September 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Here are this week's minor league notes:
- SoxProspects.com put out a new podcast last Monday to discuss and recap the minor league season. They talked about each affiliate's season and the crew mentioned players from each team that stood out. The Padres' scandal involving their trade with Boston was also discussed, along with much more.
- The Fall Instructional League games got underway on Thursday down in Fort Myers, and SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was there to catch some of the action. Check out his Twitter feed for some notes on Jason Groome, Pablo Sandoval, new draft picks, and more.
- Catchers Alan Marrero and Alberto Schmidt were selected in the Puerto Rican League's draft and have been added to Criollos de Caguas' roster. Marrero is an 18-year-old who was taken by Boston in the eighth round this past June. He was just 5 for 54 with a home run this year in the GCL but is highly thought of as a defensive catcher. Schmidt was also selected in the 2016 draft, in the 16th round. He is also very solid defensively but was just 8 for 41 with three doubles for the GCL Sox this year.
- The Red Sox on currently on an 11-game winning streak and top prospect Yoan Moncada has not appeared once during the streak. He has struck out in nine consecutive plate appearances, and manager John Farrell has been using Marco Hernandez in pinch-running situations ever since Moncada forgot how many outs there were in Toronto. WEEI's Rob Bradford spoke to Moncada about his tough situation. On the bright side, Moncada is getting valuable experience being around a winning clubhouse in a pennant race.
- Another guy who spent a majority of the 2016 season in the minors and is now with the big club is Robby Scott. He has made some major contributions down the stretch and it looks like the left-handed reliever has a chance to make the postseason roster. Ian Cundall talked about Scott being a left-handed specialist out of the pen on the podcast, and that's exactly what he's been. Lefties are 2 for 10 so far off Scott with two singles, no walks, and three strikeouts. He has been Farrell's go-to man in a big spot with a lefty coming up. Overall, he has yet to allow a run in 5 1/3 innings.
- Nate Freiman and Cody Decker of the Portland Sea Dogs and Mike Meyers of the Salem Red Sox are playing for team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifier. Israel picked up a 9-1 victory over Great Britain to qualify for the WBC for the first time. Decker helped the cause with a solo home run, and former Red Sox farmhand Ryan Larvarnway also homered for Israel.
- Carlos Asuaje and Manuel Margot, two of the four prospects sent to the Padres for Craig Kimbrel, made their major league debuts together on Wednesday. Thus far, Asuaje is 2 for 13 and Margot is 4 for 13 with a double and a triple.
Players of the Month (August/September)
Dubon ended his fantastic season on a very high note. The combination of offense, defense, and baserunning earned him SoxProspects.com’s final Player of the Month award of 2016. For August and September, he batted .366/.392/.618 with 12 doubles, two triples, five home runs, and four stolen bases in 123 at-bats. He also struck out just 10 times in that span.
Dubon was named the SoxProspects.com’s Breakout Player of the Year award and the Red Sox named him Baserunner of the Year as part of their minor league awards. Dubon was solid in 2015, hitting .288/.349/.376 in 120 games for Greenville in Salem, but he took his game to another level in 2016, especially once he reached Double-A. He played exactly 62 games each for Salem and Portland and hit .306/.387/.379 with Salem and .339/.371/.538 with Portland. He traded walks for power with the Sea Dogs, perhaps trying to utilize the Maine Monster at Hadlock Field, as he increased his fly ball rate from 22.2% with Salem to 32.2% with Portland. The 22-year-old will look to continue his success in the Arizona Fall League, which begins on October 11.
Kopech started the year on the shelf due to a broken hand, but he finished the season strong. During August and September, he threw 29 2/3 innings and posted a 2.73 ERA. During that span, he also posted a ridiculous 50 strikeouts and allowed only 11 hits. His WHIP was 0.84 and batters hit .115 against him.
For the season in Salem, the flame-throwing right-hander had a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings. He gave up just 25 hits and one home run all year and posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 82-29. Like Dubon, Kopech will also rack up some more innings in the Arizona Fall League.
Photo Credit: Jason Groome by Bill Parmeter and Mauricio Dubon by Kelly O'Connor