SoxProspects News

April 25, 2017 at 8:00 AM

System Restart '17: Upper-level pitching



The SoxProspects.com writing staff presents the System Restart, our season-opening, position-by-position preview of the Boston Red Sox farm system for 2017. This is the fifth of seven parts, featuring the system’s high-minors pitching. 

Position at a Glance: In the high minors, the Red Sox lack potential starting pitching options but boast a bonanza of potential major league relief arms. The top options for spot starts in Boston are technically no longer prospects, and after that the drop off is steep, the departure of Michael Kopech in the Chris Sale trade leaving a hole on the depth chart. The current Portland rotation doesn’t boast any potential starting options unless Trey Ball can take a big step forward. Meanwhile, both levels feature pitchers in the rotation and bullpen who could contribute in a major league bullpen in the near future, the number perhaps approaching double digits. – Ian Cundall

Top Prospects
Henry Owens/Brian Johnson, Pawtucket (graduated)
Now in their sixth and fifth full seasons in the system, respectively, Owens and Johnson (pictured, above) need to prove that they can be relied upon to at least provide serviceable spot starts in order to provide value to the Red Sox, and they need to move forward from there if they want to have major league careers. Owens is overhauling his mechanics out of the wind-up, and so far, returns have been mixed: he has 20 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings over three starts, but has also walked 10 and given up a pair of home runs. Johnson got first crack at a spot start after two strong starts, getting through five innings that weren't great but could have been worse. With Spring Training darling Kyle Kendrick getting hit around in his first three starts—and, without options, in danger of being claimed by another team if called up for only a short-term fill-in role, the 2017 Red Sox probably need one of Owens or Johnson to figure things out in order to have success. – Chris Hatfield
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn strikes out nine as Drive cruise


4/25 Cup of Coffee: It was a quiet night on the farm, with two affiliates following the major league club with an off day. A trio of Greenville hurlers, led by Mike Shawaryn (pictured), combined on a 17-strikeout night, while Portland was shut out in their contest.

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Despite an eight-hit effort, Portland could not string a rally together. Aneury Tavarez continues to patiently bide his time in Double-A, posting another two-hit night for the Sea Dogs and adding a stolen base. Tavarez has been so good for Portland that the 2-for-4 effort actually dropped his OPS by a point, to 1.023. Tzu-Wei Lin scuffled very early in the season, but he now is riding a seven-game hitting streak after Monday's 2-for-3 evening. Starter Jacob Dahlstrand took the loss, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jake Cosart pitched a scoreless ninth.
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April 24, 2017 at 7:04 PM

Minor Notes: Workman dominant in PawSox bullpen


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Assistant director of scouting Chaz Fiorino has attended some games in Portland in the first few weeks of the season and discussed starts by Teddy Stankiewicz and Jalen Beeks in his most recent two editions of The Write-Up. 
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at 9:00 AM

The Write-Up: Jalen Beeks


PORTLAND, Me.Jalen Beeks returns to Portland to start 2017 after earning a mid-season promotion from High A Salem in 2016, splitting his 132 2/3 innings nearly evenly between the two levels in 13 starts at each (67 1/3 in Salem versus 65 1/3 in Portland). Beeks took the mound in the season’s second game as the Sea Dogs took on the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field. Here’s The Write-Up on his start.

Age: 23
Height: 5-11
Weight: 195 lbs.
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Draft, 12th rd., 2014
College: Arkansas

Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K; 84 pitches, 54 strikes (64%); 14/20 first-pitch strikes (70%); 16 swing-and-misses.

Beeks has an undersized, filled-out frame with a strong lower half. He comes at you from the first base side of the rubber with a high three-quarters arm slot. He comes set with his hands just below his belt and brings them back up with a high leg kick as he turns his back towards the hitter at the height of his delivery. As his hands break, he brings his left arm behind his back leg with a wrist hook. As he delivers, his front foot gets down early and the arm lags behind, creating added stress on the arm and making it difficult to locate. All this movement and rigidness does create deception in the delivery, and coupled with his quick arm out front makes it tough to pick up the ball out of his hand. 
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at 8:58 AM

Cup of Coffee: Olt leads Sea Dogs to walkoff win



4/24 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs rode a furious ninth inning to a walk-off win against Trenton. Mike Olt (pictured) led the charge with a 3-for-5 performance, hitting a homer and the winning single. Salem lost both games of a doubleheader, scoring only one run on the day. Both Pawtucket and Greenville were rained out.

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Pawtucket Red Sox, Gwinnett Braves (ATL) (PPD)
The PawSox and Braves were rained out on Sunday afternoon. The two teams meet again next weekend in Pawtucket and will likely make up the game with a doubleheader then.

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Third baseman Mike Olt led the Sea Dogs to a walk-off win with his two-run single, capping a four-run ninth. Olt had a big game for Portland, going 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs. Tzu-Wei Lin also recorded three hits, including a home run and a triple. Trey Ball struggled with his control in a shaky performance, allowing five runs and four walks in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Luis Ysla, Austin Maddox, and Jamie Callahan kept Portland in the game with 4 2/3 combined shutout innings of relief.
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April 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks tosses complete-game shutout


4/23 Cup of Coffee: Both Jalen Beeks (pictured) and Darwinzon Hernandez had impressive pitching performances, while Nick Longhi slugged a home run for Portland. Pawtucket continued to struggle at the plate and Greenville was able to squeak out a late win. 

