SoxProspects News

September 30, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings, 2014: Matt Huegel


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. Next up is Managing Editor Matt Huegel.

The Rankings:
1. Blake Swihart, C
2. Henry Owens, LHP
3. Manuel Margot, OF
4. Rafael Devers, 3B
5. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
6. Brian Johnson, LHP
7. Michael Chavis, SS/3B
8. Matt Barnes, RHP
9. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
10. Garin Cecchini, 3B/OF

11. Trey Ball, LHP
12. Deven Marrero, SS
13. Edwin Escobar, LHP
14. Sean Coyle, 2B/3B
15. Michael Kopech, RHP
16. Wendell Rijo, 2B
17. Travis Shaw, 1B
18. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP
19. Sam Travis, 1B
20. Heath Hembree, RHP
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at 7:49 AM

Sox have seventh pick in draft


Following a 9-5 loss to the Yankees on Sunday, the Red Sox fell to 71-91, leaving the club with the sixth-worst record in the league. That means Boston will have the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft. (Houston has a compensation pick locked in at No. 2 overall for the failure to sign 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken). The first 11 picks of the 2015 draft, which cannot be forfeited due to free-agency signings, will be as follows:

Check out the full column on ESPN Boston.
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September 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Staff Top 40 Rankings, 2014: Chris Hatfield


This week, members of the SoxProspects.com brass will be posting their end-of-season Top 40 rankings and answering some questions about their lists. We'll release our aggregate rankings on Friday as well, so don't worry if some of the player-specific questions don't make sense yet. They will. First up is Executive Editor Chris Hatfield.

The Rankings:
1. Blake Swihart, C
2. Henry Owens, LHP
3. Manuel Margot, OF
4. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
5. Rafael Devers, 3B
6. Brian Johnson, LHP
7. Michael Chavis, SS/3B
8. Matt Barnes, RHP
9. Trey Ball, LHP
10. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP

11. Garin Cecchini, 3B/OF
12. Michael Kopech, RHP
13. Deven Marrero, SS
14. Sean Coyle, 2B/3B
15. Wendell Rijo, 2B
16. Travis Shaw, 1B
17. Edwin Escobar, LHP
18. Sam Travis, 1B
19. Javier Guerra, SS
20. Nick Longhi, OF/1B
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September 24, 2014 at 7:00 AM

SoxProspects.com 2014 season-end award winners


The 2014 Red Sox minor league season went quite a bit better than things over in Boston. Posting a collective .546 minor league winning percentage that saw two affiliates take home championship titles, the organization was flush with impressive performances from its wide-spread base of talent. The awards below represent the SoxProspects community's picks for the best performers in eight different categories.

Offensive Player of the Year and Graduate of the Year: Mookie Betts

For the second straight season, Betts took home the honors for the SoxProspects Offensive Player of the Year. While 2013 saw him burst onto the scene as a legitimate prospect (he ended the season at No. 10 on the SoxProspects rankings after not cracking the top 50 at the beginning of the season), it was his 2014 performance that cemented him as a top-notch MLB prospect. The Sox aggressively started the 21-year-old at AA Portland in 2014, where he only went on to slash .355/.443/.551, good for the best OBP and OPS (.994) in the Eastern League. His otherworldly showing led to an early-June promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he maintained his excellence, hitting .335/.417/.503 in 211 plate appearances. With two call-ups to the major league squad sprinkled in between, Betts managed to rank in the top five in the International League in batting average, OBP, and OPS. Also worth mentioning is that Betts never stopped ripping the cover off the ball despite taking on the challenge of learning to play the outfield for the first time in his professional career.

Betts endeared himself so much to fans with his stellar performance that the SoxProspects community also ticketed him as the system's Graduate of the Year who will go on to have the best career. Betts graduated on September 12, and as of September 22 is slashing a healthy .285/.362/.439 with the Red Sox. Particularly notable about Betts' selection is his trumping of Xander Bogaerts - Betts received 22 votes, 9 for Xander - who just earlier this year was the consensus No. 2 prospect in all of MLB, although Bogaerts's long mid-season slump likely influenced the voting. Moving forward, Mookie could be set to helm the leadoff spot for Boston in 2015 while playing the outfield, although he also serves as an extremely valuable trade chip.
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September 22, 2014 at 9:35 PM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #64: Playing Out the Stretch


Things are bad in Boston and the minor league season is over, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about! Chris and Ian got on the horn to take your emails, talk about the recently released Fall Instructional League roster, and project who the Red Sox might protect in December's Rule 5 draft.

