Jared Carrabis joins Mut Mutnansky to discuss concerns surrounding the Red Sox heading into Spring Training.

Right-hander Carson Smith could make an impact with the Red Sox.</p>
<div class=



Another day, another high ranking for the players in the Red Sox farm system.

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

Another day, another high ranking for the players in the Red Sox farm system.

ESPN’s Keith Law, one of the most respected names in prospect evaluation, released his top 100 prospect list on Thursday, and three Red Sox cracked the top 20, with another making the top 40.

Law rated third baseman Rafael Devers as the No. 7 overall prospect in the game. Devers has been overshadowed by the heralded arrivals of Yoan Moncada (No. 17) and Andrew Benintendi (No. 18), but Law sees the 19-year-old as the jewel of the system, praising the 6-foot, 195-pounder’s, “acumen to match his prodigious tools.”

“The bat would profile at first base, of course, with the power and contact upside there, but the potential for above-average defense at third on top of 30-35 homers and a high batting average (even if it’s without a high OBP) is what makes him a top-10 prospect,” Law wrote.

Law is more cautious in his evaluation of Moncada, whom he pegs for 15-18 home runs a year, noting that his swing from both sides of the plate isn’t really geared for the long ball. He still considers him a player with “a couple of paths to becoming an All-Star.”

Law is actually more bullish on Benintendi, whom he could see making a Kyle Schwarber-like jump to the big leagues this year as a potential 20-20 center fielder down the road.

The other Red Sox prospect on the list is right-hander Anderson Espinoza, who’s still only 17 years old. Law says he could be Pedro Martinez as a starter or Aroldis Chapman as a closer, at least according to the hyperbole, but he praises the youngster’s feel for three pitches, one of them being a 99 mph fastball.

“With three big league-caliber pitches and shocking feel for his age, Espinoza is the living definition of a player being ‘scary good,’ because we haven’t seen a player like him in quite a while,” Law wrote.

As for the rest of the list, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager checked in at No. 1, while two former Red Sox — Manuel Margot (No. 25) and Javier Guerra (No. 34) — both cracked the top 50 after being acquired from the Padres in a deal for closer Craig Kimbrel.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Red Sox won't need to break out last spring training's t-shirts this time around.</p>
<div class=



Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes on the Bradfo Show podcast

Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes on the Bradfo Show podcast

Matt Barnes just became a Godfather, earning the title for his cousin’s daughter. He also recently bought a house just down the road from JetBlue Park. And the Red Sox reliever officially discovered his favorite two spots in his new hometown to grab a bite to eat.

“If you’re going to go out, Cracker Barrel is awesome,” Barnes said. “That new Twin Peaks place is a lot of fun.” (When questioned about the merits of the latter’s menu, he responded, “The wings are good. They’ve got some bacon strips in some brown sugar. It’s a heart attack in an appetizer.”)

But the real alteration in Barnes’ lifestyle is that he enters spring training as a relief pitcher for the first time. Why? In large part because he carries the skill-set so many bullpens are looking for these days — the righty throws hard.

Besides Joe Kelly, Barnes threw 97 mph or better more than any Red Sox pitcher in 2015 (22 times). And while he has no documented proof, his brother did once email him a tweet from a scout in Barnes’ first pro year suggesting he had hit 101 mph.

“It’s definitely pretty cool, whether or not I actually did it,” he admitted. “You can’t just dig down and get it. Going from 96 or 97 to 100, it’s hard.”

But the velocity is just a start for Barnes, as he found out in ’15.

Having just been introduced to relieving midway through last spring training, Barnes took his lumps for much of his stint in the major leagues. As he explained on the podcast, simply throwing hard wasn’t going to be the answer, with the righty totaling a 6.89 ERA and .338 batting average against through 23 appearances before being sent down.

But, after his promotion from Triple-A, Barnes came back in September to allow just one run on eight hits while striking out eight and walking three in nine games. And, just for good measure, he was also afforded one last reminder courtesy Alex Rodriguez, who turned around a 97 mph heater for a solo homer in Barnes’ second-to-last outing of the season.

Following the A-Rod homer, Barnes explained on the podcast that he sat in the dugout with teammate Rick Porcello, who helped guided the rookie through what he might have done right and wrong.

“Velocity helps, I’m not going to say it doesn’t. But if you’re throwing 97 down the middle of the plate these guys are going to hit it,” he said. “Ninety-six, 97, 98, if it’s not located, it’s going to get hit.

“September was a turning point, how I needed to go about being a reliever, how my stuff best played.”

Barnes will be competing for a spot in what already appears to be a fairly crowded Red Sox bullpen, with Craig Kimbrel, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Carson Smith, Robbie Ross Jr., Tommy Layne, and Roenis Elias all having proved themselves in the majors. Steven Wright (who is out of options) and Heath Hembree, also figure to be in the mix.

For now, however, Barnes is at least thinking like a member of the Red Sox bullpen.

“Absolutely,” he said when asked if some of the attention sent the way to the highly-touted Yankees pen should be diverted to the Sox. “It’s always going to be a competition, especially when you talk about division rivals. … I think we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, too.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes joins Rob Bradford to discuss why he's now a relief pitcher, how important it is that he throws harder than most, lessons he learned from last season, and why his love for two very different restaurants in Cracker Barrel and Twin Peaks
This week the guys are joined by Ian Browne of MLB.com, they talk about Clay Buchholz and the impending opening of spring training
Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes joins Rob Bradford to discuss why he's now a relief pitcher, how important it is that he throws harder than most, lessons he learned from last season, and why his love for two very different restaurants in Cracker Barrel and Twin Peaks

[0:00:00] ... addition the brat throws show it we ordered that. The joined by Matt Barnes knew how Fort Myers though we we are just visitors in neo world map congratulations and thank you very much pretty excited about that how are you hockey copies of the sad. You get BO route right now jetBlue park Fort Myers with some other stragglers coming in and you probably look to these guys. You know it's these guys went into your late ...
[0:00:57] ... me having yet you know you've got buckled for so low lane. Andy Reid is. Brandon Workman. My giving someone I think that's about it today yes I mean it's. You can deathly filter on the ...
[0:05:40] ... pits in the 21 count. In the top of the tenth to Russell Martin at home of sunlight. Is 969 out and outer half but it not located very London and he says Nona and just. ...
[0:11:57] ... Richard did you do pretty cool this off. Bought a house in Fort Myers. I did that. Jamie got father discuss against graduation. And that was awesome and when we know our. Now as Mike my ...