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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Man Alone

I must be insane. My relationship with J.D. Drew is very abusive one. I know i should leave, but I'm scared about my life after him. It was love at first sight when i say the Red Sox signed Drew. It was like i was living on cloud nine. "Wow, Drew!," i said, "he is the perfect replacement for Trot." How wrong i was. Drew has done nothing to warrant my excitement. He is hitting .259/.359/.39o, but the SABR stats are even more worrisome. It isn't just his hitting either. His defense has proven to be less than advertised. To show his fall, look at his current stats and last years.

EqA - .255
EqR - 47
WARP3 - 3.1
OPS+ - 97
RC/27 - 4.9
Batting WS - 6.7
Fielding WS - 1.9
Rate2 - 91
FRAA - -8

EqA - .299
EqR - 89
WARP3 - 8.5
OPS+ - 125
RC/27 - 7.6
Batting WS - 18.5
Fielding WS - 3.1
Rate2 - 112
FRAA - 12

At this point i should note that many people view last year as a down year for Drew. Every stat i just showed clearly explains why he is a disappointment. He hasn't improved anything. In many stats, he went from a good hitter to a below average hitter. I guess that begs the question, why has this happened? That is a lot more difficult to explain that one would think. When trying to explain this i looked at his rates and what i found was rather shocking. Besides the power rates, nothing makes sense.

K% - 18.5%
BB% - 14.8
LD% - 17%
GB% - 48%
BABIP - .316
ISOP - .131

K% - 17.8%
BB% - 15%
LD% - 18%
GB% - 47%
BABIP - .326
ISOP - .251

Yes, every rate is down. But none of those are noticeably down, besides ISOP. Changes like that can be attributed to many different things and the best argument would not be a decline in talent. So, we are right back to where we were before i showed the stats. What is the problem? He is hitting lefties extremely poorly this season, but it is not like he was ever Babe Ruth against them to beginning with. League change? Maybe, he hit his best during interleague play. There has to be something to the familiarity or hitters with pitchers. Family issues? Yes, his young child has been sick. I really can't speak to this one. He seems like the kind of guy that can play through something like this, but he isn't a robot. I'm sure it has effected him to some extent. The new home ballpark? I doubt it. He needs to learn how to hit to the opposite field and use the monster, that's why his BABIP is 50 points lower at home, but overall the numbers are pretty close.

I give up. I can't find any specific thing that is wrong with the guy. Clearly, he is not the same player. But to why? I can't answer. Your guess is as good as mine. What i can say for a fact is, he is as talented as anyone on this team. Will it ever manifest itself on the field? I really hope so. Many people don't like his attitude, but the guy is just odd. He doesn't show emotion, that doesn't mean he doesn't have them. From here on in, me and Drew are on a break. I hope we can rekindle our love sooner rather than later.

More Promotions

I wrote earlier that Tejeda was promoted to Lowell, now he is joined by some of his old teammates. Both Ryan Dent and Che-Hsuan Lin were promoted to Lowell from the Gulf Coast League. There is only a handful of games left, so this move is extremely minor in terms of this year. That being said, this could be big for next season. My guess is, they did this so these players can start somewhere higher than low A. It is very likely that they will start the season at Lancaster and Greenville. If that is the case, we will truly get to see what we have in this teenagers. I'll keep you posted on their success in Lowell.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Roster Expansion

As far as I know, on September 1st major league teams are allowed to expand their roster by 15 players. That means, potentially, all players on the 40 man roster can be called up. I believe as a prerequisite, you must be on the 40 man roster prior to the first. So lets look at who is currently on the roster but not active.

Craig Breslow
Clay Buccholz
Matt Clement *
Brendon Donnelly *
Daniel Haigwood
Devern Hansack
Craig Hansen
Kyle Jackson
Jon Lester
Edgar Martinez
David Pauley

Positional Player
Doug Mirabelli
George Kottaras
Jacoby Ellsbury
Brandon Moss

* 60-day DL

Out of these players, there are very few players i would be shocked if they got the call. I highly doubt Kyle Jackson and Daniel Haigwood. They are both struggling at AA Portland and have very little upside. Edgar Martinez and David Pauley might not get the call either, mainly for there uselessness. Neither are high upside or lefties, making them expendable. Of the positional players, George Kottaras will probably be the only player not called up. They don't need 4 catchers and they would rather start his arbitration clock next year. By my best guess, that would put the Sox at anywhere between 11 and 7 call ups. Makes a lot of sense for a team with this large of a lead.