Click through for links and in-site player.

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at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Prospects flock to Boston


This week's minor league notes:

  • As the Red Sox play out the rest of the season, fans are getting a good look at some of the young players in the system. Arguably the most interesting player is Rusney Castillo (pictured), who made his major league debut on September 17. Castillo has gone 4 for 16 over his first four games, showing off his good speed and strong defense in center field. 
  • SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel talked to Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles about Castillo's exciting potential. Boles had good things to say about Castillo's swing and athleticism, but admitted that he is still getting to know the center fielder and they are still in the evaluation stage. That evaluation stage will continue this fall, as Castillo will be participating in the Arizona Fall League and Puerto Rican Winter League. 
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at 9:00 AM

2014 SoxProspects.com All-Stars


The 2014 season has been eventful one in the Red Sox organization. Five of the seven minor league affiliates qualified for the postseason, with two teams, Triple-A Pawtucket and the Rookie level Gulf Coast League team, winning their respective league championships. The SoxProspects.com community has voted on the annual year-end All-Stars for the 2014 season.

Catcher: Blake Swihart
The new top overall prospect in the organization also is a first-time selection as a SoxProspects.com All-Star. The 22-year-old Swihart, a first-round pick in the 2011 draft, had a standout season. He hit .300/.353/.487 with 23 doubles and 12 home runs in 92 games with Double-A Portland, earning a promotion to Pawtucket on August 4. Swihart's offensive production tailed off some against the tougher competition, with a .261/.282/.377, but the Portland Sea Dogs 2014 MVP still set career highs in games played (110), hits (122), home runs (13) and slugging percentage (.469). 

First Base: Travis Shaw
After an up-and-down season with Portland in 2013, Shaw returned to Double-A and attacked Eastern League pitchers with a vengeance. In 177 at-bats, he hit .305/.406/.548 and blasted 11 home runs - a pace of one every 16 at-bats. The Red Sox showed mercy on Portland's opponents an promoted Shaw to Pawtucket in late May. He continued to impress there, hitting .262/.321/.431. With 21 home runs across two levels, the 2011 ninth-round pick led all Boston minor league players.
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September 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM

2014 Fall Instructional League rosters and schedule


The 2014 Fall Instructional League kicked off on Tuesday against the Orioles at JetBlue Park. The 46-player roster includes three of the top ten prospects in the Red Sox system. 2014 first-round pick Michael Chavis (ranked #8 on SoxProspects.com) joins outfielder Manuel Margot (5th) and Rafael Devers (3rd) in Fort Myers. The league is used to develop players in the low minors and includes both classroom training and on-field workouts. The games are frequently open to the public, though the game start times are not necessarily entirely accurate. 

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September 17, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: PawSox fall late in Gildan Championship Game


9/17 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox looked to cap off their outstanding season with a victory in the Gildan Triple-A Championship Game on Tuesday. Unfortunately, they were unable to pull out a win, dropping a close contest.

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Pawtucket was looking to deny Omaha back-to-back Triple-A Championships, sending Edwin Escobar to the mound. The left-hander hurled five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out six in a no decision. Escobar's night was shortened due to an hour and 46 minute rain delay that started in the bottom of the fifth. Dalier Hinojosa added an inning of scoreless relief following Escobar. Miguel Celestino suffered the loss, having a tough inning out of the bullpen, allowing two runs on three hits. Jose Valdez pitched the final two innings without allowing a base runner. 
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September 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The Write-Up: Rusney Castillo


In this edition of The Write-Up, Chaz Fiorino gives his initial thoughts on new Red Sox signee Rusney Castillo.

Player: Rusney Castillo
Team: Pawtucket Red Sox
Bats/Throws: R/R
DOB: 09/07/1987 (Age 27)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 205

Scout: Chaz Fiorino
Dates Scouted: 9/9/14 – 9/10/14
Stat line: 2 for 8, 2K, 1 BB, 1CS, 0 XBH

Physical Description: Short, strong, lean, athletic build. Maxed out physically. According to Baseball America, he has put on 20 pounds of muscle since defecting from Cuba.

Hitting Mechanics: Square stance, stands upright, feet shoulder-width apart. Hands in good position to hit. Bat points straight up, perpendicular to the ground. He loads by lifting his front heel off the ground with his toes pointing down, generating power and torque in his lower half. Uses a short stride. Line-drive swing with slight uphill plane. Length in swing. Solid bat control.

