Sep 29, 2012|
Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett answers listener questions on a number of Red Sox prospects, including Matt Barnes, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, Anthony Ranaudo and many more.
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My early season is over the big league season is nearly over and so this show is almost over. So as we wrap things up who better to check in with the Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett the guy in charge of the farm system. Frankly I'm tired of my questions and I'm sure you are too so -- opened up this week for you guys to lead this conversation. And graciously offered to field your questions on the state of the Red Sox farm system as 2012 wraps up here he is. And thank you so much for joining really appreciate it. So as I said we'll get to a number of questions from our from our audience first of all we have a question from Tim Healey. Who asks about a popular -- namely. The killer -- quote unquote. I'm Matt Barnes Zander Bogart's Jackie Bradley junior price Brent -- medical order Tim -- asks which of those do you expect to have the biggest Major League impact. Are -- question now think I think we're ready to put put limitations and those guys they call for mentioned. -- have considerable upside and in and ability to pass on it so I think you know got off for the guys that. -- this year. Positioned themselves well -- one out there. What a cautious answer. Well before proceeding -- looks looks to give a bit on each of them to kind of get into the specifics of their seasons so Matt Barnes had a dominant first half and Greenville and Salem. And -- tailed off in the second half. I think I know the answer but it's worth asking which of those do you consider more representative in -- You know I think I com did you -- -- -- so I'll be dismissed either but I think you know I think probably the first half. Who would be more indicative of what we expect him in the future. You know due to. Him coming out strong and and for decried the this year and at that point and I think you know first make that transition up IAA. Continued to two -- -- -- well. And it -- it -- that a little bit of a wall and -- -- really had to adjust some things in -- although we viewed it on the historic issues all of which is being skipped. I'll you know we do you know particular has tried to work our way up immediately. Total that they may. You know I -- the big -- that they cannot be -- -- it well so you know -- I'm actually kind of -- starches you know it and so our starters and and start another that is due to calm. East village combination of things in any that it. And certainly in the grind and -- it on on something that. You know Matt. You know I had and you know I'd probably -- option now that -- good and strong and I think. Think I will be better or picture. Fastball curveball and changeup out of those three pitches great for him. Yeah I'm in a fastball. Oh fastball. Oh well but I urged that you know it is probably cups in the mid to upper nine. You can and you toward the end of the year news still reached back in. -- You are a more consistently probably 1994. But. A lot there. Our you know on that the break ball flashed above average are certainly something that few you know give -- interest. -- -- she. Moves the latter and better hitters but. You know at times as mr. which are. And -- change up somebody really had a whole lot early and actually. Didn't you know we try to incorporate -- some eagle putt but it was. It was topic. News perform so well. -- ball so I think actually checked out this proved to be a better. You do a better opportunity to use that pitched. More frequently and maybe more appropriately rather than forcing it because you know because. You execution all. It. Dirk earlier and here. Of course of course. Jackie Bradley junior that people were kind of drawing parallels to him just in terms of advancement with guys like Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury who took. You know no more than really a couple of years from the time they were drafted -- reached major leagues. How advanced is his approach both offensively and defensively. Argued very very I think we are that. No both both level this year in -- control strikes aren't well or have a as. Good. Yeah. Really you really carried on carried over from. Are you where you -- Numbers and double in his control while in embattled. Battle back strain Eric the end. Oh the as well you know on first or. At that point that was very opposite and he got me. Pretty similar you know above average arm. Beat probably averaged. Just just the boat but get. -- read. And jumps on the ball. That. Current sexual audible on the base. Of that quote on quote killer -- group given how he performed in college in what you saw this year. Does he look like the closest to the majors of -- I guess princes in AAA so that might be a little bit unfair but. Does Jackie Bradley junior look like he's close to capable of being an everyday center fielder in the big leagues. You know carry. I think. There's -- came at that. You're -- in and repetition but. Certainly. Roger out -- think -- too far away. Are things are dictated. Is by. Major League in. Certain situations there -- -- His control. How did price Brent suggest to advanced pitching in double -- and then at the end of the year in triple. -- know he Justin well yeah I think it is seen adjustment period he first got a you know you. A lot more speed than what you are as