chavis hasn't regained the lofty numbers from April hitting only .211 with one home run in June.

8. Pat Light, RHP- Boston {10} In twenty AAA games this year, Light has five saves and a 2.05 ERA.  Light shone particularly brightly in June: in seven appearances Light had a pair of saves with an ERA of 0.00.  Pat also struck out eleven with only three walks.  Light has been recalled to Boston and if he can continue to command the high octane fastball in June's manner, he could be one of the answers to the depth needed in the 7th and 8th innings.

9. Marco Hernandez, IF- Boston {9}Marco continues to contribute off the bench and in an occasional starting role for Boston. In 36 at bats, Hernandez has hit his first MLB home run and is hitting .250.

10. Brian Johnson, LHP- Pawtucket {8}. Johnson's career remains on hold as he is still away from the team and is in Florida working out while he continues to be treated for anxiety.

11. Mauricio Dubon, SS- Portland {15}.  Dubon is another recent graduate from Salem to Portland.  And while Mauricio is not the same caliber prospect as Moncada and Benintendi, he has opened scouts eyes this year from spring training through June.  He finished his Salem stint hitting .306 and a very impressive .387 OBP with 29 RBI. In his first 30 at bats for the Sea Dogs, Dubon has hit .267 with a still strong .353 OBP. Dubon also has a double and a pair of triples in those first 30 AB's.  Dubon was named a Carolina League All Star.

12. Josh Ockimey, 1B- Greenville [17}. The South Atlantic League All Star continued his strong hitting in June, with a bit of a dip: 2/8/.254/.357.766.  The 20 year old left handed hitting slugger from Philly has an overall line for the season: 11/36/.286/.417/.925 with 17 doubles.  His high OBP has been fueled by his 53 walks which more than doubles his walk total for Lowell in 2015.  This added patience at the plate is being given as a major reason for his overall offensive explosion.

13. Nick Longhi, 1B- Salem {11} Along with Rafael Devers, Longhi is now a anchor in the Salem lineup with the promotions of several Opening Day teammates to Portland.   Longhi has hit well all year: 1/46/.289/.365/.760.  His June slash of .293/.372/.775 nearly matched the overall total. With the Sea Dogs using some veteran retread first basemen, it is not out of the question that Nick becomes another Salem alumnus to see Hadlock Field this year.

14. Roniel Raudes, RHP- Greenville {13} Another Drive member that was named a South Atlantic League All Star.  Raudes continues to post numbers better than his heralded fellow teenage teammate, Anderson Espinoza: 7-2/3.88/1.23/56-12.  His June ERA was over 5.00 however (as was Espinoza's), so it will be telling to see how strongly the teens can finish the campaign, before any innings limits may come into play.

15. Trey Ball, LHP- Salem{16}.  Ball seems to be the next Salem player who could go to Portland at any time.  In June Ball made five starts covering 25 innings: 3-2/2.52/1.56/14-14.  The factor most likely keeping Ball in Class A is that the walks in June matched the strikeouts.  Better command would likely push the former number seven overall draft pick to AA.

16. Travis Lakins, RHP- Salem  {12}. Lakins really struggled for most of June with an ERA of 7.17 and a WHIP of 2.02 in five starts.  Although for the year Lakins has 62 K's to 24 walks, the poor June has ballooned his overall ERA to 5.45.

17. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF- Greenville {14}  Ax's overall line for the year : 6/23/.217/.281.684 continues to be a disappointment (other than the home run number).  But in June he showed signs of life with a BA of .267 and a OBP of .329.  A strong last two months at Greenville in 2016 could put this Basabe twin back on the path to being a top ten Sox prospect.

18. CJ Chatham, SS- Unassigned {NR}. The Sox took this college shortstop from Florida Atlantic in the second round.  Chatham was expected to play for Lowell, but after reporting it was discovered Chatham had a hairline fracture in his thumb, which he had suffered in the last week of his college career, but had gone undetected.  Scouts are split on CJ's future chances of remaining at shortstop down the road.  But his bat is considered strong enough to play elsewhere if need be.  Chatham was considered the best college shortstop in the 2016 draft, although it was considered a weak college shortstop crop this year.

19. Yankory Pimental, RHP- Salem {18} Yankory has accumulated decent numbers at Salem for the year to date: 3-2/4.08/1.42/16-6 with a save.  With his fastball sitting in the mid 90's, Pimental is considered a bullpen prospect.

20. Chandler Shepherd, RHP- Pawtucket {22} Another prospect who was promoted during June.  The reliever was promoted from Portland to Pawtucket on June 20.  In 22 games for Portland ( 30 IP), his line was 1-1/1.80/0.80/39-10.  In his first seven innings for the Paw Sox, Shepherd continued to shine: 0-0/0.00/0.43/4-1 with another save.  As the Red Sox continue to look for bullpen depth, Shepherd could get a shot this year in Boston.

