Portland second baseman Sean Coyle has been added to the US roster for the Futures Game, per Sea Dogs Assistant GM Chris Cameron. He will take the place of Mookie Betts, who is no longer eligible after his promotion to Boston on Saturday. The Futures Game will take place at Minnesota's Target Field on Sunday, July 14 as part of All-Star festivities.
Coyle, who earlier in the day was named the Eastern League Player of the Week, is having an excellent season for the Sea Dogs. He leads the circuit in both batting average (.363) and OPS (1.059) as part of an attack that has Portland running away with a 54-27 record. Coyle has spent most of his time at second base, but has also seen significant playing time at third base and designated hitter as he split time with then-teammate Betts for the first two months.
The meteoric rise of Mookie Betts finally landed him in Boston, as the Red Sox called up their top prospect on Saturday. He made his major league debut last night, going 1 for 3 with a walk, while appearing in right field, which was just his third game there as a professional. John Tomase of the Boston Herald first broke the news of the call-up.
After tossing 27 2/3 innings with a 1.63 ERA in June, Henry Owens (pictured)appears ready to be tested in Pawtucket. Ian Cundall featured Owens in his most recent Scouting Scratch, offering an in-depth look into how Owens has dominated the Eastern League. Owens's walk numbers have gone from 3.77 per nine innings in April, to 5.05 in May, to 2.28 in June. It would not be surprising to see Owens promoted in the next few weeks.
While another left-handed pitching prospect who I wrote
about recently has received most of the plaudits in the Red Sox system, Brian Johnsonis no slouch and has pushed his way into the upper echelon of pitching
prospects in the system. Johnson doesn’t do anything flashy or have a single
standout pitch, but what he does bring to the table is consistency across the
board, advanced pitchability, and a four-pitch arsenal that will play in a major
league rotation. In the recent outing scouted, Johnson showed off these
attributes, tossing a seven-inning complete game, while only allowing six hits
and one run on a solo home run in the second inning. Johnson also struck out
four without a walk, while throwing 72 of his 105 pitches for strikes.
6/30 Cup of Coffee: It was a powerful day on the farm, as eight home runs were hit over the five games, with Matt Spring (pictured) hitting two for the Sea Dogs. Chris Hernandez and Pat Light each had strong starts, and Sean Coyle continued to pummel the Eastern League.
The PawSox used the long ball to down the Durham Bulls (TB), winning 7-4. Chris Hernandez was fantastic, allowing two runs in seven innings, walking one and striking out eight. Drake Britton allowed two runs in the ninth, but it was not enough to get the Bulls back in the game.
6/29 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates went home with a winning record on Saturday. Pawtucket escaped an early deficit, while Portland pushed one across in the ninth. Salem and Lowell each needed only four runs to take home victories. Greenville lost a heart breaker, surrendering runs in the final two innings while the GCL Red Sox also gave up a late lead.
Pawtucket worked their way around allowing four runs in the first to down the Durham Bulls (TB), 6-4. Steven Wright got the win, despite those four runs early in the game. The four runs on six hits across seven innings would be most of what Durham would manage as Alex Wilson and Rich Hill held the Bulls to two hits in the final two frames. The offense was firing on all cylinders as the PawSox racked up 12 hits between seven of their starters. Christian Vazquez led the charge, going 3 for 4 with a home run and a double in the contest. Alex Hassan also had three hits and Carlos Rivero added two of his own. Mike Carp went 1 for 3 with a run scored.
At present, there was no word on the corresponding move, but with the club carrying 13 pitchers, the team is expected to exchange an arm for Betts' bat with the offense in dire straits. No 40-man roster move will be necessary after the club's release of Grady Sizemore earlier this month opened a spot.
The promotion caps a truly astonishing ascent for the 21-year-old Betts, who made his Low A debut with the Greenville Drive on opening day of 2013. Betts started slowly with Greenville, sporting a .145/.340/.263 line after May 2. In his next game, on May 5, Betts began a 19-game hit streak, and he has essentially not stopped hitting since. He hit .347/.434/.554 with 13 home runs and 34 stolen bases in 104 games across two levels to close out the year. Given an aggressive assignment to Double-A Portland to start this season as the tenth-youngest player in the Eastern League on opening day, Betts continued to do nothing but hit, forcing a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 2 and posting a .345/.437/.520 line with eight home runs and 29 steals in 77 minor league games so far this season.
6/28 Cup of Coffee: Allen Webster was dominant for the PawSox, Keury De La Cruz (pictured) smacked five hits for Portland, and Sam Travis hit his first professional home run for Lowell. BrianJohnson had a solid, but wild, start, and Carlos Asuaje continued to terrorize South Atlantic League pitching.
Allen Webster had one of his best starts of the season, leading the PawSox past the Norfolk Tides, 4-2. Webster went the first 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs while striking out nine without issuing a walk. He retired the final 13 men he faced, and looked dominant while doing it. Tommy Layne picked up his sixth save with a scoreless ninth.
Mike Carp appeared in his first game of his rehab assignment, going 0 for 2 in four innings. The PawSox took advantage of some miscues by Norfolk, scoring on a throwing error and a wild pitch, in addition to a single from Justin Henry and a sacrifice fly from Travis Shaw.
