This year's Arizona Fall League rosters have been announced and the Red Sox will send seven prospects. Four of these prospects place in the top 20 of the SoxProspects.com rankings, including second baseman Yoan Moncada (1st), right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech (5th), infielder Mauricio Dubon(11th), and left-handed pitcher Trey Ball(17th). Left-handers Jalen Beeks(30th) and Jamie Callahanand outfielder Danny Marswill also suit up for the Surprise Saguaros. This marks an young group for the Red Sox as the 23-year-old Beeks is the oldest of the bunch and every player began the season at Salem, with Moncada, Dubon, and Beeks all receiving mid-season promotions to Portland.
Moncada (pictured) will enter the AFL coming off a season which has seen him slash a phenomenal .298/.411/.518 with 31 doubles, 15 home runs, and 45 stolen bases between Salem and Portland. The Red Sox will send Moncada to Arizona with the intention of giving him more experience at third base, where he has played just nine games this season after a recent transition. [UPDATE: Moncada was promoted to Boston just after initial publishing of this story.]
8/31 Cup of Coffee: Of the four teams remaining in the Dominican Summer League playoffs, two are Red Sox affiliates. The Red Sox2 completed their sweep of the best-of-three series to move on to the semifinals, with the possibility of an all-Red Sox final looming. Lowell moved one step closer to clinching its division, due in large part to the emergence of Bobby Dalbec (pictured, left). The GCL Red Sox missed a chance to solidify their playoff chances, while Greenville held off being officially eliminated from contention for another day.
The PawSox offense sputtered against veteran righty Phil Klein (PHI) and a pair of relievers. Three of the team's five hits came off the bat of Dan Butler. Butler has had a solid campaign in his return to the organization; he is batting .324 with 12 doubles in a part-time role. Justin Haley dropped his third consecutive decision despite a solid outing, allowing two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Haley struck out six and walked a pair. Kyle Martin and Heath Hembree combined for 2 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
LOWELL, Mass. – Over the summer of 2015, Bobby Dalbec was in the midst punching his ticket for the first round of the MLB draft. After finishing his sophomore year at the University of Arizona strong, the third baseman was put up a .315/.432/.728 line in the Cape Cod League with a league-leading 12 home runs in just 27 games.
However, after a lackluster spring at the plate for the Wildcats in which he just .220/.350/.381, his stock fell and the Red Sox were happy to scoop him up in the fourth round. Since debuting on July 23, Dalbec is dominating the New York-Penn League to the tune of a .374/.427/.692 slash line with six home runs in 28 games.
Dalbec credits a return to the hitting mechanics he used with great success on the Cape to explain his sudden return to form.
“I've hit like this before,” Dalbec explained. “Last summer, it worked really well for me out on the Cape, and then I got to college and we made some changes and it didn't work out. Then I was kind of changing a bunch of things every day so I could never really get in a groove, so now I’m just kind of doing my own thing.”
Cup of Coffee 8/30: It was a light night for Red Sox affiliates, with only four games on Monday. Strong nights by Chris Marrero (pictured)and Ryan LaMarre led a nine-run outburst by Pawtucket to back 6 1/3 strong innings by Sean O'Sullivan. Lowell also scored nine runs with productive games by CJ Chatham and Ryan Hanigan leading the way. A Jake Romanski homer was one of few bright spots in a tough loss for the Sea Dogs, and the GCL Sox dropped their afternoon tilt in ten innings. Also, the DSL Red Sox2 earned a victory in the opening game of their semifinal series against the Diamondbacks.
Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan took the hill for the PawSox on Monday night, and, though he struggled with his control, he battled through 6 1/3 scoreless innings. O'Sullivan allowed five hits and four walks while punching out five but was able to pick up his eighth win and lower his ERA to 4.14 this season. Robby Scott struggled in relief, allowing three runs in the 8th inning, cutting Pawtucket's lead to 4-3.
However, the Pawtucket bats were able to bail Scott out with a huge top of the ninth. The first five batters of the inning reached base. The big hits came in the form of an RBI single by Ryan LaMarre, a two-run single by Chris Marrero, and an RBI double by Allen Craig. LaMarre, who was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, and Marrero (2 for 4 with four RBI) were the most productive bats.
SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel sat down with 2016 fifth-round draft pick Mike Shawarynto discuss the start of his professional career in Lowell. The two chatted about the University of Maryland product's feelings on sliding to the fifth round after being regarded by some scouts as a first-round talent.
SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall took a look at Shawaryn, as well as 2016 third-round draft pick Shaun Anderson out of the University of Florida, in his latest Scouting Scratch. Cundall captured video of the two pitchers in action.
With the end of the minor league season approaching, leagues are starting to announce their postseason All-Star teams. In Double-A, Aneury Tavarez (pictured, above) was the only Sea Dog named to the 2016 Eastern League Postseason All-Star Team, according to a team release. At the High-A level, Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers were named Carolina League Postseason All-Stars, according to a Salem Red Sox press release.
