Who runs this site?
The site is run by me - my name is Mike Andrews (email:
I'm a long-time follower of the Red Sox
farm system. Chris Mellen, Chris Hatfield, Matt Huegel, and Jon
Meoli are also part
owners of the site. We get plenty of help from the
SoxProspects staff in operating the main site and
SoxProspects News. The moderators also try to make sure that the
forum discussion stays interesting and relevant.
that Mike Andrews?
No, I'm the dude, man – not former Red Sox infielder and former Jimmy
Mike Andrews. Big fan of his work though. We try to support
the Jimmy Fund here as much as possible through promotions and
just one site?
We try to make it look like one site - whether we do a great job
is up for some debate. SoxProspects is actually a family of
sites run on four separate servers: (1)
SoxProspects.com (the main site), which includes most of the
content, including the rankings, team rosters, and player pages;
SoxProspects Forum, run through
SoxProspects News (the official news page), run through Google Blogger;
and (4) the
Wiki, the information vault run through Wikispaces.
Are the scouting reports based on firsthand observations?
Nearly all of the scouting reports here are based on firsthand observations. We attend minor league spring training every
year, where we're able to scout all of the players in the
organization over an extended period of time. The staff and
I also regularly attend games in Boston, Pawtucket, Portland,
and Lowell over the course of the season, and have begun making
annual trips to Salem, Greenville, and the Fall Instructional
League in Florida. We also have other eyes and
ears in each of the affiliate cities. In addition, we
regularly interview many of the top prospects in the
organization, who generally
provide us with their take on scouting themselves and their
teammates. We are also in regular contact with the Red Sox front
office, the affiliates, the affiliate broadcasters, and several
who give us their take on scouting reports. All of these reports are combined with
information from professionally published scouting reports to
make up the player reports here at the site. However,
keep in mind that there are some occasions where none of the
staff have had the chance to see a prospect play (yet), such as
the case with recently-acquired or recently-drafted players, or
often times with players in the Dominican Summer League. In
those instances, we typically compile our info from the
professional scouting services, news reports, or second hand
accounts. Then we make every attempt to get out to see the player as soon as he
makes his organizational debut in order to update the reports based on
first hand information.
does the prospect grading system work?
Prospect grades are set by the Staff scouting team based on first-hand
observations and pro scouting reports. Grades are based on
current projection and ceiling. Check out the
prospect grading methodology.
Why do some players
have "INJ" listed as their prospect grade?
A prospect's grade will be replaced by "INJ" when that player
has a major injury. It's very difficult to rank and grade a
player when he has a major injury, because the player's
projection is largely contingent upon
how that player comes back from the injury, and how much
development time he will miss. Each injury situation is just so
unique, it makes it extremely tough to predict a player's
projection and ceiling until we see how long he's out and how
well he heals (grading players is a difficult exercise on its
own without factoring in speculation based on sometimes
incomplete and/or undisclosed medical
information ). The INJ will be replaced by a grade once
the player returns to full health.
Who nominates the Players of the Week? Who picks the Players of
the Month? What about the SoxProspects All-Stars or Yearly
Each Sunday during the season, the staff nominates the five best
players and pitchers from the previous week (Saturday-Sunday),
and the community votes from those five
players. As for the players of the month, the Staff and I
pick those each month ourselves. The All-Stars and yearly awards
are nominated by the staff and ultimately voted on by the
Why aren't there up-to-date stats on each of the individual
There are two ways to update stats on a website: by hand or by database
linking. Database linking takes sophisticated software
coding and costs money to link to the professionally-kept
statistical databases. We are in the alpha stages of creating a
hybrid database where we enter certain info by hand on a daily
basis, and most of the stats update themselves. However,
that's still in the very early stages. At this point, I
still enter the stats by hand on the main pages of the site every day. As
you might expect, to enter every player's stats on his page on a
daily basis by hand is a daunting task. Accordingly, at this
point the best we can do is insert links to each player's stats
pages on MiLB.com, and enter the final player stats at the end
of each season.
Why are the
statistical categories different on certain of the player pages?
As of September 5, 2008, all newly-created player pages for
pitchers have added two new statistical categories and dropped
two others. WHIP and K/9 were added, and complete games
and shutouts were removed. Also, all pitcher pages created
after September 5, 2008, will maintain the IP stat in
mathematical format (5.3 IP rather than 5.1 IP to show 5 1/3 IP;
5.7 IP rather than 5.2 IP to show 5 2/3 IP). Pitcher pages
existing before September 5, 2008 will NOT be changed to the new
format. Statistical categories for position players remain
unchanged for all time periods.
Are the Projected Rosters based on hard data or
For the most part, projected rosters are based on educated
speculation taking into consideration the current and previous placement of
players and the Red Sox front office's tendencies over the past five years. Also, options, contract status, and service time may
dictate where a player will start the following season.
