Pick a petal, eeny meeny miny mo / And flower, you're the chosen one...
The situation: The Red Sox rotation has been better as of late, though one could argue that is only because it couldn’t pitch any worse. Now that Boston is all but mathematically eliminated, the Red Sox will turn to one of the top pitching prospects in its system in Henry Owens.
Background: Owens was one of the more well-known prospects coming into the 2011 MLB Draft, and his combination of relatively advanced stuff along with a very projectable frame saw him go 37th overall in a very strong pitching class. After an inauspicious start in his first full season, Owens was very impressive in both 2013 and 2014, striking out over a batter an inning and posting ERAs below 3.00 in each year. He ranked behind only Blake Swihart in the Red Sox top-10 this offseason, and 46th overall in the BP 101 coming into the season.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies righty Eddie Butler and Padres outfielder Rymer Liriano.
Hitter of the Night: Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres (San Antonio, AA): 3-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K.
One of the few impact position players in the Padres farm system that is close to being major-league ready, Liriano is hitting for more power now than he did before missing the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. He is still an overly aggressive hitter. which could hurt him in the majors.
Pitcher of the Night: Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K.
Butler’s strikeout rates are down this season, but he is generating lots of weak contact thanks to his heavy sinking fastball.
In the first installment of this series, Ben and Craig take you from Domingo Santana to Jonathan Schoop.
We’ve done it, Internet. We’ve compiled a Big List of Players just for you.
Craig and I have spent the past six weeks breaking down each division, forming individual top-30 U25 dynasty rankings and comparing those lists with some witty (read: tired) commentary in each installment. We’ve also been debating each list on TINO, with the help of Dear Leader Bret Sayre and Mauricio Rubio, and have fielded many questions and concerns on Twitter and via the comments section, too.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Hitters of the Night:
Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 3-5, 3 R, 3B, HR.
There aren’t too many catchers who possess an 80-grade arm and can hit triples, which gives you a good idea of Alfaro’s unique and impressive skill set.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Royals outfielder Brett Eibner and Red Sox lefty Henry Owens.
Hitter of the Night: Brett Eibner, OF, Royals (Ohama, AAA): 5-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR.
Eibner is on the fringes of prospect territory these days as a 25-year-old who hit .243 in Double-A last year, but what he can do is hit for power, and when he cuts down on the swings and misses, he can really be an impact player. It just hasn’t happened nearly enough at the upper levels of the minors to this point.
Pitcher of the Night: Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.
The 21-year-old Owens kept his ERA at 0.00 on the young season with his second straight nine-strikeout performance. When he’s being consistent with his mechanics, Owens generates tremendous downward plane that is difficult to square up and features two potential plus off-speed pitches.
The minor-league season is upon us. After the pageantry of major-league Opening Day (and opening series, opening night, and more home openers to come), the minor-league season kicked off with a bang on Thursday night all across the country. With radar guns and rug rats in tow, scouts and parents alike descended on all levels of minor league parks to catch a glimpse of the stars of tomorrow.
Hitter of the Day Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 4-4, 3 R, HR. The only tool in which Betts is not above average is power, so when that’s on display, it’s really fun to watch.
Aaron Sanchez leads off the second half of the list.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Baseball Prospectus Futures Guide 2014, our second-annual prospect book, which will collect all of BP's offseason prospect content (plus exclusive prospect and fantasy offerings) in book and e-book form. Here's a look at last year's book; expect an even more meaty offering this time around.
To read part one of this list, published yesterday, click here.
Mookie Betts, Travis d'Arnaud, and Jorge Soler are among those who came off the board between picks 29 and 56.
In the first episode of the BP Mock Expert Draft, we went over the backstory and parameters of this draft, so there’s no need to rehash that here. Plus I know you’re all just going to skip past the intro anyway to see who else got picked and when. Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.
So, without any further ado, here are the next two rounds (three and four) of the Baseball Prospectus Expert Mock Prospect Draft with analysis from the participants themselves:
Notes from a night that featured two no-hitters: a solo performance by Mariners righty Victor Sanchez and a combined effort by three Salem Red Sox led by Henry Owens.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Victor Sanchez, RHP, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Sanchez is pitching in full-season baseball at the age of 18. He features a plus fastball, a potential easy plus changeup, and a potential plus curveball. Look for Sanchez to keep improving in the second half of 2013, with a chance to move squarely onto the prospect radar next year; 63.2 IP, 57 H, 20 ER, 8 BB, 41 K in 12 starts.
Position Prospect of the Day: Henry Ramos, CF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. Ramos is a switch-hitter with plus raw power. He currently plays center field, but fits better defensively in right. Ramos will be challenged by upper-minors pitching and most likely will be a very good organizational player; .310/.383/.643 with 2 2B and 4 HR in last 42 at-bats
In-person evaluations of Robert Stephenson, Kevin Gausman, Kyle Zimmer, Henry Owens, Chris Withrow, and Taijuan Walker.
When I stepped away from the second chair and into Kevin Goldstein’s vacated spot on the stage, I decided that the spine of my prospect architecture would be eyewitness scouting evaluations. The goal was not to portray myself or other members of the prospect team as industry-level scouts; being a fabulist wouldn’t benefit the product or the public paying for that product. The goal was to offer evaluations from a more personal point of view, reports that originated at the fields instead of on the phones or the search engines. I put together a team of talent evaluators I felt had the chops to sit in the stands and document the action on the field in an authentic manner. I wanted to hire the type of talent that would one day receive the bait from the private sector, joining up with the industry that I learn from on a daily basis. That team is in place.
Going forward, Baseball Prospectus will publish a weekly series featuring eyewitness evaluations from the staff, complete with scouting grades, detailed notes and (in many cases) video. These reports will attach to the player cards and offer a wealth of information throughout the season; with multiple looks from multiple sources, you will be able to track a prospect’s progression through the developmental process. As the games continue and we populate the minor-league stadiums around the country, the reports will start to pile up, and hopefully the season will conclude with a healthy reservoir of reports for you to pick through, compare, contrast, dissect and disagree with. I can’t think of a better means to study the minor-league process than with a collection of scouting reports from quality eyes, provided over the course of a season, and if everything continues as planned, for the duration of the players’ prospect journeys.