8/29 Cup of Coffee: Each affiliate received a good starting pitching effort, as Pawtucket and Salem notched shutouts. Ryan Hanigan rehabbed with Portland in a game and saw Yoan Moncada belt a home run. Jordan Procyshen walked off for Salem, and Jerry Downs (pictured) led Lowell's offensive attack.
The PawSox shutout the Chiefs behind some great work from starter Roenis Elias and the bullpen. Elias went the first six and did not allow a run on three hits and three walks. He punched out six and lowered his ERA with Pawtucket to 3.78. The bullpen did not allow a hit, as William Cuevas pitched two innings and Joe Kelly finished it off.
Five of nine Red Sox starters recorded multi-hit games, including three-hit games from Rusney Castillo and Deven Marrero. Castillo doubled, tripled, and scored twice. Chris Marrero went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Chris Dominguez and Christian Vazquez each went 2 for 5.
8/28 Cup of Coffee: Jason Groome missed plenty of bats in his second appearance with the GCL Red Sox, while Brian Johnson had a rough start for the PawSox. The Sea Dogs finally lost in 15 innings, Salem split a doubleheader with Frederick, and C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec provided some late firepower to lift Lowell. The DSL regular season came to a close with both of the Red Sox squads advancing to the playoffs.
It was a big step back for Brian Johnson, as he was hit hard in a loss to Syracuse that eliminated Pawtucket from postseason contention. After entering the game with a 1.76 ERA over his last five starts, Johnson allowed seven runs on eight hits over four innings. Three of the hits were home runs, including back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth. Chandler Shepherd was able to keep the Chiefs at bay with three shutout innings of relief, striking out four.
8/27 Cup of Coffee: Mauricio Dubon just won't cool down, as he picked up five more hits in the Sea Dogs' win. C.J. Chatham belted two homers and Rafael Devers and Aneury Tavarez each had big nights. The system also got some great starting pitching from Henry Owens, Keith Couch, Trey Ball, Dedgar Jimenez, and Darwinzon Hernandez.
Henry Owens dominated in his first start back with Pawtucket after his rough outing with Boston. He threw six shutout innings, allowing just five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. Roman Mendez tossed two scoreless innings without allowing a hit before Noe Ramirez picked up the save with a scoreless ninth.
Bryce Brentz had a big day, reaching four times with three hits, including a triple, and a walk. Christian Vazquez continued to swing a nice bat, collecting two hits and two RBI. Ryan LaMarre also had a pair of hits.
8/26 Cup of Coffee:Mauricio Dubon(pictured) paced the Sea Dogs offense and Mitch Atkins posted his second straight stellar start for a Portland win. Michael Chavis extended his hitting streak since his promotion to High-A in a Salem victory. Josh Pennington pitched arguably his best game of the season and Bobby Dalbec continued to rake for Lowell.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 1 Despite racking up 12 strikeouts as a team, the PawSox were also tagged for 11 hits and four home runs in Thursday's loss. Justin Haley allowed three runs on five hits, including a pair of solo home runs. He walked two and struck out four. Pawtucket remained within striking distance until Kyle Martin allowed two more home runs in his second inning of relief. The PawSox managed just one extra-base hit in the game. Christian Vazquez and Rusney Castillo each went 2 for 4. Mike Miller drove in the team's only run on a solo shot in the third.
- Once considered a potential late first-round pick for the 2016 draft, Lowell right-handed pitcher Mike Shawaryn fell to the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2016 draft where he received a well over-slot bonus, as SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel examined yesterday. Shawaryn has gotten off to a solid start in pro ball, striking out 15 in 9 2/3 innings, albeit while walking 5 and allowing 11 hits and 5 earned runs. I have had the chance to see Shawaryn twice now, once in a two-inning stint and then most recently in a three-inning stint, his longest since joining the Red Sox.
Shawaryn has a sturdy, filled-out frame, looking his listed 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. He does not have much projection left and has a solid lower half that looks like it could withstand a starter’s workload.
8/25 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Portland both put up double-digit runs in victories. Lowell's six-game winning streak was snapped, and the fifth-ranked prospect on SoxProspects.com, Michael Kopech, submitted another dominant performance.
The PawSox used a five-run sixth inning to secure just their third victory in their last eight games. Sean O'Sullivan picked up the win, allowing a run on three hits and two walks while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings. William Cuevas added 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing one run while punching out three. Pawtucket got the scoring started in the second, plating two runs on a Chris Dominguez RBI double and a Rusney Castillo RBI single. In the fifth, Pawtucket extended the lead to 4-0 on a Ryan LaMarre (pictured, above right) two-run home run. In the sixth, Dominguez led off the inning with a solo shot, Castillo slammed a two-run double, and LaMarre added another two-run homer. LaMarre finished 3 for 5 with two runs scored, two home runs, and four RBI. Dominguez was 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBI.
LOWELL, Mass. – The second half of the minor league season is marked by an infusion of new talent via the draft, and seeing which players will be the first to impress and break out is an exciting part of following prospects. The Red Sox fifth-round pick this year, right-hander Mike Shawaryn, is starting to look like he could be one such player after performing impressively in three of his four starts for the Lowell Spinners.
