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Sox have deal with No. 23 int'l prospect Lopez

MLB.com

The Red Sox came to terms with close to 70 international prospects during the 2017-2018 signing period, and this year, the club is once again a big player on the market.

According to industry sources, the Red Sox agreed to a $1.15 million deal with outfielder Eduardo Lopez of the Dominican Republic, ranked No. 23 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list. The Red Sox have not confirmed the deal.

The Red Sox came to terms with close to 70 international prospects during the 2017-2018 signing period, and this year, the club is once again a big player on the market.

According to industry sources, the Red Sox agreed to a $1.15 million deal with outfielder Eduardo Lopez of the Dominican Republic, ranked No. 23 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list. The Red Sox have not confirmed the deal.

:: 2018 International Signing Period ::

Lopez is viewed as a skilled prospect with emerging tools. He has shown improvement in his overall game and increased strength in the last several months.

A switch-hitting center fielder, Lopez might be a better overall hitter from the left side of the plate, but he has shown more power from the right side. He has shown flashes of power in games. On defense, he has shown good defensive actions with a playable arm.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs, including the Red Sox, received $4,983,500.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Casas takes swings at Fenway, chats with J.D.

'It makes me hungry to get back here,' says Boston's top Draft pick
Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- Triston Casas' first steps onto the field at Fenway Park as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization fell in stride behind J.D. Martinez, though he was far from being overshadowed by the slugger.

Taken by the Red Sox with the 26th overall Draft selection earlier this month, the 18-year-old proved wise beyond his years by taking full advantage of his access to one of the Major League's best home run hitters this season.

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- Triston Casas' first steps onto the field at Fenway Park as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization fell in stride behind J.D. Martinez, though he was far from being overshadowed by the slugger.

Taken by the Red Sox with the 26th overall Draft selection earlier this month, the 18-year-old proved wise beyond his years by taking full advantage of his access to one of the Major League's best home run hitters this season.

View Full Game Coverage

"He's not a bad guy to pick a brain about hitting and stuff," Casas said of talking with Martinez. "I was just talking to him about little things, what he thinks about and stuff, and just the way he approaches the game. He's performing at the highest level right now and he's a pretty good player at this level, so I was just trying to pick anything that I could. Any doubts that I had, I was just asking him about it."

Video: Draft 2018: Casas on being 26th overall pick

After settling the early nerves of hitting under a highly attentive crowd of onlookers, the 6-foot-4 left-handed hitter proved he too can provide some pop down the line for the big club, as he deposited two balls into the Red Sox bullpen in right and one off the wall in center field.

A product of American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., Casas relished the experience and looks forward to more down the line.

"It's pretty amazing. The history here at this park and to imagine how many great players came through this dugout, and the other one, and stepped onto that field, is pretty amazing to think about," said Casas. "It was pretty fun. It's definitely [an experience] that I'll never forget. It makes me hungry to get back here."

Tweet from @RedSox: Not a bad guy to learn from. pic.twitter.com/fHkLLBnCpH

Initially committed to play at the University of Miami, the third baseman opted to begin his professional career and signed with Boston on June 14.

Video: Red Sox thrilled to add Casas, Decker to team

Assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., he made his debut on Friday night as the team's designated hitter, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

With the ability to play home games at JetBlue Park, Casas has been afforded the opportunity to test his swing against similar dimensions to what he saw on Saturday in Boston.

"I like that it works with my swing," said Casas of Fenway. "My swing is one that's pretty uppercut towards left-center. Hopefully down in JetBlue, and eventually, hopefully here, I can work that wall pretty well. ... I like the way it fits my swing.

"It's truly amazing. ... I see myself growing well here and prospering as a baseball player and as a person."

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox sign first-round Draft pick Casas

Lefty-swinging third baseman was No. 26 overall selection
MLB.com

Triston Casas, the big left-handed slugger the Red Sox selected with the 26th overall pick in the Draft earlier this month, can now get to work.

Boston on Thursday finalized a contract with Casas to a full-slot deal worth $2,552,800.

View Full Game Coverage

Triston Casas, the big left-handed slugger the Red Sox selected with the 26th overall pick in the Draft earlier this month, can now get to work.

Boston on Thursday finalized a contract with Casas to a full-slot deal worth $2,552,800.

View Full Game Coverage

The night that Casas was selected by the Red Sox, he expressed excitement for what kind of fit it will be.

"I'm glad the way the board fell and I feel like Boston's a great fit for me, and I couldn't be happier with the way turned out, to be honest," said Casas.

The South Florida native became intrigued by Boston when the Red Sox had him in for a pre-Draft visit.

"It was a great experience, going to Boston. It was my first time in Boston and in Massachusetts, so I really enjoyed my time there," said Casas. "I really loved the city and I love the build of it and I love the way that Fenway fit right in the middle of it, just like another building."

Known for his opposite-field stroke, the 6-foot-4, 238-pound Casas could one day be a beast playing his home games at Fenway Park.

