Over the course of the Red Sox season, I attended many minor league affiliate games, including Portland, Pawtucket, and Lowell. I would often put up my scouting reports after those games, and often got requests of which players to watch.
Well, the minor league season is over the Red Sox is all but about to be. So here are the final scouting reports of the Red Sox Minor Leagues.
I know some of these players have been up, but I made these before they were called up.
Lars Anderson: I saw Lars 13 times this year in spring training and Pawtucket, and he got one hit. He made a better impression on me the last game, ripping a 95 mph fastball and singling, and made some good plays at 1B. But as a whole, he just never impressed me. He has a lot of holes in his swing. A big uppercut, he has issues with low and in offspeed pitches and often is late on fastballs. His defense is suspect at best, and has issues making scoops and long stretches at 1B. When he does make contact, however, he can hit it a long way. If he projects to be an MLB starter, I see him as more of a DH.
Bubba Bell: I know he is not really a prospect, but I've always liked Bell. He always gives it his all and is a very good outfielder. He has a decent bat, can hit for gap power. Not much contact though, he tends to swing through some balls. I could see him as a 4th OF on some team maybe, but being 27 is not going to help him.
Aaron Bates: Technically not a prospect either, he has always played well when I've seen him. If he is going to get to the big leagues it's his power potential and good defense that will get him there. Similar to Anderson, he has some major holes in his swing. He swings and misses way too often, and he strikes out too much as well. He does have on base ability though, as he had an OBP of .338 compared to his .240 average. He gets too streaky, going on long hitless streaks and then short stretches of power surges.
Anthony Rizzo: Rizzo was the most impressive Red Sox minor leaguer I saw this season. He may be what they thought Anderson was two years ago. He has incredible power to all fields and is one of the best defensive 1B I have seen. He scoops up balls like nothing and has incredible range. I also liked his focus in game. He always seemed like his head was totally in the game. I think this guy is your best potential MLB prospect.
Casey Kelly: I saw Kelly three times this season and I was always stunned. He has great locations on all his pitches and hardly makes mistakes. When he does, it is in later innings and I think that led to his high ERA. He seemed to tire around the fifth inning, which I think is a little concerning. But his stuff is absolutely incredible, I definitely see him as a potential major leaguer.
Ryan Lavarnway: This guy was my surprise prospect of the the year. Lavarnway had one of the best years in the minor league system and left quite an impression on me. What impressed me the most was his power; During batting practice, he was hitting bombs left and right. Every ball he hit was a home run. His defense was not as bad as it was made out to be either. I have certainly seen better, but his was not terrible.
Luis Exposito: I have always been as Expo fan, but I tend to think he took a step back this season. His defense is exceptional, he does not let anything get behind him. But it's his at bats that worry me. He swings at bad pitches, and misses good pitches often. Swings and misses a lot, too much in my opinion. But his hitting is good enough for a catcher. So with that and his defense, he has a future.
The only real prospect I saw in Lowell with Kolbrin Vitek, so here we go. He played third base that night, and bot was he awful there. Bad hands. He made two bad errors and all his throws to first were shaky. However, his offense was very good. He went 3-4 that night with two doubles. He has pretty good power and a decent eye at the plate.
Well, there you go, the final MILB scouting reports of the year. I hope to do this again next year!