2005 Organizational Depth Chart Review: P (part one)

It’s time for the annual minor league organizational depth chart review! The pitchers are now up. This is being split into two parts, because there are quite a few pitchers! This list is spearheaded by Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, and Craig Hansen, but a word to the wise – don’t forget about some other nice names in this list. We have a lot of nice pitching talent, which makes me wonder … we are focusing on developing pitching internally, while acquiring position players externally?
(2003 RP REVIEW | 2004 P REVIEW)
This is not meant to be a top prospects review! This is meant to give people recognition for the seasons they had regardless of age or if they are still with the organization (although comments about their future with the Red Sox will be said). Since there are so many pitchers, only those on current minor league rosters will be profiled, except for those who finished the season in the major leagues – they will be added to the review.
Sources used: TheBaseballCube.com, BaseballAmerica.com, SoxProspects.com, MinorLeagueBaseball.com, respective team websites
[[PAWTUCKET RED SOX – AAA INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE]] Abe Alvarez – Alvarez saw time again in Boston this year, and while he issued zero walks and struck out one in 2.1 innings, he still needs to work on missing bats, as his 15.43 ERA will attest to that. Abe was the PawSox pitcher of the year, however, after going 11-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 26 starts. It’s become apparent that Abe can dominate AA and under, but it’s now up to the 22-year old to mature into a pitcher, not just a thrower. His future depends on it, and with what we’ve seen of him so far, the signs look good.
Tim Bausher – Claimed off waivers from Colorado prior to the year, he spent the year on the 40-man roster, then was designated for assignment, and signed a minor league contract. He had a 3.41 ERA for Pawtucket, his first year in AAA. If he can reduce the number of walks he gives up, he can be a cheap option for us this year should injuries (or worse, ineffectiveness) strike our bullpen this year.
Manny Delcarmen – Rumored to be headed to Cleveland, (and fortunately, he is not) the Boston native who turns 24 tomorrow enjoyed great success this year. Having had Tommy John surgery, Delcarmen had a tough 2004 as he recovered from the surgery. A year later, as is the case with quite a few TJ survivors, he exploded. Converted to a fulltime reliever, he shut Portland down for 39 innings, saw time in Pawtucket and handled them with a 1.29 ERA in 21.0 IP and then journeyed to Boston where he had a 3.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, but exhibited wildness, walking seven while striking nine out. Delcarmen will certainly see time again in Boston, and should be the first option to be called up if (and when) something happens to our current players in the bullpen.
Jeremi Gonzalez – Jeremi’s ERA while in Boston stands at an unpretty 6.11 ERA, but we all know he was more important to us than that ERA indicates. He also shut down Pawtucket, having started 11 games with a 2.68 ERA before finishing the year in Boston, starting 3 games, and relieving in 25. He signed a minor league contract a short while ago with the New York Mets.
Mark Malaska – He returned to Tampa Bay in the offseason after Boston cut him. He was unable to replicate his 2003 success up north, and spent the entire year in Pawtucket. He had a 4.14 ERA, starting five games for a total of 39 games. Malaska, 27, is running out of time to contribute at the big league level. Returning to where he once had success may help.
PART TWO: Cla Meredith, Lenny DiNardo, Jonathan Papelbon, Juan Perez, Charlie Zink
NOT COVERED: Jack Cressend, Marc Deschenes, Tim Kester, Anastacio Martinez
[[PORTLAND SEA DOGS – AA EASTERN LEAGUE]] Randy Beam – The 23-year old lefty has impressed at all levels and quietly advanced quickly throughout the system. He was drafted in the 18th round of 2004, and split time between Lowell and Augusta in 2004. In Lowell, he had a 1.62 ERA in 16.2 IP, and then moved up the ladder to notch a 0.00 ERA in 23.1 IP (1o saves). Wilmington in 2005 saw a 2.25 ERA in 28.0 IP (five saves) and was promoted to Portland. A 2.53 ERA in 46.1 IP was good enough to have the Red Sox send him to the AFL. He had a 3.77 ERA in 14.1 IP, and should open 2005 in Pawtucket. We may have let Myers go without much trouble because of this very Randy Beam.
Kason Gabbard – The 23-year old is another person quietly working his way up the ladder, and could start in Pawtucket. Drafted in the 29th round in 2000, the lefty struggled to recover from injuries for a few years. In 2004, he had a 2.70 ERA for Sarasota in 43.1 IP and then went to Portland where he did not light the world on fire – rather the world lit himself on fire to the tune of a 6.28 ERA in 14 games started. In 2005, he posted a 4.61 ERA in 25 games started. He doesn’t seem to have the stuff to succeed as a starter, but could fill in as a lefty reliever should the Red Sox decide to convert him.
Charlie Zink – On the face of it, the 26-year old knuckleballer did not have a good year. A 4.87 ERA for Portland in 105.1 IP with failed stints in Pawtucket and in the AFL. And then you find out that Zink finished the season hot – 24.1 consecutive innings without a run to close the season up. He may yet still have a future as a knuckleballer in the majors.