"The one thing that has always stuck out in Triston's case is his opposite-field power," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Mike Rikard. "He can hit the ball to left-center as far as many other right-handed hitters can when they pull the ball. That's always been a big thing in scouting him. He's got a very professional approach. Although he is a power hitter, he does have a nice plan at the plate and he was able to make adjustments and just as important, he can use he can use the whole field very well for a young hitter."

Casas played third base during his stellar career at American Heritage (Fla.) High School, and is expected to start his professional career as a third baseman. He could move to first at some point, or go back and forth between the corners to increase his versatility.

The Red Sox also reached agreements with seven additional Draft selections: right-handed pitcher Durbin Feltman (third round, $559,600), outfielder Devlin Granberg (sixth round, $40,000), second baseman Jarren Duran (seventh round), left-handed pitcher Brian Brown (ninth round, $2,500), second baseman Grant Williams (10th round), right-handed pitcher Andrew Politi (15th round), and second baseman Jonathan Ortega (19th round).

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox replace Beeks with Haley

MLB.com

BOSTON -- The Red Sox on Friday selected right-handed pitcher Justin Haley to the active Major League roster from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks to Pawtucket following last night's game against the Tigers.
 
Haley, who will wear number 65, has made 11 starts for Pawtucket this season, going 3-6 with a 3.18 ERA. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.45 ERA since May 1, having allowed two runs or fewer in each of his seven outings in that time. Selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2012 MLB Draft, he spent his first five professional seasons (2012-16) in the Boston organization. Haley made the Twins' 2017 Opening Day roster and appeared in 10 Major League games -- the first of his career -- before being returned to the Red Sox on July 24 in accordance with rules of the Rule 5 Draft. He spent the remainder of the season in Pawtucket and attended 2018 Spring Training with Boston as a non-roster invitee.
 
Beeks, 24, made his Major League debut last night against Detroit, earning the loss after giving up six runs in four innings. He is the No. 15-ranked prospect of the Red Sox, according to MLB Pipeline.

View Full Game Coverage

View Full Game Coverage BOSTON -- The Red Sox on Friday selected right-handed pitcher Justin Haley to the active Major League roster from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room on the 25-man roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks to Pawtucket following last night's game against the Tigers.
 
Haley, who will wear number 65, has made 11 starts for Pawtucket this season, going 3-6 with a 3.18 ERA. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.45 ERA since May 1, having allowed two runs or fewer in each of his seven outings in that time. Selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2012 MLB Draft, he spent his first five professional seasons (2012-16) in the Boston organization. Haley made the Twins' 2017 Opening Day roster and appeared in 10 Major League games -- the first of his career -- before being returned to the Red Sox on July 24 in accordance with rules of the Rule 5 Draft. He spent the remainder of the season in Pawtucket and attended 2018 Spring Training with Boston as a non-roster invitee.
 
Beeks, 24, made his Major League debut last night against Detroit, earning the loss after giving up six runs in four innings. He is the No. 15-ranked prospect of the Red Sox, according to MLB Pipeline.

Boston Red Sox, Jalen Beeks, Justin Haley

Beeks' debut dampened by quiet O, rocky 1st

Red Sox prospect weathers 5-run frame, but Boston scores just 2 to back him
MLB.com

BOSTON -- After falling into a five-run hole in the first inning against the Tigers, the Red Sox failed to convert scoring opportunities to mount a comeback and complete the series sweep, falling to Detroit, 7-2, on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Jalen Beeks struggled on the mound in his first career start, allowing four hits, one walk and a home run in the first inning to put the Red Sox in a 5-0 hole they would not recover from.

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- After falling into a five-run hole in the first inning against the Tigers, the Red Sox failed to convert scoring opportunities to mount a comeback and complete the series sweep, falling to Detroit, 7-2, on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Jalen Beeks struggled on the mound in his first career start, allowing four hits, one walk and a home run in the first inning to put the Red Sox in a 5-0 hole they would not recover from.

View Full Game Coverage

Blake Swihart, who made his catching debut in the loss, caught Beeks when he played at Triple-A Pawtucket. He said he lamented waiting to get Beeks' off-speed pitches more involved in the mix.

"I haven't seen him in a few months," Swihart said. "So I was just trying to go out there and remember what I could remember with him with his fastball, cutter and play it off with that."

Beeks took a fastball-heavy approach to the first inning, but his pitches were too high, allowing the Tigers the opportunity to hammer hits early.

"In Pawtucket, I was pretty fastball-heavy, but I usually execute my fastball location better in the first inning," Beeks said. "But I was just missing pitches in the first."

Video: DET@BOS: Cora on Beeks' start in loss to Tigers

Andrew Benintendi responded to the Tigers' big inning immediately, blasting his first career leadoff home run over the bullpen to narrow the deficit to 5-1. It was Benintendi's 11th home run of the season, and his fourth in the past five games.

