Monday, July 24, 2006

Red Sox Draftee Update

I thought I'd compile some basic stats for the guys we drafted this year, as a quick follow-up for those of you who care. I find it entertaining to follow them from the beginning, so if you only care about the big club, indulge me.

Note on the images: I know they are godawful, but I cannot spend another second figuring them out. Hopefully they enlarge OK.

Position players first:

Obviously the guys who stand out (good) here are Bates, Daeges, and Chambers, who I think has surprised a few people in a Jeff Natale sort of way. The thing to note about Chambers, apart from his stellar strike-zone knowledge, is that he's hitting .275 with a .288 BABIP - just below average, and so he's not getting a lot of luck. Conversely, Bates's BABIP is at a freakish and unsustainable .434. Given that Bates is also controlling the strike zone extremely well and hitting for power it's hard to argue that he's getting by on luck - I'm just saying if Chambers had a few seeing-eye hits, he'd likely be up over .300 in BA. In order to be supportive of Bates since his promotion, I am refraining from inserting a joke about his motel or the creepy deaths occurring therein.

Place is the guy we want to watch of course, as he was the number one pick overall. He's just 18, which if you think about it is almost scary. He's started a little slow but it's very, very early for him. He suffers from having a very dull name, and therefore is difficult to poke fun at, but if he can overcome this handicap I think he'll have a long and productive career.

A lot of the other guys are not adjusting particularly well, as one can see. For some that is not much of a surprise but there are a couple who were probably expected to do better out of the gate. My guy is Khoury; he struck me as a Pedroia-type gamer and I still expect him to pick his game up and make the next step. I think he has a lot more than he's shown thus far, although to be fair he's not quite in the tank or anything. Nevertheless, I predict he starts to improve steadily. Otherwise I will be dumping his ass and adopting slightly odd My Space character Kris Negron.

On to the pitchers:

Cox, Johnson and Masterson are the class of the group, but you might have guessed that already due to Sox Prospects having them listed as the 11th, 12th and 15th top prospects in the system. Again, Sox was moved to Wilmington with surprising alacrity, prompting some pundits to wonder if there was a chance the FO wanted to see him in Boston in September. I struggle with this theory given how much he was used in the College World Series. I think the feeling is that he is simply too advanced for Greenville.

Richardson and Beazley are intriguing. Richardson evidences good control and the ability to strike guys out, but also seems to get ripped on occasion. Beazley's line is solid, but at this level you kind of need a little more than that, and he needs to keep the ball in the park. Still, there is time, and given his college (granted, it was Randolph-Macon) line of 108 Ks to 18 BBs in 88 innings, I think he'll be given full opportunity to show what he can do.

Lawson cannot find the plate. With Clay and Craft waiting in the wings he will need to do better. Actually, even if Don Rickles (may he rest in peace) were all that was waiting in the wings, he'd need to do better.

The interesting and sort of heart-warming line in the table is, naturally, Josh Papelbon's. I won't pull the announcer jinx on him like Orsillo did on Delcarmen yesterday (because Don is a tool), I'll just say that I like it. It seems like it's hard to know what you're going to get with a submariner (for reference see Bradford, Chad) but Josh can compete at this level, that's for sure.

More On Natale

Jeff Natale continues to be one of the more fascinating prospects in the system. Since his promotion to Wilmington his batting average has suffered (he's at around .250) but otherwise he is still pretty astounding at the plate. His OBP is still .417, he is walking 20% of the time, and his IsoD, at .169, is the best of any player in the entire organization, Red Sox included. His Secondary Average is .346, top five in the Sox minor league organization. One has to assume the BA and SLG will come around - it's almost like he's just studying high-A pitching right now. Anyway, somehow this kid has to work up enough defense to find a way into the lineup everyday as a position player. Really fun prospect to follow, regardless.

Red Sox Stats

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