Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Home

Sorry guys, but i got a new home. Go check me out at Sox on Deck. I'll be covering the Sox farm system.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sizing Up the Sox

I looked at the Halo's pitchers, lets look at the Sox pitchers and how they have fared against the Angels.

Josh Beckett vs.
Orlando Cabrera - .281/.286/.428 (35 PAs)
Vlad Guerrero - .217/.379/.301 (29 PAs)
Garrett Anderson - .400/.500/.600 (12 PAs)
Career ERA vs. Angels - 2.16

Dice-K Matsuzaka vs.
Never Faced

Curt Schilling vs.
Vlad Guerrero - .286/.328/.635 (67 PAs)
Orlando Cabrera - .341/.356/.523 (45 PAs)
Chone Figgins - .294/.294/.647 (17 PAs)
Career ERA vs. Angels - 3.67

Beckett has owned the Angels. You might be saying "those lines aren't very good. Why didn't you pick people with better lines?" Well, those were the best lines. Only Anderson had an above .800 OPS. Daisuke has never faces the Angels so i have no data for you. Schilling has been hit solidly by Vlad and Cabrera. They have been the Angels best hitters all year and i would think they would continue that in this series.

Sizing Up the Halo's

Playoff Time, wahoooo. Lets take a look at how the Halo's pitchers have fared against the Red Sox in their careers.

John Lackey vs.
Manny Ramirez - .435/.581/1.087 (31 PAs)
David Ortiz - .385/.467/.808 (30 PAs)
J.D. Drew - .455/.500/.727 (12 PAs)
Overall ERA against Boston - 6.27

Kelvim Escobar vs.
Jason Varitek - .333/.500/.333 (28 PAs)
Coco Crisp - .357/.471/.500 (17 PAs)
Julio Lugo - .571/.600/1.000 (10 PAs)
Overall ERA against Boston - 4.64

Jered Weaver vs.
Kevin Youkilis - .333/.385/.583 (13 PAs)
David Ortiz - .500/.583/1.100 (12 PAs)
Julio Lugo - .500/.500/1.000 (8 PAs)
Overall ERA against Boston- 4.70

What jumps out at me the most is Lackey. He is going to pitch twice, and is expected to be the ace. Looking at his numbers, I'd be scared if i was an Angels fan. He has got rocked by the Sox. Manny has owned Lackey, so I'm anticipating a great series by him. Escobar has had some success against the Red Sox, but is dealing with injury. I think the Angels would be happy if he can give them 6 innings and 3 runs. The Sox haven't seen Weaver much so I can't say what i expect. If experience is a factor, I'd take Schilling over Weaver 9 times out of 10 in Game 3.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

RSO's Sox Prospects List

The season is over for minor leaguers, so it is about time to make my rankings. I will do this again after the major league season is over, but I'm too tense right now. I need something to get my mind off the last week of the regular season.

1. Clay Buchholz - What hasn't been said about this kid? He has command of 4 plus pitches, has solid mechanics, and has great composure. While he is not going to throw no-hitters every time out there, he does have he ability to be an ace.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury - If you are a frequent reader of this site, you'd know that I am not Ellsbury's biggest fan. That being said, he is as much of a sure thing as anyone on this list. You can't teach his speed and defensive abilities. He does have to make strides in his approach at the plate. His swing as big holes, mainly in the upper-half of the zone. If he can learn to get the head of the bat on that high cheese, he will be an above-average hitter. To be frank, that doesn't matter, though. He brings so many things to the game, it is difficult to dislike him.

3. Michael Bowden - Am i going to chalk for everyone? Well, it doesn't matter. These guys should be 1,2,3. Bowden could be great and has as much potential as Buchholz. The reason why he is so further down is the age gap. Bowden is more than two years younger than Buchholz. It should be expected that he is less developed than his counter-part. He has a dominate fastball, that can hit 96 on the gun, to go along with an above average slider and curve. His change-up has been making strides as well. If you are looking at a prospects number you need to keep in context age. Is the player above the expected age, below, or age appropriate. Bowden is below average age, and that is why his numbers are impressive. A sub-4 FIP for a 20 year old in AA is pretty darn impressive. He also has over a 2/1 strikeouts to walk ratio, making him look legit. Expect Bowden to start at AA but make the jump to AAA if he has a good first couple starts. Don't be shocked if he is getting Buchholz-esque hype come 2009.

4. Lars Anderson - This guy is a complete beast. Much like Bowden, he is doing well above where he should be at. Drafted out of High School, this was his first year in professional baseball. He did nothing short of what was expected. He posted a .827 OPS in Greenvile before moving to Lancaster for the last several weeks of the season. While at Lancaster, he killed the ball posting a .975 OPS. If there was a concern about Lars, it would have to be his lack of power. He only hit 11 HRs all season. I, on the other hand, am not worried. Power can be developed and Lars will gain weight before he makes the majors. I fully believe he could be a 30 HR player some day. He plays decent 1st base and i expect his abilities to increase. Most experts will not have Lars this high but, because he is the only corner infielder even close to making an impact, he has to be in this slot. He is still at least 2 full seasons away, but probably 3 full season.

