Scout Says Yoan Moncada is Close to Mike Trout

We all know what Mike Trout can do. He is one of the most complete players in baseball right now, and the Red Sox might have the next player who can come close to him in Yoan Moncada, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan quoted one scout as saying in his All-Minor League team article.

So, yeah. Not a bad comparison to draw, and one that should get Red Sox fans excited.Yoan Moncada He got off to a slow start, but picked it up in the last 56 games with the Greenville Drive, the Red Sox Single-A affiliate. He slashed .310/.415/.500 with 45 stolen bases in 48 attempts, according to Jeff Passan, but on the flip side, he also committed 23 errors at second base, including 3 in a playoff game over the weekend.

His defense right now is a concern, but Yoan Moncada is only 20 years old, meaning there’s still plenty of time to fix that part of his game. One thing is clear, I think: Once he does clean up that area, he’ll be on the fast track to be a great major league player. Will he be as good as Mike Trout, as the one scout told Jeff Passan? Maybe not, but if he’s in that ballpark, I think Red Sox fans will be happy. Mike Trout is a special player, and if Moncada becomes even close to Trout, that’s fine with me.

Right now, there’s no reason to rush Yoan Moncada up to the big leagues. Personally, I would rather see him take an extra year or so and come up a more complete player, as opposed to him rushing up before he’s ready. There’s no doubting his talent, but I’d rather him work out all of the kinks in his game before he sees any significant action with the big-league Red Sox. Don’t get me wrong, if Jeff Passan is right, then he should be exciting to watch, but right now, he needs to work through the holes in his game, as I mentioned, before he’s ready. But, at least it’s something to get excited about for the future, right?

Matt Harvey an Option for Red Sox

Since it’s never too early to start thinking off-season trades, especially with the Red Sox out of contention for the 2015 season, here’s an idea thrown out by Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe: Xander Bogaerts for Matt Harvey. It’s an interesting option, and it should be interesting to see how many Red Sox fans will be for it. Yes, Xander is one of the best young shortstops in the game, but Matt Harvey is one of the best young pitchers in the game right now.

So, what are the pros and cons of this deal? On the positive side, Matt Harvey is a Matt Harveytalented pitcher, and he is also under contract through 2019, according to the Globe, and would be a team-friendly acquisition money-wise. Matt Harvey, in my mind, is one of the big reasons why the Mets are where they are right now, 5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals atop the NL East. He’s been that good for them.

On the flip side, the Globe points out that he can be a pain and also very cocky, but they Globe is also right in pointing out that the Red Sox have had success dealing with egos like a Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez, to an extent. You take his innings limit (which is set at 180 right now), for example. Matt Harvey has come out staunchly against being shut down with the New York Mets in the midst of a playoff race, which is understandable. I would hate the idea of being shut down as well in his position. He wants to do what he can to help his team win.

But I digress. My point is, the Red Sox could handle Matt Harvey’s sometimes-cocky attitude well because they have done it well in the past

Is the proposed Xander-for-Matt deal fair? Yes, since the Mets need offense and we need pitching, but how many fans would want to give up one of our best young players? I’m guessing not many.  Along with Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, and now Jackie Bradley Jr., many fans consider Bogaerts “untradable,” even for a talented young pitcher like Matt Harvey.

I would love to see Harvey in a Sox uniform, and they do need an ace, but there are other options that wouldn’t involve trading away one of our future stars. And the Red Sox will explore said other options as well. I don’t think Dave Dombrowksi will let the team go to Fort Myers next year without an ace.

Travis Shaw Making His Case for 2016

The good thing about the Red Sox being so far out of playoff contention at the moment is the team getting a good, hard look at some of their guys down on the farm. Notably, guys like Henry Owens and Travis Shaw have gotten an extended look at the big league level, and for the most part they have responded pretty well.

Especially Travis Shaw. With Mike Napoli traded to the Texas Rangers, there is now an Travis Shawopportunity for a guy like Shaw to fill in, and he has responded very well. Since his August 1st call up, he’s hit .372, and has hit all 5 of his big league home run since his call up. Overall, he’s hit .321, 5 home runs and 10 RBI’s in 21 big league games for the Red Sox.

For the time being, Travis Shaw has dismissed any doubts about bringing up Allen Craig from the Pawtucket Red Sox or potentially moving Hanley Ramirez over to first from left field. And, for the time being, can anyone complain about that? His production more than warrants his place in the lineup at the moment, and the other 2 possibilities are far less appealing at the moment.

Hanley’s offensive production has been there for the most part, but his defense is an entirely different story, and the idea of moving him to one of the most important on the field scares me. While Allen Craig might be a better defensive option, his performance at the plate has been pretty disappointing for the most part since being sent to Boston in the deal that sent John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals at the 2014 trade deadline. While Travis Shaw is still finding his feet with the big league team, he is the team’s best option at first base at the moment, outside of possibly Brock Holt, who has shown he can play just about every position.

There is plenty of time between now and Opening Day 2016, but right now, I would put Travis Shaw as the front runner to start at 1st on Opening Day next April. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then, but I would be happy with him as our Opening Day first baseman.

