SoxProspects News

June 24, 2018 at 3:08 AM

Cup of Coffee: Procyshen seals Salem's fate; tempers flare at McCoy Stadium


6/24 Cup of Coffee: Tempers flaring, extra-inning affairs, and walk-off wins and loses, sounds like summer. The PawSox got heated with the Chiefs in a loss while the Sea Dogs gave up a grand slam in the top of the 10th. Jordan Procyshen handed Salem a walk-off victory while Manuel Ramirez (not the one you're thinking of) took the loss for the DSL Red Sox1.   

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Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 5, Pawtucket Red Sox 3
Tempers flared in this one, as one bat flip from Syracuse cleared the benches, but the PawSox saw their four-game win streak come to a close. Chandler Shepherd failed to get out of the third inning, allowing six hits, four runs (two earned) in 2 2/3 innings to pick up his fifth loss of the season.

Mike Olt hit his team-high ninth home run, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. blasted his third homer of the season 395 feet. Olt and Sam Travis both went 2 for 4 in defeat. 
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June 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas and Northcut debut, Esplin drives in five


6/23 Cup of Coffee: Triston Casas and Nicholas Northcut made their professional debuts in the Gulf Coast League on Friday, though both players went hitless. Josh Ockimey hit another home run for Portland and Tyler Esplin (pictured) showed off his impressive power with a home run for Lowell. Darwinzon Hernandez and Matthew Kent each had solid outings, while Matthew Gorst made his debut in Portland. 

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A quality start from William Cuevas and a wild Syracuse starter helped the PawSox move back to .500 on the year. Cuevas allowed three runs over his seven innings, walking two and striking out four. After a string of rough starts in May, Cuevas has bounced back and now has an ERA of 2.58 over his last 38 1/3 innings. Ryan Brasier tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his tenth save. The offense managed seven hits, all singles, but also notched eight walks that were the difference in the game. Ivan De Jesus Jr. drew three of those and came around to score twice. Tzu-Wei Lin went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs and Rusney Castillo went 1 for 4. 

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June 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM

2018 Donation Drive - We Need Your Help!


Dear readers,

We're asking for your help to raise $8,000 to keep SoxProspects.com up and running for another year. We have kept the site 100% free for almost 15 years now, and we hope to do so for the foreseeable future. As we scout dozens of games first-hand each year, travel costs pile up. Our other costs to run the site often go up on an annual basis as well, and our ad revenue only covers a portion of those costs. So we're reaching out to the community for donations to help us keep the site going. Donations help cover site costs in two primary areas: (1) first-hand coverage travel costs for scouting and player columns; and (2) general IT costs (hardware, software, internet costs, hosting fees, etc.).

Your donations help us travel to Fort Myers in March to cover spring training and in the fall to cover the Instructional League each year, which are vital to get “one-stop shopping” for prospects across the system at levels we can’t see regularly. They also help cover the costs of travelling to affiliate games for regular first-hand coverage. We anticipate that our total costs will exceed $15,000 in 2018. While we may cover roughly half that from online advertising revenue, your donations help us ensure we can cover those costs in order to keep the site going.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Suarez, Nishioka blasts support Requena


6/22 Cup of Coffee: Salem and Greenville both opened the second halves of their 2018 campaigns. A 14-hit attack by the Drive, including a homer and double by Kervin Suarez (pictured),  helped out Hildemaro Requena, who was on track Thursday after an off-the-rails first half. Salem dropped its weather-shortened opener despite a solid performance from Tanner Houck, while Justin Haley returned to Triple-A to lead the PawSox. 

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Rusney Castillo continues to be the catalyst for the PawSox, going 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. It was the third consecutive multi-hit game for Castillo, who leads both the organization and International League with 87 hits. Sam Travis drove in a pair and Aneury Tavarez had a two-hit evening in support of a returning Justin Haley. Haley, returning from a stint in the major league bullpen, picked up where he left off when he was recalled. He allowed a run on four hits in five innings, lowering his Triple-A ERA to 3.06. Tyler Thornburg bounced back from a disastrous outing with a scoreless inning. Ty Buttrey continues to make his case with another scoreless appearance, his 11th straight without giving up an earned run. 

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June 21, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Smith fires six scoreless; Cottom doubles twice


6/21 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket had a blowout win, while Portland was served a lopsided defeat in a 3-4 day for the system, as Salem and Greenville are still in the midst of their All-Star break. Josh D. Smith (pictured) gave Pawtucket six scoreless innings, while Tzu-Wei Lin and Adam Lind each had three hits for the PawSox. Kole Cottam roped a pair of doubles for Lowell, while the DSL Red Sox1 surrendered 11 walks in their game.

