SoxProspects News

June 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Podcast Episode 124: Would make for worse radio than we give people

Ian and Chris hung out to discuss the latest news on the Red Sox system. The promotion of Michael Chavis and what that means for both Chavis and Rafael Devers headlines the discussion. Will Chavis even be in the Sox system after the trade deadline? The promotion of Tzu-Wei Lin to Boston prompted another discussion of the team's lack of infield depth. There were plenty of draft signings to cover, Ian provided a run down of what he's seen in Lowell so far, and the guys discussed the long road ahead for Jay Groome.

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: GCL kicks off with win; Ball overcomes wildness

6/27 Cup of Coffee: With the Gulf Coast League season kicking off, Monday was the first day of the year that all seven affiliates were in action. There was some weirdness on the mound, as Trey Ball (pictured) and Hector Velazquez, the two starters at the highest levels combined to walk nine batters and strike out only one in 11 innings, yet gave up only two runs. Shaun Anderson turned in a solid start for Salem, while the defense was Lowell's Achilles' heel for once again.

With the score knotted at four in the 10th inning, Bryce Brentz took old friend Pedro Beato deep for his 15th home run of the year. Steve Selsky had homered earlier in the night, his 10th on the season, while Brian Bogusevic had a pair of hits including a double. Hector Velazquez got the start in his return from the major league squad, turning in five innings with four hits and two runs scored, walking four without recording a strikeout. Austin Maddox struck out four in two innings of hitless relief to get credit for the win.
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June 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Draft signings continue to roll in

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • The Red Sox added another third baseman to the upper minors last week as they signed Jhonny Peralta to a minor league deal. Peralta, who is a career .267 hitter over his 15 seasons in the big leagues, will help provide depth as the third base situation in Boston is still up in the air. 
  • The lack of infield depth also led Boston to promote Tzu-Wei Lin (pictured, right) to the big league roster. With Josh Rutledge being placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list and Brock Holt being moved to the 60-day disabled list, Lin may get a chance for some playing time in Boston. 
  • Both Stephen Nogosek and Nick Lovullo were promoted to Salem last week after the All-Star break. Nogosek struck out 45 batters in 35 1/3 innings for Greenville, while Lovullo hit .329/.441/.447 over 76 at-bats for the Drive. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Betts delivers for Salem; Chavis goes deep again

6/26 Cup of Coffee: Despite a rough Sunday in terms of wins and losses, there were several standout individual performances. Jordan Betts capped a monster series to lead Salem, backed by a strong outing by Mike Shawaryn. Michael Chavis hasn't missed a beat since Thursday promotion to Portland, homering in a losing effort. 


A late rally came up short, as the PawSox missed their opportunity to earn a split in their four-game set with Scranton. A six-run ninth inning pulled Pawtucket to within one, highlighted by a three-run homer off the bat of Bryce Brentz. Jalen Beeks took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in five innings, striking out five and walking three. Ty Buttrey allowed a run on three hits in two innings. He struck out three and didn't issue a walk. 


Another team, same result for Michael Chavis. The 21-year-old homered for the second time in three games for Portland, and for the 19th time this season. Chavis also doubled and scored a pair of runs on the afternoon. Harrisburg pitchers wanted nothing to do with Rafael Devers, walking him three times. He went 1 for 2 in the two times they did let him swing. Veteran outfielder Henry Urrutia was 3 for 5, and he doubled for the fifth time in nine games since joining the Sea Dogs as a free agent.


Salem's 13-hit attack was led by Jordan Betts, who was unstoppable in the four-game set against Wilmington. Betts was 4 for 5 on Sunday afternoon, delivering a home run, two doubles, and four RBI. In the series, Betts was 9 for 16 with five extra-base hits. Josh Ockimey was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Austin Rei ripped his 22nd double of the year. On the mound, Mike Shawaryn turned in the strongest start since his early-June promotion from Greenville. The right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on just two hits in six innings, striking out five and walking two. The outing cut his ERA with Salem from 8.18 all the way to 5.82. Austin Glorius and Stephen Nogosek closed out the win with a combined three innings of shutout relief.


