Shuffeling the Farm Deck

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

    Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Sooner or later some positional changes will have to be made down on the farm. Some top prospects are blocked or bottle-necked at their current positions. I understand the advantages of the strategy to allow players to grow and learn at their "natural position" or their position deemed to be their best fit, but to me, we are nearing the time for changes.


    Last summer, I called for Bogey to get some time at 3B on the farm. We ended up giving him on the job training at 3B during the World Series. That situation should not happen again. One main reason I wanted Bogey moved to 3B is that I do not see him projecting to a plus defender at SS. Another main reasons is that I do not see Middy as a plus defensive 3Bman, and he still remains a major gamble on offense. This leads me back to the debate that has been going on for quite some time on this site: moving young players to positions that better suit their skill sets and/or to positions that offer better chances of quicker advancement to the bigs.


    Here is how soxprospects.com has our players/prospects listed by position for 2014:


              AAA               AA              Notables below AA (age)


    C   Vazquez         Swihart


         Butler


    1B  Lava             T Shaw              Longhi (18)


          Snyder


    2B  Roberts         Betts                 Rijo (18), Coyle (22)


          Henry


    3B  Cecchini        Welch               Devers (17), C Asuaje (22)


    SS  Holt               Marrero            Lin (20)


          McCoy


    LF  Nava              Hissey              Margot (19)


    CF Brown            Wilkerson


    RF Hassan          Ramos               de la Cruz (22)


         Brentz (DH) 


     


    As you can see, we look pretty weak and thin at 1B and the OF and very strong and deep at 2B and 3B. The only position we appear to be blocked in the majors beyond 2015 is 2B (Pedroia). Simply put, our prospects are bottle-necked and blocked at 2B and bottle-necked at 3B.


    The key young players:


    Bogaerts (21): I understand the offensive positional value he brings to the SS position, but if you look at the ML trend over the last few decades, the SS position has improved offensively while the 3B position has declined in offensive output. The traditional view of SSs being weak hitters and 3Bmaen being strong hitters is becoming a myth. Moving Bogey to 3B would not lose much positional offensive value- at least not as much as it might have traditionally been. I am not saying Bogey cannot grow into an average or decent fielding SS, but there is a significant chance he may never reach the middle of the pack SSs (#12-18ish out of 30). To me, the SS position is a very valuable defensive position. I suggested Bogey be moved to 3B last year, and nothing has changed my mind after watching the first 34 games of 2014. In fact, the poor defense by Bogey at SS and Middy at 3b, so far, has only strengthened my position. The lack of a quality SS to take Bogey's place right now, is the only reason I am not calling for an immediate switch of positions by Bogey. I also think Bogey can become a plus 3Bman in a very short time, but that is just speculation on my part.


    With the pending move of Bogey to 3B (in my view), the following changes should be made as soon as practical:


    Middlebrooks: I thought he looked okay on defense in 2012, but he has looked poor for over a year now. I think his best position may be 1B, but that position is blocked by Napoli until the end of 2015, and Cecchini (see below) is probably even worse on defense than Middy at 3B, and might be a better candidate to be moved to 1B. Since we haveNapoli and have no SS to take Bogey's place, Middy should not be moved to 1B. If he is sent to the minors, he should split time at 1B and 3B.


    Cecchini (23): By all accounts, he looks bad on defense at 3B. He may lack the power usually associated with the 1B position, so perhaps his best spot might be LF. Of course, the progress of Middy at 3B and Bogey at SS may make 1B a better landing place. Also, the fast rise of Betts could shuffle things even more. Rijo could further complicate the mix, but probably won't until late 2015 at the earliest.


    Betts (21): I'm not a scout. I am not an expert prospect skillset evaluator. I don't watch enough minor league baseball to know what is best, but the Pedroia situation demands a positional move by Betts sooner or later. I say, "why wait?" Betts used to be a SS, but I trust Sox talent evaluators to know if that is a good move for him. The growth of Marrero (see below) could bottle-neck Betts out of that position as well. Perhaps the best spot for Betts would be LF (see Cecchini above). Another spot could be 3B (assuming Bogey stays at SS, and Middy/Cecchini are moved to other positions, traded, or flame out).


    Marrero (23): This kid is getting close to not being a kid anymore. He may hold the biggest key to the dominoes falling. Unless we pick up a SS from outside the organization, Marrero looks like the best bet to force Bogey to 3B (see Betts above as our possible next SS). His defense could be close to that of Iggy. He's off to a decent start on offense, but like Iggy, he may struggle at the ML level on offense. Of course, in my opinion, offense is way less important than defense at the SS position.


    Rijo (18) and Devers (17) could cause another shuffle down the road, but right now, nobody above them should be moved to make room for them. They both have too much to prove to be an influence on decisions made at AA and AAA.