Notable none call-ups
Chris Carter
Jed Lowrie
Justin Masterson
Bobby Scales
Royce Clayton
Travis Hughes
Bryan Corey
Abe Alvarez

This is where I get confused. From my understanding, these players can not be called up because they are not on the 40 man roster. If this fact is true, than the only way they can get called up is if they make some roster moves. Once again, i can only see Daniel Haigwood and Kyle Jackson being shafted off the roster. My guess they would fill one of those spots with Lowrie. He is a promising young prospect and would be the only infield call-up. Good chance Chris Carter or Travis Hughes would be the options for the other spot. Carter was the player the Red Sox got in return for Pena. This guy can flat out hit, so he could be a very valuable as a pinch hitter. Problem is he can't play defense and has little speed. Hughes is the closer at Pawtucket and is having a career year. With a sub-2 ERA and a low WHIP, he makes a lot of sense. The problem is, he is 29 years old and has just about no upside. Masterson would be nice, but why start his arbitration clock this year. best bet is to wait and see where he is next spring.

I'll write about who they actually call up in a couple of days, but for now those are my predictions. A team like the Red Sox in their position will probably bring up at least 7 players. They have a big lead and several players they would like to have a look at or give a rest. September call-ups often make a bigger impact of teams than the average fan would expect.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Draft Review: Drake Britton

This might end up being the steal of the draft for the Red Sox. Drake Britton was the 714th pick in this year draft, right out of Tombal (TX) High School. This young left-hander built up quite a reputation pitching in the heart of Texas. As a junoir, he posted a record of 9-2 with an ERA of 1.36. He also managed to strike out 84 batters in 60 innings. Extremely mature for his age, he stands 6'2" 200 lbs. Scouts believe he could use to bulk up a little bit, but he is very projectable.

The scouting report is pretty exciting. His fastball consistently sits in the low 90s. What makes him special is the outstanding curveball he has. Scouts have referred to it as "flithy". His change-up is not as far along as the other pitches, but with time could develop. He has great command of all his pitches, especially the fastball and curve. To go along with his pitches, he has an extremely deceptive motion that makes it difficult for hitters to catch up with.

Signing for $700,000, this 23rd rounder seems to be a high risk high reward type of player. What is often left out of baseball talks are the players are human beings. It just so happens that Britton is a very good one, at that. He has spent time with special needs children in his community, along with other charitable efforts. Drake appears to be a good guy, so for that reason alone i'm rooting for him. Being a good guy never hurts in the world of baseball. ETA is 2012 for this kid, and that sounds about right. But don't be surprise if he comes along faster with the lack of lefties in the organization. Outside of Hagadone, Lester, and Johnson there aren't many, which might lead the Sox to rush him along. Best guess, he starts the year in Lowell and will go from there.

EqA Rates

I looked at RARP the other day, so i figured why not keep with the SABR theme and look at EqA for the Red Sox. For those how don't know what EqA is take a look here. Basically it stands for Equivalent Average and it measures offensive production per out.

Red Sox
Jason Varitek - .260
Kevin Youkilis - .282
Dustin Pedroia - .282
Mike Lowell - .289
Julio Lugo - .226
J.D. Drew - .255
Coco Crisp - .248
Manny Ramirez - .289
David Ortiz - .327

League Average
C - .244
1b - .276
2b - .260
3b - .268
SS - .256
Rf - .273
Cf - .265
Lf - .270
Dh - .262

Six of the nine starters are above average, while three are below. However, Julio Lugo is the only player significantly below average hitter on the team. Papi is the only player significantly above average, to no ones surprise. Honestly, these numbers are a lot more encouraging than the RARP numbers. Looking at these, I can understand the reason why the Sox have the fourth best offense.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tejeda Promoted

Just a quick note here, Oscar Tejeda was recently promoted to Single A Lowell. If you don't know much about him, i did a write up on him here. Since being promoted, Tejeda has hit .389/.405/.500 in 36 ABs. His rates aren't all that good, but i'm not going to write about them. For now I'm going to just be excited for this promising young 17 year old.

