A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to ampoule's comment:

    In response to jidgef's comment:

     

    Relevent to nothing on here, but what a great time to be in Fort Myers. FGCU fever has gripped the area; that's all you hear about! What's a Red Sox?

     




     

    Excuse my ignorance...FGCU?



    Florida Gulf Coast Uni. the recent cinderella story in college basketball

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    In response to carnie's comment:

     

    Alex Wilson is a good depth option I think, Jose de La Torre looked pretty good in the WBC as well.

     



    Carnie, my reference to not having "deep depth" is in the short term, without Breslow and Morales. I am also hearing and reading lots of noise about dealing either Aceves or Bailey, and we don't have the depth to do that right now. As good as Wilson and de La Torre have looked at times, there is nothing in their history that says they are ready for prime time just yet.

     



    Let's say we trade Bailey, and Morales and Breslow are on the DL for longer than we hope. We'd have this:

    1) Hanrahan

    2) Uehara

    3) Aceves

    4) Miller

    5) Tazawa

    6) Mortensen

    7) Wislon/de la Torre/Webster/Carpenter/Beato

    I agree, the 7th slot is sketchy, but the first 6 look solid. I can see waiting until Breslow returns and looks good before considering a deal with Bailey or Aceves.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to ampoule's comment:

    In response to jidgef's comment:

     

    Moon, I'm of the opinion that Lester's loss of velocity was a combination of mechanics and an over-reliance on his cutter. He's been consistently able to hit 92-94 if you can believe the Jet Blue gun. I have also got to tell you that I have gotten up close to him, shaken his hand actually, and I can tell you that he is one very large, very strong dude! He's listed at 6'4" and 240 and he is all of that. Not sure how hard or cut he was last year, but he is both right now. I saw him in shorts and a tee shirt (in fact we were both dressed the same) and you could tell he was in great shape! I mean we were both were;)

     




     

    From behind, there is no doubt in my mind that people would have a difficult time distinguishing between the both of you...LOL....side view?...perhaps a different story..:)

    I made the point on a different thread about the evolution of size of pitchers today.  Yes, there were exceptions like Ford, Martinez, Koufax et.al., but overall, the guys today are monsters! I think they have to be for the grind of the season.

    I swear Jid, your 'articles' are so good they really should be published somewhere.  It's been really great.

    It surprises me about Breslow.  I haden't read, but I was under the impression that he really didn't do anything in the offseason to hurt himself.  I wonder what happened?



    Good points. 

    I had high expectations for Breslow this year. I hope he can help.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to jidgef's comment:

     

    In response to carnie's comment:

     

    Alex Wilson is a good depth option I think, Jose de La Torre looked pretty good in the WBC as well.

     



    Carnie, my reference to not having "deep depth" is in the short term, without Breslow and Morales. I am also hearing and reading lots of noise about dealing either Aceves or Bailey, and we don't have the depth to do that right now. As good as Wilson and de La Torre have looked at times, there is nothing in their history that says they are ready for prime time just yet.

     

     



    Let's say we trade Bailey, and Morales and Breslow are on the DL for longer than we hope. We'd have this:

     

    1) Hanrahan

    2) Uehara

    3) Aceves

    4) Miller

    5) Tazawa

    6) Mortensen

    7) Wislon/de la Torre/Webster/Carpenter/Beato

    I agree, the 7th slot is sketchy, but the first 6 look solid. I can see waiting until Breslow returns and looks good before considering a deal with Bailey or Aceves.



    plus that extra time it takes Breslow/Morales to get back would give us additional time to showcase bailey/ace/Mortenson

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to mef429's comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    In response to jidgef's comment:

     

    In response to carnie's comment:

     

    Alex Wilson is a good depth option I think, Jose de La Torre looked pretty good in the WBC as well.

     



    Carnie, my reference to not having "deep depth" is in the short term, without Breslow and Morales. I am also hearing and reading lots of noise about dealing either Aceves or Bailey, and we don't have the depth to do that right now. As good as Wilson and de La Torre have looked at times, there is nothing in their history that says they are ready for prime time just yet.

