If there’s a time I’d like to be down in sunny Florida, it’s right now. I’d set up base camp in the Fort Myers/Naples area for a month and head over to Jet Blue Park at Fenway South each day to take in some Red Sox Fall Instructional Camp action. I’d have to land a scout’s media credential but that’s another story that I could work on if a trip south actually happened. It’s unfortunately not in the cards for me this fall.
More than 60 of the organization’s top young players are there this week through mid-November to get their 2020 work in. Most of them did not see time at Boston’s Alternate Training Site this season and have been working out on their own. This is an important step in the development of some of these prospects, several of whom are still in their teens.
Some fun facts:
- 32 of the players (in bold below) on our 2020 Red Sox Top 50 Prospects made this roster.
- 7 others from our Top 50 are not at Instructs because they either spent time on the 40-man roster or saw extended time at the Alternate Training Site in Pawtucket. Those Magnificent Seven are Jeter Downs, Bobby Dalbec, Jarren Duran, Tanner Houck, C.J. Chatham, Jonathan Arauz and Josh Ockimey.
- 6 players on the roster are 2020 MLB Draft selections or non-drafted free agents.
- 3 players were just recently acquired at the trade deadline (Potts, Rosario, Wallace). One other prospect acquired at the trade deadline (Connor Seabold) is not on the Instructs roster because of ATS time.
Instructional Camp runs from October 5th through November 12th, which is a longer period than normal. This certainly is not a normal year! It’s been reported that these prospects will not be playing in games against other teams. Their game action will most likely come from intrasquad scrimmages.
Players are listed with position, name, how acquired and level(s) played in 2019. Thanks to SoxProspects.com for the 2020 Red Sox Instructional Camp roster.
RHP Jacinto Arredondo, NDFA ’20
RHP Eduard Bazardo, IFA ’14, A+/AA
RHP Brock Bell, 7th rd. ’19, Rk/SS-A
RHP Brayan Bello, IFA ’17, A
RHP Bradley Blalock, 32nd rd. ’19, Rk
LHP Brendan Cellucci, 12th rd. ’19, SS-A
RHP Kutter Crawford, 16th rd. ’17, A+/AA/injured
RHP Nathanael Cruz, IFA – ’19
RHP Osvaldo De La Rosa, IFA ’18, SS-A
RHP Jordan DiValerio, NDFA ’20
LHP Shane Drohan, 5th rd. ’20
RHP Juan Daniel Encarnacion, IFA ’18, DSL
RHP Durbin Feltman, 3rd rd. ’18, AA
RHP Wilkelman Gonzalez, IFA ’18, DSL
LHP Jay Groome, 1st rd. ’16, Rk/SS-A (rehab)
RHP Gabriel Jackson, IFA ’18, DSL
RHP Chih-Jung Liu, IFA ’19
RHP Blake Loubier, 13th rd. ’19, Rk
RHP Bryan Mata, IFA ’16, A+/AA
LHP Chris Murphy. 6th rd. ’19, SS-A
RHP Yusniel Padron-Artilles, 22nd rd. ’18, A/SS-A
RHP Andrew “AJ” Politi, 15th rd. ’18, A+
RHP Aldo Ramirez, IFA ’18, SS-A
LHP Jorge Rodriguez, IFA ’17, Rk/SS-A
RHP Chase Shugart, 12th rd. ’18, A
RHP Dylan Spacke, 21st rd. ’19, SS-A
RHP Jake Thompson, 4th rd. ’17, A+/injured
RHP Brian Van Belle, NDFA ’20
RHP Jacob Wallace, Traded from COL ’20, SS-A
RHP Thad Ward, 5th rd. ’18, A/A+
LHP Jeremy Wu-Yelland, 4th rd. ’20
RHP Ryan Zeferjahn, 3rd rd. 19, SS-A
Roldani Baldwin, IFA ’13, Rk/SS-A (rehab)
Kole Cottam, 4th rd. ’18, A/A+
Alex Erro, 17th rd. ’19, SS-A
Jaxx Groshans, 5th rd. ’19, SS-A
Alan Marrero, 8th rd. ’16, A
Oscar Rangel, IFA ’18, Rk
Stephen Scott, 10th rd. ’19, SS-A
Connor Wong, Traded from LAD ’20, A+/AA
Brainer Bonaci, IFA ’18, DSL
Cameron Cannon, 2nd rd. ’19, SS-A
Triston Casas, 1st rd. ’18, A/A+
Pedro Castellanos, IFA ’15, A+
Antoni Flores, IFA ’17, SS-A
Brandon Howlett, 21st rd. ’18, A
Blaze Jordan, 3rd rd. ’20
Matthew Lugo, 2nd rd. ’19, Rk/SS-A
Nick Northcut, 11th rd. ’18, SS-A
Hudson Potts, Traded from SD ’20, AA
Ceddanne Rafaela, IFA ’17, Rk/SS-A
Nick Yorke, 1st rd. ’20
Darel Belen, IFA ’19, DSL
Juan Chacon, IFA ’19
Wil Dalton, 8th rd. ’19, SS-A
Nick Decker, 2nd rd. ’18, SS-A
Tyler Esplin, 7th rd. ’17, A/A+