21. Kyle Martin, RHP- Pawtucket {21} Martin is another bullpen arm expected to be on Boston's radar, but he stumbled in June: 0-1/5.91/1.59/11-7 with a home run allowed.  But for the year Martin's ERA is 3.72 and he has four saves.

22. Deven Marrero, SS- Pawtucket {20}Despite a brief cameo appearance in Boston during June, while a parade of Paw Sox players came through Boston acting as the Bosox bench during a plague of injuries, Marrero's star continues to fade.  June was his best month at the plate hitting .273, but that still leaves his BA for the season at .214.

23. Luis Alejandro Basabe, 2B- Greenville {23} AJ continues to outshine his more heralded twin brother, and because of this he was named to the league All Star team, and his brother was not.  In June AJ hit a torrid: 0/9/.350/.466/.949 with six doubles and a triple.  This brought his YTD numbers to 3/21/.301/.406.847. One of the best statistical seasons in the Sox system to date.

24. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP- Portland {19}.  The only player on the top 30 who has spent the entire season with the Sea Dogs. But Teddy, after a solid beginning to his AA career, really came off the rails in June: 1-3/8.44/2.17/16-11 in six starts.  This brings his ERA for the year to 4.99.  If Stankiewicz hopes to continue his one level per season rise through the Sox system, he will need a better July and August.

25. Tate Matheny, OF- Greenville {28}. The son of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny began his pro career in 2015 by hitting .181 at Lowell.  2016 has unveiled an entirely different player.  For the Drive, Tate has hit and hit: 4/32/.315/.359.817.  Matheny also has eleven doubles and four triples. With that type of production and his pedigree as a kid growing up in big league clubhouses, this 2015 fourth round draftee could blossom as a top prospect.

26. Austin Rei, C- Greenville {27}. Rei is another player improving over a poor Lowell debut.  The second round draftee hit only .179 at Lowell in 2015.  Rei is not nearly matching Matheny's improvement, but is hitting better: 2/20/.228/.346.656.  Rei has also been strong behind the dish.

27. Henry Ramos, OF- Pawtucket {29}.  Ramos who rejoined our rankings last month, was soon thereafter promoted to AAA.  Ramos after a pair of injury shortened seasons at Portland now has a chance to show he can be a big league player.  Since his promotion to Pawtucket, Ramos has been hitting, in 81 at bats, 2/17/.309/.318/.800.  Still only 24, Ramos may well have turned the corner.  Henry could be a lesser part of a Boston trade package at the deadline.

28. Yoan Aybar, OF- Lowell {30}.  Aybar is finally getting some game action as the Lowell season began in June.  In the first twelve Spinners' games Aybar began: 1/6/.2783/.327/.740, also with a double and a triple.

29. Jalen Beeks, LHP- Portland {NR}.  Beeks was promoted from Salem at the same time as Yoan Moncada (and fellow pitcher, Ben Taylor).  In his final three starts for Salem, Beeks had an ERA of 1.72. His AA debut was outstanding, with ten strikeouts.  Beeks joined the Sox system as a 12th round draft pick in the 2014 draft from a junior college.  Beeks will turn 23 in July.

30. Kyri Washington, OF- Greenville {NR}. Kyri who debuted on our list in May, only to slip off last month, sneaks back in at 30.  His year to date numbers: 11/50/.289/.323/.881.  The eleven home runs tie him for second in the entire system with Josh Ockimey (Paw Sox vet Chris Marrero has 12).  Kyri barely made the Drive roster out of spring training, but has capitalized on his chance.

A few other names who just missed the list:

* Bryce Brentz,OF- is getting a chance in Boston at least for now, has his first MLB home run.
* Aaron Wilkerson, RHP- Indy League refugee, who starred in AA, now at AAA, Boston beckons
* Luis Ysla, LHP- Sea Dog reliever
*Ty Buttrey, RHP- converted to pen in Portland, 96 mph heater may play better in pen.
*Jake Cosart, RHP another bullpen convert as of this past April

Christopher Acosta- the international free agent who signed at same time as Anderson Espinoza, was expected to make his stateside debut this year.  But he got into trouble during extended spring training and he bolted and went home to the Dominican.  Acosta was then asked to report to the Red Sox Dominican Academy.  He refused that and the Sox suspended him and placed him on the restricted list.  For the moment this places him off the Sox radar.

As mentioned at the top the deadline to sign draftees is July 15, so for next month's rankings we are likely to have more than one addition to our list.  Hopefully this will include Jason Groome placed well into the top ten.