     

     



    Let's say we trade Bailey, and Morales and Breslow are on the DL for longer than we hope. We'd have this:

     

    1) Hanrahan

    2) Uehara

    3) Aceves

    4) Miller

    5) Tazawa

    6) Mortensen

    7) Wislon/de la Torre/Webster/Carpenter/Beato

    I agree, the 7th slot is sketchy, but the first 6 look solid. I can see waiting until Breslow returns and looks good before considering a deal with Bailey or Aceves.

     



    plus that extra time it takes Breslow/Morales to get back would give us additional time to showcase bailey/ace/Mortenson

     



    True- assuming they do well in showcase mode.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Today's report from the fort...

    Same old story, good starting pitching! Doubront today went five, allowed a few hits and pitched out of trouble early, but got outs when he needed them and got strike outs when he needed them. The key for him today was that he ounded the strike zone. He has to learn that as long as he does that his stuff is good enough to bail him out. As long as he stays ahead of hitters, like he did today, his swing-and-miss stuff can carry him through. But if he is nibbling and walking guys, that's when he gets into trouble, allows crooked numbers and slows the game to a standstill. For what it's worth, Salty caught him today and there appeared to be a running dialog and body language from Salty to both speed Doubie up and to act as his biggest cheerleader. Good leadership from behind the dish.

    The offense wasn't great but they did get key two-out RBI hits from Napoli in the first and Nava in the second to put them up by two. I joked to the people around me, not for the first time this spring, that Napoli should lead the league in "wall-singles" and getting thrown out at second. I hope I'm wrong, but it's happened a few times already this spring. Two hits from Nava, another hit from Iggy, and two-run hit from Victorino, lead-off hit from Ells and a couple of line-drive outs from him paced the offense. The box score won't show it but they hit the ball solidly all day long.

    The pen was shaky today. Uehara and Miller were perfect but Bailey (unearned) and Hanrahan each gave up runs against single A hitters, albeit with single A defense on the field for the Sox as well. When the game was on the line there were good plays made by Ells. The best defensive plays of the game were made by the Twins' second baseman, robbing both Pedroia and Ells of base hits. Stolen base from Middlebrooks was also a nice surprise. 

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from dgalehouse. Show dgalehouse's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Today's report from the fort...

    Same old story, good starting pitching! Doubront today went five, allowed a few hits and pitched out of trouble early, but got outs when he needed them and got strike outs when he needed them. The key for him today was that he ounded the strike zone. He has to learn that as long as he does that his stuff is good enough to bail him out. As long as he stays ahead of hitters, like he did today, his swing-and-miss stuff can carry him through. But if he is nibbling and walking guys, that's when he gets into trouble, allows crooked numbers and slows the game to a standstill. For what it's worth, Salty caught him today and there appeared to be a running dialog and body language from Salty to both speed Doubie up and to act as his biggest cheerleader. Good leadership from behind the dish.

    The offense wasn't great but they did get key two-out RBI hits from Napoli in the first and Nava in the second to put them up by two. I joked to the people around me, not for the first time this spring, that Napoli should lead the league in "wall-singles" and getting thrown out at second. I hope I'm wrong, but it's happened a few times already this spring. Two hits from Nava, another hit from Iggy, and two-run hit from Victorino, lead-off hit from Ells and a couple of line-drive outs from him paced the offense. The box score won't show it but they hit the ball solidly all day long.

    The pen was shaky today. Uehara and Miller were perfect but Bailey (unearned) and Hanrahan each gave up runs against single A hitters, albeit with single A defense on the field for the Sox as well. When the game was on the line there were good plays made by Ells. The best defensive plays of the game were made by the Twins' second baseman, robbing both Pedroia and Ells of base hits. Stolen base from Middlebrooks was also a nice surprise. 



    Thanks for all your updates this spring. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Today's report from the fort...

    Same old story, good starting pitching! Doubront today went five, allowed a few hits and pitched out of trouble early, but got outs when he needed them and got strike outs when he needed them. The key for him today was that he ounded the strike zone. He has to learn that as long as he does that his stuff is good enough to bail him out. As long as he stays ahead of hitters, like he did today, his swing-and-miss stuff can carry him through. But if he is nibbling and walking guys, that's when he gets into trouble, allows crooked numbers and slows the game to a standstill. For what it's worth, Salty caught him today and there appeared to be a running dialog and body language from Salty to both speed Doubie up and to act as his biggest cheerleader. Good leadership from behind the dish.

