Sox Minor League News Links, Thurs. June 11, 2009
Ambres, Wagner, Fife, Buchholz; Draft...
Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:11 AM
Amalie Benjamin - Red Sox Notebook: Smoltz is just about ready to get started
The Red Sox selected 27 more players in Rounds 4 through 30 of the amateur draft, including one with a familiar name. Luke Bard, a righthanded pitcher out of Charlotte (N.C.) Christian High School and brother of Sox reliever Daniel Bard, was selected in the 16th round.
"When I got to the field I got a text from him," Daniel Bard said. "It said, 'I got drafted.' He didn't say by who. Ben Cherington texted me and said, 'We got your brother. We're excited about it.' "
Luke Bard is committed to Georgia Tech, but his brother said he thought Luke would be open to signing.
Including Bard, the Sox took 13 righthanded pitchers, three lefthanders, five infielders, five outfielders, and one catcher. Among yesterday's picks was Alex Hassan, a righthander out of Duke originally from Milton, in the 20th round.
Triple A outfielder Chip Ambres was traded to the Mets for a player to be named . . .
Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:37 AM
Steve Buckley - Keeping it in the family; Red Sox take Daniel Bard’s bro
“He texted me as soon he got drafted,” Daniel Bard said. “And then a text came in from a friend of mine saying, ‘Your brother got drafted by the Red Sox.’ I called Luke immediately to congratulate him. He was playing golf. He’s very happy.”
But Luke Bard is by no means a lock to sign with the Sox. He already has committed to Georgia Tech, the same school that sent Sox catcher Jason Varitek [stats] and former shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, among others, to the big leagues.
The Sox resumed yesterday’s draft by taking Ball State center fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker in the fourth round (No. 138 overall). Thirty picks later, they selected Seth Schwindenhammer, an outfielder out of Limestone Community High School in Illinois.
They selected 27 players in all yesterday. The final 20 rounds will be drafted today.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:20 PM
Joe McDonald and Daniel Barbarisi - Red Sox journal: Sox turn to pitching in second day of draft
Among the more interesting second-day picks are ninth rounder William Volz, who served as the closer for Team USA last summer, and fifth rounder Seth Schwindenhammer, who would lay claim to the longest name in the majors if he makes it to the bigs.
Fourth round outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker is an on-base machine out of Ball State, who posted a .550 OBP this year, second-best in all of Division I.
The sixth-round pick, Maryland high schooler Branden Kline, has strongly stated his desire to go to college, saying to the Fredrick News-Post that it would take "a high pick and a lot of money" to convince him otherwise.
In the seventh round, the Sox picked up Madison Younginer, a high-school right hander already throwing consistently in the mid-90s. Younginer is a rarity in that he serves as the closer for his South Carolina high school team, rather than as a workhorse starter.
In a surprising move, the Sox have already reportedly signed 10th-rounder Brandon Jacobs away from a football scholarship at Auburn University, according to Auburnsports.com. It is extremely rare for the team to agree to a contract with highly-drafted player so soon after the draft.
With a log jam of outfielders in Pawtucket, the Red Sox traded veteran Chip Ambres to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. Before Tuesday's transaction, this season was Ambres' second in the Red Sox organization. He spent the first half of 2005 with the PawSox until he was traded to the Royals for infielder Tony Graffanino. Ambres played 51 games for Pawtucket this season and posted a .254 average with 3 homers and 18 RBI. Ambres, who is well respected on and off the field, has 80 games of major-league service with the Royals, Mets and Padres. He has been assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 01:40 PM
Paul Jarvey - Kemp drafted by Sox
First, there was last week’s workout at Fenway Park before Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, which he called “the greatest baseball experience of my life so far.”
That moment was trumped late yesterday afternoon when the Red Sox chose the recent Tantasqua Regional graduate with the 738th pick overall in the 24th round of baseball’s first-year player draft.
Kemp, 17, had been following the draft online at his father’s business, but when he hadn’t been chosen through 18 rounds, he left to go home. When he got there, Brandon Forcier, his basketball teammate with the Warriors, called to tell him he had been picked by Boston.
“It was the best moment of my life,” said Kemp, a big Red Sox fan.
Even though he had worked out at Fenway and the Sox were one of the teams showing the most interest in him, he was surprised when he actually was picked by Boston.