It was a tough night for the Drive, as a six-run Charleston third inning put them in a hole they could not escape. Starter Jhonathan Diaz made a throwing error on a potential double play ball to the second batter of the inning, and the RiverDogs took advantage of that extra opportunity. In all, Diaz surrendered seven runs (four earned) on eight hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked only two, and has 25 strikeouts against seven walks in 27 innings so far this season. Tyler Spoon led the offense, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored, but he left the game in the seventh inning after beating out the relay on a double-play attempt.


Little went right on Sunday for the Spinners, who had more errors (5) than hits (4). Garrett Benge reached base three times, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks. Charlie Madden, Boston's 24th-round pick, made his professional debut when he came in to catch in the ninth. On the mound, Yorvin Pantoja allowed six runs (four earned) in four innings. He struggled with his control, walking four and hitting a batter. The bright spot was the bullpen, where Ryan Oduber scattered three hits in four shutout innings of relief, followed by Joan Martinez, who struck out two in a hitless ninth. 


Player of the Day: Wilmington will not be sad to depart Haley Toyota Field, where they can leave Jordan Betts far behind them. Betts capped an excellent series with one of his best games as a pro, compiling nine total bases as Salem rolled to a win. Betts had only 10 extra-base hits in 33 games before the All-Star break, but has compiled five in the four games since.

Photo Credit: Jordan Betts by Kelly O'Connor

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June 25, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Olmos, Dominguez power PawSox to win

6/25 Cup of Coffee: Jay Groome had a mixed bag in his second outing with the Spinners. Edgar Olmos continued to pitch well in Pawtucket while Matt Dominguez (pictured) had a big offensive night. Bullpens also pitched pretty well throughout the system. 


Pitching was the story in this one, as three PawSox combined to give up just two hits. Edgar Olmos had another nice start with five scoreless innings while allowing just one hit with seven strikeouts. He did have some control issues, walking five. Chandler Shepherd and Jamie Callahan each threw two shutout innings, with Shepherd striking out four. Matt Dominguez led the offense by going 2 for 4 with a double, a home run, and four RBI.  Blake Swihart had two hits including a double, and Bryce Brentz had a pair of doubles and a walk. 
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June 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis homers on first pitch with Sea Dogs

6/24 Cup of Coffee: Portland has quickly become the affiliate to see, as 2017 breakout performer Michael Chavis has joined top prospect Rafael Devers (both pictured) in the heart of the Sea Dogs lineup. Chavis made a quick acquaintance with the Hadlock Field faithful as Portland rolled to a 9-2 win. Lowell also registered a convincing win, while the PawSox slide continued. Salem and Greenville both fell in tough one-run losses.


The PawSox have found themselves in a brutal slump. They have lost eight in a row, and have dropped the first two games to rival Scranton by a score of 20-3. Henry Owens struggled, walking eight batters and giving up three hits in four innings, surrendering four runs. Control continues to be a major issue for Owens, who now has 60 walks in 69 innings on the year. Austin Maddox also was roughed up in his return from a brief stint with the major league club. Maddox gave up four runs on four hits in 1 2/3, leading to an ERA jump from 1.32 to 3.52. Brian Bogusevic picked up two hits while getting the start in center in place of Rusney Castillo, who was placed on the DL with a groin injury.
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June 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hudson leads post-Chavis Salem outburst

6/23 Cup of Coffee: Coming out of the Single-A All-Star games and with the promotions earlier in the day highlighted by Michael Chavis heading to Portland, it turned into a wild day on the farm. For awhile it looked like Salem's depleted roster would be its undoing, as it trailed 7-2 in the eighth, but a nine-run inning sparked by Bryan Hudson led a stunning comeback. Greenville and Lowell both dropped tough one-run losses, while Pawtucket is reeling right now. 