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Pawtucket's offensive woes continued in a loss to the Braves. Blake Swihart went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to lower his average to .189, and Deven Marrero went 0 for 4 with a strikeout as his average dropped to .103. Sam Travis went 2 for 4 but is still hitting only .175 with an OPS of .592. 
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April 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM

SoxProspects Featured Video: Victor Garcia


Occasionally, we will be featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page. Today's video is of Dominican right-handed pitcher Victor Garcia. The video features the 19-year-old facing batters on March 15. In this outing, Garcia sat 91-95 mph and utilized both his changeup and curveball. For a more detailed look at his outing, check out the first edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training featuring Garcia and others.

We plan to incorporate more video this year to supplement our regular scouting material, so check back here and on the YouTube page frequently.


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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey homers twice, Salem sweeps twin bill


4/22 Cup of Coffee: Josh Ockimey (pictured) had a huge day at the plate in game one of Salem's doubleheader with a pair of long balls. Michael Chavis also homered for Salem and Bobby Dalbec had a big night in Greenville's 18-inning loss. Shaun Anderson continued his hot start on the mound for the Drive as well.

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Rusney Castillo went 3 for 5 atop the PawSox order, including his third steal of the year. He is now batting .321 on the young season. Ryan Court drove in both Pawtucket runs with a fourth-inning two-run homer as part of his 2-for-3 night. Kyle Kendrick delivered seven innings and allowed three earned runs and Kyle Martin finished the game with a pair of strikeouts in his only inning of work.
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April 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The Write-Up: Teddy Stankiewicz


PORTLAND, Me. -- Teddy Stankiewicz returned to Double-A Portland to start 2017, taking the ball in the Sea Dogs’ home opener on April 7 against the Reading Fightin Phils. Here’s The Write-Up on his start.

Age: 23
Height: 6-4
Weight: 215 lbs.
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Draft, 2nd Rd., 2013
College: Seminole State (OK)

Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K; 74 pitches, 42 strikes (57%); 13/24 first-pitch strikes (54%); 7 swing-and-misses

Stankiewicz has a lean, lanky, athletic build and is most likely fully developed. He has a semi-wind-up, rhythmic delivery in which he drops his hands to belt and brings them back up with his high leg kick before dropping and driving towards the plate. The ball comes from a low three-quarters arm slot. He repeats his delivery well, which helps his ability to throw strikes consistently with a four-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, slider, changeup). 
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at 8:00 AM

System Restart '17: Catcher


The SoxProspects.com writing staff presents the System Restart, our season-opening, position-by-position preview of the Boston Red Sox farm system for 2017. This is the fourth of seven parts, featuring the system’s catchers. 

Position at a Glance: Catcher is perhaps the weakest position in the Red Sox system, especially if one does not include Blake Swihart (pictured, right), who has exhausted his prospect eligibility although he begins 2017 with Pawtucket. After Swihart, who still features a considerable ceiling and could be a significant major league contributor this season, the drop-off is precipitous. The system’s catching prospects project as future backup options at best and all have issues that could keep them from even reaching that ceiling. However, with Swihart and the current major league combination of Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, the Red Sox ideally should be set at the catcher position for the foreseeable future. While the lack of depth isn’t an issue now, it could be if the club is unable to bring in some new talent in the next few years and neither Vazquez nor Swihart pans out as a long-term stalwart behind the dish. – Ian Cundall 

Top Prospects
Blake Swihart, Pawtucket (Graduated)
After being drafted 26th overall in the 2011 draft, Swihart steadily rose up the rankings and became SoxProspects.com’s top-ranked prospect by the end of the 2014 season. Swihart made his major league debut the next year, taking over as the club's primary backstop after injuries to Vazquez and Ryan Hanigan. Entering 2016 as the starting catcher, but only a short leash, he was sent back to Pawtucket after just about a week in favor of Vazquez. He re-emerged about a month later as the team's new primary left fielder, but an ankle injury ended his season after just 13 starts. During his abbreviated 2016, the 24-year-old hit .243/.344/.311 over 29 games at Triple-A and .258/.365/.355 in 19 games for Boston in what became a lost season due to the position shuffling and injury woes. Now recovered, Swihart has the benefit of the team recommitting to him as a catcher. The odd man out in Boston because neither Leon and Vazquez had options remaining, Swihart will get the lion's share of the playing time behind the plate to work on improving his defense, especially consistency and framing. His ability to shore up those parts of his came will be key to finishing his development and approaching the lofty expectations that still follow the former top prospect. – Will Woodward
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mother nature delays Chavis; Moncada stomps PawSox


4/21 Cup of Coffee: Inclement weather caused a shortened schedule, as both Portland and Salem had their contests postponed. On a day where Chris Sale showed why the Red Sox were willing to give up so much for him, Yoan Moncada (pictured) dominated against the PawSox with the sort of performance that made the White Sox willing to part with their ace. 

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Starter Henry Owens got off to a shaky start, surrendering a solo homer to the second batter of the game, old friend Yoan Moncada. While he allowed only one run after that point, efficiency was a major issue for the left-hander, as he needed 107 pitches just to get through 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight, walked four, and uncorked a wild pitch. Ben Taylor made his first appearance of the season with the PawSox after making four appearances with the major league club. He surrendered a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings. Bryce Brentz hit his first home run of the season, a ninth inning solo shot. Moncada was the catalyst for the Knights. The former SoxProspects.com top-ranked prospect scored three times and stole two bases on top of the solo home run.
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April 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Chavis turns heads in three-homer game


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • Since the SoxProspects notes are now released twice a week, welcome to the newly renamed "Minor Notes."
  • After a year off, SoxProspects.com is pleased to present the return of its System Restart series. The position-by-position pieces take a look at who to keep an eye on this season. So far, you can read about the Red Sox organization's corner infieldersmiddle infielders, and outfielders.
  • SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall released his first Scouting Scratch of the season, taking a look at the depth of the Portland bullpen.
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at 8:00 AM

System Restart '17: Outfield


The SoxProspects.com writing staff presents the System Restart, our season-opening, position-by-position preview of the Boston Red Sox farm system for 2017. This is the third of seven parts, covering the outfield. 