Video: DET@BOS: Benintendi blasts a leadoff homer

But Boston failed to build on his momentum. The Red Sox managed five hits, including a fifth-inning double by Blake Swihart, who later scored on an RBI groundout by Xander Bogaerts, but their efforts weren't enough to contest the Tigers' convincing lead.

Video: DET@BOS: Bogaerts plates Swihart in the 5th inning

"Obviously, not ideal," Beeks said. "But you've just got to learn from it, and that's what I'm going to do."

That's what he did as soon as the second inning. Despite faltering in the first inning, Beeks, Boston's No. 15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, grew more comfortable as the game progressed, allowing three hits, one run and two walks over his last three innings.

"I think spin rate and his fastball will play at this level, but you have to mix it up, you have to slow them down a little bit so the fastball plays up in the zone," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "Right away it did, with [JaCoby] Jones and even with [Nicholas] Castellanos. That ball obviously here is a double, but there were some pitches you could see that they were able to get to those pitches ... because we weren't using off-speed pitches earlier. We didn't show it to them. As soon as he starts showing it ... then the swings weren't as aggressive as in the first inning."

Video: DET@BOS: Beeks gets out of big jam in the 2nd

Beeks said he spoke with the coaches about mixing up his pitches more -- turning to his curveball and changeup to throw off batters. And as he made those adjustments, he began to have some success on the mound.

He retired five consecutive batters to end his first career start with four strikeouts, seven hits, six runs and three walks in four innings.

Beeks left the Red Sox's clubhouse with an unmarked black cap over his eyes, out of the spotlight as quickly as he entered it. The Red Sox will option Beeks to Pawtucket, but Cora said the start was a valuable learning experience in Beeks' growth as a pitcher.

"It wasn't the start that he wanted, or we wanted from him," Cora said. "I think it's going to help him out. for him to keep developing at this level, we've been talking throughout the season, it's very important to mix up your pitches and he learned that in the first inning and after that, he was OK, so like I told him, he competed. After that first inning, he kept going, he kept attacking and he made some adjustments, so we're proud of the way he competed today."

Relievers Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez held the Tigers to one run over the final five innings. But the Red Sox still could not connect, despite stringing together two hits in the eighth inning.

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez didn't play the final two innings due to discomfort in his back. Martinez exited Sunday's game in Houston with back spasms and started the next game. Cora said the discomfort was not as severe this time.

"He felt a little bit tight and at the point of the game, though I felt we still had a shot, one swing away to get back into the game, stay away from him and hopefully he'll be back tomorrow," Cora said. "Not as bad as in Houston but still, I kind of I felt like it was a smart move tonight."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double play costs Red Sox scoring opportunity:
With the bases loaded and red-hot Benintendi at the plate in the bottom of the second inning, it looked like the Red Sox had a chance to close the 5-1 gap with the Tigers. But Benintendi grounded to shortstop Jose Iglesias, who quickly converted the double play. The Red Sox stranded nine on base in the game.

Video: DET@BOS: Boyd escapes bases-loaded jam in the 2nd

SOUND SMART
The five-run first inning marked the most runs the Red Sox have allowed in the opening frame since a five-run first against the Brewers on May 9, 2017. It also marked the third time this season Boston allowed five or more runs in a single inning.

HE SAID IT
"I felt good back there, you know, blocking, receiving everything. There's always some fine-tuning stuff to do, and the more I work on it, the more I get out there, the better it's going to be." -- Swihart, on his catching debut

UP NEXT
Chris Sale will take the mound on Friday to face his former team, the White Sox, where he spent seven seasons. He was 74-50 with a 3.00 ERA in 228 career appearances with the White Sox. Sale enters the matchup 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA and .98 WHIP. Against the White Sox last year, Sale struck out nine but departed after five innings, nine hits and six runs. The White Sox will counter with Dylan Covey (1-1, 2.82). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Blake Richardson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox, Jalen Beeks

Red Sox look beyond age in Draft mix

MLB.com

BOSTON -- For the second straight year, the Red Sox ended the MLB Draft with plenty of pitching draftees.

Draft Tracker: See every Red Sox Draft pick

BOSTON -- For the second straight year, the Red Sox ended the MLB Draft with plenty of pitching draftees.

Draft Tracker: See every Red Sox Draft pick

Vice president of amateur scouting Mike Rikard said Thursday before the Draft that the Red Sox would focus on finding talent before filling holes in the roster. He also said that if the talent was there, drafting a high school player was a risk the organization was prepared to take.

His words proved prophetic on Day 1, when the Red Sox selected third baseman Triston Casas in the first round and outfielder Nick Decker in the second -- both out of high school. Casas is considered one of the most powerful high school hitters in this year's Draft. Similarly, Decker drew the Red Sox's eye for his powerful swing and his speed.

Video: Draft 2018: Red Sox draft 1B/3B Triston Casas No. 26

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

"[Casas] is a very good hitter, and he has a lot of power," Rikard said. "We're going to start him at third base and see how that goes."

The Day 3 decisions showed a similar willingness to develop young potential, as the Red Sox took 12 high school players.