6/27 Cup of Coffee: On a day with three top-15 prospects on the mound, it was a pair of lesser-known arms who stood out. Randy Perez and Joe Gunkel each tossed six shutout innings for Lowell and Salem, respectively, leading those teams to victory. An early grand slam carried Pawtucket to a win, while Portland pounded out 13 hits to back Henry Owens. Greenville dropped a back-and-forth contest, the DSL Red Sox late rally fell short, and the GCL Red Sox were shut out.
Pawtucket scored five in the first and hung out to drop the Norfolk Tides (NYM), 7-3. The big blast was a grand slam off the bat of Garin Cecchini, his third of the season. Travis Shaw and Carlos Rivero had two hits apiece for the PawSox, with Shaw delivering a double, and Rivero driving in a pair. Mookie Betts (pictured, left) was 0 for 2, ending his hitting streak at nine games, but he walked twice and scored both times and now has reached base in all 22 games he has appeared in for Pawtucket. More notably, Betts got his first career start in right field after having played exclusively second base and center field this season. Andres Torres, the former San Francisco Giant signed to a minor league contract earlier in the month, made his PawSox debut and went 0 for 4.
On the mound, Matt Barnes allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking three. He allowed a solo homer in the fourth, the first time he has been taken deep since May 27. After struggling in May, Barnes has rebounded a strong 3.42 ERA in June. Dalier Hinojosa pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings of relief, and John Ely allowed a run in his two innings of work.
The second game of the doubleheader on June 20 was my second
look at Henry Owens this season and the left-hander did not disappoint, tossing
a seven-inning complete game. The first time I saw Owens back in April, he got
roughed up giving up six hits in four innings, including a pair of home runs as
well as three walks. He really struggled with his command that day, but also
wasn’t helped by a strong wind blowing out to center field. In this more recent
look, Owens worked seven innings, allowing five hits on primarily weak contact
and two walks, while striking out eight, all swinging. He threw first-pitch
strikes to 16 out of the 21 batters he faced and elicited 16 swinging strikes in
total. He also got eight ground outs compared to only one fly out.
This time around, Owens was in control throughout the start,
showing off his potent fastball-changeup combination. Owens is every bit of his
listed height and has a strong starting pitcher's frame. He has extremely long
limbs, which for some pitchers could cause their delivery to get out of sorts
easily, but Owens does a good job mitigating this with his free and easy,
controlled delivery. He is very loose on the mound, expending little energy in
his delivery from pitch to pitch. When Owens finishes his delivery, his length
allows him to get good leverage on the ball. He throws from a three-quarters
arm slot, but in this most recent outing he varied his arm angle at times.
Owens also gets great deception from his delivery as the ball comes out from
right behind his head. That deception in conjunction with his long limbs that
allow him to get extension towards the plate mean hitters tend not to be able
to pick the ball up until very late. This is important for Owens as it allows
him to get away with spotty command at times and only average-to-slightly-better
6/26 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket rolls in 16-run onslaught; a pair of homers carries Salem to victory; the Spinners rally to score six late in a win; and the DSL Red Sox score two in the ninth to walk off. The Drive fell and the GCL Red Sox rolled. Portland was rained out.
The Pawtucket Red Sox plated 16 runs Wednesday resulting in a 16-5 victory over the Norfolk Tides (BAL). The PawSox scored in all but two innings, the second and the eighth, and put up multiple runs in every inning but the third. The offensive attack was led by first baseman Travis Shaw (Pictured) and infielder Ryan Roberts, who combined for three home runs and nine RBI. Shaw was 3 for 4 with three runs, two doubles, one long ball and five RBI. Roberts was 3 for 5 with two home runs, two runs scored and four RBI. Leadoff man and center fielder Mookie Betts was 3 for 5 with three runs scored, continuing his hot hitting in Triple-A. Every PawSox player scored a run in the game.
The run support did not go to waste as Pawtucket starter Anthony Ranaudo was strong through five innings. He yielded only two hits, one walk, and one earned run; lowering his ERA to 2.54.
During the season we will be featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page.
Today's video is of Luis Diaz in a spring training start.
In it, you can see the recently-promoted right-hander, who has been lights out in his first two starts in Double-A Portland, facing young Tampa Bay hitters. Follow the link to the YouTube page to
view many other prospect videos.
In this outing, Ranaudo's
fastball ranged 89-93, and sat 89-91, which is a tick below where I’ve seen him
in the past. In turn, Ranaudo did a much better job repeating his delivery and
staying on line to the plate than previous starts. He’s made a very slight
mechanical adjustment to minimize movement in his delivery and to get out on his
front side a bit easier. This allows him to better command the strike zone.
secondary pitch was the curveball, as is usually the case. The curveball came
in at 75-78 mph with true 12-to-6 action. His changeup was in the 81-84 mph range
and it presently grades a tick below-average. There have been recent reports of
Ranaudo beginning to develop a slider as a fourth offering, and in this outing,
I saw two sliders at 82 mph. They were flat and missed up and out of the zone arm
side, grading below-average – a 40 on the 20-80 scale. With his ability to spin
a well above-average curveball, I would be surprised if he isn’t able to
develop a close to major league average slider with repetition in the future.
6/25 Cup of Coffee: Not a whole lot went right for the affiliates on Tuesday, as the GCL Red Sox were the only team able to squeeze out a win. Pawtucket fell in extras while Portland and Salem only managed to each push one run across. Greenville's late rally proved to not be enough and Lowell was on the wrong end of a blow out while the DSL only managed two runs.