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Buffalo scored a pair in the ninth, but it wasn't nearly enough as Pawtucket had already gotten out to a 10-0 lead to hold on for the victory. Each of the starting nine had a base knock, with Tzu-Wei Lin and Adam Lind leading the way, as each had three hits. Anuery Tavarez drilled a solo home run, while Lind and Ramon Flores each had a pair of RBI. 
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June 20, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Montero impresses in Lowell; Salem, Greenville in All-Star action


6/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a full slate of action on Tuesday, with eight games scheduled, plus nine members of Salem and Greenville invited to the Carolina League and South Atlantic League All-Star games. Alexander Montero (pictured) was excellent in his 2018 debut for Lowell, while the GCL Red Sox moved to 2-0. The PawSox traded shutouts in their doubleheader, while Portland was swept in its twinbill despite the efforts of Danny Mars

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Jalen Beeks failed to complete five innings for the first time in a PawSox start in over two months. Beeks allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, with most of the damage coming on a three-run first-inning homer by veteran first baseman Steve Pearce. Beeks struck out seven and walked four. The PawSox offense could not get anything going in the opener, getting held to a single apiece off the bats of Rusney Castillo, Adam Lind, and Ramon Flores.

After getting shut out in the opener, the PawSox returned the favor in Tuesday's nightcap. Fernando Rodriguez got the first assignment in the bullpen game, giving up just one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out five and walking one. Williams Jerez and Ryan Brasier split the other 3 1/3 to complete the shutout. Castillo drove in a pair as he notched another two hits, expanding his league lead to 83. Tzu-Wei Lin scored three runs out of the leadoff spot and slammed his fourth homer of the season. 

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Mike Shawaryn was having another strong start before hitting the wall in the seventh inning. Trailing only 2-1 through six innings, the righty's stat line blew up when he allowed a walk, homer, and two singles, giving him a final line of six runs allowed on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Danny Mars was the only player to have multiple hits in the opener, as well as the only one to record an extra-base hit. He had a double as part of the 2-for-4 contest.

The Sea Dogs could not pull off the same magic in their nightcap bullpen game that the PawSox did, as Reading completed the sweep. Mars was again a bright spot, scoring two runs during another 2-for-4 effort, adding a triple and a stolen base. Jordan Betts drove in a pair, going 2 for 3.

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Five members from Salem played in the All-Star affair, with its two selected pitchers drawing the first two pitching assignments for the North squad. Daniel Gonzalez got the start, surrendering a leadoff homer to Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) outfielder Joel Booker. Matthew Gorst followed Gonzalez, surrendering a pair of hits in a scoreless second inning. Santiago Espinal got the start at DH, walking and scoring a run while going 0 for 4. Jerry Downs drew the first base assignment, going 0 for 3, while Roldani Baldwin entered the game at catcher in the seventh inning and popped out in his only plate appearance. 

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The Greenville Drive sent four players to this year's game, as well as manager Iggy Suarez. Denyi Reyes pitched the third inning for the South squad, allowing one run. Devon Fisher, getting the All-Star nod two years removed from being converted from catcher, entered in the seventh and surrendered a two-run homer. Victor Acosta subbed in left field and went 1 for 4. Right-handed pitcher Kutter Crawford was named an All-Star but did not see action for the South.

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Alexander Montero got the start for Lowell and was excellent in his stateside debut. The 20-year-old righty went five innings, allowing a run on three hits and striking out seven without walking a batter. Taylor Ahearn pitched four shutout innings of relief to get credit for the win. 2018 fourth-round pick Kole Cottam drove in both Lowell runs, his first two RBI as a professional. Andre Colon had a double and triple as part of a 2-for-4 night.

SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was in attendance, posting several observations on Twitter. 

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The GCL squad moved to 2-0 on the back of some strong pitching. Yasel Santana got the starting call after working much of last season for the DSL as a reliever. Santana allowed a run on five hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one. Eddy Reynoso got the win in his pitching debut. Reynoso has been in the Red Sox organization since 2014 as a catcher, and converted to the mound this year. He went two scoreless innings, allowing one hit. From the leadoff spot, Juan Hernandez went 1 for 3 with a walk and a double, while Jecorrah Arnold and Justin Qiangba added doubles for the Sox. 

