SoxProspects News

May 25, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: The Yoan Moncada era begins


Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The Yoan Moncada era began in earnest Monday night in Greenville, where the 19-year-old Cuban super prospect (pictured, right) made his first appearance for the Drive, the Red Sox' Low-A affiliate. SoxProspects.com Staff Writer James Dunne recapped the game and Moncada's performance in Tuesday morning's Cup of Coffee.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ball shuts down Dash offense, Callahan has wild outing


5/25 Cup of Coffee: Though three of the four Red Sox affiliates lost on Sunday, each loss was decided by only one run. The PawSox' ninth inning rally was not enough to pick up starter Brian Johnson, who allowed four runs but threw a ton of strikes. The Sea Dogs couldn't generate much offense despite strong performances from their pitching staff. The Drive dropped a heartbreaker as three walks and an error in the ninth allowed the go-ahead run to score. The Red Sox' Trey Ball (pictured) threw 5 1/3 shutout innings as Salem grabbed the sole win.

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The PawSox scored two in the top of the ninth but their rally came up short as they were dealt their fourth loss in the last five games. Brian Johnson went seven innings and struck out seven, but allowed four runs on eight hits. It was the second time Johnson's gone seven full innings this season. One of the positive takeaways from Johnson's performance was the fact that for the second time in his last three starts, he did not walk a batter. 

The PawSox got two runs back in the ninth as Travis Shaw singled to lead off the inning and Luke Montz homered to left. Pawtucket would get two runners on with one out as Humberto Quintero and Mike Miller singled, but would strand those runners. Allen Craig went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles as he raised his Triple-A average to .326. Shaw also went 2 for 4 with a double, his fifth of the year.

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May 24, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Witte walks off for Portland, Buttrey goes seven strong for Salem



5/24 Cup of Coffee: Greenville was the lone exception in a generally frustrating day at the plate for nearly all of the Red Sox' minor league affiliates. Neither Pawtucket nor Salem managed an extra base hit, while Greenville couldn't put a run on the board until the eighth inning. Portland won the second leg of its doubleheader thanks to some unusual heroics from Jantzen Witte (pictured, right).

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Shortstop Jeff Bianchi and center fielder Quentin Barry had the only multi-hit games for the PawSox, which posted just five hits in what was a tough night offensively. Pawtucket didn't get on the board until the top of the sixth inning, when left fielder Bryce Brentz plated Bianchi on a sacrifice fly. Louisville then held the PawSox scoreless for the final three frames.
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May 23, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kopech drives Greenville past Charleston


5/23 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates were 2-2 on Friday, as Portland and Salem had difficulties pushing runs across the plate. Pawtucket used steady starting pitching and key hits with runners on base to find the winner's circle. In Greenville, SoxProspects.com's #10 prospect put together his second straight solid outing to carry the Drive to victory. 

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Pawtucket Red Sox 6, 
Louisville Bats (CIN) 5 
Keith Couch allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk across seven innings to pick up his second victory of the season. The recently acquired John Cornely made his Pawtucket debut and recorded the final two outs of the game to pick up the save.


Travis Shaw led the PawSox offense with a 3-for-4 evening, scoring three runs and adding a double. Luke Montz was 2 for 2 as the designated hitter, knocking in three runs. After having issues bringing home base runners the night before, Pawtucket was 4 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base. The PawSox turned four double plays defensively, helping to bail them out of a number of jams.
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May 22, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gunkel grabs first Double-A win, Craig reaches five times


5/22 Cup of Coffee: Joe Gunkel collected a victory in his first start for Portland while Pawtucket lost a slugfest, despite a huge night from Allen Craig (pictured, left). Salem out-hit their opponent, but lost by six runs. Greenville took home the win behind strong outings from Denny Bautista and Williams Jerez.

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Louisville Bats (CIN) 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 5 (10 inn.)

It was a frustrating night for the PawSox, dropping a slugfest against Louisville. Pawtucket knocked out 14 hits, but left a whopping 15 men on base. There was plenty of blame to go around as Bryce Brentz (1 for 5, RBI) stranded six men, while Rusney Castillo (1 for 6, RBI), Travis Shaw (2 for 6) and Deven Marrero (1 for 5) left five on. Allen Craig raised his slash line since being demoted to Triple A, reaching base five times in a 3-for-5 night with two walks. Jess Todd labored through 6 2/3 innings pitched, allowing five earned runs and striking out a pair. Heath Hembree allowed the walk-off single in the tenth.

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Portland Sea Dogs 4, Altoona Curve (PIT) 1

Joe Gunkel dominated right-handed hitters and survived the lefties to pick up his first win in Double-A. Gunkel gave up six hits and one earned run in five innings pitched, striking out six and walking four. According to SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield, righties went 3 for 14 against Gunkel while lefties went 3 for 6 with three walks. Simon Mercedes allowed only one hit in two innings of work. Jorge Marban picked up the six-out save, striking out three. Tim Roberson and Jantzen Witte each had multi-hit games.