Chris Smith – Smith missed the last month of 2004 with a partially torn labrum, so it’s no surprise he struggled in 2005. The 24-year old had a three-inning tune up for the GCL Red Sox, then fifteen starts with Portland, where he had a 5.23 ERA (after a 3.75 ERA in virtually the same innings with Portland in 2004) and then an ugly 8.44 ERA in seven starts for Peoria. Smith still has potential, and we have to write his 2005 season off as recovery from the injury.
David Pauley – Pauley, who came over with Jay Payton and Ramon Vazquez for Dave Roberts, is yet 22 and can still develop into a backend starter. he had a 3.81 ERA with 104 K in 156.0 IP for Portland. SoxProspects.com notes that Pauley mixes a low 90s fastball with good movement, an excellent changeup, and a top-notch curveball. Has 4th or 5th starter potential. Has shown flashes of brilliance, but also has been very hittable at times. Needs to improve his control somewhat.
PART TWO: Jon Lester, Craig Hansen, Kyle Jackson, Edgar Martinez, Barry Hertzler
[[WILMINGTON BLUE ROCKS – HIGH A FLORIDA LEAGUE]] Andrew Dobies – The third-rounder from 2004 has continued rising to new levels and should rise to Portland this year. However, his rise is not necessarily marked with effectiveness. In 2004, he had a 2.03 ERA in 14 starts for Lowell, and started 2005 with a 3.59 ERA in 10 starts for Greenville, and finished at 4.40 in 16 starts for Wilmington. It’s possible he tired near the end of the season, but with his expected promotion to Portland, we will have to see if he can handle the additional scrutiny.
Matt Goodson – Goodson started 12 games and relieved in five for Greenville, pitching to a 2.76 ERA, and then was promoted to Wilmington, where he pitched 24.2 IPs of both starting and relieving for a 4.38 ERA. The 23-year old seems slated to start for Wilmington this upcoming year.
Michael James – James was a closer for UConn, then was converted to a starter for the Red Sox. He returned to relieving in 2005, and did much better. For Lowell in 34.0 IP, he had an ugly 10.90 ERA (53 hits, 47 runs scored) but did better with Greenville and Wilmington. With Greenville, he posted a 3.77 ERA in 43.0 IP, and in 17.2 IP with Wilmington had a 3.06 ERA. Go figure, but I’m not complaining – if his ERA goes down the higher he goes up, he should be around 0.20 for the Red Sox!
Luis Mendoza – The 22-year old claimed off waivers from San Diego in July returned to his rightful organization. Mendoza had been placed on waivers earlier in the year and claimed by San Diego. Boston then put him through waivers again later in the year, and cleared, freeing up a 40-man spot. Mendoza had a horrendous year after a solid 2004 showing. For Wilmington, he had a 6.34 ERA in 22 games started and one relief appearance. Still only 22, we’ll see what he brings to the table in 2006.
Kyle Tabeek – Signed as an undrafted free agent after the draft this year, Tabeek had a 1.56 ERA for the GCL Red Sox, 9.75 ERA for Lowell and then a 19.64 ERA for Wilmington in limited time. After striking out 17 and walking one for the GCL team, he’s walked more than he struck out at the higher levels. The 23-year old has a limited ceiling.
PART TWO: Brett Rudrude, Ryan Schroyer, Scott Shoemaker, Justin Sturge, Jose Vaquedano
NOT COVERED: Tommy Hottovy, Steve Langone, Travis Rios, Felix Romero
[[GREENVILLE DRIVE – MID A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE]] Michael Rozier – The 20-year old lefty was only drafted late in the 12th round because a) it was rumored he would go the football route and b) his agent is Scott Boras. Rozier went 6-5 for Greenville, and the Independence Day baby did that with a 3.90 ERA, but needs to handle the control problems as he walked 49 and struck 52 out. Rozier will try High-A ball next year at Wilmington.
Gary Galvez – The 21 year old, who was the ace of Cuba’s 2002 Junior National Team had a 3.35 ERA in 126.1 IP, with a 2.18 K/BB ratio and will probably eventually move to relief pitching, as he has a live fastball, and above average curveball but not much else. Still only 21, Galvez will team up with Rozier next year at Wilmington.
Harvey Garcia – Dealt to Florida for Josh Beckett, Garcia is no slouch. The 21-year old has a 96 mph fastball, a 3.00 K/BB rate, and a 2.01 ERA for Greenville in 32 appearances covering 44.2 IP. A high ceiling, I’m confident Garcia will be an above-average reliever for Florida.
Jarrett Gardner – With impeccable control, Gardner still can’t avoid batters getting good contact on him. Despite only walking a total of 21 batters and striking 102 out, in two A-levels for the Sox, the 24-year old failed to impress. 17 starts at Greenville left him with a 5.02 ERA, then a 6.00 ERA in both starting and relief appearancez for Wilmington in 42.0 IP.
Randy Newsom – The 23-year old pitched 14 complete games for Tufts from 2001 to 2004. In 2005, he saw three levels of the Sox organization. Lowell was one game, no runs scored appearance of 2.2 innings. Greenville was 37.1 IP of relief ball at 5.06 ERA level, and he also pitched 2.2 IP at Wilmington over two appearances, with no hits allowed. He is a sidearm pitcher and has a frisbee slider (breaks over the entire plate).
