Red Sox No. 7 Prospect Gilberto Jimenez Identified as Potential Breakout Prospect for 2020 by MLB Pipeline

Red Sox outfield prospect Gilberto Jimenez has been named a potential breakout candidate for the 2020 season, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum:

Red Sox: Gilberto Jimenez, OF (No. 7) — A $10,000 steal from the Dominican Republic in 2017, Jimenez skipped a level last season and led the short-season New York-Penn League in batting (.359) in his U.S. debut. The best center-field defender and one of the fastest runners in Boston’s system, he’ll make the jump to full-season ball in 2020.”

As the above excerpt from this article mentions, Jimenez enjoyed great success in his first professional season stateside, slashing .359/.393/.470 with three home runs, 19 RBI, and 16 RBI over 59 games with Short-Season Lowell in 2019.

In a span of less than two years, the 19-year-old out of the Dominican Republic has  worked his way up from unranked to the seventh-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Using the 20-80 scouting sale, Jimenez’s hit tool is graded as slightly above average, while his power tool is graded as slightly below average, his run tool is graded as well above average, and his fielding tool is graded as slightly below average. All in all, the young outfielder is graded as an average prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

Projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2020 minor-league season with Low-A Greenville, it will be interesting to see how Jimenez’s game translates to the next level in the South Atlantic League.

Among Red Sox minor-league center fielders, Jimenez currently sits fifth behind Marcus Wilson, Duran, Keith Curcio, and Cole Brannen on SoxProspects.com‘s depth charts.

Last year, MLB Pipeline predicted that left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez, then Boston’s seventh-ranked prospect, would be a breakout prospect in 2019. The 23-year-old only made his big league debut on April 23rd, made his impact felt as a reliever later in the season, and now looks poised to play a key role in the Sox’ bullpen in 2020.

Red Sox Catching Prospect Elih Marrero Suspended 50 Games

Red Sox catching prospect Elih Marrero has been handed down a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for violating the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention Program. Per a press release, the 22-year-old tested positive for the banned stimulant Amphetamine.

Selected by Boston in the eighth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fla, Marrero slashed .205/.267/.311/ with one home run and 18 RBI over 35 games between Low-A Lowell and High-A Salem this past season.

Per SoxProspects.com, Marrero is ranked as the No. 6 catching prospect in the Sox’ farm system.

With Salem placing Marrero on the restricted list Friday, the switch hitting backstop is set to miss the first 50 games of their season, meaning he would not be eligibe to return until late May.

Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds out of Coral Gables High School back in 2015, Marrero is the son of longtime major-league catcher Eli Marrero, who spent parts of 10 big-league seasons between the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets.

Red Sox Prospect Noah Song’s Waiver to Defer Active Duty Commitment Still Needs to Be Reviewed by Secretary of Navy, Secretary of Defense

Earlier Tuesday, it was reported that Red Sox prospect Noah Song’s petition to defer his active service time was denied by the Naval Academy and the Chief of Naval Operations. That much may be true, but it does not necessarily mean that Song will have to wait two years to pursue a career in professional baseball.

That much is the case because according to Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett, Song’s waiver must still be reviewed by the Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense.

“Until we hear something definitive from them,” Crockett said in an email to MassLive.com Tuesday. “Both the Red Sox and Noah will remain hopeful that he gets a chance to play for the Red Sox AND serve.”

This comes in the wake of a November 8th order from the Department of Defense that will allow service academy graduates to pursue a career in professional sports beginning next year.

But, because Song graduated from the Naval Academy this past May, those rules do not apply to him.

The California native is expected to report to flight school in Pensacola, Fla. come late January, where he would train for two years.

With more steps needed to be taken before all is said and done though, the door for Song to resume his baseball career in 2020, compared to 2022, appears to still be open for now.

The Red Sox selected the 22-year-old right-hander in the fourth-round of this year’s amateur draft and assigned him to Low-A Lowell, where he posted a 1.06 ERA and .167 batting average against over seven starts and 17 innings pitched over the summer.