5. Jed Lowrie - I would have never thought this guy would have been this high prior to 2008, but that is why I am no expert. Lowrie was an offensive machine this season, while playing for Pawtucket and Portland. As a shortstop, he was able to slug .500 at Pawtucket and.501 at Portland. He didn't get on base at a crazy rate, .350 and .408, but the .408 is very good. The reason why the .06 drop may be a cause of a 4.4% increase in K% and 9.6% decrease in BB%. Generally, Lowrie has good patience. He has an uncanny ability to keep the ball off the ground, which is never a bad thing. His defense isn't great, but they have him out of position. Lowrie should be a second baseman. I think Lowrie is the best trading chip the Sox have in their farm system. They will not get rid of any of the aforementioned players, so i wouldn't be surprised if Lowrie is shipped off between now and this time next year. He will make a good second baseman for someone in two years.

6. Justin Masterson - Lots of hype around this kid, not as much truth to it as many might think. I highly doubt he will ever be a starter in the majors, which is why i am not high on him. He, however, can be a very effective reliever someday. Working out of the pen, he should be able to get his velocity around 94. If that is the case, his sinker will be nasty. I don't like his motion,either. It is pretty violent and unnatural. I don't claim to be an injury expert, but he is someone i'm looking at. There is a good chance that by the end of 2008, he will be setting up for Paps.

7. Brandon Moss - I wasn't sure where i wanted to put Moss. I think he is less of a talent than the next couple players to be listed, but i am 95% sure he will be what i think he'll be. I can't say that about the next people. Moss is a good hitter. He has shown at just about every level he can swing the bat. Give him a full season in the Majors, he will post an OPS+ around 100. If you don't believe me, i'll take any and all bets. That being sad, i will also take any bets who thinks he can post an OPS+ above 110. In my eyes, he is perfectly projectable as average. Now that he is learning to play first, i see him being with the Sox for awhile as the 4th outfielder/utility guy. You can't say that about everyone, so that's why he is at #7.

8. Oscar Tejeda - Is he the next Hanley Ramirez? Probably not, but he might be. How many 17 year olds can put up a .347 OBP in A ball. I'll tell you, not many. He is very young, so nothing is a certain. he could fizzle out just as easy as anybody, but i really like him. He is a little shaking as a SS, which might lead him to be a CFer, but his range has never been a question mark. He has speed coming out of his ears. Weight gain should be a top priority for Tejeda. He has the swing for HRs but he just doesn't have the power right now. Big potential but big risk. Keep your eyes on him.

9. Nick Hagadone - The only member of the 2007 draft to make the list, Hadagone has impressed in his short stint at Lowell. He was able to post a 1.85 ERA and a 4.13 K/BB rate. His ERA is stunted by his debut where he let up all 5 of his earned runs. I was a little skeptical about putting him on so early into his career, but he is so clearly the best lefty the Sox have it is impossible to leave him off. He has the ability to hit 98 on the gun, however 95 is a much more realistic goal. I wouldn't be shocked if we see him sooner rather than later. College closers tend to have a quicker path to the bigs than most. I'd say he could be a regular in the Sox pen by mid-2009.

10 - Che-Hsuan Lin - With the last pick of the top 10, i'm going pure upside. Lin could be the best prospect in the Sox organization come 2010. He has as much talent as anyone on this list, but is terrible young. The Taiwan import had little success in his short stint with Lowell, but did show flashes of his talent. He is an athletic centerfielder, that has great range and an above-average arm. Lin does a good job of getting the bat on the ball and has good plate discipline. If you are not familar with Lin, it is about time you get to know him. I would like to see the Sox start him in Greenville, but i doubt they move him from Lowell. Like Tejeda, huge upside but huge risk.

Honorable mentions: Ryan Kalish, Will Middlebrooks, Kris Johnson, Josh Reddick, and Ryan Dent.

I would really like to hear your feedback. I spend a lot of time following these guys via online, but have little actual game experience with many of these players. If you have seen something that i didn't mention, or just flat out disagree with me, i'd love to hear it. I plan on revisiting this topic sometime in winter, so get your opinions in now.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Winter League

Just a quick hit here. The rosters for Winter league have came out and the Sox have 6 players participating. Those players are Ryan Kalish, Daniel Bard, Jason Place, Brandon Moss, Jimmy James, and Argenis Diaz. Kalish and Moss are the big names their. Kalish is a 19 year old kid that did great in Lowell. Sadly, he got hurt and missed a good chunk of the season. Moss is going to practice first. If he makes strides, their is no doubt he is on the 25-man roster come 2008. This could be huge for Place and Bard. They both have tons of talent but have played extremely poorly in the minors. Diaz and James are nothing to get all that excited about, sorry guys. I'll keep you posted on those players as the seasons get underway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Daisuke is Struggling

Is it any surprise that Dice-K is having a rough go at it? No, of coarse not. He leads the AL in PAPs. This is his first season in a 5-man rotation. Players are starting to adjust to his pitching style. Finally, he walks people like it's his job. Until he gets better control, he is doomed to struggle. If he can't turn it around, I find it hard to believe the Red Sox will get out of the ALDS.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sizing up the Jays

It was pretty successful last time, so why not do it again. Here is a look at both the Starters for the Jays and the Sox and who they struggle against.

