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SoxProspects News

August 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Owens makes major league debut

This week's minor league notes:

  • The SoxProspects.com scouting staff got to take in a lot of games in July, and they started churning out reports last week. Director of Scouting Ian Cundall wrote up a report on Rafael Devers (pictured, right), the system's current top prospect. Devers was impressive both at the plate and in the field, and Cundall did not rule out a promotion to Salem this season for Devers. The 18-year-old is currently batting .282 with 10 home runs for Greenville. 
  • While the arms in Greenville are not quite as strong as the bats, Cundall went in-depth on some of the more interesting pitchers on the team, including Ben Taylor, who looks like he could be a steal from the 2015 draft. Other players covered in the two-part series (Part One, Part Two) include Reid Reilly, Carlos Pinales, Jalen Beeks, Jamie Callahan, and more. 
  • Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino was busy as well, and his most recent edition of The Write-Up focused on the Lowell Spinners. Fiorino had many positive things to say about Andrew Benintendi and Luis Alexander Basabe, while Austin Rei failed to impress in the four-game look. 
  • Basabe, Anderson Espinoza, and Marco Hernandez made big jumps in the new August rankings, and on episode 82 of the SoxProspects.com Podcast, Chris, Matt, and Ian discussed those moves as well as Rafael Devers leapfrogging Yoan Moncada to take the top spot that was vacated by Eduardo Rodriguez. The podcast also includes Chris' interview with Teddy Stankiewicz, who is currently ranked as the 20th best prospect in the system. 

  • After dominating the International League and winning the SoxProspects.com July Pitcher of the Month Award, the Red Sox called up Henry Owens to make his major league debut at Yankee Stadium on August 4, and he struck out five over five innings, but picked up the loss as he allowed three earned runs. He got his first win yesterday while opposing Justin Verlander and the Tigers, allowing one run on three hits over five innings. He did walk four however, and he will need to work on his command and control in order to work deeper into outings. 
  • While one left-hander hit a career milestone, another one had a very troubling week, as Brian Johnson went on the disabled list with soreness in his left elbow. General Manager Ben Cherington offered some encouraging news about the injury, stating that there was nothing structurally wrong with the elbow and that it can be treated conservatively. With less than two months left in the season, it would not be surprising if Johnson did not pitch again until 2016. 
  • Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wrote how the Red Sox are hoping for more from their prospects, with Owens in particular being crucial to the team's future. A year after the likes of Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Anthony Ranaudo failed to impress over the last two months of the season, the Red Sox are hoping Owens can assert himself as a potential starter for next year's team. 
  • Speier also analyzed if having the top ranked farm system, as the Red Sox do according to Keith Law of ESPN, translates to major league success. The data suggests the Red Sox will have better days ahead, but with the major league team struggling, it will be interesting to see how much of that talent is dealt this offseason to upgrade the major league squad.
  • Further down the system, Kevin Steen (pictured, right) was promoted to Lowell, after allowing only five earned runs in his 24 2/3 innings in the Gulf Coast League. Steen has had similar success in the New York-Penn League so far, striking out seven and allowing three earned runs in 11 innings.
  • The Spinners announced on Saturday that five players will be appearing in the All-Star Game, and manager Joe Oliver and the rest of the coaching staff will lead the team. Basabe, Josh Ockimey, Chad De La Guerra, Victor Acosta, and Edwar Garcia will play for the North team, and Staff Writer Katie Morrison provided some more background on those players. 
  • Long-time fans of this site will remember following Daniel Nava after he was signed for $1 from Chico of the Golden League. Nava won the California League batting title in his first full year in the system back in 2008, and he eventually became a key contributor to Boston's World Series title in 2013. Nava was designated for assignment on July 30, and the Tampa Bay Rays claimed him on August 5. 
  • The Red Sox added a few players last week, signing Austin Glorius to a minor league deal, acquiring Shawn Haviland from Colorado, and Carlos Rivero from Seattle, 
  • With Mike Napoli being traded to Texas, Boston recalled Deven Marrero from Pawtucket, and he got into the game on Saturday as a pinch runner for David Ortiz. Marrero's stay in Boston may not be very long, as Mookie Betts made a rehab appearance on Sunday as he works his way back from a concussion. Betts seems likely to be activated in the next day or two. 
Players of the Week 8/3-8/9

Yankory Pimentel, RHP, GCL Red Sox
2 G, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 11 K 

Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in October of 2011, Pimentel has shown a fastball that sits around 92-94 as well as a good slider that he can throw for strikes. That proved to be a big challenge for GCL hitters last week as he struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings. Pimentel's ERA is a minuscule 1.64 over 22 innings this season, with 28 strikeouts to only five walks. As a 21-year-old repeating the league this year, Pimentel is showing the Red Sox that he is too advanced for the league, and he will be an interesting arm to keep an eye on as he works his way through the lower minors. 

Season stats: 
12 G, 2-0, 22 IP, 1.64 ERA, 23 H, 5 BB, 28 K

Yoan Moncada, 2B, Greenville Drive 
5 G, 22 AB, 7 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 R, 6 RBI, 8 SB, 3 BB, 4 K, .318/.400/.545

While a few players had a better triple slash than Moncada (pictured, right) last week, his eight steals were what ultimately separated him from the rest of the pack. He was only caught stealing once and also added three extra-base hits, showcasing the power and speed combination that made him such a prized free agent. Since the All-Star break, Moncada is batting .340/.434/.542, with 29 stolen bases and 18 extra-base hits in only 37 games.

Season stats: 62 G, 234 AB, 67 H, 15 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 45 R, 31 RBI, 33 SB, 28 BB, 62 K, .286/.380/.444

Photo Credit: Rafael Devers, Kevin Steen, and Yoan Moncada by Kelly O’Connor