WEEI>On Demand>>Minor Details Ep. 99: 2014 Down on the Farm Player and Pitcher of the Year

Minor Details Ep. 99: 2014 Down on the Farm Player and Pitcher of the Year

Sep 2, 2014|

With the minor league season wrapping up, Minor Details recognizes and checks in with its Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year, left-hander Brian Johnson, and Player of the Year, second baseman/outfielder Mookie Betts.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

We've arrived largely at the end of the minor league season and with that we have a couple milestones to cross. First this will be the last episode of the show carried on the -- this season. That we will have a few more minor details podcast to come on the following Sunday's lest anyone presumably with me is the most likely candidate suffer from withdrawal or disorientation. Secondly. It's time to start taking stock of the events that transpired in the minor league system. We'll check in with the number of Red Sox front office members to do so in the coming weeks on the podcast. But this week represents a chance to celebrate some of the most spectacular player performances this year in the system. So will declare that WEEI dot com pitcher and position prospect of the year. For starters the pitcher. An era when Henry Owens cemented his status is the top pitcher in the organization in what at the top left handers in the minors. It's somebody extraordinary that another prospect had at least arguably the better year. Left hander Brian Johnson a 20121. Rounder did just that he was a little short of amazing. The health questions that surround him and when he thirteen. -- recovered from getting hit in the face by a -- that wrecked his offseason work out program shoulder tendinitis early in the year that like a Rose from that same offseason. -- problem. We're behind him in with that Johnson produced a season of effective dominance with shocking consistency. Consider. In 21 of his final 22 starts Johnson allowed two or fewer earned runs he had a one point 75 ERA in double A Portland. Put another way virtually every time he went to the mound he not -- Davis to institute his team a chance to win but he looked a lot like a big leaguer so. What aspect of -- here to Johnson drive the greatest satisfaction from. Although that it should they just. To name I think the biggest thing commute up voters. You know being like him a chance every might take the mound bombs I give my team a chance to win. That's my biggest court commented about what are. You know one of the score or others what are you might get involved in our Uga. Into the game of my team that was our chance. You are closing in on -- innings you know I think we're probably closing in on double the innings that you had a year ago. How how much of you just enjoyed but this this is the first time in your life you've been able to have a full year. As a pitcher end as as one who's who's healthy and on the -- every five days but I've been like. It. I hit exactly know once you are not -- people all year around it and and about where I guess not it's not -- are all your round you're. It got attacked hitters. I've had an idea sir it's a bomber drove a normal day and major my normal based on routine and and on our biggest outcome -- -- Enjoy every minute other. Are you feeling the weight and you as you as you get ready to cross a 140 innings -- are you feeling that. Are you know you are still great I don't feel. I mean I could you I mean. My last start about him in the dugout and out at least -- -- I'm just you know it's normal talk in what Bjorn. Could not be back to back up there are not a lot I thought -- item. You know I should stick out and work it out of a result Nazis in the results and you know trust in the system and -- are -- And my fitness and in the regular -- save your more upper operable or -- this year. -- results have been startlingly consistent throughout the year you know starting with when you get to -- -- on that nice run in in Salem and and straight through the promotion through the promotion to double -- you never really had a -- up. Has it felt like you've been the same pitcher at the route or have there been. Different periods of the season in which you've been able to in which you kind of focused. I developmentally under some things different you know perhaps there was a period where you lost feel for -- pitch and you had as a result emphasized life it's a little bit differently. No yeah I -- I came down I think basically what that article in time about we start stretch that I didn't you'll. Explain ideas -- what their club or in rental market but that's what critics strategy over the bunker and a little bit. And got in my club although it wasn't. I'm like -- -- you look at the field herded and I really heard much ate a lot more. I ever saw some -- and not my post which immediate -- I was like now I got much into it a much and it -- from what I would. What Odom bottom and in my -- was really fat changeup I'm sure I would imagine your. Five maybe I guess -- the game and I'm going to double triple that. They're so I guess though the logical follow up then is what has changed over the course of from from last year at this time when you're wrapping up by the way you view you finished well last year obviously. You got that late season promotion to Salem had a couple of good starts there -- good post season as well. -- in terms of how your pitch mix works what's different this year as opposed to last is it isn't just the way in which we emphasize the changeup are you. Perhaps you know the slider that you're using or. -- or largely the same. You know the reality is -- another I guess it was just the way the directors. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 02 count I'd I'd try to make the most same model you're limited to goal auditor to joke about what they're not probably not at all. In column you know audibly obligated to go or you're in the lone eagle. You know you were closer 100 Chargers coach Robert its tradition should've caught were already in that situation. Competent bat at the bit hoosiers -- wherever you go and I conviction behind. -- -- The baseball. Or you don't look on -- about it. Has anything about this year's success exceeded your expectations. You know. And -- should -- motion again we're talking about. Also argued that what your goals this year and it was embarrassing I didn't I don't know I don't know what it or at a respectable. Is right if you're lucky to make sure -- -- will blockers who really need signal either. So model that you want to throw a lot of Bears but my ballot. And during that you know you're glad you're here. It was it's just and that's helped you know you absorbent sectors like honored that you won't work or. And I mean I don't know did you admire my expectation but -- but a lot of much. All right so I'm going to ask you what what goals did you set this spring we now know that you didn't back away from doing it this year. I'm you know I just bicycle might number one goal of -- they help you on your job you are actors. Last year or -- were talking all year and put. -- that first all season under your belt now and and whenever I wanted to get around a lot of over -- 120 under 130 news. And just it was they -- -- broad goals and what that I want this and strikeouts this managers it was just. You know -- -- -- now and Beijing and then my other goal was just like I said earlier that what you're looking chance. You know setting setting my sights for the team and not major but so individualized on back. It's it's been it's been on you got a good team especially at Jeter's winning is -- appearance on -- you know it's almost a year to cushion on that and him and him when he should be you don't first -- -- kind of outage -- like. Not as. It is it has been a startling team to watch and one in which I mean you have been -- it must must it must be such an interesting spot for you. Given that you've been working with Henry Owens this year another obviously wildly talented lefthander now there's a guy. I'll like it right and make it Eduardo Rodriguez who's joined you guys from the Orioles -- some obviously another very talented lefthander. How much do you how much would you kind of sit there charting those guys. It really get a sense for how you're going to use that use their games in order to figure out how you would attack opposing lineups. -- I mean what got here and he's. An extraordinary but it -- struck me about. He. I think Henry Henry. You know I'm maybe not talking -- in darker. He's older what you page. Just watching what he into the game and how he has a competent but when he wrote it. It honestly I'll leave rocker walked remind. I. Need to thank him an -- immigrant this year whatever it -- that he tired. Watching him have such -- and opt to not pitch. Maybe why I've limited myself. I mean I I kid I need to go -- you know you just gotta -- -- -- -- competence and you know when he result like -- I also think well you know or else you blocker back there in -- -- How different has it been has your ability been to kind of -- -- -- execute in attack both sides of the plate this year than it might have been a year ago. On the you'd see you know -- in good spot in college calm. Like I I think certain body like what side to my outside sometimes and they are now -- The last couple more -- are out there -- work on side which anybody that it would but mom. It's huge huge no idea what Len giving her team ready to look back at your whole game plan you know -- -- -- -- strike zone and welcome man than you kind of put in ready and sort birds camp stories -- the strike they're not -- That's an Arctic Circle on and off speed all out and about all pop outs and so -- or not. Do you believe that you beat opposing hitters -- based on not based on sequencing him and me and your pitcher makes or is it based on stuff. I had never been there and chipped it about I don't know why I think -- It all I don't know. But there I'd rather stick to my game. You know I don't respect that in order to get a little bit already got a has it that and then you know -- major adjustments just -- not getting getting here. -- it like it in the game and got in the biggest adjustment needs it's it's just don't know that well but -- -- your. Unless -- I'll ask you know thinking broadly about about this year and again you know there's another regular season start coming there's going to be some playoff starts because you've -- you've been on a team that's really really good. Bob -- and just in terms of just in terms of reaching the comfort level where you understand yourself a little bit as a pitcher now that you have been a full time pitcher. How much does that play into that ability to make this pitch to pitch adjustments into where you've been able to go this year. It's huge problem -- we -- go to deliver the -- that thing from it where you are realizing that and the last year. Well motion and kind of getting in red numbers. The -- I work in the repetition. In between starts you don't allowed to go out there and not think about it it's second nature. And now. You know that I would have earlier I would ever realize that our younger. But. Huge huge you know getting in Britain and getting in that sequence of your your feeling you're delivering knowing reviewed but you could pull off -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Know what you did wrong it's sort of -- Ottawa Ottawa on here. Well seemingly have been figuring it out and then figuring out how to fix it really quickly so I imagine it's been you know. There there's probably not