    In light of all of this, here is what I think we should do now, and what we should look to do as soon as an opportunity arises (such as getting a MLB ready SS from within or without of our system):


    (Note: an injury to Napoli or any other major player could change everything, but moving some of these guys may create further flexibility in our future as players can play muitiple positions, if needed.)


    Keep Bogey at SS, but look to find a plus defensive SS. Perhaps we could sign Drew at a discount or trade for a good SS. Keep Middy at 3B for a while longer and keep our fingers crossed. Basically, change nothing at the ML level for now, unless a good SS deal can be made.


    On the farm, I'd make these moves:


    1) Move Betts to SS, if the scouts see him as an eventual plus defender there. If not, move him to 3B, perhaps at AAA by year's end (see Cecchini's move below).


    2) Move Cecchini to 1B now. Also, Look to give him some practice and possibly a few reps in LF.


    3) Let Lava DH and play some at 1B.


    By August, we could see this:


    AAA: 1B Cecchini, 2B Coyle, SS Marrero, 3B Betts (?) Snyder/Holt/Roberts


    AA: 1B: T Shaw, 2B Rijo (?), SS Lin (?), 3B Betts (see AAA)/Welch


    By 2015, we could see this:


    1B: Middy/Cecchini


    2B: Coyle/Rijo/Betts


    3B: Betts/Middy


    LF: Cecchini/Betts


    Middy, Cecchini & Betts can all play 2 positions well enough.


    Let the big debate continue...


     


     


     


    Sox4ever

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MadMc44. Show MadMc44's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    I agree about versatility---in fact the talent scouts might be wise to identify a few kids and give them opportunities to catch an inning here and there to develop emergency catchers or try Vazquez, Swihart and Butler at different positions like they are doing with Lavarnway and the Indians have done with Santana at 3 B. 


    I think it's early in the season to move Betts to AAA but give him some looks in the OF, SS and 3 B at AA would be important. The same with Cecch--there is no question the kid can hit-the Sox management will find a place for him. He is the closest pure hitter I've seen in the  Sox system since Boggs. He hits the ball where it's pitched. Once he gets a little stronger he will get to know the Green Monster.


    I know it's kind of taboo to move players to Boston from AA but Marrero is not the typical AA player. Having played at Arizona , he, like Bradley, have played many meaningful games at the collegiate level. Unlike some, I think Marrero could step in now and play a better SS than Xander, who is very good for a 21 year old. There have been comparisons made that Marrero is close to Iggy at the position. If he can bunt he can be a valuable commodity even if he hits .201. Did you notice how comfortable Billy Hamilton looked for the Red's Tues. night laying down bunts. Herrera is the same way. Players like that prove their value---JBJ MUST learn how to BUNT. Marrero, I think, was recognized as the best baserunner in the Sox System last year; another plus for him.


    One thing we have is pitching at least in AA and AAA. If we are serious about a power bat we have the talent down below to get one.


     


     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bill-806. Show Bill-806's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    MOONMAN,   Too many reading points for me ........   BEN knows what he has to do as far as "MOVE-UPS & CHIPS",  I think that he is waiting for the right time to entertain conversations !!!  Next 30 days will tell !!!

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to MadMc44's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    I agree about versatility---in fact the talent scouts might be wise to identify a few kids and give them opportunities to catch an inning here and there to develop emergency catchers or try Vazquez, Swihart and Butler at different positions like they are doing with Lavarnway and the Indians have done with Santana at 3 B. I think it's early in the season to move Betts to AAA but give him some looks in the OF, SS and 3 B at AA would be important. The same with Cecch--there is no question the kid can hit-the Sox management will find a place for him. He is the closest pure hitter I've seen in the  Sox system since Boggs. He hits the ball where it's pitched. Once he gets a little stronger he will get to know the Green Monster. I know it's kind of taboo to move players to Boston from AA but Marrero is not the typical AA player. Having played at Arizona , he, like Bradley, have played many meaningful games at the collegiate level. Unlike some, I think Marrero could step in now and play a better SS than Xander, who is very good for a 21 year old. There have been comparisons made that Marrero is close to Iggy at the position. If he can bunt he can be a valuable commodity even if he hits .201. Did you notice how comfortable Billy Hamilton looked for the Red's Tues. night laying down bunts. Herrera is the same way. Players like that prove their value---JBJ MUST learn how to BUNT. Marrero, I think, was recognized as the best baserunner in the Sox System last year; another plus for him. One thing we have is pitching at least in AA and AAA. If we are serious about a power bat we have the talent down below to get one.  [/QUOTE] [object HTMLDivElement]


    Good points, especially about the 23 year old Marrero. He seems to already have the fielding down, and I'd love to see him up to Boston sooner rather than later, and Bogey could then move to 3B, but I think Cecchini will get the ML look before Marrero.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from slasher9. Show slasher9's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    if they plan on keeping these kids, then yes - you make some valid points about shuffling the minor league deck sooner rather than later. 