PART TWO: Beau Vaughan, Brantley Jordan, Kevin Guyette, Roger Lincoln, Brian Marshall
[[LOWELL SPINNERS – LOW A NEW YORK PENN LEAGUE]] Adam Blackley – 21 years old, the Red Sox brass has been high on him for a while. The Aussie split time between Lowell and Greenville this past year. For Lowell, he had a 4.01 ERA in 15 games started, then started 13 (one relief shot) at the next level for a 6.15 ERA. Nonetheless, he is projected to head onto Wilmington with Rozier, Galvez, Goodson and Hottovy.
Clay Buchholz – Buchholz, drafted in the first round (part of our Big Six) from Angelina Junior College, had a nice debut for Lowell, hurling fifteen starts with a 2.61 ERA, 9 walks, 45 strikeouts, and should get the call to Greenville next year. He’ll be entering his age 21 season next year and looks like he can be quite the impact pitcher down the road for us. Hmm… a guy just over six feet from Texas. What’s our history with these pitchers?
Ismael Casillas – Also part of the 2005 draft, Casillas came out of the 11th round and exhibited the same control that Buccholz has. As a reliever for Lowell, he had a 3.09 ERA with 8 walks and 40 strikeouts in just 32 innings. He followed that up with a 2.84 ERA in 6.1 IP in winterball. He completely dominated his college, and hopefully can continue his dominance the higher the levels progress.
Tim Cox – Cox at 19 years old played for Lowell after 18 months of inaction with a torn elbow ligament. He led the Australian U-14, U-16, and U-18 teams so has some talent. In the majority of the time for the GCL, he went 3-1 in 11 games, five starts and 49.1 IP. He had a 2.19 ERA, 7 walks, 56 strikeouts, so his injury seems to have fully healed. In seven innings for Lowell (two relief appearances total) he had a 3.86 ERA, 3 walks, 10 Ks.
Ryan Phillips – Drafted in the 11th round in 2004, Phillips did not pitch after being drafted in 2004 because he was found to have frays in his labrum. He was shut down, and in 2005 pitched 14 starts and a 2.28 ERA. Next year he should partner up with Buchholz to anchor the Greenville rotation.
PART TWO: James Baxter, Chris Jones, Blake Maxwell, Mario Pena, , J.T. Zink
NOT COVERED: Gene Flores, Argimiro Guanchez, Matthew Hancock, Hunter Jones, Modesto Ozuna, Yader Peralta
[[GCL RED SOX – ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE]] James Albury – Albury was unable to turn his 2004 brilliance with the GCL into 2005 dominance. Repeating a level he had pitched 39.0 IP before with a 1.15 ERA, he pitched 31.2 IP this year and had a 4.83 ERA. His walks and strikeouts were consistent, as were his hits, but gave up two more home-runs. I wonder if these were two extremely ill-timed homeruns.
Michael Bowden – 19 years old, SoxProspects.com is extremely high on the first rounder from 2005. Bowden has an arsenal of four MLB caliber pitches: a low-90s fastball which tops out at 95, a 12-6 hard breaking curve, a tight slider, and a plus circle changeup. Bowden is said to be a workaholic and just loves to pitch – another player who just lives and dies for baseball. Very athletic. Absolutely dominated high school competition in 2005. Delivery is not as smooth as it could be. High ceiling. Bowden had a 0.45 ERA in 80 IP for his high school. He pitched only six innings for the GCL this year – four games, two starts. Clearly, the Red Sox wanted to limit his innings. For what it’s worth, he gave up four hits, no walks, no runs, and K’d four.
Scott Blue – A partially frayed labrum delayed his professional debut, but Blue, drafted in the fourth round out of high school, got in three innings of (inauspicious) work for a 21.00 ERA. Way too early to pass judgement on Blue.
Yulkin German – German, signed as a free agent in 2002, is still only 22. He spent two years with the DSL Red Sox and then came to America. In 49.0 IP – 11 games, 8 starts, he had a 2.57 ERA and should move up to Lowell.
Jimmy James – Repeating the league he dominated last year, 21-year old James checked in at a 2.57 ERA in 7 games, 5 starts with six walks and 13 Ks. He should move up to advanced competition next year in Lowell.
PART TWO: Remos Linares, Jose Francisco Ortiz, Billy Phillips, Victor Prieto, Dane Towery
NOT COVERED: Junior Frias, Rich Garces, Alex Gonzalez, John Jefferson, David Pahucki, Miguel Socolovich
That’s the end of Part One. So far, so good. There are some nice prospects here. As I alluded to earlier, perhaps the Red Sox are focusing more on stockpiling pitching than position prospects. For one, you can never have enough pitching, right? Second, they’re a hot commodity in trades, and we saw that with our dealing of Sanchez, Garcia, and Delgado for Josh Beckett. We have quite a few high ceilings here in the low levels, and hopefully a few of them pan out.

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