SoxProspects News

April 17, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Two decades later, Billy McMillon back in Portland


PORTLAND, Maine -- With the sun setting and the temperatures dropping last Thursday evening, a bundled up Billy McMillon hopped out of the dugout and jogged to home plate as the public address announcer called his name and the half-filled crowd at Hadlock Field stomped their collective feet. It was Opening Day for Double-A Portland, and for the first time in 19 years, McMillon suited up as a Sea Dog.

The first time McMillon donned the Portland jersey was way back in 1995 -- when Bill Clinton was in the middle of his first term, America Online was gearing up to offer World Wide Web access to the general public, and many of this year's high school draft picks to-be were born. McMillon was a 23-year-old outfielder making his way up the Florida Marlins farm system.

Two decades later, McMillon is now the first-year manager of the Sea Dogs. He spent the last two seasons with High A Salem, the two before that with Low A Greenville. After he guided Salem to the Carolina League championship to cap off 2013, the Red Sox bumped him up to Portland.

Just like his players, McMillon is trying to climb the ladder to the major leagues. It isn't quite the same the second time around.

Read the rest on ESPNBoston.com.

Photo credit: Billy McMillon by Kelly O'Connor.

Tim Healey is a feature writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.


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at 9:00 AM

The Write-Up: Garin Cecchini and Christian Vazquez


Chaz Fiorino is the newest addition to the SoxProspects.com scouting staff. In his new series, The Write-Up, he'll provide detailed scouting reports from the field. The format may evolve a little, but we are excited to add Chaz's expertise to the fold, and look forward to his reports.

Garin Cecchini
Dates scouted: April 3, 5, 6
Line (four-game series): 6 for 12, 1 2B, 3 BB, 3 K, .500/.600/.583 

The soon-to-be 23-year-old left-handed hitter is listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, with an athletic build, strong lower half and room for potential additional strength in his upper body. His incredibly advanced approach and hit tool, which grades around 65/70 on the 20-80 scale, are well-documented and were on display all series. There is no question the hit tool will play at the next level.

The biggest question mark is his defense, where Cecchini remains a work in progress at third base. Will Middlebrooks’s trip to the DL—and Cecchini’s hot start to the season—begged the question of whether Cecchini could have received the call to Boston that briefly went to Brock Holt. Red Sox Manager John Farrell confirmed last week what many suspected: “While he’s had good at-bats there, there’s still some development defensively that’s taken place. His time is coming but didn’t feel like it’s right now.”
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at 7:58 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket holds on to win, Salem drops doubleheader


4/17 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket edged out a one-run victory while Greenville lost by just one score. Salem dropped both halves of a doubleheader and Portland was postponed again due to rain.
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The Pawtucket Red Sox were able to hold on and win by a score of 7-6 after an early offensive explosion in Wednesday's games against the Rochester Red Wings (MIN)The PawSox jumped out to an early lead in the contest, going up 7-0 after the top of the fourth inning. The scoring began in the third inning when outfielder Alex Hassan doubled home Heiker Meneses, who singled to leadoff the inning. Bryce Brentz and Brandon Snyder also picked up RBI in the inning, Brentz's coming on a two-out single. In the fourth, Hassan picked up another RBI-double, and catcher Dan Butler (pictured) picked up a pair of RBI on a two-out bases loaded single.

Starter Brandon Workman lasted only 3 1/3 innings and was charged with three earned runs. Workman yielded only one hit in the first three innings, but ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth. He was lifted with one out in the inning after giving up two hits and a walk, which loaded the bases. Reliever Chris Resop came in and gave up three singles in a row before getting out of the inning. Drake Britton picked up the save after pitching two scoreless innings.

Four PawSox collected three hits in the game; Hassan, Meneses and Brock Holt, who each went 3 for 5 with two runs, and Ryan Lavarnway, who went 3 for 4 with a walk.
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April 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rain halts three affiliates, Greenville falls again


4/16 Cup of Coffee: Rain dominated Tuesday's action, postponing Pawtucket, Portland and Salem. Greenville managed only four hits in a loss to rival Charleston. 
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Pawtucket's game against the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) was postponed due to a combination of rain and snow. The contest will be made up today as the second game of a doubleheader. Brandon Workman will make his 2014 Triple-A debut against left-hander Scott Diamond

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Portland's game against the Binghamton Mets (NYM) was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 21st.


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April 15, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Players of the Week, 4/7-13: Kevin Mager & Henry Owens



Kevin Mager, IF, Greenville Drive - 6 G, 20 AB, 25 PA, 8 H, 2 HR, 1 2B, 5 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB/2 K, .400/.520/.750

It's always fun when a player off the radar screen of even the most diehard prospect maven takes home Player of the Week honors and Mager, a undrafted free agent out of Division II Rollins College (FL) in 2012, did just that. He did most of his damage against Kannapolis (CHA) going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and taking a base-on-balls Friday, April 11 and hitting both home runs and his double in the series.

Season line: .375/.487/.668, 9 games, 12-for-34, three home runs, one double, seven runs scored and six batted in.


