Over at ESPNBoston.com, we had the trade deadline covered as it related to the Red Sox farm system. There weren't a bevy of prospects moving around, despite the volume of trading being done, but there was still plenty to talk about.
Rodriguez, 21, was signed out of Venezuela as in 2010 and has risen through the system and pitched in Double-A Bowie this season. He throws his fastball in the low 90s with good movement, and also has two above-average secondary pitches in his slider and changeup. Over 16 starts on the year, Rodriguez has a 4.79 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 69 strikeouts and 29 walks. Scouts have generally been more impressed with him than the numbers indicate, and part of that is the fact he is almost four years younger than the average Eastern League pitcher.
Boston has completed its second major deal of the day, sending right-handed starter John Lackey and minor league lefty Corey Littrell , and $1.75 million to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for fellow righty Joe Kelly (pictured, right) and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig. The many parts of the story came from a variety of outlets. Lackey to St. Louis was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, while Kelly and Craig were reported by Peter Gammons. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sportsreported the cash portion of the deal, and Alex Speier of WEEI.comhad the news of the inclusion of Littrell.
Kelly, 26, split time between starting and the bullpen until being moved to the rotation full time in mid-2013. The 6-foot-1 righty has a 3.25 in 266 major league innings, and started four playoff games during the Cardinals' run to the 2013 World Series. He has appeared in only seven games thus far in 2014, having missed over two months after injuring his hamstring in his third start of the season. He returned to the rotation just after the All-Star break and on July 19 had his strongest start of the year, beating Los Angeles with a run on four hits in seven innings.
The Red Sox and Oakland Athletics have completed a blockbuster trade. Boston will send left-hander Jon Lester (pictured) and outfielder Jonny Gomes to the A's in exchange for outfielder Yeonis Cespedes and a 2015 draft pick in the competitive balance Comp B round. The main elements of the trade have been reported by multiple sources, while Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sportsfirst reported the inclusion of the draft pick.
Cespedes, 28, was originally signed out of Cuba in February 2012 to a four-year, $36 million contract. In two and a half seasons, he has compiled a .262/.318/.470 line and hit 66 home runs. He currently ranks ninth in the American League with 67 runs batted in. Cespedes garnered national attention for winning the home run derby at All-Star weekend in both 2013 and 2014 and for his highlight-reel throws from the outfield. He is tied with new teammate Jackie Bradley, Jr. for the major league lead with 12 assists.
7/31 Cup of Coffee: The looming trade deadline did not seem to have much affect on the affiliates, as they had a great day on the field Wednesday. Pawtucket, Portland, the DSL and the GCL squads all were able to collect victories, while Salem and Lowell fell in defeat.
Pawtucket Red Sox 3, Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 2 Chris Hernandez received the start for Pawtucket and lasted just three innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks. Ryan Verdugo added three scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and walk while striking out four. Alex Wilson picked up the victory for his two scoreless innings of relief, and Heath Hembree collected the save in his PawSox debut.
Mookie Betts got Pawtucket off to a quick start by leading off the bottom of the first with a home run, his fourth of the season. In the second, Garin Cecchini added a solo home run, his fifth of the season.
The game was knotted at two after the Chiefs tied the game in the third, and would remain that way until the eighth. In the eighth, Alex Hassan brought home Ryan Roberts on a sacrifice fly for the winning run of the game.
Game two of the series takes place at 12:05 this afternoon and will feature Edwin Escobar in his Pawtucket debut.
Red Sox left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront (pictured) has been reportedly traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later (PTBNL). This was first reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. WEEI's Alex Speier added that the PTBNL would be determined after the Rule 5 draft, but the return is unlikely to be significant. The Red Sox have yet to confirm these reports.
Doubront made his Red Sox debut on June 18, 2010 and saw some additional time in the minors in 2011 before becoming a fixture of the major league squad in 2012. Overall he struggled in the starting rotation for the Red Sox in 2014 and to date carries a 6.07 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 43 strikeouts to 26 walks over 59 1/3 innings. He was moved to the bullpen after his June 20th start, and has publicly stated he is unhappy with that situation and wanted to be traded.
Doubront's exit likely allows for the recall of right-hander Brandon Workman and also the activation of left-hander Chris Hernandez off of the temporary inactive list where he will join Triple-A Pawtucket. It is possible that other roster moves may be necessary if the deal is not formalized in time.
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: The Red Sox have announced the trade, as well as the recall of Brandon Workman.
Photo Credit: Felix Doubront by Kelly O'Connor
Will Woodward is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.
7/30 Cup of Coffee: It turned out to be a mostly down day on the farm, with Portland and the DSL Sox picking up the lone victories of the day. The GCL Sox saw their doubleheader get interrupted once again by mother nature while Lowell's struggles at LeLacheur Field continued.
The Sea Dogs scored a single run in the second, third and fourth innings, enough to hold on for the victory. Derrik Gibson was 1 for 3 with an RBI double in the leadoff spot, while Ryan Dent paced the offense with a 3 for 3 outing, adding an RBI double and a run scored. Dent has started off the second half of the season on fire at the plate, going 12 for 30 (.400) with four doubles and three RBI in his last 10 games.
