SoxProspects News

May 31, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wins all around highlight productive night throughout system


5/31 Cup of Coffee: Each affiliate pulled of at least one win on a night with double headers for Portland and Salem.

The PawSox hosted the Norfolk Tides (BAL) and came away with a 3-2 win. Norfolk crossed the plate first with a home run by former Red Sox prospect Lew Ford in the first inning. The Tides put up another run in the top of the fourth with another homer off of starter Justin Germano. The PawSox answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of that frame when Mauro Gomez doubled and was driven in when Alex Hassan lifted a sacrifice fly. Pawtucket put up two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead. Che-Hsuan Lin started things off with a single, advancing to third on a throwing error pick-off attempt. Lars Anderson then drew a walk which was followed by a Gomez ground-rule double that scored Lin.  Hassan laced another sacrifice fly to score Anderson for the final run of the inning. Germano came out of the game after the seventh inning, having pitched 7.0 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, and no walks. He was replaced by Tony Pena Jr. who struck out 2 and walked 1. Pena was taken out and replaced by Clayton Mortensen who got out of the inning by striking out the next batter. Mortensen came back out in the ninth and set batters down in order, striking out two. Mortensen pitched 1.1 innings, allowing no hits, no runs, and no walks. All but three PawSox batters contributed to the team's 9 hits. Gomez's 2 doubles were the only extra base hits for Pawtucket.

After Tuesday night's game was postponed due to rain, the Sea Dogs and the Harrisburg Senators (WAS) split a double header, with Portland coming out on top to win game one 3-2. Harrisburg drew first blood, putting up their only two runs of the game in the bottom of the first. After their initial offensive burst, the Senators were shut down by Sea Dogs pitcher Billy Buckner who pitched 7.0 innings for a complete game with 4 hits, 2 runs, and 1 walk. Portland put up a run in the top of the third when Jeremy Hazelbaker blasted a home run. Portland would not score again until the seventh when Bryce Brentz blasted a solo home run. Later in the inning, Derrik Gibson drew a walk and stole second base before being driven in on a Zach Gentile single. Portland had 7 hits in game one, with Shannon Wilkerson being the only Sea Dogs hitter with a multi-hit contest. 

The Senators took game two against the Sea Dogs 5-2 thanks to a five-run fourth inning. Portland starter Stomly Pimentel pitched 6.0 innings for a complete game, but got into hot water in the bottom of the fourth which would cost him the win. Six of the seven hits Pimentel gave up came in the fourth when the Senators scored 5 runs. He was eventually able to get out of the inning and came back out for the next two innings. He pitched 6.0 innings, allowing 7 hits, 5 runs, and 1 walk. Portland put up their first run of the game in the top of the third when Hazelbaker drew a walk, stole second, and was driven in on a line drive from J.C. Linares. The Sea Dogs put up another run in the sixth when Linares smacked a homer, but Portland was unable to battle back any further. Portland batters had 5 hits in the game, 2 of which belonged to Linares.

Salem took both sides of a double header against the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL), winning game one 6-3. Lynchburg struck first, putting up a run in the bottom of the first. Salem answered in the top of the third with 4 runs of their own. Adalberto Ibarra started off the inning with a walk, followed by a Matt Marquis single. Ibarra was caught stealing third, and Matty Johnson hit a single to advance Marquis. Travis Shaw then drew a walk to load the bases and Michael Almanzar doubled to score Marquis and Johnson. Xander Bogaerts followed with a double to drive in Shaw and Almanzar. The Red Sox put up a run in the fourth inning when Sean Coyle reached base on a double and crossed the plate thanks to a Marquis single. The Red Sox tacked on one more in the fifth when Almanzar singled and was driven in on a single from Christian Vazquez. Salem righty Matt Barnes  got the start and threw 4.0 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. He was replaced in the fifth by Ruben Flores who pitched three perfect innings with 5 strikeouts to close out game one.

Drake Britton (Kelly O'Connor)
Game two featured a great outing by Salem starter Drake Britton in the Red Sox 7-1 win over the Hillcats. Britton pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in one of his best outings yet in the minors. He picked up his third win of the season and allowed just 5 hits, no runs, no walks, and added 7 strikeouts. Of course, the Salem batters backed him up with plenty of run support. The Red Sox started out hot with 5 runs in the first inning. Coyle reached base on a Lynchburg throwing error, followed by a two-run home run by Shaw. Almanzar drew a walk to reach base, and Drew Hedman blasted a triple to drive him in. Hedman scored on a Carson Blair single, and advanced to second on a Marquis single. The last run of the inning came when Felix Sanchez singled to drive in Blair. Salem put up another run in the second when Shaw blasted his second homer of the game to increase the lead to 6-0. The Red Sox picked up their last run of the game in the top of the seventh when Shaw drew a walk, advanced on singles from Almanzar and Hedman, and scored when Blair looped  a sacrifice fly. Britton was replaced in the seventh by Keith Couch who allowed 1 unearned run on a throwing error by Coyle, but finished off the 7-1 victory.

Travis Shaw (Rebecca Barnett)
The Drive hosted the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) and came away with a 6-3 victory. Greenville put up some early runs, scoring 2 in the first inning when Garin Cecchini blasted a two-run homer scoring himself and Keury De La Cruz. Savannah answered with 2 runs of their own in the top of the second against Drive starter Mickey Pena. Pena kept the Sand Gnats scoreless for the next three innings before being replaced by Nefi Ogando in the sixth. Pena pitched 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs, and 1 walk. Savannah put up a run in the sixth against Ogando, but Greenville batters answered with 2 runs in the bottom of that inning. David Renfroe doubled to reach base and was driven in on a Boss Moanaroa single. Moanaroa in turn was driven in on a single from Drew Turocy. The Drive put up one more run in the bottom of the seventh when De La Cruz singled and was driven in on a Cecchini single. Ogando, who was credited with the win, pitched 2.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, and 2 walks. He was replaced in the eighth by Matty Ott who pitched 2.0 perfect innings to end the game. The Drive had 11 hits on the night, with De La Cruz accounting for 3 of them.

Players of the Night: Drake Britton and Travis Shaw who each shined in game two for Salem. Britton threw 6.0 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts, one of the best appearances of his career. Shaw blasted two home runs to help lead the Red Sox to a 7-1 victory.
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at 7:46 AM

Red Sox Draft Preview, Part 3 of 4: Day One Mock Draft


In part three of our Red Sox Draft Preview, we bring you a Day One mock draft, courtesy of SoxProspects Forum Senior Moderator Adam Fox. It will be interesting to watch how the new bonus limits affect this year's draft, especially with respect to tough sign high school players.  In tomorrow's installment, I will cover a cross section of the players who Boston may be targeting this year.