Henry Owens, SP, Portland Sea Dogs - 1 G, 6.2 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB/9 K, 0.90 WHIP, 12.15 K/9, 1.60 G/F, .240 BAA, .520 OPSA

For the second consecutive week Henry Owens boldly claimed Pitcher of the Week, hurling 6.2 shutout innings at Trenton (NYY) last Wednesday, striking out nine opposing batters and earning the win. Owens was also named Eastern League Player of the Week for the combined period of April 3-13, along with fellow Sea Dog Mookie Betts. He is currently the third-ranked player in the organization by SoxProspects.com.

Season Line: 3 G, 17.2 IP, 2-0, 2.04 ERA, 4 ER, 12 H, 5 BB/22 K, .190 BAA

Honorable Mention, Batters:

Carlos Asuaje (GRE)
Mookie Betts (POR)
Brock Holt (PAW)
Manuel Margot (GRE)

Honorable Mention, Pitchers:

Jamie Callahan (GRE)
Keith Couch (POR)
Joe Gunkel (GRE)
Pat Light (GRE)


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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Coyle, Betts lift up Owens in Sea Dogs win


4/15 Cup of Coffee: Top-10 prospects Anthony Ranaudo and Henry Owens were not sharp, but both were lifted up by nine-run outbursts as Pawtucket and Portland picked up victories. Salem's hot start is becoming a distant memory as it dropped its fourth in a row, while the Greenville bullpen struggled to end the Drive's five-game winning streak.

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Pawtucket pounded out 15 hits in its 9-5 win over the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). Bryce Brentz led the attack, with a 3-for-5 evening that included a seventh-inning solo homer. Ryan Lavarnway also added three hits for the PawSox, and has now reached safely in six straight after starting the year 0 for 14. Justin Henry reached base four times, going 1 for 2 with a walk, and Alex Hassan drove in a pair as part of his 2-for-4 effort. 

Starter Anthony Ranaudo has yet to get on track in 2014. The tall right-hander picked up his first win of the year, but has allowed at least four runs in each of his three starts. On Monday, Ranaudo gave up five on eight hits in five innings. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill was excellent in relief, giving up only one hit and striking out three without issuing a walk in 2 2/3 innings. 
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April 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Betts, Owens continue torrid starts


Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • Mookie Betts (pictured) meteoric rise from a generally unknown player to substantial prospect has continued into the 2014 season as the 21-year-old has gotten off to a torrid start. In nine games in Double-A Portland, Betts is 16 for 35 with 11 runs, and 4 steals. His line to start the season is .467/.512/.743. 
  • Alex Speier of WEEI.com takes a look back at Betts ascension last season in a piece that includes comments from Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers
  • Portland left-hander Henry Owens is also off to a fast start having yet to give up a run in 12 2/3 innings while striking out 18 for the Sea Dogs. In this piece for SportsonEarth.com, Tim Casey caught up with Owens to discuss, among other things, the beginning of his season.
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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rijo hits first professional home run in Greenville win


4/14 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Greenville each got wins in extra-innings, with some interesting bullpen performances in each game. Mookie Betts did his best to lead the Sea Dogs, Brian Johnson had his second straight tough outing, and Wendell Rijo (pictured) hit his first professional home run. 

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It took 12 innings, but the PawSox escaped with a 7-5 victory over the Buffalo Bisons (TOR). Allen Webster got the start, and was shaky throughout his five innings. He walked four while striking out only one and surrendering four runs. He did manage to keep the ball on the ground, recording 12 groundouts compared to only three flyouts. The PawSox stayed in the game thanks to some timely hitting, with Mike McCoy delivering a three-run double to tie the game in the fourth. 
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April 13, 2014 at 11:05 PM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #56: Reports from The Bucket


With the first week-and-a-half in the books, Chris, Ian, and Matt got on the horn after Pawtucket's first homestand of the season to ruminate on the state of the system's Triple-A affiliate. The guys traded notes on Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby De La Rosa, Garin Cecchini, and more. In addition, the guys took a quick spin around the other affiliates, highlighting the top performers so far on the young season, as well as answering a couple of your emails. FEEL THE POWER OF THE PODCAST!!

Links and player after the jump.
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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Stankiewicz strong in Greenville win


4/13 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox farm system took home the split as both Pawtucket and Salem failed to produce in the batters box while  the Sea Dogs rode an offensive outburst to victory and Greenville received a strong start from Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured) en route to the win.

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The Pawtucket Red Sox managed only four hits as they fell to the Buffalo Bisons (TOR), 3-2. Chris Hernandez took the loss, pitching six innings and giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Alex Wilson and Tommy Layne collected the final six outs combining to allow only one hit while each walking a batter.

All of the offense for the PawSox came in one inning thanks to a pair of catchers. After a Christian Vazquez double, Dan Butler hit his first home run of the year off of the left-field foul pole to bring the PawSox within one. Garin Cecchini and Ryan Lavarnway collected the only other hits for Pawtucket and Brock Holt walked as the rest of the lineup was kept off the basepaths.

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