    The offense wasn't great but they did get key two-out RBI hits from Napoli in the first and Nava in the second to put them up by two. I joked to the people around me, not for the first time this spring, that Napoli should lead the league in "wall-singles" and getting thrown out at second. I hope I'm wrong, but it's happened a few times already this spring. Two hits from Nava, another hit from Iggy, and two-run hit from Victorino, lead-off hit from Ells and a couple of line-drive outs from him paced the offense. The box score won't show it but they hit the ball solidly all day long.

    The pen was shaky today. Uehara and Miller were perfect but Bailey (unearned) and Hanrahan each gave up runs against single A hitters, albeit with single A defense on the field for the Sox as well. When the game was on the line there were good plays made by Ells. The best defensive plays of the game were made by the Twins' second baseman, robbing both Pedroia and Ells of base hits. Stolen base from Middlebrooks was also a nice surprise. 



    i thought of you when i saw the wall-ball single (turned out trying to stretch it into a double). In his defense, i'm sure he was expecting to only get a single with how hard he hit that ball so he wasn't running full speed. But once the OF'er botched the play off the wall he thought he could stretch it and turned on the jets. It didn't work out. If he was thinking double the whole way i have no doubt he would have made it to second safely with the fielding error.

     
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    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    What jets???

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    What jets???



    it was a metaphor.. running hard*

    he was trotting to first base not expecting to have a chance at second then when the fielder misplayed the ball off the wall he "sprinted" to second. I think if he was running the whole way he would've made it IMO.

    but your right, he definitely will have the most wall-ball singles on the team (maybe Papi will give him a run for his money).

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcri. Show jcri's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Jid, I don't know if you are in great shape but your reports have been in great shape, so I won't be picky.  Really fun (and lucky for us) to have someone with your eye right there.  Thanks again.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Jid,   A sincere thanks for all the great information that you shared with us.  It took effort and insight.

    I regret that circumstances altered our plans to go to spring training. 

    By the way, I know you said that the 2nd baseman robbed a few of our guys of hits.  Yet, the innings I saw, it seemed that a few balls that got through should have been caught.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    jid, I was honored you chose this thread for your insightful reports. Many many thanks.

     

     
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    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

     

    I was reading an article about Andrelton Simmons yesterday, as he was very impressive in the WBC for the Netherlands and it seems that this guy might be the next top SS in the game. Of particular note is that he can throw a 98 mph fastball and was originally drafted as a pitcher. Tremendous fielder. Here is the deal though. They said that last year he had the highest UZR/150 of any mlb level SS who played over 400 innings in the history of that stat being collected ( 11 years ). And he was around 33.4 with a DRS of 19 runs saved in 424 innings. Absolutely incredible.

    But dig this. Last year Iglesias was at a plus 46.5 in 193 innings with 7 runs saved. It's a very small sample size but Iglesias was off the charts great defensively right from the get go.

    I would trade 2 Iglesias's for one Simmons in a heartbeat as Simmons might be the most valuable prospect in baseball this year but Iglesias clearly is still very special. If he hits at all or can even get on base 30% of the time he should be playing.

     

     

     



    I'm never one to judge by small sample sizes, but it's good to see the numbers support my position that Iggy is something special in the field. Maybe we've gone so long without a great ranged SS, that some forgot what a difference make it can be.

     



    Moon, I agree. I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this. Simmons sets the record for SS  UZR/150 at 33.4 and Iglesias comes in roughly 25% BETTER than the record, albeit with a smaller sample size. As much as people rave about Iglesias's fielding; i.e. one scout said "best hands I've ever seen", he may actually be underated defensively. I like his ability to throw from a variety of off balance positions. His quick hands and his fluidity are what stand out to me. He appears to have taken a ton of ground balls growing up. His dad was a professional baseball player also in Cuba, who had a very solid reputation. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to ampoule's comment:

    Jid,   A sincere thanks for all the great information that you shared with us.  It took effort and insight.

    I regret that circumstances altered our plans to go to spring training. 

    By the way, I know you said that the 2nd baseman robbed a few of our guys of hits.  Yet, the innings I saw, it seemed that a few balls that got through should have been caught.



    Victorino's "hit" was definitely a gift, as was Ellsbury's in the first inning. So things did even out as he committed two robberies as well. Happy Easter!

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Most ESPN, FOX and MLB experts are picking the Blue Jays and Rays in the AL East which is fine with me. 

