SoxProspects News

May 20, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Duran named Player of the Week for third time


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • Bobby Dalbec has turned his season around in Portland, as he has found his power, his walk rate is up, and his strikeout rate is down. Christopher Smith of MassLive.com talked to Alex Cora about Dalbec. Cora believes that watching how Red Sox hitters approached at-bats in the playoffs last year has helped young hitters in the system learn the importance of controlling the strike zone and putting the ball in play. 
  • Kevin Thomas of The Portland Press Herald also wrote about Dalbec and his turnaround. Even when Dalbec was struggling early in the year when his batting average was below the Mendoza Line, he still felt like he was contributing by getting on base. 
  • Michael Chavis, who hit another long home run at Fenway on Sunday, has been able to continue being productive after his torrid start. Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald wrote about Chavis and his mindset in the big leagues. He has enjoyed MLB a lot more because he knows the minor leagues are all about development, whereas the big leagues are all about winning games. 
  • Long Beach State has had an incredible group of players go on to have productive careers in the big leagues over the past couple decades, and Jarren Duran (pictured, right) is looking to continue that trend. Kyle Glaser of Baseball America wrote about Duran and his pursuit to the big leagues. Duran has been keeping it simple and not trying to do do much at the plate and his comfort level in center field has increased since the start of the year.
  • Melissa Hanson of MassLive.com wrote about how McCoy Stadium has helped give fans a look at what the Worcester Red Sox will bring to Polar Park. Rich Gedman, the PawSox hitting coach, spoke to fans at McCoy about the move to Worcester. 
  • Glenn Jordan of The Portland Press Herald wrote about minor league umpires and how difficult it is for them to reach the majors, just like the players. 
  • For roster moves, the Red Sox designated Chandler Shepherd for assignment, who was then claimed by the Cubs off waivers. Pawtucket added Marco Hernandez from Salem, Jake Romanski from Portland, and sent Josh Tobias down to Portland. Marcus Wilson was also sent from Portland to Salem. Greenville added Kevin Biondic from extended spring training. The Red Sox also signed Dylan Thompson and assigned him to Salem. 


Players of the Week (May 13 through May 19)

Jarren Duran, OF, Salem
7 G, 27 AB, 12 H, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 R, 8 RBI, 4 BB,  5 K, .444/.515/.741

This is already the third time that Duran has been the SoxProspects.com Player of the Week in 2019. He was also the SoxProspects.com April Player of the Month and still as his batting average comfortably over .400, at .409. On May 14, Brian Bannister was in attendance to see Duran and posted a video of Duran showing off his speed on a double. In addition to his robust batting average, Duran also has 16 extra-base hits and 13 stolen bases. 

Thaddeus Ward, RHP, Greenville
1 G, 7 1/3 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0.68 WHIP

Ward (pictured, left) only allowed four hits in his brilliant start for Greenville and none of them went for extra bases. For the season, the right-hander has a 2.91 ERA in 43 1/3 innings pitched. He also has an impressive 51 strikeouts, a 1.18 WHIP, and a .208 batting average against. Ward was selected in the fifth round in last year's draft out of UCF. 





Photo Credit:  Jarren Duran and Thaddeus Ward by Kelly O'Connor


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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wren, Granberg power Drive; Madden homers twice


5/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a split decision on Sunday afternoon, with the affiliated going 2-2 on the day. Devlin Granberg remained hot and Jordan Wren supplied some power to lead Greenville, while veteran contributions at the plate and yeoman's work out of the bullpen got the PawSox back in the win column. Results were less positive for Salem, where little went right after a Jarren Duran leadoff double, and Portland, who squandered a two home-run day from catcher Charlie Madden (pictured). 


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The PawSox salvaged the finale of their three-game set at McCoy Stadium, avoiding the sweep and a possible eighth loss in nine games. Brock Holt provided a fourth-inning solo homer as he continues his rehab assignment. He played seven innings at second base. Rehab-mate Dustin Pedroia was 1 for 4 in his second consecutive start at designated hitter. Among the regulars, Rusney Castillo ripped a double and Juan Centeno drove in a pair of runs with a 1-for-3 afternoon. Starter Erasmo Ramirez allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, striking out six and walking a pair. Jeremy Bleich, Trevor Kelley, and Travis Lakins combined for four hitless innings of relief.
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May 19, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Howlett and Duran go yard as affiliates swept



5/19 Cup of Coffee: Runs proved difficult to come by Saturday night, as Red Sox affiliates only mustered five across four games. Jarren Duran and Brandon Howlett (pictured) were two of the few standouts at the plate, launching their second and third home runs of the year, respectively. On the mound, Kyle Hart turned in another solid outing, but it was not enough to prevent a system sweep.