Position at a Glance: After the graduation of the entire starting outfield for the current Red Sox—for the purposes of this series, we are going to treat the consensus top prospect in the game, Andrew Benintendi (pictured, far right), as graduated, especially given that he has already literally graduated as of this date—and the trades of several other high-end prospects, the farm system is bereft of high-end talent in the outfield. Ironically, this has been an issue for some time despite the youth and talent in the current major league outfield—consider that Mookie Betts is a converted second baseman and Benintendi tore through the system in a little over a year. As it now stands, no player in the farm system projects as a surefire starting outfielder, but there are a handful of intriguing prospects, headlined by Aneury Tavarez and followed up by a pair of 2015 draftees and a pair of interesting prospects in Greenville. – Ian Cundall

Top Prospects
Aneury Tavarez, LF/RF, Portland (#28)
Receiving Tavarez (pictured, left) back at the end of spring training from the Baltimore Orioles, who had selected the talented Dominican in December's Rule 5 draft, was a potential godsend for the Red Sox outfield depth in the upper minors. Tavarez just turned 25 years old and is coming off a tremendous year in Portland that saw him hit .335/.385/.506 in 106 games. He has continued to hit throughout the winter in the Dominican Professional Baseball League, where he hit .283/.349/.362 in 46 games, and the early going in 2017, as he his currently hitting .342/.409/.447 for the Sea Dogs. While Tavarez has spent much of his time in the Red Sox system since first signing in October 2010 flying under the radar, he is forcing his way into what should be an imminent promotion to Pawtucket and, perhaps, into the picture should an outfielder be needed in case of injury at the major league level.  Nick Rabasco
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis blasts three home runs for Salem


4/20 Cup of Coffee: A walk-off home run for Michael Chavis (pictured) was the highlight of Wednesday's slate, as the former first-round pick had a career-night. Jackie Bradley Jr. went deep for Pawtucket, Brandon Workman continued to pitch lights out in relief, and Roniel Raudes struggled again for Salem. 

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With the help of some reinforcements, Pawtucket got to Lucas Giolito for two home runs as they shut out the Knights. Jackie Bradley Jr., who turned 27 years old last night, went 1 for 3 with a home run and two walks in his second rehab appearance. Matt Dominguez also took Giolito deep as part of a 2-for-4 night that included a double. Blake Swihart and Sam Travis did not have the same success, combining to go 0 for 7 with five strikeouts.
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April 19, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Scouting Scratch: First Look at the Portland Bullpen


Team: Portland Sea Dogs
Dates Scouted: April 7-9 vs. Reading

The Sea Dogs' season-opening three-game sweep of Reading provided a look at the almost the entire bullpen. Here is my Scouting Scratch on Portland's deep corps of relievers.  
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Right-hander Ty Buttrey is in his sixth season with the organization, but his first full season as a reliever after transitioning to that role late in 2016. The 2012 fourth-round pick showed off an interesting two-pitch mix that was able to miss bats, something he had not done as a starter. Buttrey has a large pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds with minimal remaining projection. His delivery has some effort, including a long arm swing behind that results in him coming directly over the top. His delivery would be difficult to repeat over longer stints, but out of the bullpen that isn’t much of an issue anymore. He was working very quickly in this outing, too quickly at times, and got called for two balks. The quick pace looked intentional and allowed him to get into a good rhythm when the bases were empty. 

Buttrey’s fastball sat 92-95 mph, topping out at 96. The pitch was on the straight side but had some life. He struggled with his command but was working in the zone, something he has been unable to do in the past (see his 5.4 walks per nine in 2016). 

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at 8:00 AM

System Restart '17: Middle Infield


The SoxProspects.com writing staff presents the System Restart, our season-opening, position-by-position preview of the Boston Red Sox farm system for 2017. This is the second of seven parts, covering the middle infield. 

Position at a Glance: With the middle infield positions secured at the major league level by Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia for the foreseeable future, the Red Sox have traded the majority of the system’s depth at these positions over the past year-plus, with players such as Yoan Moncada, Mauricio Dubon, Javier Guerra, Carlos Asuaje, and Luis Alejandro Basabe shipped out for major league talent. The end result is that only one prospect from either side of the keystone remains in the top 30 of the system—one, sixth-ranked Marco Hernandez, currently in Boston—although there are several interesting prospects in the low minors that could take a step forward. – Ian Cundall

Top Prospects
CJ Chatham, SS, injury rehab (projection: Greenville) (#7)
Chatham (pictured, above) was considered one of the top defensive shortstops in the country when the Red Sox selected him with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2016 draft. But at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, there were questions about whether he could stick at short with his larger-than-average frame, but Chatham showed a strong arm and surprising quickness to the ball in his professional debut in Lowell. Chatham struggled at the plate after returning from rehab for a broken thumb, but finished strong, hitting .303/.378/.530 with all four of his home runs over his final 16 games. Chatham strained a hamstring at the end of spring training, which kept him from being assigned to an affiliate out of camp, but he should join the Greenville Drive once he is healthy. – Eric Gendron
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis, Dalbec club first homers of 2017


4/19 Cup of Coffee: It was a night of close games, with three of the four affiliates pulling out wins. Michael Chavis hit his first home run of the season for Salem, who walked off to a win. Meanwhile, Bobby Dalbec also collected his first round-tripper of the 2017 campaign. Portland pitchers, including Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured), held their opponent off the scoreboard for ten innings. And an old friend showed off his power against the PawSox.