He also represented Team USA in the Premier 12 tournament in the fall, where he put together five scoreless appearances out of the bullpen.

Per MLB.com, Song is ranked as the Sox’ No. 15 prospect headed into the end of the year.

Red Sox Still Unsure of Noah Song’s Status Moving Forward

The Red Sox have yet to receive word from the United States Navy about right-handed pitching prospect Noah Song’s waiver to delay his military service commitment, general manager Brian O’Halloran said Tuesday.

Song, who turns 23 in May, was due to report to flight school in Pensacola, Fla. this month to begin training as a Naval Flight Officer.

Per Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, Song is, “awaiting a decision from the Department of Defense on whether he will be able to defer his two-year active service requirement in order to play baseball.”

The 2019 fourth-round pick out of the Naval Academy posted a 1.06 ERA and 2.80 xFIP in seven starts and 17 innings pitched for short-season Lowell over the summer. He also made five scoreless appearances for Team USA in the Premier 12 tournament in the fall.

“He’s very impressive,” O’Halloran said of the Sox’ No. 15 prospect. “We’ll see where it all goes with his obligation. We’re looking forward to hopefully having him on the field when we have him on the field. We’re looking forward to seeing him progress as a pitcher.”

Red Sox Add Five Playes to 40-Man Roster, Including Bobby Dalbec, C.J. Chatham, and Marcus Wilson

The Red Sox added five players to their major league roster on Wednesday night.

Infielders C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec, outfielder Marcus Wilson, and left-handed pitchers Yoan Aybar and Kyle Hart were all added to Boston’s 40-man roster ahead of the 8 PM ET deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place during the Winter Meetings in December.

Since they only added five players on Wednesday, the Red Sox’ active roster stands at 39, meaning they still have one available spot to work with for the time being.

Out of the five minor-leaguers added, Hart would have to be the surprise of the bunch, or at least that’s how I view it.

The former 19th-round pick out of Indiana University in 2016 is set to turn 27 on Saturday.

In 27 appearances (24 starts) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this past season, Hart posted a 3.52 ERA and .233 batting average against over 156 total innings pitched.

Ranked as the Sox’ No. 28 prospect on MLB.com, the left-handed Hart offers a pitch mix that includes an 87-92 MPH fastball, an 85-86 MPH cutter, a 76-79 MPH curveball, and an 81-82 MPH changeup, per SoxProspects.

As for the other four, both Dalbec and Chatham are ranked within Boston’s top 10 prospects, with the former coming in at No. 2 and the latter coming in at No. 9. The pair of infielders were also both part of Team USA’s fourth-place finish in this year’s Premier12 tournament.

Wilson, meanwhile, is ranked as Boston’s No. 18 prospect in his first offseason with the Sox after coming over in the deal that sent Blake Swihart to the Arizona Diamondbacks this past April.

The 23-year-old outfielder out of Los Angeles played in just eight Arizona Fall League games this year, but slashed an impressive .333/.412/.467 with one home run, eight RBI, and two stolen bases while doing so.

With the possibilities of Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., and even to an extent Andrew Benintendi, getting dealt this winter, Wilson could be someone to watch during the early stages of spring training in February.

Aybar also played in the Arizona Fall League this year, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.38 WHIP across seven relief appearances and eight innings of work.

Initially signed as an outfielder out of the Dominican Republic in 2014, the 22-year-old has since converted to a left-handed reliever with a fastball that can top out at 97 MPH. He worked his way up to High-A Salem in 2019, so perhaps Double-A Portland is in the cards for the club’s No. 30 prospect in 2020.

Of course, just because these moves were made now does not mean that the Sox’ 2020 roster is set in stone. Changes will still come, and they will probably start once the Winter Meetings get underway in San Diego next month.

 

Evaluating How Red Sox Prospects C.J. Chatham, Bobby Dalbec, Tanner Houck, and Noah Song Performed for Team USA in Premier12 Tournament

Team USA was officially eliminated from the Premier12 tournament on Sunday afternoon in Tokyo, as they fell to Team Mexico in the bronze medal game by a final score of 3-2 in 10 innings to temporarily squash their hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games.

