Jun 28, 2014|
Mookie Betts has been called up from Pawtucket, and could be facing the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka in his first at-bat. Alex Speier has been following this Red Sox prospect since he was in Single A, and talks about what Red Sox fans can expect.
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Six -- 777979837379837. We haven't got to a lot of -- we will in a bit meanwhile let's check in with. WEEI dark come baseball writer reporter extraordinaire. Alex spear and Alex I'm telling you right now. Larry Johnson is in the state of. Well I'm sure he's not alone and I let -- keep that is probably pretty works it well but but certainly you know it's it's intriguing at a time when. When the Red Sox suggestions so so very listless. Ostensibly -- and everything they've done you know the idea of having a guy who's been. Pretty remarkable in terms of how it moved up the -- someone who's been a great energy player. In terms of I impacting the game and every phase. The idea of adding him to the Red Sox right now -- welcome for a lot of people. But this this sounds like deja Vu all over again did they say that about certain now third baseman for the big club just about a year ago. Well sure I think it indicate that -- Bogart's I think it's a progression itself was a little bit more conventional. With. It was certainly more deliberate and it was less in response to. -- to retire circles -- and than this one but yeah I mean you know look. In a -- moved through the have moved through the system in the startling pace. Having gotten the big leagues as a twenty year old signing as a sixteen year old rookie that's the fastest guy to come out of high school or to be drafted out of high school by the Red Sox. And reached a Major League in more than two decades the last time that there are guys who came up high school and got a big -- three years after being drafted. Went back in 1990 -- they would still and here. Alex are great job covering this as you have done. I was fascinated did that we're ready -- article on John -- on WEEI dot com in which he said. -- some point in time that's probably will be called bop but not in the -- immediately. And then we have the story coming out today. That he's being called up well is that because it they've finally seen enough of these three hit game performances are what would be the reason in your opinion. Yeah I think -- they were just kind of covered themselves when when John Farrell said. At this moment we're not going to make a roster move last night that brokered in the literal sense that was true -- that that team has been in that John Farrell patents -- down yet. With bench Harrington and the other key decision makers ought to make thrust of their work there or couple things that they had to get certain to be able to make us what was. They had to be in a position where they could send down. Or at least change the changed the complexion. They're pitching staff are meant there were some questions about whether or not everyone was going to be helped you not make. To make his next start I think it might get some -- that primarily referred to Jake Peavy and whether or not his groin issue that he's been doing with a minor one. Might force him to -- to first start. Our exact kind of explain why ruby del -- was being kept up -- picnic roster organ at the big debate topic you're comfortable enough to keep the in this is this is somewhat speculative someone based on un sourced information. It does that they're ready to send ruby Doris down get back to thirteen position players have a roster spot. For rookie Batman yeah I mean they've seen. They've they've seen an offense that is just lifeless. It has been. Well it twelve times in the last eighteen games this court to work -- -- that's just staggering and the that's. Ridiculous really didn't -- that team that has. -- the kind of offensive track record that it does in granted there's some that you don't have very established track record but a lot of them do there's no way that they should be scored at level. But clearly if you just watched the team and you know just see so little energy. So little dynamism. They they had to do something and it changed the mix and get some kind of a last shot to make Iran. But it between now and in the July 31 straight -- Alex a lot people have theories Pedro trotted out while they're tired from all those games they've played in October. School of thought we've heard that in a variety scenarios Miami was to retire this year. Compete in the NBA finals after two straight championships too many. Post season series. What is your theory as to why everything is seemingly gone wrong so far. A Q&A key component to that I do think that there's. You know it but I think that's legitimate that the -- of an extra month of baseball last year manifests itself -- much into probably bear the greatest evidence of that. Is perhaps a guy like Shane Victorino. Being unable just not being ready to answer the bell. Upper for most of this year haven't I just 21 games but honestly I would have expected that should be visible more in the pitching staff that -- that we have seen it a bit with. With Clay Buchholz and his difficulty just -- year. But but by and large you know the pitching staff has been the strength of the team. So I think there are some of the things obviously -- Greets you and across the board last year and I think that's just not the norm that you get that performing Q and above their career track records. Up and down the roster so that here they've they've had to deal with some uncertain performance certain facts. You know bi mart circuit you guys were underperforming their career track records were just similarly rare but you know it's. This is this is kind of the luck of the draw over the course of time. You know good lucky and that was bad they general summer baseball into the Red Sox are experiencing that pendulum with a lot of guys underperforming right now I'm -- You know it and I also feel like the talent spread in Major League Baseball. It's pretty narrow like the Red -- -- 97 win team last year but that doesn't mean that they were like light years ahead of other achieved in terms of talent. It meant that maybe they were consistently a little bit about you so you take a couple performances to drag things down and you can have a pretty drastic change -- Which is why we are writing three books to an accurate here right now if you direct stock finished in last place. Go to -- when a championship in now going back. Side going back to two last -- for a place like upgrades have been terrible. Through this stretch of the season. Alex we're do you in your opinion we we UC terrorists -- using him in terms of as a position player. And can you give us a brief scouting report on him as a hitter you talk about our yup -- -- Well I I assume. Barring some injury don't