But the Red Sox focused primarily on college players on Day 2 of the Draft, opting for experienced arms with the potential to contribute earlier. They took only collegiate players -- all upperclassmen -- and started off Day 3 with a similarly college-heavy trend through the 19th round, except for the 11th-round pick of high school pitcher Nicholas Northcut.

As the day went on, the Red Sox's emphasis on experience waned. In rounds 20 through 40, they drafted 11 high school players and three from junior college. College players took up 22 of the Red Sox's picks -- players who are more likely to contribute in the Major Leagues earlier.

"We're very excited about all of them," Rikard said. "We think we got some good impactful players on both sides ... and a mix of young and old."

The pitching trend started in the third round, when TCU right-handed pitcher Durbin Feltman was drafted with the No. 100 pick. Feltman flashes a fiery fastball with a strong slider, and MLB.com analysts said Feltman could reach the Majors as early as this season.

"We did not draft him with those intentions," Rikard said. "We essentially selected him knowing he's a very good pitcher and we're going to get him in our system and see how things go."

Video: Draft 2018: Red Sox draft RHP Durbin Feltman No. 100

Day 2 also saw the Red Sox draft pitchers Thad Ward and Brian Brown, who were both commended by their college coaches for their command under pressure. Ward has most of his experience as a reliever, but made five starts in 22 appearances this season, boasting a 3.27 ERA. Brown, North Carolina State's go-to pitcher this season, ended the year with a 2.74 ERA through 16 starts.

The Red Sox hammered home the pitching trend in Day 3, taking 16 pitchers in rounds 11 through 40. They also took plenty of position players, adding four catchers, three late-round shortstops, nine outfielders and eight second or third basemen over the course of the Draft.

The emphasis on pitching follows a similar pattern to 2017, when the Red Sox drafted 18 pitchers through 40 rounds. But unlike last year, when the Red Sox took 26 college players, age was not as influential a factor.

"We certainly feel we had a nice blend of high school players to old players," Rikard said.

Blake Richardson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox

Pomeranz to DL with left biceps tendinitis

Red Sox recall Workman, will promote Beeks to fill rotation spot
MLB.com

BOSTON -- The Red Sox had an addition to their recent parade of injuries on Tuesday, as starter Drew Pomeranz was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis. The move was made retroactive to Saturday.

To fill Pomeranz's spot on the roster, the club recalled righty Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket. Left-hander Jalen Beeks will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday to start in place of Pomeranz.

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- The Red Sox had an addition to their recent parade of injuries on Tuesday, as starter Drew Pomeranz was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis. The move was made retroactive to Saturday.

To fill Pomeranz's spot on the roster, the club recalled righty Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket. Left-hander Jalen Beeks will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday to start in place of Pomeranz.

View Full Game Coverage

Beeks, ranked No. 15 among Red Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline, has dazzled at Pawtucket this season, posting a 2.56 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.

"The way he looks, the way we lined up for the rest of the week, it makes sense to bring him up and get him here, see how he goes," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

Steven Wright was inserted into the rotation on Tuesday to give the other starters extra rest, and he dazzled, pitching seven brilliant innings in a 6-0 win over the Tigers. It could be that Beeks makes the one start before going back to Triple-A, and Wright takes over the fifth spot in the rotation.

Position players Mookie Betts (left abdominal strain) and Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) went on the disabled list this past weekend.

What happened with Pomeranz?

"Coming out of the Houston start, it was kind of like hard for him to bounce back, so we decided to put him on the DL," Cora said. "Hopefully it's something that he'll come back from right away."

The earliest Pomeranz is eligible to pitch for the Red Sox again is June 12 at Baltimore.

Though ace Chris Sale could have pitched Thursday in place of Pomeranz with five days of rest, Cora is opting to go with his original plan of Sale starting Friday against the White Sox.

"We feel they need that; for them to catch a breather. No way we were going to move them up after their mind was set to have their off-days and go through their preparation that way," Cora said.

The Red Sox are mulling their options for the finale of this three-game series against the Tigers. They could have a "bullpen" game, or call someone up from Pawtucket.

Pomeranz started the season on the DL with a left forearm flexor strain, and has struggled since his return, going 1-3 with a 6.81 ERA in eight starts.

Mookie making progress
Betts is making incremental progress from the injury that has kept him out of action since May 27. Betts hit off a tee prior to Tuesday's game. If he can advance to regular batting practice in the next couple of days, there's a chance he could be activated when he is first eligible on Friday night.

But if Cora learned anything last week, it was to not get ahead of himself.

"He said he feels great, he feels better," Cora said. "So he was feeling better in Houston, and then he took a few swings and he decided not to keep going, so we'll see how it goes."

Houston, we have a problem
The Red Sox had a tough time getting home from Houston after Sunday night's win.

"We got in at 9 a.m. [Monday]," Cora said. "Mechanical problems, which, I was like, we can't complain about this. It's either get in at 9 or take our chances. I mean, honestly. Somebody asked me, 'Can you believe this?' I was like, 'Yeah. I want to get home [safely].' I think we left Houston like at 3:50 in the morning, Whatever that was. I walked in and saw one of the twins smiling at me at 10 in the morning. So that was cool."

