We've got a backlog of listener emails to get to, so what better time than the present to talk about what you want to hear? You guys had some outstanding questions that gave us plenty to talk about. What are the odds of a top prospect becoming a good major leaguer? Which pitchers have the highest ceilings in the system? What players rank as the best in each of the five tools? And of course there's current events: What can we expect from Dave Dombrowski as President of Baseball Ops, and is Jackie Bradley's rebound for real? All of this and more awaits!
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8/27 Cup of Coffee: The GCL Red Sox grabbed their 40th win of the season behind another solid outing from Logan Allen. Jake Drehoff (pictured) also turned in a marvelous start for Greenville. The Drive also saw some good offensive performances from Yoan Moncada, who homered, and Michael Chavis. Allen Craig added a long home run drought in Pawtucket as part of a walk-off win for the PawSox. Sam Travis also stayed hot, pushing his batting average over .300 with Portland.
The PawSox were able to squeeze out a walk-off win at McCoy Stadium in 10 innings. Jonathan Roof did the honors, singling home Allen Craig in the bottom half of the 10th. Roof also added a double and two walks earlier in the game. Craig also had a good night, adding a home run, his first since June 17, as part of a 2 for 5 night. Deven Marrero continued to swing the bat well by going 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI. Mike Miller also went 2 for 4.
Zeke Spruill started and pitched pretty well. He gave up three earned runs while walking three and striking out six over six innings. The bullpen for Pawtucket was rock solid, as Keith Couch tossed 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. He did not allow a hit, walked two, and struck out three. Pat Light was credited with the win, getting the final two outs of the 10th inning.
8/26 Cup of Coffee: The DSL Red Sox2 were eliminated from the playoffs yesterday, and now both of Boston's affiliates in the Dominican Summer League are done for the season. Every affiliate except for Lowell struggled to score runs, as the affiliates combined to score 14 runs over seven games. Shawn Haviland, Sam Travis (pictured), Ben Taylor, and Yoan Moncada were a few of the bright spots, with Moncada swiping his 41st base of the year.
Shawn Haviland had his best start since joining the PawSox, tossing six scoreless innings, striking out four without walking a batter. He had picked up the loss in his first three appearances for Pawtucket, but he pitched well enough to get the win last night. Jorge Marban followed with two scoreless innings, and Noe Ramirez notched his second save with a perfect ninth. Ramirez has not allowed a run in eight of his 10 appearances since being sent down from Boston on July 25.
8/25 Cup of Coffee: The first playoffs on the minor league calendar kicked off on Monday in the Dominican Summer League, as the DSL Red Sox2 squad dropped the opener of their best-of-three set. In regular season action, the GCL Red Sox fell in their contest but had another outstanding outing from Anderson Espinoza (pictured) and are cruising into the playoffs. Lowell battered its way to a win, while Pawtucket and Salem prevailed as well.
The resurgence continues for Edwin Escobar, who turned in another strong start to help lead the PawSox. Escobar allowed a run on four hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out two. After missing the start of the season due to injury and then struggling with ineffectiveness out of the bullpen, the left-hander has allowed only two runs in 20 innings across his last four starts. The stretch has cut Escobar's ERA nearly in half from 8.69 to 4.76. To close out the win, Ryan Cook struck out four in two scoreless innings, allowing one hit.
On episode 83 of the SoxProspects Podcast, SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield sat down with a pair of Greenville Drive players during his recent trip to scout the team. Michael Chavis discussed the pressures of being a first-round pick, which he was in 2014, while Nick Longhi reflected on what it's like to grow up a Red Sox fan and then get drafted by the Sox.
SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall gave an in-depth breakdown of the recently red-hot Yoan Moncada(pictured) in his latest Scouting Scratch. Cundall noted that Moncada is now showing the tools that prompted the Red Sox to give him a huge signing bonus after a slow start. Moncada has been tearing it up in 43 games since the Single-A All-Star Break, hitting .341/.432/.551 with six home runs, 23 RBI and 36 steals.