Jesse Litsch vs.
David Ortiz - .667/.667/1.000 (3)
Alex Cora - .333/.333/.667 (3)
Doug Mirabelli - .333/.333/.667 (3)

Roy Halladay vs.
David Ortiz - .304/.342/.609 (73)
Mike Lowell - .353/.389/.882 (18)
J.D. Drew - .400/.500/.400 (12)

Shaun Marcum vs.
Mike Lowell - .375/.375/.750 (8)
Manny Ramirez - .500/.571/1.500 (7)
J.D. Drew - .250/.400/.500 (5)

Looking at those, I would expect Papi and Drew to both have a good series. Drew could really use it. Papi has been on a tear anyways, so it is just a plus that there are nice pitching match-ups. I wouldn't be surprised if Tito give DP or Lugo the day off tomorrow and start Cora.

Daisuke Matsuzaka vs.
Alexis Rios - .375/.500/.500 (10)
Aaron Hill - .375/.444/.875 (9)
Troy Glaus - .667/.667/1.333 (6)

Josh Beckett vs.
Lyle Overbay - .350/.500/.400 (26)
Vernon Wells - .381/.435/1.000 (23)
Aaron Hill - .333/.368/.556 (19)

Curt Schilling vs.
Vernon Wells - .438/.444/.563 (18)
Frank Thomas - .625/.556/.625 (9)
Troy Glaus - .429/.429/.571 (7)

Man, does Glaus and Wells have some great numbers. These are suppose to be the aces of the Sox staff, so this series will be interesting. The youngsters pick it up against the O's, what will the vets do? Magic # is at 20, wahoooooo!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

First Set Of Call-Ups

Today marks the first day of September, and that means the rosters expand. The Sox have been plagued with injuries, so this couldn't have came at a better time. As of this point they have brought up 5 players, but expect more after Pawtucket's season raps up. So far, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss, Royce Clayton, and Bryan Corey have been called up. With Manny, Drew, and Kielty ailing, I would guess we see a lot of Ellsbury and Moss over the next week. Buchholz will be the starter tonight for the Sox, since Tavarez had to pitch last night. Clayton is here for insurance and Corey is for depth in the pen. I wouldn't count on seeing much of either player.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hansen Sighting

I think it is about time for a Craig Hansen update. The 2005 first rounder was a promising reliever when first draft. He was rushed to the majors and was less than successful. To get Hansen back on track, the Red Sox have kept him in the minors all season. It started off very rough, posting an ERA north of 5 for the first 3 month's of the season. Most Red Sox fans have wrote her off, opting to root for fellow 2005 draftee Manny Delcarmen. It might be about time to start taking Hansen serious again because he has coming on very strong of late.

In Hansen's last 10 outings, he has posted an ERA of 0.54 over 16.2 innings. Over the same span, he has 23 strike outs and walking only 5. From what I am hearing, he has rediscovered the slider that made him special at St. Johns. He is still only 23 years old, so it is way to early to write him off. He will almost certainly see time in Boston as a September call-up. No matter what the results are, he is the most talented reliever in the Sox farm system. Patience is never more of a virtue than when judging relievers. The variance from one year to the next is crazy.

Sizing up the O's

The up coming series against the O's may end up being an important series. With this Yankee series looking all but over, it is going to be important that the Sox atleast win this weekend set. It appears the Wakefield, Tavarez, and Lester will be the starters for the series. Here are the O's that each pitcher should be scared of and why. The number in the parenthesis is plate appearances.

Tim Wakefield vs.
Miguel Tejeda - .304/.324/.594 (72)
Ramon Hernandez - .344/.400/.594 (35)
Kevin Millar - .474/.524/.947 (21)

Julian Tavarez vs.
Aubrey Huff - .417/.417/.583 (12)
Kevin Millar - .333/.500/.778 (12)
Nick Markakis - .400/.400/.800 (10)

Jon Lester vs.
Ramon Hernandez - .500/.667/.500 (3)
Melvin Mora - 1.000/1.000/1.000 (3)
Corey Patterson - .333/.333/1.333 (3)

Lester hasn't faced anyone more that 3 times, so his numbers are kind of fluke. He pitched an awful game against them, which inflated all the stats. 3 plate appearances just isn't enough to show a trend. Wakefield has seen the O's a lot and with some marginal success. For some reason, our old friend Kevin Millar is a huge fan of facing Wake. He subscribes to the "if its high, let it fly. If it's low, let it go." theory of hitting the knockler. Read more about that in this weeks Sports Illustrated.

The important of this series is subject to argument. I, personally, thinks it's very important. We can either start printing the banner or worrying about the Yanks. If the Sox pitchers can keep this hitters in check, there is a good chance that the former will prevail. I'm just excited to not be playing the Yankees.