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September 14, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Couch leads PawSox to Series win


9/14 Cup of Coffee: Behind a dominant Keith Couch the PawSox took home their second Governors' Cup in three years.

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Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Durham Bulls (TB) 1
After splitting the first two games of the series in Pawtucket, the PawSox took two out of three from the Bulls in Durham.

Couch and Miguel Celestino combined for the three-hit masterpiece to take home the hardware. Couch fired 6 2/3 innings of one-hit baseball, walking two and striking out four. Celestino closed out the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on a solo shot in the top half of the ninth.
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September 12, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Cup of Coffee: Owens struggles, pushing PawSox to the brink


9/12 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox hit the road, and fell to a 4-3 decision for the second straight night. The loss puts the team in a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-five Governor's Cup.

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After splitting two games at McCoy Stadium, the International League championship moved to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It was the third straight one-run game of the series, with Pawtucket coming up on the wrong end of the last two and now finding itself on the brink of elimination. Left-hander Henry Owens got the start, his second of the postseason. Owens pitched around three walks in the first two innings, but the Bulls caught up to him in the third, using a pair of doubles to mount a three-run inning. Durham would not relinquish its advantage. Overall, Owens lasted four innings, allowing three runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out five.

Pawtucket actually struck for the first two runs of the contest. Ryan Lavarnway doubled in the second inning and came home on a Corey Brown base hit, giving the team a 1-0 lead. The PawSox tacked on a second run in the third as Deven Marrero and Justin Henry delivered back-to-back singles, with Marrero coming in from third when Ivan DeJesus grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
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September 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket drops game two in extras


9/11 Cup of Coffee: Leading the Governor's Cup 1-0, the PawSox sent Brian Johnson to the mound in hopes of taking a commanding 2-0 advantage. 

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Johnson, making his Triple-A debut, was solid in a no decision. The left-hander hurled six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, punching out seven. Miguel Celestino followed Johnson, tossing two scoreless innings of relief, striking out three. Heath Hembree was charged with a blown save, as he allowed the game's tying run in the ninth inning. John Ely took the loss and left the game with an injury, allowing an unearned run on three walks in his 1 1/3 innings of relief. 
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September 10, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket takes game one of Governor's Cup


9/10 Cup of Coffee: As the last affiliate in action, Pawtucket kicked off the International League Finals on Tuesday night in front of their home crowd. 

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Edwin Escobar continued to pitch well as he tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five to pick up the victory in game one of the Governor's Cup. Heath Hembree pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, collecting the save despite allowing a walk and two hits. 
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at 6:42 AM

Rusney Castillo flashes exciting potential in Triple-A debut


PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Highly-touted Cuban signee Rusney Castillo has been slowly working his way back into form while making his way up Boston’s minor league ranks, and Tuesday evening marked a significant step for the outfielder. Though the results were mixed, the player and his manager were both more focused on the process than the results and were happy with Castillo’s Triple-A debut in Game One the Pawtucket Red Sox's Governors' Cup Finals series against the Durham Bulls, which the PawSox won, 3-2.

Castillo finished the night 1 for 4, with the hit coming on a rocket to the third baseman's right that he was able to knock down, but had no play. In his other three at-bats, he struck out twice on fastballs, once looking and once swinging, and flied out to right in his final plate appearance of the evening.

"[Castillo has] plus hands speed through the zone. He expanded the zone a couple times, but had the well-hit ball to third base," Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. "That ball got down the line, it was on him really quick. But he's an athlete, you can tell. There's no doubt about it. He's a fast-twitch body. There's a lot to be interested about there."
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September 8, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Barnes promoted to Boston


The Red Sox announced earlier this afternoon that the team had called up right-hander Matt Barnes from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room on the 40-man roster for Barnes, the team placed outfielder Shane Victorino on the 60-day disabled list. 

Barnes, who was scheduled to pitch game two of the International League Finals for Pawtucket against Durham on Wednesday, will pitch out of the bullpen for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old right-hander needed to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason, so the move is aimed at giving Barnes major league exposure this season. 
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at 3:00 PM

The Write-Up: Matt Barnes


In this edition of The Write-Up, Chaz Fiorino provides a detailed scouting look at SoxProspects #11 prospect Matt Barnes.
 