2012 MLB Mock Draft by Adam Fox

First Round
1. Houston -- Mark Appel, RHP, Stnaford
2. Minnesota -  Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS (GA)
3. Seatte -  Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
4. Baltimore - Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
5. Kansas City - Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
6. Chicago (NL) - Mike Zunino, C, Florida
7. San Diego - Albert Almora, OF, Mater Academy (FL)
8. Pittsburgh - Courtney Hawkins, OF, Carroll HS (TX)
9. Florida - David Dahl, OF, Oak Mountain HS (AL)
10.  Colorado - Lance McCullers, RHP, Jesuit Prep (FL)
11. Oakland - Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco
12. New York (NL) - Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS (LA)
13. Chicago (AL) -  Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M
14. Cincinnati - Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson
15. Cleveland - Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi St.
16. Washington - Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
17. Toronto - Nick Travieso, RHP, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL)
18. Los Angeles (NL) - Ty Hensley, RHP, Sante Fe HS (OK)
19. St. Louis - Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State
20. San Francisco - Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford
21. Atlanta - Tanner Rahier, 3B, Palm Desert HS (CA)
22. Toronto - Joey Gallo, 3B, Bishop Gorman HS (FL)
23. St. Louis - Lucas Sims, RHP, Brockwood HS (GA)
24. Boston - Zach Eflin, RHP, Hagerty HS (FL)
25. Tampa Bay - D.J. Davis, OF, Stone HS (MS)
26. Arizona - Victor Roache, OF, Georga Southern
27. Milwaukee - Pierce Johnson, RHP, Missouri State
28. Milwaukee - Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M
29. Texas - Matthew Smoral, LHP, Solon HS (OH)
30. New York (AL) - Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State
31. Boston - Addison Russell, SS, Pace HS (FL)

Supplemental First Round
32 . Minnesota - Mitch Brown, RHP, Rochester Century HS (MN)
33. San Diego - Brian Johnson, RHP, Florida
34. Oakland - Barrett Barnes, OF, Texas Tech
35. New York (NL) - Stryker Trahan, C, Arcadiana HS (LA)
36. St. Louis - Adam Brett Walker, 1B, Jacksonville
37. Boston - Travis Jankowski, OF, Stony Brook


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at 2:17 AM

Players of the Week, May 21-27: Garin Cecchini & Doug Mathis


There were five nominees for last week's SoxProspects.com Player of the Week voting but Garin Cecchini emerged the victor in what quickly became a two-man contest and is joined by the unheralded Doug Mathis, who more easily bested the field in the Pitcher of the Week polling.

Greenville's Cecchini bested the power display put on by fellow nominee Portland's Reynaldo Rodriguez (two home runs, two doubles), by putting up a .400/.484/.640 line (10 for 25) in six games played with a home run, a double and a triple, batting-in and scoring ten runs each, and taking five bases on balls. His performance was highlighted by a 5 for 6 outing at Charleston (NYY) May 26, in which he doubled and batted in five runs. Thus far in 2012, Cecchini is batting .312/.394/.457 with three home runs, fourteen doubles and two triples in 186 at-bats over 47 games. He is currently the eleventh ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.

Pawtucket's Mathis, a 28-year-old who joined the system as a minor league free agent in the offseason, got a second look from the SoxProspects.com membership by putting together his finest outing in a Paw Sox uniform working seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball at Norfork (BAL) May 21, striking out three while walking none and earning the win. Mathis owns 3-3 record in 10 starts on he season with a 4.86 ERA, having allowed 27 earned runs on 57 hits (a .286 BAA) over 50 innings pitched, striking out 26 while walking 19.   
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May 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Salem notebook: Huge home run won't change Shaw's approach



Travis Shaw (Dave Letizi)
Before Saturday night’s showdown with the Frederick Keys, who sent Orioles—and perhaps all of baseball’s—top prospect Dylan Bundy to the mound for his Carolina League debut, Travis Shaw and his Salem teammates were buzzing about the opportunity to face a pitcher who arrived in the league with such fanfare.

Bundy had gone 30 innings without allowing an earned run, and had given up just five hits in eight starts. But with Ryan Kalish on first base in the fourth inning, Shaw stepped into the batter’s box and changed all of that.

“After the 1-0 pitch, I thought I saw something he did differently, so I took it, and it was a changeup,” Shaw said the following day. “I noticed something again on the 1-1 pitch, and I was thinking to myself that he might try to get one by me here on the inside part of the plate. Luckily, that was the pitch he threw. I think he missed it a little bit because it was down, and that’s in my happy zone.”

Bundy said the fastball caught too much of the plate, and Shaw made no mistake with it, depositing the knee-high heater over the wall in right field for a no-doubt home run that gave Salem a 2-1 lead at the time.

But while satisfying, it was a lesson from Shaw’s time in Lowell last season that will prevent that one plate appearance—or any one plate appearance—from pulling him off course with his approach.

While Bundy and the rest of the big-bonus stars of the 2011 MLB Draft class were waiting for the August 15 signing deadline to hear from their respective teams, Shaw had already collected a $110,000 signing bonus and began play with the Short-Season A Lowell Spinners.

He got off to a hot start in the New York-Penn League, but injuries and slumps dragged his average down to .262 by the end of the season.

“I learned not really to get too high, not get too low,” Shaw said of his debut campaign. “During the lows, it might be frustrating but you can’t change what you’ve been doing, because obviously its been working. Last year, I maybe changed my approach a little bit when I started to struggle.”

Rich Gedman, who was Shaw’s hitting coach in Lowell and is serving in that capacity with Salem this season, said Shaw “keeps things in perspective and comes to work every day.

“It’s not about max effort, it’s not about results,” Gedman said. “It’s about process. It’s about taking care of his swing, understanding his swing and what’s going to give him the best chance when he’s at the plate.”

Gedman said Shaw’s ability to keep each at bat in perspective and understand why it ended how it did has been the key to his success so far. Through 42 games (157 AB), Shaw is hitting .331/.403/.503 with 15 doubles and a pair of homers.

Coyle refining approach through struggles

With an .826 OPS and power numbers that didn’t line up with his .247 batting average, Sean Coyle’s 2011 season with Greenville was something of a statistical anomaly. He won’t draw a parallel between this year and last—Coyle has a team-leading five home runs, but is hitting just .220 through 44 games—but the 20-year-old second baseman said he’s being challenged to be more of a hitter and less of a hard swinger in the Carolina League.

“I think that means being able to take a pitch off the outer part of the plate and being able to put it into right field, and being able to make decent contact with two strikes,” Coyle said. “Maybe cut down a swing or really try to balance my game at the plate rather than sell out for an extra base hit or swing out of my approach and over-swing.”

Those adjustments, combined with pitchers’ ability to locate off-speed pitches for strikes at the higher level, have led to a bit of frustration for Coyle, whose trademark last year was his hard contact. But Gedman said that “it’s just a matter of time before it clicks” for Coyle.

“He can do some things that a lot of people can’t,” Gedman said. “Just stick with it, stick with the process, and you’re going to work your way through it. Before this is over, you’re going to look back and go regardless of the numbers, I’ve gotten so much better at this game having been here and gone through what I’ve gone through.

Couch embracing hybrid role

Since Matt Barnes’ quick promotion from Greenville, all involved have been waiting for the Salem rotation to sort itself out. Now that it has, Keith Couch—who won’t be starting for the time being—has chosen to embrace whatever role he’s given.

“At first, I was kind of bummed about it,” Couch said. But the right-hander out of Adelphi said he discussed it with his parents and that they told him he could either sulk, get lit up, and create actual problems, or continue to pitch and prove that he belongs back in the rotation. With a handful of double headers coming, Couch will pitch in relief and spot start for the club.

“There are two sides to everything, so I took the positive side,” he said. “It’s not like I’m getting demoted, going to Greenville. I’m still getting innings in, I’m still pitching, and I have to make sure I’m having success.

So far, half of Couch’s 10 appearances on the year have been in relief, and all but three of the 18 earned runs he has allowed came in his five starts. He is 4-3 with a 3.52 ERA, 43 strikeouts, and just 9 walks in 46 innings.

Jon Meoli is a Senior Columnist for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonMeoli.
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at 10:10 AM

Red Sox Draft Preview, Part 2 of 4: Recent history and strategy


For years, Boston has used its considerable financial resources in the MLB Draft to accumulate the kind of talent that should be off the board before the perennial contenders make their first selection. Players like Anthony Ranaudo, Garin Cecchini, Will Middlebrooks, and Blake Swihart all received far larger bonuses than their draft position would have commanded. Boston took a chance in selecting each and has a trove of high-ceiling talent to show for it.

