Winter Meetings News Wrap-Up | The Process Report

Winter Meetings News Wrap-Up

  • The Rays hired Bobby Heck, formerly the Astros scouting director, as a special assignment scout, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Heck joined Houston in October 2007, a year later he became the club’s director of scouting. Prior to the Astros, Heck scouted for the Brewers and Rangers. His official bio is here.
  • Speaking of former Astros, the Rays signed outfielder Jason Bourgeois to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The pint-sized Texan has appeared in the majors with four teams—the White Sox, Brewers, Astros, and Royals, amassing 497 big-league plate appearances. As you might expect, Bourgeois puts the ball in play a lot and relies on his speed. That formula is yet to translate to big-league results against right-handed pitchers, though his numbers against southpaws are decent. The most unusual thing about Bourgeois, his ability to play the infield and outfield, appears to be an artifact. Teams have nary bothered with asking Bourgeois to pack his infield gloves over the past few seasons. Regardless, look for the soon-to-be 31-year-old to report to Durham to start the season.
  • The Rays have promoted Jamie Nelson to what amounts to assistant hitting coach. Nelson has been with the organization since 2000, managing in the minors and recently serving as the catching coordinator. Having two hitting coaches is a new trend across the league.
  • While the Rays passed on selecting on a player in the Rule 5 draft, two of their farmhands did hear their names called: southpaws Kyle Lobstein and Braulio Lara. The Mets chose Lobstein in round one. Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2008, Lobstein projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter with more wits than stuff. The Marlins received the opposite package when they popped Lara in round two. Although Lara turns 24 in two weeks, he’s yet to advance beyond A-ball due to control issues. The arm strength is impressive, however. The Rays lost another feral arm in the minor-league portion, as the Giants selected Scott Shuman.


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