Link 10-5-2011: Top 50 pitching prospects

John Sickels at Minor League Ball gives his take on the top 50 pitching prospects and how they fared in 2011.

You have to go all the way down to number 46 to find Anthony Ranaudo, the only Red Sox prospect on the list. Not good for a team with some major questions about the rotation, not good.

To be fair, I don’t think that John Lackey will be this bad again in 2012, and with Clay Buchholz returning, we will have a strong rotation once more, but our number five is 43-year old Tim Wakefield right now, and if Lackey continues to struggle, we could be in big trouble going forward.

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8-12-2011 Links: Pedey vs Cano, Sabathia vs Sox, Gonzalez grounded, defense, prospects report card

Dustin Pedroia is in the midst of his best season ever, and it has sparked discussions about whether he or Robinson Cano is the best second baseman in baseball. Here is Jonathan Scippa’s interesting take. As for me, give me Pedey every time.

Coming into the year, we were worried about our lefty-leaning lineup and some very tough starters in our division. So why is CC Sabathia so bad against Boston this season? David Pinto takes a look.

Mike Axisa at FanGraphs has some nice plots which show how Adrian Gonzalez has fallen into hitting a ton of grounders since about June 18, and how that has directly sapped his home run power. He could be headed for about a 27 HR season, which is lower than most people predicted, but is pretty well in line with the 30 HRs I predicted.

As Sox Therapy points out, the Red Sox defense has gone from very good to great this season, and it’s been a huge reason for our success in June and July.

Wondering how our top prospects are doing on the farm? John Sickels has a summary for you. (SPOILER: It ain’t pretty.)

Link 5-11-2011: J.D. Drew retrospective

John Sickels recently did a career review of our own J.D. Drew. Now that he’s reaching the end of his career, it’s interesting to take a look back at how he was seen as a prospect back then.

Link 5-10-2011: Sickels on Iglesias

Noted prospect evaluator John Sickels has his take on Jose Iglesias up today. No quibbles about his excellent defense, but he thinks that the bat won’t be good for much other than a lot of singles.

Links 9-20-2010: Beckett and Lackey, farm awards, V-Mart, crowdsourced contracts

Joe Pawlikowski examines Josh Beckett and John Lackey, and concludes that Beckett is probably more likely to return to form next season.

The Red Sox announced their minor league awards for 2010. Pitcher of the year is Felix Doubront, who did great as a starter, then bit the bullet to relieve for the Major League club.

After years of our top prospects kind of flaming out and struggling, Ryan Lavarnway and Anthony Rizzo are building some real value after very strong 2010 campaigns. And don’t forget Oscar Tejeda and Jose Iglesias, who also performed very well this year. Prospect guru John Sickels believes that Rizzo has passed up Lars Anderson as the top 1B prospect in our system.

The Red Sox signed four more international players, according to the Full Count blog.

Sully at Red Sox Beacon puts Darnell McDonald’s season into context for us. Yes, his defense was exposed in center field, but McDonald was better than a lot of ¬†“name” outfielders out there this year.¬†Without him, this team would have been sunk a while ago.

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Links 8-13-2010: Playoff hopes fading, Salty and Hall, draft deadline coming, Sickels reviews our farm

The Red Sox took two of three from the Blue Jays, which is okay, but we should have had game 3. If we let games like that slip away, I don’t see us getting back to the playoffs this year. The math is starting to get pretty tough for us, points out Rob Neyer.

It certainly won’t be any easier with Jonathan Papelbon lacking his previous dominance as a closer. It’s not just one game, but Pap is showing a gradual decline which started last year. He’s still a very good closer, but he’s rapidly losing elite status, and that’s bad with just one year of arbitration left.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia was called up this week, and did just fine in his first start yesterday. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we let Victor Martinez walk this offseason, but there’s some hope yet for Salty to become something.

Seems like people only remember a couple of botched plays when they think of Bill Hall, but he’s had a pretty good season at the plate. Jeremy Greenhouse points out that, in at least one situation, you’d rather bat him than Prince Fielder.

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Links 6-16-2010: Scutaro’s condition, Doubront debut, looking ahead, Lowell makes sense for Twins

Marco Scutaro was given a nerve root injection in his neck the other day to dull pain in his left arm. Turns out he’s been playing through a pinched nerve and herniated disc in his back all year. His numbers aren’t all that bad, in that light.

With two main starters out of the rotation, the Red Sox have chosen to give prospect Felix Doubront the ball Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway. The 22-year old lefty, currently 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA at Pawtucket, will make his Major League debut against Manny Ramirez and friends. Best of luck, Doubie.

After all of the reasons for optimism I gave yesterday, Patrick Sullivan balances that out with some things that could turn sour for the Red Sox this year. David Golebiewski also throws some water on the idea that Clay Buchholz is having his breakout season.

Aaron Gleeman takes a detailed look at Mike Lowell and cautiously approves of him as a trade target. He suggests a prospect in their top 30 or so in return for Lowell.

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