well as likely. He -- that he. Such a good year. Particularly with our numbers of three sheep. You know got a lot of. There would be people had to soak it you know earlier in the year you know a lot -- speed at -- -- -- You know can't make an adjustment at. It was able to actor in a pro opener of a slow start. Most are there so. You know and try associate at triple I -- really -- to air samples -- com. You're not according to judge make conclusions about -- draw conclusions about his future based on the ten play of teams that he had. Era is exactly I mean you know -- yeah very quick adjustment apparently. -- struggled just a regular season. In the -- About pretty well. Tickets. -- look at it you know it is -- it is continuing to learn not Gil earned some of the public. The thing that happened at the older in the big leagues how guys just. It to the individual -- and I think it's a bit. You know shock to some extent or generally double -- the -- -- -- -- -- -- because -- are -- pitches until it just to. And not. You know get to triple -- Unfortunately. It at least a few games and trying to figure out what the deal you know that'll get more -- You know get more. Or triple -- archer the big. More. Pretty. Pretty specifics -- They're talking to Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett about the Red Sox farm system at the end of the 2012 season. We had a number of questions about -- Bogart's no great surprise that there would be high interest in him. Mike -- -- wonders via Twitter. Will Zander -- see action in the big leagues and when he thirteen or has he positioned himself for such a rapid call up. Yeah. Make this kind of production. -- There are certain standard and your team but. No doubt he made. And impressed this year -- -- transition. Or. Recently but you know -- limited a good example when he went schemes in Portland. You know I think there's certainly uses more more development time there. What you know. He's pretty special special player person. Be handled that kind of transition. In. They've got. He as he put it out -- to kind of an extraordinary transition in in certain respects two double A he had basically an extra base hit per game he didn't walk I don't think or maybe he walked once or twice. Over the course of that period and not in Portland when you see a player making that adjustment. Between levels especially as a younger player and a league and in -- was in -- the youngest position player in in the Eastern League. Do you expect there to be a kind of lag time in terms of plate discipline and that sort of thing. They certainly can't be I mean acting he'd get it to when he examples so -- top. You know stop and make. To extrapolate too much from and you know certainly showed more. Or on Gilbert air. Yeah. I think. Eric in Portland there was be sure from -- on your early -- walked in terms and not not when it. -- -- bolt out of zone but you know also -- up a double play it. Not -- struggled so the army in a short importantly. Did you. You know just watched them -- What. Do you. You know if he -- Joba. I'd expect I would expect that you know that's Peru and it's certainly a you know it is. Still he's work on. Again this is -- under Bogart's up part of the program Matt grammar I'd be wonders what factors will go into the question of his ability to stay at shortstop. And if that cut if that is a conversation. When would you have it about when it would be appropriate to have in a position change. You know I don't think there's there's -- set time for purposes change now it is time. It to do it I think each situation. Individually but the first Ender in particular well and I don't think -- we have too many questions. On -- short stop at this point you know he's. He's continued to show. Quite a bit of development defense. The fundamental. -- in an active continue to improve and still are. Still got a ways to go it can change improvement. Access. Feel pretty good about him in short I think. Again things change up things things changes. On and usually need impending. You know pending. -- Changes in size and things like that but. You know it is enter. Able to get stronger this offseason. Maintain his speed agility I think that's a monster board and continue to focus on. You know he really believes there. That is very important part is. And is worked out -- So there was no thought to sending him to win her body giving him to in two different time. At at different positions at this juncture. Now now we. He's given us no reason at this point. -- Did you look more like a shortstop this year than he did a year ago. I've got and so -- and I think coming away particularly -- back -- years urgent -- up. I'll you know it just he -- you might expecting you'll hear your players much shortstop or certain. You know is -- or act and has organized level. You know those guys. It's plated. In the states -- upper. Maybe in the Dominican. Off. From a young age and I think he. Really just just it was it was very raw potential. And you know Andy fox and the coaching staff sees he's worked. You know at each level of done a really good job. Popped up owning you know hone those skills making him you know more fundamentally sound which is allowed is what it is you know to come out and to be a lot more consistent than. What more related question there's been some public dialogue about whether or not the Red Sox are quote and quote too conservative and advancing prospects. To the majors and you know I think -- that's driven in part by the fact that you have. These