6/27 Cup of Coffee: Trey Ball (pictured) and Roniel Raudes turned in terrific outings to guide Salem and Greenville to victories. The trio of Yoan Moncada, Mauricio Dubon, and Andrew Benintendi combined for seven hits and seven runs scored in Portland's win. Brock Holt also continued to play well during his rehab stint with Pawtucket, reaching base four times.
Henry Owens was unable to continue the dominance from his one-hitter last start into Sunday's start. He lasted just four innings, allowing six hits and five earned runs. His control escaped him again, as he walked five batters. Wesley Wright wasn't any better in relief of Owens, surrendering four earned runs in three innings of work without recording a strikeout. The bright spot on the pitching staff for the PawSox came from Pat Light, who continued his recent brilliance with two shutout innings, collecting three strikeouts. He has a 2.05 ERA this year for Pawtucket.
Cup of Coffee 6/26: It was a successful night on the farm as Red Sox affiliates took home wins in six of nine games. Anderson Espinoza threw 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball for the Drive while Sean O'Sullivan (pictured) and Daniel McGrath dominated for Pawtucket and Salem, respectively. The key offensive standouts were Pawtucket's Henry Ramos and Lowell's Tucker Tubbs, who were each 3 for 4 with a home run and 4 RBI.
Starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan dominated in Pawtucket's win on Saturday night. The 28-year-old righty threw seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and no walks while punching out six. He was followed by Roman Mendez, who pitched a scoreless eighth and then allowed three in the ninth, striking out four in his two innings of work.
The PawSox offense got rolling in the third inning when Brock Holt, who is 5 for 15 on his rehab assignment, scored Rusney Castillo with a single. Henry Ramos was in the middle of the action for Pawtucket's lineup, notching RBI singles in the fourth and seventh innings and driving a two-run homer in the sixth. In total, he was 3 for 4 with a homer and four RBI in a huge night for the right fielder. Castillo was 2 for 4 with a double and a pair of runs scored.
On occasion, we will be featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page. Today's video is of Pawtucket first baseman Sam Travis. The video features the 22-year-old getting several at-bats in his final regular-season games of the year before suffering a torn ACL on May 29 while chasing down a runner caught in a rundown.
Travis was off to a strong start in his first taste of Triple-A ball, posting a line of .272/.332/.434 with six home runs. In the video, Travis faces two top of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Pittsburgh Pirates right-handers Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon.
We plan to incorporate more video this year to supplement our regular scouting material, so check back here and on the YouTube page frequently.
Cup of Coffee 6/25: The Gulf Coast League Red Sox opened their season with a loss, while Lowell extended its winning streak. Kyri Washington (pictured) blasted a pair of home runs to carry Greenville, and Yoan Moncada ripped his first round-tripper since his promotion to Double-A. Brock Holt and Ryan Hanigan made rehab starts with Pawtucket, and the DSL Red Sox split behind strong pitching.
Three solo home runs in the top of the 10th doomed Pawtucket on Friday after a PawSox comeback sent it to extras. The story of Roenis Elias’ start was his trouble with RailRiders first baseman Tyler Austin, who hit three home runs off Elias and drove in all five runs. After Elias’ 5 1/3 innings, Chandler Shepherd tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings, giving the PawSox time to rally to tie the game at five in the seventh. Robby Scott surrendered three consecutive homers in the 10th.
LOWELL, Mass. – In addition to seeing Michael Kopech’s start on opening night for the Lowell Spinners (Link), I also saw the following four games at LeLacheur Park. Some scouting notes on other members of the Lowell pitching staff—which is as good as I can remember it being in some time, and that’s even before it receives an influx of college pitchers from the 2016 draft—follows here.
- Athletic right-hander Kevin Steen is back in Lowell after seven starts with the club to end 2015. He got off to a solid start, throwing five shutout innings, striking out four and allowing only two hits and two walks in his season debut on Monday. Steen’s stuff is still on the light-side, as his fastball sat 88-90 mph, topping out at 92. The pitch is straight, but save for the third inning, when he walked back-to-back hitters, he did a good job controlling the offering. He also showed what looked like a two-seam fastball at 86-88 mph with arm-side run. Overall, he got seven swing-and-misses with his fastballs, including three of his strikeouts. Steen’s best secondary offering is his curveball, which flashed solid-average. The pitch has long, 11-to-5 break at 72-74 mph and he has strong feel for it. Steen also showed a changeup at 83-85 mph, but it was on the firm side and lacks separation from his fastball.
