The Eastern League has announced the rosters for the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game and a pair of Red Sox prospects were selected. Left-handed reliever Williams Jerez (pictured), who ranks 25th on SoxProspects.com, and catcher Jake Romanski, who ranks 46th, will represent the Sea Dogs.
Jerez was originally drafted as an outfielder in the second round of the 2011 draft, but converted to the mound in 2014. Since then, Jerez has moved quickly through the Red Sox organization, as he started last season in Greenville and finished in Portland. The 24-year-old Jerez remained in Portland to begin this season and has performed well, featuring a 3.72 ERA with 7.91 K/9 and 3.49 BB/9. Jerez is obviously still raw and new to pitching, but he features a potential plus fastball that sits in the low-90s and has good feel for a slider.
6/30 Cup of Coffee: It was a quiet night offensively for the affiliates, as they went 3-5 in a number of close contests. In Pawtucket, Rusney Castillo led the way, while Andrew Benintendi hit his fourth Double-A home run in Portland's loss. Pitching propelled the DSL squads to victories while Salem, Lowell, Greenville and the GCL squad all suffered defeats.
Despite out-hitting Rochester, 12-3, Pawtucket narrowly claimed victory. Roenis Elias improved to 5-3, going six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out three. Chandler Shepherd picked up his first Triple-A save, striking out three over three scoreless innings.
Rusney Castillo's (pictured, right) two-run home run in the second gave Pawtucket a 2-0 advantage. Rochester battled back with runs in the third and fifth to tie the game. In the sixth, Chris Dominguez brought home the game's winning run on an RBI single. Castillo, Dominguez, and International League All-Star Chris Marrero each had two hits in the victory.
Two Pawtucket Red Sox who have joined the organization as minor league free agents in the past 12 months, first baseman/outfielder Chris Marrero (pictured) and right-handed pitcher Sean O’Sullivan, will represent the International League at the Triple-A All-Star game on July 13 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Marrero, who is cousins with the system's 17th-ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings, shortstop Deven Marrero, signed with the organization as a minor league free agent last August and re-upped during the offseason. He has been Pawtucket's best hitter this year, leading the club in hits, home runs, runs, and RBI. His slash line of .278/.334/.467 has him on pace for his best OPS season since 2011, when he was a prospect in the Washington Nationals system. Marrero was named SoxProspects.com Player of the Week in the first week of May, and 2016 marks his fourth selection to a minor league all-star team. He spent most of his career, from 2006-2013, in the Nationals organization, then had short stints with the Orioles and White Sox organizations before signing with the Red Sox. He has played in 39 career major league games--those coming in 2011 and 2013--notching 133 plate appearances and hitting .232/.256/.272.
LOWELL, Mass. – The Spinners’ opening week was a great chance to see several of the young, intriguing players in the system, many in their first taste of “real” professional baseball outside of the complex leagues (the GCL and DSL for the Sox). Last week, I posted reports on Michael Kopech’sstart on opening night, as well as notes on five more Lowell pitchers. Here are scouting notes and video of three other members of the Lowell pitching staff, all of whom touched at least 95 mph and showed improvement from looks during Spring Training this year and/or the Fall Instructional League last year.
- Starting the second game of the season, 19-year-old right-hander Josh Pennington was perfect for three innings, with six strikeouts, before running into trouble his second time through the order. Pennington, a 2014 29th-round pick, signed for only $90,000 after tearing his UCL just two games into his senior season, leading to Tommy John surgery immediately after he signed. He is undersized, listed at 6-foot-0, 185 pounds, but his body does have some projection as he matures and gets stronger. He is a solid athlete with a live, quick arm.
Pennington works from the third base side of the rubber and comes directly over the top. His delivery has some effort in it and his arm action is on the long side with a slight stab in back. He did a good job repeating his delivery from the windup in this outing, but struggled somewhat to do so when in the stretch.
6/29 Cup of Coffee: Hours after landing a spot in the MLB Future's Game with teammate Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi (pictured, left) turned in a huge game. Despite his efforts, Portland fell in a devastating walk-off loss. The walk-off magic worked in the other direction for Salem, as the Sox used last-minute heroics to sweep a doubleheader. Lowell got back to its winning ways, while a familiar phenom again shut down the PawSox.
When the PawSox faced Twins top pitching prospect Jose Berrios in April, they were held to two hits in seven innings. The righty's development appears to be progressing, as the PawSox managed only one hit in their second encounter on Tuesday night. Jantzen Witte spoiled the no-hit bid with a one-out double in the seventh inning. After an off-day on Monday, Brock Holt returned to the lineup as he continues to work his way back from a concussion. Holt played the full game at shortstop and was 0 for 3 with a walk.
Justin Haley was the unfortunate soul who matched up against Berrios. He took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings while striking out three and walking three. Robby Scott struck out three and allowed a hit in his two shutout innings, and Noe Ramirez followed with a scoreless ninth.
The rosters for the All-Star Futures Game have been announced and the two top prospects in the SoxProspects.com rankings made the cut. Top-ranked Yoan Moncadawill represent Team World and number two prospect Andrew Benintendi will represent Team USA.
