The Red Sox announced that they will have 19 non-roster invitees in their big league spring training camp, including the two players widely viewed as the top prospects in their system in shortstop Xander Bogaerts and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Most of the rest of the list is comprised of players who project to open the year in Triple-A or the majors, with one intriguing exception.
The team also added shortstop Deven Marrero to camp as a non-roster invitee, a development that comes as something of a surprise given that the team’s 2012 first-round pick (No. 24 overall) has played just 64 professional games, all with the Short-Season Single-A Lowell Spinners last year. Given that he wasn’t invited to the team’s Rookie Development Program, Marrero’s presence in big league camp is unexpected.
Marrero, 22, was considered an advanced college position player entering the draft, and he had a solid if unspectacular showing in Lowell, hitting .268/.358/.374/.732 with 19 extra-base hits and 24 steals (in 30 attempts) in 64 games. Still, given that shortstop is a position of depth for the Sox with Stephen Drew, Jose Iglesias, Pedro Ciriaco, Brock Holt and Bogaerts already in camp, the Arizona State alum was not expected to start the spring in big league camp. The fact that he is doing so underscores the idea that the organization thinks that there is a potential for Marrero to follow a somewhat more accelerated development path than most players who are entering their first full pro seasons in professional baseball.
At the same time, his inclusion makes one omission all the more startling — outfielder Bryce Brentz, who did take part in the Rookie Development program, isn’t listed on the Red Sox’ initial release of non-roster invitees. Brentz finished last year in Triple-A Pawtucket, and Sox manager John Farrell recently mentioned him as a candidate to turn some heads in spring training.
Here’s how the non-roster invitees break down by position:
RHPs (6): Pedro Beato, Anthony Carter, Chris Carpenter, Jose De La Torre, Terry Doyle, Oscar Villareal
LHPs (1): Chris Hernandez
Infielders (7): Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Diaz, Mark Hamilton, Justin Henry, Deven Marrero, Lyle Overbay, Drew Sutton
Outfielders (5): Jackie Bradley, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Juan Carlos Linares, Mitch Maier, Ryan Sweeney
From the Red Sox press release, here’s a player-by-player look at the 19 invitees:
Pedro Beato, RHP – Beato, 26, made four relief appearances with Boston after being acquired from the New York Mets on August 16, going 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA (4 ER/7.2 IP) in those games. He also pitched in seven contests for Triple-A Pawtucket, including three during the International League postseason. For his major league career, Beato is 3-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 71 games between the Mets (2011-12) and Red Sox (2012). He was originally a supplemental-round pick (32nd overall) of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2006 June draft.
Xander Bogaerts, INF – Bogaerts, 20, enters 2013 as Boston’s No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America. He was named Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 after hitting .307 with 37 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 81 RBI, and 44 walks in 127 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, including a .326 average in 23 games for the Sea Dogs as the Eastern League’s youngest position player all year. A native of Aruba, Bogaerts signed with Boston as an international free agent in August of 2009.
Jackie Bradley, OF – The 22-year-old Bradley hit .315 with 42 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, and 63 RBI in 128 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland last season. He topped the Red Sox system in runs (90), walks (87), and on-base percentage (.430) while finishing second in batting average. Bradley, the Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, was ranked by Baseball America as the second-best prospect in the Red Sox system. He was a supplemental first-round selection (40th overall) by Boston in the 2011 June Draft.
Chris Carpenter, RHP – Carpenter, 27, opened the 2012 season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow on March 29. Before joining the Red Sox as a September call-up, he posted a combined 2.08 ERA in 21 appearances between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, Greenville, Portland, and Pawtucket. With Pawtucket alone, Carpenter had a 1.15 ERA with four saves in four chances in 16 games. Carpenter was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 2008 June Draft.
Anthony Carter, RHP – Last season, the 26-year-old Carter posted a 4-6 record with a 4.60 ERA in 39 appearances (one start) for Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox organization. In his 38 relief appearances for Charlotte in 2012, he posted a 3.58 ERA. Originally a 26th-round selection of the White Sox in the 2005 June Draft, Carter went 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA and converted all seven of his save chances in 17 games for Indios de Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Jose De La Torre, RHP – Acquired by the Red Sox in a July 24 trade with Cleveland, De La Torre, 27, went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 12 appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket last season. Overall in 2012, he combined to go 9-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 46 appearances (one start) for Double-A Akron, Triple-A Columbus, and Pawtucket. De La Torre, who is on the 2013 provisional roster for Puerto Rico in this year’s World Baseball Classic, was originally signed by the Mets as an international free agent in 2006.
Jonathan Diaz, INF – Last season, Diaz, 27, combined to hit .221 with 13 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 40 RBI in 134 games between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas in the Blue Jays minor league system. Although he primarily appeared at shortstop, he also played second base and third base, and between both clubs and all three positions, he committed only 12 errors in 754 total chances. Diaz was originally a 12th-round selection of the Blue Jays in the 2006 June Draft.
Terry Doyle, RHP – A Boston College graduate and native of Salem, New Hampshire, Doyle, 27, was in both the Twins and White Sox organizations last year. Selected by the Twins in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft, he was returned to the White Sox in late March and pitched for Triple-A Charlotte where in 12 games (11 starts), he went 6-3 with a 2.83 ERA. In mid-June, Doyle was released by the White Sox in order to pursue an opportunity to pitch in Japan with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he went 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in three games. Doyle was originally a 37th-round selection of the White Sox in the 2007 June Draft.