6/24 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs' roster continues to fill with new names and top prospects as both Mauricio Dubon and Jalen Beeks(pictured) made their debuts for Portland on Thursday. The Drive pounded out 13 hits, including a big night from Tate Matheny, but still fell in extras. The Spinners continued their impressive start to the season with some extra-inning magic, courtesy of Chris Madera. The rehabbing Brock Holt caused a stir in a loss for Pawtucket, but not because of his bat or glove.
A five-run second inning did in the PawSox, as the offense struggled to get going. Ryan Hanigan, making a rehab start as the designated hitter, had Pawtucket's lone extra-base hit and RBI of the night with a run-scoring double in the third. Rusney Castillo went 0 for 4 out of the seventh spot in the lineup. Justin Haley was touched for six earned runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, walking three and striking out six. Brock Holt had a rough night as part of his rehab stint, making a key error in the second inning. He was then ejected from the game for apparently arguing balls and strikes after striking out in the bottom of the third.
Now ranked the 12th best prospect in the system in the SoxProspects.com rankings (and likely poised to rise even higher in next week's rankings update), Dubon's stock has been on the rise since 2014 when he began putting up impressive numbers in Lowell. He finally broke into the top 20 in the rankings midway through last year, a season where he hit .288/.349/.376 with 30 steals split between Greenville and Salem.
LOWELL, Mass. -- After a suspension ended his 2015 season early and an off-the-field incident delayed the start of his 2016 season, 2014 first-rounder Michael Kopech finally made his season debut in a rehab start with the Lowell Spinners last Friday (which our own Chris Hatfield reported will be his only rehab appearance before joining High A Salem this week). Kopech was definitely rusty in his first start of the year outside of Fort Myers, only lasting four and a third innings, allowing four walks and four hits and recording four strikeouts, but he flashed the potential that makes him one of the top pitching prospects in the system.
Kopech has filled out considerably since he joined the system, now sporting a very muscular, prototypical pitcher’s frame. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a high leg lift and quick, loose arm. Kopech starts with a wide base with his hands by his chest, bringing them down to his waist and back up for his windup. His delivery has a lot of moving parts, with long arm action and hook behind, and he does not consistently finish his delivery. During this start, Kopech had some trouble with his delivery, as his arm was getting out ahead of the rest of his delivery, resulting in him consistently missing glove-side and struggling with his breaking ball.
6/23 Cup of Coffee: The bottom of the Red Sox system had a great night as both DSL squads and the Spinners found the winner's circle. Unfortunately for the rest of the affiliates, the night ended in a loss.
A back-and-forth contest broke Syracuse's way. Aaron Wilkerson started for Pawtucket, striking out four and allowing one run on four hits and two walks in three innings. Wesley Wright added 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five. Roman Mendez took the loss, allowing two unearned runs in the final 2 2/3 innings of the contest. Down, 3-0, in the fourth, Pawtucket got on the scoreboard on a Henry Ramos solo home run. In the fifth, Jantzen Witte added an RBI single. Pawtucket tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the eighth on a Witte RBI double and a Ramos RBI ground out. The Chiefs wasted little time in grabbing the lead back, bringing home two runs in the top of the ninth. The loss stopped the PawSox five-game winning streak.
6/22 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy night down on the farm, but by far the biggest news was the Portland debut of top prospect Yoan Moncada, who helped the Sea Dogs to the victory. Pawtucket split its doubleheader, with Henry Owens (pictured, right) twirling a dominant one-hit shutout in the opener. Lowell continued its undefeated streak to kick off the season, winning its fifth straight. Mauricio Dubon represented Salem as the Carolina League All-Stars took on the California League's best, while seven members of the Greenville Drive got playing time in the South Atlantic League All-Star game.
After a rough patch following his demotion from the majors, Henry Owens had been up and down in recent outings. He made a definitive statement that he was back on track in the first game of Pawtucket's doubleheader, tossing a one-hit shutout over seven innings. He walked three and struck out five, lowering his ERA in four June starts to 2.01. Justin Maxwell was responsible for the Pawtucket offense, scoring to break a 0-0 tie in the fourth, then driving in an insurance run with a double in the sixth. Overall, Maxwell was 2 for 2 with a walk.