know about what the Victoria there's there are -- so he thought the dirt of course the possibility that. That there's been a major look adorable -- that we know about so well assumed that -- that's coming up play the outfield. -- caterpillar playwright -- that was due to position which is just huge exposure. I do think that primarily we're going to see him at least starting out in center field brought all right. I give him that holds it seemed pretty comfortable up there -- a two game in right. And has mostly been working -- -- I think it I think it work or to see Jackie Bradley juniors playing time dwindle here are up for a little while that's getting the call. And it obviously they're not going to be compromising -- -- lineup. For goodness -- she did their best player Parnell aspire. Parliament in terms of starting report about what that is a little guy he's five foot nine weighs wait about a hundred that we are around the site you'll be weighed about one to -- our. Which explain why it really its first professional -- and lol you're just getting singled and getting walks and looked like maybe get my immediate future that they. You look at the stat line which. Which featured nine extra base hit I -- play -- any game you thought. Maybe could be a utility player in the big leads one. He added about twenty pounds of muscle and strength. Between that first that first -- he's been. And last year when Iran wouldn't start the year in single a Greenville and then boom all of a certain. After about a month -- -- it's -- about -- with greater confidence. And you know and applying some of that strength to really impact the ball he has an incredible at an incredible all right great. Strike zone judgment really really really good hand eye coordination. Into an ability to keep that at going to the strike zone for a long long period of time. I'm so it goes straight talk combined to allow him to hit per average in the at that hand eye coordination. To get walks -- that strike out a lot because he has really good pitch recognition and plate discipline. In -- drive the ball because. Even though he's just a little guys -- for nine he's wiry strong. Just like and that quick twitch in other quick twitch boss Lafley. Who because of that nature of the fat plain and bat after the strike zone. It people apparel ball all over the strike zone which is what you'll see in the shooting doubled into the right field corner as well never -- well turn out ball. In driving on the part so. In the sense that -- meteoric I mean really no one expected amazing better better with every level that he's played. He's -- less power -- -- pocket but he still been getting base every game that he's been there and the Red Sox desperately need that kind of consistent press. Where would you then again I know you don't know but I'm saying if you worthy the manager we would you hit him in the lineup. For starters are probably putting him down toward the bottom of the order it's not a number straight guys in -- The bottom you might need to number nine spot that might be around you know upper number eight number seven depending on the left right balance of your lineup. But you start out there and then it's kind of like buckle you know Rockwell joined the Red Sox. He was sitting at the bottom of the order and then nobody else really getting out of the top of the order so their lineup. Little up -- or they're moving up and. So I just don't know what MMS which Stephen Drew that's not an outlet especially to get that big -- last night. I mean we simply -- -- but yeah I mean he's you know going back so let's just hope you meet it and let something like 12125. Over the course so. Over the course of more than a hundred plate appearances. But you know pets but they will struggle look the reality that we also have to face. Is that as good a prospect -- the is -- now what about. What of the best in the game. He very well that they transitional difficulties. And you don't want him you you want him to kind of you know placed the lineup. Where there's that and there's that I understand it that's okay they're there are other -- -- impact in this well. Whether it's with Europe but this is the month defense whether Twitter page running in the -- can be a dynamic player. And of course that transition all law difficulty is increase because he's facing a pretty good pitcher if he starts tonight. Yeah absolutely a guy who I mean there are there are not teachers in AAA or double or single high. But that have a split finger fastball like let's not clear it's not -- going to be presenting to move Tibet so. -- it is going to be you know this is the belt works going after the big league is not say from AAA. Is not a Linear progression it's getting blasted it with a fire hose my mouth and you really hope that you're able to hurt him. It it is a challenging -- in transition. And you -- that you're able to kind of be able that take that first hit. And be able to maintain your balance and in -- and rookie that's been extraordinary for the fact that whatever tradition -- made over the course of the last fourteen months. Fifteen months he's been able to do that but that's no guarantee that they'll be able to get the sense its its job. Last question for our last question from me is of any concern about ball got. Certainly. Short term and short term there's certainly concern because he's Ewing accompanied that he never dealt with before. -- more prolonged struggle -- you never before experience like if you look at the worst. Month coming up to the minors there were some unfortunately. To ten with seven homers in the -- So so this is a little bit unprecedented. Up from the standpoint of what he's facing him in all likelihood. The shot that it's delivering to -- confident. But longer term note this the really Smart guy. Who adjusts certain level every time. Let along track record of doing so. And you know and -- you do worm will turn with an undervote currencies too talented too good. For that not dedicate new equipment land -- -- might it might take a little while more by but I think if there's universal. A universal sentiment among discovered you both within and outside courts are -- addition it will ultimately be signed. So apparent 21 year olds in the starting line up potentially tonight the future has arrived Alex it sounds like to make. Q 21 year old in the lineup tonight when you think about folk -- -- -- -- with a -- that and and that so you know this is. The Red Sox have a belong and could envision this you know being an organization out -- a starting player development machine. That's the first time that the middle of the pennant race in the middle of the season. They're really going to be leaning on that very. All right good stuff Alex appreciate it. But now I don't care job Alex beard WEEI dec com rob baseball writer extraordinary an expert obviously. Unlucky that's.