Bryan Gonzalez, IFA ’18, DSL
Gilberto Jimenez, IFA ’17, SS-A
Eduardo Lopez, IFA ’18, DSL
Jeisson Rosario, Traded from SD ’20, A+
Eduardo Vaughan, IFA ’18, DSL
Prospects I’m watching and excited about:
Jacob Wallace – the PTBNL in the Pillar deadline deal. The Methuen, MA native and UConn product (3rd round, 2019) has the makings of being a high leverage bullpen arm. One can wish. This is the same exact thing I said about Feltman about a year and a half ago.
Darel Belen – the organization’s 2019 Latin Program Position Player of the Year after 242 AB in the DSL. SoxProspects.com said he showed above-average power potential and could be an above-average runner, so I’ll go with that. Will definitely look forward to seeing him play in 2021.
Nick Yorke/Blaze Jordan – Boston’s top two draft picks from this past summer. How can you not be excited about them? Yorke was arguably the biggest 1st round surprise pick and wasn’t on any of the experts’ radar for the first round, maybe not even the second or third for that matter. The Sox passed on several higher profile names to snag Yorke and they love his potential. Jordan comes as somewhat of a folk legend with many touting his behemoth power, some of which Jake Berry and I got to witness firsthand in Cleveland back in July 2019 at the High School HR Derby prior to the Futures Game.
Yusniel Padron-Artilles – YPA is on this list for no other reason than I saw him throw in Lowell last year and really liked what I saw! That’s worth a mention, right? He went 6 innings that day against the Auburn Doubledays, wasn’t overpowering (8 hits, 3 runs, 1 BB, 4 K and a HR) but his presence and composure on the mound stood out to me. I take notice of those things and I’d like to see him challenged in higher levels in 2021.
Pedro Castellanos/Brandon Howlett/Gilberto Jimenez – For no other reason, all of these prospects have their 1st Bowman autographs in the 2020 Bowman baseball card set (Jimenez is in the newer 2020 Bowman Chrome product). Castellanos was only found in retail product with “paper” autos (not chrome) and go pick up some of these for less than $5. Howlett was an autograph only in 2020 Bowman and you can find that for less than $10 these days. A Bowman Jimenez auto is like a shiny new car since it’s the newest one available. I’m still trying to find a good deal on one as they seem to be selling in the $25-$40 range for a base chrome autograph.
Players I’m down on:
Antoni Flores – I hope I’m wrong here. Looking for a big bounce back season next year, wherever he may be assigned. The talented infielder was higher on prospects lists going into 2019. He struggled mightily in Short Season Lowell. When I see a player batting 8th and hitting below the Mendoza line in A- ball, flags go up.
Jake Thompson – 2017 4th rounder, injured most of 2019 (only 7 IP). 2018 in Salem (A+) was not kind to Thompson as he went 5-13 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 26 games started. 2021 will be his 26-year-old season and he’ll need to have success at Double-A Portland if MLB is in his future. Let’s see if he gets assigned to AA after what he shows in Instructs this fall.
Tyler Esplin – Another 2017 draft pick here. Esplin didn’t seem to have any standout numbers for Greenville (A) last season. Little to not much power and that’s something the pundits in Red Sox Nation are looking for in future Fenway OF’s when it comes to tools. Flashed a .699 OPS in 442 plate appearances.
Boston’s Fall Instructional Camp in Fort Myers is unfortunately not open to the public this year. Scouts are allowed to attend and watch from designated areas. I’m looking forward to getting some of those scouting reports and hoping for some Camp photos/video to be posted. If you see anything and would like to share on Twitter, please tag me @Scotty_Ballgame and I’ll retweet it. Thanks!