After signing a $31,500,000 signing bonus with the Red Sox in March 2015, Moncada has excelled in his first full season in the organization. Moncada recently earned a promotion to Double-A Portland after a stellar first half in Salem, where he hit .307/.427/.496 with 36 stolen bases. Through his first five games with the Sea Dogs, Moncada has hit .333/.333/.500 with one home run. Moncada is an athletic second baseman with the potential to be a true five-tool player. The switch-hitting Moncada has the potential for plus hit and power tools, though he is more advanced from the left side. He has great speed and a strong arm, though his glove currently lags behind the rest of his game.
6/28 Cup of Coffee: The improbable rise of Aaron Wilkerson (pictured, left) continues, as the unheralded, undrafted product of the United Baseball League continues to befuddle the Triple-A competition. Greenville and the GCL Red Sox also got strong pitching performances in their victories. Lowell dropped its second straight after winning its first nine games, Portland fell in a rain-shortened contest, and both DSL squads prevailed in slugfests.
In July of 2014, the Red Sox signed an undrafted 25-year-old right-hander out of the American Association, seemingly to fill some needed innings on a shallow Lowell Spinners pitching staff. Less than two years later, Aaron Wilkerson is dominating Triple-A and appears at the cusp of getting a chance to eat innings on the shallow Boston Red Sox pitching staff. Wilkerson allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out eight without issuing a walk. He allowed two solo home runs, one to rehabbing slugger Miguel Sano (MIN). In 41 innings across eight Pawtucket appearances, Wilkerson now sports a 2.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 49 strikeouts, and 10 walks.
With all of that draft craziness out of the way, it's time to get back to the grind, and with promotions afoot and new seasons beginning, there was plenty for the guys to talk about. In the Top 4 Update, Yoan Moncada (and his friends Mauricio, Jalen, and Ben) got promoted, Andrew Benintendi is getting his footing, and Rafael Devers is finally coming out of his funk. Meanwhile, the Lowell and GCL seasons have started, and Ian sat on the Spinners' first five games, giving him plenty to report about the best pitching staff that team has had in recent memory. And of course, we read and answered your emails!
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The Red Sox have continued to shuffle their 25-man roster, selecting infielder Mike Miller (pictured)to the active roster from Pawtucket optioning right-handed pitcher William Cuevas. Miller will take the open spot on the 40-man roster vacated when Rusney Castillo was outrighted to Pawtucket last week.
Miller was drafted in the ninth round of the 2012 draft out of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, receiving a $5,000 signing bonus as a "senior sign." In 52 minor league games this season (46 in Pawtucket, six in Portland), he has slashed .251/.317/.301 with eight stolen bases. He profiles as a contact hitter with a decent approach but little power. Defensively, he has primarily split his time between second base, shortstop, and third base as a professional and will provide infield depth off the bench, likely being selected for the promotion because Deven Marrero cannot be recalled to the major leagues (without a player going onto the disabled list) until 10 days have passed from his being optioned on Saturday.
The last couple of weeks has seen several players promoted from Salem to Portland, and that trend continued this week with sources confirming that shortstop Mauricio Dubon was moving up to Double-A. Over his first three games with the Sea Dogs, he has gone 5-for-11 with a double, triple, two walks and two strikeouts. Dubon joins second basemen Yoan Moncada, outfielder Andrew Benintendi, right-hander Ben Taylor, and left-hander Jalen Beeks who have all received similar promotions in recent weeks.
Ian Cundall, SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting, was a busy man recently and filed several scouting reports. The first was after he was able to catch righty Michael Kopech (pictured, right) start opening night for the Lowell Spinners. This was the first start of the year for the fifth ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings after getting a late start due to a broken hand, a result of an altercation with a teammate. He went 4 1/3 innings in the rehab start without allowing a run, and he has since been sent to Salem.
Making the most of his time in Lowell, Cundall also was able to give some additional notes on other Lowell pitchers in another edition of Scouting Scratch. Over his four days in Lowell, he provided scouting information on righties Kevin Steen, Algenis Martinez, Dioscar Romero, and Daniel Gonzalez, as well as left-hander Enmanuel De Jesus.
6/27 Cup of Coffee: Trey Ball (pictured) and Roniel Raudes turned in terrific outings to guide Salem and Greenville to victories. The trio of Yoan Moncada, Mauricio Dubon, and Andrew Benintendi combined for seven hits and seven runs scored in Portland's win. Brock Holt also continued to play well during his rehab stint with Pawtucket, reaching base four times.
Henry Owens was unable to continue the dominance from his one-hitter last start into Sunday's start. He lasted just four innings, allowing six hits and five earned runs. His control escaped him again, as he walked five batters. Wesley Wright wasn't any better in relief of Owens, surrendering four earned runs in three innings of work without recording a strikeout. The bright spot on the pitching staff for the PawSox came from Pat Light, who continued his recent brilliance with two shutout innings, collecting three strikeouts. He has a 2.05 ERA this year for Pawtucket.
Cup of Coffee 6/26: It was a successful night on the farm as Red Sox affiliates took home wins in six of nine games. Anderson Espinoza threw 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball for the Drive while Sean O'Sullivan (pictured) and Daniel McGrath dominated for Pawtucket and Salem, respectively. The key offensive standouts were Pawtucket's Henry Ramos and Lowell's Tucker Tubbs, who were each 3 for 4 with a home run and 4 RBI.
Starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan dominated in Pawtucket's win on Saturday night. The 28-year-old righty threw seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and no walks while punching out six. He was followed by Roman Mendez, who pitched a scoreless eighth and then allowed three in the ninth, striking out four in his two innings of work.
The PawSox offense got rolling in the third inning when Brock Holt, who is 5 for 15 on his rehab assignment, scored Rusney Castillo with a single. Henry Ramos was in the middle of the action for Pawtucket's lineup, notching RBI singles in the fourth and seventh innings and driving a two-run homer in the sixth. In total, he was 3 for 4 with a homer and four RBI in a huge night for the right fielder. Castillo was 2 for 4 with a double and a pair of runs scored.
On occasion, we will be featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page. Today's video is of Pawtucket first baseman Sam Travis. The video features the 22-year-old getting several at-bats in his final regular-season games of the year before suffering a torn ACL on May 29 while chasing down a runner caught in a rundown.
Travis was off to a strong start in his first taste of Triple-A ball, posting a line of .272/.332/.434 with six home runs. In the video, Travis faces two top of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Pittsburgh Pirates right-handers Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon.
We plan to incorporate more video this year to supplement our regular scouting material, so check back here and on the YouTube page frequently.
Cup of Coffee 6/25: The Gulf Coast League Red Sox opened their season with a loss, while Lowell extended its winning streak. Kyri Washington (pictured) blasted a pair of home runs to carry Greenville, and Yoan Moncada ripped his first round-tripper since his promotion to Double-A. Brock Holt and Ryan Hanigan made rehab starts with Pawtucket, and the DSL Red Sox split behind strong pitching.
Three solo home runs in the top of the 10th doomed Pawtucket on Friday after a PawSox comeback sent it to extras. The story of Roenis Elias’ start was his trouble with RailRiders first baseman Tyler Austin, who hit three home runs off Elias and drove in all five runs. After Elias’ 5 1/3 innings, Chandler Shepherd tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings, giving the PawSox time to rally to tie the game at five in the seventh. Robby Scott surrendered three consecutive homers in the 10th.
LOWELL, Mass. – In addition to seeing Michael Kopech’s start on opening night for the Lowell Spinners (Link), I also saw the following four games at LeLacheur Park. Some scouting notes on other members of the Lowell pitching staff—which is as good as I can remember it being in some time, and that’s even before it receives an influx of college pitchers from the 2016 draft—follows here.
- Athletic right-hander Kevin Steen is back in Lowell after seven starts with the club to end 2015. He got off to a solid start, throwing five shutout innings, striking out four and allowing only two hits and two walks in his season debut on Monday. Steen’s stuff is still on the light-side, as his fastball sat 88-90 mph, topping out at 92. The pitch is straight, but save for the third inning, when he walked back-to-back hitters, he did a good job controlling the offering. He also showed what looked like a two-seam fastball at 86-88 mph with arm-side run. Overall, he got seven swing-and-misses with his fastballs, including three of his strikeouts. Steen’s best secondary offering is his curveball, which flashed solid-average. The pitch has long, 11-to-5 break at 72-74 mph and he has strong feel for it. Steen also showed a changeup at 83-85 mph, but it was on the firm side and lacks separation from his fastball.
6/24 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs' roster continues to fill with new names and top prospects as both Mauricio Dubon and Jalen Beeks(pictured) made their debuts for Portland on Thursday. The Drive pounded out 13 hits, including a big night from Tate Matheny, but still fell in extras. The Spinners continued their impressive start to the season with some extra-inning magic, courtesy of Chris Madera. The rehabbing Brock Holt caused a stir in a loss for Pawtucket, but not because of his bat or glove.
A five-run second inning did in the PawSox, as the offense struggled to get going. Ryan Hanigan, making a rehab start as the designated hitter, had Pawtucket's lone extra-base hit and RBI of the night with a run-scoring double in the third. Rusney Castillo went 0 for 4 out of the seventh spot in the lineup. Justin Haley was touched for six earned runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, walking three and striking out six. Brock Holt had a rough night as part of his rehab stint, making a key error in the second inning. He was then ejected from the game for apparently arguing balls and strikes after striking out in the bottom of the third.
Now ranked the 12th best prospect in the system in the SoxProspects.com rankings (and likely poised to rise even higher in next week's rankings update), Dubon's stock has been on the rise since 2014 when he began putting up impressive numbers in Lowell. He finally broke into the top 20 in the rankings midway through last year, a season where he hit .288/.349/.376 with 30 steals split between Greenville and Salem.
LOWELL, Mass. -- After a suspension ended his 2015 season early and an off-the-field incident delayed the start of his 2016 season, 2014 first-rounder Michael Kopech finally made his season debut in a rehab start with the Lowell Spinners last Friday (which our own Chris Hatfield reported will be his only rehab appearance before joining High A Salem this week). Kopech was definitely rusty in his first start of the year outside of Fort Myers, only lasting four and a third innings, allowing four walks and four hits and recording four strikeouts, but he flashed the potential that makes him one of the top pitching prospects in the system.
Kopech has filled out considerably since he joined the system, now sporting a very muscular, prototypical pitcher’s frame. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a high leg lift and quick, loose arm. Kopech starts with a wide base with his hands by his chest, bringing them down to his waist and back up for his windup. His delivery has a lot of moving parts, with long arm action and hook behind, and he does not consistently finish his delivery. During this start, Kopech had some trouble with his delivery, as his arm was getting out ahead of the rest of his delivery, resulting in him consistently missing glove-side and struggling with his breaking ball.