Jeremy Kehrt took the loss as he allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Mike McCarthy added 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in the loss. Dent again led the Sea Dogs offense, going 2 for 3 with a pair of singles.
The Red Sox announced a pair of promotions today. Right-handed pitcher Justin Haley has been promoted from High A Salem to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and fellow righty Jonathan Aro gets the call to Salem from Low A Greenville. A third right-hander, Ty Buttrey, has been activated from the disabled list by Greenville after completing a rehab assignment with Lowell.
Haley, a sixth-round pick out of Cal State-Fresno in the 2012 draft, was named to the Carolina League All-Star team earlier this season for his strong work at Salem. Splitting time between the rotation and a piggyback role, Haley has a 2.82 ERA and 1.079 WHIP in 92 2/3 innings. He has taken a big step forward with his control in 2014. After walking 74 batters in 124 2/3 innings with Greenville last season, Haley has cut that number to only 23 this season. He is ranked the #38 prospect in the system by SoxProspects.com.
Johnson shut down the Rock Cats (MIN) in his sole start of the period, July 25, holding them to a single hit and three walks while striking out an impressive twelve batters while cruising to the win and SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week honors. He is currently the ninth-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com. This is Johnson's third SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week honor, having previously won for the weeks of April 14-20 and April 21-27.
Season Line: 20 G, 12-3, 2.53 ERA, 110.1 IP, 90 H, 31 ER, 32 BB/107 K, .222 BAA
7/29 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox affiliates only managed three wins on Monday, both featuring dominant pitching performances. Mike Augliera (pictured) fired eight shutout innings for Portland despite a long interruption from Mother Nature. A quartet of GCL Red Sox hurlers combined for a seven-inning no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader, while a ten-run barrage led them in a nightcap.
A late comeback fell short as the Pawtucket Red Sox dropped a 6-4 decision to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY). It was a rare tough start for knuckleballer Steven Wright, who allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings. After giving two runs in the first and three in the third, Wright did settle in, closing out with three straight shutout frames. Garin Cecchini homered for the first time since June 26, a solo shot in the second inning. It was only the third extra-base hit in the month of July for Cecchini. Travis Shaw blasted his 20th home run of the season and ninth since his promotion to Pawtucket. Corey Brown was 2 for 4 with a double and triple, and Ryan Lavarnway collected a pair of hits as he continues his rehab assignment. Mookie Betts was 0 for 4, ending a seven-game hitting streak.
Overall, it was looking like a fairly quiet week in minor league news until word of the Jake Peavy deal broke. The Red Sox ended up getting two minor league pitchers, 25-year-old right-handed reliever Heath Hembree and 22-year-old left-handed starter Edwin Escobar (pictured, right), in exchange for Peavy. SoxProspects.com staff editor Brian Gagnon has all the details in his write up of the deal.
Reviews of the deal were a bit mixed. Peavy was not having a great statistical season going 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA and 1.43 WHIP and thus did not have huge value. Despite this, ESPN Insider's Keith Law believes the Red Sox could have gotten more out of the deal.
Likewise the Providence Journal's Jim Donaldson was not impressed with the deal, though I should point out his angle seemed to focus on pure statistics which were inflated for both players since they were pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. At 22 years-old, Escobar is also extremely young for the league where the average pitcher is almost 5 years older.
7/28 Cup of Coffee: Former first-round picks Matt Barnes and Pat Light (pictured) each had strong starts on Sunday, though only Light was able to pick up a victory. The Sea Dogs mounted an impressive comeback, and Greenville's offense hit the ball all over the park.
Pawtucket could not extend their winning streak to 12 games, falling to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY), 3-1. Matt Barnes pitched well in defeat, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings, walking two and striking out six. John Ely went the rest of the way, surrendering one run in his three innings of relief. There was not much to speak of offensively for the PawSox, with Ryan Lavarnway's double accounting for the lone extra-base hit. Lavarnway had two hits, while Will Middlebrooks and Mookie Betts each added a single.
The Boston Red Sox traded veteran right-hander Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday in exchange for two pitching prospects, 25-year-old right-handed reliever Heath Hembree and 22-year-old left-handed starter Edwin Escobar. Both players were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Hembree was originally drafted by the Giants in the fifth round of the 2010 draft out of the College of Charleston. He made his major league debut last season as a September call-up, and in 7 2/3 innings over nine appearances, he gave up four hits with 12 strikeouts. Heading into the 2014 season, Hembree was ranked as the Giants's sixth-best prospect by MLB.com. This season, Hembree has 18 saves with 46 strikeouts and a 3.89 ERA over 39 1/3 innings.
7/27 Cup of Coffee: The Pawtucket Red Sox moved their season-long winning streak to 11 games. Portland got shut out and managed only five hits. Salem got doubled up, while Greenville and Lowell were able to come away with victories. The GCL Red Sox got behind early and lost, and the DSL Red Sox scored two runs late to get the win.
