With the rumored signings of both right-handed starter Brad Penny and catcher Josh Bard, the Boston Red Sox organization has begun to make some changes to its 40-man roster at the Major League level. Prior to those two (upcoming) additions, though, the Red Sox also added three prospects to the 40-man roster: pitchers Felix Doubront and Hunter Jones, as well as catcher Mark Wagner.
Doubront is a left-handed Venezuelan who has been state-side for the past three seasons. He recovered from a terrible 2007 (which included an 8.93 ERA in 11 A-ball starts, but just a 5.89 FIP) to post a 3.67 ERA (2.90 FIP) in 115.1 A-ball innings in 2008. Doubront allowed 115 hits and posted rates of 1.87 BB/9 and 9.21 K/9. The 21-year-old hurler finished the season in High-A ball and posted a FIP of 2.13 in 14 innings of work. Doubront features a curveball as his out-pitch, as well as a modest fastball in the low 90s, a slider and an occasional change-up.
Hunter Jones, 24, was originally signed as a non-drafted amateur free agent out of Florida State University in 2005. Despite his modest beginnings, Jones has never posted an ERA above 3.19 in pro ball. In 2008, the left-hander split time between Double-A and Triple-A. In Double-A, Hunter allowed 21 hits in 22.2 innings of work and posted rates of 1.59 BB/9 and 10.32 K/9. At Triple-A, he allowed 55 hits in 50.2 relief innings and posted rates of 2.49 BB/9 and 8.88 K/9. In the last two seasons, just eight balls have left the yard against Jones in 162.2 innings. His repertoire includes a sinking fastball that sits in the upper 80s and touches 91 mph. He also has a curveball and change-up.
Wagner was originally drafted in the 29th round out of high school by the Atlanta Braves, but chose to attend the University of California-Irvine and jumped up 20 rounds in 2005. The 24-year-old hit more than .300 in his first three pro seasons before slumping terribly in 2008 at the Double-A level. In 342 at-bats, the right-handed batter hit just .219/.297/.363 with a .143 ISO and a .294 wOBA. He posted rates of 10.0 BB% and 22.8%. In the past, Wagner maintained near-even walk and strikeout rates. On the encouraging side in 2008, his BABIP was just .256. Defensively, he is at least average, with the potential to be above average.
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