Consistently Average

When you describe people, it is very infrequent for "average" to be a compliment. In terms of baseball, it is very much so. It is extreme difficult to find someone that can give you consistently average performances, year after year. Thankfully for the Red Sox, we have someone like that in Tim Wakefield. I give Tim a lot of grieve, but my main issue is the Doub Mirabelli factor. He is truly a special pitcher and I am becoming more and more convinced that he could pitch till he is 45. To illustrate how consistent he has been, look at his ERA+ and IP since joining the Red Sox.

1995 - 195.3 - 163
1996 - 211.7 - 100
1997 - 201.3 - 110
1998 - 216 - 101
1999 - 140 - 100
2000 - 159.3 - 91
2001 - 168.7 - 116
2002 - 163.3 - 157
2003 - 202.3 - 115
2004 - 188.3 - 100
2005 - 225.3 - 106
2006 - 140 - 100
2007 - 157.3 - 104

I challenge anyone out there to find 3 other pitchers in the American League that have similar or better numbers than those above over the same span. Wakefield will never win a Cy Young, but that's not what he is here for. He is an innings eater, and a really good one at that. For these reasons and many more, I would be extremely shocked if Wake is not back with the team next season.

Friday, August 24, 2007

RARP ratings

Runs Above Replacement players is a nifty little stat that Baseball Prospectus has created. It allows you to see how many more runs you are producing than a replacement level player would produce. Here are how the Red Sox rank in comparison to other players at their positions.

Jason Varitek - 7th (14.6)
Kevin Youkilis - 15th (19)
Dustin Pedroia - 10th (23.1)
Mike Lowell - 7th (25.6)
Julio Lugo - 32nd (1.2)
Manny Ramirez - 10th (27.2)
Coco Crisp - 24th (7.8)J.D. Drew - 29th (6.8)
David Ortiz - 1st (43.8)

Not all too surprising. Of coarse, Papi is the best DH in all of baseball. Even when his power is down, he still has an top 5 EqA and EqR. He is a truly amazing hitter and should be appreciated as such. Youkilis has been great, but he plays such an offensive heavy position that he was bound to be the middle of the pack. For all the talk about Lugo and Crisp turning their seasons around, they still rank pretty low on the list. Manny and Lowell have both given the team very solid years and with Papi have made up for the short comings in Drew, Crisp, and Lugo. These stats don't shock me. What shocks me is that the Sox are 4th in the league in scoring. I think it will be hard for them to keep up their offensive pace if these are the numbers they are producing.

Draft Review: Brock Huntzinger

Brock Huntzinger is the bright young star from Pendleton, Indiana. He slipped to the 3rd round, but many believed he could have gone higher. He had intended to pitch for Indiana University next year, before signing with the Sox. The coach of IU thought very highly of Brock saying "he is one of the top pitchers in the Midwest."

Brock is one of the few players drafted that have already got his career underway. He has made 3 appearances for the Red Sox GCL team. So far, in 5 innings, he has 4 strikeouts and walked none. He has allowed 2 runs and 4 hits over that period. The only stat that you should pay attention to in the GCL is walks and strike outs, basically command. Command is something that will transcend levels and is important to keep. These pitchers will be practicing pitches and often will be up and down. Keep that in mind when looking at players below AA.

He is a scouts dream. He stand 6'3" 215 lbs and can afford to put weight on. He is an extremely athletic kid that was great both ways in High School. He will be a pitcher for the Red Sox and has some great treats to start with. He has a smooth delivery, that will require very little tweaking. Because of this delivery, he has little trouble going deep into game and has shown an ability to bounce on short rest. He has a solid fastball, resting around 91 MPH, with above average secondary pitches. His curveball is has been call "excellent and his slider is developing. It is a new pitch to him, so with time it could become great.

In looking at Huntzinger, it is important to keep in mind he is only 19 years old. Like all draft picks, he is probably more than 2 years away from anything. In my opinion, he is the most talented player draft. Yes, more talented than Middlebrooks. I'm expecting a lot from him, I'll keep everyone informed about him.