Pawtucket has continued its hot hitting and has pushed their season-high winning streak to 11 games with an 8-5 victory over Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders (NYY). Pawtucket sits just a half game behind division leading Syracuse (WAS). Starting pitcher Chris Hernandez, who replaced Allen Webster late after a call-up due to the Jake Peavy trade, got knocked around early giving up five runs in the first two innings. He settled down a bit finishing four innings having given up five earned runs on five hits with four walks and three punch outs. In just four innings, Hernandez threw 85 pitches, 51 for strikes. The Pawtucket bullpen was stellar combining for five scoreless innings, four hits and seven strikeouts.
7/26 Cup of Coffee: Brian Johnson struck out 12 in Portland's 1-0 victory while Mookie Betts leads Pawtucket in a route. Salem and Lowell won convincingly while the DSL and GCL Red Sox prevailed in tight contests. Greenville was the only affiliate who lost Friday.
Led by top prospect Mookie Betts (Pictured), the Pawtucket Red Sox downed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 10-2. Betts, who led off and played right field, reached base five times in the game; he was 4 for 5 with one walk. Designated hitter Ryan Roberts went deep in the game, his sixth home run of the season. The three-run shot came in the PawSox's eight-run fourth inning, which ultimately decided the game. Following Roberts homer in the fourth was a double from first baseman Travis Shaw. Shaw was 2 for 5 with two doubles and a run scored.
Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo was strong through six innings; he gave up three hits and two walks while striking out four.
Scout: Chaz Fiorino Date Scouted: 7/19/14 Stat line: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 104-67
Pitches-Strikes. 16 swing-misses.
Physical Description: Tall, lanky, long limbs. Huge
hands and feet. Still has room for strength gains in legs and upper body.
Arm/Delivery Mechanics: Semi-wind up. First-base side
of the rubber. High 3/4 arm slot. Short arm action in back. Hands set at chest,
drops hands and pulls back up in rhythm with delivery. Low-effort arm
action/delivery. Hid the ball well generating deception.
7/25 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough day on the farm, as only two affiliates came out on top. Pawtucket won in the completion of Wednesday's game, and then cruised to another victory in the regularly scheduled contest. The DSL Red Sox were the only other victorious club. Among the losses, the most intriguing contest featured Portland as a Futures Game rematch took place with Henry Owens on the mound.
Pawtucket prevailed 7-2 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) in a game that was suspended in the fourth inning on Wednesday. Travis Shaw (pictured, left) was 2 for 2 when the game was halted, and finished up 3 for 4 with a walk and run scored. Matt Spring, who drove in a run with a double before the delay, plated two more with another two-base hit in the eighth inning. Ryan Verdugo took the mound in place of original starter Steven Wright, and was dominant in earning the win. Verdugo fired 3 1/3 hitless innings, striking out three and walking only one. Miguel Celestino continued the effort with two perfect frames. He struck out three.
In the regularly scheduled contest, Pawtucket never trailed in a 5-1 win over the IronPigs. Brandon Workman allowed the one run on five hits in six strong innings. He struck out six and walked one, and raised his record to 6-1. Tommy Layne struck out one in a scoreless seventh inning. Shaw again played a key role in the offensive attack, going 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Will Middlebrooks homered for the second straight day and is now 9 for 26 in his last six rehab outings. Ryan Roberts drove in three of Pawtucket's five runs, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, and Mookie Betts was 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
7/24 Cup of Coffee: Salem took home a big victory thanks to an impressive team performance. Portland lost in a tight game, and the PawSox will have to wait to finish their contest today because of rain. The Drive and the DSL Red Sox also took home big wins. The GCL Red Sox lost both halves of a doubleheader.
The Pawtucket Red Sox's contest against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) was shortened by rain with the PawSox leading 3-2. All five runs were scored in the fourth inning. The PawSox scoring began with a leadoff home run by third baseman Will Middlebrooks (Pictured). Two singles and a walk then loaded the bases with no outs for shortstop Deven Marrero, who grounded into a double play but drove in one run. A Matt Spring double drove in the final run of the inning for the PawSox.
PawSox starter Steven Wright gave up only two hits in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out one batter. The game will be continued July 24.
7/23 Cup of Coffee: It was a rather victorious day on the farm as every team except Lowell found the winner's column. Pawtucket continued its post all-star break hot streak, Portland walked off with a victory at Hadlock Field and Salem's domination of Lynchburg was keyed by a great start on the mound
Pawtucket completed a quick two game sweep of the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 9-3. Mookie Betts was 2 for 5 with a triple and three RBI from atop the order. Jonathan Herrera also added two hits, notching two RBI as he continued to swing a hot bat since joining the PawSox. Will Middlebrooks was 2 for 5, serving as the designated hitter.
Matt Barnes improved to 5-7, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, striking out a pair in 6 1/3 innings of work. Chris Hernandez notched his first career save as he tossed 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The PawSox have now won seven straight and retain a half game lead over Rochester in the wild card standings. The victory moves Pawtucket just 3.5 games behind Syracuse for first place in the International League's North Division.
After struggling against New Hampshire (TOR) in three straight games to close out the previous period, Almanzar began to cash in on the familiarity, closing out the home series going 3 for 4 with a double and taking the show on the road and going 4 for 10 with a double and a home run over next three games in Manchester. Since returning to the Red Sox organization and Portland the man affectionately referred to by some as Tiger Death House is batting .296/.397/.463 (16 for 54) with two home runs and three doubles in 17 games.
