Top 50 Quotebook: Jason McLeod (Part Four)

In compiling the third annual Diehard Top 50, we spoke to numerous Red Sox players and executives, including director of amateur scouting Jason McLeod. Here are his thoughts on Chad Rhoades, Yamaico Navarro, Ty Weeden and Travis Beazley. For the complete write-ups of the players in the top 50, please subscribe to today!

(Part four of four)

Chad Rhoades, P:
Jason McLeod: Great job by Ernie Jacobs, our scout that saw him. He is a fearless competitor. Not overly big, he's more of a 6-foot guy, but he's built pretty rugged. He's strong and he's a guy that can rush his fastball in the low 90s. Very aggressive and a confident kid. You're going to take your lumps out there in Lancaster and he had his moments, but he's a guy who wants the ball and he wants to compete. He loves being out there and he has the stuff to go with it. There are those guys that you can really fall in love with [because their] makeup and competitiveness are good. But if they don't have the ability, you kind of fall into a trap there. But he has the ability. A great signing by Ernie Jacobs.

Yamaico Navarro, SS:
Jason McLeod: Him showing up and playing very well from day one—he had the attitude that he was going to make a [full-season] team, that he was going to play here this year. And he really just kind of grabbed the bull by the horns and kind of played very well. He forced the issue himself. [The Sox weren't] sure whether or not he was going to be ready to go do it this year and he did it on his own. I know that talking to our player development guys and talking to [Spinners manager] Gary DiSarcina that he just played very well.

Ty Weeden, C:
Jason McLeod: There was some question on the defense when we took him—is he going to be able to catch? We felt more confident that the bat would play [if] we had to move him to a corner position. So to hear him get the accolades that he received from the [New York-Penn] League, being the All-Star catcher and talking to ‘DiSar' and [minor league field coordinator] Rob Leary about how well he's progressed behind the plate is really what made me most happy. Obviously, from an offensive standpoint he still has some things to work on [from] his approach standpoint. But we like the power in the bat. We like that bat speed in the bat. And he's just going to have to get a lot of at-bats, like a lot of the young high school hitters, and figure it out as he goes along.

Travis Beazley, P:
Jason McLeod: Not as much power as Chad. The thing is Travis pitched at a small Division III college in Virginia [Randolph-Macon] and his performance was just ridiculously good, I know, granted, Division III baseball. But he was a guy who always showed that he was going to take the ball, going to throw strikes. And I've got to be honest: When we moved him up to Lancaster, I was like, man, he's really going to have some problems up there. But man, he just showed what you can do if you can command the ball and change speeds. Definitely an innings-eater—you give him the ball every fifth day, you know you're going to get innings. He doesn't have big stuff, he's going to have to prove himself at every level. But for a guy we took somewhere in the 30s [in the 2006 draft] and gave a thousand dollar [signing bonus]—a very good sign.

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