special special you know extraordinary for their generation talents in Mike Trout Bryce Harper Manny Machado -- like that. Coming up in contributing to contending teams. -- the Red Sox haven't had anyone who fell into that nineteen to 21 year old class really come up to make an impact in quite some time. But why why is that why hasn't -- been some guy like that from from the Red Sox system does that reflect philosophy or does that reflect or does that reflect. The the nature of -- are what you have in the majors or what you've had in the minors. Two should take how many actual policy. Explicitly -- -- exits -- BC ABC and giving a lap there now I think. You know I. Traditionally on the -- Over the over the last ten years -- so that you know -- -- and you know extremely competitive. And while certainly I think maybe batting this year. Those guys you know be on. There and on have been on. In general I think it's harder break that you know break any young player in this situation. And also some not based on need of those so. That it does that provide. Provided upgrade on an error at twelve under. -- exit now so I think becoming of those things where you also look at. This -- under. A pretty elite talents. You know were able to succeed. At every level I think in general. Our teams are our young for their level and on through it my team. With the couple. It youngest in my youngest couple of public and barely arm at any given time so I think it's it's kind of now you -- Glad you watch out got. Are you know you don't wanna push guys over there and they're gonna. You know they're gonna stale. And potentially have to take a step so so it did you know -- -- ballots. Certainly exact stats but it parts of tried to. You know push guys to a place where. You know whereas now it -- did you know home whenever skills that they need to improve com. It also can beat you don't play there. Both have a chance to succeed but also you know our our our challenge at all so thanks you know if you look at just it's. Our or one particular. To that add up to it is very well. And that's what types other other there's other parts of the game that they made. It work at whatever oh era. We're talking with the Red Sox director of player development and Crockett let's open it up to a broader group of prospects obviously. As much attention as the quote unquote killer b.s do you guys use that to refer to them in the office or no. -- Okay it was used by Larry Lucchino and a recent WEEI interviews so it go look maybe it's made headway India. In the organization by I publicly if it's a good way of group of summarizing a guess four guys have been really impressive -- your farm system runs a little deeper than four guys so we have some questions about the rest. Chris -- -- via Twitter. What did you see in Michael elements is progress this year he certainly had one of the more impressive statistical leap forward of anyone in your system. And Chris also asked was there any consideration to moving him to double way what are the developmental. There is a focus for him going forward. -- there requests and cut it yeah you know you know that. At every definitely one of the more work at the biggest improvement from my outlet you know and we have a system this year really. Tribute to Michael and the progress he made I played particularly defensively -- -- this is pretty huge 2000 -- Well -- You know I think it's eateries a couple of gives you EU's. Plant in -- stage and he's actually awful awful at age seventeen. Great also to that in a situation where you would see how he uses put an. A place where he was challenged and and it didn't go quite as well it's you know as he would hope and I think you counted cattle but because of that it. You know this year I. If you small mechanical adjustments but more than a hectic at the plate. Did a really good job especially in his approach technical field. And trying to do not trying to be too much not trying to hit home runs in. As a result in. Or that -- hit an -- season by a small -- but certainly. You know Petr. Our approach in that era on base. On base skills and each -- -- so overall I think it was. You know I think it the dirty -- ability to you know that it takes to stay focused on on the session. Not that early results are the courses. -- where -- go well early on the east a consistent. You know what -- approached. And -- -- throughout the course of the year. -- didn't. Didn't really stop them on mr. Rodriguez. Worked with him throughout the course of the year. You know certain very nice to see it and it just short. I'm exactly as you know -- performs you know reforms and Elway certainly. Was in the discussion. All will be at the edge of the double. You know at the end of the day eight he put a pretty good season together and a pretty good about. Letting him and he's on -- I'd note. How you know have a have a a solid year on plays and he's actually to -- quality. This year to compete. In the competed to deal is -- Any other surprise entrance into the Arizona Fall League beyond those were initially announced there. -- shot. Pulled out bullied so. I think he was gave his. Oh lead addition for us tradition says a British branch. That's the -- What does it okay he would on the initial fear was that think they're cute -- that's up. On road -- and not pitchers -- Sleek. Chris Martin lead and upper cuts or return this year. Pitcher goes a reliever or starter. Without with elements are you mentioned you mentioned finishing on a good note. I think he set up the