But all of that changes this year. With the new rules negotiated under the collective bargaining agreement, Boston will be allotted a bonus pool of $6,884,800 for its 12 picks in the first 10 rounds, according to Baseball America. In 2011, the Red Sox paid $6.65 million to its first four picks alone. After the first 10 rounds, any bonus over $100,000 will count against that number.

In years past, this preview has centered on Boston’s willingness to pay over-slot for talent. But with the rule changes, it's hard to tell what trends will carry over. The front office’s ability to pay a premium for talent may have changed, but the new rules won't affect the ability of Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye and his staff to identify talent. So instead of focusing on who Boston will be able to afford, here’s a sampling of archetypes they’ll probably be able to find in their price range.

The Signability Pick

The new draft rules don’t prevent Boston from taking a chance on players who slide because of bonus demands or signability concerns—they just prevent the team from paying as much for them. But this year, more than any other, is one in which teams who are adaptive can hit the jackpot. Teams atop the draft have higher bonus pools, but could go with safer first-round selections and pocket the allotted cash for that pick to use in later rounds. Expect a player to be available at No. 24—Boston’s first pick—who mock drafts had off the board way sooner, and expect Boston to take a chance—and ultimately sign them.

The Sophomore Sensation

Closely related to the signability pick, this is a college player whose performance in his junior season failed to live up to the standards he had set for himself the year before. It could be because the ceiling is too high—Bryce Brentz’ 15 home runs and 1.076 OPS as a junior only looks bad next to his 28 homers and 1.471 OPS from the year before—or injury, which caused Anthony Ranaudo and Jackie Bradley, Jr. to fall in each of the last two seasons. If a college player has been in a free-fall since the first set of mock drafts came out this spring, that fall could end when Boston’s pick comes up.

The High School Athlete

Over the last five years, Boston has drafted some incredibly athletic players for whom they hoped the hitting tool would develop. The jury is still out on players like Henry Ramos, Williams Jerez, and Brandon Jacobs, while Peter Hissey, Derrik Gibson, and Ryan Dent are all, to some extent, have not lived up to draft expectations. Prep players are rarely the finished product, but Boston typically targets those who have the things you can’t teach—fielding instincts, bat speed, and foot speed—and hope the rest of the package fills out with professional coaching.

The Low-Risk College Pitcher

The first day of the draft, when Boston owns picks 24, 31, and 37, will almost assuredly include a college pitcher. While last year's seleection, Matt Barnes, appears to be the ideal in that vein, the team has successfully taken a different path to identifying college arms early in the draft.

Alex Wilson, Bryan Price, Stephen Fife, Kyle Weiland, and Nick Hagadone were all low-mileage college arms that Boston developed as starters. All but Wilson, who is currently in Triple-A Pawtucket, grew into valuable trade chips for the club.

The Team USA Star

As Mike Andrews detailed in a column last year, Boston has a long history of selecting players who represented the United States in international competitions as amateurs. Of course, this represents the best players at their level, but don’t be surprised if one or two of these talents listed in the above linked article wind up getting selected by Boston this year.

Selection Trends

While it’s hard to predict exactly how the Red Sox will adapt to the new system, that may not change a strong trend they’ve developed in years past. In Sawdaye’s first two drafts at the helm, Boston saw a sharp rise in the amount of high school players selected in comparison to the Jason McLeod era (2005-2009). Under McLeod, Boston selected 256 players—116 out of high school (45.3 percent), 110 out of college (43 percent), and 30 from junior college (11.7 percent). In the last two years, 62 players were selected out of high school (59 percent), with 37 college players (35.2 percent) and six junior college picks (5.7 percent). However, just eight high school players signed last year, and nine the year before. 

Red Sox Draft Preview Schedule
May 29: Red Sox Draft Preview Introduction
May 30 Red Sox Recent History & Draft Strategy
May 31: First Round Mock Draft
June 1: Potential Red Sox targets

Jon Meoli is a Senior Columnist for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonMeoli
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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Anderson blasts Pawtucket by Tides


Lars Anderson (Kelly O'Connor)
5/30 Cup of Coffee: An offensive duel broke Pawtucket’s way while Greenville was swarmed by the Sand Gnats. Portland and Salem's Tuesday night contests were washed away by Mother Nature. 

An offensive slugfest went Pawtucket's way as they rolled the Norfolk Tides (BAL), 11-8. Ross Ohlendorf had a tough evening on the mound, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing 5 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks while punching out 5. Junichi Tazawa picked up the victory for his 2.0 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 4. Mark Melancon added 1.2 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 2 hits while punching out 2. Will Inman picked up his fourth save, tossing a scoreless ninth inning. After the Tides plated a run in the top of the first, Pawtucket responded with four in the bottom half of the inning on bases loaded walks to Lars Anderson and Mauro Gomez as well as an RBI single by Nate Spears. The PawSox expanded their lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the second as Anderson's RBI single brought home two. After Norfolk trimmed Pawtucket's lead to 6-5 in the top of the fourth, Anderson hit a towering two run home run and Josh Kroeger added a solo shot to give the PawSox a 9-5 advantage. Pawtucket added singular runs in the seventh and eighth on a Ryan Lavarnway RBI single and a Gomez solo home run. The two teams combined for 31 hits and 5 home runs in the offensive struggle. Every member of the PawSox lineup had at least one hit with Anderson leading the way with a 2 for 4 evening with a home run and 5 RBI.

Portland’s contest against the Harrisburg Senators (WAS) was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening beginning at 6:00 PM. 

Salem’s matchup with the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) was also postponed due to rain. The series will shift to Lynchburg tomorrow and the teams will play a doubleheader. The twin bill will be one of four doubleheaders for the Red Sox in the next 11 days. 

Greenville’s pitching faltered as they were squashed by the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM), 12-2. Madison Younginer struggled as he dropped to 1-5 on the season, tossing 4.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and 6 walks. Justin Erasmus followed Younginer with 1.2 innings of relief, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits and a walk. Tyler Lockwood did not fare much better in his 2.0 innings out of the bullpen, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. Tyler Wilson came on in the ninth, allowing 2 unearned runs on 3 hits. The Drive grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Blake Swihart laced an RBI double. The Sand Gnats quickly erased Greenville’s lead, plating 5 runs in the top of fifth. The Drive responded in the bottom half of the fifth, plating a run on a Henry Ramos RBI ground out. Despite having multiple scoring chances, Greenville did not bring home any more runs as Savannah notched seven more runs to run away with the 12-2 victory. Boss Moanaroa was 3 for 5 with 2 doubles to lead the Drive offense. 

Player of the Night: Lars Anderson, who went 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs scored, 5 RBI and a walk in Pawtucket's 11-8 victory over Norfolk.
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May 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Matt Barnes' string of success


Matt Barnes has had quite a run of success since we last spoke before he opened the 2012 season with the Low-A Greenville Drive on April 8. The 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Barnes is currently 4-1 with a 0.71 ERA for the season, with 70 strikeouts and just 6 walks in 50.2 innings. Opposing batters are hitting .161 against him. 

He lasted just five games in Low-A before proving to outclass South Atlantic League competition. One of those outings was on April 24, when Barnes faced off against Delmarva and opposing pitcher Dylan Bundy, the top pitching prospect in the Orioles' organization. Neither pitcher allowed a run, with Bundy striking out 6 in a perfect four innings, and Barnes giving up 3 hits and 2 walks and striking out 9 in 5 innings. One scout called the matchup of these two top pitching prospects “the best-pitched A-Ball game" he’d ever seen.

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at 8:10 AM

Red Sox Draft Preview: Part 1 of 4


It’s that time of year again, as the MLB First-Year Player Draft gets underway in less than a week, on the evening of Monday, June 4. The first round will kick off at 7:00 pm ET from Studio 42 at MLB Network in Secaucus, N.J., broadcast live on the MLB Network and MLB.com. Day One will include the first round and the supplemental compensation round. Day Two will start at noon on June 5, covering rounds 2 through 15, and Day Three will kick off at noon on June 6, covering rounds 16 through 40. Days Two and Three will be exclusively covered on MLB.com.