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Pawtucket struggled to get any offense going in a game that saw Jackie Bradley Jr. and Josh Rutledge making rehab starts for the Triple-A club. Bradley went 0 for 2 before being lifted in the sixth. Rutledge provided all of Pawtucket's offense with a solo home run in the first inning. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .318 and stole his second base of the season. Shawn Haviland was the tough-luck loser, recovering after a tough first inning to strike out eight over seven innings of work. Old friend Yoan Moncada hit his third home run of the season to lead off the first for Charlotte. Pawtucket hit into four double plays and left the tying run on base in the ninth.
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April 18, 2017 at 8:30 AM

System Restart '17: Corner Infield


After a one-year hiatus, the SoxProspects.com writing staff is pleased to present the return of the System Restart, our season-opening series that takes a position-by-position look at who to watch in the Boston Red Sox farm system this season. In the first of seven parts, we’ll begin with the corner infielders.

Position at a Glance: Even with all the trades Dave Dombrowski has made since becoming President of Baseball Operations, one area where the system still has depth is the corner infield. This likely isn’t a coincidence—at the big league level, first base and third base are among the few spots where the club should have opportunities in the near future. In the high minors, each of the corners features a top-four prospect in the system, and each is followed by two other top 11 prospects. There isn’t a lot of depth after that, but with corner infielders making up six of the top 11 season-opening prospects in the SoxProspects.com rankings, it is arguably the strongest area in the system. – Ian Cundall

Top Prospects
Rafael Devers, 3B, Portland (#2) – The highly regarded third baseman has steadily advanced through the system and up the rankings since signing for $1.5 million as an international free agent in 2013. 2016 was another successful year, as Devers (pictured, above) hit .282/.335/.443 over 503 at-bats with Salem while being 3 1/2 years younger than the average Carolina League position player. Devers has the potential to hit for both average and power in the majors, his bat having always been his calling card, but the Red Sox have shown faith in his defensive abilities at third after initial questions if he would grow too much to stay at the position. His performance, particularly last year, has quieted much of the speculation of a positional change. Devers will once again open the season as one of the youngest players in his league, as he began the season as the second-youngest player in the Eastern League. Devers is the lone holdover at the top of the rankings after a slew of promotions and trades, and he opens 2017 as probably the surest thing in the organization not yet in the majors. – Will Woodward
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis returns, Matheny, Rei stay hot in Salem romp


4/18 Cup of Coffee: Michael Chavis (pictured, left) returned from the disabled list to provide a boost to Salem hot hands Tate Matheny, Austin Rei, and Josh Ockimey as the Sox ripped 15 hits in their victory. Portland pitching issued nine walks in their loss, while a tough fifth inning spoiled another otherwise solid start for Greenville's Darwinzon Hernandez.

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Control issues bedeviled Kevin McAvoy the last two seasons and they reared their head again on Monday. The sinkerballer walked seven in his 3 1/3 innings of work, resulting in four runs allowed despite surrendering only one hit. Ty Buttrey continues to show an increased ability to miss bats out of the bullpen, punching out four in 1 1/3, but three hits and a pair of wild pitches resulted in a pair of runs. Luis Ysla struck out two in a perfect ninth. At the plate, Nick Longhi went deep for the first time in 2017 with a ninth-inning solo shot. Rafael Devers ripped his fourth double of the young season as part of a 1-for-4 night.
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April 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Salem impresses, Groome suffers lat strain


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall posted his latest Notes from the Field last week, covering several intriguing prospects in the lower minors who he saw during spring training. Two of the bigger names discussed were Roniel Raudes (pictured, right) and Darwinzon Hernandez, two young pitchers who have potential to stick in the rotation. Raudes has gotten off to a bit of a rough start in Salem, while Hernandez has struck out 15 and allowed only two earned runs over his first nine innings in Greenville. 
  • Departing Managing Editor Matt Huegel talked with Shaun Anderson about his transition from coming out of the bullpen for the University of Florida to being a starting pitcher as a professional. Anderson came across as confident in the interview and his early results back that up. In three starts he has allowed two runs on eleven hits over 15 2/3 innings, walking five while striking out 19. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey, Sermo power Salem bats


4/17 Cup of Coffee: Only two Red Sox affiliates were active as Pawtucket and Portland each had off days on Easter Sunday but Salem and Greenville each won in convincing fashion. Salem put together a slugfest win with big days from Josh Ockimey (pictured), Jose Sermo, and Tate Matheny backing a solid start by Travis Lakins. Shaun Anderson pitched well and earned the win for Greenville, with Nick Lovullo picking up three hits. 

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The first four batters in Salem's lineup each recorded multiple hits as the Red Sox waltzed to victory over the Wood Ducks. Leadoff hitter Tate Matheny was 2 for 4 with a walk, homer, and three runs scored. Josh Ockimey was 2 for 4 with a walk, a double, and two RBIs. Jose Sermo was 4 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Starting pitcher Travis Lakins continued his strong start to the season, allowing two runs and striking out four in five innings. Adam Lau and Yankory Pimentel each threw two shutout frames to close out the game. 

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April 16, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tobias, Matheny lead Salem attack, Travis homers


4/16 Cup of Coffee: Josh Tobias (pictured) and Tate Matheny helped lead a 17-hit Salem attack on Saturday with the High-A team pounding out seven extra-base hits. Joseph Monge contributed the biggest hit of the night for Portland in a late rally. Sam Travis notched his first long ball of the season on a day that did not end well for Pawtucket.