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Despite the beautiful weather, Pawtucket fans did not have much to cheer for Saturday night. Only three Paw Sox batters collected hits, with Josh Ockimey's fifth-inning home run providing all of the offense for Pawtucket in the loss. This was Ockimey's 11th home run of 2019, good for fifth in the International League. Sam Travis and the rehabbing Brock Holt each added singles, while Rusney Castillo walked twice. Dustin Pedroia continued his rehab assignment and Marco Hernandez started his first game for Pawtucket after his extended stay in Salem, but each went 0 for 4 on the night.

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May 18, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pedroia, Holt rehab for PawSox; two more hits for Duran


5/18 Cup of Coffee: Jarren Duran helped lead Salem to the organization's only win on Friday, but lost a point on his batting average in the process. The PawSox dropped their series opener despite the contributions of Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt (pictured, from 2013), while the two-way efforts of Korby Batesole were not enough to overcome Greenville's early deficit.

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A Jantzen Witte two-run homer gave the PawSox a first-inning lead, but the Stripers struck back quickly and never looked back. Starter Matt Kent surrendered seven runs, including three homers in 3 1/3 innings. Sam Travis turned in a notable evening at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a double. The Pawtucket bullpen had a strong effort, with 5 2/3 scoreless innings allowing just one hit. 
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May 17, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hernandez strikes out 11; Duran keeps rolling


5/17 Cup of Coffee: With the major league squad off on Thursday, the minor league docket featured two of the organization's top pitching prospects and a newly signed starter out of indy ball. It was an upside down day where Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured) set career highs in innings and strikeouts and suffered a loss as Mike Shawaryn had a career-worst six walks but secured the win. Jarren Duran was again a bright spot for Salem, while Triston Casas continues racking up the extra-base hits in Greenville.

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The PawSox halted their five-game losing streak despite an uncharacteristically wild outing from starter Mike Shawaryn. The right-hander allowed just two runs in five innings despite walking six and surrendering a homer. He struck out five and gave up just two hits. Shawaryn entered the day with only 12 free passes allowed in his first seven starts. After getting pushed back a day from his regular rotation slot, Shawaryn now is in line to pitch in the majors on May 21 if David Price is unable to return. 
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May 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Dalbec tops the Hot Sheet, Duran's average hits .406


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox might soon be able to field an entire infield of power-hitting third basemen, with Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis thriving in the majors, and Bobby Dalbec (pictured, right) dismantling Eastern League pitching. Dalbec earned the top spot on Baseball America's Prospects Hot Sheet after hitting .500/.556/1.438 with four home runs last week. Dalbec has been a streaky hitter in the past, and right now he is in the midst of one of his trademark hot streaks. 
  • Coming in at ninth on the Prospects Hot Sheet is Jarren Duran, who hit .529/.588/.556. It is a pretty good week in the system when a guy hits .500 and only finishes second in batting average. Duran has been consistently great all year, and last week helped push his season line up to .406/.468/.536. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Houck with a quality start; Duran hit streak up to 7 games


5/16 Cup of Coffee: Offensive challenges were aplenty for the affiliates, as none of the four teams in action recorded more than eight hits, leading to only one win on Wednesday. Tanner Houck issued a quality start to turn the tide after two poor outings, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. Devlin Granberg and Cole Brannen were the lone system-wide offensive highlights, as each had two extra-base hits. Granberg had a double and a triple, while Brannen had a pair of two-base hits.

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It was a bullpen day for the PawSox, as six pitchers entered the game for the Red Sox, including Brian Johnson, who threw 1 2/3 innings in a rehab appearance. Chandler Shepherd allowed three runs on five hits in his 2 1/3 innings. The PawSox only recorded a pair of base knocks, but they worked eight walks to score four runs. Five free passes and four runs came in the sixth for the home team. Brock Holt also started a rehab stint, hitting 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, while Josh Ockimey worked three walks on his own.

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May 15, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey homers twice, Ward shuts down Hickory


5/15 Cup of Coffee: All four affiliates came up empty on Tuesday night, but there were still several good performances. Josh Ockimey led the way with his two home runs for Pawtucket, and Jarren Duran was on base two more times for Salem. On the pitching side Thaddeus Ward and Eduard Bazardo continued to be two of the most impressive pitchers in the system. 

