Evaluators analyze prospects coming to Boston


Evaluators analyze prospects coming to Boston

Around baseball, most talent evaluators see the block-buster deal between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers as a clear win for the Sox -- if only because of the salary relief (nearly 260 million) the Sox are realizing.

"I'm like...wow!'' said one veteran scout when told how little the Sox were paying on the money due to Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.

But there's another component, too: five players will eventually head to the Red Sox from the Dodgers. Three -- first baseman James Loney; pitcher Allen Webster; and infielder Ivan DeJesus -- were identified.

Two more will be transferred once the season ends, since waivers couldn't be obtained on them.

We asked around baseball for some observations on the four minor leaguers. Here are their thoughts:

1BOF Jerry Sands.

Evaluator No. 1: "He has big-time raw power, but he hasn't been able to put it together.''

Evaluator No. 2: "He's a pretty good sized guy, but not a great athlete. He's a fringe guy at best. Even thought he's righthanded, he reminds me of a lefthanded-type hitter -- a low-ball hitter. He could use a change of scenery.''

Evaluator No. 3: "He's got pretty good power from the right side, but he doesn't have a position to play. He doesn't run well. I see him as a marginal guy. Maybe he could be a platoon guy, but he's inconsistent. The (Triple A) numbers are skewed -- he has too many holes and major league pitchers will find those if you pitch him correctly.


Evaluator No. 1: "He can played second and short OK, and maybe a little third. I think second is probably his best position.''

Evaluator No. 2: "I'm sure (the Red Sox) see him as an insurance guy. If you have injuries, you can bring him up and he won't hurt you. I don't see him as a regular, but he's not a bad guy to have around.''

Evaluator No. 3: "I remember seeing him at shortstop and he was OK. But he had (a leg injury) and he's never run well since. He's a marginal guy, an extra guy at the big league level. He has a little thump with the bat, but something's missing. He's not an everyday guy.''

RHP Rubby De La Rosa

Evaluator No. 1: "I saw him when he was healthy (before undergoing Tommy John surgery). His fastball, even when hitters knew it was coming, they couldn't catch up. He's a real power arm. Whether he's a starter or not I don't know, but he could definitely be a tail-end reliever. The fastball is his key pitch and for a guy throwing as hard as he was, his command was pretty good. There's no reason he shouldn't help the club.

Evaluator No. 2: "I like him a lot. There's a lot there. The key will be how is he coming off surgery. Sometimes you have to take a chance on those guys, and he's one of those guys.''

Evalautor No. 3: "I saw him starting, but I have him projected as a bullpen guy. He's a legit power guy. The ball gets on the hitter real quick. He can come in and throw the ball by you for an inning with no trouble.''

RHP Allen Webster

Evaluator No. 1: "I haven't seen much of him, but I know the Dodgers loved him. I'm a little surprised. (Our club) tried to make a deal for him earlier and were told they wouldn't let him go''

Evaluator No. 2: "He's the best guy in the deal for me - a power arm. He's mostly fastball and changeup. I think he's had some command issues, but that's not unusual at this stage (Double A). I've seen him throw 96 mph.''

Evaluator No. 3: "I like his mechanics. I saw him in April and he was pretty consistently 95 mph. I really like him. For a guy with his stuff, his record isn't very good. He's got better stuff than his numbers. But he's got a chance to be a top-of-the-rotation guy, probably a No. 2. And there's not many of those guys around.''

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.