In those three starts, working the typical two-to-three-inning outings that the Red Sox have college draftees begin their careers with in Lowell, he allowed just four hits and one run over 7 2/3 innings. Viewed as a potential first rounder heading into this year’s college season, Shawaryn provided a glimpse of why many analysts regarded him so highly in his two most recent starts.
On August 17, in his third outing as a pro, not only did the right-hander not allow a hit, but the ball did not get out of the infield while he was on the mound, with a liner caught by the first baseman in the second inning the only ball hit in the air. Batters had a tough time squaring up any of his pitches, although he did allow three walks in the game.
“[He was] nibbling the corners a little bit,” Lowell manager Iggy Suarez said. “He's just got to attack the zone a little bit better, but still, the way it was coming out of his hand, that's what we like.”
8/24 Cup of Coffee: Yoan Moncada (pictured, left)is doing his best to prove he is ready to contribute in Boston down the stretch; he homered and walked four times in the Sea Dogs' victory. Both Ben Badler of Baseball America and Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald reported that Moncada made several good plays at third base in addition to his contributions at the plate.
Elsewhere Roenis Elias and Daniel McGrath had rough starts, Chris Madera hit a go-ahead single in the ninth for the Spinners, and Michael Chavis made his debut with Salem.
It was a rough start for Roenis Elias,who allowed seven runs on nine hits over six innings. Elias entered the game having allowed only four runs over his last 23 2/3 innings with Pawtucket. Robby Scott and Noe Ramirez each followed with a scoreless inning, and Roman Mendez allowed two runs in his only inning of work.
The only extra-base hit for the PawSox came from Bryce Brentz, who went 2 for 4 with a double and an outfield assist. Jose Vinicio was the only other batter to record a multi-hit game, going 2 for 3, and Chris Marrero went 1 for 3 with a walk.
SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield is reporting that third baseman Michael Chavis has been promoted to High A Salem. Boston’s 2014 first-round pick, Chavis has hit .244/.321/.391 in 74 games with Greenville this season and is the organization’s 13th-ranked prospect on SoxProspects.com. Chavis joins a Salem squad that has already clinched a playoff berth by virtue of its first-half division championship. With Rafael Devers already patrolling Salem’s hot corner, Chavis will likely split time with the Dominican slugger at that position and get at-bats as a designated hitter.
8/23 Cup of Coffee: Monday was one of the most anticipated days on the 2016 minor league schedule, as Jason Groome (pictured), the Red Sox top pick in the June draft, made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League. Elsewhere, both DSL clubs punched playoff tickets, while Bobby Dalbec continues to power Lowell's pennant chase. Potential pitching reinforcements were on display, as Brian Johnson, Joe Kelly, and Brandon Workman were solid for Pawtucket and Portland.
Brian Johnson was not quite as sharp on Monday as he was in his four previous starts, but still turned in a very effective outing. The left-hander needed 102 pitches to get through 5 1/3 innings, leaving with the game knotted at one. He allowed just the one run on five hits, walking three and striking out five. In 30 2/3 innings over his last five outings, Johnson has a 1.77 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Austin Maddox got his first Triple-A win, throwing 1 2/3 shutout innings of relief. Joe Kelly was dominant in his two innings, striking out four without allowing a baserunner, and needing only 26 pitches to earn the save. Kelly, who struggled so mightily with his control during his stint as a major league starter, has not walked a batter in his eight innings since rejoining the PawSox at the beginning of August.
Marco Hernandez carried the PawSox offense. He had three of Pawtucket's seven hits, including a seventh-inning solo home run that proved to be the difference in the game. Ryan LaMarre was 2 for 4 with a double and run scored out of the leadoff slot.
After signing on July 15, first-round draft pick and left-hander Jason Groome made his professional debut today in the Gulf Coast League, striking out three over two innings of one-hit ball.
The SoxProspects.com Podcast returned on Sunday to discuss a plethora of topics, including Andrew Benintendi’s time in Boston, Yoan Moncada’s transition to third base, and the reasons why Salem's Rafael Devers and Michael Kopech (pictured, right) will not be promoted this season. The podcast also includes Arizona Fall League roster predictions and first-hand reports from Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.
Kopechhad another dominant start last week, tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts. Kopech spoke with Damien Sordelett of MiLB.com about his development and how he is handling his past mistakes. Kopech credits Salem pitching coach Paul Abbott with providing advice and a blueprint to follow. That blueprint seems to be working; over his last 22 innings, Kopech has struck out 39 batters while allowing only three earned runs.
Cup of Coffee 8/22: Two rainouts turned what was already a quiet day for the affiliates into a three-game night. Salem picked up its 10th straight win in blowout fashion, and Tyler Hill (pictured) and Tucker Tubbs carried Lowell to a 9-6 victory. Greenville was on the wrong side of an eight-run second inning in its loss.
Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) - Cancelled
Heavy rain forced the cancellation of Pawtucket’s last meeting with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The game will not be made up.