    No pressure for the Red Sox. Stay healthy and play hard are what I want from them.  If the 2012 A's and O's surprised everyone in 2012 then why not the Red Sox in 2013?  

     

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Spring Training review continued...position players

    Catchers...might as well start with my favorite position. Overall this position has evolved into one of the strengths of the team. The addition of Ross bolsters the defense and brings a Veritek-like presence/role model for the younger catchers.

    Salty...had a great spring at the plate; he feasts on mediocre to poor pitching. ( Who doesn't?) He did show more plate discipline but we will still have to live with lots of K's. His defense seems better, he was quick to throw behind runners more this spring although not always with great accuracy, but still has occasional lapses in concentration that result in passed balls. On a very positive note, he seemed much more vocal and in command of his pitchers this spring.

    Ross...He will certainly trigger some CERA discussions this season as his track record indicates that he knows how to handle pitchers and call a great game. He has a strong arm and quick release. His bat, however, has been non-existent for most of the spring. In his defense he is probably focusing on learning a new pitching staff and assuming that the offense will be there when it's time. He will strike out a lot and look pretty bad in the process, but we didn't sign him for his bat. I do hope that Farrell uses him based on who is pitching for the other team, that is mostly against lefties, rather than him becoming anyone's personal catcher.

    Lavarnway...very disappointing. He didn't hit and he didn't catch all that well. He's a very big kid and his hands and footwork seem too slow and cumbersome, like it takes him too long to get unwound. He should get plenty of innings at AAA but he is more than likely going to be passed by at catcher unless he shows dramatic improvement. And obviously, if he can't catch he has to hit a ton to justify his place on any roster going forward.

    Vasquez...he could be the catcher of the future! A fireplug of a body, greaat arm and very fast release; I think he ended ST with a perfect caught stealing percentage. He will also throw behind runners, even to second base, with great effectiveness. He hit okay, with a little pop, but was always a late inning guy so only saw minor-league pitching. With regular work at Portland he will zoom by Lavarnway this year on the depth chart. 

    Others...saw a little of Swihart and while I like his bat (singles hitter) he is pretty small for a MLB catcher. He and Vasquez are the same age so I'm not sure where he will fit in long term. Butler is the other guy who seems headed for AAA to back up Lavarnway. Not sure what anyone sees in him in the organization.

    Overall the position looks strong with Salty and Ross likely to be above average offensively, although with lots of strike-outs, and pretty close to or slightly better than average defensively. The pitching staff seems to be working much more quickly, both in between pitches and in delivery time to the plate so we shouldn't give up nearly as many stolen bases as in years past. Also solid depth with Lavarnway for short-term and Vasquez knocking on the door as a regular by this time next year.

     
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    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Spring training review continued...Infielders

    Health is the key as both Pedroia and Middlebrooks are returning from injury-plagued seasons. Ironically it was the health of the new shortstop, Drew, that opened the door to one of spring training's most pleasant surprises. 

    Napoli...he has looked much better than I expected at first base, good hands, a willingness to dive for balls and only seemed to struggle on pop-ups behind him. He will not remind anyone of Gonzo with the glove, but he will not embarrass himself there either. He will hit, especially at Fenway, if he stays healthy and gets his at bats. Great eye and a quick stroke. He will hit lots of wall-ball singles and balls that would be home runs in other parks that will only be singles in Boston. He should produce a lot of runs in the middle of this order.

    Pedroia...quite simply the best player on the team and a joy to watch play every phase of the game. I would bet that he played more spring training innings than any other MLB regular as he just never seems to want to come out of a game. I don't necessarily like him in the three hole, but that's where he apparently will be until (if) Papi gets back. This is clearly "his" team now and he is surrounded by hard-nosed players who play like him.

    Iglesias..one of the most pleasant surprises of the spring was the emergence of his fairly respectable bat. First of all, he doesn't even look like the same skinny kid who played short here at the end of last year; he's probably 10 pounds heavier, all in the arms and shoulders. His defense is jaw-dropping at times, and he has the ability to make great plays look routine. I would not want to be the person who has to decide what to do with him when Drew returns, but for the many on here who think he needs more time in AAA because he hasn't earned the starting job yet, you simply need to watch him play. He and Pedey are right now the best keystone combo in baseball and will only get better as they work more together.