Pawtucket continued its midseason swoon, losing its seventh in a row. In the last four games, the PawSox have been outscored by a 29-4 margin. It was a rough start for Kyle Kendrick, who surrendered seven second-inning runs and 10 in total over five innings. Brian Bogusevic spoiled the shutout bid with a seventh-inning solo home run, his fourth of the season.
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June 22, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox sign first rounder Houck

Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox have officially signed five of their 2017 draft picks so far, including first-rounder Tanner Houck (pictured). The Red Sox were able to sign Houck at slot value, which was $2,614,500. Below is a list of official 2017 draft signings so far, listed by round:

    1 - Tanner Houck, RHP - $2,614,500 (slot: $2,614,500)
    8 - Zach Sterry, 1B - $5,000 (slot: $150,900)
    9 - Tanner Nishioka, 2B - $5,000 (slot: $138,600)
    10 - Jordan Wren, OF - $5,000 (slot: $131,400)
    21 - Lukas Young, RHP

    Total cap (cap + 5%): $5,667,100 ($5,950,455)
    Cap spent so far (amount +/- cap for picks signed): $2,629,500 (-$405,900)

    Keep an eye on the Draft History page to track the rest of Boston's 2017 draft signings.
  • Executive Editor Chris Hatfield was the first to confirm that third baseman Michael Chavis and middle infielder Chad De La Guerra are being promoted to Double-A Portland. Chavis, the seventh-ranked player in the rankings, has had a monster season at the plate, hitting .318/.388/.641 with 17 home runs and already breaking the single-season record for homers in Salem's ballpark with 12. Both players started in Tuesday's Carolina League All-Star Game, which Salem hosted and at which Chavis won MVP honors.
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at 10:47 AM

Confirmed: Chavis, De La Guerra promoted to Portland has confirmed through sources that the Red Sox are promoting third baseman Michael Chavis (pictured, right) and middle infielder Chad De La Guerra from High A Salem to Double-A Portland. The news was also tweeted by a teammate while we were seeking confirmation.

Update: When announcing these transactions on Thursday morning, the Salem Red Sox announced that right-handed pitcher Stephen Nogosek and infielder Nick Lovullo will be coming up from Greenville to fill the vacated roster spots. More on these players below.

Chavis, currently ranked seventh in the SoxProspects rankings, and De La Guerra, who recently made his debut at number 60 in the rankings, played in Tuesday night's Carolina League All-Star Game, which was hosted by Salem. Both are in the midst of breakout seasons.

Chavis, the Red Sox first selection in the 2014 draft at number 26 overall, has easily been the system's best hitter over the first half of this season. After struggling some in his first full season with Greenville in 2015 and suffering through an injury-marred 2016, he has been a revelation in Salem this year, hitting .318/.388/.641 with 17 home runs while playing in a ballpark notorious for depressing home run power. Chavis has already set the single-season record at Lewis-Gale Field with 12 home runs, a stunning number considering that the Salem club hit 18 home runs combined at home in 2016.
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at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Quick-hitters from Pawtucket

I have had the chance to see right-hander Ty Buttrey three times over the past few weeks, during which he has had varying degrees of success. Buttrey’s stock has been rising fast since he moved to the bullpen full-time. His velocity has ticked up working in relief, especially this season, and he is missing considerably more bats. His velocity has varied slightly from outing to outing, sitting 92-95 mph and topping out at 96 mph in one outing and sitting 94-97 mph in the other two outings. When he is commanding the pitch down, it will show bat-missing ability, but when he misses location it is hittable, even with plus-plus velocity. 

Buttrey’s changeup has been his go-to secondary pitch, flashing plus potential at 84-86 mph. The pitch looks like a fastball until it falls off the table late. In the most recent outing I scouted, he showed how devastating the pitch could be, burying one down in the zone after four straight 95-plus mph fastballs and completely fooling the hitter. 
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