Cora's twin boys are almost 10 months old.

Pedroia gets peace of mind
Pedroia got good news on Tuesday in his visit with Dr. Riley Williams, who performed Pedroia's cartilage restoration procedure last October.

"With Pedey, everything about the surgery is fine. He just has some inflammation. I was actually talking to him during the game. It's kind of like with David [Price], after he saw the doctor, now he can calm down and get treatment and hopefully he'll be with us sooner than later," Cora said. "It's nothing that has to do with surgery, so that's good."

The earliest Pedroia is eligible to be activated is Saturday. Because he played in just three games before returning to the DL, the Red Sox might be conservative with his timetable.

"Treatment [Wednesday]," Cora said. "He hasn't gotten treatment the last two days. Then we go from there. I think he should be back to baseball activities, slowly but surely, probably starting in two days."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Drew Pomeranz, Brandon Workman

Sox draft HS slugger Casas, add OF Decker

MLB.com

BOSTON -- On a recent visit to Fenway Park, left-handed slugger Triston Casas took a look around the historic yard and imagined his opposite-field stroke doing serious damage at some point in the future.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Red Sox Draft pick

BOSTON -- On a recent visit to Fenway Park, left-handed slugger Triston Casas took a look around the historic yard and imagined his opposite-field stroke doing serious damage at some point in the future.

• Draft Tracker: Follow every Red Sox Draft pick

That vision came closer to becoming a reality on Monday, when the Red Sox made the 18-year-old corner infielder the 26th overall pick in the 2018 Draft.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

"I'm glad the way the board fell and I feel like Boston's a great fit for me, and I couldn't be happier with the way turned out, to be honest," said Casas.

The South Florida native became intrigued by Boston when the Red Sox had him in for a pre-Draft visit.

"It was a great experience, going to Boston. It was my first time in Boston and in Massachusetts, so I really enjoyed my time there," said Casas. "I really loved the city and I love the build of it and I love the way that Fenway fit right in the middle of it, just like another building.

"I'm really excited and I can't be more happy with the way today turned out. I feel like the park suits my swing well, and hopefully I get up to the big league club soon and make an impact."

According to scouts, Casas has as much raw power as any high schooler in this year's Draft. The lefty has a 6-4, 238-pound frame with projectable power. He has a commitment to the University of Miami. Casas played third base at American Heritage (Fla.) High School, but could wind up as a first baseman at the professional level.

Video: Draft 2018: Casas on being 26th overall pick

"The one thing that has always stuck out in Triston's case is his opposite-field power," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Mike Rikard. "He can hit the ball to left-center as far as many other right-handed hitters can when they pull the ball. That's always been a big thing in scouting him. He's got a very professional approach. Although he is a power hitter, he does have a nice plan at the plate, and he was able to make adjustments, and just as importantly, he can use the whole field very well for a young hitter."

The Red Sox took another high schooler with their second pick Monday night, snagging outfielder Nick Decker of Seneca High School in Tabernacle, N.J., with the 64th overall pick.

"[Decker] actually played for a team that was coached by our area scout Ray Fagnant, so we had a personal-relationship advantage with Ray getting to know him, being in the dugout with him and so forth, and Nick's a very strong kid," said Rikard. "He's got a real, strong, powerful swing. We'll start him in center field. He's got instincts, and he's a pretty good runner. We're excited. Really, probably his best tool is his power, so a power-hitting center fielder is what we have."

As for Casas, he liked the fact the Red Sox drafted him as a third baseman.

"It means a lot," Casas said. "I worked really hard on making myself more versatile. I'm happy that they're going to give me a shot over there and hopefully I can play pretty well."

Video: Triston Casas on importance of staying fit

But Casas' bat is his calling card. He has a mature hitting approach for his age, and is known for his natural ability to create backspin.

"I've kind of had that ability ever since I started playing baseball," said Casas. "It was preached to me at a young age to hit the ball to all fields and try to become a complete hitter, because I knew I was going to become big and strong, so at that point it was just having the ability to barrel up balls and the balls that I got a little backspin on happened to go out of the yard, so it was instilled to me at a young age to try to become a complete hitter and let the power come."

Rikard saw that power come to life during the pre-Draft visit to Fenway.

"He looked good. One of his biggest strengths is his power," said Rikard. "Typically in those workout settings, it's more about a last opportunity to spend time with these kids and get to know them on a little bit more of an intimate level. We typically do some batting practice, and he shows very well in that area, because his power is really good."

Video: Triston Casas wants to have lunch with Ted Williams

Casas made a big impression with USA Baseball, winning three gold medals and leading the 18U squad to its fourth consecutive world championship in 2017.

In his senior year of high school, Casas slashed .385/.545/.884 with seven homers, six doubles, six triples, 31 runs and 35 RBIs in 78 at-bats.