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Lynchburg Hillcats (CLE) 10, Salem Red Sox 4

It was a strange line on the scoreboard for Salem on Thursday, as the Red Sox out-hit Lynchburg 11-9, but lost by six runs. A six-run third inning ultimately did in Salem with Kevin McAvoy allowing all six of those runs. Taylor Grover kept Salem within striking distance with 4 1/3 stellar innings of no-hit relief, striking out seven along the way. Lynchburg put the game out of reach in the late innings, touching up Kuehl McEachern for four runs. Mario Martinez and Aneury Tavarez  provided all the offense for Salem, driving in two runs each.

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Greenville Drive 8, Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 0

The Drive pounded out 10 hits in a blowout victory in which Yoan Moncada went 1 for 3 and played errorless ball in the field after a rough start this week. Jordan Procyshen went 2 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored. He has reached base safely in nine of his last ten games. Shortstop Javier Guerra provided the big blow with a bases-clearing triple in the eighth. 

Journeyman right-hander Denny Bautista picked up his second victory in as many games for Greenville, hurling six scoreless innings, striking out two and walking none. Williams Jerez picked up the three-inning save.


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Player of the Night: Allen Craig, trying to raise his stock since being demoted to Triple-A, reached base five times in Pawtucket's loss. The former National League All-Star raised his average from .250 to .306 with the big night as he battles back towards the Majors.


Photo Credit: Allen Craig by Kelly O'Connor


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May 21, 2015 at 6:36 AM

Cup of Coffee: Moncada breaks out, PawSox lose heartbreaker


5/21 Cup of Coffee: Yoan Moncada (pictured) broke out last night and recorded his first three-hit game in Greenville's win. The bats went silent in the rest of the system, as Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem all lost. Henry Owens didn't have the smoothest outing, but managed to work out of some trouble.

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The PawSox dropped a tough low-scoring battle after Henry Owens labored through 5 1/3 innings. He limited the damage, allowing just one earned run, but walked four and scattered five hits. His ERA is down to 3.19, but now has 30 walks in 42 1/3 innings on the season. Dayan Diaz and Dana Eveland combined to go 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief before Miguel Celestino gave up the winning run in the bottom of the 12th. Pawtucket's offense mustered just six hits and one run in the 12 innings, with Bryce Brentz and Travis Shaw each collecting two hits.
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May 20, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Johnson goes six strong, Moncada picks up first hit


5/20 Cup of Coffee: Portland and Greenville combined to score 29 runs, while Brian Johnson had another good outing for the PawSox. Some shaky Salem defense did not help Trey Ball, as the left-hander fell to 2-4 on the year. The slugfest in Greenville included Yoan Moncada's first professional hit, but that was overshadowed by a rare feat from Javier Guerra (pictured)

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Brian Johnson turned in another good start to lead the PawSox to their 23rd win. Johnson went the first six innings, allowing only one run and one walk while striking out two. He gave up eight hits, including four to the first four batters, but he was able to get out of a couple jams, as the Indians left nine men on base. Dalier Hinojosa held the Indians scoreless over his two innings, and Zeke Spruill notched his second save with a scoreless ninth. 
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May 19, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Moncada era begins; phenom scores twice in slugfest


5/19 Cup of Coffee: It was the most anticipated debut the Red Sox system has had in a long time. Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada (pictured, left) made his first game appearance on Monday, but fellow teenager Rafael Devers stole the show as the Drive dropped its slugfest. In the only other game on the schedule, Eduardo Rodriguez delivered a quality start to lead Pawtucket. 

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Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez turned in yet another strong start as Pawtucket opened up its road trip with a win. In 6 2/3 innings, Rodriguez allowed three runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out four. The 22-year-old induced 10 ground ball outs, and threw 67 of his 99 pitches for strikes. Jonathan Aro allowed one run in 1 1/3 in his second outing out of the PawSox pen, and Heath Hembree struck out a pair in a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save. 
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May 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Moncada set to debut, Brian Johnson keeps producing


Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The Greenville Drive announced on Sunday that Yoan Moncada is set to make his minor league debut with the team later today. The 19-year-old Cuban infielder who was signed to a record $31.5 million signing bonus will be appearing in his first game action since December 2013, with most of his playing time likely coming at second base. 
  • With questions swirling about the major league rotation, Brian Johnson (pictured, right) turned in one of his best starts of the season on Thursday for the PawSox, striking out eight batters over 6 2/3 innings without issuing a walk. SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel spoke with Johnson after the game, and Johnson said that his fastball command in this start was the best it had been all season. Johnson broke down the start in detail, and it is easy to see while reading the article why many consider him to be the smartest pitcher in the system. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kopech and Haley solid, Tejeda swinging a hot bat


5/18 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox and Red Sox struggled to produce any offense on Sunday, but the pitching was excellent for the Sea Dogs and the Drive as they rolled to wins. Michael Kopech (pictured) turned in a strong performance on the bump for Greenville, while Justin Haley impressed in Portland. Offensively, Oscar Tejeda continued his hot streak for the Sea Dogs.

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The PawSox dropped their third game in a row as the offense was unable to get anything cooking against Clippers pitching, managing just six hits in the contest. Their sole run came from a Luis Jimenez home run, his first since joining Pawtucket. Rusney Castillo reached base twice on a single and a fielder's choice, and both times swiped second base for his fifth and sixth steals of the season. It's the second time in the last week Castillo has stolen two bags in a game.
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