New Podding the Red Sox episode: Area scout Josh Labandeira joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox area scout Josh Labandeira, who covers Northern California for the team.

Labandeira, a former big-league infielder who played in seven games with the Montreal Expos in 2004, joined the Red Sox organization as an amateur scout in January 2015.

Among the topics Josh and I discussed are what it was like playing with future All-Stars like Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ben Zobrist when they were just prospects, what led him to pursue a career in scouting once his playing days were done, his relationship with Red Sox amateur scouting director Paul Toboni, the benefits of scouting in California, and how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way he scouts.

We also talked about the prospects he has helped the Red Sox sign over the years, including 2019 25th-round pick Karson Simas, 2021 sixth-round pick B.J. Vela, and — perhaps most significantly, 2020 first-round pick Nick Yorke.

There are plenty of great anecdotes about Yorke throughout this episode, which is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Josh for taking some time out of his busy summer schedule to have a conversation with me.

And to the listners, thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Josh Labandeira: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Breaking down trade deadline moves with Pitcher List’s Sarah Griffin

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Pitcher List writer Sarah Griffin.

Among the topics Sarah and I discussed were the moves the Red Sox made ahead of last week’s trade deadline, how the team is in the midst of a season-worst four-game losing streak, the role Kyle Schwarber may play once he returns from the injured list, why Tanner Houck was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, how Chris Sale could fare in his first major-league action in two years, what other clubs — such as the Brewers and Dodgers — did to bolster their rosters at the deadline, how the final two months of the 2021 regular season will play out, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Sarah for taking some time out of her Tuesday to have this conversation with me. You can follow Sarah on Twitter by clicking here and read her work for Pitcher List by clicking here. Also, check out her new podcast — Saturdays n Seltzers — by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Fenway Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Previewing the trade deadline with MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox beat writer Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

Chris, who becomes the first recurring guest in Podding the Red Sox history, previews what the Red Sox could do before Friday afternoon’s trade deadline.

We also discussed the possibility of the Red Sox trading for Max Scherzer, Anthony Rizzo, and Craig Kimbrel, how Chaim Bloom weighs the club’s long-term goals with its short-term ones when it comes to making trades, what the trade deadline could mean for the likes of Bobby Dalbec and Michael Chavis — among others, what would happen if the Red Sox failed to sign second-round pick Jud Fabian, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Chris for taking some time out of his busy late July schedule to have a conversation with me. You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here, and you can check out his work for MassLive by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Salem Red Sox general manager Allen Lawrence joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Allen Lawrence, the general manager of the Salem Red Sox.

Among the topics Allen and I discussed were how he got his start in the sports industry, how his role differs from what a major-league general manager does, how the Salem Red Sox got creative during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, his relationships with members of the Red Sox front office, such as Chaim Bloom and Brian O’Halloran, his thoughts on how the Salem Red Sox are playing this season, who he would like to see the Red Sox draft on Sunday, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Allen for taking some time out of his Thursday morning to have a conversation with me.

You can follow Allen on Twitter (@AllenWLawrence) by clicking here. You can learn more about the Salem Red Sox by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Nick Yorke: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: MassLive.com’s Chris Mason joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Chris Mason, who covers the New England Patriots for MassLive.com.

Among the topics Chris and I discussed were how how he got into sports journalism at a young age, how it was to go from covering the Red Sox for a newspaper to covering the Patriots for MassLive, his impressions of the 2021 Red Sox so far, his predictions for the 2021 Patriots, the key differences between the amenities at the Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium press boxes, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Chris for taking some time out of his Friday to have a conversation with me.

You can follow Chris on Twitter (@ByChrisMason) by clicking here. You can check out his Patriots coverage for MassLive.com by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Fenway Park: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: The Providence Jorunal’s Bill Koch joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Bill Koch, who covers the Red Sox for The Providence Journal.

Among the topics Bill and I discussed were how his New England roots shaped his interest in sports journalism, what led him to covering the Red Sox for The Providence Journal, how he goes about writing and tweeting about the Red Sox, his thoughts on Boston’s season thus far, what Alex Cora will have to deal with in the Bronx this weekend, his prediction for what Chaim Bloom will do before next month’s trade deadline, when Jarren Duran could be making his major-league debut, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thank you to Bill for taking some time out of his busy in-season schedule to have a conversation with me.

You can follow Bill on Twitter (@BillKoch25) by clicking here. You can check out his work for the Providence Journal by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Fenway Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: MassLive.com’s Katie Morrison joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Katie Morrison, who covers the Worcester Red Sox for MassLive.com.

Among the topics Katie and I discussed were how she got into writing about baseball and her background in photojournalism, what she has made of brand-new Polar Park and the overall fan experience there, which Red Sox prospects (like Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs) and minor-leaguers (like Kaleb Ort) have stood out to her in Worcester so far, how she believes the 2021 WooSox will perform the rest of the season, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Katie for taking some time out of her busy schedule to have a conversation with me.

