SoxProspects News

July 8, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kopech dazzles in Salem debut, Moncada rakes again


7/8 Cup of Coffee: After a couple false alarms, Michael Kopech (pictured) finally made his debut for High-A Salem. The fireballing righty did not disappoint with a rare feat in the fourth inning. The bullpen could not support Kopech, however, as Salem fell. Portland and Greenville both exploded for 11 runs with Yoan Moncada sparking the Sea Dogs and Luis Alexander Basabe and Kyri Washington providing the fireworks for the Drive. A two-hour rain delay didn't slow the PawSox down, riding a big night at the plate from Chris Marrero.

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A two-hour, first-inning rain delay threw a wrench in Pawtucket's pitching plans, but the offense picked the team right up when the field dried. Chris Marrero had a huge night at the plate, going 4 for 5 with a two-run home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Jose Vinicio added three hits and Chris Dominguez drove in three on a 2-for-4 night. Pawtucket pitchers held Durham hitless through 7 2/3 innings. Kyle Martin was credited with the win, pitching 3 1/3 innings of hitless relief when the game resumed. He struck out six and walked two. Pawtucket pitching combined for 16 strikeouts.
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Just about everything went right on both sides of the ball for Portland, including a huge eight-run fifth inning and a complete-game shutout from starter Keith Couch. It was the second complete-game win for Couch in as many tries, scattering seven hits - including only one extra-base hit - while striking out six and walking none. Yoan Moncada continued to tear the cover off the ball with another big night, going 3 for 5 with a monster three-run home run and a stolen base. Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America captured Moncada's estimated 420-foot moonshot to dead center on Twitter. Mauricio Dubon, Aneury Tavarez, and Jake Romanski each drove in two runs.

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Michael Kopech finally took the hill for Salem, and the fifth-ranked prospect lit up the radar guns. The 20-year-old righty consistently sat in the high 90's with his fastball touching 100 mph multiple times and finished the night with a 101 mph fastball, according to multiple reports. Perhaps most impressive, Kopech hurled an "immaculate inning" to finish his outing, striking out all three batters on three pitches each. He threw 60 pitches in four innings of work, striking out six total, walking three and giving up just one hit. Yankory Pimentel suffered the loss in relief, giving up four runs (three earned) in 2 1/3 innings of work, walking four and striking out five. Joseph Monge went 2 for 4 with an RBI double and a stolen base.

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The Drive ran all over the Legends on Thursday, hammering out a dozen hits, walking 10 times as a team and racking up seven stolen bases. Luis Alexander Basabe was the main culprit of those thefts, swiping four bases. He reached base four times, going 2 for 3 with two runs, two walks, and an RBI. Kyri Washington went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. Josh Ockimey clubbed his 12th homer of the season and Austin Rei socked his third round-tripper of the season. Eight of the nine Drive starters had at least one RBI. Roniel Raudes only lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits and two wild pitches, but he did strike out seven and did not allow a walk. Adam Lau was credited with the win with 2 1/3 perfect innings of relief to close out the game.

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It was a tough night for the GCL Sox as five different pitchers got roughed up by the Orioles. Angel Padron was charged with the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief. The pitching staff did tally 13 strikeouts, but it also surrendered 16 hits and nine walks. Marino Campana provided the Red Sox's only run, hitting a solo blast in the second inning.

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Three Red Sox pitchers dominated the Athletics in a combined shutout. Ritzi Mendoza was solid over five scoreless innings, scattering four hits, striking out five and walking none. Oddanier Mosqueda picked up the win with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out three. The Red Sox could not take advantage of five errors by the Athletics and left 10 men on base. They finally broke through in the seventh, however, with a two-run double by Kervin Suarez.

The second DSL squad used a dramatic five-run ninth inning to pick up the win. After pinch runner Reinaldo Ugueto scored the go-ahead run on an Astros error, Angel Hernandez put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing triple. Bryan Mata lasted four innings, giving up one run on six hits while striking out five and walking two. Roberto Medina picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief.

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Player of the Night: There was an embarrassment of riches to choose from throughout the Red Sox system, but Michael Kopech's exclamation point of a return from injury puts him over the top for Player of the Night. Several reporters were on hand, tweeting that the 2014 first-round draft pick was consistently touching triple-digits on his fastball. He also reportedly complemented his heat with a changeup that ranged from 90-92 mph. After the game, Kopech tweeted that his immaculate inning gave him a "surreal feeling," but that he "still [has] work to do."

Photo Credit: Michael Kopech by Kelly O'Connor

 
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