Additionally, we do keep in touch with several players
during the season and off-season, and in some cases they are told where
they are projected to start the following season. Thus, there are
also several instances when the projections are based on hard
or can there be a player depth chart?
I get this question every couple months, and to be honest, I
just don't see that much of a difference between what the team
rosters org chart is and what a "depth chart" would be. In terms
of depth as to whom will be called up to Boston first, Pawtucket
players will be the first players called up on 95% of occasions
(Portland players have been called up directly a few times over
the last few years). In my opinion, there simply would not be
much difference between the org chart and the depth chart, at
least not to merit maintaining an entirely different list.
Because I received this request a few times, I did try to keep a
depth chart on the Wiki for a few months in 2007 and emailed the
members who requested it. Nobody paid much attention so I
ultimately nixed the idea. All that being said, if you feel
strongly that a depth chart would be a worthwhile addition to
the site, I encourage you to start one up on the Wiki and maybe
it will catch fire.
I have my own Red Sox or minor league baseball website. Can I
exchange links with you?
The short answer is yes. However, I have just one criterion for
new sites - I like to wait until a site has been operating for
two months before exchanging links. I get link exchange requests
every few weeks or so, and I used to okay them right away upon
each request, only to find that many of the links were inactive
within a matter of weeks, leaving this site with a bunch of dead
links. I guess a lot of people like the idea of starting a Red
Sox website, but when they find out how much work it is to
maintain and how much competition there is, sometimes they just
give up. Once your site has been going for two months, I'll
gladly exchange links, just drop me a line. Also, keep in mind
that in the first two months, you can advertise your link in the
signature line of your posts on the Forum here. Just don't make the content of your
actual posts spam advertising your site - if your post is
intelligent and relevant, the more likely a member is to follow
Who sets the prospect
I set the rankings each Friday (sometimes Thursday night) during the season with input from
the Staff. The entire site membership votes
on the rankings twice a year. Those votes are taken highly into
consideration in setting the rankings. In August 2007, we also
opened the SoxProspects Meta Forum, where we accept input on
the rankings from the membership year round. During the
off-season, the rankings may change minimally based on
transactions, injury news, updated scouting reports, and Fall & Winter league
How are the
prospects generally ranked?
Generally, prospects are ranked on the basis of the projected
contribution each player will make at the major league level
(not necessarily for the Red Sox). A lot of factors go into
such an analysis. First, how does one project what type of
contribution a player will make years down the road? Second,
even if one knew precisely how a player was going to perform,
how does one generally measure any player’s “contribution”?
There’s no denying that it's a subjective exercise and an inexact
science. Taking that into consideration, below are some factors
that go into projecting future performance:
What specific factors go into projecting a player’s future
Tools are the starting point in analyzing a prospect.
For position players, there are five primary tools: hitting
for average, power, speed, fielding, and arm strength.
Some even consider “batting eye” the sixth tool. For
pitchers, you have tools such as arsenal, velocity,
command/control, and deception. Some of these
tools can be measured with a radar gun or a stopwatch, others
need to be observed with the human eye. While it's been said
that “you either have the tools or you don’t”, a player’s
tools certainly can be improved upon and refined over the
course of the development process. Build, athleticism, and
mechanics are also part of the "tools" discussion.
Build & Athleticism:
A player’s build and athleticism are a parallel aspect
to his “tools”, and often
give you an idea how to project what tools have room
for refinement. Scouts generally look for athletically-built middle
infielders and center fielders with speed, lateral quickness,
and good acceleration out of the box, while corner infielders
and corner outfielders should have strong frames or at least
the ability to add some muscle. Catchers generally need
to have rugged frames with strong cores to withstand the daily
catching grind. As far as pitchers are concerned, a
pitcher who is 6’1” to 6’6” and projects to be 200-235 pounds
is something scouts look for to ensure endurance over the long
haul. Note that there are undoubtedly exceptions to all
of these generalities.
aspect that is vital to analyzing a player is his mechanics.
For pitchers, a scout might ask: what’s his arm slot? What is
the release point for his
various pitches? Is his delivery fluid and smooth, or is
it compact or erratic? Does he maintain his balance
during his delivery? One of the most important factors
is that the pitcher is able to maintain a consistent delivery
each outing. Mechanics also play a role in the movement of
pitches, as well as the stress the pitcher puts on his arm
that could potentially result in injury. For hitters,
analyzing mechanics involves examining each player’s stance,
bat speed, and the fluidity of his swing.