     


    if they plan on trading these kids for proven MLB ready talent then they should keep them at their "natural" positions to continue their development (increase their trading value).

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    I bridle somewhat when an OP begins with both an air of authority--now hear this, the moonslav is speaking and you can ignore whatever Cherington is thinking--and a misspelled word in the title.  It's shuffling, not shuffeling.  In general, however, I do buy the thesis that some of our better minor leaguers could be blocked as is the case with any secondbasemen, as well as the one that says not too many great hitting outfielders in the system if any.  One alternative to shifting guys to new positions is to develop them and then trade them to get what you really do need.  I also think it is impossible to fill all your needs with the guys in your system, so of course you should be prepared to trade. 

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from BosoxJoe5. Show BosoxJoe5's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    This is rather typical. Large amount of text arguing change for change stake.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    I say the Sox should either move or promote Betts.  He is absolutely 100% not being challenged right now, and part of developing players is throwing adversity their way.  If they don't want to rush a promotion to Pawtucket perhaps giving him some positional versatility could challenge him too.


    I'm starting to really really like Rijo too, but I don't think he is an option for another 3 years or so and seems to be less versatile than a guy like Betts. 


    To me what we really really really need is a right fielder.  JBJ in CF, Mookie could probably play CF or at least RF (I don't think he has the arm for RF, although it wouldn't be horrible there) Cecchini, WMB, and Bogaerts probably all COULD play LF and between them and Betts we probably already have a LFer anyways so that leaves RF open.


    In a perfect world Victorino would be very healthy and play full time for the next two years but we know that isn't always reality,  Depth could go a long way. 

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to slasher9's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    if they plan on keeping these kids, then yes - you make some valid points about shuffling the minor league deck sooner rather than later. 


    if they plan on trading these kids for proven MLB ready talent then they should keep them at their "natural" positions to continue their development (increase their trading value).


    [/QUOTE]


    Good points, but as of now, I doubt they have already made up their minds who they want to trade. Maybe someone like Lava is pretty certain not to be in our longterm plans at any position, but the rest are not in that boat.


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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to maxbialystock's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    I bridle somewhat when an OP begins with both an air of authority--now hear this, the moonslav is speaking and you can ignore whatever Cherington is thinking--and a misspelled word in the title.  It's shuffling, not shuffeling.  In general, however, I do buy the thesis that some of our better minor leaguers could be blocked as is the case with any secondbasemen, as well as the one that says not too many great hitting outfielders in the system if any.  One alternative to shifting guys to new positions is to develop them and then trade them to get what you really do need.  I also think it is impossible to fill all your needs with the guys in your system, so of course you should be prepared to trade.  [/QUOTE] [object HTMLDivElement]


    While I did not mention it on this OP, I have on numerous occasions stated that I am not expert on evaluating prospect talent. I did not intend to sound authoritarian in any way. These are my opinions.


    Of course, we might end up trading some of these guys, and if moving a player greatly diminishes his trade value, then a big decision is needed: look to trade or get the most out of him within the limitations of our set-up. 


    Sorry for the typo in the title, but thought you might like to know: it's second baseman not secondbaseman.


    ;)

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to BosoxJoe5's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    This is rather typical. Large amount of text arguing change for change stake.


    [/QUOTE] [object HTMLDivElement]


    This is a rather typical. Small amount of text arguing a point that was not even presented.


    I'm not for moving Betts just for "the sake of change". He will not be playing in Boston at 2B for many many years. He may be ML ready before we know it. Let's not wait until the WS to have him learn a new position, like we did with Bogey.


    Moving Cecchini can wait, at least until we know more about Middy. Sox management might already know that Bogey is not moving to 3B any time soon, so if that is the case, then as I mentioned earlier, moving Cecchini can wait.


     

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    I say the Sox should either move or promote Betts. He is absolutely 100% not being challenged right now, and part of developing players is throwing adversity their way. If they don't want to rush a promotion to Pawtucket perhaps giving him some positional versatility could challenge him too.


    I'd like to see him in AAA real soon, but I also hope I get to see him in Portland, when I visit late July/early August.


    I'm torn!!!


     


    Sox4ever

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Some of these proposals make sense, lots of blockage at 3rd and 2nd.  With all this organizational depth, Sox should swing a trade for an outfielder with a big stick (named Stanton).  Wish they would try Betts at short.  Like Marrero, but he's not much of a stick, and I say why not both when it comes to a shortstop, can both hit and field, or at least field at an average level.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Brock Holt has been playing short for Pawtucket. He is leading the team in batting at .330, condiderably higher than some of the higher rated prospects there. He is thought of as a utility infielder type. If he continues to hit like he has been, he may prove to be much more than that. Definitely something to keep in mind.


