It’s no secret that 2011 – 1st rounder Blake Swihart is the future catcher in Boston. His superior makeup, athleticism and defensive chops have the organization and fans alike chomping at the bit. This makes guys like Romanski expendable; and I think the San Diego State Univ. alum could be nice trade bait for an organization looking for a solid, not spectacular, backstop.
1B – Sam Travis – Short Season Lowell/LoA Greenville – 20 yo; – (2014 – 2nd round)
I considered keeping Travis, an Indiana University grad, under wraps and revealing him as my 2015 Red Sox Breakout prospect. However, his impressive debut trumped the possibility that he’d fly under the radar long enough for me to tab him UTR Breakout material. His 0.34 PAG deviation from Lowell (3.53) to Greenville (3.19) leaves me excited to think a nice step forward offensively could be in store for 2015. AAA Pawtucket’s Travis Shaw currently sits atop the Red Sox first baseman prospect rankings and he should. He posted a 3.53 csPAG between AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket. With another solid season by Sam Travis paired with Shaw’s age and struggles to hit for more power, (Sam) Travis could slip past the other Travis to a top-tier organizational ranking.
2B – Wendell Rijo – LoA Greenville – 18 yo; – (2012 International FA signee-DO)
BA/#20 – MLB Pipeline (mid-season)/#5 – BP/”Prospects on the Rise”
The young Devers could easily crash several 2015 pre-season and certainly mid-season Top 100 prospects lists. He posted my highest Red Sox 2014 csPAG score among all players who will UTR qualify heading into next season.
SS – Javier Guerra – GCL Red Sox – 18 yo; – (2012 International FA-Panama)
Light’s appearance on the list is indication of how weak the Red Sox system is.. in regards to starting pitching. He just nudged out Justin Haley and Luis Diaz for the final spot, had they not received their promotion to Double-A Salem and thus dropped off my tracking radar. He also had +.046 increase of his TPS rating from 2013 which signals, according to my system, that Light is a bust and will most likely become organizational filler.
Top 3 Relief Pitchers – (Mention Points) /TPS
1. RHP Jonathan Aro – (9)cSR/TPS .071
Gunkel was my selection to have a breakout as a relief pitcher for the Red Sox and he started the season looking like my prediction was right on the mark. His true breakout came in late June after being promoted to HiA Salem and was placed in the starting rotation going 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA over 29.2 innings for the month. Gunkel held a cSR/TPS in the high 60’s into early July, but fatigue may have set in as it began to rise along with his ERA. Gunkel actually finished #2 on my list for Mention Points (7) for relief pitchers , but his 15 starts over 27 appearances qualified him as a starter where he also finished in the top 10 with (5) Mention Points.
2014 Breakout Grades
The following pitchers were chosen in early March. Their selection was based solely on their previous season’s TPS rating and using the UTRMinors.com criteria for those under the radar.
SP Sergio Gomez had the type season whereby it grounds my TPS formula and makes me to search for that missing piece of data that will improve my breakout selection process. I know there is a human element in the performance of a baseball player, but there has to be something there, as I was way off with the now 21 year-old right-hander. Gomez posted a .076 TPS in 2013 which was right there with three 1st rounders (Ranaudo, Owens, Barnes) and held his own getting a taste of LoA hitters. Gomez collapsed in repeating LoA by posting a 6.75 ERA over 77.1 innings. I may have been on the right track, but Boston has been aggressive with his progression since starting him in the GCL as a 16-year old. Now maybe the time to backoff. Grade FRP Joe Gunkel – I already touched on Gunkel (see above). The 18th rounder out of West Chester University (PA) was a pleasant surprise as a breakout in the starter role. After breaking down the Red Sox and seeing the how thin the starting pitching is at the lower levels, it became clear why Gunkel starting getting the ball every fifth day. It will interesting to see what his role will be in 2015. Grade A