A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

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    A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    It's been a long time since I last posted here, but I wanted to talk about some of the kids on the farm that are really catching my eye.  The first prospect that is really popping out to me is Jackie Bradley and then I will point out Matt Barnes.  These are two kids that don't get the limelight that Middlebrooks and Ranaudo do, but I think they have the skills that show that they could be our number 1 and 2 prospects by the end of the year.

    Jackie Bradley had two great seasons at South Carolina, the best in 09 averaging 349 with a 431 OBP and in 10 averaging 368 with a 473 OBP.  He was projected to be a high first round pick but got injured in 2011 by tearing a tendon in his wrist so he dropped to us and we picked him up as a supplemental first round pick after an off year.  We threw him some big bucks and took a chance, but it looks to be paying off.

    So far in 131 AB in high A ball he is hitting 366 with a 485 OBP and 29 BB with 23 SO.  He has the baseball instincts of Pedroia and is very polished.  He does all the little things right in the game that we see day in and day out from Pedroia that don't always show up on the stat sheet.  His teammates consistently comment about him that he is the best teammate that they ever had and is a natural leader.  He is exceptional as a center fielder and although he doesn't have blazing speed, he manages to steal bases like Pedroia does.  He was number 7 on Baseball America's hot sheet recently with the following write up:

    The Scoop: Bradley was a tremendously accomplished college player at South Carolina when the Red Sox signed him last year for $1.1 million as a supplemental first-round pick. He has solid tools across the board, all of which play up because of his tremendous baseball instincts. He's gotten off to a terrific start for Salem, where he's batting .360/.470/.539 with more walks (18) than strikeouts (16) and a crisp 10-for-11 stealing bases. Bradley leads the Carolina League in OBP and ranks seventh in the minors in that category, while his defense continues to get strong grades as well.

    I think in the long run Middlebrooks will have much more power, but he strikes out way too much compared to how often... or should I say how little he draws walks.  Bradley has a much more refined approach at the plate and is an exceptional two strike hitter and can spray the ball all over the field.  I love what Middlebrooks has brought so far with Youks being out, but I really love that Bradley can give us an option sometime next year if Ells continues to get serious injuries or decides to leave the Sox after next year.  

    As for Matt Barnes, we drafted him in the 1st round in 2011 and so far he has been dominating A ball.  Combining his stats from Greenville and Salem, he has a 0.60 ERA with 67 SO and only 6 BB in 44.2 innings with a single home run as a starter.  He has improved drastically every year at Connecticut and is going to be forcing the hands of the Sox to keep him in A ball much past June.  The hardest transition for any player to make is going from A ball into AA so the real test will be getting Barnes to a level where he is challenged.  With his 10.50 k/bb and 14.18 k/9 it doesn't appear that A ball is that place that is challenging him.  

    The most comparable pitcher we have right now that Barnes matches up to is Beckett.  He has a good fastball from 93-95 and can top out in the high 90s.  He works his fastball great to both sides of the plate with a high 70's curve with a deep break.  His changeup is much like Beckett's hard changeup as it comes in at 86-87 and is his weakest pitch.  

    One thing that gets me excited is seeing Ranaudo and Barnes reminding me of Papelbon and Lester when they were in the minors and blossoming at the same time.  Add into the mix a Pedroia like player in center field and a quality third baseman and our minor league system is starting to creep back into respectability again.  

    If you haven't heard about these kids yet, you will soon.  Keep an eye out and let me know what you think of them or any other prospects that are catching your eye.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    It's good to be back.  Amazing how much more time one has to blog and post when you get laid off!

    Cool

    So I just noticed that Barnes made the Baseball America Hot sheet this week at number 8 and here is the write up:

    No. 8     MATT BARNES, RHP
        RED SOX
    Team: high Class A Salem (Carolina)
    Age: 21
    Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.75, 12 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO
    The Scoop: While Orioles righthander Dylan Bundy has been spectacular on a short leash, the most dazzling numbers in the minors after his might belong to Barnes. It's one thing for Barnes, a 2011 first-round pick out of Connecticut, to roll through the low Class A South Atlantic League, which he did in impressive fashion. Now he's showing he can do it at the next level, as he owns a 1.00 ERA and a sterling 25-2 K-BB mark in 18 innings through his first three starts in the Carolina League. Barnes has shown excellent command of a mid-90s fastball that has helped him strike out 38 percent of the hitters he's faced so far for Salem, though if he keeps this up, he might not be staying there for very long either.
     