Mark Hamilton, INF/OF – Hamilton, 28, spent last year with Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals organization where he hit .231 with 12 doubles, 15 home runs, 51 RBI, and a career-best 51 walks in 90 games. Defensively in 2012, he appeared in 51 games (50 starts) in left field and in 14 games (12 starts) at first base. Originally a supplemental second-round selection by St. Louis in the 2006 June Draft, Hamilton has appeared in 47 career major league games for the Cardinals between the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF – In 121 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last season, the 25-year-old Hazelbaker combined to hit .273 with 24 doubles, six triples, a career-high 19 home runs and 67 RBI, also a career high. He scored 79 runs between both clubs and stole 36 bases, which included 33 for Portland, the second-most in the Eastern League. Among all Red Sox minor leaguers in 2012, Hazelbaker, a fourth-round selection by Boston in the 2008 June Draft, ranked second in steals and tied for fourth in homers.
Justin Henry, INF – In 2012, the 27-year-old Henry played for Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers organization and hit .300 with 14 doubles, five triples, one home run and 38 RBI in 131 games. Among all International League players, he ranked third in hits, sixth in on-base percentage (.372) and seventh in average. Originally a ninth-round selection of the Tigers in the 2007 June Draft, Henry was acquired by Boston via trade during the 2012 Rule 5 Draft.
Chris Hernandez, LHP – Hernandez, 24, pitched for both Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2012 and combined to go 5-12 with a 3.26 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 26 games (25 starts). For the second straight year, his ERA ranked second lowest among all Red Sox full-season minor leaguers (3.18 ERA in 2011). Selected to the Eastern League’s mid-season All-Star team in 2012, Hernandez was the Red Sox’ seventh-round selection in the 2010 June Draft.
Juan Carlos Linares, OF – Linares, 28, combined to hit .316 with 28 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 110 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last season. With runners in scoring position, he batted .314 (32-for-102) between both teams. Defensively, Linares appeared in all three outfield positions, spending the majority of his games in right field. A non-roster invitee to Red Sox major league spring training in 2012, Linares was originally signed by Boston as an international free agent in July of 2010.
Mitch Maier, OF – Maier, 30, split the 2012 season between Triple-A Omaha and the Kansas City Royals. A veteran of six major league seasons, all with Kansas City (2006, 2008-12), Maier appeared in 32 games for the Royals last season and hit .172 with two home runs and seven RBI. In 38 games for Omaha, he hit .288 with four doubles, one triple and four home runs with 17 RBI. Maier, who has appeared in 360 career major league games, was Kansas City’s first-round selection (30th overall) in the 2003 June Draft.
Deven Marrero, INF – The Red Sox’ first-round selection (24th overall) in the 2012 June Draft, Marrero, 22, made his professional debut last season for Single-A Lowell. In 64 games, he batted .268 with 14 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 24 RBI while leading his club in steals (24), runs scored (45), walks (34) and extra-base hits (19). Marrero enters the 2013 season, his first full professional season, ranked the No. 10 prospect in the Red Sox minor league system.
Lyle Overbay, INF – Overbay, 36, split the 2012 season between the Diamondbacks and Braves, for whom he combined to hit .259 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI in 65 games. Over his career, the veteran of 12 major league seasons for Arizona (2001-03, 2011-12), Milwaukee (2004-05), Toronto (2006-10), Pittsburgh (2011) and Atlanta (2012), has hit .270 with 318 doubles, 133 home runs and 581 RBI in 1,324 games. Overbay was originally an 18th-round selection of the Diamondbacks in the 1999 June Draft.
Drew Sutton, INF – The 2013 season marks the second stint for Sutton, 29, in the Red Sox organization as he was also a non-roster invitee to major league camp in 2011. In 2012, he was a part of the Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay organizations and saw major league action with the Pirates and Rays. In his 42 games between both of those clubs, he hit .254 with 12 doubles, one triple, one home run and 13 RBI. For his big league career, Sutton, a 15th-round selection of the Astros in the 2004 June Draft, has hit .256 with 24 doubles, two triples, four home runs, and 37 RBI in 128 games for the Reds (2009-10), Indians (2010), Red Sox (2011), Rays (2012), and Pirates (2012).
Ryan Sweeney, OF – Three separate trips to the disabled list limited the 27-year-old Sweeney to just 63 games for the Red Sox last season in which he batted .260 with 19 doubles, two triples and 16 RBI. Originally a second-round selection of the White Sox in the 2003 June Draft, Sweeney has hit .280 with 102 doubles, 12 triples and 14 RBI in 535 major league games for the White Sox (2006-07), Athletics (2008-11) and Red Sox (2012). He was acquired by Boston along with right-hander Andrew Bailey via trade from Oakland in December of 2011.
Oscar Villarreal, LHP – Last season, Villarreal, 31, went 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 37 games (two starts) for Triple-A Norfolk in the Orioles minor league system. Following the regular season, he pitched in the Mexican Pacific League and also appeared for Mexico in the 2013 Caribbean Series. A veteran of six major league seasons for Arizona (2003-05), Atlanta (2006-07) and Houston (2008), Villarreal was originally signed by the Diamondbacks as an international free agent in November of 1998.
Eight of the 19 invitees have major league experience, including Beato, Carpenter, Hamilton, Maier, Overbay, Sutton, Sweeney and Villarreal. Beato, Carpenter and Sweeney all saw action for the Red Sox in 2012.
Pitchers and catchers will participate in their first on-field workout at the Fenway South Player Development Complex in Lee County on Tuesday, February 12. The first full squad workout of the Red Sox spring training camp is on Friday, February 15.
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