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With Bobby Dalbec on his heels, Josh Ockimey hit two more home runs to extend his system lead, but it was not enough for the PawSox. Ockimey now has 10 home runs on the season and he also walked twice as he pushed his OPS up over 1.000. The rest of the offense struggled, with the only other run coming across on a Gorkys Hernandez grondout. 
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May 14, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran leads offensive explosion, Dalbec homers again


5/14 Cup of Coffee: Things are as they should be in the Red Sox system, as Jarren Duran (pictured) and Bobby Dalbec filled familiar roles Monday night. Duran reached base five times to lead an offensive barrage for Salem, while Dalbec launched his seventh home run of the season to secure a team victory in Portland. With three SoxProspects.com top-60 prospects on the mound today, each active affiliate received strong pitching performances. Kyle Hart and Kutter Crawford continued their excellent seasons, while Alex Scherff came back into form with a strong start in Asheville.

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A strong team effort helped Portland earn the win at home Monday night, with strong performances on both sides of the ball. Kyle Hart got the start and continued to roll with another excellent outing, surrendering only two earned runs in seven innings. Hart also struck out seven Yard Goats and has now surrendered two or fewer earned runs in each of his last six starts. Brian Ellington and Daniel McGrath each pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen, with McGrath earning his first save of the season.
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May 13, 2019 at 12:50 PM

Minor Notes: Dalbec powers up & Chavis stays up


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • The Eagle-Tribune's Chris Mason could sense it was coming, writing mid-week about the reason to believe Bobby Dalbec's (pictured, right) breakout was coming. He finished the week with some superhuman performances and you can read more about that in the Players of the Week.
  • When your a highly touted prospect who has a strong start in the majors, you are going to get a lot of attention. It is no surprise that infielder Michael Chavis continues to draw praise for his early season performance that has him hitting .282/.407/.563 over his first 71 at-bats. After going 0-for-19 earlier this week, he broke out in a big way on Mother's Day, going 3-for-5 with a season-best 5 RBI. The Boston Globe's Nora Princiotti has more on his big day and how he works through struggles.
  • You might think after a big game Chavis might relax and soak it all in as a 23-year-old in the majors. Not exactly. Chavis paused to address the media mid-way through his hour-plus-long batting practice he took *after* Sunday's game as MassLive's Christopher Smith notes. Every player has their own routines and Chavis says "I’ve done this since I was a kid. Even when I was like 14 years old, after a game I’d go hit if I didn’t feel good. In high school, I did the same thing. It’s part of my thing.”
  • Justin Long, Red Sox Senior Manager of Media Relations and Baseball Info, noted that Chavis is now third in most RBI for a Red Sox player through his first twenty games with 19. He trails George "Boomer" Scott's 1966 season and some guy named Ted Williams who each had 20.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Travis, Witte keep streaks alive on rainy Mother's Day


5/13 Cup of Coffee: While the major league club spent Mother's Day completing its sweep of the Mariners, the minor league affiliates offered much less cheer. Three of the five games on the docket were rained out, including a Salem doubleheader. Pawtucket and Greenville did manage to get their contests in, but failed to produce a victory despite the continued strong efforts of Jantzen Witte (pictured), Sam Travis, and Devlin Granberg.
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The eight hits for the PawSox came from just four batters in Sunday's loss. Jantzen Witte led the charge with a 3-for-4 effort, raising his average to .329. Witte's eighth double of the season was Pawtucket's only extra-base hit. Sam Travis continues his improved play. The 2015 second-round pick was 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games including multiple knocks in six of his last seven. Josh Tobias also had two hits on the day. Teddy Stankiewicz took the loss, surrendering three runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings. Bobby Poyner was a highlight in relief, striking out three batters in a scoreless seventh inning.

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Portland Sea Dogs @ Trenton Thunder (NYY), postponed
The Sea Dogs suffered their seventh rain out of the season in Sunday's series finale in Trenton. The game will be made up when Portland returns next week for a four-game series, with the specific date not yet announced.

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Salem Red Sox @ Lynchburg Hillcats (CLE), cancelled
The scheduled doubleheader in Lynchburg was called off due to continuing rain. As Salem does not return in the first half of the season, the games will not be made up

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Greenville had plenty of chances, but a 1-for-13 effort with runners in scoring position poured water on any potential rally. Devlin Granberg doubled to extend his hitting streak to seven games, adding a walk and run scored. Triston Casas drove in both Greenville runs during his 1-for-4 day. He moves into a tie for first in the organization with his 25 runs driven in. Angel Padron got the start, allowing three runs on four hits in four innings of work. Kris Jackson allowed a run on two hits in three innings of work in his South Atlantic League debut. He struck out two without issuing a walk.