This will be the third draft with Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye at the helm of the Red Sox ship. Sawdaye’s previous two drafts have been quite impressive, although it’s obviously still very early in the evaluation process. He'll have options to add some more high-end talent this draft, as the Red Sox have 4 selections in the first 83 picks. However, there is a new twist this year, as under the new CBA, the club will have a $6,884,800 signing bonus cap.

Here on SoxProspects.com, we'll bring you pre-draft coverage all week leading up to June 4, this being the first of a four-installment draft preview. You can also follow Days One, Two, and Three of the draft here, as we’ll have live coverage of Boston’s selections on SoxProspects News, the Draft History page, and the @SoxProspects Twitter account. For now, here's some general information to whet your palette.

First Round Order
1. Houston
2. Minnesota
3. Seattle
4. Baltimore
5. Kansas City
6. Chicago (NL)
7. San Diego
8. Pittsburgh
9. Florida
10. Colorado
11. Oakland
12. New York (NL)
13. Chicago (AL)
14. Cincinnati
15. Cleveland
16. Washington
17. Toronto
18. Los Angeles (NL)
19. St. Louis (compensation for Albert Pujols)
20. San Francisco
21. Atlanta
22. Toronto (compensation for Tyler Beede)
23. St. Louis
24. Boston
25. Tampa Bay
26. Arizona
27. Milwaukee (compensation for Prince Fielder)
28. Milwaukee
29. Texas
30. New York (AL)
31. Boston (compensation for Jonathan Papelbon)

Red Sox Selections
Day One – 24 (1st round), 31 (1st), 37 (Suppl. )
Day Two – 81 (2nd), 118 (3rd), 151 (4th), and 23rd pick in rounds 5-15
Day Three – 23rd pick in rounds 16-40

Most Recent Selections at #24 Overall: Taylor Guerrieri, Gary Brown, Randal Grichuk, Anthony Hewitt, Michael Main, Cody Johnson, Brian Bogusevic, Landon Powell, Chad Billingsley, Joe Blanton

Most Recent Selections at #31 Overall: Mike Mahtook, Justin O’Conner, Brett Jackson, Shooter Hunt, Josh Smoker, Preston Mattingly, Matt Torra, JP Howell, Adam Miller, Greg Miller

Most Recent Selections at #37 Overall: Zach Cone, Taylor Lindsey, James Paxton, Conor Gillaspie, Travis d’Arnaud, Adrian Cardenas, Trevor Bell, Jon Poterson, Adam Jones, Steve Obbenchain

Informational Links
Red Sox Draft History - SoxProspects.com
Major League Rule 4 Summary - SoxProspects.com Wiki
2012 Draft Preview  – Perfect Game USA
Draft Coverage – Baseball America 

Red Sox Draft Preview Schedule
May 29: Red Sox Draft Preview Introduction
May 30 Red Sox Recent History & Draft Strategy
May 31: First Round Mock Draft
June 1: Potential Red Sox targets

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at 7:21 AM

Cup of Coffee: Weems, Swinson lead Greenville on Memorial Day


Jordan Weems (Kelly O'Connor)
5/29 Cup of Coffee: On a slate full of day games for the Sox affiliates, only Greenville came up with a victory, extending their winning streak to four games by beating Savannah. Pawtucket fell to Norfolk, Portland was shut out by New Britain, and a late rally by Salem came up short.

In the first meeting of a four game series at McCoy, Pawtucket took a 6-4 loss to the Norfolk Tides (BAL). It was a tough afternoon for starter Doug Mathis, who was victimized by three home runs in the loss. In all, Mathis allowed 6 runs on 10 hits in his 5.1 innings, walking 1 and striking out 2. After allowing a solo home run in the third, Pawtucket took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on a two-run home run by Nate Spears. Norfolk added a pair in the fourth by stringing together four straight hits, a solo homer in the fifth, and a two-run blast in the sixth knocked Mathis out of the game and put Pawtucket down 6-2. A strong performance by the PawSox bullpen helped keep them in the game. Garrett Mock threw 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, striking out 3 without walking a batter, and Alex Wilson followed with a sharp 2.0 shutout innings of his own, giving up only one hit and striking out 2. Pawtucket cut the deficit to three in the seventh when Josh Kroeger doubled, advanced to third on an Alex Hassan single and scored on a Ronald Bermudez sacrifice fly. Kroger then hit a solo home run in the ninth to bring the PawSox within two, but Norfolk was able to slam the door on the rally and escape with the victory. Kroeger was the offensive standout for Pawtucket, going 2 for 4 with a double, homer, and pair of runs scored. Hassan and Jonathan Hee also had two-hit days.

Portland's longest winning streak of the season ended at four as they were shut out 3-0 by the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). All of the scoring came in the New Britain half of the third inning, as Chris Hernandez took the tough-luck loss in a quality start for Portland. Hernandez allowed the 3 runs on 6 hits in 6.0 innings, walking 3 and striking out 2. Brock Huntzinger allowed only one baserunner - a hit batsman - in 3.0 innings of work in relief striking out 2. The Sea Dogs biggest threat came in the seventh, as they loaded the bases on singles by Dan Butler and Nick Natoli and a walk by Derrik Gibson, but former Sea Dog Daniel Turpen struck out Shannon Wilkerson to end the threat. Gibson was the only batter to reach base twice for Portland, going 1 for 3 with a walk and extending his hitting streak to four games.

Salem fell behind early and a comeback attempt fell short as the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) held on for a 5-3 victory. Lynchburg got to starter Ryan Pressly for a run in the first, two in the second, and two more in the third, putting Salem in a 5-0 hole. Pressly finished 5.0 innings, giving up the 5 runs on 9 hits. He struck out 4 and walked 2. Manuel Rivera pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits and walking 2. Andrew Jones was next out of the pen, allowing only 1 hit in 1.2 shutout innings. After six shutout innings, the Red Sox finally got to Lynchburg starter J.R. Graham in the seventh. Matty Johnson led off the inning with a walk, advancing to third on a single by rehabbing outfielder Ryan Kalish. Kalish then stole second, giving Salem two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Travis Shaw knocked in Johnson with a sacrifice fly to left that also moved Kalish to third, and Kalish came in to score on a Xander Bogaerts grounder to shortstop, cutting the Lynchburg lead to 5-2. Salem staged another rally with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, as Shaw was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Bogaerts, bringing up the tying run - the first time since the first inning the Red Sox brought the tying run to the plate. Unfortunately for Salem, Lynchburg pitcher Juan Jaime got Christian Vazquez to fly out to right, ending the threat. Jackie Bradley went 1 for 4, extending his on-base streak to nine games. He has reached safely in 38 of his last 39. Johnson was the only Salem player to reach base twice, going 1 for 3 with a walk. 

The only victory of the day belonged to Greenville, who beat the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) by a score of 6-2. Scott Swinson was sharp while taking Henry Owens' usual spot in the rotation, going 5.0 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 2 without walking a batter. Owens is not injured, but was instead skipped simply for regularly scheduled rest. The Drive got off to a 1-0 lead in the second inning, as Lucas LeBlanc walked, advanced to second on a Drew Turocy single, and came around to score on a single by Jordan Weems. Greenville then added a pair in the third. David Renfroe led off the inning with a double, and he came in to score on a Henry Ramos triple. LeBlanc followed with an RBI single that put Greenville up 3-0. Savannah cut the lead to one in the sixth inning, as Travis Taijeron took Charle Rosario deep for a two-run homer. Rosario allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 2.0 innings, walking 1 and striking out 1. The Drive responded in the bottom of the inning, when Weems led off with a single, moved up to third on a Jose Vinicio single and scored on a Keury De La Cruz grounder to the second baseman. Greenville added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Weems led off the inning with a double, and De La Cruz hit his eleventh home run of the season. It was the 25th extra base hit by De La Cruz in 2012, one more than he had in all of the 2011 season. Matthew McCarthy pitched 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk, earning his first save of the season. Weems, a third round pick in 2011, had his second three hit performance in three games, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. LeBlanc went 2 for 3 with a walk, Ramos had a double and triple as part of his 2 for 4 afternoon, and Turocy also had a 2 hit game.

