SoxProspects News

September 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Instructs set to begin, award season wraps up


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox 2018 Fall Instructional League schedule and roster were announced last week, highlighted by Trey Ball (pictured) being listed as an outfielder and the Red Sox' first three selections in the 2018 draft in Triston Casas, Nick Decker, and Durbin Feltman. Contributing Editor Shawn McGrath has a full write-up on the players that will be in Fort Myers starting on Monday. 
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September 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Offensive Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year


This week was SoxProspects.com award week: On Monday All-Star hitters were announced, Tuesday was dedicated to the All-Star pitchers; Wednesday we announced the Graduate of the Year, Homegrown Prospect of the Year and Ex-Prospect of the Year; and Thursday featured the Rookie of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year.

The biggest awards were saved for last. The SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year goes to Bobby Dalbec and the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year is awarded to Denyi Reyes.
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September 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #145 - We're letting it roll, so just go ahead


Our minor league revels now are ended for 2018. Before we turn our attention to the big club and their quest to break the franchise record for wins in a season, Chris and Ian wrap up the minor league season. They preview the Arizona Fall League, highlighting the strong contingent of Sox Prospects who will play for Mesa. They begin to game plan the off-season, before getting down to the in-depth review of the system at season end. Ian concludes that the system is coming back, thanks to a great draft and high volume of international signings. But first, Chris and Ian welcome unofficial podcast ombudsman and Senior Web Editor Matt Picard to refute Chris' slanderous comments about Kevin Youkilis.

Listen in!

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at 12:00 PM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Rookie, Breakout Player and Comeback Player of the Year


SoxProspects.com award season continues after all-star hitters were announced on Monday, followed by all-star pitchers on Tuesday and the graduate, homegrown prospect and ex-prospect of the year on Wednesday.

SoxProspects.com's rookie of the year is Jarren Duran, the breakout player of the year is Kutter Crawford and CJ Chatham earns the nod for comeback player of the year.

Rookie of the Year

Jarren Duran was also named one of three All-Star outfielders on Monday after having a spectacular professional debut in 2018. Duran was selected in the seventh round of this year's draft after three years playing for Long Beach State and made an immediate impact, going 3 for 5 with two triples in his professional debut on June 17. Duran had hits in 13 of his first 15 games and was slashing .348/.393/.548 with 10 triples through 37 games with Lowell before his promotion to Greenvile on August 1.

While the triples were lacking for the Drive over the final month of the season, the 22-year-old still put up a strong slash line of .367/.396/.477. In addition to 11 triples across both levels, Duran was 24 for 34 in stolen base attempts and was third in the system in steals. With almost a 50 percent groundball rate, Duran has been effectively using his plus-plus speed to take the extra base and he was a strong contributor across two levels.

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September 12, 2018 at 2:12 PM

Trey Ball's outfield conversion to highlight Fall Instructional League


A year after being mostly washed out by Hurricane Irma, the Red Sox 2018 Fall Instructional League will open on September 17, running through October 9 and featuring many of the system's top prospects.

"Fall Instructs," as it is often called, is used to develop players in the low minors and includes both classroom training as well as on-field workouts. The organization will have 55 players in Fort Myers this year, although the game schedule has been noticably slimmed to just nine games, five of which come against the Orioles, with two more each against the Rays and Germany's Under-23 team.
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at 8:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Homegrown Player, Ex-Prospect, and Graduate and of the Year


SoxProspects.com award season continues after All-Star hitters were announced on Monday and were followed by All-Star pitchers on Tuesday. Today we cover three of the more widely known award winners, all of whom have graduated from their status as prospects.


Homegrown Player of the Year
Part of the reason the Red Sox farm system is not as elite as in past years is because so many players have recently been traded or graduated. In another year, outstanding performances from Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts or outfielder Andrew Benintendi might have put them in the running for this award with their impressive 2018 performances. However, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (pictured, left) is not just the SoxProspects.com Homegrown Player of the Year this season, he is the best position player in all of baseball. 

His 2018 season did not come out of nowhere. Entering 2018, Betts was a career .292/.351/.488 hitter with two All-Star appearances and finishes in the top-20 in MVP voting each of the last three seasons. This season, Betts took what was an already impressive track record to the next level and, as of September 11th, he is hitting .342 (best in baseball) with a .433 OBP (second in baseball) and .633 slugging (second in baseball) with 42 doubles, 29 home runs, 116 runs, 71 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. 