Pitcher: Matt Barnes
Team: Pawtucket (AAA)
Throws: R
DOB: 06/17/1990 (Age 24)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 205

Scout: Chaz Fiorino
Date Scouted: 08/30/14
Stat line: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 102-73 Pitches-Strikes. 15/28 first-pitch strikes. 16 swing-and-misses.



Physical Description: Athletic, strong, durable frame. Long legs, high waist. Not much room for physical growth.

Arm/Delivery Mechanics: – Three-quarters arm slot. Worked from middle of the rubber. Hands set at the belt. Brought hands to chest with first move towards the plate. Long arm action in back with a slight wrist turn. Great balance over the rubber on back leg. High leg kick with average extension towards the plate. Stayed on line consistently and pitched downhill.

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at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Playoff baseball begins for affiliates, Castillo continues ascent


Here are this week's minor league notes: 

  • Rusney Castillo continued his march towards Boston as he made an impact for the Portland Sea Dogs this week. Castillo has gone 4 for 11 with two RBI and three runs scored in three games in Double-A. Sea Dogs broadcaster Mike Antonellis gives his take so far on Castillo in this video with NESN.  
  • Castillo is expected to join Pawtucket in time for the start of the Governor's Cup Finals against Durham on Tuesday, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com. 
  • Browne also reports that left-hander Henry Owens, is not expected to see major league action this season. 

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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Portland's season comes to an end


A great season for the Sea Dogs came to an end yesterday, as they lost the decisive fifth game of the series. It was a season to remember for Portland, as they saw an enormous amount of talent come through Hadlock Field. From Mookie BettsBlake Swihart, and Rusney Castillo (pictured) to Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, and Eduardo Rodriguez, fans had the chance to watch a top prospect play almost every night. With the loss, Pawtucket is the only affiliate still alive in the playoffs.

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A six-run fourth inning doomed the Sea Dogs, as the Mets advanced to the finals. Luis Diaz was not sharp, allowing seven runs on eight hits in only 3 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out two. He gave up five runs in the fourth inning, and he was relieved by Dayan Diaz who surrendered another run. Robby Scott did end his year on a high note, shutting down the Mets over 2 2/3 innings, allowing only one hit.  
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September 7, 2014 at 10:45 PM

SoxProspects.com Podcast #63: Just Sayin' Hi


It took a bit, but the good news is that SoxProspects South is fully operational and the podcast is back! Matt relays his observations from Pawtucket, and Chris brings some goodies from catching Salem in Frederick. Then we finally get to a couple of your emails, answering questions about Jackie Bradley, Deven Marrero, Rafael Devers, and Michael Chavis.

Click through for links and in-site player.
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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Portland falls, forces Game Five


9/6 Cup of Coffee: Portland was the only affiliate in action on Saturday. They lost a laugher as the Binghamton Mets forced a winner-takes-all game five.

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Mike Augliera pitched well through four, allowing just one run, but in the fifth, he came unravelled and failed to retire a batter. In all, Augliera was charged with four runs on eight hits and a walk in four innings pitched. Mike McCarthy didnt fare much better in relief allowing four runs on two hits and three walks in only and inning. Pete Ruiz gave up three runs in an innings before giving way to Madison Younginer who went three innings and allowed only one hit.

David Chester and Carson Blair both launched home runs to drive the offense. Blair hit a solo shot in the fourth and Chester hit a two-run shot in eighth inning. Heiker Meneses had two hits as Portland could only manage a total of six off of Binghamton pitching. Sean Coyle went 1 for 2 before being taken out of the game in favor of Ryan Dent. Rusney Castillo went 0 for 3 from the top spot in the line up.

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Player of the Night: With only one game being played, there was little to choose from, but Madison Younginer's performance stands out. The 23-year-old shut down the Binghamton offense over three innings of relief. Younginer spent 2014 with Salem in a relief role and compiled a 3-3 record with a 4.08 ERA in 5 1/3 innings pitched.