Pawtucket lost in crushing fashion, falling to the Norfolk Tides (BAL), 5-4 in 10 innings. Chris Hernandez struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Dalier Hinojosa blew the save, allowing the tying run to cross in the eighth, but it was Rich Hill who was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs in the top half of the tenth inning.
Offensively, the PawSox out hit their competition 13-11, but it still was not enough. Alex Hassan led the charge by going 3 for 5 with a double and a home run; Ryan Roberts and Carlos Rivero also went 3 for 5. Garin Cecchini had a 2-for-5 day at the plate, including a triple and two runs scored. Shane Victorino went 0 for 4 with a strike out.
The top two players in the SoxProspects.com rankings will be appearing in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 13 at Target Field in Minnesota. Second baseman-slash-center fielder Mookie Betts(pictured)and left-hander Henry Owenswill appear on the U.S. Team, where they will take on former Red Sox prospect Frank Montas and the World team. Major League Baseball listed Betts as an infielder on the roster, so it is likely that he will appear at second base in the game.
Since his promotion to Pawtucket on June 3, Betts has hit .321/.402/.457, with 11 walks, 13 strikeouts, and six steals in eight chances. He has appeared in five games at second base and 14 as a center fielder for the PawSox, and the initial reports have been positive about his work in the outfield. Overall, the 21-year-old is hitting .346/.432/.525 in 345 plate appearances between Portland and Pawtucket this season, proving that last year's breakout campaign was not an aberration.
Marrero piled up the hits last week, recording a hit in each of the seven games he played and multiple hits in four of the seven, going 3 for 5 with a triple on June 16, 3 for 4 on the 17th, 2 for 2 on the 21st, and finished the week going 3 for 4 on the 22nd. He was also named Eastern League Player of the Week for the same period. Marrero is currently the ninth-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
Season Line: .291/.371/.430 (71 for 244), 4 HR, 18 2B, 2 3B, 30 BB/52 K, 12 SB, 6 CS, 62 G
Jim Callis of MLB.com reported last night that the Red Sox have agreed to terms with fourth-round pick Kevin McAvoy, a right-hander out of Bryant University. McAvoy, 20, will receive a $300,000 signing bonus, which is below the slot value of $377,600 for the 134th pick. The $300,000 is more than many estimated the college junior would receive, as he was not rated in Baseball America's top 500 draft prospects.
McAvoy went 9-1 for the Bulldogs this season, with a 2.62 ERA over 99 2/3 innings. He walked 2.5 batters per nine innings and struck out 8.5, but was facing weaker competition in the Northeast Conference. He will be assigned to Lowell, where the Red Sox will look to limit him to shorter outings to control his innings.
6/24 Cup of Coffee: A full slate of games on Monday was highlighted by an offensive explosion by Greenville and some excellent pitching performances. The Drive pounded out 20 hits in support of Daniel McGrath, while Steven Wright and Luis Diaz led Pawtucket and Portland, respectively. Every starter had a hit in the DSL Red Sox extra-inning win. A GCL Red Sox rally fell short in the ninth, as Lowell and Salem also came out on the losing end.
Pawtucket used a five-run fifth to outlast the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY), 5-4. The PawSox sent 10 men to the plate in that decisive inning, with Ryan Roberts delivering a two-out double to score Mookie Betts and Mike McCoy. Betts was 2 for 4 with a walk and stolen base, and has reached base in all 20 games since joining Pawtucket. Steven Wright got the win in another strong start, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. Wright struck out seven without issuing a walk, and lowered his WHIP to 0.967. Drake Britton allowed two runs (one earned) in the eighth to allow the RailRiders within one, but Tommy Layne slammed the door with a hitless ninth.
Major League Baseball's draft took place on June 5-7 and over the past week there has been a flurry of players signing and reporting to affiliates. The biggest news came on Tuesday when first rounder Michael Chavis (pictured, right) signed with the Red Sox for $1,870,500. Joon Lee at Over The Monsterspoke with some evaluators to see what they thought of Chavis who enters the SoxProspects.com rankings at 12.
On Monday, news of early signings started to break with five signings reported including first-round pick RHP Michael Kopech, second-round selection 1B Sam Travis, as well as 1B Josh Ockimey, CF Trenton Kemp, and CF Tyler Hill. Four of the five signings got slot value or above, with Kopech the only exception signing for $178,000 under slot.
The next day, the Red Sox confirmed the signings reported on Monday and also announced five late round signings as well: 23rd rounder CF Derek Miller, 31st rounder C Alex McKeon, 34th rounder RHP Kuehl McEachern, 37th rounder SS Hector Lorenzana, and 38th rounder RHP Brandon Show.
6/23 Cup of Coffee: While it was a rough day for individual performances, the big news out of Pawtucket was Garin Cecchini making the transition to left field. With Cecchini and Mookie Betts now playing in the outfield, and Andres Torres being signed, the Red Sox have shown they are looking both internally and externally to fix their outfield situation. Deven Marrero continued to crush Eastern League pitching, and Cody Kukuk took another step back for Salem.
The PawSox let an early lead slip away, falling to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY), 5-4. Allen Webster, who has been excellent over the last month, struggled on Sunday, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out five. He threw 101 pitches, but only 53 for strikes, and he was also let down by his defense, as two of the runs that scored were unearned. The RailRiders got to Chris Resop for a run in the eighth, which proved to be the game-winner.
Jim Callis of MLB.com reported today that the Red Sox have signed third-round pick Jake Cosart out of Seminole State College of Florida. Cosart will receive a $450,000 signing bonus, which is below the slot value of $509,400 for the 103rd pick. Cosart, who is the younger brother of Houston Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart, has debuted at number 26 in the SoxProspects.com rankings.