I would I would hope great satisfaction to be derived from a year like this. Yet if it's awesome and you know. And I don't know what opened the catcher's gear up credit either and I doubt about it up the -- Great after all year mean about the -- relation between you know arson. -- -- not greater. Wild card. It's it's also when you get that rhythm and you -- it -- to trade up (%expletive) up you want against amateur bodies do. Well there's a sign of ultimate maturity -- keep your attention as a final note for -- for your successes but. I'm Brian it's been obviously a tremendous year congratulations on -- enjoy what you enjoy what's what's up ahead. It. Was there ever really had doubts. There was some debate among the value hitters regarding whether Brian Johnson. We're Henry Owens should be the Red Sox pitching prospect of the year there was no debate about the position player of the year. That started the year and -- play even that seemed like it might be a bit of a rush based on the fact that he only spent about two months and how did at the end of last year it was. Far from it. It's dominated in double play the Red Sox had to start playing center field in addition to second base there and then he dominated in AAA after a promotion. -- mostly dominated while playing second center and right fields. He blitzed the big leagues at the tender age of 21 by the end of June. In the early returns are a player who looks ready to hold his own right now at the highest level of competition with considerable upside on the horizon. Others had Goodyear's Blake's wife Hart meanwhile Marco rough failed -- but know -- match the season produced by -- that's our position player of the year. In Europe landmarks a position change in a -- from double late Tripoli to the big leagues in consequent adjustments on and off the field Helen Dickey Betts described this year. I think it's just been crazy around note not up to. You know our favorite carded regulation and then I am. -- out little. Better now. Actually turned out that are you know have you move up quicker and then. Had a couple pound nose and -- and a -- remembering now that I'm here you know here well that a lot of pop but remember I think this -- -- in big hectic. -- Different is it now that you're in the big leagues and really you've you've had a chance to start a number of games in the in a row with the big league level. How different is that than kind of having start here -- -- -- start to say it you know or couple days in a row and then at her for a one or two or three. Down. I think it. Good -- just and you know play a unique rhythm and it's -- to read them. You know you're not playing every day and that -- -- guys know that. -- a little older and think they understand how their. -- development that point you know added an upper arm out. Well what the plan every day that I didn't get opportunity. Player today I think. That it. What does that mean that you didn't know how to prepare yourself to play every game. It had been playing every day or urged you know my whole career. Utterly and then when I hit it they -- I could I act that know what to do really. How -- GW. You know what it planned. -- so. How did you accommodated all of it really used to it but it didn't know I. Thought you know just up. In terms of not just preparing yourself to come off the bench but an opportunity to sit back and watch the game and and learn about the game. Is it more are you someone who learns better by experience of being by being on the field. Word did you find that time when you be spending a day in the dugout you know sitting with the coaching staff to be useful. Now lag that -- I you know I Internet. But I am getting to get into it and sit on the bench in the coaching -- -- thing happened I'm also called a lot -- as well. It's got to -- on the action thing you know a certain situation even though I am but. At that go -- it just takes it. Is there one part of your game that you think is allowed you to move so quickly both of over the last you know over the last eighteen months now -- as we've talked about many times and urine. You're -- level number five where you've been enjoying a pretty considerable amount of success. Come -- Must you have a lot to do it. Mad at it. In the but the battle all really -- in the home run -- -- -- -- to make solid contact. -- -- -- -- It's interesting that you mention that because that that strikes me as a kind of distinguishing characteristic especially at a time when. You know there are a lot of stuff is crazy good right now and in Major League Baseball. In professional baseball. And so to me there there is something to be said for a guy who can combined speed of it if he makes contact he's he's got a fighting chance of doing something. And you know in its also the ability just to put the bat on the ball that you allow that we'd be coming to play a little bit more. -- do you have a different two strike approach than you do. Then you do it earlier in the at bat or do you find that your natural approach just works really well with two strikes. I if they might that your approaches dished -- or -- -- You know -- -- you that Margaret would see that I think it athletic and I my approach -- -- it. -- -- -- -- still feel that we -- -- on the action and then they -- You know. Worked pretty much. Has has it been an adjustment to the strike zone at the big league level or has that been -- you know do you feel like you already had a pretty good handle on. You know on what the ball and what's this strike in the end what put those things meant to triple I have been there or double I meant the same thing in the big leagues this year. I think English turn out well that wouldn't be much of it just -- I. Feel like he's just the good command. Big strip it early in the big adjustment. Here are moving