8/24 Cup of Coffee: While the Spinners and PawSox suffered tough losses, it was a great day for the Sea Dogs, Salem Red Sox and the Drive. An eight-run inning from the Sea Dogs lineup coupled with strong performances from Aaron Wilkerson and Williams Jerez on the mound made for an impressive lopsided victory. Daniel McGrath dominated for the Red Sox, and the combination of Luis Ramos and Jamie Callahan preserved a shutout for the Drive as they fight for a playoff spot.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 4, Pawtucket Red Sox 2
Starter William Cuevas was sharp aside from the third inning, when he allowed a walk and home run. Over six innings, he allowed just one other hit and two more walks, striking out seven. Cuevas has been very solid in his first four starts for Pawtucket, posting a 2.63 ERA over 24 innings. Reliever Robby Scott preserved a 2-2 tie with three shutout innings, giving up just two hits and fanning three. But Pat Light struggled in the 10th, walking three straight batters with two outs. Two of those runners would score to give the IronPigs the lead.
8/23 Cup of Coffee: Outside of the GCL Red Sox and DSL Red Sox2 clinching their respective divisions – with the GCL Red Sox doing so thanks in large part to a strong offensive showing from designated hitter Andy Perez(pictured) – it was mostly a night to forget about for the Red Sox minor league affiliates. The PawSox were shut out by Lehigh Valley, while Harrisburg rode a nine-run first inning to a runaway win against Portland. Lowell's offense struggled mightily en route to the team dropping both legs of its doubleheader against Staten Island.
The PawSox offense managed just six hits in the shutout loss, with catcher Sandy Leon and second baseman Marco Hernandez leading an otherwise toothless attack. Leon posted two hits, going 2 for 4 while Hernandez finished 1 for 4 with a double. Pawtucket had plenty of chances to get on the board but failed to capitalize, finishing 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
8/22 Cup of Coffee: Greenville, The GCL Sox, and the DSL Red Sox2 all picked up victories on Friday night, helping them in their playoff battles. Salem dropped its seventh straight while Portland and the DSL Red Sox1 also dropped their contests. Pawtucket was boosted by a solid pitching performance and the Spinners were rained out.
Rick Porcello continued his rehab assignment, allowing three runs on three hits, striking out six, in 5 2/3 innings of work. Porcello retired the last 13 hitters he faced, including striking out five of the last six. Jorge Marban relieved Porcello and hurled 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out four, picking up his second win of the season.
This week, we're hitting you with a couple of interviews with members of the Greenville Drive: third baseman Michael Chavis and first baseman/outfielder Nick Longhi. Chavis, a 2014 first-round pick, discussed what it was like sharing third base with Rafael Devers, the pressures of being a first-rounder, and what's with the whole "11:11" thing. Longhi talked about what most listeners of the podcast could probably only dream about - being a Red Sox fan drafted by the Red Sox - as well as a number of other topics including visiting the Dominican Instructional League.
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8/21 Cup of Coffee: A dramatic come-from-behind, walk-off victory put the GCL Red Sox on the brink of winning the Gulf Coast League South Division for the fourth straight season. Yoan Moncada(pictured) reached a personal milestone, but the Drive fell as they battle for a playoff spot. A late bullpen collapse left the second DSL Red Sox team clinging to a one-game lead in its division with two games to play.
A rough second inning for Danny Rosenbaum put the Sea Dogs in an early hole they could not climb out of. The Curve touched up Rosenbaum for six runs (four earned) in the frame as he was lifted after just 1 1/3 innings. A bases-clearing double was the nail in the coffin for the 27-year-old lefty, who fell to 0-6 with the Sea Dogs. Manuel Margot went 3 for 5 with a run and Tzu-Wei Lin had a 2-for-4 game with a two-run triple, but those were the only offensive highlights for Portland. The Sea Dogs left ten men on base.