It is not just his offense though - he is regarded as one of the best baserunners in baseball, and he continues to produce highlight-reel plays in the field. Defense is especially important for a right fielder for the Red Sox as Fenway Park boasts one of the largest and most difficult to play right fields in baseball. Even the advanced statistics cannot deny Betts' greatness this season with him leading all of baseball in positional player WAR according to both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. That unrivaled five-tool production is why Mookie Betts was an easy choice for the SoxProspects.com Homegrown Player of the Year.
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September 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

2018 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Pitchers


Following up Monday's All-Star Position Players post, we are presenting the top five starters and three relievers from the 2018 season. The list includes four players from the lower minors, three players from the upper minors, and one starter who was traded at the end of July. 

Starting Pitcher: Denyi Reyes
After starting the season in Greenville bouncing between starting and a piggyback role, Reyes earned a full-time slot in the rotation by the end of April and he never looked back. Once he locked down a starting role in Greenville he went 8-3 with a 1.70 ERA, striking out 104 and walking only 13 over 106 innings. He won the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month award in May, June, and July over this span and was subsequently promoted to Salem to begin August. While he was not quite as dominant in Salem, he still put up great numbers while facing competition about two years older than him on average. Over six starts he went 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Reyes was also a SoxProspects.com All-Star and a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2017 and he was named the 2018 South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year. The 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic has pitched his way onto the radar, rising from being outside of the SoxProspects.com top 60 to start the year to being ranked 24th at the end of the year. 
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September 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM

2018 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Position Players


This year, we are presenting our SoxProspects.com Awards and All-Star teams a bit differently. Instead of one All-Star post and one awards post, we will be rolling everything out over the course of the week. Here is the schedule:

Monday: All-Star position players
Tuesday: All-Star pitchers
Wednesday: Graduate of the Year; Homegrown Player of the Year; Ex-Prospect of the Year
Thursday: Rookie of the Year; Breakout Player of the Year; Comeback Player of the Yer
Friday: Player of the Year; Postion Player of the Year

The 2018 All-Star lineup includes a June draftee who burst onto the scene with an outstanding first pro campaign, a pair of 2016 draftees who re-established themselves among the top ten prospects in the system. It is also a new-look roster of stars, as only two of the nine position players have been honored previously.

Catcher: Austin Rei
Rei's inclusion on this list seemed pretty unlikely in late April, when the 2015 third-round pick was mired in a season opening 2-for-34 slump that included 21 strikeouts. He turned things around soon after, with a very solid .277/.374/.433 from April 25 onward, including an outstanding July when he reached safely in 16 of 17 games and hit .339/.439/.500. Rei set career highs in all three slash stats, as well as with his seven home runs. He also provided stability behind the plate as Portland shuffled through 28 pitchers on the year: his 81 games caught led the organization.


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at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Boles not returning to the PawSox


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • With the minor league season over, the SoxProspects.com staff has voted on season-end All-Stars and award winners. The results will be posted throughout the week, with the All-Star hitters coming out on Monday, the All-Star pitchers on Tuesday, the Graduate of the Year, Homegrown Player of the Year, and Ex-Prospect of the Year posting on Wednesday, Rookie of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year coming on Thursday, and the Pitcher and Hitter of the Year wrapping things up on Friday.
  • Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times reported that PawSox manager Kevin Boles (pictured, right) will not be returning to the team. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald reported that this was Boles's decision. Boles was not under contract for 2019 and he decided to pursue other opportunities. Boles was with the organization for 11 years, with the last five coming as Pawtucket's manager. He won the Governors' Cup in 2014 with the PawSox and was named the Best Managerial Prospect in the International League this summer by Baseball America
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September 4, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Minor Notes: MLB rosters expand; minor league season ends


Here are Tuesday's Minor Notes:
  • SoxProspects.com released its August player and pitcher of the month on Monday, giving the nod to Michael Chavis and Jhonathan Diaz. Tommy Cassell went in-depth on how they each fared in the season's final full month.
  • The final day of the minor league regular season was on Monday and Trey Ball was 1 for 3  in his first set of professional plate appearances. He added a double to drive in the game-winning run. SoxProspects.com's James Dunne has the story in Monday's Cup of Coffee.
  • Rafael Devers powered the Pawtucket offense on Sunday with a two-run home run as the Red Sox affiliates finished 5-2 on the penultimate day of the regular season. Bobby Dalbec tripled and Tanner Nishioka earned player of the day honors as well.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers delivers during rehab; Betts belts pair of homers


9/4 Cup of Coffee: In the final day of the season, with all five teams failing to make the playoffs, Rafael Devers proved he was ready to rejoin the big club while Jordan Betts finished up his 2018 season with a bang for Portland. Jarren Duran delivered a fitting final performance of the season, collecting two hits in a Greenville win.

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Michael Chavis provided the only run on a force attempt in the first inning, but it was the lone run for the PawSox in the final game of the regular season. Rafael Devers, in his final rehab outing, went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. Mike Shawaryn lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits two runs and striking out five to finish the year with a 3.93 ERA across 36 2/3 innings pitch for Pawtucket.

The PawSox finished the year with a 66-73 record. 
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September 3, 2018 at 2:30 PM

August Players of the Month: Michael Chavis and Jhonathan Diaz


The minor league season comes to a close on Monday for a non-playoff bound Sox farm system. But baseball won't be stopping anytime soon for one of the Players of the Month for August in Michael Chavis.
The top-ranked SoxProspects.com prospect is heading to the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost time, and lost at-bats, following an 80-game suspension to start the year. Chavis (pictured, left) would do well if he continued his torrid pace at the plate from August and kept it going out in the desert. 

Joining Chavis as Player of the Month is Jhonathan Diaz after the left-hander started August with two losses before finishing off the month with three wins in four starts, allowing just two earned runs in that time frame.

Diaz's pick as Pitcher of the Month snaps a three-month string of selections for Denyi Reyes.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Trey Ball starts at DH, rips game-winning double


9/3 Cup of Coffee: With the regular season set to come to a close on Monday and all five remaining teams eliminated from postseason contention, the focus was squarely on individual performances on Sunday. The biggest news of the day was that left-handed pitcher Trey Ball (pictured), who had struggled on the mound since being taken seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft, would get the start at designated hitter and bat ninth in the Portland lineup. Some rust was inevitable with Ball having not hit in an organized game in over five years, and he struck out in both of his first two at-bats, but he was the improbable source of an RBI double that proved to be the game winner. 

Elsewhere, Jhonathan Diaz and Tanner Nishioka led Greenville, while a big evening from Tyler Esplin and the first New York-Penn League homer off the bat of Brandon Howlett powered Lowell.

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Veteran right-hander Josh A. Smith was the tough-luck loser, as a committee of five Scranton hurlers struck out 12 PawSox while holding them to two runs. Smith allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out eight without issuing a walk. Left-hander Josh Taylor, acquired in the deal that sent Deven Marrero to Arizona, made his Triple-A debut, striking out three in two scoreless frames. Rafael Devers doubled as part of a two-hit evening, and he his now 5 for 17 during his rehab assignment. 
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September 2, 2018 at 6:55 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers powers Pawtucket; Nishioka follows suit with Drive


9/2 Cup of Coffee: Rafael Devers homered in a rehab appearance, powering Pawtucket to win while Tyler Hill had three hits in a split of a doubleheader for Salem. Tanner Nishioka and Hunter Haworth were both crucial in victories for Greenville and Lowell, respectively.

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Four pitchers combined for a shutout while a rehabbing Rafael Devers provided all the offense the PawSox would need. Josh D. Smith (4 IP, 3 H, 2 K), Travis Lakins (2 IP, 1 H, 1 K), Fernando Roriguez Jr. (2 IP, 1 H, 3 K), and Marcus Walden (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) all pitched in for the shutout with Lakins picking up the win and Walden the save. Devers hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning as Pawtucket collected just five hits as a team.     
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September 1, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Greenville and Lowell eliminated from playoff contention


9/1 Cup of Coffee: With the GCL playoffs already over, it is now official that no other Red Sox affiliate will play in the postseason. Greenville and Lowell were eliminated on Friday night while Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem were previously eliminated from contention. Rafael Devers (pictured, right) continued his rehab assignment, while Yasel Santana had a tremendous debut for Lowell.

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Rafael Devers played for the third straight night, going 1 for 3 with two strikeouts and a throwing error. The single was one of only three hits for the PawSox, with a Brandon Phillips solo home run and a Tony Renda single being the only other damage. Renda also stole a base, while Phillips slugged his third home run in the last nine games. Chandler Shepherd was the tough-luck loser, dropping to 7-10 after allowing two runs in six innings. Matthew Gorst followed with two innings of one-run ball, striking out three. It was a particularly tough evening for Michael Chavis as he went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts. 
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