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It was a tough Saturday for Pawtucket, with little to write home about in game one. Matt Dominguez went 3 for 3, but the PawSox could only manage two other hits aside from their cleanup hitter. Kyle Kendrick pitched a seven-inning complete game, surrendering all six runs and three home runs. He did strike out seven batters and did not walk anyone.
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April 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Owens, Boyd lead PawSox, Drive



4/15 Cup of Coffee: Henry Owens (pictured) backed up a strong first outing with an even better one last night. Logan Boyd and Trey Ball also turned in solid outings, with some terrific relief appearances mixed in as well. Blake Swihart, Danny Mars, and Austin Rei played well offensively.

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The PawSox won behind a strong start from Henry Owens, who struck out 10 in six innings while allowing just one unearned run. The tall left-hander has been using a new delivery and now has a 0.82 ERA in two starts. Chandler Shepherd also impressed on the mound, striking out five in two scoreless innings. Blake Swihart stroked a three-run double in the third inning, and Rusney Castillo and Ryan Court each went 2 for 4.

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The Sea Dogs dropped this one despite a solid effort from starter Trey Ball. He allowed just one earned run in six innings on five hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. Ty Buttrey struck out two and allowed a run in the final inning. Danny Mars provided most of the offense, collecting three of Portland's four hits with a 3-for-3 day that included a triple and a stolen base. He's batting .474 in the early going.
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April 14, 2017 at 3:53 PM

Podcast Ep. #116: I'm a Bad Person, What Can I Tell Ya


Ian and Chris welcome Chaz Fiorino to the Podcast and go deep on Portland. We have an update on Rafael Devers. We go into the intrigue of Aneury Tavarez spend more time as a Sea Dog. Chaz and Ian play bullpen bingo with the Portland 'pen. We peer into the mailbag to find out just what we have in both Ben Taylor and Jamie Callahan and we bid a parting tribute to our friend and now former colleague Matt Heugel.

Listen In!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn rebounds in second start


4/14 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox affiliates got some strong starting pitching on Thursday night, though they got little support from their lineups. Greenville's Mike Shawaryn (pictured) bounced back from a very rough 2017 debut by throwing five innings of one-hit ball, while Brian Johnson and Daniel McGrath were nearly as dominant for Pawtucket and Salem. 

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Brian Johnson left his first start of the season in the fifth after being struck in the head with a comebacker. Five days later he showed no ill after-effects, turning in 6 2/3 innings and allowing only a run on four hits. The left-hander struck out eight while walking one. Not to be outdone by his fellow 2012 first-round pick, Deven Marrero delivered the decisive hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, driving home Matt Dominguez. Brandon Workman earned the win in relief, striking out four in 2 1/3 hitless frames. Rusney Castillo had his third consecutive multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a run scored.
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April 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM

After initial stumble, Shaun Anderson settling into starting role


FORT MYERS, Fla. – Shaun Anderson started just one game for the University of Florida over his collegiate career, a number he has already blown past—relatively at least—as a professional, having made his fourth career start Tuesday evening. After that six-inning gem, he has allowed just one run on eight hits and two walks in 10 2/3 innings this season, striking out 13.

But based on his first two professional starts, one might have wondered if the Red Sox had the right idea selecting the right-hander in the third round of last June’s draft with the idea of making him a starter.

Anderson had starred as the Gators’ closer as a junior. He saved 13 games, posting a 0.97 ERA in 46 1/3 innings over 36 appearances. He struck out 60 and walked just 7 batters. That success and his five-pitch mix had MLB clubs thinking he had the stuff to start as a pro. An unexpectedly quick exit from the NCAA Tournament allowed Anderson to sign with the Red Sox on July 3, and he made his first start with the Lowell Spinners on July 30. It did not go well.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hernandez strikes out eight for Greenville


4/13 Cup of Coffee: Shawn Haviland, Teddy Stankiewicz, and Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured) all had solid outings on the mound, while Rusney Castillo and Tyler Hill each launched home runs. Josh Ockimey finally cooled off, and Jake Cosart continued to struggle with his control. 

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Shawn Haviland, Robbie Ross Jr., and Kyle Martin combined to throw a four-hit shutout against the Chiefs. Haviland improved to 2-0 as he allowed four hits over six innings, striking out four. Ross tossed a scoreless inning in his first rehab appearance as he works his way back from the flu, and Martin struck out four over two perfect innings. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4 with his second home run of the season, Ryan Court went 3 for 4 with a double and a triple, Bryce Brentz notched three singles in four at-bats, and Dan Butler went 2 for 4 with a double. 
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April 12, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lakins impresses on mound, Tavarez hits walk-off


4/12 Cup of Coffee: Two Red Sox affiliates got stellar starts from their pitchers, as Travis Lakins (pictured) and Shaun Anderson propelled Salem and Greenville to wins, respectively. The Portland Sea Dogs walked off to their best start since 2005 thanks to Aneury Tavarez. Pawtucket rode a hot night from Blake Swihart to a win, but a scary moment on the field overshadowed his performance.

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Blake Swihart continued his hot start to the season with a 2-for-3 night with three RBI and his first home run of the season. But, he collided hard with Sam Travis in the ninth inning, according to multiple Twitter reports, and Travis had to be removed with a cut on his chin. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Edgar Olmos, Erik Cordier, and Noe Ramirez combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
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April 11, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Raudes, Hernandez and more from Day Five


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On Saturday of the staff trip to minor league spring training, Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and the rest of the SoxProspects contingent took in the High A and Low A games in Fort Myers against the Baltimore Orioles. Here are his Notes from the Field.

- The number eight prospect in the SoxProspects rankings, Nicaraguan right-hander Roniel Raudes, started for the High A squad. Raudes’ command was off in the first and he got punished for it, giving up four hits including a double and a triple. 