Player of the Day: It was another big night for Jordan Weems, who continued to break out of his early-season slump in a big way, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. During his four game hitting streak, Weems has gone 8 for 18, raising his season average from .157 to .206.
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May 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Iglesias coming on strong


By this point, Jose Iglesias has firmly established his reputation as being among the best fielders in the game at shortstop, but over the last month he has put together one of the best offensive streaks of his three-year career with the Red Sox.

He signed in September 2009 after defecting from Cuba, and it was clear even as a 19-year-old seeing his first action in the Arizona Fall League that year that his incredible defensive skills would carry him to the major leagues in some fashion. What has been less clear is exactly how well his bat would develop. The last month has provided some hope that he will reach his offensive potential and not be an all-glove, no-bat type player.

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at 6:00 AM

Cop of Coffee: Pawtucket hits five home runs and Greenville wins in 11


5/28 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket clobbered five home runs to beat Toledo, Portland won its third straight game against first-place New Britain, Salem lost a rain-shortened game to Frederick, and Greenville needed 11 innings to defeat the RiverDogs. 
Lars Anderson
 (Dave Letizi)

The ball was flying out of McCoy Stadium on Sunday, as the PawSox beat the Toledo Mud Hens (DET), 7-4. After Toledo got a first inning run off of Brandon Duckworth, Pawtucket responded swiftly. Back-to-back home runs to lead off the bottom of the first from Pedro Ciriaco and Nate Spears, and a one-out home run from Lars Anderson set the table for the game. Anderson hit an RBI single in the third to put the PawSox up 4-1, and after the Mud Hens scored three runs to tie the game, Anderson went deep again in the sixth to give the PawSox the lead. He finished the game 3 for 3 with a walk and 3 RBI in addition to his two home runs. Still a one-run game in the eighth, Anderson started the inning with a walk and came in to score on an Alex Hassan home run. Hassan was 2 for 3 on the day and hit the fifth home run for Pawtucket. Will Inman pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save of the season. 

Portland used a well-balanced offensive attack to defeat the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 8-5. The game did not start well for the Sea Dogs, as they saw themselves down 4-0 after the top of the fourth. All the runs came off starter Chris Martin in his 4.0 innings of work. However, the tandem of Juan Carlos Linares and Reynaldo Rodriguez slowly got them back in the game. Linares led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, and trotted home on a Rodriguez home run. Thanks to the terrific bullpen work from Jeremy Kehrt, the score was still 4-2 heading into the seventh. Kehrt pitched 3.2 shutout innings allowing only 1 Rock Cat to reach base, and striking out 2. Jeremy Hazelbaker led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple and came in to score on a Shannon Wilkerson single. Linares and Rodriguez followed with a single and a double respectively, tying the game and putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Dan Butler singled home Linares, and Rodriguez came in on a Derrik Gibson sacrifice fly. Portland ended up scoring five runs in the inning, and wrapped up its third consecutive victory. Linares finished 3 for 5 with a double while Rodriguez went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a home run. Hazelbaker continued to swing the bat well, going 2 for 3 with a triple, home run, and walk. 

Mother Nature was not on Salem's side, ending the game with two outs in the top of the eighth, with the Frederick Keys (BAL) winning 2-1. Salem threatened in the top of the first, as Jackie Bradley, Jr., Matty Johnson, and Ryan Kalish hit three straight single to lead off the game, but Bradley was picked off and Kalish was caught stealing. To read more about Kalish's first two appearances this season, check out this column from our Senior Columnist, Jon Meoli. Frederick got its two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run off of starter Miguel Celestino. Despite the ominous start to the contest, Celestino pitched well, tossing 6.0 innings allowing only 2 runs, 1 earned, walking 2 and striking out 2. Salem inched closer in the second when Xander Bogaerts singled and was driven in on a Michael Almanzar single. Bogaerts and Bradley each had two hits in the game. Unfortunately, that was as close as Salem would get, as the rain came in and forced the umpires to call the game. 

It took 11 innings, but the Drive defeated the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) for the third straight day, 3-2. Keury De La Cruz hit a home run in the fourth to break the pitcher's duel and put the Drive up 1-0. The RiverDogs finally got to Yeiper Castillo in the sixth, tying the game up with an RBI ground out. Castillo went 6.0 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 1. The Drive took the lead back in the seventh when Blake Swihart singled home Henry Ramos, but the RiverDogs scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game off of Matty Ott. The game went to the eleventh, where De La Cruz came up big again, launching a solo home run to put the Drive ahead. He went 2 for 4 with two home runs, including what proved to be the game-winner. 

Player of the Day: Lars Anderson belted two home runs in a game for the first time since 2009 with Portland. Power has been the biggest question mark for Anderson in recent years, so performances like this are very promising. He now has six doubles and four home runs in May, while walking more and striking out less. The 24-year-old still has time to work on his game in Triple-A, and the power numbers are something to keep an eye on. 

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May 27, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Kalish: 'I've just got to push through it'


Ryan Kalish (Dave Letizi)
Outfielder Ryan Kalish got his first action in the field since last August 20 on Sunday, and followed up Saturday’s 2 for 4 performance with a 1 for 4 showing in Salem’s 2-1 rain-shortened loss to Frederick (BAL).

After the game, Kalish, who had labrum surgery in November 2011, said he felt good about his performance, but was “still playing through some aches and pains” in his left shoulder.

“That’s to be expected,” he said. “I’ve just got to push through it for now and just keep grinding. That’s part of the game, playing through some stuff. Everything is healthy right now, it’s just…baseball is a taxing game. People don’t think so, but you play every day. It’s just getting used to everything.”

Kalish played in extended spring training games for a week and a half before joining Salem for Saturday’s showdown with Dylan Bundy, and went 2 for 4 as the designated hitter in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Frederick.

He struck out looking at an 0-2 96 mph fastball in the first inning, and got his first hit of the season to open the fourth when he beat out a grounder in the hole at short for an infield single. Kalish picked up his second strikeout of the night in the sixth, but led off the ninth with a solo shot to right-center field that cut Salem’s deficit to two.

“I didn’t expect to hit a long-ball yet, but that’s the way that that happens,” he said. “You just swing and sometimes you hit a home run, and sometimes you strike out.”

Kalish played center field and hit third Sunday, and began his day with a hard groundball off the pitcher that went for an infield single. He was caught stealing to end the frame, and that would be the last time he reached base on the day. In the third, Kalish couldn’t hold up on an outside changeup for strike three, and he rolled over a 0-1 pitch for a 3-1 groundout in the sixth inning. With one down in the eighth, Kalish popped up to short to end his day. Even so, Kalish said he’s “really happy” with where his swing is so far.

“Everything is feeling good, and I’m comfortable,” he said. “When I go up there, I’m not fearing anything.”

In center, Kalish had six chances on Sunday, all but one of which were lazy fly balls that he handled with ease. A first-inning double to left-center hit the wall just out Kalish’s reach, but he said it’s a bit early in his rehab to be crashing into walls — especially hard ones like Frederick’s.

