New Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine talks with reporters on January 23, 2012, in the clubhouse at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Valentine was in town to speak at the annual Greenville Drive Hot Stove Event.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was in Greenville this week to take a tour of the mini Fenway Park before being the guests of honor at the sixth annual Greenville Hot Stove Event.
Valentine’s goal is also to make it to the top with the Red Sox, his third Major League stop after stints with Texas and the New York Mets, where he managed his last MLB game in 2002. His last managerial experience of any sort ended in 2009 after a six-year stint in Japan. He’s spent the past few seasons as an ESPN analyst.
“I managed for a long time and when I got through in 2009, I needed a little break and was glad I got it,” Valentine said. “ESPN afforded me a great living while I did it and the great experience of doing games on a national basis. I was lucky when the Red Sox job opened up and I was chosen to take it.”
New Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine takes a photo with his cell phone of the Tommy Lasorda plaque on January 23, 2012, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Behind Valentine is Greenville Drive General Manager Mike deMaine. Valentine was in town to speak at the annual Greenville Drive Hot Stove Event.
Outfielder Bryce Brentz (23) of the Salem Red Sox, Carolina League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, prior to a game against the Potomac Nationals on June 16, 2011, at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Brentz was a first-round sandwich pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
Every one of the Red Sox’ Minor Leaguers listed on the new MLB Top 100 Prospects list has played in Greenville for the Drive.
They include: No. 56 Will Middlebrooks; No. 64 Bryce Brentz; No. 76 Xander Bogaerts; and No. 93 Ryan Lavarnway.
Plus, two former Greenville Drive players traded away by the Sox are also on the list: No. 37 Anthony Rizzo, now with the Cubs organization; and No. 50, Casey Kelly, now with the Padres.
The MLB Top 100 prospects list:
1. Matt Moore, SP, Rays
2. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
3. Mike Trout, OF, Angels
4. Julio Teheran, SP, Braves
5. Shelby Miller, SP, Cardinals
6. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
7. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
8. Jameson Taillon, SP, Pirates
9. Trevor Bauer, SP, Diamondbacks
10. Dylan Bundy, SP, Orioles
11. Gerrit Cole, SP, Pirates
12. Manny Banuelos, SP, Yankees
13. Jesus Montero, C, Mariners
14. Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds
15. Jacob Turner, SP, Tigers
16. Danny Hultzen, SP, Mariners
17. Bubba Starling, OF, Royals
18. Taijuan Walker, SP, Mariners
19. Wil Myers, OF, Royals
20. Archie Bradley, SP, Diamondbacks
21. Tyler Skaggs, SP, Diamondbacks
22. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
23. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
24. Drew Pomeranz, SP, Rockies
25. Travis d’Arnaud, C, Blue Jays
26. Jarrod Parker, SP, A’s
27. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
28. Zack Wheeler, SP, Mets
29. Martin Perez, SP, Rangers
30. Carlos Martinez, SP, Cardinals
31. Mike Montgomery, SP, Royals
32. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
33. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs
34. Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds
35. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins
36. Arodys Vizcaino, SP, Braves
37. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
38. Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
39. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Padres
40. Starling Marte, OF, Pirates
41. Dellin Betances, SP, Yankees
42. Randall Delgado, SP, Braves
43. Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers
44. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros
45. Zach Lee, SP, Dodgers
46. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays
47. Jake Odorizzi, SP, Royals
48. Gary Brown, OF, Giants
49. Wily Peralta, SP, Brewers
50. Casey Kelly, SP, Padres
51. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers
52. Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners
53. Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
54. Trevor May, SP, Phillies
55. Jean Segura, SS, Angels
56. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox
57. Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays
58. Jake Marisnick, OF, Blue Jays
59. Michael Choice, OF, A’s
60. Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres
61. Jarred Cosart, SP, Astros
62. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs
63. Willin Rosario, C, Rockies
64. Bryce Brentz, OF, Red Sox
65. Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves
66. Chad Bettis, SP, Rockies
67. Garrett Richards, SP, Angels
68. Yasmani Grandal, C, Padres
69. Josh Bell, OF, Pirates
70. Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Dodgers
71. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres
72. Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins
73. Mason Williams, OF, Yankees
74. Chris Archer, SP, Rays
75. Brad Peacock, SP, A’s
76. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
77. James Paxton, SP, Mariners
78. Jesse Biddle, SP, Phillies
79. Allen Webster, SP, Dodgers
80. Brody Colvin, SP, Phillies
81. Cory Spangenberg, 2B, Padres
82. Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers
83. Alex Meyer, SP, Nationals
84. George Springer, OF, Astros
85. Sonny Gray, SP, A’s
86. Sammy Solis, SP, Nationals
87. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Marlins
88. A.J. Cole, SP, A’s
89. Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers
90. Jeurys Familia, SP, Mets
91. Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves
92. Tim Beckham, SS, Rays
93. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox
94. Grant Green, OF, A’s
95. Noah Syndergaard, SP, Blue Jays
96. Mikie Mahtook, OF, Rays
97. Jed Bradley, SP, Brewers
98. Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants
99. Taylor Guerrieri, SP, Rays
100. Addison Reed, RP, White Sox
Infielder Sean Coyle (5) of the Greenville Drive, Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in a game against the Asheville Tourists on May 1, 2011, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Coyle was a third-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. (Tom Priddy / Four Seam Images)
It should be pretty obvious as to why this is among my favorites. Not only is it of Sean Coyle, one of my favorite subjects from 2011, but Topps made the photo into one of their Heritage cards.