You can follow Katie on Twitter (@KatieMo61) by clicking here. You can check out her WooSox coverage for MassLive.com by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Polar Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall.

Among the topics Ian and I discussed are how he got his start in scouting, how he is looking forward to the return of minor-league baseball next week, what he thought about brand-new Polar Park in Worcester, his thoughts on what the Red Sox could do in this summer’s draft, his impression of the Sox’ farm system under Chaim Bloom heading into the 2021 minor-league season, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Ian for taking some time out of his busy schedule to have a conversation with me. You can follow Ian on Twitter (@IanCundall) by clicking here. You can check out his work for SoxProspects.com by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Polar Park: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Boston Balling host Gabby Hurlbut joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Gabby Hurlbut, host of the Boston Balling podcast.

Among the topics Gabby and I discussed are how she got her start in sports media, how she got her foot in the door at ESPN, the lessons she took away from her time at ESPN, what led to her starting her own podcast, how she feels about the Red Sox after their 12-6 start to the season, the Red Sox’ City Connect jerseys, Tanner Houck and Bobby Dalbec’s development, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Gabby for taking some time out of her busy schedule to have a conversation with me. You can follow Gabby on Twitter (@gabbyhurlbut10) by clicking here. You can check out the Boston Balling podcast by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Fenway Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Could Red Sox take exciting shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer with No. 4 pick in 2021 MLB Draft?

The 2021 MLB Draft is still over three months away, but with the college and high school baseball seasons in full swing across the country, some prospects are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

The Red Sox will be making their top selection in this year’s draft with the fourth overall pick, marking the first time since 1967 that the club has made its first pick that early in a draft.

Because they will make their first selection so early on in the draft process this summer, the Sox will surely have their pick of prospects to choose from outside of the players who will be taken by the Pirates, Rangers, and Tigers at picks 1, 2, and 3.

“Right now, at this point in the process, we would be scouting everyone just as hard as we possibly could,” Red Sox area scout Danny Watkins explained last month on Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast.

Earlier this week, MLB.com’s Jim Callis wrote that “it’s very possible that” Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter and Dallas Jesuit High School shortstop Jordan Lawler could be the first three players off the board in July.

That would lead up to the Sox making their first pick at No. 4, and the best player available in this scenario would be none other than Eastlake High School (Calif.) shortstop Marcelo Mayer.

In their most recent top-300 draft rankings, Baseball America had Mayer listed as their fourth-ranked draft-eligible prospect behind only Rocker, Leiter, and Lawler.

“Mayer started getting attention from scouts at Eastlake as a freshman, where he showed a smooth left-handed stick at the plate and advanced defensive actions up the middle,” BA’s Carlos Collazo wrote of the 18-year-old infielder. “Mayer is arguably the top defensive shortstop in a class that is deep at the position. He glides around the infield dirt with silky smooth actions and has the hands, footwork and arm strength to stick at the position long term. He always seems to slow the game down, and has no problem throwing from multiple angles with an accurate arm.

“Mayer also has upside offensively,” Collazo added. “He has fringe-average power now, but evaluators believe he could tap into above-average power down the line and he controls the zone well with a swing that’s leveraged for fly balls.”

Mayer, who does not turn 19 until December, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. As of April 7, the Southern California commit was slashing .381/.600/.761 with two home runs, 11 RBI, and six stolen bases through his first eight games of the year for Eastlake, per MaxPreps.

As their fourth-ranked draft prospect, Baseball America also had Mayer going to the Red Sox at No. 4 in their most recent mock draft from March 29.

“It seems like Mayer is the clear No. 4 after the top trio of players on the board,” Collazo wrote of the California native. “Whether he is in the mix of the top tier or just on the cusp of joining that top tier is still to be determined. Some scouts believe he has a chance to be the best pure hitter in the draft — college or high school — and with an impressive glove at a premium position, that gives him a two-way toolset that shouldn’t last long on the board.”

Collazo added that “at the moment, it seems like the ‘place to pick’ in this year’s draft class is either No. 3 or 4.”

Last year, in Chaim Bloom’s first draft as Red Sox chief baseball officer, Boston had to wait until pick No. 17 to make their first pick. This year, that wait will be a lot shorter.

“You don’t have control over who’s picked ahead of you at 17,” Red Sox amateur scouting director Paul Toboni told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier last month. “You’ve got to cover a wider pool of players. This year, we get to make the decision: Let’s figure out who is in our top five, six, seven, eight — whatever number you want to throw out — and scout those players really, really hard.”

The Sox will have more of a chance to get a look at Mayer — as well as the other top high school talent expected to comprise this year’s draft class — at the first-ever MLB Draft Combine, which is slated to take place in Cary, N.C. from June 20 through June 28.

Per Collazo, the combine will feature “the top 88 high school players eligible for the 2021 draft,” all of whom will partake in an eight-game tournament as well as a “pro-style workout.”

Also, for what it’s worth, the recommended slot value assigned to the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft is approximately $6.64 million.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Bodie De Silva, SBLive)