Portland Sea Dogs vs. Binghamton Mets (NYM) - Cancelled
The Sea Dogs and Mets last meeting of the year was rained out Sunday and will not be made up.
Since the last episode, we've seen Andrew Benintendi make his debut in the majors and Yoan Moncada make his debut at third. Could the latter join his former Portland teammate in Boston, and is anyone else in the minors ready to come up and help the big league club? Like say... in the bullpen? Plus quick hits on why Rafael Devers and Michael Kopech won't get promoted, the trade of Pat Light, Arizona Fall League assignment predictions, and first-hand reports from Lowell. Plus your emails led to discussion of Kyri Washington, Nick Hamilton, Christopher Acosta, Luis Alexander Basabe, and more.
Click through for the in-site player and download/streaming links!
On occasion, we have been featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page. Today's video is of Greenville center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe. The video features the 19-year-old both in batting practice and in-game action earlier this season.
Basabe got off to a slow start this year while adjusting to Low-A pitching, but since June 1, he is batting .298/.364/.511 with eight home runs and 16 steals. He dipped slightly in the SoxProspects rankings in May, but now sits firmly in the eighth spot. Basabe is an athletic player with loud tools, who appears to be figuring out this level's challenges.
We have been incorporating more video this year to supplement our regular scouting material, so check back here and on the YouTube page frequently.
Cup of Coffee 8/21: It was a successful day for most of the Red Sox affiliates as every team except Pawtucket and the GCL Red Sox were victorious. Mauricio Dubon (pictured, right)turned in a marquee performance on Saturday night, going 4 for 5 with four runs scored in Portland's win. Salem won both games of a doubleheader thanks to strong starting pitching performances by Matt Kent and Trey Ball. Josh Pennington was lights out for Lowell, and Bobby Dalbec continued his offensive tear for the Spinners.
Henry Owens, who was scheduled to start,was scratched before Saturday night's game, so Chandler Shepherd was called on for spot duty,making only the second start of his minor league career. Shepherd cruised through three scoreless innings but allowed three runs in the fourth. Overall, the right-hander threw 3 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits and no walks, while punching out four. Noe Ramirez allowed a run on four hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Kyle Martin added three shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out four. The PawSox collected only three hits, one apiece from Ryan LaMarre, Marco Hernandez, and Chris Young.
8/20 Cup of Coffee:Bobby Dalbec (pictured)continued his hot hitting in a big performance from the Lowell offense, and an absolute gem by Mitch Atkins, backed by a Mauricio Dubon homer, lead Portland to victory. The DSL teams cruised to victories, while the GCL Red Sox needed a ninth-inning rally and a walk-off wild pitch to secure a win.
The PawSox jumped out to a 3-0 lead on RailRiders starter Luis Severino, but the Pawtucket pitching could not hold the lead. Sean O’Sullivan ran into trouble late in his five-inning outing, allowing three runs in his last two innings. O’Sullivan was actually in line for the win before Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plated four runs on reliever William Cuevas. The Pawtucket offense received strong contributions from its outfielders. Rehabbing Chris Young singled, walked and drove in a run. Brennan Boesch whacked three hits, including a double, and scored a run, and Rusney Castillo had another multi-hit performance that saw him finish 2 for 5.
8/19 Cup of Coffee:Michael Kopech continued to blow away opposing hitters, earning his third win in four starts for Salem. A two-homer game by Chris Dominguez paced a Pawtucket blowout win. Bobby Dalbec clubbed a pair of home runs and Lowell won in walk-off fashion again. Roniel Raudes carried Greenville to a win with seven stellar innings of work. Kevin McAvoy pitched a seven-inning complete game to earn Portland a split in a doubleheader.
The PawSox pounded out 13 hits in a blowout win. At the center of the attack were Christian Vazquez and Chris Marrero who each went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Vazquez also scored twice and stole third base. Chris Dominguez provided the fireworks, launching a pair of two-run home runs in a 2-for-4 game for him. Roenis Elias earned the win, going 5 1/3 innings, giving up just one run on three hits. He struck out five and walked three. Joe Kelly closed out the game with 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief. He gave up just two hits, struck out two and walked none.
The PawSox could not overcome an early deficit. Justin Haley allowed nine runs on eight hits and a walk over two innings, dropping to 7-4 on the season. Robby Scott added four innings of scoreless relief. He allowed two hits and struck out four. Kyle Martin fired two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, punching out three.
The PawSox jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, but saw it quickly evaporate in the bottom of the inning. Chris Dominiguez laced a solo home run in the second to cut the deficit to 4-3. But the IronPigs scored five times in the bottom of the second to take a commanding advantage. The PawSox rounded out the scoring in the seventh on a Rusney Castillo sacrifice fly. In his fourth rehab game, Chris Young was 1 for 3 before being replaced by a pinch runner in the eighth.