Season Line: 26 G, .244/.337/.419 (21 for 86), 3 HR, 6 2B, 12 R, 11 RBI, 7 BB/22 K
7/22 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy day down on the farm, with eight games on the docket. The GCL Red Sox swept a doubleheader to highlight the day. Lowell notched double-digit runs in its win, and the DSL Red Sox opened up their second-half schedule with a victory. Pawtucket and Portland had 12 hits apiece in their victories. Greenville fell following a long rain delay, and Salem dropped its contest.
Pawtucket knocked off the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 4-3 when Corey Brown launched a ninth-inning home run. Brown's 14th homer of the season broke the three run tie and send the PawSox to their sixth straight victory. Mookie Betts was 2 for 5 with a double in his second game since rejoining Pawtucket. Jonathan Herrera was also 2 for 5, and has hit saftely in all nine games since he was optioned from the major league club. Carlos Rivero joined Brown going deep with a solo shot in the fifth inning.
Allen Webster retired 10 consecutive batters following a first-inning single, but ran into trouble allowing three runs in the fifth. Overall, Webster allowed the three runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking a batter. Alex Wilson fired two scoreless innings of relief., getting credit for the win.
There was a flurry of transactions last week, with the more notable ones being covered in this article. A complete list can always be found on our Transactions page.
With Shane Victorino returning to right field, Mookie Betts was optioned to Pawtucket on Saturday. Betts hit .235 in 34 at-bats in Boston, and he will continue to play center field and right field in addition to second base for the PawSox.
Carlos Asuaje (pictured) was finally promoted from Greenville to Salem, finishing with a .305/.391/.542 line in 90 games with the Drive. Asuaje, an 11th-round pick in the 2013 draft, has been a jack-of-all-trades this year, playing third base, shortstop, second base, and left field. For more background on Asuaje, check out this article his agent Joshua Kusnick wrote for Baseball Prospectus. It sheds some light on why Asuaje fell to the 11th round.
The signing deadline for the 2014 draft has come and gone, and Boston's class has been finalized. In all, the Red Sox signed 31 of their 41 draft picks, including all of the top 21, and many experts have stated that the Red Sox got great value. Based on available bonuses, the Red Sox spent $6,504,300 on the 2014 draft, which is $131,000 over their $6,373,300 bonus pool. Because they went two percent over their pool, they will need to pay tax on the $131,000, but will not lose any future draft picks. Below is a breakdown of the draft, with some background on the bigger names that Boston signed.
Be sure to check out our Draft History page for a list of everyone drafted by the Red Sox.
Josh Ockimey - $450,000 ($167,200 over slot). The Red Sox took Ockimey in the fifth round, gambling on the first baseman's offensive potential which includes solid bat speed and plus power potential. The 18-year-old from Philadelphia impressed the Red Sox in his pre-draft workout, where he hit several home runs to right field, including one that went 420-feet.
7/21 Cup of Coffee: The story of the day was pitching, with Anthony Ranaudo, Brian Johnson, Cody Kukuk, and Teddy Stankiewicz(pictured) all notching strong starts. Mookie Betts returned to the PawSox lineup, but it was Travis Shaw who did the most damage. In the lower levels, Wendell Rijo hit two home runs, and a couple prospects appeared in the Dominican Summer League All-Star game.
----- Anthony Ranaudo kept on rolling, as the PawSox beat the Buffalo Bisons (TOR), 3-2. Ranaudo improved to 11-4 by allowing one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out four. Ranaudo has allowed only 10 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings, while going 6-0 in that span. Drake Britton and Tommy Layne pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, with Britton surrendering only an unearned run.
Chris got Matt and Ian on the horn to talk about the recent big dates on the player acquisition calendar: the July 2 opening of the international signing period, and the July 18 draft signing deadline. Did the Red Sox screw up by going over their international pool allotment to sign one extra pitcher? Did anything interesting happen among the draftees? Listen and find out!
7/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket won a close one while Portland blew away their opposition. Salem lost big, and Greenville followed suit. Lowell lost a heartbreaker and the GCL club exploded for 10 runs.
Pawtucket downed the Buffalo Bisons (TOR), 3-1. Brandon Workman pitched well, throwing five innings of three-hit baseball, walking two and striking out six. Ryan Verdugo made his PawSox debut with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work and Miguel Celestino closed out the game with a perfect ninth. The rehabbing Will Middlebrooks went 2 for 4 with a solo shot in the fifth. Carlos Rivero drove the offense, also going 2 for 4 with a home run, two runs scored and two walks. Both Andres Torres and Garin Cecchini went 1 for 4 with a double.
7/19 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates split things on the farm with Pawtucket, Lowell and the DSL Red Sox all coming away with victories. Pawtucket was saved by the long ball while the bats exploded in Lowell to help lead the Spinners. Portland pitching got knocked around while the Salem offense couldn't get going. -----
Pawtucket hung on to defeat the Buffalo Bisons, 4-3. Steven Wright went eight innings giving up three runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Most of the damage against Wright was done in the first inning when he gave up a single and an RBI double to start the game but was able to settle down after that. Tommy Layne came on in the ninth to earn his ninth save on the season.