Photo Credit: Madison Younginer by Kelly O'Connor
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September 6, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: PawSox advance to International League finals


9/6 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket completed their sweep of the Chiefs to advance to the International League finals. Portland moved within one game of winning their series, while Salem's season ended in a shutout

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Henry Owens was less than sparkling as he allowed five runs on eight hits in only four innings pitched. Owens walked three and struck out six but walked away without factoring into the decision. Dalier Hinojosa took home the win thanks to 2 innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out two as well. Jose Valdez tossed a scoreless 1 2/3 to bridge the gap to Heath Hembree, who shut the Chiefs down with 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the save.
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September 5, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cecchini and Barnes lead PawSox to 2-0 series edge


9/5 Cup of Coffee: For the second consecutive evening, the Red Sox affiliates took two of their three playoff matchups. A command performance by Matt Barnes backed by a four-hit night from Garin Cecchini gave Pawtucket a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five series. Portland pulled even in its series, using a dominant start from Justin Haley and four home runs. Salem took the only loss on the night, forcing a decisive game three on Friday.

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After taking a 1-0 series lead on Wednesday, the PawSox got off to a fast start on Thursday. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off the first inning with a base hit, moving to second on a Justin Henry walk. Travis Shaw doubled home Bradley for the game's first run. and Henry raced home on a Ryan Lavarnway ground out. Garin Cecchini ripped a single to left to score Shaw, and Pawtucket never looked back.


The three runs in the first were plenty of support for Matt Barnes. The 2011 first-round pick out of UConn continued his late season dominance scattering three hits over seven shutout innings, striking out six without issuing a walk. Over one stretch Barnes retired 13 consecutive Chiefs batters. His strong start was in line with a resurgent second half, as Barnes had a 2.38 ERA and 0.868 WHIP in his last eight starts.
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September 4, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Edwin Escobar impresses with dazzling playoff performance


PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- It hasn’t been an easy season for Edwin Escobar. After being ranked a Top 100 prospect this offseason, he has dealt with a down year statistically at Triple-A and a trade that sent him across the country. But in the most important minor league game he has pitched this year, the left-hander came through with flying colors. Taking the hill for Game 1 of Pawtucket’s International League semifinal series, Escobar tossed a shutout through eight innings Wednesday evening.

“Escobar was phenomenal,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said after the outing. “He was terrific. It looked like he dialed it up when he got ahead in the count, but I thought he utilized a mix. I thought the tempo with him and [catcher Blake] Swihart was terrific tonight. It looked like he had life to his fastball, had a late jump to it, feel for a changeup, and we saw a sharper breaking ball tonight.”

With a 4.94 combined ERA for Pawtucket and Fresno of the Pacific Coast League entering the game, the performance certainly represented a positive step in the development of the 22-year-old recently acquired by the Red Sox in the trade that sent Jake Peavy to San Francisco.
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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Extra inning victories kick off playoff action


9/4 Cup of Coffee: Late inning drama was the name of the game Wednesday as both Pawtucket and Salem secured extra inning victories in game one of their respective series. Portland was unable to hold a lead as they dropped game one of their series. The DSL season came to a close as the Red Sox fell once again. 

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Edwin Escobar was outstanding on the hill, hurling 8 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out seven. Escobar was given a 1-0 lead in the sixth when Travis Shaw blasted a lead-off solo home run. That lead held up until the ninth, when Escobar quickly retired the first two batters, but allowed a game tying home run thereafter.

The game moved to extra innings where Pawtucket made noise in the 10th. Bryce Brentz led off the inning with a double. Brentz moved to third on a wild pitch and saw Shaw and Ryan Lavarnway both walk to load the bases. Garin Cecchini played hero, lacing a single up the middle to bring home the game's winning run. Heath Hembree secured the victory for tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The PawSox were just 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position, leaving 13 men on base. Alex Hassan left the game after being hit in the arm with a pitch. Blake Swihart was 3 for 4 with three singles in the victory. 
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September 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM

The Write-Up: Brandon Workman


In this edition of The Write-Up, Chaz Fiorino provides a detailed scouting look at Brandon Workman.

Pitcher: Brandon Workman
Team: Pawtucket (AAA)
Throws: R
DOB: 08/13/1988 (Age 26)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 225

Scout: Chaz Fiorino
Date Scouted: 08/29/14
Stat line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 108-68 Pitches-Strikes. 14/25 first pitch strikes. 8 swing-and-misses.

Physical Description: Tall, strong-framed, mature body. Filled out throughout. Maxed out physically.

Arm/Delivery Mechanics: High three-quarters to overhand arm slot. No windup, stands square to the plate on rubber. Hands set at the belt. Slight bounce in step with back leg as he pivots in front of rubber in delivery. Brings arms up to head level with high leg kick. Short arm action in back. Definite effort in delivery but was able to stay online and repeat throughout.

