Season in Review: The 24-year-old, slick-fielding shortstop began the season at Double-A Portland for his second go-round with the Sea Dogs. After struggling in 85 plate appearances after his promotion to the level in 2013, Marrero posted a .291/.371/.433 slash line—all career bests—with a 34/57 BB/K ratio in 307 plate appearances. He absolutely exploded at the plate in June, including a blistering .650/.652/.900 line from June 16-22, garnering him both Eastern League and SoxProspects Player of the Week honors. A great month of June, during which he hit .368/.441/.552 overall with a 9.8-percent strikeout rate, earned him a promotion to Pawtucket on July 2. While his defense stayed strong, Marrero struggled against Triple-A pitching, hitting just .210/.260/.285 in 50 games. The struggles continued into Pawtucket's playoff run, with Marrero squeezing out only one extra base hit, and six singles, in 35 plate appearances. Named the 2014 Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, Marrero is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League and hitting well in a small sample size, slashing .314/.455/.429 through 11 games. - Matt Picard
SoxProspects.com is seeking applicants to join our writing staff. See below for details.
Position Overview: SoxProspects.com is looking for staff writers to join the staff through at least November 2015. Primary responsibilities for the position will include covering breaking news stories as they happen, including promotions, signings, the draft, and awards, among other topics. Writers will likely also be asked to take a regular weekly turn on the Cup of Coffee recap, once or perhaps twice a week, as well as contribute to our Weekly Notes feature. There also may be opportunities for enterprising writers to attend games in order to write feature stories for our News Page.
Season in Review: The second of Boston's two first-round selections in the 2014 draft, Kopech impressed in an abbreviated professional debut. After signing on June 17, the 18-year-old right-hander was assigned to the Gulf Coast League. He made his first pro appearance on July 12, striking out a pair in a scoreless inning. His strongest outing came when he struck out two over three hitless frames on August 12 against the Orioles. Across those eight appearances, Kopech held opposing batters to a .216 batting average and struck out 16 batters in 13 2/3 innings. Perhaps most impressively, the Texan surrendered only two extra base hits, both doubles, limiting GCL batters to a punchless .255 slugging percentage. - James Dunne
Season in Review: As an 18-year-old in the South Atlantic League, Rijo was about three-and-a-half years younger than the average player in the league and was the fourth-youngest in the circuit on opening day. He started the season hot, batting .341/.464/.516 in 117 plate appearances in his first 26 games, with almost as many walks as strikeouts, but he followed that with a 4 for 47 stretch that saw him strike out in 34 percent of his at-bats. His performance was similarly up-and-down most of the season—for example, following up a 12-game hitting streak in August, during which he hit .326/.442/.581, with a four-game 0 for 15 stretch—but Rijo remained healthy all year, avoiding the disabled list and logging as many at-bats as he could. After tearing his ACL in 2012 and playing last season with a large knee brace, durability was a question for Rijo, but he seems to have answered that with 111 games played this year, tied for 11th in the system. Rijo proved inconsistent on the defensive side, committing 21 errors on the year. - Jim Crowell
Season in Review: Shaw hit just .221/.342/.394 with 16 home runs, 117 strikeouts and 78 walks at Portland a year ago, but he was able to turn things around and impressed in the 2013 Arizona Fall League. He hit .361/.452/.705 with five home runs in 61 at-bats while making some of the hardest contact recorded on the AFL's Trackman batted ball data, and the 24-year-old carried that success right into the 2014 season. Shaw showed noticeable improvements to begin the year in Portland before moving up to Triple-A at the end of May—in 47 games with the Sea Dogs, Shaw hit .305/.406/.548 in 177 at-bats. Triple-A pitching proved a tougher test for Shaw, although his Triple-A line stood at a respectable .284/.340/.477 entering August. In the final month of the regular season, he slipped to a .209/.273/.319 line, bringing his 81-game Triple-A line to .262/.321/.431. In the International League playoffs, he got off to a hot start, going 5 for 10 with two doubles, a home run, and four walks in his first three games, but slipped back into a slump over his next five, going 3 for 22 with two walks and 12 strikeouts. He did finish on a strong note, going 3 for 4 with a home run in the Triple-A Championship Game. - Alex Skillin
This week's roundup covers play from the period of October 20-26. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in off-season action, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January.
Arizona Fall League
He appeared in only three games this week, but Deven Marrero (pictured) lit the league on fire. The shortstop was 5 for 8 with four doubles an three walks, good for a slash line of .625/.727/1.125. Overall, Marrero is hitting .323/.475/.452.