last game of the season after his batting average reached 300 on the penultimate day of the season. -- how often do you care about statistical markers you know nice round numbers. We felt with minor leaguers and which ones would be. Who would would kind of play a role in determining that very end of season high note to leave on. Yeah at the top -- I don't think now we we put much it any stock into it certainly that. You know. From players on techniques you know -- expect more a personal a personal goal mark stepped right. There are real want it it -- be evaluated that she actually did hugely different jokes. Top yeah I'll take a -- summit which put too much into it -- -- Jason. You know. Some one -- -- to -- a lot now likely to potentially could. Well it's I mean certainly the fact that he ends the year hitting and I realized batting averages and you know it's far far far from the DL and ultimate. To have a year in which she hit 301 year removed from having hit less than 200 certainly test skill and good for him. And next question comes from Timothy -- who wonders where things stand with Anthony Varnado. Where his performance struggles solely a product of injuries or to the concerns run deeper. Yeah you know I think he questioned on an opening -- think obviously it's on your program. Or. Pitching. Really really well the first two victory. In spring training in -- with. You know. And they coaching out. Of the church circles here kind of create a little bit of a bargain in Iraq. I think back in the injuries hampered him. Drought. That -- Last year. That really in trouble finding -- -- and I think -- was necessarily hurt erupted pitched but I think action packed. -- really. Yeah Turks have term from getting into the rhythm of normal season. Didn't get extra easier but unfortunately. Due to extended it to go -- billed as well let. On to get the same progression you know that that others -- yet. Com you know on and started to you know which which helps -- -- and double duty. On. I think I think it was you know she's certainly. You know certainly. Did didn't go as planned or Anthony but do you think. So he's Clark. Battered instructional league now. -- not really get it and and will be game. You haven't gotten any any velocity readings on him to -- -- I don't run game so I yet put them there will be a beer and. James Crawford notes that both Mora Gomez in JC Linares are kind of older players in fact. Interestingly enough they were both born on the same day September 7 1984. Where are they in their player development paths in how do you assess quote unquote prospect status for older players like that. I mean both guys -- you know book book hasn't -- and a triple -- big league level -- mean -- You know -- you sit -- and contribute. A lot sooner and you know it was. What are kind of a different the different situation for us where you know we got to that point five. And is. Development in the minor leagues. You know it really only pupil you're in it. -- foresee either you know -- all of them 121. Full season for him because it you know injury right April so. Yeah. He really hasn't. It played committee games you know hundreds if you're so games sessions. It's the Red Sox system. And -- you know it is -- -- Has progressed very well and context certainly is someone that you know it could push because you start off a lack complex. You know he's it is certainly -- abilities that -- You know Buchanan -- certainly. A whole utterly confused between Portland Pawtucket I caught a cup situation not to been a year where. Yeah others should outfielders. That we -- -- -- double -- -- a -- only kinda squeezed out the Portland but he'll. Extremely professionally. Outlet pass on him. And -- all of us as he should. But the -- thing to do I think maybe. A disappointment and AAA. Team when you're finished you know -- the year before. -- you know I am extremely well just just want to play understood it. You know the most important thing is I was getting at that. Really attribute. To have his work ethic his character you know upset about it on. Showed that he deserved to be triple had to get an opportunity to. And it's interesting because you know you talk about that disappointment of being kind of a sign perhaps to a level below where his where he was capable playing. -- do you do you air on one side or another with regards to. Pushing -- -- -- -- -- we were -- or pushing a guy not too fast but pushing a guy to place where it's possible that he might face initial struggles. Vs letting him. Almost over right -- and become you know until he's like man what am I going to be moving up that level which is from a player development standpoint which is the more difficult thing to manage. Or turn our thinking in Carolina. That we fairly. Early. At the OJ yeah it -- a little bit. You know probably a little misleading terms it is it is an expert and -- in this case I think it was you know a little. That that the challenges they've gone to Portland this case or probably more -- I'll -- so the topic actually had a triple. That either -- -- support your team -- -- -- -- do we feel teacher for I'll speed -- opera. Travel all -- year war -- Pop -- to -- play you know between double feature player we like. It was a huge difference. A lot or would be -- we can't -- that -- -- match. Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett is -- your questions John Cullen via email asks to what would you attribute the inability to develop and John is -- apparently not not impressed but think what's going on he asks to what would you attribute the inability to develop pitching. At the minor league levels. And he knows that there were few homegrown prospects this year in AAA. I'll give you an opportunity to rebut the -- the premise if you would like as well as the overall question or perhaps you. You do think that there's something to that. Yeah tactic you know looking at I think he's right in terms of looking at the -- -- roster now certainly there were there order. Any. It is it is maybe we typically have. You know I think it's a combination of -- change about -- You know development and also support and occasionally he. You know we we have an agent trades. Last couple years. Oh -- -- -- They're not have been out there that Major League triple. Next or were other. I'll -- -- not the time. Were. You know guys that we moved. Up to may be batters so. You know I I think that. Looking at a on the surface where there are certainly you know like it or were probably you're. Your -- guys -- on the triple to start the year than normal would be but I think. Be surprised that continues. He's going forward. Number of guys that pretty. Rangers and or. With regards to the Major League level you guys had two bronze -- -- solid this year. And -- is it you know kind of really establishing their Major League few rolls from going forward I think released their and their Major -- abilities going toward. Is that a successful -- for farm system to be able to you know from the pitching side to be able to say. You know we -- there's an impact arm from the bullpen there's an impact starter. -- asked -- if we if we do that every year where were I think Purdue and or. Or pretty good shape I think you know I guess they get more Hogan held a triple -- church split. But here I mean as well obviously made a huge step forward this year. -- Established. You know -- -- you know pitched in the big -- pitcher be ominous. And -- Brock is well you know he's obviously he's got a little bit more time my. You know the big leagues are kind of on that ratings are up and down but -- You're certainly you know certainly a positive out from that standpoint you know this was there those two guys in the big east. It's not every every year that your are able to you have two guys like that. Stepped forward. Ryan of Red Sox that's dot com he apparently goes by that is his last name recalls your predecessor Mike Hazen. Raving about Zander Bogart's about two years ago based on what he did in the DSL in the Dominican Summer League. He wonders whether there is comparable excitement about center fielder Manuel Marco in what planes there might be for him in to play in the states in 2013. -- Manuel and sight and structurally that's right now in Florida and crash. Mr. Berger what are. He's you know topic did you not be pretty intimidating coming from Dominican academy -- stage for the first time -- a year. You're you're playing in facilities that are pretty it -- -- -- -- and in jetBlue park. Mean it's skated today and play at Tropicana Field Camara. Ominous trot out you know trying to. Which came exceed it really helpful or. And it in front of the coaches. Are you a lot a lot of places that it you know got. -- -- -- -- -- He's got preached -- -- It's. Sort of pats need to. The essentially. Pretty press -- He's a pretty assists and strikes on. -- -- -- We're down to a last few questions with Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett. We had won not one reader who is I guess anonymous asking about Tom house Colbern Vick doing and what does he need to do to kind of get back on on the prospect track. All our corporate pro wrestling he's progressing well he is. You know just challenging and probably strained that it's take a dollar deal and then. It must hope that can kind of recaptured it there when he came back in Portland so -- basic furcal or assist get a chance to be helping him and and play. He he really is. Did not. Burke. You know minute and number. That that. You're certainly in. You know last year his first. First full season you know who's pushed. And you know which it but challenger level. Or for guys or -- so you know I think our. Matter of him getting and yeah get comfortable getting back in the everyday. Every day -- -- of course. This year and tend. I -- -- single -- it getting to -- aggressive. Aggressive approach you know as a not a pressure. I'm Tim Lawrence notes that amidst the flurry of strong performances -- -- -- who ended up hitting 305 with a 394 on base percentage in 51 steals. Wasn't moved up to Salem as a 21 year old why not he wonders. -- I give you guys I don't know that that. It's all about. It's all about. That performance -- similarly to all of our results. Are out. -- it was putting together very very good people see that I had a chance to -- You know if you -- are really high note -- Greenville. News first time out of -- short season. Ken Caminiti -- thirty you know thirty. Or soccer. -- a -- -- to -- and yeah exactly exactly. And didn't get the players here because. He had an injury. Sure that there really part about it is this year she's a really hasn't played much in the previous two years. Ops so it'll all righty who made this picture that you really really depressing here development electric and it comfortable. Him you know -- particular. The out of the last kind of area of question is from nick who goes by the Twitter handle -- an -- I don't know what that means. How has the increased media coverage and -- awareness of prospects to change the player