Video: Casas on having family supporting him at 2018 Draft

The Red Sox's second-round pick, Decker, is also a left-handed hitter, and is having a terrific senior season, batting .492 (29-for-59) with five doubles, two triples, seven home runs, and 24 RBIs in 2018. His team is still alive in the playoffs and will play in the state semifinals on Friday.

Video: Draft 2018: Red Sox draft OF Nick Decker No. 64

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox aim to use Draft to restock after trades

MLB.com

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters for the Red Sox, provide an example each day of the value a team can get from picking right in the Draft. Boston will try to find the next wave of homegrown stars this week.

The 2018 Draft will take place through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET today. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters for the Red Sox, provide an example each day of the value a team can get from picking right in the Draft. Boston will try to find the next wave of homegrown stars this week.

The 2018 Draft will take place through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET today. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.

Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Red Sox, whose first selection is the 26th overall pick.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

In about 50 words

The Red Sox have developed a plethora of impact position players in recent years, but the opposite has been true with starting pitchers. There is some urgency within the organization to find some impact arms who can become key rotation members down the road. Jay Groome, who was selected 12th overall two years ago, could certainly become one, but he is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The scoop

Last year, while picking 24th, the Red Sox grabbed a strong righty starter in Tanner Houck. The club could find another big arm picking two spots lower. A college pitcher could certainly help the Red Sox sooner than a high school arm. This is Mike Rikard's fourth season leading the Draft board for the Red Sox, and he came up with Benintendi with the seventh overall pick in his first year.

First-round buzz

MLB Pipeline gurus Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis both have the Red Sox taking a corner infielder with their first pick. Mayo thinks the Red Sox will take Clemson first baseman Seth Beer, who can also play the outfield and is known for his power. Callis is projecting the Sox will snag Magnolia high school (Texas) third baseman Jordan Groshans, one of the best young bats in the country.

Money matters

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

This year, the Red Sox have a pool of $ $5,723,300 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $2,552,800 to spend on their first selection.

Shopping list

After trading major prospects to land Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox are looking to shore up the farm system with bats and arms. Under Rikard, the club has seldom drafted based on positional need and will simply try to stock the system with as many impact players as it can find. This Draft is a crucial one for Boston in trying to re-establish its farm system.

Trend watch

While the Sox definitely favored college players during Theo Epstein's time as general manager, the club has taken a much more balanced approach in recent years. Two years ago, they got perhaps the most talented arm in the Draft in the first round with Groome. Last year, they went back to college with Houck. Given the need for more pitching in the immediate future, the Red Sox could lean to the college ranks for arms, but take a longer-term approach on bats.

Rising fast

Talk about rising fast. Benintendi was drafted just three years ago and is in his second season as a full-time outfielder and top-of-the-order hitter for the Red Sox. The reason Boston was able to grab Benintendi, however, was due to a last-place finish in 2014. The club would prefer to keep finishing in first place and try to find a solid Draft pick toward the end of the first round.

Cinderella story

J.D. Martinez was a 20th-round pick of the Astros in 2009, and is now one of the best hitters and sluggers in the game. The late-round selection of Martinez is a reminder to the Red Sox and every other team to stay equally focused on Days 2 and 3 of the Draft.

In the show

Betts, Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart, Matt Barnes, Brian Johnson and Austin Maddox are all current Red Sox players the team acquired through the Draft. The Sox will try to keep that momentum going by getting several more future Major Leaguers this year.

The Red Sox's recent top picks

2017: Tanner Houck, RHP, (Class A Advanced Salem)
2016: Jay Groome, LHP (Recovering from Tommy John surgery, won't pitch in 2018)
2015: Andrew Benintendi, LF, (Red Sox)
2014: Michael Chavis, 3B (Double-A Portland)
2013: Trey Ball, LHP (Double-A Portland)

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

These are the 5 AL East prospects to watch

MLB.com

The 2018 MLB Draft is less than two weeks away, which means the focus will soon shift to the next generation of talent, but there are already some top prospects knocking on the door in the American League East.

As part of MLB.com's weekly series that dives into some of the biggest storylines within the division, here's a closer look at some prospects who deserve some of your attention.

The 2018 MLB Draft is less than two weeks away, which means the focus will soon shift to the next generation of talent, but there are already some top prospects knocking on the door in the American League East.

As part of MLB.com's weekly series that dives into some of the biggest storylines within the division, here's a closer look at some prospects who deserve some of your attention.

Video: BAL@TB: Harvey K's three in Spring Training debut

ORIOLES
Prospect:
Hunter Harvey, RHP
MLB Pipeline rank: No. 3 (Orioles)
Why you should keep an eye on him: The Orioles are going through a tough time, and there isn't much on the horizon in the Minor League system when it comes to top-flight pitching. Harvey could be an exception. The son of former All-Star closer Bryan Harvey, Hunter was terrific in his 2014 full-season debut, earning a spot in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at just 19, roughly one year after Baltimore had selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the '13 Draft. But elbow issues slowed Harvey's progress, and he missed part of '14 and all of '15 before ultimately undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2016. Harvey finally returned to the mound last July, and he looked like his old self while excelling across three levels. His injury history aside, Harvey remains loaded with upside. Now a member of the Orioles' 40-man roster, he has already made a trip to Baltimore (thought he didn't get into a game), and he could still achieve his projection as a solid MLB starter -- an area of need for the O's.
ETA: Harvey will be back in orange and black this season, his debut a much-anticipated event among Orioles faithful.