6/23 Cup of Coffee: The bottom of the Red Sox system had a great night as both DSL squads and the Spinners found the winner's circle. Unfortunately for the rest of the affiliates, the night ended in a loss.
A back-and-forth contest broke Syracuse's way. Aaron Wilkerson started for Pawtucket, striking out four and allowing one run on four hits and two walks in three innings. Wesley Wright added 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five. Roman Mendez took the loss, allowing two unearned runs in the final 2 2/3 innings of the contest. Down, 3-0, in the fourth, Pawtucket got on the scoreboard on a Henry Ramos solo home run. In the fifth, Jantzen Witte added an RBI single. Pawtucket tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the eighth on a Witte RBI double and a Ramos RBI ground out. The Chiefs wasted little time in grabbing the lead back, bringing home two runs in the top of the ninth. The loss stopped the PawSox five-game winning streak.
6/22 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy night down on the farm, but by far the biggest news was the Portland debut of top prospect Yoan Moncada, who helped the Sea Dogs to the victory. Pawtucket split its doubleheader, with Henry Owens (pictured, right) twirling a dominant one-hit shutout in the opener. Lowell continued its undefeated streak to kick off the season, winning its fifth straight. Mauricio Dubon represented Salem as the Carolina League All-Stars took on the California League's best, while seven members of the Greenville Drive got playing time in the South Atlantic League All-Star game.
After a rough patch following his demotion from the majors, Henry Owens had been up and down in recent outings. He made a definitive statement that he was back on track in the first game of Pawtucket's doubleheader, tossing a one-hit shutout over seven innings. He walked three and struck out five, lowering his ERA in four June starts to 2.01. Justin Maxwell was responsible for the Pawtucket offense, scoring to break a 0-0 tie in the fourth, then driving in an insurance run with a double in the sixth. Overall, Maxwell was 2 for 2 with a walk.
6/21 Cup of Coffee: It was a bit of a quiet night on the farm as Portland had an off day while Salem and Greenville are at the All-Star break. Brock Holt had a successful rehab appearance, Sean O'Sullivan (pictured) had his best start of the year, and Lowell came back to tie their game in the bottom of the ninth before winning it in extra innings. The second DSL squad won a pair of games yesterday, while the first squad blew a late lead as they dropped to 8-5. -----
Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 1 Brock Holt did not miss a beat in his first game since May 18, and Sean O'Sullivan stifled the Chiefs to lead the PawSox. O'Sullivan went the first eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits, striking out four without walking a batter. Kyle Martin picked up his fourth save with a scoreless ninth, and he now has 40 strikeouts in only 32 1/3 innings.
Cup of Coffee 6/20: The Red Sox affiliates picked up a clean sweep Sunday, including three one-run victories. Pawtucket’s Justin Maxwell and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (pictured) delivered decisive hits for their respective clubs, while Greenville’s Dedgar Jimenez and Lowell’s Enmanuel De Jesus pitched their teams to victory.
RBI hits off the bats of Chris Dominguez and Justin Maxwell keyed a late-innings comeback for the PawSox. Dominguez homered in the seventh to cut the Louisville lead to one, and Maxwell followed in the eighth with a two-run single to vault the PawSox ahead for good. Dominguez and Jantzen Witte lead the Pawtucket offense with two hits apiece, but eight of the nine batters in the lineup contributed hits to the effort. Bryce Brentz also blasted a home run, and Dan Butler doubled and walked. William Cuevas allowed four runs — only two earned — in 5 1/3 innings, but the bullpen slammed the door. Roman Mendez allowed only one hit in 2 2/3 innings before Pat Light picked up the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Following Sunday's game, the first-half finale for the Salem Red Sox, the club announced the promotions of second baseman Yoan Moncada, left-hander Jalen Beeks, and right-hander Ben Taylor to Double-A Portland. At present time, corresponding roster moves are unknown, although right-hander Justin Haley had been promoted to Pawtucket from Portland on Friday, opening one spot on the roster and in the rotation that Beeks will likely fill.
Moncada, currently the top-ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings, had a very strong first half for Salem, which ended on Sunday with his slugging the game-winning home run in the eighth inning of Salem's 2-1 victory over Winston-Salem. He hit .307/.427/.496 with 25 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs, and 45 walks to 60 strikeouts over 61 games.
LOWELL, Mass. -- With almost a year off since his last start, Michael Kopech wasted no time showing off his most impressive asset Friday evening. While first pitch was delayed by more than half an hour due to Spinners’ Opening Night ceremonies, the right-hander quickly kicked the game into gear, hitting 99 mph with his first pitch.
Kopech was consistently in the mid-to-high 90s, especially in the early innings, relying heavily on the heater.
“I was very amped up,” the 20-year-old said following the game. “My velocity's back so that's good, but it has a lot to do with pitching in front of a crowd again. The adrenaline starts to go, I was feeling pretty good.”
“I was just impressed with how composed he was,” first-year Spinners manager Iggy Suarez said. “With him, first start coming back from the DL, just getting himself into the rhythm of things, he seemed pretty good. Just the way he handled himself on the mound was pretty impressive. I didn't expect any less, but just the jitters and the adrenaline was something that was good to see in control.”