development job description. I can -- easy descriptions all of us I think it does she -- the expectations I think if you make things more challenging for the the player more than anything else because. -- it's probably hard not view of what could push it. And hard yet you know concrete or you know ignore. Where you know where it all on. You know on the prospect lists that they've come out so I think it's you know it's tough for the players. You know they'll block it out earlier than. You know whether -- somebody is -- number one and a walk up I get your score you're number team prospector twenty prospect. Here. You know above that and then you know it -- just kind of couldn't putting kind of unnecessary. Expectations one way or the other on is -- an artist and I think it's I can also be a benefit because. It -- guys so little bit to let you know what they're gonna see potential go different different expert opinion scrutiny. And you know the attention given -- market so you know I think while. It may be more anxious. For the players develop I think. That's awareness and a public -- Is this something that. Does he does in some small way prepared them or up for what they're gonna chase Austin. How different has it I mean you're not that far removed from here on pro playing career you came up to the Rockies system for a number of years played with some very good prospects guys like Ubaldo Jimenez has coming up. How how different is the attention that does that your farm system is receiving now. Verses what guys would face coming up in the Rockies system a decade ago. Yeah yeah it means I think back and you had a baseball America you know -- then got to Wear that but I think. You know aside from that you know you deal with the local paper -- You didn't get -- -- -- think -- are getting too many questions. Now coming down from Denver. -- -- you know coming space on the proximity of our affiliates to -- and what you again as. You know it probably should look at it in terms of -- -- -- -- arm regularly coming expectations and pressures to go all that so. I guess I do think it's and some help take that off and portion they -- can catch up. Portion of sort of material on players. Is matches are grown significantly. You know since that time but. You know it's stability Lucy was probably just beginning at that point but it starts are more. More. Available for these guys. You didn't have any teammates who could tweak. I'm not at that point now. It is an immediate information makes things peaking it just -- You've -- guidance to the guys in your system about doubt about Twitter. I actually -- -- we. You know we've we've got some some pretty good examples. We've been able to show guys and that doubt that they are the -- air being followed that they need to be speaker although we've been lucky and anybody. -- anything appropriate error -- anything. That did you know maybe. -- -- -- -- do things like that certainly those are the types of things that we talk about what you know. Tackle to follow up luck. Problem from tell what guys are tweeting about it personalized comedy airport for some of them. Yeah you that you carried hear about it you know from you know plumber or a -- reporter asking. You know jeez does this mean he's you know be transferred or is he. Or released or something like that. Maybe it. Chris -- up at the airport. So yeah it is important for those guys -- just understand that it did you know hey just that people are listening in what are you gonna say well it's. You know your -- there what -- Announces it becomes an issue to -- -- -- in other that evened the -- -- armor you just need to be comfortable with Gregory. I guess it's worth asking when -- questioned your wrapping up your first year as the Red Sox director of player development. What's it been like what's out west and as expected what's been unexpected. And how do you feel the state of the system is now that it has the Ben Crockett imprint on it one year and I can tell all credit if you would like to by the way for the progress of the entire system. It's absolutely absolutely excellent book it built it from the ground up well this year. -- it's I think -- very tough. Taking orders system that was in in very good. In -- Programs in the structure that they have been in place here for you know for quite sometime in my. Our starter. Arsenal poured everything we deal that's. Really they get credited you know attempted to abandon and Mike isn't a force in putting a lot you think the other and and saying it up you know two runners at this as well doesn't. And you could give the structure and and it says they get so. On top players -- you know it's been a positive year I'm not my heart a lot. You know try to you know try to make adjustment just for this year and Tom you know register -- keep getting better Axelsson and try to. -- -- it puts -- an implicit can help -- -- our our staff teach some players aren't. The development of player development there and -- -- thanks so much for joining this has been great. Thanks so much to Ben Crockett for all of his thoughts. The shot -- -- my producer -- -- who's been invaluable over the course of the season into others who helped the show. Jason -- Steve -- show Michael barker and rob Bradford. Thanks again to all of you who submitted questions for this week -- are in contact over the course of this season I really appreciate it. In thanks also to those of you who listened throughout its been a blast. They're four and a half months until spring training stay warm.