“That’s just asking for trouble,” he said. “That’s one of those things where even if I’m totally fine, I don’t know. You’ve got to be careful with those kind of walls. Bad things can happen, that’s one thing I’m starting to learn. You need to really watch yourself. If I was in Pawtucket and there was a pad, it might be a little different.” He said he was “a little tentative throwing, but that’s to be expected.”

According to Kalish, the plan was for him to serve as the designated hitter for the Salem's 1:00 p.m. game Monday, and finish off the two-game homestand against Lynchburg with a full game in center field Tuesday. He was unsure of where his rehab would continue.

Jon Meoli is a Senior Columnist for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonMeoli.
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at 10:02 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kalish returns, Cecchini shines, and Daisuke is efficient



5/27 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket came from behind to defeat Toledo, Portland took two games from New Britain, Salem scored off of Dylan Bundy, and Greenville pounded out 18 hits to defeat Charleston. 
Ryan Lavarnway
(Dave Letizi)

Pawtucket has had a flair for the dramatic all season, and it was no different on Saturday night. A seven-run eighth inning propelled them to a 8-5 win over the Toledo Mud Hens (DET). Daisuke Matsuzaka had by-far his most effective start with Pawtucket, throwing 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2. Of the 56 pitches he threw, 38 were strikes. The PawSox gave him a one-run lead in the second, when Josh Kroeger hit his fifth home run of the year. The score remained 1-0 until the seventh, when the Mud Hens got to reliever Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa gave up an RBI single and balked in a run to give the Mud Hens the lead. In the eighth, he gave up a two-out three-run home run to put the PawSox down by four with six outs left. The PawSox came right back after losing the lead, as back-to-back doubles from Nate Spears and Pedro Ciriaco plated three runs, and then Ryan Lavarnway belted a go-ahead three-run home run to give the PawSox the lead. They plated one more for good measure, and Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth to earn the save. 

In the continuation of a suspended game from Friday, the Sea Dogs squeaked past the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 4-3. The game resumed with New Britain leading 1-0 in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Shannon Wilkerson doubled home Heiker Meneses to tie the game. Reynaldo Rodriguez then singled home Jeremy Hazelbaker in the seventh to give the Sea Dogs a one-run lead. The Rock Cats scored two runs off of Aaron Kurcz in the eighth, regaining the lead. Derrik Gibson started off the bottom of the eighth with a double, and came in to score on a force out. With two outs and a runner on first, the Sea Dogs used a little luck to stage a rally. Two infield singles loaded the bases, and then Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk to push the go-ahead run across. Kurcz was able to hold down the Rock Cats in the ninth and secure the exciting win.

Game two was arguably more exciting, as Portland completed the rare seventh inning walk-off, beating the Rock Cats, 4-3. It was a rough start to the game for Anthony Ranaudo, who gave up three runs in the first. A walk, hit-by-pitch, and home run accounted for the damage. He would settle down, and ultimately throw 6.0 innings, allowing the 3 runs on 2 hits, walking 5 and striking out 4. Still down three runs in the fourth, the Sea Dogs were threatening. Juan Carlos Linares singled, and moved to third on a Bryce Brentz double. Zach Gentile walked to load the bases, and with two outs, Jayson Hernandez cleared the bases with a double to deep left. The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh. Hernandez led off the inning with a walk, and Hazelbaker was brought in as a pinch-runner. Gibson singled with one out to advance Hazelbaker to second. Wilkerson popped out to bring the game within one out of extra innings, but Linares roped a double to center field, easily scoring Hazelbaker, and sending the Portland crowd home happy.

Facing Dylan Bundy in his Carolina League debut, Salem fell to the Frederick Keys (BAL), 5-3. In a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit a leadoff single to welcome Bundy to the league. He was erased on a caught stealing and Bundy ultimately faced the minimum through two innings. Frederick got a run off of Brandon Workman in the second with a double, single, and sacrifice fly. In a shocking turn of events, that one run was not enough for Bundy, who was touched for two runs in the fourth. Ryan Kalish, who was making his first start on a rehab assignment, singled and was driven in on a Travis Shaw home run. For more info on Kalish, read his pregame interview with our Senior Columnist Jon Meoli. The one-run lead did not hold for Salem, as the Keys scored three in the bottom of the fourth off of Workman with a home run and two-run double. Workman went 4.0 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3. Salem had an equally tough time with the Keys bullpen as they were unable to score until the ninth inning, when Kalish launched a home run to deep center. Kalish, Bradley, and Matty Johnson each finished the game with two hits.
Garin Cecchini
 (Dave Letizi)

On a warm day, where the wind was blowing out 15 miles-per-hour out to right field, the Drive were able to slug their way past the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), 15-10. Six Drive players had multi-hit games, led by Garin Cecchini, who went 5 for 6 with a double and 5 RBI, and Jose Garcia, who went 3 for 4 with 2 walks. Greenville scored three runs in the first on RBI singles by Cecchini and Henry Ramos, and a run-scoring ground out from Drew Turocy. The lead would not last long, as the RiverDogs got to Drive starter Jason Garcia for one run in the first and three in the second. This seemed to anger the Drive batters as they collected eight runs on eight hits and two walks in the top of the third. Cecchini had two singles in the inning while Boss Moanaroa had two walks. Seven different players drove in a run in the inning, and the Drive stormed ahead 11-4. Each team tacked on one more run to make it 12-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Justin Erasmus came on to relieve Garcia and quickly gave up a single, walk, double, and a home run to cut the lead to 3. The Drive responded again, scoring three more in the ninth to put the game out of reach, with a Cecchini two-run single sealing the victory. Moanaroa, Turocy, Ramos, Blake Swihart, and Jose Vinicio all had two hits on the day. 

Player of the Day: Garin Cecchini is the latest Red Sox prospect to collect five hits in a game this month, joining Bradley and Brentz. Cecchini, who turned 21-years-old a month ago, is now hitting .310 on the season with a .392 on-base percentage and .448 slugging percentage. In May, those numbers are .348/.435/.543. Currently ranked eleventh on our site rankings, he is pushing for a spot in the top ten, and with more performances like this, he may be there sooner rather than later. 
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May 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Kalish: 'It's been such a long process'


Ryan Kalish (Kelly O'Connor)
FREDERICK, Md. -- Outfielder Ryan Kalish will make his 2012 debut Saturday night against Orioles’ phenom Dylan Bundy and the Frederick Keys (BAL), marking another step in the long and, at times, frustrating march back to the big leagues for the former top prospect.

“It’s going to be fun,” Kalish, who will hit third as Salem’s designated hitter Saturday night, said. “It’s been such a long process. I’ve been out since April of last year, so I’m just excited to be around the guys, be around teammates. I’m just excited to play. It’s pretty crazy, how I viewed baseball a year ago to where I view it now. I’m just happy to play and get out there, run around, have some fans.”

The 2011 season was a frustrating one for Kalish, who opened the season with Pawtucket after playing 53 games for Boston in 2010. He injured his shoulder on a diving catch in mid-April and rehabbed the injury until August before neck pains ended his season. He hit just .209 in 22 games for Pawtucket.

Kalish ultimately had surgery on his left shoulder labrum in November 2011, and has been in Fort Myers rehabbing for the last several months.

Kalish said he would be with Salem for “about four days,” though he didn’t know the next stop of his rehab or how long he would be in the minors. He began playing in extended spring training games on Monday, May 14, and said he’s worked up to five at-bats and seven innings in the field. He will likely play in the outfield tomorrow.

“It’s just a process, day by day,” he said. “Sometimes, you kind of feel like it’ll never end, and I felt like that for a while. Now, here I am playing with the guys, just trying to make my way back to where I want to be.”