Cup of Coffee 6/19: It was a perfect day for Red Sox affiliates as all seven teams picked up wins on Saturday. Justin Haley (pictured) made an impression in his first start for the PawSox. Trey Ball made a solid start for Salem and Austin Maddox dominated on the hill for the Sea Dogs. Offensively, Aneury Tavarez turned in a five-hit game for the Sea Dogs while Andrew Benintendi and Josh Ockimey homered in a day full of strong performances by Red Sox prospects.
Justin Haley dominated Louisville in his PawSox debut, throwing eight innings and picking up the win. Haley allowed only one run on three hits and a walk while striking out seven. Noe Ramirez picked up the save with a perfect inning of relief, striking out a batter and lowering his ERA to 2.25 this season.
The PawSox picked up their first run when Rainel Rosario scored Chris Dominguez with an RBI groundout in the second inning. Their next run came in the sixth inning on a solo shot from ChrisMarrero, who is hitting .289/.342/.506 this season. Ali Solis hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give the PawSox a little bit of insurance en route to the victory.
Cup of Coffee 6/18: The Lowell Spinners edged out a 1-0 victory on opening night behind Michael Kopech. Aaron Wilkerson (pictured) and Mitch Atkins pitched Pawtucket and Portland to victories, but Greenville and the DSL teams suffered losses.
The Louisville Bats could not live up to their name against Aaron Wilkerson, who continued to dominate since his call-up to Triple-A. Wilkerson tossed seven innings of one-run ball, striking out nine and walking two. By the time he left the game after 102 pitches, the Pawtucket offense had all but assured his victory. Ryan LaMarre and Chris Marrero blasted two-run home runs within two batters of each other in the third inning, and Deven Marrero piled it on with a two-run triple later in the frame to push the PawSox lead to 7-0. Mike Miller contributed the final two PawSox runs with a groundout and a single. Every member of the lineup hit safely to back up Wilkerson’s gem. Chris Marrero led the way with a 2-for-3 night, including three RBI.
The Lowell Spinners kick off their season on Friday night with a 7:05 tilt against the Vermont Lake Monsters featuring a roster heavy on returning talent as compared to new draftees. The opening night roster features 25 players who were in the system last year, including two players on rehab assignments.
Headlining the roster is a player who is not expected to be in Lowell for long, that being right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech (pictured). Currently ranked sixth in the system by SoxProspects.com, Kopech is rehabbing from a broken pitching hand suffered during spring training and will be making his first official start since July 12, 2015, following a 50-game suspension that cut his 2015 season short and after rehabbing in extended spring training. Presumably, his time with the Spinners will be brief before moving up to either Greenville or Salem.
The Red Sox announced today that they have signed four players selected in this year's MLB draft: seventh-rounder Ryan Scott(pictured), ninth-rounder Matt McLean, 17th-rounder Nick Sciortino, and 20th-rounder Nick Lovullo. Jim Callis of MLB.com was the first to report the signing bonuses for Scott and McLean, with both players receiving significantly below-slot deals.
Scott, an outfielder from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will receive a $10,000 signing bonus, which is $200,700 below the slot value for the 208th pick. The senior was a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American as he led Division I in batting average, slashing .435/.516/.713 over 216 at-bats. On the most recent episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast, Callis noted that Scott's defensive profile fits best in left field, but his bat will be his best tool as he moves through the system.
6/17 Cup of Coffee: It was mostly a night to forget for the Red Sox affiliates on Thursday as Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem were each held to one run and Greenville's game was postponed. Henry Owens(pictured) took a step back with an inconsistent outing. The highlights came from the Caribbean as both DSL teams posted victories, including a wild comeback for the first DSL team led by catcher Eddy Reynoso.
After two solid outings, Henry Owens took a step in the wrong direction, continuing his back and forth season. The 23-year-old lefty got bit by walks again, allowing six free passes in just four innings of work. He allowed five runs with three of them earned. However, the unearned runs came as a result of an error by Owens. He gave up five hits to go with his error and six free passes, while only striking out two. Pat Light and Wesley Wright combined to throw four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The PawSox actually outhit Indianapolis, 8-6, but only one of those hits was of the extra-base variety - a double by Chris Marrero. And unlike their opponents, Pawtucket did not draw a single walk.
With the 2016 MLB draft in the books, our friend Jim Callis of MLB.com came on the podcast to dissect the draft as a whole and the selections made by the Red Sox over the event's three days. Why did Jason Groome fall, will he sign, and what other team might he have had a deal with before the Red Sox plucked him at number 12 overall? How do the five college juniors selected by the Red Sox in rounds 2-6 compare to their selections in that range in past years? Will any of the well-regarded late-round picks sign? Jim answered these questions and more!
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The Red Sox signed sixth-round pick Steve Nogosek (pictured) on Wednesday; the signing was first reported by Chris Cotillo. Nogosek is a right-handed pitcher from the University of Oregon. The Red Sox selected him with the 178th overall pick. The deal is worth $250,000 and comes in slightly below the slot value of $281,100.
Nogosek is coming off an excellent junior season at Oregon; he posted a 1.11 ERA and 45/14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 40 2/3 innings pitched. He possesses a mid-90s fastball and mixes in a curve that has the potential to become a plus pitch. Entering the draft, Nogosek was ranked 164th by Baseball America, 177th by Perfect Game, and 175th by MLB.com.