Video: NEU@BOS: Beeks whiffs Geaslen for his third K

RED SOX
Prospect:
Jalen Beeks, LHP
MLB Pipeline rank: No. 15 (Red Sox)
Why you should keep an eye on him: Beeks has been electric for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, posting a 2.28 ERA in nine starts and striking out 65 in 43 1/3 innings.
ETA: As soon as this season. If the Red Sox have an injury in the rotation, Beeks could be the next man up. A 12th-round Draft pick in 2014, Beeks has progressed steadily in his time in the farm system.

Video: NYY@PHI: Sheffield whiffs Joseph in the 3rd

YANKEES
Prospect: Justus Sheffield, LHP
MLB Pipeline rank: No. 3 (Yankees), No. 44 (MLB)
Why you should keep an eye on him: Sheffield recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after posting a 2.25 ERA in five starts at Double-A Trenton, where he struck out 39 against 14 walks in 28 innings. Though he is still working on refining his command, Sheffield's three-pitch mix continues to excite the Yankees, who project him as a mid-rotation starter in the near future. Sheffield has served a brief stint on the seven-day disabled list with shoulder tightness, but he is set to return to action this week. A prize of the July 2016 Andrew Miller trade with the Indians, Sheffield could be an option for the big league squad this summer.
ETA: *Sheffield could get his first call to the Majors some time* this season.

Video: Callis on why Guerrero Jr. has not been called up yet

BLUE JAYS
Prospect:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B
MLB Pipeline rank: No. 1 (Blue Jays), No. 2 (MLB)
Why you should keep an eye on him: Guerrero arguably is the Blue Jays' most hyped prospect of all-time, and there is a real expectation that he will develop into one of the best players in baseball. Double-A pitchers have been no match for the Dominican native, who has a ridiculous .425/.479/.694 slash line and 45 RBIs in 41 games. It has been almost too easy for the son of a Hall of Famer, and even at just 19 years of age, his bat appears to be big league-ready.
ETA: Most people would say 2018, but the Blue Jays are taking a very cautious approach here. Guerrero is all but assured of having a stint at Triple-A Buffalo before making the jump to the Major Leagues. That means his arrival in Toronto is not going to happen any time soon, and there's still a very real chance he won't be promoted until late April of next year.

Video: Must C Classic: Adames hits HR off Sale for first hit

RAYS
Prospect: Willy Adames, SS
MLB Pipeline rank: No. 2 (Rays), No. 22 (MLB)
Why you should keep an eye on him: Farm director Mitch Lukevics has long said that Adames has the "It" factor. He has succeeded at every level since coming to the Rays in a 2014 trade that sent David Price to the Tigers. Adames has a slick glove, he hits for average and he hits for power.
ETA: The Rays brought him up Monday, though they've already said he will be returned to Triple-A Durham, even though he homered in his first Major League game. He shouldn't be back down in the Minors for long.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Willy Adames, Jalen Beeks, Hunter Harvey, Justus Sheffield

Groome to undergo Tommy John surgery

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Top Red Sox pitching prospect Jay Groome won't pitch at all in 2018. Instead, the talented 19-year-old will undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal El Attrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute.

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NEW YORK -- Top Red Sox pitching prospect Jay Groome won't pitch at all in 2018. Instead, the talented 19-year-old will undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal El Attrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute.

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The 6-foot-6 lefty was Boston's first-round pick in the 2016 Draft, taken No. 12 overall. He's currently ranked the organization's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline (but their No. 1 pitching prospect), as well as the No. 85 overall prospect in baseball.

Due to injuries, Groome has made just 17 starts since being drafted, going 3-9 with a 5.69 ERA.

The New Jersey native spent the offseason working out with Red Sox lefty ace Chris Sale in Fort Myers, Fla.

Sale is a big believer in Groome and has expressed the hope numerous times they will one day pitch in the same rotation.

"It's been fun," said Sale earlier this year. "He's done a really good job. It's fun to see. He's young and this is his first go at it. I'm just trying to get him prepared and show him, 'Hey, this is what it takes to get through a big league season.' He's got all the tools you can possibly ask for. That guy is an animal. Just trying to give him some ins and outs and try to get him here sooner rather than later."

Video: Sale talks about being a mentor to Jay Groome

The general timetable for pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery is 12-18 months.

Groome is seen as having frontline starter potential. In his time in the Minors, Groome's fastball has been sitting in the low 90s, although he hit 97 mph as an amateur. His best pitch, though, is his power curveball, which was the consensus best breaking ball of anyone in his Draft class.