Cosart is still new to pitching, so the 20-year-old will likely be assigned to the Gulf Coast League. He can run his fastball up to 98 and has a promising curveball, but he needs to work on his command and control. He struck out over a batter per inning this season, but still posted a 5.34 ERA in 64 innings.
6/22 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates took home a 5-3 record saturday, as Portland swept a double header. Lowell and Salem were on opposite sides of blow outs while Greenville fell in extras. The GCL and DSL both managed to score in the ninth to seal their victories.
Dan Butler picked up two of Pawtucket's six hits, including a double. Christian Vazquez also had a double as part of a 1-for-3 effort. Mookie Betts and Garin Cecchini also collected a hit apiece in the contest. The rehabbing Will Middlebrooks had an 0-for-2 night with two strikeouts.
Mars will receive a slot bonus of $211,800 according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. That number has not yet been confirmed, but is the suggested bonus set by MLB for the pick. Mars projects to play center field, where he starred at Chipola College (FL). The 20-year-old had 25 stolen bases and eight triples in his single season at Chipola.
6/21 Cup of Coffee: With the Gulf Coast League schedule kicking off, Friday marked the first day that all seven affiliates were in action. The GCL Red Sox kicked off their schedule with a victory, highlighting a successful Friday. Powered by four doubles from Tim Roberson, Greenville scored 21 runs in support of Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured, left) who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Lowell walked off with the victory, while Pawtucket also won in its last at bat. Portland hung on for a win in the completion of a suspended game, and Henry Owens fired a shutout in the nightcap. Only Salem and the DSL Red Sox lost on Friday.
Pawtucket scored two runs in the ninth to steal a 3-2 victory from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY). Down 2-1 against former Padres and Marlins closer Heath Bell (NYY), Ryan Roberts and Alex Hassan both singled, followed by a Justin Henry walk. With two outs, Mookie Betts ripped a two-run single to center to put the PawSox in control. It was the third hit of the night for Betts, who doubled in the third and has reached base in 17 straight games since his promotion to Pawtucket.
The rally bailed out Anthony Ranaudo, who was on the hook for the loss despite a strong performance. Ranaudo allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two. It was the tenth consecutive start in which Ranaudo allowed three or fewer runs in at least five innings. Drake Britton was credited with the win for 1 2/3 scoreless innings, though he walked two and allowed two hits. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Tommy Layne came on to strike out the game's final batter.
The Red Sox will reportedly promote third baseman Rafael Devers to the GCL Red Sox this weekend, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. However, SoxProspects sources have indicated that the move is not official at this time and is not yet a certainty.
The 17-year-old Devers got off to a fast professional debut in the Dominican Summer League, hitting a spectacular .442/.537/.814 in his first 11 games, and finishing with a .379/.476/.636 line. He had reached base in every game but one, and drove in 20 runs. Devers leads the circuit in runs batted in and was tied for second in hits (25).
6/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough Thursday down on the farm, as Lowell was the only affiliate able to emerge victorious. Clay Buchholz was excellent in a rehab start, but Pawtucket failed to hold a six-run lead. The DSL Red Sox were also on the wrong side of a comeback. Greenville never led in its loss, while Salem was blown out.
After opening a 6-0 lead, the Pawtucket bullpen imploded in an 8-6 loss to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). Making his final rehab start before joining the major club, Clay Buchholz fired six shutout innings. He allowed only two hits while striking out five and walking a pair. After Buchholz came out, the wheels came off. Rochester scored three in the seventh off of Dalier Hinojosa, who retired only two batters. Alex Wilson came on and notched a strikeout to end that rally, but Wilson was lit up for five runs in the eighth, highlighted by a grand slam.
The loss came despite a 12-hit attack from the offense. Travis Shaw was 2 for 5 with a seventh-inning homer that gave the PawSox its six-run lead that would soon be erased. That ended a 2-for-17 skid for the first baseman. Ryan Roberts and Alex Hassan reached three times apiece, both going 2 for 4 with a walk. Roberts scored a pair of runs, while Hassan had a double and drove in two. Mookie Betts had a second inning single and has reached base safely in all 16 games since his promotion.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com first reported the Gunkel and Witte promotions on Twitter.SoxProspects.com's Matt Huegel confirmed Speier's report and added Weems was also promoted.
Gunkel, 22, has appeared in 17 games for Greenville in 2014 and has started his last five. In five starts, Gunkel has posted a 2.96 ERA over 27 1/3 innings while striking out 29. He's also posted a remarkable 0.65 WHIP as a starter. Overall in 2014, Gunkel has posted a 2.28 ERA and a .149 batting average against. Gunkel was a 13th round selection in the 2013 draft.
6/19 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket scored 13 runs in a doubleheader sweep, while Portland split their own twin bill. Lowell prevailed in extra-innings, and the DSL Red Sox downed the DSL Rockies.