6/16 Cup of Coffee: It was a split night for the affiliates as the top half of the system saw their pitching struggle, while Greenville and both DSL teams found the winner's circle thanks to solid performances on the mound. Salem was idle, as its contest against Potomac was washed out.
In a game that featured 28 hits, the Indians late-inning offensive burst was enough to push them past the PawSox. Sean O'Sullivan started for Pawtucket, allowing five runs on ten hits and two walks in four innings. Kyle Martin, who followed O'Sullivan, took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Pawtucket jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first, plating runs on singles from Chris Marrero and Henry Ramos as well as a throwing error. After the Indians scored five runs across the first and second innings, the PawSox brought home a run in the third (a Bryce Brentz RBI single) and the fourth (an Ali Solis sacrifice fly) to tie the game. Brentz laced a solo home run in the seven to give the PawSox a brief 6-5 advantage. The lead didn't last long as Indianapolis plated three in the bottom of the seventh and two in the eighth to put the game out of reach. The top of the PawSox order did most of the offensive damage, with the 1-4 hitters combining to go 9 for 16 with a home run and three RBI.
6/15 Cup of Coffee: After some off-days on Monday, six teams were in action on Tuesday. Greenville had an impressive comeback win after falling into a 5-0 hole, while Portland prevailed in extra innings. Pawtucket and Salem both lost, and the DSL teams continued their strong starts with a sweep.
A three-run sixth inning doomed the PawSox and starter William Cuevas. After allowing solo homers in the second, fourth, and fifth, Cuevas surrendered a trio of doubles and walk in the sixth that gave the Indians a commanding 6-1 lead. Overall, the righty allowed the six runs on nine hits in six innings while walking two and striking out two. Roman Mendez struck out one in two hitless innings of relief. The Pawtucket offense mustered only five hits off a trio of Indianapolis hurlers. Two of those hits came from Henry Ramos, including a ninth-inning double off old friend Justin Masterson (PIT).
The Red Sox have agreed to terms with second-round pickC.J. Chatham (pictured), as first reported by John Manuel of Baseball America. Chatham is a shortstop out of Florida Atlantic University. The deal is reportedly worth $1.1-million, just below the $1,232,800 slot figure for the 51st-overall selection.
Chatham stands 6-foot-4 but is a good athlete with solid defensive instincts by all reports. Chatham's arm rates as a plus tool and he has enough range that most evaluators expect him to stick at shortstop. He is currently a contact hitter with an advanced approach at the plate, but he has the potential to grow into some power as he fills out. In his junior season at Florida Atlantic, Chatham slashed .357/.422/.554 with 17 doubles and eight home runs in 58 games. Baseball America named Chatham a second-team All-American and Louisville Slugger named him a first-team All-American.
6/14 Cup of Coffee: With Boston, Pawtucket, and Portland all off last night, the lower levels of the minors completed a sweep. Yoan Moncada was on base four times for Salem, while Josh Ockimey and Kyri Washington (pictured) each tormented the Crawdads. Matt Kent's strong start combined with Moncada's offense helped Salem clinch the Carolina League First Half South Division Title.
A quality start from Matt Kent led the way in Salem's win over Potomac. Kent fired the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking one and striking out five. Over his last 25 innings, Kent has only allowed five runs, good for a 1.80 ERA while striking out 21. Jamie Callahan followed with three strikeouts over 1 2/3 innings, and Simon Mercedes closed it out with a scoreless ninth.
In the first round, the Red Sox picked left-handed pitcher Jason Groome (pictured) with the 12th overall selection. SoxProspects.com broke down the selection of the lefty, who was thought by many — including MLB.com and Perfect Game — to be the top prospect in the field and a candidate for first overall selection before he dropped to the Red Sox.
6/13 Cup of Coffee: Three outstanding pitching performances and an offensive outburst from Greenville led to the Red Sox system going 4-0 on Sunday. Aaron Wilkerson, Mitch Atkins, and Trey Ball combined to allow just one run in 17 1/3 innings pitched. The bullpens for Pawtucket, Portland, and Greenville were also terrific. Aneury Tavarez, Chad De La Guerra, and Michael Chavis had big offensive days. Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi also had multi-hit games.
Aaron Wilkerson, Robby Scott, and Noe Ramirez combined for a four-hit shutout to preserve a 1-0 win for the PawSox. Wilkerson started and went the first six innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven. His ERA is down to 2.25 with the PawSox and it has dipped below two at 1.98 overall in 2016 between Pawtucket and Portland. Scott struck out four during his two shutout innings, and Ramirez picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth inning.
The lone run of the game came in the second when Ali Solis singled in Bryce Brentz after he had doubled to open the frame. Solis went 2 for 3, as the PawSox recorded just three hits.
MLB teams combined to select 11 previous Red Sox draftees in the 2016 June draft. This is up from nine in 2015, ending a four year streak of that number declining. For the second year in a row, the Red Sox themselves drafted Nick Lovullo, a shortstop at Holy Cross and the son of Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. Other notable selections include Nebraska's Ryan Boldt and Vanderbilt's Jordan Sheffield, two top high school players in the 2013 draft that Boston tried to pry away from their commitments. See below for a complete listing of former Sox selections who were re-drafted this year.
