The Red Sox are conducting their rookie program this week, bringing 11 top prospects to Boston for workouts and seminars. It's too cold to play baseball in Boston in January, but the bubble at Harvard Stadium provided a suitable environment for playing catch and defensive drills.
Minor league director Ben Crockett spoke about a few of the players this morning. Here's a sample:
On RHP Rubby De La Rosa: "He looks good. He’s definitely been ready with his throwing program. You can tell he’s absolutely been working really hard with that, with the arm strength. He told us he’s been throwing for quite a while and it shows. Really quick arm, ball is jumping out. He’s aggressive and confident with that throwing program. He’s mixing in some of his off-speed [pitches] at this point, getting a feel for it. It looks like he’s ready to compete.
"From a long-toss standpoint, he looks strong and he looks healthy. Physically he’s made progress from when we first acquired him in the trade. We’re going in the right direction."
On SS Xander Bogaerts: "For him it’s reps. I think that’s a big part of it, reps at the upper levels. He had  games in Double A last year [and] handled it very well. … Xander will probably have an adjustment moment at some time, whether that’s in Double A, Triple A or the big leagues. Everybody has some sort of an adjustment at some point, certainly on the defensive side of things, too. Just getting more repetitions. Physically he has continued to improve and is in really good shape right now.
"It’ll be an interesting and challenging season for him no matter what the stats say at the end of the year. There will be things that he’ll encounter that will probably be things he hasn’t seen before. The weather, the way he’s pitched or defensively challenged as the game continues to speed up. Off-the-field situations or whatever the case may be."
On RHP Allen Webster: "He’s as hard a worker as anybody we have. He’s a really good athlete; we’ve seen that. The running and the strength testing that he’s done, from that standpoint he’s been really well-prepared.”
On OF Jackie Bradley Jr.: "Clearly he gets a lot of attention, as he should and had previously based on his success in college. The way he was able to handle that and go out and take care of his business every day, the passion he continued to show. … The way that he was able to maintain that throughout the year and a long season was pretty impressive.”
"He wants to get to the big leagues and he wants be an impact big leaguer. He’s really taking care of his business to do that so far."
More to come.