Red Sox Winter League Roundup: Hanley, Vazquez, Devers


Updates on Hanley and Vazquez.  Devers and Hernandez hold their own.  Pat Light impresses.  Remember the name Jorge Marban.

In what seemed like could be an important Winter League development Hanley Ramirez announced his intention to play winter league baseball in the Dominican, to get some reps at first base before Spring Training. The Red Sox announced that Hanley’s comments were misinterpreted and he wasn’t going to play in the Dominican. This seemed odd given that Hanley said “I will be playing”, but the Red Sox said this was only Hanley’s wish.

Christian Vazquez‘ rehab from his Tommy John surgery, getting some at-bats as a Designated Hitter in Puerto Rico, was delayed when Vazquez’ San Juan team suddenly folded. Vazquez has returned to game action with Santurce and the Red Sox are pleased with his progress. Vazquez is hitting .277/.314/.298 in 47 plate appearances with a double and three RBI. Vazquez is not yet catching in games and is only throwing on the side.

Some of the Red Sox top prospects are still playing games. Let’s take a look at their progress.

Rafael Devers, the 19 year old phenom who already has 185 professional games on his resume with an .823 OPS, played third base for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League. He has not played since November 14, so he appears to have been shut down for the season. He ended on a strong note with a final four games of five for 16 with two walks and four RBI. His overall number were .279/.340/.349 in 43 plate appearances.

Marco Hernandez whom the Red Sox recently added to their 40 man roster, is playing his second straight year for Licey in the Dominican. The former Cub farmhand hit .305/.330/.454 between AA and AAA for Boston in 114 games this season. At Licey, Hernandez has three multi-hit games over his last seven contests, batting .284/.308/.362 in 116 at-bats.

In Puerto Rico, Pat Light is showing why the Red Sox recently added him to the 40 man roster. For Caguas, Light is posting a sparkling 1.74 ERA, striking out nine in 10.1 innings. He is currently on a five inning scoreless streak in which he has allowed just two hits.

In Venezuela, William Cuevas who posted a 2.63 ERA in 41 innings at AAA Pawtucket this season, made five starts for La Guiara. His last start in which he was lit up for five earned runs in 4.1 innings skewed his stats somewhat, but overall he posted a 4.07 ERA in 24.1 innings. He had a 2.70 ERA before that last bump in the road.

Edwin Escobar who came over in the Peavy deal is still on the Red Sox 40 man roster despite not appearing in the majors in 2015. Escobar has been starting games for Lara in Venezuela. He has a 3.91 ERA in 25.1 innings, but has only struck out nine batters while walking 17.

Jorge Marban is a 27 year old right hander whom Red Sox fans should keep on their radar. After two years in the Texas Rangers organization and three years in Independent Leagues, a Red Sox scout discovered him in Australia. While he struggles with his command at times, Marban used a plus split fingered fastball and mid 90s heat to post a 1.31 ERA in 62 innings between three levels including 0.69 in AAA Pawtucket in 13 innings. Perhaps just to showcase him for any teams paying attention, Marban threw 4.2 innings in November for Aragua in Venezuela, allowing two runs and striking out one while walking three.

Stay tuned to this offseason for all your news and analysis as we ramp up to Spring Training in February.