The Pawtucket Red Sox defeated the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) in the first half of a doubleheader Wednesday evening by a score of 9-4. The lopsided result belies the competitiveness of the game, at least early on. The Red Wings jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first; a lead that the PawSox took away with a two-run top of the third. With two on and two outs, third baseman Carlos Rivero slugged a two-run homer to left field, his first of the season. The lead was short lived for the PawSox, however, as the Red Wings scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Down 4-3 entering the the top of the seventh inning, the PawSox scored six runs giving them an insurmountable 9-4 lead. The big inning was marked by a second two-run homer from Rivero, which scored designated hitter Will Middlebrooks, who was 2 for 5 in the game. The other big blow came when center fielder Mookie Betts (Pictured, right), 2 for 6,delivered a three-run, bases-clearing double. PawSox pitchers Steven Wright, Chris Resop, John Ely, and Drake Britton combined to scatter nine hits, four runs, five walks, and five strikeouts in nine innings.
During the season we will be featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page.
Today's video is of three youngsters taking cuts against Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa on the backfields of JetBlue Park.
In it, you can see infielder Victor Acosta, shortstop Mauricio Dubon, and outfielder Joseph Monge doing their best to make contact against the pair of major league relievers. Follow the link to the YouTube page to
view many other prospect videos.
6/18 Cup of Coffee: The South Atlantic League and Carolina League All-Star games saw multiple Red Sox prospects in action, while mother nature threw a wrench in both Pawtucket and Portland's games. Lowell and the DSL Red Sox both found the winners circle thanks to superb pitching.
Pawtucket's contest against the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) was suspended due to rain in the fourth inning with the PawSox leading 2-1. The game will be completed tomorrow and immediately followed by game two, which will be shortened to seven innings.
Steven Wright received the start for Pawtucket, tossing three innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. Carlos Rivero's two-run home run in the third inning gave the PawSox a 2-1 lead. The rehabbing Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks were each 0 for 2 before the rain.
According to Mike Antonellis on Twitter, RHP Luis Diaz has been promoted to Double-A Portland and will start tomorrow's game against the Erie SeaWolves (DET). The 22-year-old Diaz has had a solid season for High-A Salem, going 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 13 starts. Currently ranked the 23rd best prospect in the Red Sox system by SoxProspects, Diaz has performed admirably this season in night games, going 6-1 with a 1.62 ERA in nine starts.
The Diaz promotion follows the suspension of Miguel Pena, who had been a part of the Sea Dogs starting rotation this season going 2-2 with a 6.41 ERA in 13 starts.
The Red Sox have designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment and recalled third baseman Garin Cecchini (pictured) from Triple-A Pawtucket. Cecchini's recall was first reported by Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish. It was confirmed by Alex Speier of WEEI.com, who also reported the news on Sizemore.
Cecchini made his major league debut on June 1, going 1 for 2 with a double in a victory over Tampa Bay. He has struggled with Pawtucket since then, going just 7 for 37 with two extra base hits, but gives the Red Sox a left-handed bat off the bench for their series against Minnesota. Overall, Cecchini is hitting .263/.344/.329.
Blair put together one of the more impressive weekly triple-slash lines of 2014, fueled by a trio of three hit games: going 3 for 5 with a home run at Frederick (BAL) June 10, 3 for 4 with two doubles and a walk June 12 against Lynchburg (ATL), and again 3 for 4 with a walk against Lynchburg, this time on June 15. Those three outings combined with a three more bases-on-balls in his other two games played in the period added up to big numbers and an easy win in the SoxProspects.com Player of the Week polls, with only one vote being cast for another hitter, Blake Swihart. Blair, 24, was the Red Sox 35th round pick in the 2008 draft.
Season Line: .254/.387/.500 (35 for 138), 6 HR, 14 2B, 1 3B, 31 BB/57 K, 36 G
The Red Sox and first-round selection Michael Chavis agreed to terms on a deal worth $1,870,500, according to multiple reports citing industry sources.
The deal was first reported by Ryan Hannable of InsidetheBattersBox.netand was confirmed by Alex Speier of WEEI.com.According to both the deal is pending a physical.
Chavis, 18, out of Sprayberry High School in Ga., is reported to have signed right at slot level. Chavis is a shortstop by trade, although there are murmurings he may move off the position, and was selected by the Red Sox with the 26th overall selection. Chavis hit .580 with 13 home runs, 9 doubles, and 10 steals in 28 high school games.
6/17 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough night on the farm, highlighted with a pair of walk-off losses. Led by Sean Coyle (pictured), Blake Swihart, and Deven Marrero, Portland came back from a seven-run deficit only to fall in the bottom of the ninth. Lowell fell in the ninth as well on a bases loaded walk. Allen Webster ended up on the losing end of a pitcher's duel for Pawtucket, while a trio of arms fired a shutout for the DSL Red Sox.
The Pawtucket bats went silent in a 6-1 loss to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). The three-game series at Frontier Field got started with a strong pitching matchup as Twins prospect Trevor May got the better of Allen Webster. Webster allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one. Webster has allowed three or fewer runs in 14 of his 15 starts this season, but has only a 3-4 record to show for it. The Red Wings opened up the contest against the PawSox bullpen, as Alex Wilson surrendered three runs in the eighth and Jeremy Kehrt allowed another in the ninth.
The PawSox offense managed only three hits. Two came off the bat of Mookie Betts, who doubled in the fourth inning and tripled in the sixth. Betts then scored the only run of the night when he walked and was driven in on a Garin Cecchini base hit.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has announced that left-handed pitcher Miguel Pena of the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs has been suspended 100 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse. It is Pena's third positive test since being drafted in 2011, and his second in two years.
Pena, 23, was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of San Jacinto (TX) College. Along with his tremendous physical attributes were known off-field issues, including Pena being sent home from the Cape Cod League in 2010. Placed in Salem out of Spring Training in 2013, Pena was suspended on April 17 for a second failed test.