The Pawtucket offense scattered their four runs across four innings. Will Middlebrooks hit a sacrifice fly in the first to cut the Buffalo lead to, 2-1. JonathanHerrera tied things up in the fifth with an RBI single to left field scoring Corey Brown. Alex Hassan hit a solo shot in the sixth and Dan Butler hit a solo shot of his own in the seventh to give Pawtucket the lead. Deven Marrero also chipped in with two singles to go 2 for 4 on the night.
7/18 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough day in the Red Sox system, as Pawtucket was the only team to come away with a win. Five affiliates fell on the day, all by three or fewer runs. Lowell took a heartbreaking walk-off loss, and Portland also fell by a single run as it opened up its second half.
With the major league squad off on the final day of its All Star break, Pawtucket was broadcast on NESN and responded to the attention with a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons (TOR). The PawSox got some help to open up the second half in rehabbing right fielder Shane Victorino. Victorino was 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored, but most importantly he appeared to run the bases without any impediment. In the sixth inning, he advanced from first to third on a Travis Shaw single to left field, and raced home when the throw skipped away from the third basemen, showing no signs of the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the lineup since May.
7/17 Cup of Coffee: Salem, Lowell and the DSL Red Sox won on the strength of their bats. The Drive fell, and the GCL Red Sox dropped both halves of a doubleheader. Portland and Pawtucket were not in action.
The Salem Red Sox defeated the Frederick Keys (BAL) 8-5 in a slugfest. Each team collected 11 hits in the game. Eight of the 10 Salem Red Sox who saw action collected a hit. Left fielder Kevin Heller had an especially remarkable day going 3 for 3 with a run, a double and an RBI after replacing Kendrick Perkins in the fifth inning. Third baseman Mario Martinez was 2 for 4 with two RBI in the game.
Starter Justin Haley pitched well and staying into the fifth inning before being lifted for a reliever. In 5 1/3 innings, Haley yielded three hits, two walks, two earned runs and struck out six batters.
Boston has acquired left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. The 27-year-old had been with Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, and is not on the 40-man roster.
Verdugo was taken by the San Francisco Giants in the ninth round of the 2008 draft, and was dealt to the Royals after the 2011 season as part of a deal that sent outfielder Melky Cabrera out west. Added to the 40-man roster that offseason, he made his first and only major league appearance on July 17, 2012. Getting the start against the Seattle Mariners, Verdugo allowed six runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings, taking the loss.
En route to this week's SoxProspects.com Player of the Week honors Hassan racked up multiple-hits in five of his six games played and hit for extra bases on six of his twelve hits. He arguably saved the best for last going 3 for 6 with a home run and a double Sunday at Toledo (DET). He is currently the thirtieth-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
Season Line: 74 G, .280/.372/.433 (73 for 261), 4 HR, 26 2B, 1 3B, 38 RBI, 38 BB/8 K
7/16 Cup of Coffee: Tuesday saw just two teams in action, with Greenville having a solid offensive day in a victory and the DSL Sox losing a one run game. The GCL Sox scheduled doubleheader was rained out.
Greenville's bats helped carry them to a 9-4 victory over the Rome Braves (ATL). Jason Garcia tossed 4 1/3 innings allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out three. Sergio Gomez picked up the victory for his 4 2/3 innings of relief, allowing a run on two hits and three walks, punching out three.
Every single member of the Drive's lineup, including pinch hitter Zach Kapstein, collected at least one hit. Tim Roberson (pictured, above) was 3 for 5 with a home run, double, RBI and two runs scored. Jimmy Rider was 3 for 4 with two RBI and a walk. Manuel Margot stole his 30th base of the season, before leaving the game in the fourth inning.
Greenville collected 16 hits and was 6 for 16 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base. The victory was the Drive's fourth in a row after starting the second half of the season just 3-19.
7/15 Cup of Coffee: Monday was quiet in the Red Sox system, as Pawtucket was off for the Triple-A All-Star break and wet weather forced a pair of rainouts. Only three teams ended up getting games in, as Portland and Lowell came out victorious and the DSL Red Sox fell in their contest.
Portland continues its dominance at Hadlock Field with a 6-2 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Mike Augliera turned in an outstanding start for the Sea Dogs, allowing two runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one. The right-hander earned his first win since May 18, which was also the last time he was able to pitch into the eighth inning. Augliera's control continues to be impressive, as he extended his streak of walking one or fewer batters to 13 starts. Robby Scott and Noe Ramirez combined for the final 1 1/3.
At the plate, Heiker Meneses led the charge with a 2-for-3 night with a double and home run. The homer was his first since May 23, 2013. Blake Swihart was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and Michael Almanzar also had two hits with a walk and a pair of runs driven in.
The big news of the week was the arrival of Christian Vazquez (pictured, right) who was called up to the majors following AJ Pierzynski being designated for assignment. The 23-year-old has made an immediate impact with Boston, going 5 for 11 with three doubles and five RBI in his first three games.