    Stabbed by Foulke.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    You ain't getting Stanton now.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxnewmex. Show soxnewmex's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to billge's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    You ain't getting Stanton now.


    [/QUOTE]



    That boat has sailed, right?

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Think so, at least for this year.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Things might change by the trade deadline.


    I'm not against trading blocked or bottle-necked prospects, but we better make sure we get the right piece in return.


    I remember Sox management claimed Bagwell was "blocked", but it all it took was a simple move to 1B and presto!


    Sox4ever

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to moonslav59's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    I say the Sox should either move or promote Betts. He is absolutely 100% not being challenged right now, and part of developing players is throwing adversity their way. If they don't want to rush a promotion to Pawtucket perhaps giving him some positional versatility could challenge him too.


     


    I'd like to see him in AAA real soon, but I also hope I get to see him in Portland, when I visit late July/early August.


     


    I'm torn!!!


     


     


     


    Sox4ever


    [/QUOTE]

    That's strange, not getting your latest posts.  Says you made the last post on the thread, then I go there and yours isn't there.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    I've noticed that happening quite a bit to me too. My computer is being fixed, and when I use my daughter's, the front page does not refresh. It still shows the same thing as 4 days ago, but when I click most posts, it has the new posts on there, even though it shows the latest poster from 5 days ago. Some threads will not show recent posts.


    This site is a mess.


    Sox4ever

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Best OBP at AA or AAA levels:


    .449 Betts


    .413 Holt


    .400 Cecchini


    .387 T Shaw


    .380 Coyle


    .362 Nava, Gibson


    .360 Marrero


    .359 Ramos


    .352 Roberts


    .350 Lava


    SLG%


    .600 Betts


    .489 Holt


    .475 TShaw


    .474 Coyle


    .458 Swihart


    .444 Ramos


    All minors- Best OPS (90+ AB)


    1.074 J Witte


    1.057 C Asuaje


    1.049 Betts


    .990 R Gragnani


    .950 W Rijo


    .927 K Heller


    .903 Holt


    .891 J Rider


    .861 T Shaw


    .855 Coyle (57 ABs)


    .802 Ramos


    .793 Cecchini


    others....


    .774 Marrero


    .761 Swihart


    .761 Margot


     


    Sox4ever

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from steven11. Show steven11's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    I think you are wrong about Boggie not getting training down at Pawtucket but I am sure you are looking at numbers.  I remember him moving over as soon as Middy was recalled.  Third was where he was double clutching. he looked a lot better at short when at triple a then he did at third.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to steven11's comment:
    [QUOTE]  I think you are wrong about Boggie not getting training down at Pawtucket but I am sure you are looking at numbers.  I remember him moving over as soon as Middy was recalled.  Third was where he was double clutching. he looked a lot better at short when at triple a then he did at third. [/QUOTE] [object HTMLDivElement]


    Bogey had 23 chances at 3B his entire minor league career (10 PO, 10 A, & 1 E).


    He had 18 chances in 57 innings in MLB before the playoffs of 2013 (9 PO & 9 A).


    That's a total of 41 chances in game situations at 3B, before we saw him take over at 3B in the 2013 playoffs. To me, that was absurd to force that situation on him, and it was a big gamble on our chances of winning a ring too. 


    While it's true I wanted Bogey playing more 3B in AAA last year to prepare him for the FT job this year with Boston, the secondary reason was for insurance against Middy getting hurt or flaming out.


    It's also true that not all SSs can transition to good fielding 3Bmen, but I think Bogey's skill set matches well with what it takes to be a plus defensive 3Bman.

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

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    Yesterday, Bets got on base 4 times.Will he ever slow down?


    My sleeper prospect from 2 years ago, Travis Shaw belted his 6th HR.


    Matt Barnes went 7 IP with just 2 ER and 10 groundouts.


    Corey Brown has 3 HRs in his last 10 games.


    Sox4ever

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazy-world-of-troybrown. Show crazy-world-of-troybrown's posts

    Re: Shuffeling the Farm Deck

    In response to moonslav59's comment:


     


    Things might change by the trade deadline.


     


     


     


    I'm not against trading blocked or bottle-necked prospects, but we better make sure we get the right piece in return.


     


     


     


    I remember Sox management claimed Bagwell was "blocked", but it all it took was a simple move to 1B and presto!


     


     


     


    Sox4ever


     



    Smart move by the Astros, we should be doing this more with our Minor Leaguers. Versatility is huge today, and you might find them in a Position where they are stronger. I would insist on this if I was Head of Minor League Development. The key word is development.
    Same thing with the Draft, just because he is 6'3, and SS, doesn't mean you cant switch to another position.

     

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