SoxProspects Managing Editor Matt Huegel talked to Mookie Betts, who discussed a new level of competition at Pawtucket as well as trying the outfield for the first time.
The Red Sox signed veteran outfielder Andres Torres to a minor league deal this week. Torres will likely be in the outfield mix at Pawtucket, serving as depth for the major league squad.
The Providence Journal'sTim Britton talked to multiple members of the Red Sox organization about the development of Christian Vazquez, (pictured) whose game is developing far beyond his prowess for throwing out base runners.
6/16 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy Father's Day down on the farm, with several good pitching performances throughout the system. Felix Doubront took a big step in his rehab, Brian Johnson (pictured) was tremendous again, and Jake Drehoff impressed in his Lowell debut.
The PawSox lost the lead with two outs in the top of the ninth, dropping a heartbreaker to the Charlotte Knights (CWS), 2-1. Felix Doubront pitched well, throwing five hitless innings, while walking four and striking out 10. He was stretched out to 93 pitches, and threw 50 for strikes. Matt Barnes came out of the bullpen, keeping the Knights off the board in his three innings of work, allowing three hits while striking out two.
6/14 Cup of Coffee: Offense was at a premium on Saturday as the affiliates managed to score just 22 runs over seven contests. Pawtucket split a doubleheader, while Portland and Greenville rode masterful pitching to victory. Salem squandered a strong start and the Spinners couldn't climb out of an early hole, while the DSL Red Sox' comeback bid fell short.
The PawSox dropped game one of a doubleheader to the Charlotte Knights (CHW), 3-0. A rehabbing Clay Buchholz got the start for Pawtucket and allowed three runs across 4 2/3 innings of work. Buchholz allowed four hits, two of which were solo home runs, and struck out five. Buchholz, who took the loss, threw 42 of his 62 pitches for strikes. Rich Hill and John Ely combined for the final, scoreless, 2 1/3 innings of the seven-inning contest.
Pawtucket's bats were held in check as they managed only four hits in the game. Christian Vazquez went 2 for 2 with a walk. The rehabbing Will Middlebrooks picked up one hit in three at-bats while serving as the team's designated hitter, while Shane Victorino went 0 for 2 and played five innings in right field.
6/14 Cup of Coffee: The DSL Red Sox launched an offensive assault while the Greenville Drive swept both sides of a doubleheader. The Sea Dogs fell, Salem won behind strong pitching, and the Spinners scored seven in victory.
The Pawtucket Red Sox game against the Charlotte Knights (CHW) was postponed due to rain. The contest is being made up Saturday, June 14.
The Portland Sea Dogs fell to the Akron Rubberducks (CLE) by a score of 6-1 on Friday. Sea Dogs starter Michael Pena lasted six 1/3 innings and yielded 11 hits, two walks and six earned runs. The Sea Dogs offense did not fair much better and was only able to muster seven hits. Two of those hits came off the bat of second baseman Sean Coyle. The lone Sea Dogs run was scored by Derrick Gibson and was driven in by catcher Blake Swihart (Pictured), who was 1 for 3.
6/13 Cup of Coffee: Despite a pair of rainouts there was plenty of action on Thursday. Pawtucket and Salem both got excellent starting pitching in their victories. Rafael Devers continues to dominate the Dominican Summer League, but a two-homer performance wasn't enough as the DSL Red Sox lost in the 13th. Portland and Greenville were both washed out.
Pawtucket knocked off the Charlotte Knights (CWS), 6-1. After allowing a first-inning solo home run, Steven Wright (pictured) settled in and was nearly unhittable. The knuckleballer struck out a career-high 10 batters in his seven innings of work. He scattered three hits and walked one. Wright now has a 1.35 ERA in three starts since rejoining the PawSox after missing the start of the season with a sports hernia. Alex Wilson and Chris Resop tossed a scoreless inning apiece to preserve the win.
While Wright was knuckling along, the offense put together a balanced attack with 10 base hits and five walks. Christian Vazquez led the way, going 2 for 3 with an eighth-inning home run, a walk, and two runs scored. Mookie Betts and Travis Shaw added two hits apiece, while Alex Hassan was 1 for 3 with a triple, walk, and two runs.
Question: Who is the only left-hander in the Portland Sea Dogs bullpen? Answer: Robby Scott. The 24-year-old undrafted free agent out of Florida State has made a quick progression to Double-A since spending the entire 2012 season with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
After jumping directly from the GCL to High-A Salem to begin the 2013 season, Scott put together a solid campaign to put himself on the map. This year he moved up to Double-A Portland, and has gotten off to a blistering start. Already in early June, Scott has a 6-1 record and one save with a 0.61 earned run average in 29 1/3 innings of work.
6/12 Cup of Coffee: Greenville and the DSL Red Sox both took home victories as Salem and Portland, the only other two affiliates in action, were suspended/postponed due to the weather.
The Portland Sea Dogs and the Altoona Curve (PIT) saw their contest suspended due to rain after two and a half innings. The two teams intend to make up the lost innings on June 12. When the game was suspended, the Sea Dogs had a 2-1 lead over the Curve thanks to a two-run home run from Stefan Welch (pictured, left). Welch launched the home run, his fourth of the season, in his first at-bat of the game, and is currently 1 for 1 with two RBI.
The Sea Dogs starter was Keith Couch, who yielded one run on three hits and struck out three in just two innings pitched.