That makes it easy to place as No. 10, and the final one of my year’s favorites. Thanks for watching.
Starting pitcher Junichi Tazawa (13) of the Salem Red Sox waits out a rain delay by tossing a ball in the dugout prior to a game against the Potomac Nationals on June 16, 2011, at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Tazawa was on a Major League rehab assignment from the Boston Red Sox. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
Major Leaguer Junichi Tazawa was on a rehab assignment in Class A, and here he was waiting out a rain delay before a start. He was tossing a ball back and forth, listening to his music, and looked like he just wanted to get things going.
It just seemed to be an interesting Minor League moment frozen in time. Almost like a painting.
Right fielder Kyle Parker (8) of the Asheville Tourists makes a sliding catch in foul territory in a game against the Greenville Drive on May 1, 2011, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. A former quarterback and outfielder for the Clemson Tigers, Parker was the No. 1 pick of the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. (Tom Priddy / Four Seam Images)
I was paying special attention to Kyle Parker on his first pro visit to Fluor Field, after playing there with the Clemson Tigers. So it was especially nice to get an action shot like this of him catching a fly in the right-field warning track.
Infielder Xander Bogaerts (23) of the Greenville Drive, Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, prior to a game against the Hickory Crawdads on July 1, 2011, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
The recognition keeps coming for Greenville Drive shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Today MLB named him in its list of Top 10 shortstops.
Jonathan Mayo writes in his report on Bogaerts: “Any thoughts of Bogaerts coming along slowly were thrown out the window when he played his way to the South Atlantic League in June and seemed more than comfortable there as a teenager.”
He was on MLB’s list at No. 10. Earlier this month he was ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox’ No. 2 prospect.
Bogaerts played for his native Netherlands in the 2011 World Cup in Panamaand was named a 2011 post-season No. 10 prospect in the South Atlantic League by Baseball America.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Mississippi Braves, the Atlanta Braves’ Class AA affiliate of the Southern League, in a game against the Birmingham Barons on April 23, 2007, at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
The Red Sox have signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a one-year deal which the Boston Globe says is worth $2.5 million.
According to the Globe, “The 26-year-old Saltalamacchia will arrive in spring training as the team’s primary catcher after splitting the duties for much of last season with Jason Varitek.”
I photographed Salty at several stops in the minors, including one day in Class A when he asked me not to include his glove in any of my photos. He sheepishly said he had forgotten his gear and had to borrow a glove that he wasn’t under contract to use.
This image was taken one year when I was shooting the Mississippi Braves’ card set, and I was disappointed they didn’t use it for Salty’s card.
He’s always been one of my favorite players. I even learned how to spell his name by memory.
Catcher Jesus Montero (21) of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, International League affiliate of the New York Yankees, in a game against the Norfolk Tides on June 20, 2011, at PNC Park in Moosic, Pa. Montero is ranked the No. 1 New York Yankees’ prospect for 2011 by Baseball America. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
Catcher Jesus Montero found himself the New York Yankees’ top prospect for 2012 one day, and then woke up the following day as a Seattle Mariner. It’s enough to boggle the mind.
But the Yanks seemed deep in catchers, and wanted to make a trade, so there you have it.
Seattle sent righty Michael Pineda and Minor League pitcher Jose Campos to the Yankees in exchange for Montero.
Martin Prado of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A Carolina League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, taken May 13, 2005, at Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, Va. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
The Atlanta Braves have signed veteran utility man Martin Prado to a one-year contract.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “The deal, which will pay Prado between $4.5 and $5 million, has no real bearing on the whether the Braves end up trading him because any conversations have come with the understanding that Prado would draw this kind of salary for 2012.”
The Braves also signed infielder Jack Wilson to a one-year deal.
LHP Nick Hagadone of the Greenville Drive, Sally League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, pitches in his first Class A game against the Kannapolis Intimidators April 5, 2008, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
Former Greenville Drive pitcher Nick Hagadone is listed as the Cleveland Indians’ No. 3 prospect for 2012 by Baseball America.
Hagadone pitched in Greenville during the 2008 season
Former Gamecock Lonnie Chisenhall has dropped off the Top 10, but is still projected by the magazine’s writers as the Indians’ third baseman of the future.