8/17 Cup of Coffee: It was a day filled with wild comebacks, extra-inning walk-offs, masterful pitching, a pair of ejections, and a couple of leadoff homers. Rafael Devers (pictured, left) had an RBI double in the 9th and another in the 11th as Salem registered a comeback, walk-off victory. Greenville and the DSL Red Sox1 also walked off in extra-innings, with the DSL squad's triumph coming in a 17-inning marathon. Brian Johnson dominated in a losing effort for Pawtucket, and a pair of GCL Sox hurlers combined on a shutout. Lowell's Tyler Hill asserted himself by going deep in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
Brian Johnson matched his major league counterparts by bringing a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He allowed a pair of singles in the frame to lose the no-no, but was outstanding overall. He gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings. The only run for Lehigh Valley came on a solo shot by Darin Ruf (PHI), but that was enough offense to saddle Johnson with the tough-luck loss.
Johnson turned in his fourth consecutive quality start, making a case to be the next option if the Red Sox need to call on another starter down the stretch. Johnson struggled in his first start after his return to the PawSox, but has been outstanding in the four starts since. In 25 1/3 innings, he has allowed only five runs on 19 hits while striking out 15 against only four walks.
Despite having 14 baserunners, Pawtucket could not bring a single one home. The lineup was only 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, hit into two double plays, and had three players thrown out on the bases. Jantzen Witte and Rusney Castillo both reached base three times; Witte recorded three singles and Castillo a hit and two walks. Castillo is hitting his stride, as he has generated a .413/.449/.630 August line.
8/16 Cup of Coffee: Henry Owens (pictured) and Trey Ball took the hill last night, and the two left-handers had differing results. Owens walked only one over seven innings, while Ball walked five and only made it through five innings. Jake Cosart continued his dominant run out of the bullpen, and Chris Marrero slugged another home run for the PawSox.
Owens went the first seven innings, walking one and striking out six while allowing one run on five hits. It was his first time allowing less than two walks in a game this season, though he did hit two batters. Chandler Shepherd and Joe Kelly combined to throw the final two innings, with Kelly adding a strikeout.
The most prominent news of the week on the farm came in Portland, when Yoan Moncada (pictured, right) made his debut at third base. Many have speculated that Moncada could follow Andrew Benintendi to the majors before 2016 ends, and third base is where it would happen. For what it's worth, Travis Shaw has struggled lately at the plate, and Aaron Hill has just a .589 OPS with Boston so far.
SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall got his first look at a few 2016 draft picks. He scouted sixth-rounder Stephen Nogosek, 12th-rounder Matthew Gorst, and 24th rounder Hunter Smith. All are off to terrific starts, and Nogosek and Smith have already been promoted once.
8/15 Cup of Coffee: Deiner Lopez (pictured) provided a clutch knock in extras to give Salem a victory, while Bobby Dalbec recorded three hits in a shutout win for Lowell. Dakota Smith and Matt Kent provided nice outings as well. Portland played one game instead of their scheduled doubleheader due to rain and Pawtucket dropped a pair.
Sean O'Sullivan didn't have it in game one. He was knocked around for five earned runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He also struggled with control, walking six and striking out just one. Roman Mendez was good in relief with 1 1/3 shutout innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
There wasn't a whole lot of offense for the PawSox, as a Deven Marrero RBI single and a Bryce Brentz RBI double provided the only runs. Allen Craig played in his first PawSox game since May 19 and picked up a single and a run. Christian Vazquez also doubled and walked.
Cup of Coffee 8/14: Fifth-ranked prospect Michael Kopech (pictured) was the standout on Saturday night, recording a career-high eleven strikeouts in five innings of work. Aside from Kopech's brilliant performance, it was a relatively light day for the affiliates as both Pawtucket and Portland were rained out. A three-run homer by Michael Chavis and a dominant start by Daniel Gonzalez powered the Drive to victory.
Pawtucket Red Sox, Buffalo Bisons (TOR) (Postponed)
Saturday night's tilt against Buffalo was postponed due to rain. The PawSox and Bisons will play a doubleheader on Sunday, with the first game starting at 12:05 EST.
A teenager ranked third in the system and a veteran who has been with the organization for seven seasons have been selected by the SoxProspects.com community as Player and Pitcher of the Month. Third baseman Rafael Devers had 22 extra-base hits on his way to top player honors, while right-handed starter Keith Couch (pictured) turned in consecutive complete games to earn recognition as top pitcher.
Devers, 19, had gotten off to a slow start in the Carolina League with a .524 OPS on May 3. While his solid May and June began to ease worries that he poor April was anything more than short-term blip on his developmental track, a phenomenal July completely incinerated any such concern. Despite playing in Salem, one of the hardest-hitting environments in all of the minors, Devers hit .357/.408/.670 in 125 plate appearances, with 13 doubles, four triples, and five home runs. To put his outburst in perspective, only one other member of Salem has five home runs all season.
8/13 Cup of Coffee: Top prospect Yoan Moncada took the next step to the major leagues, making his first start as a third baseman in Portland’s blowout loss. Justin Haley (pictured) continued his strong season with eight shutout innings, while the Salem offense did just enough to pick up a win. Greenville, Lowell, and GCL Red Sox suffered offensive outages in losses.