The Red Sox have signed veteran outfielder Andres Torres to a minor league contract, the team announced today. Torres has appeared in 650 major league games and played a key role on the 2010 San Francisco Giants team that won the World Series.
Torres, 36, is best remembered for that 2010 season, when he hit .268/.343/.479 as the Giants starting center fielder, and went on to go 7 for 22 in the World Series. He finished fourth in the National League with 43 doubles that year, and added 16 home runs and 26 stolen bases. Originally drafted back in 1998 in the fourth round by Detroit, Torres has played parts of nine major league seasons with the Tigers, Rangers, Giants and Mets. He struggled to a .250/.302/.342 line with the Giants in 2013 and was unsigned as a free agent after the season.
A switch-hitter, Torres will provide depth to the Red Sox injury-depleted outfield. He has seen playing time throughout his career at all three outfield positions, with the majority of the playing time coming in center.
6/11 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates were 3-2 on Tuesday, with Pawtucket, Portland and the DSL Sox all obtaining victories. Salem and Greenville each had solid offensive showings in their losses, but were victimized by poor relief efforts.
Pawtucket cashed in on a big day from Garin Cecchini (pictured, right) to take down the Louisville Bats (CIN), 4-3, in ten innings. Rehabbing left-hander Felix Doubront got the start for the PawSox, hurling 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out three. Doubront exited the game after 75 pitches, throwing 44 of them for strikes. Four Pawtucket relievers, including Rich Hill, Jeremy Kehrt, Drake Britton, and Tommy Layne, each added a scoreless inning of relief in the winning effort.
Down 2-0 in the fourth, Pawtucket got on the board thanks to a Cecchini solo home run, his second since joining the PawSox. Down 3-1 in the seventh, the PawSox would rally tie to the game on a Mookie Betts RBI single and a Carlos Rivero sacrifice fly. The game remained knotted until the bottom of the tenth, where Pawtucket faced former Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol (CIN). Marmol allowed a one-out single to Cecchini and followed up the single with two wild pitches, allowing Cecchini to move to third. With the bases loaded after two walks, Dan Butler lofted a sacrifice fly to bring home the winning run.
This week's SoxProspects.com Player and Pitcher of the Week honorees toil at opposite ends of the farm, but both saw themselves dominate the polls as well as the competition: Rafael Devers of the DSL Red Sox and Anthony Ranaudo of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Devers, 2013's big international signing, is off to a blistering start in his first season of pro ball, recording hits in every game in the young season. His scouting report leans heavily on his raw power, so one would be forgiven for failing to anticipate this week's three triples and a stolen base. He is currently the fourteenth-ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
6/10 Cup of Coffee: Almost all of the offense in the Red Sox organization was concentrated at its most southern point. The DSL Red Sox plated 13 men, while the other four teams (including the major league one) totaled only four runs combined. Pawtucket fell in a rain-shortened affair, while Salem and Greenville dropped their contests as well.
Pawtucket lost 3-1 to the Louisville Bats (CIN) and a game called by rain in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was a game with an intriguing pitching matchup, as Allen Webster(pictured, right) got the start against rehabbing righty Mat Latos (CIN). Webster scuffled early, allowing a run in the first and two more in the second, but settled in. He retired the last five men he faced, and did not allow a base hit after the third. Overall, Webster gave up three runs on four hits in six frames. He struck out eight, one short of his season high, while walking three. Webster has given up three or fewer earned runs in 13 of his 14 starts so far in 2014. SoxProspects.com Northeast Scout Chaz Fiorino was on-hand at McCoy Stadium, and he reported that Webster sat 93-95 with his fastball and touched 96, while mixing in a slider and changeup.
Unfortunately for Webster, the PawSox offense was unable to generate much off of Latos. The only run came in the sixth, when Mike McCoy walked, stole second and third, and came in to score on a Carlos Rivero single. McCoy was the only PawSox batter to reach base multiple times, working a pair of walks. Mookie Betts got his fifth consecutive start in center field. He was 0 for 2 with a walk, and has reached base in all seven games since his promotion to Pawtucket.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- After thoroughly dominating three levels of minor league baseball over the last season and a half, Mookie Betts has now made it up to the final test before the majors. Despite coming off his third promotion in a calendar year, Betts hardly seems phased by the increased level of competition at Triple-A.
“[The level of competition is] similar [to Double-A], you just have older guys who know what they’re doing,” he said following his McCoy Stadium debut Saturday evening. “It’s harder in the sense that the pitchers know what they’re doing.”
So far Betts has gone 7 for 24 against the more advanced Triple-A pitching, and though he didn’t have a hit in his home debut, he showed an advanced approach. His best at-bat on the evening was an eight-pitch walk to lead off the game in which he fouled off three pitches. Finishing the game 0 for 3, he made a point afterwards to say that the process is far more important than the hits that result. That is a common refrain among hitters in the minors, but is still impressive perspective for someone who has batted .311 in their minor league career and had eye-popping results recently.
It's the SoxProsects.com Podcast. Today's show, "2014 Draft Recap." Act One: Who'd We Pick? Chris talks with Matt and runs down the whole draft. Are these guys good? Where'd all the college seniors go? You'll hear the answers to these questions and more. Act Two: Scouting the Newbies. Chris gets Ian to dish on what he sees from the players selected in the first ten rounds in videos and scouting reports. From Chris's computer in Salem, New Hampshire, it's the SoxProspects.com Podcast. Stay with us.