2015 Red Sox Draftees
26. Kevin Ginkel, RHP, Arizona — 22nd round by Arizona
27. Saige Jenco, CF, Virginia Tech — 24th round by LA (NL)
29. Will Stillman, RHP, Wofford — 6th round by San Diego
32. Clate Schmidt, RHP, Clemson — 20th round by Detroit
34. Nick Lovullo, SS, Holy Cross — 20th round by Boston
The Red Sox kicked off the 2016 amateur draft with a bang, selecting top high school pitcher Jason Groome with the 12th overall pick. While Groome was a talent they simply could not pass up, the team proceeded to focus primarily on collegiate players, including six seniors as they'll try to save funds on under-slot deals in order to sign their first rounder. The club's nine high school selections is up one from the 2015 draft, but still far lower than the 19 and 14 they selected in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Now that the 2016 First Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. As we saw over the last few years, under the "new" CBA draft rules the signing period is much different that it was in previous years. As most of you know, the 2012 CBA established a signing bonus cap for each team and pushed up the signing deadline from mid-August to mid-July. This year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on July 15, 2016. The bonus cap is determined by the number and placement of each team's selections.
The bonus cap sets an aggregate limit for a team to spend on its selections in the first ten rounds, and also limits teams from spending over $100,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $6,997,400 this year. If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its 1st and 2nd round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first round picks.
These are obviously harsh penalties, making it highly unlikely that the Red Sox will go more than 5% over the pool limit this year. However, the team has shown that it is willing to pay the requisite tax and go up to 5% over the cap, which would place the team's spending limit at about $7,347,270. The first $100,000 spent on any single bonus after round 10 would not count against that limit. One other wrinkle to remember is that if Boston fails to sign any of its picks from the top ten rounds, the team's pool will be reduced by the slot amount for the unsigned player's draft position. Here are the bonus slots for each of Boston's top picks:
The Red Sox took several right-handed pitchers on Day 3 of the MLB Draft. At one point, in rounds 24-28, Boston took five consecutive right-handed pitchers.
The team took 11 high school players and 19 college players overall on the final day of the draft. Boston selected 14 pitchers and 16 position players, including seven infielders, seven outfielders, and two catchers.
Here is a look at each of the Day 3 selections for the Red Sox pick-by-pick:
11th round: SS Nick Quintana, Arbor View (NV) HS
Quintana is a 5-foot-10, 185 pound shortstop with pop in his bat. He won the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Nevada during his senior season when he batted .449 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI. He has a terrific arm, having been clocked at 93 mph across the diamond according to Perfect Game USA. However, even with his strong arm, some scouts think he will move to another position. He is ranked 65th by Perfect Game, 114th by Baseball America, and 107th by MLB.com.
6/12 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates won just one of six contests on Saturday as a result of quiet offensive performances all across the board. However, nearly every level of the system received a strong performance by their starting pitcher. Henry Owens walked just two batters, tied for his lowest total of the season, while Anderson Espinoza dominated for the Drive. Justin Haley continued a fantastic start to his season in Portland and Jalen Beeks (pictured) was the best of all of them, spinning a gem for Salem.
Henry Owens took the hill for the PawSox on Saturday evening and turned in one of his finest performances of the season. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed a run on six hits and two walks, striking out five. Anthony Varvaro allowed an unearned run in 1 1/3 innings and Wesley Wright allowed a run in two innings to close out the game.
6/11 Cup of Coffee: The upper-level affiliates rolled behind stellar pitching from Roenis Elias at Triple-A and a big night at the dish from Andrew Benintendi (pictured) at Double-A. The lower levels did not fair as well, as Salem fell narrowly and the DSL Red Sox were swept. Kyri Washington did salvage a win for Greenville with a three-RBI, go-ahead double.
With Boston seeking a fifth starter, Roenis Elias continued to make his case by dominating Louisville Friday. The lefty tossed seven shutout innings, striking out seven and walking none. With the gem, Elias’ ERA dropped to 3.54, the lowest it has been this season. While the Bats could manage only grounders and weak popups against Elias, the PawSox ran away with three runs in the first inning and two more in the fifth. It was a balanced effort from the Pawtucket offense, with eight of nine batters notching a base hit. Bryce Brentz and Henry Ramos chipped in early RBI, and Ryan LaMarre doubled, walked and scored a run.
With their 10th-round pick (298th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox have selected Santiago Espinal, a shortstop from Miami Dade Junior College. Espinal, a 5-foot-10 right-handed hitter, was born in the Dominican Republic before moving to Florida at a young age. He was ranked 409th overall in the draft by Baseball America, but he fell outside of Perfect Game USA's Top 500.
He is viewed as a contact-oriented hitter, evidenced by his .432/.492/.562 line with 20 walks and only 11 strikeouts in 162 at-bats this season. His lack of power limits his overall offensive upside, but scouts believe he can stick at shortstop, and he is also a good runner who should provide some value on the bases, according to Baseball America.
With their ninth-round pick, the Red Sox have selected Matt McLean, an outfielder from the University of Texas at Arlington. McLean was not ranked by Baseball America, Perfect Game USA, or MLB.com.
McLean put up a .307/.411/.407 line at the plate his senior year for the Mavericks, patrolling center field. Little information has been reported on him from scouting sources, but Jim Callis of MLB.com mentioned on the draft broadcast that McLean has potentially plus speed on the base paths. His Mavericks profile page notes that he finished second on the team in batting average while going error-less in the outfield during his junior season.
