A Sox prospect didn't know what a force out was

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Omar Minaya and Theo Epstein spoke at a round table
discussion over the weekend and the subject of Latin American player development came up.  This was fun:

While many big-name players have emerged from the Dominican Republic,
the highly touted athletes often are kept out of baseball games and
kept in training facilities, thus explaining the tendency of Dominican
prospects to be more raw than most minor-leaguers. Buscones, which are
similar to agents in the Dominican Republic, take the talented children
(as young as 10 years old, according to Minaya and Epstein) and have
them fine-tune their stills through drills. This hinders their baseball
thinking so much that Epstein recalled a player that the Red Sox had
given $500,000 to that they soon realized did not understand what a
force out was.

Of course, given the fact that the Red Sox haven’t produced a single Latin American prospect of note under Theo Epstein maybe this anecdote says more about the Sox’ Latin American scouts than it says about the habits of Dominican kids and the buscones who find them.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.