Raudes sat 88-90 mph, topping out at 91 mph, with the pitch showing some cut on occasion. He showed the ability to locate it at times, but when he missed up, it was very hittable. Raudes mixed in all of his secondaries, a short slider at 84-86 mph, changeup at 82-84 mph, and curveball at 74-76 mph. His curveball and changeup both flashed average-to-better during this outing, but his slider lagged behind. His feel for his curveball has improved since he entered the organization; he has solid feel for it and snaps it off well with long, 12-to-6 break. He also showed feel for his changeup, which showed late fade, throwing the pitch with deceptive arm speed. His slider had short break but lacked depth and was inconsistent. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome leaves Greenville debut with lat injury


4/11 Cup of Coffee: The highly-anticipated 2017 debut of top pitching prospect Jay Groome (pictured, left) did not go as hoped on Monday night. The 2016 first-round pick surrendered nine runs in 1 1/3 inning before leaving with what Alex Speier of the Boston Globe is reporting as a lat injury. Rafael Devers and Josh Ockimey powered Portland and Salem to wins, while Kyle Kendrick was roughed up in his Pawtucket debut. 

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Following a strong spring training in which he made a push for a major league roster spot, Kyle Kendrick struggled in his regular season debut. The veteran righty surrendered 10 runs (nine earned) in six innings. Rusney Castillo led off the contest by blasting his first home run since June 29 of last season, but it was pretty much all Chiefs from then on. Blake Swihart notched a pair of hits in the loss. 
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April 10, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Taylor impresses in Boston, Devers homers in first at-bat


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Minor league games are officially underway. In case you missed it, check out Thursday's notes column from Staff Writer Will Woodward for more on how you can stay up to date with all things Red Sox minor leagues.
  • The 115th episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast was released this past Thursday as well. Executive Editor Chris Hatfield and Director of Scouting Ian Cundall talk about the upcoming season, including discussion on each affiliate's rosters.
  • The Cup of Coffee is back with recaps and notes on the previous night's games. Check out the Cup on the SoxProspects.com news page. You should also be sure to follow Cundall and Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino on Twitter, who have been able to provide in-depth scouting details and analysis on the Portland Sea Dogs first series of the year.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec and Tubbs lead the charge for Drive


4/10 Cup of Coffee: The lineups broke out for the Sea Dogs and Drive on Sunday, with both teams taking wins in high-scoring games. Fifth-ranked prospect Bobby Dalbec was 3 for 4 and Tucker Tubbs (pictured) was 4 for 5, each collecting a pair of doubles for Greenville. Danny Mars led the Sea Dogs in a one-run victory with a 3-for-4 game and a two-run homer. The PawSox bats were unable to show up in each game of their doubleheader, dropping both. Roniel Raudes' first start of the season was rough as Salem lost in a blowout. 

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The PawSox put together a run in the first on an RBI single by Bryce Brentz but were unable to generate much offense in game one of their doubleheader. Henry Owens pitched well, allowing a run in five innings with two strikeouts and two walks. Kyle Martin was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs in the sixth inning. 

Marcus Walden struggled in his first start with Pawtucket, allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings. Brandon Workman looked strong in relief with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, punching out one. As in the first game of the doubleheader, the PawSox recorded only three hits: singles by Matt Dominguez, and Bryce Brentz and a double by Tim Roberson.
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April 9, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks dominates in Portland victory



4/9 Cup of Coffee: The upper levels of the minors received strong starting pitching as Jalen Beeks (pictured) and Brian Johnson impressed for Portland and Pawtucket, respectively. On the offensive side, Josh Ockimey recorded three hits for Salem and Ryan Scott was 2 for 4 with a double, triple, and four RBIs for Greenville. Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec were each 1 for 4 with a double.

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Southpaw Brian Johnson made the start for Pawtucket, going four innings and allowing a run on five hits and three walks while punching out seven. Third baseman Matt Dominguez had a strong day at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a walk, a run, and an RBI. Allen Craig was 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.
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April 8, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers homers in first Double-A at-bat


4/8 Cup of Coffee: Top hitting prospects made some noise last night, as Sam Travis (pictured), Rafael Devers, and Bobby Dalbec each played well offensively. Shawn Haviland, Teddy Stankiewicz, and Darwinzon Hernandez provided solid starts as all four affiliates won.

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Sam Travis had a terrific night in his first Triple-A game since tearing his ACL by going 2 for 4 with two doubles and two walks. Six PawSox hitters had multiple hits and Blake Swihart looked comfortable at the plate despite an 0-for-4 showing. Shawn Haviland was solid in his first start of the year, and Chandler Shepherd had four strikeouts in 2 1/3 scoreless frames. Jason Varitek was at the ballpark with the PawSox.

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Rafael Devers launched a home run in his first Double-A at-bat as part of a 1-for-4 night. Aneury Tavarez also homered in the win. Teddy Stankiewicz threw six solid frames, allowing just two runs, and Ty Buttrey and Austin Maddox closed it out with five strikeouts and no runs combined in three innings. SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino were in attendance and shared some observations on Twitter.
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April 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

Matt Huegel moving on from SoxProspects


It is with mixed emotions that I announce that Managing Editor Matt Huegel has stepped away from SoxProspects.com, effective as of the outset of the 2017 season, in order to focus on his professional career.  He has provided us with over seven years of devoted service and we are really going to miss his contributions. 