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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL Sox drop two in Championship Series


9/3 Cup of Coffee: With the regular season over and playoff action for full season affiliates forthcoming, the DSL Red Sox were the only team in action on Tuesday, dropping two games in the DSL Championship Series. 

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In the continuation of yesterday's suspended game, the Red Sox failed to make a dent in their deficit, as they fell 8-1 in game two of the best-of-five series. Jervis Torrealba took the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. Darwinzon Hernandez allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings of relief. The lone run of the contest for the Red Sox came on a wild pitch in the seventh, allowing Luis Alejandro Basabe to scamper home. The Red Sox were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base. 
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September 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

August Players of the Month: Manuel Margot and Brian Johnson


Two of the system's top prospects saved their best for the last full month of the season, as Manuel Margot (pictured, left) and Brian Johnson (pictured, bottom right) ran away with the SoxProspects.com Player of the Month and Pitcher of the Month awards, respectively, for the month of August.  

Margot has been on our radar since we first got eyes on him back in 2012 at Fall Instructs, and while he has produced all year, he took his game to another level in August. He hit .396/.432/.634 in 101 at-bats last month, slugging 14 extra-base hits, including four home runs, and he stole 10 bases. He was promoted from Greenville to Salem on August 15, and did not miss a beat when he joined his new team. The 19-year-old has become the best outfield prospect the Red Sox have in the minor leagues, showing a combination of tools and production that are almost unmatched in the system. 
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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: GCL Red Sox win league championship


9/2 Cup of Coffee: Firing on all cylinders, the Red Sox affiliate won the Gulf Coast League championship on Monday, securing its first title since 2006. Several other affiliates had their final regular season contests. Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem all fell in their last tuneup before postseason play begins, while Greenville failed to hold a late lead in its finale. Lowell dropped a back-and-forth matchup as its ninth-inning rally fell short. Game 2 of the Dominican Summer League Finals was suspended in the eighth with the DSL Red Sox trailing.

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It was a decisive victory for the Red Sox, who were crowned Gulf Coast League champions for the second time. First-round draft choice Michael Chavis was at the center of the offensive attack. He kicked the scoring off early, driving in a run on a force out in the top of the first inning. Chavis then capped off the blowout with a two-run eighth-inning home run, putting the game safely out of reach.

In between, Javier Guerra (pictured) led off the four-run fifth inning with a solo home run, his second of the postseason. Luis Alexander Basabe had a monster game getting on base four times. The Venezuelan outfielder who celebrated his 18th birthday last week went 2 for 3 with a double, two runs scored, and two walks. Victor Acosta, Trenton Kemp, and Devon Fisher chipped in with two hits apiece. The only starter not to have a hit was recently-signed free agent Rusney Castillo. The $72 million signee was 0 for 3, but worked a bases loaded walk in the second inning that scored Basabe with the game's second run.
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September 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Weekly Notes: Red Sox win GCL title, Castillo debuts


Here are this week's minor league notes: 

  • The GCL Red Sox took home the Gulf Coast League title Monday with an 8-1 victory over the GCL Yankees 1. Michael Chavis, the Red Sox first round pick in the June draft, and Javier Guerra hit one home run each in the game. It was Chavis' first of the season and Guerra's second. Chavis went 1 for 5 in the game with three RBI.  
  • Rusney Castillo made his debut within the Red Sox organization Sunday in the Gulf Coast League final. He went 1 for 2 in the game and was caught stealing. Tim Britton of The Providence Journal recorded a video of his first professional at-bat, which was a single. 
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at 12:44 PM

ESPN Boston: Farm clubs faring well


Check out our Monthly Notes column on ESPN Boston.
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at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rusney Castillo debuts, PawSox clinch wild card


9/1 Cup of Coffee: It was one of the busier days of the year, with playoff games, professional debuts, and strong performances across the board. Rusney Castillo went 1 for 2 in his first contest, though the GCL Red Sox fell in the second game of the finals, the PawSox clinched the wild card, and the DSL Red Sox won the first game of the championship series. Henry Owens and Simon Mercedes (pictured) each tallied nine strikeouts, while Eduardo Rodriguez continued his dominance. 

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The PawSox are heading to the playoffs, as their win yesterday clinched the wild card. Henry Owens earned the victory, striking out nine over six innings of four-run ball. Dalier Hinojosa added a scoreless inning, and Drake Britton pitched two scoreless innings to end it.
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