    Middlebrooks...He has been a monster this spring. Once upon a time I thought that long-term he would have to move over to first to accomodate Boegearts (sp?) but he looks like a very solid MLB third baseman. His arm is too good to waste at first and he showed much more range than I remember from last year. I know that he is young and is likely to have to learn to make adjustments as pitchers adjust to him, but he should be a middle of the order mainstay for years. He will hit close to 30 bombs and knock in over 100 runs if this spring is any indication!

    Ciriaco...at the start of ST it looked like he might be in a battle with Holt for the back-up infielder role. He made that competition a mismatch from the start. Last ST he was the best player in the camp, and while he can't say that this year, he still showed that Farrell should have no hesitation to rest any of his regular infielders as he can hit, has some pop, and can run and field.

    Drew...obviously didn't see too much of him but I liked what I did see on defense. On offense, he looks like his brother, a patient (his brother was TOO patient) hitter with decent power for an infielder. However, I would try to find another home for him because Iggy would be my shortstop.

    Holt...although Ciriaco blew him away for the back-up job, Holt showed me that we have very adequate depth just a phone call away. He's a good hitter, but with no power, and a pretty good defensive player. Much better at second than anyplace else. but solid insurance.

    Carp...he must have pictures of Ben, Larry or somebody to have "won" a spot on the roster. 

    others...Gomez started out strong but as soon as it bacame apparent that Ortiz was not going to be ready and a "real" job might open up, Gomez folded. He hit well last year (MVP at AAA) when the late season games were meaningless, but... And make no mistake about it, this guy is a DH only! Nava (more on him when I write about outfielders) played an adequate first base early while they were waiting on Napoli and seems to me to be a much better solution than the fish. I didn't see much of Boegearts but you can tell that the ball jumps off his bat. Very young abd raw though, and his future could be anywhere from first to third to left field. I saw flashes from some of the younger infielders, the most impressive of which was Heiker Menesis.

    Is this a playoff caliber infield? I don't know. But with Iggy and Pedey we are terrific up the middle; one key to a playoff team. We have power bats at the corners, another key. And we have a great offensive middle-infielder in Pedroia, a bonus on most teams. We have a solid backup in Ciriaco. But we will also most likely have a controversy when Drew is ready. My choice, as it has been for a couple years now, is for Iggy to be my shortstop. That is not a knock on Drew, simply my assessment of what makes this a better team. If the situation calls for it Farrell can always pinch-hit Nava late for Iggy and put Ciriaco in his place, but Iggy would be my guy. I do know this, last year's biggest weakness, our starting pitching, immediately gets better with Iggy and Pedey in the middle.  

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Spring Training review continued...position players

    Catchers...might as well start with my favorite position. Overall this position has evolved into one of the strengths of the team. The addition of Ross bolsters the defense and brings a Veritek-like presence/role model for the younger catchers.

    Salty...had a great spring at the plate; he feasts on mediocre to poor pitching. ( Who doesn't?) He did show more plate discipline but we will still have to live with lots of K's. His defense seems better, he was quick to throw behind runners more this spring although not always with great accuracy, but still has occasional lapses in concentration that result in passed balls. On a very positive note, he seemed much more vocal and in command of his pitchers this spring.

    Ross...He will certainly trigger some CERA discussions this season as his track record indicates that he knows how to handle pitchers and call a great game. He has a strong arm and quick release. His bat, however, has been non-existent for most of the spring. In his defense he is probably focusing on learning a new pitching staff and assuming that the offense will be there when it's time. He will strike out a lot and look pretty bad in the process, but we didn't sign him for his bat. I do hope that Farrell uses him based on who is pitching for the other team, that is mostly against lefties, rather than him becoming anyone's personal catcher.

    Lavarnway...very disappointing. He didn't hit and he didn't catch all that well. He's a very big kid and his hands and footwork seem too slow and cumbersome, like it takes him too long to get unwound. He should get plenty of innings at AAA but he is more than likely going to be passed by at catcher unless he shows dramatic improvement. And obviously, if he can't catch he has to hit a ton to justify his place on any roster going forward.

    Vasquez...he could be the catcher of the future! A fireplug of a body, greaat arm and very fast release; I think he ended ST with a perfect caught stealing percentage. He will also throw behind runners, even to second base, with great effectiveness. He hit okay, with a little pop, but was always a late inning guy so only saw minor-league pitching. With regular work at Portland he will zoom by Lavarnway this year on the depth chart. 