“It was a great feeling,” said Kemp, who is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, and hit .472 for Tantasqua this season. “It’s just a happy time.”
Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:10 PM
Dogs' bats quiet at Erie; Portland wastes a solid start by Adam Mills, who strikes out five in six innings, and gets shut out by the SeaWolves.
Portland had seven hits but did not have a runner reach second base until the ninth, when Ryan Kalish hit a two-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Argenis Diaz then grounded out to second base to end the game.
Mark Wagner reached base four times for the Sea Dogs with three singles and a walk. Jon Still added two hits, including a first-inning single that broke a 26 at-bat hitless streak.
Portland starter Adam Mills (1-4) took the loss despite giving up just two runs and striking out five in six innings.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:26 PM
Red Sox offense remains silent
The Red Sox have not scored a run since the sixth inning on Sunday, going 30 straight innings without crossing the plate. They have lost five straight games and 10 of their last 12.
Salem (25-35) managed one hit in five innings against Liotta.
Wilmington's Mike Moustakas had an RBI double in the first inning, then came in to score on a two-run homer by David Lough off Salem starter Casey Kelly.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:03 PM
Peter Fatse, Jeremiah Bayer, Dan Kemp and Mitchell Clegg among WMass players picked in Major League Baseball Draft
Bayer and Kemp were picked by the Boston Red Sox. Kemp, a senior shortstop at Tantasqua Regional High School, was chosen in the 24th round with the 738th pick. Bayer, the 2009 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division III Pitcher of the Year and the D3Baseball.com National Pitcher of the Year, went to Boston in the 30th round, 918th overall.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:32 PM
Brian MacPherson's Sox Beat: Taking the long view
"When we first got here, there was an emphasis on getting players who could get into the upper levels of the system quickly because we felt we had a void we had to fill," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said.
"Now it's still nice to get those advanced players who are closer to the big leagues, but we feel like we have a sound player-development system in place with our processes -- and we feel like we have some talent in the minor leagues, so we can afford to be patient and take a player that's further away if it offers the chance of more impact."
To be fair, player development has never been a one-size-fits-all enterprise. Still, though, there's a reason the minor-league ladder exists: The more time a player spends at each level, the better chance he'll have of success at the next level.
Fuentes, a second-cousin of Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran, will have the luxury of taking all the time he needs to get to the big leagues. He's a center fielder cut straight out of the mold of Jacoby Ellsbury, who won't be eligible for free agency until 2014. On top of that, Fuentes, once signed, will be in line behind Boston outfield prospects Jason Place, Che-Hsuan Lin, Ryan Westmoreland and Ryan Kalish.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 04:59 PM
Greenville Blanked by Bowling Green
The only run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth as Kyeong Kang singled home Isaias Velasquez off Stephen Fife (0-1). Velasquez led off the frame by beating out an infield single, stole second, and moved 90 feet from home on Jake Jeffries' groundout.
In taking the loss, Fife allowed his first earned run since joining the Drive on May 30th, a span of 12-1/3 innings. The right-hander fired 5.0 innings, allowing five hits while striking out three before giving way to reliever Mike Lee. Lee held the Hot Rods scoreless over the final 3.0 innings, allowing a hit and a walk with four strikeouts.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:23 PM
Mike Scandura - Buchholz looking good at Triple-A Pawtucket
Buchholz began last season as the No. 5 pitcher in Boston's five-man pitching rotation. He had thrown a no-hitter one season earlier in just his second major-league start, Sept. 1, 2007, against Baltimore at Fenway Park.
But given a chance to regularly pitch at the big league level, Buchholz struggled. He tallied a 2-9 record with a 6.75 ERA with 41 walks, 72 strikeouts and 11 home runs allowed in 76 innings. He ended the season with Double-A Portland (Maine).
Now Buchholz is dominating the competition, and PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur is specific about why.
"It's because his command his improved tremendously," Sauveur said. "By that I mean his fastball command and command of his secondary pitches. He overthrew last year at times with his fastball. He thought 95, 96 (miles per hour) was better than 92, 93 or 94. I'd much rather see a guy throwing 91 with command than a guy throwing 95 and less than half the time he's throwing strikes.
"He also trusts all of his pitches. Last year I think he thought there were certain pitches he could trust only on certain days. Now, he trusts all four pitches every time out - his fastball, curveball, slider and change."