Draft Review: Austin Bailey

Lets start somewhere in the middle and work my way out. You probably haven't heard much about Bailey, since he was a 16th round selection out of college. He was most definitely not a 16th round talent, however. He has the abilities to become a really strong pitcher. Most teams shied away because of sign ability. Baseball America had him ranked the 176th best player entering the draft, but he slipped all the way to the 504th pick. According to, Bailey was the 115th best prospect.

The scouting report is he has a fastball ranging from 88-93 MPH fastball. He sports a change-up and a curveball. Both pitches have a lot of development needed to become solid secondary pitches. The curveball appears to be the further developed pitched, said to have "depth and tight rotation." As many kids out of High School, he lacks the mentality of a major league pitcher. He likes to challenge hitters with his fastball and lacks the necessary switch of pace in his secondary pitches. He is currently 6'1" 195 lbs. and has little room to grow. He will probably bulk up a tad, but the fastball will probably never top 94. His delivery is extremely similar to that of Jeremy Bonderman. It is never a bad thing being compared to Bonderman.

He is said to be a tough, aggressive player. Sounds very similar to a pitcher that the Sox drafted out of High School, Michael Bowden. While Bowden has a different approach to pitching, both were confident pitchers straight out of High School. Don't be shocked if Bailey has success in A ball next year and we start hearing his name on major outlets, like Bowden. Great pick for the Sox. The price, $285,000, was completely in the realm of justification.

Pitching Match-ups

Here is how the pitching match-ups look from here on in.

8/24 @ White Sox
8/29 @ Yankees
9/3 vs. Blue Jays
9/8 @ Orioles
9/14 vs. Yankees
9/19 @ Blue Jays
9/26 vs. A's

8/28 @ Yankees
9/2 vs. Orioles
9/7 @ Orioles
9/12 vs. Devil Rays
9/18 @ Toronto
9/25 vs. A's
9/30 vs. Twins

8/24 @ White Sox
8/30 @ Yankees
9/4 vs. Blue Jays
9/9 @ Baltimore
9/15 vs. Yankees
9/21 @ Devil Rays
9/27 vs. Twins

8/25 @ White Sox
8/31 vs. Orioles
9/5 vs. Blue Jays
9/10 vs. Devil Rays
9/16 vs. Yankees
9/22 @ Devil Rays
9/28 vs. Twins

8/26 @ White Sox
9/1 vs. Orioles
9/6 @ Orioles
9/11 vs. Devil Rays
9/17 @ Blue Jays
9/23 @ Devil Rays
9/29 vs. Twins

Thursday, August 23, 2007


As much as i hate to say it, I was completely wrong about Dustin Pedroia. I was completely convinced that he would be a lackluster major leaguer, but I am flip-flopping. His numbers have been great this year and his defense has been a great surprised. From everything i heard, Pedroia had below-average range and a weak arm. That has turned out not to be true. He has been extremely steady and solid. His speed is as advertised, but that can easily be forgiven.

So whats so great about Pedroia? Almost all his rates are stellar. Great BB%, K%, LD%, GB%, and BABIP. Those translate to great AVG/OBP/SLG. I am fully convinced that he will have an OPS around .800 for the rest of his career. For a second baseman, that is something that is special. So hear is my apology, I am sorry Dustin. You are a hell of a lot better player than i thought you could be.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Missed weekend

Well, i apparently missed a lot this weekend. So here are my takes on the major goings on.