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  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    I must admit, I'm a bit confused as to why you compared Middlebrooks with JB Jr.

    JB Jr. has certainly gotten off to a hot start for his Red Sox career, but I can't see a scenario that's good for Boston in which he makes any contribution to the MLB club next season.  Earliest I can picture him on the 25 man roster would be May 2014 (extra year of control), and that's a best case scenario.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    OH, and yes Barnes is a stud, but I also see 2014 at the earliest to give him time to build arm strength for a 200 inning season.  That's also heavily dependant on the development of his secondary offerings which we haven't seen much of in A ball.  A promotion to AA is very realistic in the next month or 2, when we should start seeing him forced to use his secondary offerings more.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    I could see him (Bradley) getting a cup of coffee in boston by the end of next year if the Sox are agressive about promoting him. Nice post about the kids Papi.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]I must admit, I'm a bit confused as to why you compared Middlebrooks with JB Jr. JB Jr. has certainly gotten off to a hot start for his Red Sox career, but I can't see a scenario that's good for Boston in which he makes any contribution to the MLB club next season.  Earliest I can picture him on the 25 man roster would be May 2014 (extra year of control), and that's a best case scenario.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]


    The comparison to Middlebrooks was simply to point out who is our number 1 prospect right now and who I think could take over that spot by the end of the year or the beginning of next year.  I see in Middlebrooks a good hitter, but not the typical Red Sox style of hitter that we have grown accustomed to developing.  By this I mean that he doesn't have patience at the plate and has not shown an ability to walk often or work a count like Youks does.  I see these qualities in all the past great Red Sox lineups we had.  I also see the most successful players we developed have these qualities as well such as Youks, Pedroia, and Ells to start his minor league career.  

    In AA Ells walked as many times as he struck out and that translated to 2 K per BB in the majors.  Pedroia walked more than he struck out through every level of the minors and that comes out to about 1 BB / K in the majors.  Youks also walked more than he struck out in the minors and that came out to about 2 BB / 3 K in the majors.  

    Middlebrooks had 1 BB / 4 K in the minors and in the majors it translated to about 1 BB / 7 K in the majors so far in his debut.  Granted we had another player Hanley Ramirez who had a 1 BB / 2 K in the minors and started out with a 1 BB / 4 K in the majors and has improved in three years to 2 BB / 3 K and made out pretty well, but he didn't stick on the Red Sox.  I don't know if it was Theo driving the prototypical hitter they were looking for, but historically in the post Yawkey era the management valued the ability to get on base and it has produced results.  See Bill Mueller, Johnny Damon, Millar, Ells, Belhorn, Olerud, Lowell, Manny, Ortiz as players we had success with who could work the count and make tough outs.  

    I don't mean to directly compare Bradley with Middlebrooks as my main comparison was Pedroia.  I was simply pointing out that I project Bradley to be a more consistent hitter with a better approach that can add value in other areas such as working the count that we value here in Boston that we won't get from Middlebrooks. 

    With Middlebrooks inability to find other ways to get on base it has a tendency to make for a streaky player who is either very hot or very cold.  It worked for Nomar for quite some time at a very high level and is much more rare to find.  There are much less Vladimir Guerrero type hitters for a reason in the majors.  In the long run Jeter is still playing at a high level when Nomar has been retired for quite some time when I remember debating on if Nomaaa was bettaaa or if Jeeetaaa was bettaaa.  I hope that points out why I think that Bradley could possibly take over Middlebrooks as the top hitting prospect if Middlebrooks retains his prospect status over time.      
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]OH, and yes Barnes is a stud, but I also see 2014 at the earliest to give him time to build arm strength for a 200 inning season.  That's also heavily dependant on the development of his secondary offerings which we haven't seen much of in A ball.  A promotion to AA is very realistic in the next month or 2, when we should start seeing him forced to use his secondary offerings more.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]


    I agree on the time table with 2014 with a possible cup of coffee at the end of next year.  He threw 116 pitches last year so they could easily get him up to 150 this year and he could be up to 180-200 the following year barring injuries.  From the scouting reports I have seen, they note his improved secondary offerings and improved control as the reason why he is dominating high A ball right now.  His changeup is the pitch that he needs to take from an average pitch and turn it into a plus pitch or he will simply be Bard as a starter vs. Beckett.  
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    Excellent post & thread.