The Bisons had no answer for Justin Haley all night, as the Pawtucket starter twirled eight shutout innings to earn his seventh win. While Haley largely pitched to contact — striking out just three batters — he allowed just two hits, both singles. Joe Kelly finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth. The Paw Sox offense did most of its damage in a three-run third inning, powered by a two-run triple by red-hot Rusney Castillo. It was the third three-bagger in as many games for Castillo, but an awkward slide into third base forced him to leave the game after scoring a Ryan LaMarre single. LaMarre reached base four times with two hits and two walks. Jantzen Witte, Deven Marrero, and Mike Miller each singled and scored a run.
8/12 Cup of Coffee: A pair of dramatic home runs keyed a late Pawtucket rally. Rafael Devers(pictured) clubbed two home runs, but it was not enough for Salem. Trent Kemp, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Kyri Washington paced the Greenville offense in a win. After Michael Shawaryn was roughed up in game one, Lowell bounced back with a shutout win in game two of a doubleheader. Yoan Moncada and Mauricio Dubon provided the only offense for Portland in a loss.
Trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth, Marco Hernandez and Chris Marrero tied and put the Paw Sox ahead, respectively, with a pair of two-run homers. Both home runs came with two outs in the inning and both were the only hits of the game for Hernandez and Marrero. Heath Hembree walked home a run with two outs in the ninth, but he struck out his final batter to hang on for the save. Robby Scott pitched three scoreless innings in his third start in his last four appearances. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits.
8/11 Cup of Coffee: It was a great day for the affiliates, as only the GCL Sox failed to earn a victory. Pawtucket narrowly eclipsed Durham, Portland blew away Erie, and Salem came away with a narrow extra-inning victory.
Brian Johnson picked up the victory as Pawtucket lassoed the Durham Bulls. Johnson tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out two. Joe Kelly added 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out two. Noe Ramirez picked up the save, allowing a run in his lone inning of relief.
After Durham kicked off the game with two runs in the top of the first, the PawSox responded in the bottom half of the inning with a Marco Hernandez RBI triple and a Chris Marrero sacrifice fly. In the second, Deven Marrero's solo home run gave the PawSox a 3-2 advantage. Chris Marrero added a solo home run in the third, and Brennan Boesch's RBI single in the fifth put Pawtucket on top, 5-2. The Bulls attempted a comeback, adding runs in the seventh and the ninth before finally being shut down. Boesch, Hernandez, and Rusney Castillo each had two hits in the victory.
- 2016 6th-round pick Stephen Nogosek was the first member of the draft class to earn a promotion to full season ball, moving from Lowell to Greenville on August 4. The right-hander had an excellent year as the closer for Oregon this season and continued to thrive in a true relief role with Lowell. Prior to the promotion, he tossed 13 1/3 innings while striking out 19 and allowing nine hits and seven walks, finishing with a 1.20 WHIP and 2.03 ERA at the level.
Nogosek, 21, has an athletic pitcher’s frame and looks his listed size of 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. He is on the skinny side at present, but does not have much projection remaining. Nogosek utilizes a max effort delivery that profiles in a relief role only. He starts closed on the first base side of the rubber and has a quick, short delivery during which he uses a medium leg kick and crouches some, coiling his body before going towards the plate. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and has a quick arm. His delivery can be somewhat off-putting to hitters due to the effort and quickness.
8/10 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was at the forefront Tuesday, with left-handed starters Enmanual De Jesus (pictured, left) and Henry Owens turning in the strongest outings to lead Greenville and Pawtucket, respectively. Portland fell despite a late rally, while Lowell's was more successful. The GCL Sox were swept in their doubleheader while the DSL squads came away with a wins.
Henry Owens continues to be difficult for Triple-A hitters to handle, despite some spotty control. The 6-foot-7 lefty walked four in his six innings of work, but shut out the Bulls on only three hits while striking out seven. Chandler Shepherd and Heath Hembree continued their domination out of the Pawtucket bullpen. Shepherd tossed a scoreless seventh, lowering his ERA to 2.08 in 12 appearances since his promotion from Portland. After striking out two in a perfect ninth inning, Hembree now has nine strikeouts, one hit, and no walks in five innings since rejoining the PawSox in late July.
Brennan Boesch and Christian Vazquez both homered for Pawtucket. Boesch hit a two-run blast in the second, and Vazquez had a solo shot in the fourth. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4, registering his eighth multi-hit game in his last 12 contests.
Four Spinners were selected to participate in the New York-Penn League All-Star game, led by the league’s leading hitter, Tyler Hill. Hill’s outfield companion, Matt McLean, joins him on the North team's roster, as well as shortstop Carlos Tovar and relief pitcherKuehl McEachern.
Hill (pictured, right) is arguably the league’s most deserving All-Star, sporting a slash line of .365/.435/.532 and leading the league in average, OBP, and OPS. Hill’s success has extended to all areas of his game. He has posted an OPS over .950 against both left- and right-handed pitchers and has struck out just 28 times in 42 games. The breakout season comes after a slow first two years of professional ball for the 2014 19th-round pick.