every every way coming in there so -- out there straight bet that it. -- Has there been what it was there one welcome to the big leagues that -- that you had one where you mentioned the different movement of of the pitches where you just you know you just saw stuff. Coming out the pitchers and the -- hadn't seen before. -- couple of those are the only has learned that yesterday. Air ball movement everywhere on. -- you -- -- -- feel about all the Al. -- end. -- horrible and I mean you name it. And got arms though and it is just one at bat -- it didn't quite a few. You have to be geared up for an idea I mean you know if you if you are ready to hit 95 and thank you sick in the late innings it must be remarkable thing to -- the arm after are coming into the game. Oh yeah I. Mean it's what you start a it. I couldn't again. I mean is it. Is like to see that you know I'm a. You've been able to perform at a at a pretty consistent level in this most recent call -- you've been playing more consistently than you did. In this prior to culture as well do you think that is a bit it's just in a matter of consistent playing time. We knew -- an opportunity to perform consistently. Order do you feel like you've also like even with that brief time back down in AAA. You know that you had you know you have that you were called up at the end of June. Then you know down for a little bit back up you know back down has that time of be able to reset in -- been helpful to you. On the you know my government are playing. Well work on the things that I thought would help me. And well hole and then got up to an Indian. That -- effort forward and and play date is not that. Don't know what to expect everyday person you know every Saturday. So I mean did it I'm not sure what our territory. Are you beyond the point where you're still kind of where you're still kind of trying to figure out what it means that you're in the big leagues. You know do you feel to it it doesn't feel. I don't wanna go so far to call it comfortable setting but doesn't feel like if you know but you kind of know what you're doing looking at this point to die at the Major League level. Where is there's still do you do you still feel like the same guy. You know who was kind of trying to make sense of you know -- them I'm here in new York at the end of June and -- here we go. Yeah I think I actually I'm still same. Like you know OK now and I am in New York meeting worrying and now in Toronto you know and I are were -- out. Children come in Tampa you know this -- it is -- I'm not getting too caught up. Let's -- all you allow allow factors could have struck out attempt -- you are well. And. Well you played that well you've you've done a good job of avoiding the wow factor how much are your friends or your family members reminding you of we'll keep like twelve months ago you're like you're just trying to help Salem get into the playoffs. Yeah. There -- family a lot. I can't go out -- they'd. -- don't understand you know you can't. I get too -- gain. But. Is it to them than them around and haven't soccer am -- great pick keep me. -- allow -- but they keep me grounded as well. And how do you feel that the adjustment to the outfield is going -- -- cover as you you know you're figuring out you know trying to get yourself comfortable in the big leagues how comfortable are you getting at that new -- add that new positions where you've now seen. You know basically about a half a season worth of games not even. I am I think you're wrong on pretty well. You know my and it got beach area today imaginary game come. Out which -- you know big. -- You know it -- this cup it is it is. Learned that there's not a variety -- age. You know I. Get out. You do you feel like you have a sense of what shape you're in your career takes from here. It you know by virtue of the fact that you now have second base in your in your pocket right you are. Performing at a really high level there have every time we've been done the minors. You're now kind of mutant I assume that you at least he. You know you either grow -- you're experiencing right -- in center field. I'm to a point where OK you can you can probably -- -- back of the future park you know that to be a direction for you. You know we're pretty -- do you have a good feel for what your career does give a vision for where your career goes from here. I know I have no idea and not my career is gonna turn right now I can't add that I mean you know. And -- good out there anymore so but it. Whichever way it turned I think about I think I'll be here where. Well I suppose it does -- -- need to ask the question too much it's it's one thing that I you know to be in double play -- like for years three and asking that question. Quite another to have shot from double play all the way to the majors in the same year. As a 21 year old to be -- to have those options in front view. -- yeah Tom I mean it is a blessing you know glad glad to have. Been part of my. Congratulations again to pitching prospect of the year Brian Johnson imposition prospect of your -- -- If you'd like to hear the complete interviews with both check at the minor details podcast it WEEI dot com slash podcast. As mentioned at the start the show. This is the last week it down on the farm will air on the radio this year. But we'll have more episodes of minor details through the end of September so check back every Sunday for the latest installment of the show. Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to listen to the show and enormous sort of things to producer of Saturday and they'll get to tell you who worked so tirelessly. To make sure that we've been fit to air every Sunday morning this season. It's been a blast look forward to being touched on the road.

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