    On a related issue: for those of you guys who are lamenting the loss of VMart and Beltre, we got Barnes and Owens as comp picks for losing VMart, and we got Bradley and Swihart as comp picks for losing Beltre.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

     Since you dont post here much, perhaps you've missed the mods instructions on copy/paste from sources, never whole articles, a sentence or two is ok, with references...otherwise link, so that traffic is driven to the original source.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from carnie. Show carnie's posts

    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]Excellent post & thread. On a related issue: for those of you guys who are lamenting the loss of VMart and Beltre, we got Barnes and Owens as comp picks for losing VMart, and we got Bradley and Swihart as comp picks for losing Beltre.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]It'll be interesting to see who we get with the comp pick for Papelbon.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE] Since you dont post here much, perhaps you've missed the mods instructions on copy/paste from sources, never whole articles, a sentence or two is ok, with references...otherwise link, so that traffic is driven to the original source.
    Posted by YOUKILLUS20[/QUOTE]I think the only copy and paste on this thread is from the usual source. The OP looked original to me.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    Ok, that makes sense, although it has been said many times that Theo would not have traded Hanley had he been in charge when the deal was discussed.  I don't consider Middlebrooks a true prospect anymore, since I believe he will exhaust that title before Youk returns due to playing time in MLB, so that's where the disconnect was.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if Middlebrooks develops more patience at the plate while in MLB, it may just take some time.  I don't expect huge improvements compared to his MiLB numbers, but he should certainly get more in line with those numbers as the sample size grows and he makes adjustments to MLB pitching.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes : I agree on the time table with 2014 with a possible cup of coffee at the end of next year.  He threw 116 pitches last year so they could easily get him up to 150 this year and he could be up to 180-200 the following year barring injuries.  From the scouting reports I have seen, they note his improved secondary offerings and improved control as the reason why he is dominating high A ball right now.  His changeup is the pitch that he needs to take from an average pitch and turn it into a plus pitch or he will simply be Bard as a starter vs. Beckett.  
    Posted by RedSoxDOrtiz[/QUOTE]

    The way I got to 2014 was 20% increases in innings each year:

    2011: 116 2/3
    2012: 140
    2013: 168
    2014: 201 2/3

    He could certainly get a cup of coffee in MLB in September 2013 working out of the pen, but do you really want to mess with him by moving him to the pen for a month and is it worth it to start his service time clock early?  I wouldn't be surprised if he started 2014 in AAA with a late April call up after the Sox get the extra year of team control, if he isn't called up in 2013.

     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    Excellent post & thread. On a related issue: for those of you guys who are lamenting the loss of VMart and Beltre, we got Barnes and Owens as comp picks for losing VMart, and we got Bradley and Swihart as comp picks for losing Beltre.
    Posted by moonslav59
    It'll be interesting to see who we get with the comp pick for Papelbon.

    We actually get 2 picks: 

    #31 and #37.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    Bradley went 2 for 3 today, and is back up to .373.  The other very promising player that is hitting fantastic now is Bryce Brentz. He went 4 for 5 today (Portland) and is hitting over .300.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE] Since you dont post here much, perhaps you've missed the mods instructions on copy/paste from sources, never whole articles, a sentence or two is ok, with references...otherwise link, so that traffic is driven to the original source.
    Posted by YOUKILLUS20[/QUOTE]

    If you are referring to me then I just took a small exerpt from the huge article at this address for the scouting reports on the players mentioned.


