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SoxProspects News

August 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Greenville lineup turning heads

Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • On episode 83 of the SoxProspects Podcast, SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield sat down with a pair of Greenville Drive players during his recent trip to scout the team. Michael Chavis discussed the pressures of being a first-round pick, which he was in 2014, while Nick Longhi reflected on what it's like to grow up a Red Sox fan and then get drafted by the Sox.
  • SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall gave an in-depth breakdown of the recently red-hot Yoan Moncada (pictured) in his latest Scouting Scratch. Cundall noted that Moncada is now showing the tools that prompted the Red Sox to give him a huge signing bonus after a slow start. Moncada has been tearing it up in 43 games since the Single-A All-Star Break, hitting .341/.432/.551 with six home runs, 23 RBI and 36 steals.
  • With the sudden departure of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and the hiring of new President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe theorized how Dombrowski might evaluate the Red Sox farm system and handle the team's young talent.
  • Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com also speculated as to whether Dombrowski might trade away some of Boston's top prospects.
  • Dombrowski revealed during an interview on MLB Network's The Rundown that he tried to trade for Jackie Bradley Jr. this past winter while he was still the general manager of the Tigers. Christopher Smith of MassLive.com wrote why that's good news for Bradley.
  • Speier also wrote a fascinating retrospective for the Globe on six members of the 2011 Red Sox draft class who were all on Boston's roster together for the first time on Aug. 16. He broke down the last-minute negotiations to sign Mookie Betts, Henry Owens, Blake Swihart, Travis Shaw, Jackie Bradley and Matt Barnes with the players, scouts, agents and baseball executives who made the signings happen.
  • While MLB Network was breaking down the Dave Dombrowski news, Peter Gammons called the Greenville Drive the "best prospect team" in baseball. His comments from the broadcast were posted on MiLB.com
  • It wasn't just Gammons heaping praise on the Drive this week, as Baseball America called Greenville's lineup the best in the minor leagues. A video accompanying the article highlights Yoan Moncada, Michael Chavis, Rafael Devers, Javier Guerra, and the recently promoted Andrew Benintendi. Baseball America's J.J. Cooper also spoke at length with Greenville manager Darren Fenster about his team's powerful lineup.
  • Alex Kraft of MiLB.com also spoke with Fenster about Andrew Benintendi's first week with Greenville. Fenster noted the "advanced approach" of Boston's top 2015 draft pick.
  • SoxProspects young graduate Matt Barnes was sent back to Pawtucket after his second major league start to make room for the returning Rick Porcello. Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com said Barnes can learn valuable lessons from his mistakes he has made in his short time in the majors.
  • With Travis Shaw on a tear with Boston, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal wondered if the first baseman, ranked 14th by SoxProspects.com, is for real. Britton noted Shaw seems right at home at Fenway Park with all six of his home runs coming at home.
  • Britton also spoke with former Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper, who was recently promoted to be Boston's bullpen coach. Kipper was likely promoted to help ease the transition of the wealth of recently promoted pitchers he coached this season.
Players of the Week 8/17-8/23

5 G, 25 PA, 7 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, SB, 5 BB, 2 K, .368/.480/.684

In his first full week with Low-A Greenville, Boston's top overall pick in 2015 draft and the Golden Spikes Award winner has continued the torrid start to his professional career. It is the second week in a row Benintendi (pictured) was named Player of the Week on SoxProspects.com after wrapping up his time with Lowell with a bang. Benintendi has fit right in with an already dangerous Greenville lineup, as evidenced by his 1.164 OPS in his first five games. He made a splash in just his second game, going 3 for 4 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored.

Season Stats: 40 G, 178 PA, 2 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 24 R, 21 RBI, 8 SB, 30 BB, 17 K, .301/.418/.559

2 G, 2-0, 14.0 IP, 1 ER, 1R, 6 H, 2 BB, 11 K

After getting off to a rough start after his promotion to Double-A, Aaron Wilkerson had a pair of dominant starts this week. An undrafted free agent signed from the independent American Association by the Red Sox last year, Wilkerson has passed every test so far. The 26-year-old righty from Forth Worth was promoted from Greenville to Salem after five games. After posting a 2.96 ERA in 17 games (12 starts) with Salem, Wilkerson was promoted to Portland in early August. He had back-to-back rough outings against Erie, but has apparently righted the ship this week. Wilkerson had not pitched into the seventh inning all year, but did it it two straight starts this week.

Season Stats: 26 G, 17 GS, 9-3, 120.2 IP, 3.36 ERA, 45 ER, 96 H, 32 BB, 123 K

Photo Credits: Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi by Kelly O'Connor