8/9 Cup of Coffee: It was a light night with Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem all getting the day off while the GCL game was postponed due to rain. The Drive lost a tight battle with the Fireflies as Daniel Gonzalez's quality start and Roldani Baldwin's (pictured) three hits were not enough. Josh Pennington had another battle with his control for Lowell, while both DSL affiliates came away with one-run victories.
It was a tough loss for the Drive, as a two-out rally in the eighth lifted the Fireflies. Daniel Gonzalez turned in a quality start, allowing two runs over six innings while allowing six hits and striking out seven. He departed with the game tied at two, and Gerson Bautista came on in relief. He was cruising, retiring the first five batters he faced, before a single, passed ball, and another single pushed the go-ahead run across in the bottom of the eighth.
The biggest news of the week came early on when news broke on Tuesday that outfielder and number two ranked prospect Andrew Benintendi(pictured, right) would be called up by the Red Sox. While not unheard of, the jump from Double-A to the majors is a large one, and the move is even more suprising considering that it came only a season after Benintendi was drafted. Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and Senior Staff Writer James Dunne analyze the call-up, and point out the last time a Red Sox positional player was called up a season after being drafted was Fred Lynn in 1974.
Benintendi went hitless on Tuesday as a pinch hitter, but managed two hits in his first start on Wednesday. Overall in his first week in the majors, Benintendi has played in five games with 13 plate appearances and five hits. His best game came on Sunday where he finished 3 for 4 with a stolen base, run scored, and two RBI.
If Benintendi is in the majors to stay, he finishes his minor league career with amazing numbers. Over two partial seasons and four levels, he hit .312/.392/.540 with 38 doubles, 16 triples, 20 home runs, and 26 stolen bases over 657 plate appearances. As if that was not enough, he also showed great plate discipline with more walks (74) than strikeouts (63).
8/8 Cup of Coffee: Portland got great efforts from Aneury Tavarez (pictured) and the bullpen on their way to a win. Salem received big days from Rafael Devers and Joseph Monge in a 19-hit attack. Rusney Castillo stayed hot for Pawtucket.
It was a rough outing for Sean O'Sullivan, and the PawSox offense couldn't do much other than a three-run fourth. O'Sullivan was knocked around for five earned runs on six hits in just 3 2/3 innings. Noe Ramirez finished the fourth and William Cuevas tossed the final three innings allowing just a run and striking out two.
Pawtucket did not record an extra-base hit, but scored on a two-run single by Deven Marrero and an RBI single from Rusney Castillo, who went 2 for 4. Chris Marrero and Dan Butler each went 2 for 3.
Cup of Coffee 8/7: The weather was a major factor across the affiliates on Saturday, postponing Pawtucket's game and suspending both DSL games until Sunday. Salem walked off, picking up a high-scoring win behind strong performances from Danny Mars (pictured) and Rafael Devers. The Greenville pitching staff had a strong day, holding Charleston to just one run in a doubleheader. In Lowell, fifth-round pick Michael Shawaryn impressed in his professional debut.
Pawtucket Red Sox, Buffalo Bisons (NYM): Postponed
Saturday night's game against the Buffalo Bisons was postponed due to inclement weather. The PawSox will play a doubleheader tomorrow, with the first game starting at 11:30 EST.
8/5 Cup of Coffee: Portland was the only affiliate to take a loss on a strong Friday for the organization. Marco Hernandez and Bobby Dalbec (pictured) led big offensive efforts while pitching reigned supreme in the GCL and DSL. The organization received a scare when top prospect Yoan Moncada left Portland’s game with a left ankle injury.
The PawSox’ seven-run third inning was the story of the game in their blowout victory Friday. Marco Hernandez powered the offense, blasting his third Triple-A home run of the season in the decisive third inning. Hernandez added a triple to his 2-for-4, three-RBI night. Jantzen Witte enjoyed a 4-for-4 performance, and Christian Vazquez chipped in a walk and two hits of his own. After surrendering an early run, starter Roenis Elias was dominant. He retired 15 in a row at one point on his way to a seven inning gem, allowing just three hits and striking out eight. Joe Kelly allowed his first run as Triple-A reliever in the eighth, and Kyle Martin pitched a scoreless ninth.
8/5 Cup of Coffee: Brian Johnson(pictured) and Rusney Castillo carried the day for the PawSox on the mound and at the plate, respectively, in a close victory. Lowell roared back for a win despite another tough start for 2016 draft pick Shaun Anderson. The Sea Dogs squandered several opportunities in a frustrating loss. The bullpens wasted solid efforts for Salem's Trey Ball and Greenville's Enmanuel De Jesus.
For the second straight start, Brian Johnson spun six superb innings for the PawSox since returning from the disabled list. Johnson threw 93 pitches in six innings of work, giving up just one earned run on three hits, including a solo home run. He struck out six and walked three. Heath Hembree struck out the side in the ninth to earn the save. Rusney Castillo led the Pawtucket offense out of the leadoff spot, going 4 for 4 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored. Ryan LaMarre drove in a pair with a two-run double in the third.
The Red Sox have promoted a trio of pitchers, SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield has confirmed through a source. Right-handed relievers Jake Cosart (pictured) and Jeffry Fernandez will go from Low A Greenville to High A Salem, while fellow righty Steve Nogosek joins Greenville from the Short Season-A Lowell Spinners.
Cosart, 22, has made a big step forward in 2016 following a full-time conversion to the bullpen. The 2014 third-round pick struggled in the Lowell rotation last year, posting a 5.45 ERA in nine starts, and walking 20 batters against only 27 strikeouts in 33 innings. Moved into a relief role with the Drive, Cosart has shined, lowering his ERA to 2.22 in 52 2/3 innings. His strikouts have made a leap forward in the shorter role with 76, equating to a very impressive 13 per nine innings, while walking only 25 batters. In a recent Scouting Scratch, SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was impressed by Cosart's arm strength and fastball, but noted his maximum effort delivery. Cosart is the highest ranked player of the group, currently 29th on SoxProspects.com.
8/4 Cup of Coffee: It was a night of close victories as Portland, Greenville, Lowell, the GCL Sox, and the DSL Sox1 all pulled out one-run wins. On the other side, the PawSox fell to Rochester, and Salem and the DSL Sox2 were blown out.
Squandered opportunities contributed to the PawSox' loss. Henry Owens received the start, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out seven in five innings of work. Chandler Shepherd added two scoreless innings of relief, and Noe Ramirez struck out two in his lone inning out of the bullpen.
Pawtucket did all of its damage in the first inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Marco Hernandez and Chris Marrero. The PawSox stranded 11 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Rusney Castillo led Pawtucket with three hits from the leadoff spot.
8/3 Cup of Coffee: The post-Andrew Benintendi era got off to an auspicious start for Portland, as Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured, left) fired a complete game, one-hit shutout to lead the Sea Dogs. Michael Kopech was arguably just as dominant in Salem's win, and Roniel Raudes also spun a gem in a tough-luck loss. Lowell and the GCL Red Sox also got strong pitching, while Sean O'Sullivan struggled for the PawSox in his first rehab outing.
Sean O'Sullivan, on the disabled list since early July with left knee tendinitis, made his return to the mound in a rehab start for the PawSox. It was a struggle for the burly right-hander, who threw 35 pitches in the first inning and gave up four runs on six hits, including a two-run homer. With O'Sullivan getting the start, William Cuevas moved into a long relief role. He kept Pawtucket in the game, giving up two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Roman Mendez finished up with 1 2/3 hitless innings. At the plate, Rusney Castillo is quietly putting together something of a hot streak. He was 2 for 5 with a double, giving him four multi-hit games in his last six. Marco Hernandez and Mike Miller had two hits apiece.
8/2 Cup of Coffee: With Pawtucket and Portland off on Monday, Salem and Greenville tried to make up for the lack of action with big offensive nights. Jose Sermo picked up right where he left off in July, and Mitchell Gunsolus (pictured)launched another grand slam for Greenville. The Spinners split a doubleheader with the ValleyCats, and Lorenzo Cedrola had two more hits for the GCL Red Sox.
An eight-run second inning propelled the Red Sox past the Blue Rocks. After being staked to a huge lead, Daniel McGrath was unable to get past the fifth inning, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits and three walks. McGrath had gone at least six innings in five of his last six starts, including an eight-inning performance last time out. Bobby Poyner was able to keep the Blue Rocks at bay, allowing only one run over three innings, and Simon Mercedes struck out two in a scoreless ninth.
The Red Sox will purchase the contract of outfielder Andrew Benintendi on Tuesday, the number two prospect in the most recent SoxProspects .com rankings. The news was first reported by Will Carroll. Per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald, Benintendi will join the Red Sox in Seattle tomorrow, a report that was confirmed by Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
It has been a meteoric rise to the major leagues for Benintendi, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft. His star really began to rise in 2015. Benintendi was not regarded as a potential top pick heading into the college season, but a dominant spring for the Arkansas Razorbacks earned him recognition as the consensus collegiate player of the year, winning four such honors including the Golden Spikes Award, and rocketed him up the draft boards. He did not miss a beat after signing, hitting .313/.416/.556 between Lowell and Greenville in his professional debut.
The week before the MLB Trade Deadline has been full of rumors and speculation, and the Red Sox made yet another trade to bolster their bullpen. Boston sent PawSox reliever Pat Light (seven saves, 2.32 ERA) to Minnesota on Deadline Day for lefty Fernando Abad. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall checked in with a look at Light and his analysis of the move.
Two big league relievers were on the move this week. Craig Kimbrel made his first rehab assignment since injuring his left knee on July 9. He faced three batters at Triple-A Pawtucket, allowing a single, inducing a ground out, and hitting a batter. Joe Kelly moved from the Pawtucket to the Boston bullpen after completing his conversion to a relief role.