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Player of the Day: Jantzen Witte, in his seventh season in the Boston organization, remains one of the system's most steady contributors. His three hits on Sunday give him 555 for his career and 201 at the Triple-A level. The former TCU Horned Frog is now riding a six game hitting streak, going 11 for 25 in that stretch.

Photo Credit: Jantzen Witte by Kelly O'Connor

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May 12, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Three home runs for Dalbec, as Portland falls


5/12 Cup of Coffee: It was an offense-heavy night for the Red Sox affiliates, as they combined to launch 10 home runs with their opponents across three games Saturday night. Bobby Dalbec (pictured) was nearly the hero for Portland, launching three home runs including an extra-innings blast to extend the Sea Dog lead, but it was not enough to give Portland the win. Josh Ockimey also got in on the action with a pair of homers, while the Drive combined for three home runs in their slugfest win over Asheville.

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It was a heartbreaking loss for Pawtucket, who saw a late lead stolen from them by a ninth-inning Striper rally. Five Pawtucket batters recorded multiple hits, led by Josh Ockimey who launched his seventh and eighth home runs of the season. Rusney Castillo chipped in with a three-hit night and was joined by Sam Travis, Jantzen Witte, and Gorkys Hernandez who each singled twice. In just his second career Triple-A start, Matt Kent hurled five shutout innings, but the wheels came off for him in the sixth inning, where he was unable to record an out. Trevor Kelley relieved him, pitching two innings and surrendering a solo home run while striking out two. Jenrry Mejia attempted to close out the game for the PawSox, but was tagged for two runs and was awarded his third blown save of the year.

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May 11, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gonzalez deals, Ockimey goes deep


5/11 Cup of Coffee: All four teams lost last night, but Daniel Gonzalez (pictured, right) and Jarren Duran continued their terrific seasons. Josh Ockimey and Bryce Brentz belted home runs while Yorvin Pantoja turned in a terrific relief outing.

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Chandler Shepherd's rough season continued, as he gave up three home runs in five innings to fall to 0-5 on the year. Domingo Tapia also fell victim to the long ball, allowing two in his lone inning of work. Travis Lakins and Bobby Poyner were bright spots, each tossing a scoreless frame with one strikeout. Bryce Brentz and Josh Ockimey each blasted solo shots and walked, while Rusney Castillo and Sam Travis each went 2 for 5. Juan Centeno also had a good night with three knocks to boost his average to .297.
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May 10, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas powers Drive, Duran keys Salem


5/10 Cup of Coffee: The Thursday schedule got off to a bang very early, when Triston Casas (pictured) homered in the first inning of Greenville's 10:30 am matchup. The white hot first baseman had three hits, as did perpetually-hot Jarren Duran to lead Salem once again. Bryce Brentz bailed out the PawSox after they squandered a big lead, while Portland suffered the organization's only defeat on the day. 

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The PawSox got off to an early 5-0 lead but needed some extra-innings heroics from Bryce Brentz to come away with the victory. Brentz blasted a two-run homer as part of a three-run 10th on a day when the veteran outfielder had previously singled and walked. Sam Travis also went deep for Pawtucket and Cole Sturgeon doubled and drove in a pair as part of his two-hit afternoon. Starter Mike Shawaryn surrendered a pair of solo home runs that accounted for both scores against him. He allowed three hits in 5 2/3, striking out four without issuing a walk. Jenrry Mejia secured the save with a perfect 10th inning.
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May 9, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Reyes pitches a gem, Casas and Dalbec on a roll


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • The SoxProspects.com Player's of the Month for April have been revealed, with Jarren Duran and Bryan Mata (pictured) taking home the honors. Duran's victory should come as no surprise as he has batted a spectacular .404/.462/.553, which is made even more impressive by the fact that he has done this as a full-time center fielder. His teammate Mata was similarly dominant, allowing only four earned runs in the month of April and striking out 26 as the youngest pitcher in the Carolina League.
  • With the Red Sox starting pitching depth being tested early in May, a series of strong pitching performances will come as welcome news to Sox fans. In just his third outing since his return from the IL Teddy Stankiewicz dominated, pitching six shut out innings Tuesday night. In Portland, Kyle Hart remains on a roll, while Denyi Reyes had his best outing of 2019 on Wednesday night. Hart has now allowed only three earned runs over his last 18 1/3 innings pitched.
  • Given Boston's quickly disappearing pitching depth, John Tomase of NBC Sports Boston asks if Mike Shawaryn could be the next prospect to receive the call from the big league club.
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