Andrew Benintendi Already Turning Heads

Andrew Benintendi can play. The Red Sox first pick in the 2015 MLB Draft is already showing the organization that he has some serious potential in his first few months as a member of the Red Sox organization.

Right now, Andrew Benintendi is with the Class A Short-Season Lowell Spinners, but is Andrew Benintendiheading for a late season promotion to Low-A Greenville with the way he has performed so far, according to NESN. He’s shown a little bit of everything in Lowell, hitting .278 with 7 home runs and 6 stolen bases so far in 31 games with the Spinners. He hit 2 home runs on Tuesday, giving him 3 in 3 games. And he’s drawing positive reviews from his coaches. Spinners hitting coach Iggy Saurez said that it seems like nothing bothers him, and wondering how he can be so calm amidst the hype that being picked 7th overall can surely bring, according to NESN.

This speed/power combo that Andrew Benintendi has shown is one of the main reasons the Red Sox were looking at him in the first place. Also worth noting is his plate discipline – he has 23 walks to 15 strikeouts with the Red Sox organization.

Benintendi also mentioned that he is learning a lot, according to NESN, which is a good thing for him, obviously. It’s great to see him putting in the work, and he seems genuinely excited to try and get to the big-league Red Sox, which is a good thing. NESN points out, and rightfully so, that it’s hard to pinpoint where his ceiling is right now, but I think it seems pretty high at the moment. He’s got the work ethic, and the talent to go with it, and I’m really excited to see where this kid can go.

It’s still a while before he’s major-league ready, but if he keeps going like this, then he’ll get there sooner rather than later. It’ll still be interesting to see where he ends up in a couple years, with the Red Sox outfielder situation at the moment, but he has the talent to make an impact. Assuming he keeps putting in the work, which won’t be a problem, I don’t think.

Henry Owens to Stay in Rotation

Henry Owens was (mostly) not at fault after Tuesday’s blowout 13-3 loss to the New York Yankees. He left after 5+ solid innings with runners on 2nd and 3rd, 0 outs, and a 2-1 lead. The implosion that followed was largely a result of bad bullpen work, starting with Robbie Ross and going downhill from there.

At one point, Owens had set down 12 in a row after struggling in the first inning, when he Henry Owensthrew 34 pitches. He ended up throwing 96 pitches and striking out 5, and secured his place in the rotation for the time being according. Part of it was the flashes of promise he showed, but most of it was due to the team’s circumstances—both Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello are on the DL, so Henry Owens will have a shot to show more of what he can do.

John Farrell came away from Henry Owens’ start with good things to say as well, telling the Boston Globe that Henry Owens seemed to keep the emotion of the moment in check and made some quality pitches. To Owens’ credit, Farrell is correct in his assessment in this case. The pressure of a playoff race may be off, but making your major league debut against the Yankees in New York is always a tough task and Henry Owens handled it pretty well.

I was personally pretty happy with what I saw from Henry Owens, as he did show that he had pretty promising stuff. His change up looked pretty good at times and he mixed it in well with his fastball. He also did well to pitch out of a tough first inning and limit the damage, and to settle in after that tough first inning. He showed us a good glimpse of things to come. I’m not going to go so far as to say he’s the team’s savior, but he’s one of the Red Sox top prospects for a reason, and he showed us why.

He joins Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson as the 3rd lefty to make his major league debut this season. Nowhere to go but up from here.

Henry Owens Makes Debut Against Yankees

Finally, something to look forward to. Henry Owens, highly touted Red Sox pitching prospect, was set to make his season debut against the New York Yankees on tonight, according to MassLive.com. He has a 3-8 record, but that’s not indicative of how well he has pitched—he has a 3.16 ERA this season, 103 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting under .200 against him, .193 to be exact. In 96 career minor league appearances, he has a 3.30 ERA, and 572 strikeouts to 230 walks.

These are the things that will make this season worth watching until the end. At the very Henry Owensleast, the team can give opportunities to these young guys, since any pressure of a playoff race is off and the games are meaningless. At least if Henry Owens has a tough outing, Red Sox fans won’t get frustrated because we’re losing ground in the playoff hunt, since we’re pretty much out of playoff contention, barring a major miracle.

So, why bring him up now? Part of John Farrell’s reasoning in bringing Henry Owens up now, according to MassLive, is that the Yankees have struggled this season with left-handed pitching, which makes sense. I’m guessing most of it has to do with the fact that the Red Sox are just about done, as far as playing meaningful baseball goes, so they might as well see what they have down on the farm. Maybe Henry Owens can spoil the Yankees party a little bit with a solid performance. The Yankees currently sit atop the AL East, 6 games ahead of the Orioles and Blue Jays. If Henry Owens goes out on his debut and shuts down the Yankees, that will at least provide some small comfort to a few Red Sox fans, myself included. The Red Sox won’t win anything this year, but at least Henry Owens can offer us a glimpse of what the future holds.

Here’s to hoping he can give Red Sox fans a small ray of hope.