Fellow infielder Sean Coyle had a tough week, going 1 for 16 with eight strikeouts. Rusney Castillo appeared in only one game during the week, going 0 for 2 with a strikeout on Monday.
On the mound, Keith Couch was hit hard in both of his starts, allowing nine runs on 18 hits in eight innings pitched. Robby Scott had a pair of scoreless appearances, striking out three in 2 1/3. Aaron Kurcz tossed just one inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while Madison Younginer surrendered a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings in his two outings.
Season in Review: After signing him out of a commitment to LSU with an over-slot bonus of $440,000 and giving him a short debut in the GCL last year, in 2014, the Red Sox assigned Longhi to the Lowell Spinners, and hit well from the start. Longhi recorded hits in 25 of the 30 games he played, all while being three years younger than the average New York-Penn League hitter at just 18 years old. That performance included a 17-game on-base streak from June 25 through July 17 in which he hit .354/.425/.462. Unfortunately, his first full professional season was cut short on July 21, when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb while sliding into third base, which required surgery. His .330 average was the fourth-best mark in the league and he spent most of his shortened season splitting time between left field and right field with only an occasional game at first base, in part due to the presence of Sam Travis. - Will Woodward
Season in Review: Hembree came to the Sox as one half of the return for Jake Peavy on July 26. After making his major league debut in September 2013 for the Giants, he had spent 2014 as the closer for Fresno of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, finishing out games in 35 of his 41 appearances and notching 18 saves. He was named a PCL All-Star, but the right-hander, who was once being groomed to become San Francisco's closer, was somewhat inconsistent. He put together consecutive clean outings only twice in his first 36 appearances before a six-game stretch in July in which he allowed just three baserunners while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. In all, at the time of the trade, he had notched a 3.89 ERA in 39 1/3 innings, allowing 40 hits and 13 walks while striking out 46 hitters.
After the trade, Hembree rode the I-95 shuttle, getting recalled to Boston three times in the season's final two months. In Pawtucket, he slotted right into the closer's role, but after two scoreless outings, he was needed in the majors. He made one appearance in that call-up, putting zeros on the board in innings 15 through 18 before Boston finally lost in the 19th to the Angels on August 9. Sent down the next day, Hembree made three appearances before getting the call again on August 24. His stay this time was for two appearances, and he was back in Triple-A on the 27th. Hembree made two scoreless appearances to close out the regular season, then was leaned on heavily as the PawSox's closer in the International League playoffs. In five appearances over nine days, he picked up a win and saves in two of three chances, allowing one run on seven hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six. Hembree capped his season with three more appearances in the Bigs, two of them scoreless, allowing five hits but striking out four and allowing no walks in four innings. - Chris Hatfield
Season in Review: After putting up an unspectacular offensive stat line and playing far from the eyes of journalists and scouts in his 2013 debut in the DSL, Guerra turned heads at the Fall Instructional League last year, sneaking into Baseball America's Red Sox top 30 prospects list. The Red Sox brought Guerra stateside in 2014, where he held his own in the GCL at the age of 18. His final line may not stand out, but Guerra did impress scouts and coaches alike--GCL Red Sox manager Tom Kotchman called Guerra the best shortstop he'd worked with in his 35 years in the game. As of August 6, his line was a much more robust .299/.314/.440 in his first 137 plate appearances, and he hit safely in 18 of his first 20 games for the GCL Sox, but a 9 for 54 slump over his next 13 games (.167/.196/.259) dragged his numbers down. The Panamanian was able to finish the season on a tear, particularly coming alive in the GCL playoffs. He went 3 for 6 with the go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh in the one-game GCL semifinal to lead the Sox to a 7-4 win, then was 5 for 13 with two doubles, two walks, and another bomb in the Red Sox' three-game GCL championship series victory. - Alex Skillin
Season in Review: It was a bit of a tale of two halves for Mercedes this season. Coming off of a very successful 2013 at Lowell, Mercedes began the season with the Salem Red Sox. It seemed as though his 2013 success would carry over into 2014, as the 22 year-old was able to put up a 3.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over his first 40 2/3 innings to start the year. However, he hit the DL after a 3 2/3-inning start on June 4, and missed about a month before starting a rehab assignment with Lowell on July 3. That assignment lasted three games, and upon his return to Salem he struggled mightily over his final eight games. Four times in those eight starts he gave up five earned runs, including three starts in a row between July 24 and August 5. Over the final 40 2/3 innings of the season, he had a 5.53 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts to 17 walks. - Will Woodward