Matt joined the site as a Staff Writer in March 2010, and soon thereafter he was promoted to Editor.  In 2013 he was promoted again to Managing Editor and became a part owner of the site.  During his time here, Matt has served as an editor for SoxProspects News, been one of the regulars on the Podcast, and contributed as a web editor, contributor for ESPN Boston, regular presence at McCoy Stadium, and a feature writer.  A cross-section of the players that Matt has interviewed includes Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Michael Kopech, Brian Johnson, CJ Chatham, Sam Travis, Travis Shaw, Andrew Benintendi, Austin Glorius, Garin Cecchini, Jose Iglesias, Mauricio Dubon, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, and Steven Wright.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hurlers Lakins, Anderson shine on Opening Day


4/7 Cup of Coffee: The 2017 minor league campaign kicked off with a walk-off win, a heartbreaking loss, and a pair of rainouts. Highly touted right-handers Travis Lakins (pictured) and Shaun Anderson were solid on the mound following difficult 2016 seasons. Greenville prevailed in a walk-off victory, while Salem dropped a game it led 6-0 entering the eighth inning. With most of the Northeast getting drenched, Pawtucket and Portland will wait another day to kick off their seasons. 

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Pawtucket Red Sox at Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), PPD rain
Opening day in Allentown was rained out, so they will try again on Friday at 6:30. The teams will play a doubleheader on Sunday to make up for the rainout. 

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April 6, 2017 at 10:15 PM

Podcast Ep. #115: Learning to Pronounce Shawaryn


Real actual baseball. Minor League season kicked off tonight and with the rains in the northeast, Pawtucket and Portland were washed away. And what better time than now to review rosters and dip into the mailbag to answer your questions. Ian and Chris check in on the Portland bullpen quartet. The compare the depth between Salem and Portland. Ian still isn't buying the Roniel Raudes story. Greenville's rotation looks to be the best of the minor league affiliates. Jeremy Rivera's suspension gives the guys a chance to discuss the minor league policies for drug suspensions. And we've got your emails.

Listen In!
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at 2:00 PM

Weekly Notes: Let the games begin


The Weekly Notes series begins today and will run every Monday and Thursday throughout the season. Check back here to get caught up on all the recent news, notes, scouting reports, and other information from the Red Sox minor league system.

Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • It is finally here. Minor league games begin today (if the weather allows - the Portland Sea Dogs are already officially rained out) for all the full season affiliates. SoxProspects.com has lots of key resources for you to use throughout the year: 
    • You can check out the full rosters on the Team Rosters page which will be kept up to date throughout the season. 
    • If you haven't signed up for the Forum, you can chat with other readers and SoxProspects.com staff members on a variety of topics, and every morning there is a Gameday Thread which lists the game times, opponents, and starting pitchers for each of the affiliates.
    • The Stats page is currently empty, but this page will be filled with up-to-date stats for all Red Sox minor league players, and it will have the ability to sort and filter those stats.
    • The Transactions page lists all transactions for the season so you can track when players are promoted, placed on injured reserve, or, in some cases, suspended.
    • The latest feature, added this year, is the Scouting Log. This makes it easy to see when there are new scouting notes added by the SoxProspects.com scouts. Look for many new scouting reports to be uploaded soon, as well as another scouting piece on the News Page from spring training.
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April 3, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Selsky, Taylor round out Opening Day roster



While the major league club packed up and headed north last week, the minor leagues are just wrapping up camp today. With that, this will be our last edition of the 2017 Fort Report and we will begin our Monday and Thursday notes columns later this week. Also, don't forget to look out for the first Cup of Coffee on Friday morning!

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Injuries forced the Red Sox to make some last-minute tweaks to their Opening Day roster. On Thursday, the team placed starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz on the 10-day disabled list with a left flexor strain. While Pomeranz may be able to make his first scheduled start of the season on April 9th, Boston will carry an extra reliever for the first few days of the season. Manager John Farrell announced on Friday that Ben Taylor (pictured) would make the Opening Day roster after a spring training that saw him post a 3.46 ERA with 19 strikeouts and three walks in 13 innings.
  • With Josh Rutledge on the disabled list and first baseman Mitch Moreland dealing with the flu, the Red Sox also had an opening for a utility infielder and backup first baseman. Jen McCaffrey of Masslive.com breaks down why the Red Sox named Steve Selsky to the Opening Day roster over Marco Hernandez.  
  • Left-hander Robby Scott also found himself in Boston's bullpen after a spring training where he pitched to a 0.75 ERA across 12 innings. Scott will serve as the third lefty in the Red Sox bullpen alongside Robbie Ross Jr. and Fernando Abad
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March 30, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Groome impresses in spring start


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall got a close-up look at top pitching prospect Jason Groome during his start in a Low-A game. Included in the story is a video of the young left-hander in action. Groome allowed just one baserunner in 2 2/3 innings of work, striking out two. Cundall also scouted Mike Shawaryn, Yorvin Pantoja, Mitchell Osnowitz, and Ramfis Berroa
  • SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel sat down with 2016 second round draft pick and shortstop, C.J. Chatham (pictured, right). The 21-year-old Florida Atlantic product discussed where he hopes to play defensively and touched on the adjustments he made in Lowell that saw him finish the season on a .303/.378/.530 tear.
  • The Red Sox optioned Steve Selsky to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday after giving him a long look this spring. The club also reassigned right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who has impressed this spring, and lefty Edgar Olmos to minor league camp.
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March 29, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Jason Groome debuts on Day Four


PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- On Friday of the staff trip to minor league spring training, Director of Scouting Ian Cundall journeyed up to the Rays’ complex to take in the Red Sox High A and Low A games. Here are his Notes from the Field.

- The main reason for our journey up to Port Charlotte was to see the Spring Training game debut of 2016 first-round pick Jason Groome pitch in the Low A game, and he didn’t disappoint. Groome threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only one baserunner on a walk and striking out two. Groome’s delivery is remarkably easy, and he has an ideal pitcher’s frame. Groome’s fastball sat 90-92 mph for the first inning before dropping a tick to 88-90 as he got deeper into outing. Even at that velocity, he was able to be effective as he was pounding the lower part of the strike zone, especially in the first two innings, with the pitch showing late life and run. Groome has shown more velocity in past looks, but as this was his first outing of the spring, the slightly lower velocity is not a concern. Going forward, Groome could hold his velocity and have better command of the pitch while sitting in the low-90s, but still dial it up when necessary to the 94-95 range on occasion. 