As has already been mentioned on here, four Red Sox prospects made up the 28-man Team USA roster four this tournament, so I thought it would be a good time to go over how each of C.J. Chatham, Bobby Dalbec, Tanner Houck, and Noah Song fared over the last few weeks. Let’s get to it.

C.J. Chatham

Chatham, who turns 25 in December, slashed .292/.292/.417 with three doubles and two runs scored over seven games for Team USA in this tournament. He also committed just one error over that same span while manning both second base and left field.

A third-round pick out of Florida Atlantic University in 2016, Chatham needed to be added to the Sox’ 40-man roster by November 20th in order to avoid being eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place later in December. He is listed as Boston’s ninth-ranked prospect on MLB.com.

Bobby Dalbec

Dalbec was named to the tournament’s All-World Team as a first baseman for his efforts, as the 24-year-old posted a .250/.364/.500 slash line to go along with two home runs and eight RBI over eight games for Team USA.

The Washington native could have had the game-winning RBI with a run-scoring single in the top half of the seventh to put his side up 2-1…

…but Team Mexico rallied with a run of their own in ninth to tie it and another in the 10th to walk it off.

Like Chatham, Dalbec, who is ranked as Boston’s No. 2 prospect, needs to be added to the club’s 40-man roster by November 20th.

Tanner Houck

Houck made two starts for Team USA in this tournament, with the first coming against Team Mexico on November 3rd and the second coming against Team Australia on the 13th.

In those two outings, the 23-year-old right-hander surrendered five runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks to go along with 11 strikeouts over 9 1/3 total innings of work. That’s good for an ERA of 3.86 and a batting average against of .206.

Ranked as the Sox’ No. 5 prospect, Houck is interesting in that he worked as both a starter and reliever in 2019, but the plan for him now seems to be to remain in the starting rotation, wherever that may be.

Noah Song

I mentioned how impressive Song had been in this tournament this past Friday. The 22-year-old right-hander made one final appearance for Team USA on Sunday, entering with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, walking one, getting another to fly out to end the frame, and then retiring the only three hitters he faced in order in the eighth.

All in all, Song did not surrender a single run over his five relief outings and 5 1/3 innings pitched this month.

A graduate of the Naval Academy back in May, Song will head to flight school in Pensacola, Fla. in December and is currently awaiting a decision from the Department of Defense on whether he’ll be able to defer his two-year active service requirement.

 

Red Sox Prospect Noah Song Shines Again for Team USA in Premier12 Tournament

Red Sox prospect Noah Song is one of four prospects representing the Red Sox in this year’s WBSC Premier12 tournament for Team USA.

Following a tight 3-2 win over Team Chinese Taipei in Tokyo on Friday night, Team USA is now in the position to play in the tournament’s bronze medal game on Sunday with a trip back to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games at stake. Song played a pivotal role to get Team USA to where they are now.

The 22-year-old right-hander entered Friday’s contest in the top of the eighth inning with a brand new one-run lead to protect, and needed all of 13 pitches (nine strikes) to fan two and retire the side in order.

Through four relief appearances in this tourney, Song, who is a starting pitcher, has yet to surrender a run while holding opposing hitters to a .083 batting average against over four quality innings of work.

Along with those impressive numbers, Song has reached 98 and 99 MPH with his four-seam fastball in each of his last two outings.

The Red Sox selected Song with the 137th overall pick in amateur draft back in June. Despite being ranked 68th on MLB.com’s Top 200 draft prospects, there was plenty of risk in taking Song, as he had recently graduated from the Naval Academy.

Fast forward five months later, and Song’s future plans include heading to flight school in Pensacola, Fla. in December to begin training to become a Naval Flight Officer.

As a Naval Academy graduate, Song is required to serve two years active duty in the military, and is currently awaiting a decision from the Department of Defense on whether he will be able to defer that commitment or not.

Ranked as Boston’s No. 15 prospect, the California native posted a 1.06 ERA and .167 batting average against over seven starts and 17 innings pitched this past season with the Low-A Lowell Spinners.