  • We went 2-2 vs. the Angels this weekend. I'll take that. Apparently we should have won 3 our of the 4 games if it wasn't for Gagne, but what can you do. I am really getting sick of hearing Gagne blew it but the more i think about it the more i relax. My sources tell me Gagne has been looking good and has some nasty movement on the change-up. If that is true, the results will come along. Also, Delcarmen struggled as well. If Gagne wasn't here he would be in a bigger situation and probably struggling similarly. All and all, splits against really good teams are acceptable.
  • Buccholz made his debut and got the win in the effort. I really can't speak much to his game. I see his line wasn't an awful one, at least when you consider it was his first start, but for a rookie the line can be misleading. He will be back up here in a couple of weeks and i'll make a much better analysis on him.
  • Pena is gone and Kielty is in. Not a huge Kielty fan, so that's really all i have to say about that. Pena leaving town is the bigger news. He is now with the Nationals in exchange for a PTBNL. I'm hearing that Chris Carter is that player. I don't really understand that since Carter is owned by the D-Backs, but these PTBNL trades are confusing. Carter is a nice player that can flat out hit. A little old for a prospect and not a great defender, but he is very similar to a Jack Cust.
  • Everyone knows a hate Dougie, so how happy was i to see he was put on the DL. He has a strained right calf which shouldn't keep him out too long. In his stead, the Sox promoted Kevin Cash. I don't understand it at all. Kottaras has caught a knockleball, is younger, and a better hitter. This is the type of thing i hate about Theo. They have better options than they use. That gives me a great idea about a thread. We will see how that progresses.
So, that's the weekend i missed. The lead is down to 4 but no need to get freaked. The Sox are fine.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Jimmy Fund

Just a quick note. Today is the NESN/WEEI Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. It is a great cause and anyone that can make a donation should. The number to call is 877-738-1234. Otherwise, you can go to and check things out. The goal for the day is $3 M and I think they will get it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finalized draft

I don't have much time right now so i'm going to rip te draft results off Go support that site. It is chalk full of great info. Still no takers for the weekend. I'm not leaving till the morning so you all have time.

1s (55) Nick Hagadone* LHP Washington
1s (62) Ryan Dent** SS Woodrow Wilson HS (CA)
2 (84) Hunter Morris 3B Virgil Grissom HS (AL)
3 (114) Brock Huntzinger RHP Pendleton Heights HS (IN)
4 Chris Province RHP SE Louisiana U.
5 Will Middlebrooks RHP Liberty-Eylau HS (TX)
6 Anthony Rizzo 1B Stoneman Douglas HS (FL)
7 David Mailman 1B Providence Senior HS (NC)
8 Adam Mills RHP UNC-Charlotte
9 Kade Keowen CF LSU-Eunice
10 Ken Roque SS Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
11 Ryan Pressly RHP Marcus HS (TX)
12 Eammon Portice RHP High Point U
13 Justin Grimm RHP Virginia HS (VA)
14 Jake Cowan RHP Roswell HS (GA)
15 Scott Green RHP Kentucky
16 Austin Bailey RHP Pratville HS (AL)
17 Jaren Matthews 1B Don Bosco Prep (NJ)
18 Hunter Strickland RHP Pike County HS (GA)
19 David Marks RF Edmonds CC (WA)
20 Dan Milano C Northeastern
21 Aaron Reza SS Oklahoma
22 Will Latimer LHP Trinidad State JC (CO)
23 Drake Britton LHP Tomball HS (TX)
24 Matt Presley OF Cheyenne Mountain HS (CO)
25 Seth Garrison RHP Texas Christian
26 Deshaun Brooks 3B Benedict
27 Yasmani Grandal C Miami Springs Sr HS (FL)
28 Nick Tepesch RHP Blue Springs HS (MO)
29 Juan Carlin LHP Riverview HS (FL)
30 Will Vazquez C Kent State
31 Dan Buller LHP Fresno CC (CA)
32 Ridge Carpenter RF Kalani HS (HI)
33 Garrett Larsen RHP Navarro College
34 Tony Bajoczky RHP Duke
35 Sean Tierney LHP Clover Hill School (VA)
36 Scott Lyons SS Mt. San Antonio College
37 Scott Lonergan RHP Rice
38 Derrick Stultz RHP Wharton HS (FL)
39 Jonathon Roof SS St. Mary HS (KY)
40 Ryan Fischer RHP Lodi HS (CA)
41 Mike Bourdon C NW Catholic HS (CT)
42 Chad Povich RHP Dixie State
43 Scott Cure LHP Idalia HS (CO)
44 Emmanuel Solano SS Miami-Dade CC South (FL)
45 Pete Gilardo C Dominican College
46 Garrett Young CF Liberty
The Green highlighted players were drafted.