Many pitchers make a full recovery from Tommy John surgery and some even throw harder when they return.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox prospect Chavis suspended for PEDs

MLB.com

BOSTON -- Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis was hoping to spend the early part of the season completing his development and perhaps earning a trip to Fenway Park at some point in the summer.

However, those plans have taken a major hit as the slugging corner infielder was suspended 80 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program on Friday.

BOSTON -- Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis was hoping to spend the early part of the season completing his development and perhaps earning a trip to Fenway Park at some point in the summer.

However, those plans have taken a major hit as the slugging corner infielder was suspended 80 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program on Friday.

Chavis, ranked No. 1 among Red Sox prospects and 80th overall by MLB Pipeline, tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a PED.

"The Boston Red Sox fully support Major League Baseball and the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Red Sox said in a statement. "While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Michael. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter."

In a lengthy tweet he posted after the suspension was announced, Chavis said he was unsure how the substance got into his system.

Tweet from @MichaelChavis11: Please see my personal statement on today's news... pic.twitter.com/LihaObpzOf

"Over the past several months, I have been searching for an answer as to how a prohibited substance I have never heard of, DHMCT, was detected in my urine during the offseason," Chavis tweeted. "It is a question that unfortunately has not been answered, and I have run out of time for now to find an answer. As hopeless as this is for me, I am faced with the reality that maybe I never will. The only thing I do know is that I would never, and have never, purposely taken any prohibited substance in my entire life."

Chavis was also apologetic.

"I also want to apologize for the negative attention brought to myself, my family, the Red Sox, our fans and everyone who supports me," Chavis said in his tweet.

In the 2014 Draft, the Red Sox took the right-handed-hitting third baseman in the first round, 26th overall.

A pull hitter with a swing designed for Fenway Park, Chavis had a breakthrough 2017 season split between Class A Advanced Salem and Double-A Portland, slashing .282/.347/.563 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs.

Chavis was invited to Major League camp for the first time this Spring Training, but he couldn't play after injuring his oblique a few days before Grapefruit League games started.

A third baseman for most of his Minor League career, Chavis gained comfort after last season playing first base in the Arizona Fall League. The plan for this season was that Chavis would play both positions to increase his value to the Red Sox.

It remains to be seen how much the suspension will impact the timetable of Chavis eventually getting promoted to the Major Leagues.

The Red Sox currently have Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland at first base with Rafael Devers at third and J.D. Martinez as the designated hitter.

Though there was no immediate need for Chavis in Boston, he offered an intriguing option if someone got injured or underperformed. Chavis is without question the top power bat in the Red Sox's Minor League system.

With Chavis out of the picture for a while, Sam Travis, ranked No. 5 among Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline, is another power bat the Red Sox could call on if a need arises.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Poyner notches first big league victory

With game on line, prospect fans three over two innings
MLB.com

BOSTON -- For Red Sox lefty reliever Bobby Poyner, Thursday was momentous as soon as he walked to the bullpen for the start of the home opener at Fenway Park.

Poyner, who is ranked the club's No. 23 prospect by MLB Pipeline, had only been to games at Fenway Park as a spectator. And now he was here as the 25-year-old rookie who made the team out of Spring Training after spending all of last season with Double-A Portland.

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BOSTON -- For Red Sox lefty reliever Bobby Poyner, Thursday was momentous as soon as he walked to the bullpen for the start of the home opener at Fenway Park.

Poyner, who is ranked the club's No. 23 prospect by MLB Pipeline, had only been to games at Fenway Park as a spectator. And now he was here as the 25-year-old rookie who made the team out of Spring Training after spending all of last season with Double-A Portland.

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But the day just kept getting more special. Red Sox manager Alex Cora went to Poyner with the game tied heading into the 11th, and the reliever came up with six big outs, three of them on strikeouts.

Let the record show that Poyner was the winning pitcher in a game the Red Sox downed the Rays, 3-2, on Hanley Ramirez's walk-off single to deep right in the 12th inning.

"Today was awesome," said Poyner after his first career win. "Like I said, just building on each outing, keep improving, keep working on my pitches."

Cora became impressed by Poyner early in Spring Training, and he liked him even more once he saw how nothing rattled him.

Poyner has pitched in four of Boston's first seven games, giving up one run over 4 2/3 innings.

The fact that Poyner was the choice in those last two extra innings says something when the Red Sox still had a couple of experienced options available in Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes.

"He's a guy with the fastball throwing 89 [mph], 90 [mph], and he can get people out and the changeup," said Cora. "We've been talking to him about using the changeup against lefties, and he's been doing a better job. He's a good pitcher, tough to pick up the ball. In an era when we talk about pitching vertical, he does an outstanding job."

Poyner had experienced Fenway before, but Thursday's experience took it to another level.

"I mean, any time I think you're at Fenway Park, whether you're in the stands or whatever, I think it's a totally different intensity," Poyner said. "It was incredible. It was awesome."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Bobby Poyner