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The Sox took advantage of the Dodgers 10 walks, but were downed by wildness of their own. Jesus Maita reached base four times, going 2 for 3 with two walks. Luis Mota added a pair of hits, and cacther Jose Navas doubled for the Sox' only extra-base knock. Nine walks helped doom the Sox staff. Starter Brayan Aquino surrendered six free passes in 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs despite surrendering only one hit. 

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DSL Red Sox2 vs. DSL Dodgers Guerrero, postponed
The other Red Sox DSL affiliate's scheduled game against the other Dodgers DSL affiliate was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up on Wednesday as part of a doubleheader.

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Player of the Day: Rarely does a player getting swept in a doubleheader get the nod here, but Danny Mars was a catalyst for the Sea Dogs despite their overall trouble on the day. Mars was 4 for 8 with a double, triple, and stolen base. He now has an eight-game hitting streak, and a .309/.350/.491 slash line since flipping the calendar to June. 

Photo Credit: Alexander Montero by Kelly O'Connor

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June 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: High-minors relief pitching



Since he converted to pitching in 2014, left-hander Williams Jerez’s development has been slow, but after being added back onto the 40-man roster this past offseason, he looks to be on the brink of making his big league debut at some point in 2018. Jerez’s velocity is among the best in the Red Sox system and his secondary pitches continue to develop.

In a recent look, which was also Jerez’s best outing of the year, he struck out five of the seven batters he faced over 2 1/3 perfect innings. Jerez showed off his potential, flummoxing several ex-major league hitters with both his fastball and secondary pitches. His fastball sat 96-98 mph and topped out at 99 mph. The pitch was on the straight side, so if his command is off, the pitch gets hit, which has been the case in several outings this year. Even during this excellent outing, when he was controlling the pitch well, he struggled to command the pitch arm-side. For this reason, refining his fastball command will be key for him to reach his potential.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Farm finds power from Esplin, Hardy on productive day


6/19 Cup of Coffee: All four teams in action on Monday got a win on the farm with Pawtucket, Portland, Salem and Greenville all with the day off. There wasn't any lack of power as the lone Sox farm team without a home run put up 20 runs. Tyler Esplin (pictured) keyed the Spinners victory with a homer, and Chad Hardy had two in the GCL Red Sox' win.

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A two-run double from Andre Colon scored Xavier LeGrant and Tyler Esplin in the bottom of the eighth inning and Alberto Franco shut the door in the ninth to net the Spinners their second win of the season. The key two-run hit came after Oddanier Mosqueda blew a save by giving up a run to the Yankees in the seventh.

Esplin also cranked a two-run home run in the bottom of the second, which scored LeGrant. Esplin went 1 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs while LeGrant went 2 for 3 with two runs. Tyler Dearden also recorded two hits for the Spinners. Hunter Haworth pitched well over five innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out six. It was Haworth's first start for Lowell after starting four games for Greenville.
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June 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Minor Notes: Castillo knocking on the door; Sox sign 13 draft picks


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • The discussion of Rusney Castillo's hot spring finally made its way to the Boston media airwaves this past week, with many wondering if Castillo (pictured, right) should get called up to play in the majors. Castillo's situation is a little precarious, especially since he isn't on the 40-man roster, meaning the $10.36 million average annual value on his contract doesn't count against the collective bargaining threshold for the Red Sox. But the 30-year-old is hitting .309 this season with four home runs and 33 RBIs, and some think he could do better at the plate than Jackie Bradley Jr. Hunter Noll at BoSox Injection inserted himself into the conversation by asking the same question: Bradley or Castillo?
  • Last Thursday, the Red Sox signed first-round draft pick Triston Casas and seven other players, and since then, have inked a total of 13 different draft picks. According to SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield on Twitter, "with 13 picks signed, Red Sox have spent $4,437.200" with a little over $1.5 million remaining. Second round draft pick Nick Decker is "reportedly getting $1.25M of that, leaving $322,265" for eighth-round pick Elih Marrero, or others. 
  • Hatfield also Tweets that "Casas is going to the GCL and [Durbin] Feltman to Lowell. Decker will most certainly go to the GCL when he signs". 
  • Michelle Berth over at Over the Monster is one of many people who think Durbin Feltman could make an impact with the Red Sox right away. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran celebrates pro debut with two-triple afternoon


6/18 Cup of Coffee: Four of the five affiliates in action on Sunday picked up victories. The highlight was the first action of several draft picks for Lowell, notably the smashing debut of seventh-round pick Jarren Duran (pictured, left). Excellent pitching was another running theme throughout the organization, as all five starters allowed one earned run or fewer, with four going at least 5 2/3 innings.  

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The PawSox couldn't hang on, wasting a dominant outing from Chandler Shepherd. The 25-year-old righty scattered three hits over six shutout innings, striking out five without walking a batter. He was as efficient as he was effective, needing only 76 pitches to complete those six innings, throwing 50 for strikes. Things turned quickly when Tyler Thornburg entered. Thornburg had been nearly unhittable since his rehab assignment started back up two weeks ago, but the IronPigs greeted him with a single, homer, double, and single to tack on three runs. 
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June 17, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sea Dogs show Hart, Lowell looking for first win


6/17 Cup of Coffee: Offensive production was lacking for Pawtucket, Salem, Greenville and Lowell, with those four teams all losing but Kyle Hart (pictured) continues to string together solid starts on the mound for Portland, his latest a 4-0 shutout of the Baysox. Antoni Flores continues to rake for DSL Red Sox2, extending his hit streak to five games with a four-hit performance as Flores' batting average now stands at .378 in 45 at-bats.

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William Cuevas was roughed up in four innings of work, allowing nine hits and six earned runs, as a five-run fifth inning sank Pawtucket's chances at Coca-Cola Park. 
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June 16, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Podcast Ep. #139 - The "Lost" Spring Training Reports


Remember that episode of Spring Training scouting reports we promised? Here it is. With the benefit of time (prepare to grimace when the guys excitedly talk about how great Jay Groome looked...), it looks like Chris and Ian saw some things coming and were way off on others.

Listen in and find out!

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bazardo strikes out 10 in Lowell's opener


6/16 Cup of Coffee: The Spinners season started with an impressive yet inefficient start from Eduard Bazardo (pictured), while Josh D. Smith and Dedgar Jimenez turned in good starts for Pawtucket and Portland, respectively. Rusney Castillo and Josh Ockimey kept their hot streaks going with home runs and Antoni Flores hit a walk-off single in the DSL. 

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Three pitchers combined on a three-hitter for the PawSox as they took down the IronPigs. It was the longest outing of Josh D. Smith's professional career as he fired six innings while allowing only one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out four. Williams Jerez and Ryan Brasier combined to strike out five while not allowing a hit over the final three innings. Since moving back to the PawSox on June 5, Smith has allowed only two runs over 13 1/3 innings.
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June 15, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Salem loses no-no in ninth; Shawaryn bests Anderson


6/15 Cup of Coffee: It was an eventful Thursday on the farm, highlighted by some spectacular pitching performances. Two of Boston's 2016 top draftees went head-to-head, as Mike Shawaryn (pictured, left) and ex-teammate Shaun Anderson locked horns. Tanner Houck and Joan Martinez came within one out of a no-hitter for Salem, while Greenville's Denyi Reyes continued his mastery of the South Atlantic League. 

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Right-hander Josh A. Smith struggled in his start, leaving the PawSox in a hole they could not dig out of despite an outstanding effort by the bullpen. The IronPigs torched Smith for seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings. Relief pitching continues to be a strong suit, and on Thursday it was Kyle Martin, Bobby Poyner, Tyler Thornberg, and Ty Buttrey teaming up for 6 1/3 frames without giving up an earned run. Buttrey struck out three in two perfect innings, giving him a 12-inning scoreless streak over his last nine appearances. Cole Sturgeon drove in the only run as part of a 2-for-4 night. Ivan De Jesus also went 2 for 4, and is 10 for 21 over his last six contests.
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June 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Lowell's roster is set, Filia acquired from Seattle


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • With the season set to start on Friday, the Lowell Spinners announced their Opening Day roster on Wednesday. The full roster is posted on our Team Rosters page, and it is highlighted by 2017 second-round pick Cole Brannen (pictured, right) who returns to Lowell after a brief stint with the Spinners to end the 2017 season. Brannen started the year in Greenville but he was sent down to Lowell after hitting .157 over 127 at-bats. 
  • The only other players in the SoxProspects.com top-40 to join Brannen in Lowell will be Tyler Dearden and Tyler Esplin who will both be in the outfield with Brannen. Dearden was a 29th-round pick in the 2017 draft but received a slightly above-slot bonus to forego his commitment to Penn State. The New Jersey high school product has an interesting combination of power and speed that helped him succeed in the Gulf Coast League last season. Esplin was a seventh-round pick in 2017 who also received more than the slot value for his pick, and he will not turn 19 until July. 
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