Had it not been for the myriad of injuries that kept him in extended spring training, Kalish might have made it back sooner. Boston’s outfield needs have been well documented, but Kalish said the big league outfield situation hasn't made his rehab any worse.

“I’m happy for every guy that gets an opportunity,” he said. “Most of those guys were happy for me when I was getting mine, so this is just the way the cards fell. I was hurt, and my job now is to create my own opportunity again. I’m going to work to at it, give everything I can to that, and see where life takes me.”

Jon Meoli is a Senior Columnist for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonMeoli.
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at 3:57 PM

Kalish to begin rehab assignment tonight with Salem


Ryan Kalish (Kelly O'Connor)
According to SoxProspects Senior Columnist Jon Meoli, outfielder Ryan Kalish will begin rehabbing in Salem tonight while batting third in the designated hitter position. He is recovering from surgery on his left shoulder labrum undergone in November 2011.

Kalish, 24, first went down in April 2011, after playing just two weeks with the Pawtucket Red Sox, following a diving play in the outfield that resulted in a partial tear of the labrum. The decision was made to initially treat this injury with rehabilitation and rest, which seemingly went well as he was first getting close to starting a rehab assignment in June. However, that got delayed when he developed pain in his upper trap/neck area. He was finally able to get back on the field August 8 with the PawSox after a two-game rehab stint with Lowell. This was short-lived also though, as he returned to the disabled list with neck pain after 8 games.

Kalish is not expected to be ready to help the big league club in the immediate future, but this placement is an encouraging sign that the rehab progressing steadily.
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at 8:01 AM

Cup of Coffee: Salem, Greenville get double-digit runs in wins


5/26 Cup of Coffee: Salem and Greenville each reached double-digits in the runs column Friday night in big wins. Meanwhile in Portland, a foggy night suspended the Sea Dogs game against New Britain.

The PawSox battled with the Toledo Mud Hens (DET), but couldn't stop a late surge in a 5-4 loss. Pawtucket drew first blood in the first inning when Pedro Ciriaco doubled to reach base and scored on a Darnell McDonald sacrifice fly. Toledo answered by putting up two runs of their own with a two run homer against pitcher Justin Germano. Toledo's 2-1 lead stood until the bottom of the sixth inning when Nate Spears got a single, stole second base, and was driven in by a Jose Iglesias single. Germano came out of the game after the seventh, having pitched 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs, and no walks. The Paw Sox took the lead in the seventh, when Ciriaco laced an RBI single, driving in Mauro Gomez and Alex Hassan. Alex Wilson took the mound in the eighth, but got into trouble when he returned in the ninth. The first Toledo batter in the ninth reached on an Iglesias fielding error. Wilson struck out the next batter, but then allowed two singles to load the bases. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Garrett Mock. The next batter grounded out but drove in the first of Wilson's runs, followed by a double that knocked in two more. Wilson pitched 1.1 innings with 3 hits, 3 runs, and no walks. Mock pitched 0.2 innings for 1 hit, no runs, and 1 walk. With the Mud Hens having taken a 5-4 lead, the PawSox were unable to answer in the bottom of the ninth. The PawSox had 6 hits on the night, 3 of which belong to Ciriaco, who went 3 for 5 with a run and 2 RBI.

Portland's game against the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) was suspended after four innings due to fog at Hadlock Field. The Rock Cats currently lead 1-0, and the game will be completed today at 1:00 PM as part of a double-header.

Salem went up against the Frederick Keys (BAL) and came away with a dominant 13-2 win. The Keys started out the game with two runs against Salem starter Drake Britton. They would be silent for the rest of the game though as Red Sox pitchers had a dominant night, giving up just 6 hits in the whole game. Britton pitched 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs, and 1 walk. He was replaced in the sixth by Keith Couch who had an excellent outing over 3 innings with just 2 hits, no runs, and no walks. Andrew Jones took the mound in the ninth and allowed no hits, no walks, and struck out 2 to end the game. On the offensive side, the Red Sox took the lead with 5 runs in the top of the second and never looked back. Xander Bogaerts started things out with a solo home run, followed by Christian Vazquez reaching on a fielding error and a Carson Blair walk. A pair of singles from James Kang and Felix Sanchez drove in Vazquez and Blair. A wild pitch helped Kang cross the plate, followed by a sacrifice fly from Jackie Bradley to drive in Sanchez. Salem added 4 more runs to their lead in the fourth inning when Matty Johnson doubled to drive in Kang and Bradley, followed by a Drew Hedman double that scored Johnson, and a Michael Almanzar single that drove in Hedman. Almanzar blasted a 2 run homer in the sixth to add to Salem's growing lead. In the seventh, Vazquez crossed the plate when Bradley drew a walk with the bases loaded. Johnson was then hit by a pitch, causing Kang to score. In total, the Red Sox had 13 runs on 12 hits. Every member of the lineup had a hit except Bradley.

Keury De La Cruz (Kelly O'Connor)
The Drive held off a late rally by the Charleston Riverdogs (NYY) and came off with a 12-6 road win. Charleston kicked things off with a run in the first inning against Greenville starter Miguel Pena. The Drive answered with 5 runs in the top of the second when they batted through the order. David Renfroe led off with a single, followed by three consecutive walks from Boss Moanaroa, Henry Ramos, and Lucas LeBlanc to load the bases and drive in Renfroe. Jordan Weems singled to drive in Moanaroa and keep the bases loaded. Bryan Johns drew the fourth walk of the inning, forcing Ramos to score. Keury De La Cruz singled to drive in LeBlanc, and after a pitching change, Garin Cecchini lofted a sacrifce fly to help Weems cross the plate. In his second appearance of the inning, Renfroe grounded out to end the inning. The Drive increased their lead in the top of the fourth when De La Cruz blasted a three run homer. They put up another run in the fifth thanks to a LeBlanc homer. The Riverdogs answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Moanaroa reached base on a walk, advanced to second on a balk, and then was driven in on a Ramos single. Pena was taken off the mound after the fifth inning and replaced by Charle Rosario. Pena pitched 5 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts. Rosario got through two innings with no problems, but ran into trouble in the eighth. Two runs had already scored and there were two men on base and no outs when Rosario was replaced by Tyler Wilson. A ground out and a single drove in two more runs for the Riverdogs, but Wilson was able to end the inning without causing any more damage. Wilson pitched 1.0 inning allowing 1 hit, no runs, and a walk. Greenville put up two more runs in the ninth when Ramos homered and Weems was driven in when Johns grounded out. In total, the Drive put up 12 hits with three home runs. 

Player of the Night: Keury De La Cruz, who blasted a three run homer in Greenville's win over Charleston. De La Cruz went 2 for 5 with 4 RBI and a run.
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May 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Weekly Notes: May 25th


This week's minor league notes:

Jackie Bradley Jr. (Kelly O'Connor)
  • After suffering a setback during his rehabilitation, Daisuke Matsuzaka will make a start Saturday for Pawtucket, reports the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber. Lauber also indicates that Matsuzaka's 30-day rehab clock has been reset due to the setback, granting the Red Sox more time to allow Matsuzaka to progress. 
  • Boston also has another important decision to make regarding a PawSox hurler this upcoming week. According to WEEI's Alex Speier, right-hander Ross Ohlendorf has an opt-out in his contract is he is not added to the major league roster by June 1. 
  • After being acquired on May 11 from the Philadelphia Phillies, Scott Podsednik was called up to Boston on Tuesday as Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney both hit the disabled list. Podsednik made an immediate impact, going 2 for 3 with a key home run in Boston's 6-5 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday.
  • Che-Hsuan Lin was recalled from Pawtucket on Sunday to help bring reinforcements to Boston's beleaguered outfield. Mauro Gomez was optioned to Pawtucket after appearing in just two games with the Red Sox. Lin also paid immediate dividends in the 6-5 victory over Baltimore, making a key diving catch on what seemed to be a sure bloop single that would have tied the game. 
  • Greenville has dropped their last four games in a row, but not for lack of trying. They scored at least 5 runs in three of those games, and the team has had standout performances at the plate from Drew Turocy (5 for 15 in the last 4 games) and Jose Garcia (4 for 13 in the last 4 games). Their struggles have come with men on base. In three of the last four games, the Drive have left nine or more men stranded.
  • Jackie Bradley, Jr. has continued his impressive work at the plate. In his last 10 games, he has batted .382 with a .512 OBP, with a slugging percentage of .618 and an OPS of 1.129.
  • Matt Barnes (Kelly O'Connor)
  • The Sea Dogs were on the other side of history Monday night as they were no-hit by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Three New Hampshire pitchers combined on the no-hitter, blanking Portland across the board for the first time since 2006 and the fifth time in their history.
  • SoxProspects Director of Scouting Chris Mellen checked in with a weekend of scouting from Hadlock field in Portland. Mellen discussed the white-hot Bryce Brentz, Kolbrin Vitek's approach at the plate as well as a take on the struggles of Chris Balcom-Miller
  • Reynaldo Rodriguez smacked two home runs this week, giving him a Red Sox system-leading and Sea Dogs' franchise record 9 home runs in the month of May. Rodriguez has had a stellar month, hitting .253/.349/.707 with 18 RBI and 15 extra base hits so far this month. 
  • Matt Barnes incredible freshman season hit a bit of a bump on Thursday as he picked up his first loss. Barnes tossed 6.0 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits while punching out 3 as he was the tough-luck loser in a 1-0 contest against the Winston-Salem Dash (CHW). Barnes has continued his dominance since his ascent to Salem, going 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched. 
  • On the injury front, Stolmy Pimentel was activated from the disabled list on Saturday as Oscar Tejeda hit the DL with a strained hamstring. Brandon Jacobs (left hand contusion) and Kolbrin Vitek (intercostal strain) also hit the disabled list this week.
  • SoxProspects.com will be featuring extensive pre-draft coverage coming up next week, make sure to follow @SoxProspects on Twitter to get the most up-to-date coverage and pre-draft information. 
John Gray and Karoline Zacherer are Staff Writers for SoxProspects.com. Follow John on Twitter @JohnRGray and Karoline @Sweet_KarolineZ.
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at 7:16 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ohlendorf sharp in victory; Barnes takes first loss


5/25 Cup of Coffee: Ross Ohlendorf pitched Pawtucket to victory, Portland was buried by New Hampshire. Matt Barnes turned in another strong performance for Salem but took a tough-luck loss, and Greenville lost a heart-breaker to Charleston in 13 innings. 

Ross Ohlendorf (Kelly O'Connor)
Pawtucket began its homestand with a 4-1 win over the Toledo Mud Hens (DET). Ross Ohlendorf - with his June 1 opt-out looming - turned in a very strong outing, going 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 6. Nate Spears got the PawSox on the board with a solo home run in the second. In the fourth, Ryan Lavarnway doubled and came in to score on a Mauro Gomez single, giving Pawtucket a 2-0 lead. With Ohlendorf out of the game Toledo picked up a single run in the seventh, but Pawtucket responded in the bottom of the inning when Tony Thomas singled, stole second, and scored on a Pedro Ciriaco single. Pawtucket added another insurance run in the eighth when Lavarnway and Lars Anderson led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and Lavarnway scoring on a hit by Alex Hassan. Lavarnway was the offensive leader for Pawtucket, going 2 for 3 with a double, walk and scoring a pair of runs. Gomez also had two hits, a double, and an RBI.  Out of the bullpen, Clayton Mortensen gave up Toledo's only run in his inning of work, allowing 1 hit, walking 2 and striking out 1. Will Inman was unscored upon in his six consecutive outing, as he pitched a hitless eighth inning, walking 1 and striking out 1. Mark Melancon picked up the save in a scoreless ninth, allowing 1 walk and striking out 1.

It was a tough evening for Portland, as they took an 8-2 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). The Sea Dogs actually got on the board first, as Juan Carlos Linares and Reynaldo Rodriguez hit consecutive doubles to give Portland the 1-0 lead. New Hampshire then went on to score eight unanswered runs, knocking starer Stolmy Pimentel around for one run in the first and two in the second. After a scoreless third, the first two batters reached in the fourth and Pimentel was replaced with Jeremy Kehrt. Kehrt didn't have any luck putting down the New Hampshire rally, allowing both inherited runners to score, and then three more, putting New Hampshire up 8-1. A Rodriguez solo homer in the sixth represented the rest of the scoring. Rodriguez went 3 for 4 on the night, driving in both Portland runs with the home run and a double. Pimentel's difficult outing, after consecutive quality starts, saw him give up 5 runs on 6 hits in 3.0 innings, walking 4 and striking out 2. Kehrt allowed those 3 runs in the fourth, but settled down to throw a scoreless fifth. He allowed 5 hits in his 2.0 innings of work, walking 2 without a strikeout. Wil Latimer pitched 3.0 strong shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits, striking out 3 without walking a batter. 

Matt Barnes took his first professional loss despite another excellent game, as the Winston-Salem Dash (CHW) took a 1-0 victory over Salem. Barnes and Winston-Salem's Matthew Heidenreich were engaged in a scoreless tie through five innings, when the Dash got to Barnes with back-to-back doubles to lead off the sixth inning. Barnes final line was the 1 run on 5 hits in 6.0 innings of work. He struck out 3 and did not walk anybody. Manuel Rivera pitched 3.0 shutout innings out of the bullpen, giving up 1 hit, walking 1 and striking out 2. Salem's offense could not get going against Heidenreich who went 7.0 innings, or the Dash bullpen, accumulating only 4 hits and failing to advance a runner past second base. Jackie Bradley, Jr. reached base twice, going 1 for 3 and getting hit by a pitch, and Drew Hedman went 2 for 4 with the Red Sox only double. 

Leading 6-2 in the eighth, Greenville could not hold on and fell to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 7-6 in 13 innings. Greenville got on the board early, scoring three runs in the first. A David Renfroe single scored Jose Garcia, who had led off with a double. After a Boss Moanaroa walk and a wild pitch gave the Drive second and third, Henry Ramos came through with the two-run single. Greenville added another in the second, as Jose Vinicio reached on an infield hit, stole second base, advanced to third on an error, and came around to score on a Garcia single. Given a 4-0 lead, Madison Younginer turned in a solid outing, shutting out Charleston through 4 and allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits in 5.1 innings on the night. Younginer struck out 6 and walked 1. Greenville added to its lead in the seventh as Garin Cecchini tripled to score Garcia, and then came in to score on a Renfroe sacrifice fly. However, Greenville was unable to hold onto its lead. Charleston rallied for three runs in the eighth, with the main blow a Gary Sanchez two-run home run off of Matty Ott. Ott pitched 2.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 1. Charleston then tied the game at 6-6 in the ninth, picking up a run against Nefi Ogando. Michael McCarthy came on in relief and pitched well, not allowing a run in his first three innings of work as Greenville and Charleston marched along until the thirteenth, when the RiverDogs walked off with the win on a Tyler Austin single. McCarthy took the loss, allowing only the 1 run on 3 hits in 3.1 innings, walking 1 and striking out 6. Garcia had another good night for Greenville, going 3 for 5 with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored, raising his OBP to .459. Blake Swihart also took another step toward putting his slow start behind him, going 3 for 6. 

Player of the Night: With his opt-out date only a week away, Ross Ohlendorf gave perhaps his best start in a PawSox uniform, going 6.0 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out a season-high six batters.
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