One of the most important factors in ranking prospects is
determining each player’s ceiling and his chances of
reaching that ceiling. “Ceiling” basically means if a
player refines all of his tools to the best of his abilities
and reaches his full potential, what kind of player can we
expect? After approximating a player's ceiling, one
must consider the chances of the player reaching his
ceiling. This is where prospect ranking gets tough and
highly contentious. On one hand, you may have a player
who has the ceiling of being a perennial All-Star, but since
he is unrefined, 18 years old, and playing in Rookie Ball,
the chances of him reaching that ceiling are only 20% - and
there’s a decent chance that he could never even reach the
majors. On the other hand, you could have a AAA player
who’s ceiling is merely a platoon outfielder, but
considering his proximity to the majors he has a 90% chance
of reaching that ceiling and at worst he projects as an
average major league fourth outfielder. We tend to lend a little more
credence to sure-fire major leaguers even if they have a low
ceiling, while at the same time keeping in mind that many of
the big market teams (the Red
Sox in particular) don’t generally have a strong need for replacement-level
players. It’s a delicate balance.
important too – at some point, a player has to demonstrate
he’s putting his tools to good use. Moreover, some
players that scouts dismiss for lack of tools still manage to
statistically dominate the
minors and go on to have very productive major league
careers. For position players, one can always look at basic
stats such as AVG, OBP, SLG, HRs, and SBs. However, there are
a number of other stats that can be indicative of how a player
is actually performing and how he will continue to perform as
he works his way up the ladder, such as RC, IsoP, IsoD, BABIP,
K%. For certain younger players who have not filled out
their frames, some consider doubles to be indicative of future
power potential. Splits are also important – how does a
hitter fare against LHP v. RHP? How well did he hit in
April v. August? And there’s always the ballpark and
league splits to consider. As far as fielding goes, unfortunately
advanced fielding stats are not generally available for minor
league players, so stats don’t play a big role in this site's analysis
of the players' fielding skills. For pitchers, ERA is still
important and strikeouts are vital, but we also consider
secondary stats such as WHIP, K/BB, K/9, BAA, and GB/FB fairly
indicative of present and future performance. For
starters, minor league wins don’t generally mean a whole lot,
and WHIP is often a better stat than ERA to gauge relievers.
LH/RH splits also should be factored in. IP is an
indicator of whether a starting pitcher is ready for the full
major league season grind. Taking all of this into
consideration, stats become more important towards the upper
levels when a player starts reaching his ceiling. Conversely,
stats for high-school age players in their first year of pro
ball aren’t always very indicative of future performance.
Also, many players have “adjustment” periods when promoted to
each level to allow them to adjust to more advanced
competition, so stats early on at each level are discounted to
Age in and of itself won’t tell you a whole lot about a
prospect, but indirectly it’s a big factor in projecting
prospects. If a player is a lot younger than the general
track, he can be given some leeway to struggle and make
adjustments. If a player is old for his level, it's important
to look at the reasons why he is not being promoted, even if
he is dominating. In those cases, age is generally an
that there's something else going on that's keeping the
prospect off of the MLB track, such as concerns that his game
won’t carry over to higher levels. Here is an example of your
general MLB track – Level (Age):
SS-A (22), High-A/AA (23), AA/AAA (24); AAA/MLB (25)
SS-Rk/A (20), Low-A (21), High-A/AA (22), AA/AAA (23);
SS-Rk/A (18/19), Low-A (20), High-A (21), AA (22), AAA (23),
Obviously every player follows his own track, but this is a
general guideline that can indicate whether a player is behind
or ahead of the average MLB player track.
Experience goes hand-and-hand with proximity to the majors and
age. How has a player performed at the higher levels against
advanced competition? Has he had to repeat levels? Why? How
long of an adjustment period has he needed at each level?
These considerations factor into the analysis of how the
player may perform at the major league level.
A number of other secondary intangible factors may also be
considered, such as intelligence, decision-making ability,
clubhouse presence, maturity, game preparation, hustle,
confidence, intimidation factor, off-the-field responsibility, composure, and mound
presence. Some other tangible and semi-tangible factors that may be
considered include injury history, versatility, contract
status/options, and general trade value.
these are the general factors considered when this site attempts
to rank the top Red Sox prospects. As I’ve mentioned, the
prospect rankings are objective and often require one to balance
raw “potential” vs. major-league readiness, much as a scouting
director would have to consider when creating a draft board.
Ultimately, one might even look at the rankings as a type of
“draft board” – if these prospects all immediately became
eligible for some type of hypothetical expansion draft, in what
order would they be drafted? We’d like to think that the
rankings would be generally parallel to such a list.
What players are eligible to be ranked and what does PG mean?
"PG" means "Post-Graduated" Prospect - a minor-leaguer who has
graduated from prospect "status" due to exhausting his MLB
rookie eligibility, but who is still age 25 or younger. When post-grads are returned to the minors, they
into the rankings where they would have been ranked had they not
graduated, but not given an actual rank. For more info on
prospect eligibility and abbreviations, check out
About this Site.
Should prospects just be ranked in terms of signing bonuses?
Not really. However, signing bonuses, to some extent, show how
much value the Red Sox placed in a certain player when signed.
But there are a number of reasons why the amount of the bonus
does not exactly correspond to the rankings. International free
agents are on the free market while draftees cannot spar team
against team in a bidding war (they can only use their status as
a bargaining chip). College seniors have little bargaining power
- their options are to sign
or to stay home. Sometimes teams want to pay a lot for raw potential.
Some players value money above all else and some don't. Some
players have Scott Boras as an agent. Other kids don't even have
agents and just use their father as an advisor. Some high school
kids really want to go to college and can use that as an
effective bargaining chip, while others really just want to play pro
ball right out of high school and may not be able to use the
college leverage as effectively. That's just the tip of the
iceberg - there are a number of factors that go into determining
bonuses, and talent isn't always the sole determinate factor in
the bonus figure.
Message Board Questions
Why was my thread moved?
In all likelihood, your thread was moved or deleted because it
didn't fall in line with the
Ground Rules. That may be something innocent like starting a
thread on a topic that is already being discussed in its own
thread, or it may mean that you were purposefully acting
belligerent. Check out the ground rules or email me if you
have any further questions.
Will you be updating to a new message board platform?
The old EZBoard message board migrated to Yuku on November 5,
2007. We moved off of Yuku and onto Proboards on September 4,
there an ignore function on the message board?
Yuku does have an ignore feature.
How does one become a Moderator?
The Mods were promoted to Mods because they are the most
frequent and well-informed posters here. Their job is to make
sure the discussion stays on topic. (Technically I am a
moderator as well). Remember though, we are all just regular posters -
just because a Mod disagrees with your post it does not mean
that the Mod is always right and you are always wrong. None of
us have any magical powers, and we're wrong a lot of the time,
just like everybody is wrong a lot of the time. The Mods are
also on somewhat of a rotating schedule that may or may not
change a few times per year.
What's the deal with the
There are just two levels for non-staff members: Veteran
Members and Rookies. Some posters may also have their posting rights limited for
ground rules infractions. If you want to be have your
posting rights re-instated, just pay careful attention to the
quality of your contributions on the message board.
news reports on SoxProspects News trustworthy?
Yes. The news reported on SoxProspects News is not
the unconfirmed speculation or rumor that may be found on the
message board. SoxProspects News only reports confirmed news. When
I say confirmed, I mean either: (1) we received the news
directly from the player/his family, the Red Sox, or the minor league
affiliate; or (2) the report has been reported and/or confirmed
by another trustworthy news source. In the case of the latter, we will attribute the news story
to its source.
Who writes for SoxProspects News?
The lineup of writers and editors for SoxProspects News can be
found on the SoxProspects News page.
What the [bleep] is a Wiki?
A "Wiki" is a collaborative website whose content can be edited
by anyone who has access to it. Wikipedia is the most well-known
SoxProspects Wiki is a vault of Red Sox and Red Sox minor
league information that the SoxProspects.com community compiles
and shares online. Any members of the SoxProspects
community can have access to the Wiki by simply applying.
Can I contribute to the
Anyone can post on the SoxProspects Wiki. SoxProspects members
are encouraged to post or update any of the info there. All you
need to do is
sign up for posting and editing access.
If you've been thinking about pitching in,
please sign up! We really, really appreciate any help.
How do you
pronounce Chih-Hsien Chiang?
It's pronounced Chee-sin Chang. Pronunciations for certain
players' names are listed on their individual player pages.
Can I get in touch with the prospects through the site?
Where can I learn about MLB and minor league transaction rules?
The transaction rules are governed by the Major League Rules,
the CBA, and the Professional Baseball Agreement. In the
2008-2009 off-season, I completed a
Summary of the ML Rules.
If a prospect isn't on the 25 man roster on August 31, can he
still be on the playoff roster?
Players who are on the 25-man roster, the major league DL, or
the Bereavement List within a given organization on August 31
are eligible to be on that team's playoff roster. Other
players are generally not eligible to be on the playoff roster.
However, if a player in the organization is on the DL on August
31 and still on the DL at the end of the regular season, that
player may be replaced on the playoff roster by any
player that was in the organization as of August 31. For
example, any player on the 15-day or 60-day DL on both August 31
and the end of the season may be replaced by a minor leaguer who
may not have been on the major league roster as of August 31 (see
Jacoby Ellsbury in 2007). That replacing player does
not have to be a pitcher if he is replacing a pitcher, nor
does a position player have to be replaced a position player.
Once the playoffs start, if a player becomes disabled he can be
replaced by any player from the 40-man roster, even during
the series in which the player was injured. However, under those circumstances a pitcher must
be replaced with a pitcher and a position player with a position
player. Additionally, the replaced player may not be
activated for the remainder of the playoffs.