7/14 Cup of Coffee: The Spinners were one strike away from sending the fans home happy at Fenway, but they ultimately fell to the Scrappers. Henry Owens and Sean Coyle participated in the All-Star Futures Game, and Deven Marrero (pictured) clubbed four hits to lead the PawSox.
It was a slugfest in Toledo, as the PawSox hit their way past the Mud Hens (DET), 13-8. Brandon Workman was hit hard, allowing four runs on 10 hits in five innings. Allen Webster finished the game out of the bullpen, allowing four runs in four innings, walking one and striking out four, while picking up the save.
7/13 Cup of Coffee: Portland split a doubleheader, while Pawtucket was doubled up. Both Greenville and Salem won, while Lowell lost by six. Both the DSL and GCL managed to squeeze out wins.
The Pawtucket Red Sox were thumped by the Toledo Mud Hens (DET), 10-5. Matt Barnes took the loss, surrendering seven runs (six earned) over 4 2/3 innings. Barnes allowed nine of Toledo's total 14 hits. Pawtucket's six hits came off the bats of four different batters, with both Travis Shaw and Alex Hassan collecting two apiece. Hassan launched his third home run of the year in the second inning.
- At this point, there isn’t much left to say about Allen Webster that hasn’t already been said. Webster has arguably the best raw stuff
in the system, possessing a potential plus-plus fastball, plus-to-better
changeup, and plus slider, but his command profile lags behind.
At its best, Webster’s fastball will work in the 94-96 mph
range showing plus life and heavy sink, leading to weak contact on the ground. At
this point. his changeup is slightly ahead of his slider. He throws the
changeup with deceptive arm speed and the pitch shows fade and sink in the
83-85 mph range. He has confidence in the pitch, willing to throw it in any
count and for strikes. Webster throws his slider in the 83-86 mph range, with
two-plane break and depth. The pitch shows wipeout potential, but at times
he’ll vary his angle, resulting in a longer, looser version. Webster also
possesses a show-me curveball in the mid-70s. He rarely uses the pitch, but
when he does, it tends to be effective when used in sequence, especially early
in the count to steal a strike.
7/11 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket wins again alongside the DSL Red Sox. GCL Red Sox win one and see second postponed. Portland gets swept, Salem's comeback falls short, and the Drive and Spinners lose in lopsided affairs.
The Pawtucket Red Sox slugged their way to a victory over the Toledo Mud Hens (CLE) winning 11-2. The 16-hit onslaught was a true team effort as all but one of the PawSox starter's collected a hit, with six collecting multi-hit games. The game was close until the top of the seventh inning when Pawtucket exploded for seven runs, which stretched the lead from one run to eight runs.
Center fielder Corey Brown slugged his 13th home run of the season with one runner on base and two outs in the top of the ninth to bring the tally to 11. Brown, who also doubled, had four RBI on the day. Shortstop Jonathan Herrera and outfielder Andres Torres, who hit first and second in the lineup, respectively, had three hits each and scored a combined three runs.
Hidden in the box score after such an offensive outpouring was the outing by starter Anthony Ranaudo (pictured), who gave the PawSox five quality innings. He yielded six hits, one walk, one earned and struck out four before exiting in the sixth inning.
7/10 Cup of Coffee: It was a forgettable day down on the farm as only two affiliates managed victories: Pawtucket and the DSL Red Sox. Portland dropped two halves of a doubleheader, Salem and Greenville lost big and Lowell dropped a tight contest. The GCL Red Sox were postponed due to rain.
The Pawtucket Red Sox defeated the Columbus Clippers (CLE) 3-1 behind the strength of Steven Wright. Wright (Pictured) was excellent in the contest; he threw eight scoreless innings and yielded only two hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. The PawSox backed up Wright with just enough offense to take home the victory; the team collected nine hits and drew two walks on the night. Catcher Dan Butler slugged a solo home run in the third inning to break the scoreless tie. The PawSox added two more runs in the top of the eighth inning when leadoff hitter Jonathan Herrera scored on a wild pitch and first baseman Travis Shaw scored on a double by outfielder Alex Hassan. Herrera and center fielder Corey Brown collected multi-hit games: both were 2 for 4.
Red Sox coach John Farrell announced today on WEEI that they will call up catcher Christian Vazquez after Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported earlier that AJ Pierzynski was designated for assignment. Farrell also confirmed that Vazquez will start tonight and catch Rubby De La Rosa. The Pawtucket Red Sox have activated catcher Jayson Hernandez from the disabled list to fill the roster spot vacated by Vazquez.
The good news for Vazquez has poured in over the last several weeks. On July 2nd it was announced that Vazquez made the International League All-Star team, and the next day it was announced that he was added to the Futures Game to take place over All-Star Weekend. However, Vazquez will no longer be eligible to participate in this game since he will be with the major league team.
Vazquez has won all those honors while hitting .279/.336/.385 with 17 doubles, 3 home runs, and 21 walks to 52 strikeouts over 244 at-bats while starting 52 games at catcher and 14 at DH for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Those numbers may not strike the casual observer as elite, but one needs to keep in mind that the offensive standard for a catcher is much lower than other positions.