    Others...saw a little of Swihart and while I like his bat (singles hitter) he is pretty small for a MLB catcher. He and Vasquez are the same age so I'm not sure where he will fit in long term. Butler is the other guy who seems headed for AAA to back up Lavarnway. Not sure what anyone sees in him in the organization.

    Overall the position looks strong with Salty and Ross likely to be above average offensively, although with lots of strike-outs, and pretty close to or slightly better than average defensively. The pitching staff seems to be working much more quickly, both in between pitches and in delivery time to the plate so we shouldn't give up nearly as many stolen bases as in years past. Also solid depth with Lavarnway for short-term and Vasquez knocking on the door as a regular by this time next year.



    It's been a long time since we had a strong AND deep catching position.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Spring training review continued...Infielders

    Health is the key as both Pedroia and Middlebrooks are returning from injury-plagued seasons. Ironically it was the health of the new shortstop, Drew, that opened the door to one of spring training's most pleasant surprises. 

    Napoli...he has looked much better than I expected at first base, good hands, a willingness to dive for balls and only seemed to struggle on pop-ups behind him. He will not remind anyone of Gonzo with the glove, but he will not embarrass himself there either. He will hit, especially at Fenway, if he stays healthy and gets his at bats. Great eye and a quick stroke. He will hit lots of wall-ball singles and balls that would be home runs in other parks that will only be singles in Boston. He should produce a lot of runs in the middle of this order.

    Pedroia...quite simply the best player on the team and a joy to watch play every phase of the game. I would bet that he played more spring training innings than any other MLB regular as he just never seems to want to come out of a game. I don't necessarily like him in the three hole, but that's where he apparently will be until (if) Papi gets back. This is clearly "his" team now and he is surrounded by hard-nosed players who play like him.

    Iglesias..one of the most pleasant surprises of the spring was the emergence of his fairly respectable bat. First of all, he doesn't even look like the same skinny kid who played short here at the end of last year; he's probably 10 pounds heavier, all in the arms and shoulders. His defense is jaw-dropping at times, and he has the ability to make great plays look routine. I would not want to be the person who has to decide what to do with him when Drew returns, but for the many on here who think he needs more time in AAA because he hasn't earned the starting job yet, you simply need to watch him play. He and Pedey are right now the best keystone combo in baseball and will only get better as they work more together.

    Middlebrooks...He has been a monster this spring. Once upon a time I thought that long-term he would have to move over to first to accomodate Boegearts (sp?) but he looks like a very solid MLB third baseman. His arm is too good to waste at first and he showed much more range than I remember from last year. I know that he is young and is likely to have to learn to make adjustments as pitchers adjust to him, but he should be a middle of the order mainstay for years. He will hit close to 30 bombs and knock in over 100 runs if this spring is any indication!

    Ciriaco...at the start of ST it looked like he might be in a battle with Holt for the back-up infielder role. He made that competition a mismatch from the start. Last ST he was the best player in the camp, and while he can't say that this year, he still showed that Farrell should have no hesitation to rest any of his regular infielders as he can hit, has some pop, and can run and field.

    Drew...obviously didn't see too much of him but I liked what I did see on defense. On offense, he looks like his brother, a patient (his brother was TOO patient) hitter with decent power for an infielder. However, I would try to find another home for him because Iggy would be my shortstop.

    Holt...although Ciriaco blew him away for the back-up job, Holt showed me that we have very adequate depth just a phone call away. He's a good hitter, but with no power, and a pretty good defensive player. Much better at second than anyplace else. but solid insurance.

    Carp...he must have pictures of Ben, Larry or somebody to have "won" a spot on the roster. 

    others...Gomez started out strong but as soon as it bacame apparent that Ortiz was not going to be ready and a "real" job might open up, Gomez folded. He hit well last year (MVP at AAA) when the late season games were meaningless, but... And make no mistake about it, this guy is a DH only! Nava (more on him when I write about outfielders) played an adequate first base early while they were waiting on Napoli and seems to me to be a much better solution than the fish. I didn't see much of Boegearts but you can tell that the ball jumps off his bat. Very young abd raw though, and his future could be anywhere from first to third to left field. I saw flashes from some of the younger infielders, the most impressive of which was Heiker Menesis.