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March 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Chatham using size to his advantage at shortstop


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When the Red Sox selected shortstop C.J. Chatham out of Florida Atlantic in the second round of last June’s draft, the questions began almost immediately about where he would play. At a lanky listed height and weight 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Chatham looks taller and lacks the fast-twitch actions that one would expect from the prototypical major league shortstop.

But at the back fields of Fenway South during his first minor league spring training this month, Chatham showed the same actions and ability that he had in his Lowell debut that has allowed him to make his size work at short. Though he may never look as smooth as smaller, quicker shortstops, he currently projects to maintain around average defense with a plus arm. Still, while acknowledging the work ahead of him to become a major league shortstop, Chatham expressed a willingness to follow whatever plans the Red Sox organization lay out for him going forward.

“My thing is I trust the Red Sox. Whatever they want me to do, I'll do it,” the 21-year-old said. “I have complete faith in everything that they tell me, so if they want to move me eventually, they can move me. It's my job now to do as much as I can to stay at shortstop.”
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March 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: Another round of cuts as Opening Day nears


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Josh Ockimey (pictured) was a bright spot in the system during the first half of the 2016 season, but he struggled in the second half after opponents began employing a shift. Ockimey talked with SoxProspects.com's Managing Editor Matt Huegel about the adjustments he has made after his second-half slump and what he has done to prepare himself for his second full-season assignment. 
  • In the most recent episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast, Executive Editor Chris Hatfield and Director of Scouting Ian Cundall talk at-length about their look at Jason Groome while also discussing many other pitchers and hitters in the low-minors. The podcast also features Hatfield's interview with Mike Myers about his experience playing with Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. 
  • The Red Sox optioned Noe Ramirez, Deven Marrero, and Blake Swihart to Pawtucket, and also reassigned eight other players to minor league camp. Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Matt Dominguez, Jake DePew, Dan Butler, Sam Travis and Hector Velazquez all were sent down, leaving the Red Sox with 40 players in major league camp. 
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March 25, 2017 at 1:21 AM

Podcast Ep. #114: Straight Outta A-Ball


With Fort Myers in the rearview mirror, Chris and Ian stick a set of chopsticks into Spring Training. Chris sits down with Sox farmhand and member of the upstart Team Israel team, Mike Meyers. Ian elaborates on the Jason Groome experience. Chris and Ian review the A-Ball pitchers and hitters from the end of the Spring Training trip. Chris swerves by his standing rant about how the Rule 5 draft hurts Latin players. Tyler Hill makes another Podcast appearance as the Sox continue to trial him in center this spring. Listen in!
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March 23, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Fort Report: New scouting reports, Meyers motivational WBC experience


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The SoxProspects.com staff is still down in sunny Fort Myers cranking out more content from Red Sox minor league camp. Make sure to check out Monday's Fort Report for some terrific videos and scouting reports that you may have missed earlier this week.
  • SoxProspects.com's Executive Editor Chris Hatfield talked to 23-year-old Mike Meyers (pictured) about his World Baseball Classic experience. Hatfield spoke with Meyers about the buildup to the tournament, his moment in the WBC opener, and what has Meyers as motivated as ever rejoining Red Sox camp. The 2012 12th-round pick is projected to begin the year with the Portland Sea Dogs. Be on the lookout for the next SoxProspects.com podcast to hear audio of the conversation between Meyers and Hatfield.
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at 8:00 AM

Ockimey making adjustments after second-half swoon


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Josh Ockimey raced out to a hot start last season in Greenville. By the South Atlantic League All-Star Break, he found himself with a .297/.435/.531 line. Perhaps most impressively, he had just 61 strikeouts compared to 52 walks over 61 games. Things could not have been going better when Ockimey belted his 10th home run in his final game before leaving to partake in the All-Star Game.

But upon returning, the challenges of his first full season began to wear him down. Over his remaining 56 games, Ockimey batted just .152/.291/.313, bringing his final line down to a more pedestrian looking .226/.367/.425 with 18 home runs and 129 strikeouts in 117 games.

“The second half—I learned a lot from it,” the first baseman said on the back fields at Fenway South after an offseason to reflect. “It's a long season so I really keyed in on some stuff. [I learned] not everything is the end of the world.”
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March 22, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Mata, Anderson, Dalbec, Hill and more from Day Three


FORT MYERS, Fla. – As the SoxProspects.com staff trip to minor league spring training hit its groove, Director of Scouting Ian Cundall took in the Red Sox High A and Low A games in Fort Myers on Thursday. Here are his Notes from the Field.

- Both A-ball games featured intriguing right handers on the bump for the Red Sox, with Bryan Mata (pictured) starting for Greenville and Shaun Anderson for Salem. Mata threw two innings, striking out a pair and allowing two hits over two scoreless innings. Only 17 years old, Mata has a projectable frame, listed at 6-foot-3, 160 pounds. He looks a little heavier than that and has filled out some since the Fall Instructional League.

Mata’s arm action is clean, his delivery controlled and repeatable. Mata’s fastball sat 91-93 mph with late tail. He had some trouble with his release point early and was missing up to the arm side. Once he found his release point, he showed the ability to locate the pitch down in the zone, including putting the pitch right on the outside corner at 92 mph to catch the left-hander hitting third in the Orioles’ lineup looking. I think Mata has more velocity in him, especially as he physically matures, and wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years he is sitting 93-95 mph with the pitch with a solid command profile. 

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