- Taveras impressed during spring training, showing a live arm
and big fastball, and he has been very impressive early in the Lowell season,
save for his first outing when he struggled with his control and got hit around
a bit. Taveras has quick arm and a complex delivery with a lot of moving parts.
He has a little drop and drive in his delivery and collapses his backside
before moving forward. At this point he is raw, and more of a thrower than a
Even so, Taveras has shown plus-plus velocity, sitting 93-95
mph generally topping out at 96 mph in the outings I’ve seen from him. His
fastball shows plus life and heavy arm-side run, at times starting over the
middle of the plate and ending up well off the outside corner. Taveras slider
is his primary out-pitch, showing plus potential, but he hasn’t consistently
shown the sharp version of the offering. At its best, the pitch is extremely
sharp, working 83-87 mph with tight rotation and late dart. Taveras has also
shown a more slurvey version of the pitch in the low-80s. He doesn’t always
consistently finish the pitch, however, resulting in it being left up in the
zone at times. Taveras has also shown a below-average changeup, but he has
rarely used it in game action. His changeup was firm and straight at 84 mph
when he did use it, and he lacked confidence in the pitch. Taveras is an
intriguing arm out of the bullpen, but it could take some time for him to put
July seems to agree with Trey Ball thus far, as the young left-hander turned in a pair of his finest performances this season. Ball worked five innings of one-hit, shutout ball against Asheville (COL) July 1, striking out three and walking none while not factoring in the decision. In his second start of the period, July 6 at Augusta (SFG) a leaky defense let Ball down, allowing five runs but only one earned on five hits and two walks, highlighted by an impressive eight strikeouts in five innings of work. He is currently the seventeenth-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
Season Line: 13 G, 53.1 IP, 1-7, 6.08 ERA, 77 H, 36 ER, 19 BB/40 K, .333 BAA
7/9 Cup of Coffee: In a number of close games, Pawtucket came away victorious while Salem, Greenville and Lowell were all victimized by one run losses. The DSL Sox kept rolling with an easy win while the GCL Sox split a doubleheader.
Allen Webster turned in another solid outing as the PawSox struck down the Columbus Clippers (CLE), 5-3 in 10 innings. Webster tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks, punching out six. Miguel Celestino picked up his first Triple-A save, despite allowing a home run in the bottom of the tenth. The Clippers were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base.
edition of The Write-Up, Chaz Fiorino provides a detailed scouting look at SoxProspects #9 prospect, Matt Barnes. Pitcher – Matt Barnes Team – Pawtucket (Triple-A) Throws – Right DOB – June 17, 1990 (Age 24) Height – 6-foot-4 Weight – 205 pounds
Scout – Chaz Fiorino Date Scouted – July 2, 2014
Stat line – 3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; 83-46 Pitches-Strikes.
Physical Description – Athletic, strong,
durable frame. Long legs, high waist. Not much room for physical growth.
Arm/Delivery Mechanics –Three-quarters arm slot. Long in back
with wrist curl. Works from middle of rubber with hands set at the chest. Fluid
delivery. Great balance over rubber on back leg generating power. High leg kick
with average extension towards the plate. Struggled with release point and
repeating delivery this outing, pulling off his front side.
Yesterday the Double-A Eastern League announced its All-Star rosters and the 24-man roster featured five members of the Portland Sea Dogs: left-handed pitchers Henry Owens (pictured, right) and Brian Johnson, catcher Blake Swihart, infielder Sean Coyle, and infielder/outfielder Derrik Gibson. Each team has at least three All-Stars, with one pitcher and one hitter from each team being selected through a fan vote. The fans' Sea Dogs pitcher selection was Henry Owens and the fans' hitter selection was Blake Swihart.
Swihart currently ranks second on the SoxProspects.com rankings after an impressive start to the season. Over 272 at-bats, he has hit .294/.347/.474 with nine home runs, which puts him in the top 20 in the league in average, slugging, OPS, and hits. He also has had major impact defensively throwing out a league best 53% of attempted basestealers. It is this performance that has valued him to be in the discussion for the best catching prospect in baseball.
7/8 Cup of Coffee: With a trio of good pitchers lined up, it looked to be an exciting night on the farm, but Matt Barnes, Brian Johnson, and Joe Gunkel all struggled. Deven Marrero kept on raking, and Raymel Flores (pictured) led the Spinners to victory.
The PawSox pitching was able to bear down with men on base, and they escaped with a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Clippers (CLE). Matt Barnes went the first five innings, allowing only one run on five hits, but he also walked five and only struck out two. Check out SoxProspects News later today for more on Barnes. Alex Wilson tossed two shutout innings out of the bullpen, and Tommy Layne continued his dominance, striking out the side for his seventh save. The Clippers left 11 men on base in the game.
The international signing period began last week, and the Red Sox were ready: the organization spent nearly $4 million in the first two days, more than double their allotment. The lion's share of the spending was on two 16-year-old pitchers: Christopher Acosta, a 6-foot-3 Dominican right-hander, and Anderson Espinoza, a 5-foot-10 Venezuelan right-hander. Both of the righties are regarded as the the top two pitching prospects available in the market.