    On a side note, poor Anthony Rizzo is reminding me of Hanley Ramirez stuck in the minors.  He is hitting 417 and is ranked number 1 on the list and is yet again on his third team stuck behind Bryan LaHair who leads all big league first basemen in slugging percentage and OPS.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]Bradley went 2 for 3 today, and is back up to .373.  The other very promising player that is hitting fantastic now is Bryce Brentz. He went 4 for 5 today (Portland) and is hitting over .300.
    Posted by ADG[/QUOTE]

    Good to see Brentz finally make the adjustment to AA, I was a little worried after his slow start.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    We really have a lot of players in the "low minors" who are very promising. I expect the Sox to have a lot of players in the top 100 next year. With 2 extra picks this year, the pattern should continue for a little while.
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]Ok, that makes sense, although it has been said many times that Theo would not have traded Hanley had he been in charge when the deal was discussed.  I don't consider Middlebrooks a true prospect anymore, since I believe he will exhaust that title before Youk returns due to playing time in MLB, so that's where the disconnect was.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if Middlebrooks develops more patience at the plate while in MLB, it may just take some time.  I don't expect huge improvements compared to his MiLB numbers, but he should certainly get more in line with those numbers as the sample size grows and he makes adjustments to MLB pitching.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]


    130 at bats is the determining factor and he is at 65 at bats now... Youks is slated to start on Tuesday night's game so Middlebrooks will only be there till tomorrow most likely.  That is of course not factoring in that Youks has not been able to reliably stay on the field for the past year so this might not be the last injury he has.  
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]Bradley went 2 for 3 today, and is back up to .373.  The other very promising player that is hitting fantastic now is Bryce Brentz. He went 4 for 5 today (Portland) and is hitting over .300.
    Posted by ADG[/QUOTE]

    Bryce always struck me as potential trade bait.  A solid prospect but again he is under 1 BB / 4.5 K in AA right now... that is a red flag to me and the type of player we usually trade away over time.  You can see his average flux up and down drastically because of his ultra aggressive style.  He has some pop and has improved, but I spent a great deal of time at Lowell Spinner games since they are very close to me.  I am wary of players that don't dominate at that level since the competition isn't that great to be honest.  The most dominant players on the Lowell teams I used to see were fringe players and I would only project Bryce to be a backup outfielder as a ceiling.  
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes : 130 at bats is the determining factor and he is at 65 at bats now... Youks is slated to start on Tuesday night's game so Middlebrooks will only be there till tomorrow most likely.  That is of course not factoring in that Youks has not been able to reliably stay on the field for the past year so this might not be the last injury he has.  
    Posted by RedSoxDOrtiz[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, I couldn't remember what the cutoff was and was too lazy to look it up.

    As hot as he's been, it still seems like an awfully tough sell to send the kid back down after posting a .277/.309/.585 line with 5 HR's and nearly an RBI per game (15:16).
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]Bradley went 2 for 3 today, and is back up to .373.  The other very promising player that is hitting fantastic now is Bryce Brentz. He went 4 for 5 today (Portland) and is hitting over .300.
    Posted by ADG[/QUOTE]

    I was just going to mention Brentz ADG...Hes had a slight adjustment period to AA pitching, but that was expected..Hes a power hitting RHH RF'r that could take over full time by 2014..maybe even a CoC in 2013 for sept. callups...Ive been really high on this kid..Saw him play at Mid. Tenn and was very impressed...Smart kid with great baseball instincts...He might have a few K's (def needs to learn patience, but that will get better Im sure), but hes also going to have a bunch of HR's...I can see an OF of CC/Bradley and Brentz by 2014, which would put a big smile on my face..With Iggy at SS, WMB at 3rd, Barnes in the rotation, I can see a lot of flexability for payroll...
     
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    Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes

    In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A look at the kids Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes : I was just going to mention Brentz ADG...Hes had a slight adjustment period to AA pitching, but that was expected..Hes a power hitting RHH RF'r that could take over full time by 2014..maybe even a CoC in 2013 for sept. callups...Ive been really high on this kid..Saw him play at Mid. Tenn and was very impressed...Smart kid with great baseball instincts...He might have a few K's (def needs to learn patience, but that will get better Im sure), but hes also going to have a bunch of HR's...I can see an OF of CC/Bradley and Brentz by 2014, which would put a big smile on my face..With Iggy at SS, WMB at 3rd, Barnes in the rotation, I can see a lot of flexability for payroll...
    Posted by southpaw777[/QUOTE]


    Do you really see Brentz as a starting right fielder for a championship caliber team?  I will have to use my MiLB membership to scout some more games of him... I haven't seen him play but once so I don't have a good sample size.
     

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