The 2014 First-Year Player Draft dominated all minor league news last week, and why not? The three-day event seems to draw more and more interest every season. We had you covered here at SoxProspects.com with everything you needed to know. For a full summary of how the Red Sox's draft shook out, check out the Day 1 recap on ESPNBoston by SoxProspects.com'sEditor-in-ChiefMike Andrews, and Day 2 and Day 3 recaps by Matt Huegel. Also, read Harry Burnham's story on how the picks stack up to pre-draft rankings.
6/9 Cup of Coffee: It was a wild day on the farm, with three games being decided on walk-off hits. Derrik Gibson was the hero for Portland, while Salem and Greenville were on the wrong end of the comebacks. Chris Hernandez (pictured) was dominant for Pawtucket, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh.
Behind a terrific performance from Chris Hernandez, the PawSox defeated the Louisville Bats (CIN), 4-3. Hernandez went the first 7 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on one hit, walking two and striking out nine. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh, when he allowed a leadoff single to Joey Votto (CIN), but that was all the damage the Bats could do. Hernandez picked up his third win of the season, and has now gone at least seven innings in two of his last three starts.
Now that the 2014 First Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. As we saw over the last two years, under the new CBA draft rules the signing period is much different that it was in previous years. As most of you know, the new CBA established a signing bonus cap for each team and pushed up the signing deadline from mid-August to mid-July. This year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on July 18, 2014. The bonus cap is determined by the number and placement of each team's selections.
The bonus cap sets an aggregate limit for a team to spend on its selections in the first ten rounds, and also limits teams from spending over $100,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $6,373,300 this year. If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its 1st and 2nd round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first round picks.
6/8 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates took home a split with Greenville splitting a doubleheader of their own. Salem scored in the ninth to take home the win and Pawtucket won behind explosive bats and strong pitching. Portland gave up a big lead and the DSL Red Sox only managed three hits.
The PawSox rode a bounce-back start from Matt Barnes(pictured, right) to a 7-2 victory over the Louisville Bats (CIN). Barnes picked up his first win since April 25 with a 6 2/3-inning effort. Barnes gave up two runs on seven hits and struck out three. Barnes threw 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes. Alex Wilson pitched a shaky 1/3 of an inning in which he allowed a hit and a walk before getting the final out. Tommy Layne picked up the save, pitching the final two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two.
Carlos Rivero led the charge, going 3 for 4 with a triple and five RBI. Travis Shaw had two hits, a walk and scored three runs, while Christian Vazquez went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Mookie Betts went hitless in three trips to the plate, though he did manage to draw a walk.
Day 3 marked the end of the MLB draft, and a full 30 picks were made by
the Boston Red Sox. Among those picks are several high-upside prospects,
many of whom won't end up signing, along with other serviceable
prospects who may not get much hype but can play an important role in
One theme we saw early for the Red Sox was picking guys who have
fallen due to injury, likely as a way to get players with upside who
won't require large over-slot bonuses to sign. In fact, their first
three picks on the day fall into this category: RHP Karsten Whitson, LHP
Jalen Beeks, and RHP Chandler Shepherd.
The 2014 June draft saw the re-selection of 13 previous Red Sox draftees, one less than in 2013. These last two drafts represent a dip from the number of former Sox picks re-selected in the 2010 (18), 2011 (19), and 2012 (18) drafts. Unlike the Reed Gragnani pick last year, the Red Sox themselves did not draft any of their former selections in 2014. See below for the full list of re-drafted players:
2013 Red Sox Draftees
23. Jimmy Allen, 2B, Cal Poly SLO — 24th round by Los Angeles (NL)
2012 Red Sox Draftees
27. Quinn Carpenter, RHP, Iowa Western — 17th round by Toronto
28. Wes Rogers, OF, Spartanburg — 2nd round by Colorado
33. Chris Carlson, OF, Cal Poly Pomona — 28th round by Toronto
2011 Red Sox Draftees
16. Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson — 2nd round by Oakland
21. Austin Davidson, RHP, Pepperdine — 13th round by Washington
23. Jarrett Brown, LHP, Georgia — 22nd round by Seattle
43. Brandon Downes, OF, Virginia — 7th round by Kansas City
44. Matt Martin, C, Wake Forest — 27th round by Milwaukee
2010 Red Sox Draftees
14. Mike Hollenbeck, C, Illinois State — 23rd round by Chicago (AL)
15. Steve Wilkerson, SS, Clemson — 8th round by Baltimore
47. David Roseboom, LHP, South Carolina-Upstate — 17th round by New York (NL)
48. J.T. Autrey, RHP, Lamar — 32nd round by Toronto
In 2014, the Red Sox departed from past strategy, selecting only two college seniors in the first ten rounds. Typically, Boston (and other teams for that matter) will select a handful of seniors on the second day with the intention of signing them to below-slot deal and using the savings to sign other players taken in the first 10 rounds. However, 2014 saw a decrease in high-risk, signability players outside the first 10, as the Sox selected only 12 high school players in rounds 11-40, compared to 19 in 2013.
All told, the Red Sox selected 19 players who were ranked in either the Baseball America Top 500 or in the Perfect Game Top 300, only a notch below the 20 ranked players they selected last year, despite having one more pick in the first 10 rounds. Furthermore, after selecting 19 players who appeared in BA's Top 500 and 11 in the PG Top 300 in 2013, the Sox took 15 players who appeared on BA's list and 14 from PG's.