According to MLB.com, Acosta (Pictured) has an impressive repertoire for a teenager: his fastball reportedly sits between 88 and 92 mph, his curveball has good rotation and bite, and he sports an advanced changeup, which scouts says is his best pitch. He signed for $1.5 million, and is the 8th best international prospect on MLB.com.
Many scouts, perhaps unfairly, have already begun comparing Espinoza to another slight righty from Latin America: Pedro Martinez. Per MLB.com,Espinoza features a fastball between 91 and 93 mph and a curveball between 71 and 73 mph. He signed for $1.8 million, and is ranked as the 10th best international prospect on MLB.com.
7/7 Cup of Coffee: In what may have been his last start with the Sea Dogs, Henry Owens (pictured) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts over eight innings. Rubby De La Rosa was pulled after only one inning, which means he should be getting a start for the Red Sox this week, and Trey Ball had a second straight solid start, though his defense let him down.
The PawSox late comeback fell short, as they fell to the Columbus Clippers (CLE), 5-4. Rubby De La Rosa got the start but went only one inning, as he may be starting in Boston on Wednesday. Chris Hernandez allowed five runs over the next four innings, and picked up his seventh loss of the season.
Fresh off the heels of the first half of the midseason review, Chris, Ian, and Jon got back on the horn for part two, taking a look at how things have gone in Salem, Portland, and Pawtucket so far. We also took some of your emails, answering your questions about Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, and the draft! Want to impress your friends at parties? Hit the download button!
7/5 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Greenville fell in walk off fashion, while Lowell picked up the systems only other loss. Portland took both games of a twin bill, Salem rode some strong pitching to the win, and both the GCL and DSL came out on top.
The PawSox were victims of a walk off, falling to the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS), 7-6. Anthony Ranaudo struggled, allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings pitched. It was Drake Britton who took the loss though, allowing one run on two hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Both Travis Shaw and Mike Carp clubbed home runs to pace the PawSox offense. The rehabbing Will Middlebrooks went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and Deven Marrero went 1 for 3.
7/5 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem found themselves on opposite sides of extra inning battles while Greenville and Lowell fell on the road. The GCL Sox offense fired on all cylinders in a lopsided victory and the DSL Sox remained hot with another win.
In a contest that was tight the entire way, the PawSox slipped by the league leading Syracuse Chiefs (WAS), 3-2. Steven Wright pitched well for Pawtucket, hurling eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk, striking out three. Alex Wilson picked up the victory tossing two innings of scoreless relief.
Down 2-0 in the fifth, a sacrifice fly from Travis Shaw and an RBI single off the bat of Carlos Rivero helped Pawtucket tie the game, 2-2. The game remained knotted until the tenth, when Deven Marrero laced a two-out RBI double to bring home the game's winning run.
The PawSox had 15 hits on the evening, having multiple scoring chances throughout the game, but going just 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Andres Torres was 4 for 5 with a double and a run scored. The outfielder has performed admirably since joining Pawtucket, going 8 for 22 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Among the pitchers in Pawtucket's loaded, all-prospect rotation early this season, Brandon Workman now appears to have solidified a spot in Boston's rotation, Rubby De La Rosa impressed in his time in the majors, and Allen Webster has pitched well enough to earn another shot at the big leagues. But it is another member of the PawSox rotation who is having perhaps the best season of them all to this point: Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo continues to quietly shut down opposing offenses, and he showed why Monday night in Pawtucket with seven scoreless innings.
"The fastball was explosive out of his hand, and he was able to utilize a mix," Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said after the outing. "He left some pitches up, but then he was able to execute. When he was behind in the count, he showed some good execution and was able to get back into the count. He threw some decent breaking balls. I thought the hand speed with the changeup was good. [He was] aggressive. He's really come a long ways."
7/4 Cup of Coffee: There were a trio of pitcher's duels on Thursday, with the Red Sox affiliates coming out on the losing side of all three. A former Sox draftee and an ex-prospect knocked off Pawtucket and Allen Webster (pictured), Greenville provided little support for Daniel McGrath, and the GCL Red Sox lost after matching zeroes for 10 innings. On the other end of the spectrum was the DSL Red Sox, who won with what resembled a football score. Lowell came out on top in its contest, while Portland was blown out. Salem's game was postponed by rain.
It was an exciting pitching matchup in Pawtucket, with Allen Webster taking on the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) and top Twins prospect -- and 2008 Red Sox draftee -- Alex Meyer. The PawSox fell 2-1 to the Wings, despite a solid performance from Webster. He allowed just one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking three. Miguel Celestino took the loss in his Triple-A debut, giving up a run on two hits in an inning and a third.
Meyer, a 20th-round pick in 2008 who turned down big bonus money to attend the University of Kentucky, held the PawSox lineup in check. He allowed only three hits, and the only run came in the second when Christian Vazquez doubled and then scored on a Garin Cecchini single. Another old friend, Ryan Pressly (MIN), tossed three innings for the save. A 2007 11th-round pick, Pressly pitched five years in the Red Sox system before getting taken by the Twins in the 2012 Rule 5 draft.