With their eighth-round pick (238th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox selected Alan Marrero, a catcher from the International Baseball Academy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Marrero was ranked 445th by Baseball America, but was not ranked by MLB.com or Perfect Game USA. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, the 18-year-old is considered the top defensive catcher from Puerto Rico this year, according to Baseball America. His above-average arm and blocking and receiving skills are cited as reasons for that distinction. However, the same publication went on to write about the questions regarding his offensive ability. He has some bat speed and potential at the plate, but he is currently raw and will need time to develop.
With their seventh-round pick (208th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox selected Ryan Scott, an outfielder from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Scott was not ranked in the top 500 by Baseball America or Perfect Game USA, and the senior figures to sign a below-slot deal.
Scott's .435 batting average currently leads Division I, with his season line sitting at an absurd .435/.516/.713 over 216 at-bats. That performance made him a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American, and the 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter was also named the Sun Belt Conference's Student-Athlete of the Year. Of his 94 hits this year, he tallied 20 doubles, 2 triples, and 12 home runs. His 66 career doubles are the most in program history. Despite living on the basepaths, Scott only stole seven bases in 12 attempts this year, so it does not appear that speed is a big part of his game.
With their sixth-round pick (178th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox selected Steve Nogosek, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Oregon. Going into the draft, the Ducks' closer was ranked 164th by Baseball America and 175th by MLB.com.
The college junior continues a trend for the Red Sox in this draft, as their first selection, Jason Groome, remains the only high school player they have selected to this point. Nogosek also continues a trend of Oregon closers being selected in the top ten rounds of the draft, a streak which stands at four years running. A two-sport athlete coming out of high school, Nogosek starred as a quarterback his senior year before committing to play baseball at Oregon. He did make some starts for the Ducks earlier in his career, but took over and thrived in the closer's role in 2016.
With their fifth-round pick (148th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox selected Mike Shawaryn, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Maryland. Shawaryn was ranked as the 77th-best prospect by Baseball America, 94th by Perfect Game USA, and 139th by MLB.com. Another college arm, the junior is Maryland's all-time wins (30) and strikeouts leader (307). After a dominant sophomore season, when he posted a 13-2 record with a 1.71 ERA, he took a bit of a step back in early 2016. According to Baseball America, his fastball velocity dipped into the mid-to-high 80s in March. He bounced back, and his fastball has been sitting at 90 to 94 miles per hour. He struck out 97 batters this season and walked just 26 in 99 innings. He has also tossed three complete games.
With their fourth-round pick (118th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox have selected Bobby Dalbec, a third baseman from the University of Arizona. Dalbec was ranked as the 88th best prospect in the draft by MLB.com, 118th by Baseball America, and 112th by Perfect Game USA.
Playing for the Orleans Firebirds last summer, Dalbec led the Cape Cod League in home runs, blasting 12 in only 27 games while batting .315. He also played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, a team that the Red Sox have always scouted heavily. His success from the summer did not translate to his junior year at Arizona, as the 6-foot-4, right-handed hitter slashed .266/.378/.440 with six home runs and 76 strikeouts in 207 at-bats.
With their third-round pick (88th overall) in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox have selected Shaun Anderson, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Florida. Anderson was ranked 151 in Baseball America's pre-draft rankings, and MLB.com had him at 140. Anderson has been the closer for the University of Florida, but that is more due to the depth of their system than his talent. He is amazingly already the fourth Gators pitcher taken in this year's draft after A.J. Puk (6th overall), Dane Dunning (29th), Logan Shore (47th), and if not for that depth, the 6-foot-4 junior would likely start for a majority of college programs. Last summer on the Cape, Anderson was able to give a taste of what he would be like in the rotation. Of the 8 games he pitched in, he started three of them, finishing the summer with a 4.09 ERA and a more impressive 0.82 WHIP with 15 strikeouts and 6 walks over 22 innings. Baseball America says that during that time, his fastball was sitting in the low 90s but his changeup and slider showed promise.
The first day of the MLB first-year player draft has passed, with Red Sox picks Jason Groome and C.J. Chatham among the 77 players selected. Boston will have eight picks on Friday, beginning with the 88th selection. There are 20 players currently remaining on the board who are ranked in the top 70 of the Baseball America Top 500and MLB.com Top 200.
6/10 Cup of Coffee: It was a huge night at the plate for several Salem hitters, including Rafael Devers (pictured) and Mauricio Dubon, in a slugfest win. Both DSL squads came away with solid wins with the first DSL team getting a solid pitching performance and the second team winning on the strength of an eight-run fourth. Sean O'Sullivan turned in another strong performance as the PawSox held off a late rally for the win. Greenville was roughed up and Portland fell short after a late rally.
Sean O'Sullivan was brilliant on the mound for the second straight outing, spinning eight-plus solid innings. O'Sullivan managed to strand six Toledo runners and was the beneficiary of a pair of key double plays. He attempted to finish the complete game but allowed the first two runners to reach in the top of the ninth. Kyle Martin allowed an inherited runner to score, but managed to induce a 1-6-3 double play to end the game and stranded the tying run on third. Deven Marrero went 2 for 3 with a run scored and Justin Maxwell drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly.