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 it 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 the WEEI dot com pitcher and position prospect of the year. For starters the pitcher. An -- when Henry Owens cemented his status as the top pitcher in the organization in what are the top left handers in the minors. It's somewhat extraordinary that another prospect had at least arguably the better year. Lefthander Brian Johnson a 20121. Rounder did just that he was little short of amazing. The health questions that surround him and when he thirteen. Has recovered from getting hit in the face by airliner that wrecked his offseason workout program shoulder tendinitis earlier in the year that like -- rose from that same off season. -- problem. Were 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 only -- -- to institute his team a chance to win but he looked a lot like a big leaguer so. What aspect of it here to Johnson drive the greatest satisfaction from. Although that it took place just. To name I think the biggest thing commute up voters. You know being like him a chance every migrate to the -- -- I give my team a chance to win. That's my biggest court limited amount what are. You know one of the score or others what are you might get involved in power you have. Into the game -- it -- -- that our chance. You are closing in on -- innings you know I think they're probably closing in on double the innings that you had a year ago. How how much of you just enjoyed that this this is the first time in your life you've been able to have a full year. As a pitcher -- as one who's who's healthy and on the bump every five days but I've been like. It. I hit exactly know once you are not -- people all -- around it and and about where I guess not it's not a gender -- your round you're. It got attacked hitters. I've had an idea sir mr. Obama go Obama normal day and -- my normal based on routine and an -- biggest outcome ought to. Enjoy every -- other. Are you feeling the weight as 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 -- at least -- mean I'm just -- -- -- normal talk in what Bjorn. And -- back to back up there are not a lot not ultra all item. You know I -- it's helping work it out pictures of Nazis in the results and you know trust in the system and -- are -- And -- it now -- in the regular -- save your work upper operable or ordered this year. You're results have been startlingly consistent throughout the year you know starting with when you get -- -- on that nice run in in Salem and and straight through the promotion through the promotion to double -- you never really had a -- up. -- 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. -- 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 why it's a little bit differently. No doubt that I came down I think basically what that article in time about we start stretch that I didn't fuel. Explain ideas of what their club or in rental market but that's what critics that it should over the bunker and a little bit. And got in my club although it wasn't. I'm like -- -- you look at the -- -- and -- really heard much ate a lot more. I am ever so I'm allies -- not my post its immediate access I -- like Oprah got lectured about it much and it -- from what I would. What about it and in my it was gonna -- -- changeup and sure -- I would imagine your. Five maybe I -- -- the game and I'm going to double triple that. -- 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 -- you finished well last year obviously. You got that late season promotion to Salem had a couple of good start 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 -- about what -- I guess it was just the way the directors. Over the myself you know whether it's 31 count or 20. 02 out -- trying to make the most same model you're limited to scroll -- to joke about what they're not probably not at all. You know you know audibly sobbing and -- or you're in the lord Google. You know you were closer 100 arbitrage coach Robert it's tradition to were already in the situation. A couple of bad at the biggest users and competence -- -- and I conviction behind. -- The baseball. Or -- Portugal on dark about it. Has anything about this year's success exceeded your expectations. You know. And why should look motion Bardem were talking about. Also argues that what your goals this year and it was embarrassing I didn't know I don't -- -- know -- or acceptable. Is right -- your lucky you can picture this project and what what -- doctors who really need signal either. -- model that you wanna throw a lot of bit at my ballot. And during that you know you're glad you're here. It was it's just -- -- -- you know you absorbent sectors like honored that you won't work or. And I mean I don't know if you admire my expectation but sadly -- 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 -- number one goal and you know they help -- hear -- you are actors. Last year or I've been talking all year and put. But keep that -- all he's -- undergo you know and and whenever I wanted to get around a lot of -- over -- 10100. Brought 130 news. And just it was bill orders broad goals and what that I want this and strike out through this -- -- it was just. You know on the net and Ellen basing and then my other goal was just like I said earlier that what you Mikey did you. You know dissenting setting my sights for the team and the hostage ever so individualized. Back. It's it's been it's been on you got a boost in passengers. Boarding used to it is appearance on -- you know it's almost weirder looking -- and him and him when he should be you don't first -- -- kind of outage at a light and not -- 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. -- like it right and make it Eduardo Rodriguez who's join you guys from the Orioles system. 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. Com. I mean what got here and he's. And excited everybody -- it struck me -- about. He. I think Henry Henry. You know I'm maybe not talking orchestra in darker. He's older what you page. Just watching what he into the game and how he has a competent and when he wrote it. It it also recalled meat locker walked remind. I. Need -- an -- immigrant this year whatever it seemed that he tired. Watching him have such faith in and opt to not -- LimeWire and maybe it might well I mean I I kid I didn't caller are you just -- you about competence and you know when he result like battered. I also think well you know or else you got there and expand their market. How different has it been has your ability been to kind of its -- 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 are in good spot in college com. Like I I carried Miami Michael side to my outside sometimes and they are now closed. The last couple more money -- -- -- work on side which anybody that it would but. It's huge huge no idea what -- and getting your team ready to look back at your whole game plan you know what's yours that was strike zone and welcome man than you kind of put in ready and sort birds championship stories -- the strike that Britain. -- an Arctic Circle on and off speed walk -- -- at all costs outs and so -- or not. Do you believe that you beat opposing hitters by based on not based on sequencing him and -- and your -- makes or is it based on stuff. I had never been -- -- -- I don't know why I think -- It also I don't know. But there I'd rather stick to my game. In Ottawa state wrapped in order to head a little bit already got a has it that and then you know -- major adjustments just -- not getting getting here. -- -- -- -- in the game and got in the biggest justice needs its its adjusted don't -- -- well but consider what your. Unless -- I'll -- 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 playoffs start because you've got you've been on a team that's really really good. -- 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 -- -- go to deliver the model that thing from -- -- Are realizing that -- and the last year. Well motion and kind of getting in red numbers. The trial work in the repetition. In between starts you know 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 huge you know getting in Britain and getting in that sequence of -- feeling you're delivering knowing reviewed -- you -- -- offered. Commuters and there's a very comparable comparable Bjorn. Know what you did wrong sort of gimmick 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 -- up credit either and I doubt about it up the -- Great after all year mean all the old relation between -- arson. Our primary years not greater why part. It's it's also when you get government -- -- it comes to -- up -- up you want against amateur bodies do. Well there's a sign of ultimate maturity thinking you're ventures a final note for -- your successes but it. 