    Is this a playoff caliber infield? I don't know. But with Iggy and Pedey we are terrific up the middle; one key to a playoff team. We have power bats at the corners, another key. And we have a great offensive middle-infielder in Pedroia, a bonus on most teams. We have a solid backup in Ciriaco. But we will also most likely have a controversy when Drew is ready. My choice, as it has been for a couple years now, is for Iggy to be my shortstop. That is not a knock on Drew, simply my assessment of what makes this a better team. If the situation calls for it Farrell can always pinch-hit Nava late for Iggy and put Ciriaco in his place, but Iggy would be my guy. I do know this, last year's biggest weakness, our starting pitching, immediately gets better with Iggy and Pedey in the middle.  



    I mentioned moving Bogaerts to 1B instead of Middlebrooks. Few agreed. My guess is that one will be at 1B by 2015 at the latest.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

     

    I was reading an article about Andrelton Simmons yesterday, as he was very impressive in the WBC for the Netherlands and it seems that this guy might be the next top SS in the game. Of particular note is that he can throw a 98 mph fastball and was originally drafted as a pitcher. Tremendous fielder. Here is the deal though. They said that last year he had the highest UZR/150 of any mlb level SS who played over 400 innings in the history of that stat being collected ( 11 years ). And he was around 33.4 with a DRS of 19 runs saved in 424 innings. Absolutely incredible.

    But dig this. Last year Iglesias was at a plus 46.5 in 193 innings with 7 runs saved. It's a very small sample size but Iglesias was off the charts great defensively right from the get go.

    I would trade 2 Iglesias's for one Simmons in a heartbeat as Simmons might be the most valuable prospect in baseball this year but Iglesias clearly is still very special. If he hits at all or can even get on base 30% of the time he should be playing.

     

     

     



    I'm never one to judge by small sample sizes, but it's good to see the numbers support my position that Iggy is something special in the field. Maybe we've gone so long without a great ranged SS, that some forgot what a difference make it can be.

     

     



    Moon, I agree. I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this. Simmons sets the record for SS  UZR/150 at 33.4 and Iglesias comes in roughly 25% BETTER than the record, albeit with a smaller sample size. As much as people rave about Iglesias's fielding; i.e. one scout said "best hands I've ever seen", he may actually be underated defensively. I like his ability to throw from a variety of off balance positions. His quick hands and his fluidity are what stand out to me. He appears to have taken a ton of ground balls growing up. His dad was a professional baseball player also in Cuba, who had a very solid reputation. 

     



    I feel I have been conservative with my estimated plays made differential between Iggy and Drew, mostly based on not really knowing first hand how goo, mediocre, or poor ranged Drew is; however, Iggy could indeed be even better than anyone projects.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    I'm inclined to agree the infield overall is a plus because Middlebrooks, Pedroia, and Napoli are also good hitters.  I don't agree Iglesias would save a bunch of runs every year because that's really hard to prove, but I would prefer to start him right now over anyone else, especially Drew.  I think pitching and hitting are the prose of baseball, but that defense is the poetry, and right now this team could be very poetic indeed with those guys in the infield and Bradley, Ellsbury, and Victorino in the outfield.  Certainly the pitchers have to feel good about the defense. 

    Agree too catching is a plus.  Getting Ross was a smart move.

    Right now my "realistic assessment" is the Sox are a .500 club and a big improvement over last year--before Ortiz comes back.  They have pitching, fielding, and some hitting.  I say "some" because they were dead last in MLB in ST in dingers and third from the bottom in OPS. 

    mlb.com has a team defensive stat called DER, which I think is a rough calculation of range, and the Sox were ranked #1 in the AL for ST. 

    Back of the envelope:  good pitch, good field, no hit. 

     

     

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcri. Show jcri's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    As to Iggy, I'll repeat what I read in the paper (Mercury News) from some baseball scout out here--"The Red Sox don't know what they got."

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    jid, I was honored you chose this thread for your insightful reports. Many many thanks.

     

     



    With rare exceptions this is the only thread I visit. I have no tolerance for the childishness on the other threads. This is a baseball forum afterall. Good job policing it Moon.

     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Max, great use of prose in your poetic analysis!

     

     
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