Arizona Fall League

I get it-this might be premature given the playoffs and a potential World Series win! But it is early October and the AFL is about to kick off so I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at who we have decided to send west.

There are eight Red Sox players currently listed on the roster of the Surprise Saguaros, 4 pitchers (Keith Couch, Miguel Pena, Noe Ramirez and Pete Ruiz) and 4 position players (Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, Derrik Gibson and Travis Shaw)..

Keith Couch: RHP, drafted in the 2010 13th round. Spent 2013 at AA with a single start at AAA.where he went 1 inning and gave up 3 earned runs. His AA numbers are pretty good (ERA: 3.47, WHIP: 1.29). Throughout his minor league career he has been known as a control pitcher. In 2013 he appeared in 29 AA games starting 15 of them and throwing complete games twice. Not considered a top prospect by either MLB or BA during the 2013 season. BA had Keith unlisted in 2013, as #14 of 17 on the RHSP depth chart in 2012 and as the #13 of 13 RHRP in 2011. Keith is eligible for the 2013 Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the 40MR by Nov. 20. In my opinion Keith is the kind of player the scouts will be looking at in Arizona. He could be on the radar of a number of teams looking to pick up a pitcher in the Rule 5 draft should he be left unprotected.

Miguel Pena: LHP, drafted in 5th round, 2009 by the Nationals but did not sign. Drafted in 2011, 6th round. Used exclusively as a starter, Miguel spent 2013 mainly at HiA with three games at AA. His control was quite good (WHIP 1.37 HiA, 1.30 AA but his ERA was not impressive (4.00 HiA, 5.60 AA). Miguel was rated by BA as Boston's #30 prospect in 2013 and was #6 of 7 on the LHSP depth chart in 2012. Miquel is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until next year.

Noe Ramirez: RHP, drafted in the 4th round of 2011. 2013 was spent exclusively as a reliever ( a change from 2012) split between HiA and AA. Numbers were excellent: ERA (2.11 HiA, 2.83 AA)-WHIP (1.06/1.05)-SO/9:(8.43/9.73). Not rated as a top prospect by either BA or MLB Noe was considered #11 of 17 RHSP in 2012 and #16 of 19 RHSP in 2013. Noe is not eligible for the Rule 5 draft until next year.

Pete Ruiz: RHP, drafted in the 10th round of 2008. Used strictly as a reliever in 2013 at AA. Pete's numbers were not great (ERA 5.23, WHIP 1,44) but he did strike out a lot of batters (So/9: 11.64). Not rated as a top prospect. BA rated Pete as #10 of 13 RHRP on the depth chart of 2011. Pete was eligible for the Rule 5 draft last year but was not selected. His strikeout numbers might get some attention from the scouts this year.

Mookie Betts: 2B, drafted in 5th round of 2011. At the start of 2013 Mookie was rated by BA as Boston's #31 prospect and #2 on the minor league 2B depth chart. MLB has Mookie as Boston's #16 prospect after the 2013 season. 2013 was spent split between LoA and HiA with solid numbers all around. Mookie's star is clearly rising but where he will fit in remains unclear. Mookie is not eligible for the Rule 5 until 2015. Is he being showcased?

Garin Cecchini: 3B, drafted in the 4th round of 2010. Rated by BA as Boston's #7 prospect after 2012. MLB has him rated the same at the end of 2013. Solid numbers (it would be nice to see more HR power) at both HiA and AA confirm the position of Garin in the future plans of the team so it is a safe bet that he will be added to the 40MR before the Rule 5 draft this year. To leave him unprotected would be crazy.

Derrik Gibson: SS, drafted in the 2nd round of 2008. Although not currently rated as a top prospect Derrik was rated by BA as #15 in 2011 and as #25 in 2012. In 2013 Derrik spent his second full year in AA with mediocre numbers. Derrik was eligible for last years Rule 5 draft and went unselected. I don't see anything changing for him in this year's draft.

Travis Shaw: 1B, drafted twice by Boston in the 32nd round of 2008 (DNS) and 9th round of 2011. Travis is, IMO, the most interesting player of the group as I see him as having the most to gain (or lose) while he in in Arizona. BA had Travis as Boston's #23 prospect and at the top of Boston's extremely thin1B minor league depth chart. 2013 was Travis's first full year at AA and although he hit 16 homers he had a BA of only .221. (OBP: 342, SLG: .394). He won't be eligible for the Rule 5 draft until next year so at age 23, Travis has to demonstrate much more to be considered part of the long term solution at 1B. The AFL is a good place to show what he has!

Hopefully, I got all my facts straight. If not feel free to correct me. What do you think is the reasoning for these guys being sent to Arizona?

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