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 waiters 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 a 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 -- 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 -- the big leagues at the tender agent when he won 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 Y our name while Marco rough -- -- but no match the season produced by -- that's our position player of the year. In Europe landmarks a position change and a cent from double late Tripoli to the big leagues in consequent adjustments on and off the field Helen rookie that's described this year. I think it's just been crazy around you know -- -- -- You know our favorite -- and regulated and then I am. Rush out little. Better now. Actually turned out that are you know -- move up quicker and then. I had a couple found -- and I and a -- remembering now that I'm here you know here well that a lot of pop but remember I think this earlier 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 a big league level. How different is that than kind of having start here cent -- -- start to say it you know -- couple days in a row and then at her for one or two or three. Down. I think -- Good -- just and you know play a unique rhythm and it's begin to read them. You know you're not playing every day and that no good guys now that. -- a little older and think they understand how their. -- development that -- I did an upper arm out. Well the plan every day that I didn't get opportunity. The player they I think. That it. What does that mean that you didn't know how to prepare yourself to play every game. And had been playing every day or urged you know my whole -- Utterly and then write it they -- And I act that know what to do really. How are -- W you know what it planned. I'm so. Without it in a couple dated well what I really used to it but it didn't know I. Thought well you know just up. In terms of not just preparing yourself to come off the bench but 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 -- Internet. But I am getting in getting it shouldn't sit on the bench in public court established thing happened -- -- also called a lot to well. It's got a group of next thing you know -- certain situation you know I -- -- -- that go wired. X. 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. -- level number five where you've been enjoying a pretty considerable amount of success. -- They must -- a lot to do it. Mad at. Butte and the but the battle all really. In home runs into English history and to make solid contact. -- -- -- -- It's interesting that you mentioned 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 and 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 -- or do you find that your natural approach just works really well with two strikes. -- if they might natural approaches this or should I. You know -- -- you that Margaret it would be. I think it and that it out of my approach -- -- it. -- -- -- -- still -- -- -- -- in on the action and then at -- and you know. It worked pretty much. Has has -- been -- just into the strike zone at the big league level -- has that been -- you know do you feel like you're already had a pretty good handle on. You know on what the ball on what to strike in the end what put those things meant to triple -- have meant that reverend double -- -- the same thing in the big leagues this year. I think English and now look -- what -- too much and it just met. So like he's just the good command -- strip it grow the debate and here are moving every every -- in there so now there are very bet that it. It. Has there been what it was there one welcome to the big leagues that at 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 of pitchers and the -- hadn't seen before. Couple of those -- show only has learned that yesterday. Air ball movement everywhere on. -- Nugget -- About all the Al. Oh and while it will mean you name it. And got our belt and it -- just one at -- it's. Been 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 begin. Is it. Is like to see that you know fund. You've been able to perform at a at a pretty consistent level in this most recent column you've been playing more consistently than you did. In this prior to culture as well do you think of that isn't it it's just in a matter of consistent playing time. We -- -- an opportunity to perform consistently. Ordered 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 and AAA been helpful to you. On the you know my government is -- playing. 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. Though I mean it it I am not sure -- our everything. 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 -- comfortable setting but doesn't feel like get 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 is kind of trying to make sense of you know -- them I'm here in new York at the end of June -- -- here we go. -- yeah I think. I'm still same. Like you know OK now and I am in New York I mean we -- now in Toronto you know and I are -- -- -- Children -- -- -- you know this ultra it is indeed I'm not getting too caught up. You old you allow allow factors could have struck out accepting you are well. And. What you -- it 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. -- Very multifamily and have a lot. I can't go out -- -- -- don't understand you know you can't you are too low gain. But. Is it to them than them around and haven't talked to them great they keep me. Have the -- they keep me grounded well. Into how do you feel that the adjustment to the outfielders 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 Brad had new positions where you've now seen. You know basically about a half a season worth of games not even. -- ping -- ball pretty well. You know my and it got beach area today imaginary games come. Out which you know -- Com. You know it is this cup it is it is. Learned that there's not a variety -- age. You know and -- get out. You do you feel like you have a sense of what shape you're in your career takes from here. If 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 miners. You're now kind of mutant I assume that you at least he. You know you need to grow you're experiencing right -- in center field. I'm to a point where OK you can you can probably -- -- -- of the future park you know that to be a direction for you. You know we're pretty -- 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 -- -- I mean you know. And -- out there anymore or so but it. Whichever way it turned I think but I think I'll be here where. Well -- -- it does because you don't need to ask the question too much it's it's one thing you know to be in double play -- like for years three and asking that question. Quite another to have shot from double play elderly to the majors in the same year. As 21 year old to be -- to have those options in front view. Yeah -- I mean it -- a blessing you know glad glad to have. Been part -- Congratulations again to pitching prospect of the year Brian Johnson imposition prospect of your -- bets. If you'd like to hear the complete interviews with both checked 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 error every Sunday morning this season. It's been a blast look forward to being touched on the road.

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