SoxProspects News

October 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM

2017 SoxProspects.com All-Stars


As the Red Sox look back on clinching a playoff berth for the second consecutive season, the roster is a clear indication of the value the franchise has gotten from its farm system in recent years. Eight of the nine regular starters in the lineup made their major league debuts with Boston, and its top two starters were both acquired in 2016 in deals included a trio of top prospects. Highlighted by current major league third baseman and graduated top prospect Rafael Devers, we present the 2017 SoxProspects.com All-Star selections:

Catcher: Roldani Baldwin
A year after struggling with an aggressive placement at Greenville in 2017, the 21-year-old returned to the South Atlantic League to have a breakthrough season. Baldwin tied for the organization lead with 35 doubles, and he blasted 14 homers after totaling only 11 in his first three pro seasons. The Dominican product also spent the season as a full-time backstop after previously splitting times between catcher and third base, throwing out 33% of potential base stealers. Baldwin also earned recognition as South Atlantic League All-Star for his .274/.310/.489 campaign.
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at 1:00 PM

SoxProspects.com 2017 season-end award winners


After having arguably the top farm system in baseball in 2016, a combination of trades and graduations has the Red Sox sitting more in the middle of the pack for 2017. With Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers contributing to Boston's American League East title, the top two prospects entering the season did their part, but a few of the other players who started the year in the top 10 saw their season get derailed by injuries. There were several bright spots on the farm this year, with none being brighter than Breakout Player of the Year Michael Chavis.

Player of the Year: Rafael Devers
Devers entered the year ranked second in the system behind Andrew Benintendi, and the 20-year-old phenom did nothing but impress as he worked his way up to the big leagues. Starting the year in Portland, where he was the youngest player in the Eastern League, Devers mashed to the tune of .300/.369/.575 over 77 games. He was called up to Pawtucket, and after going 14 for 35 with two home runs, he was called up to Boston to fix the big issues Boston was having at third base. Devers proved to be exactly what Boston needed, batting .268/.319/.449 in 52 games. His strikeout rate was a tad high and his walk rate was a bit low, but very few, if any, people his age can come up to the major leagues and provide above-average offense. The one area that remained a weak spot for Devers is his defense, as he committed 12 errors in only 58 games in Boston after committing 16 in 86 games in the minors.
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October 2, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Chavis, Beeks, others nab year-end honors


Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • The Red Sox announced their year-end minor league award winners. Michael Chavis (pictured) was named the system's minor league offensive player of the year, backed by his 31 home runs on the season. Between Salem and Portland, Chavis bounced back in a big way from last season, finishing with a .282/.347/.563 slash line. Jalen Beeks was named Red Sox minor league pitcher of the year, finishing with a record of 11-8 with a 3.29 ERA between Portland and Pawtucket. In 145 IP, Beeks struck out 155 and walked 55.
  • In other categories, Austin Rei was named the defensive player of the year. Tate Matheny was named the system's baserunner of the year. Keibert Petit was named the Latin Program offensive player of the year, while Luis Rivero was named that program's pitcher of the year.
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September 18, 2017 at 12:30 PM

Minor Notes: Greenville wins SAL championship


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
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September 15, 2017 at 11:57 PM

Cup of Coffee: Drive capture South Atlantic League title


9/16 Cup of Coffee: Brett Netzer and a lights-out effort from the bullpen guided Greenville to a South Atlantic League Championship. They took the series from Kannapolis three games to one to win their first SAL title.

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The Drive capitalized on a key error in the first inning to put up a crooked number right away. After consecutive singles from Brett Netzer and Roldani Baldwin, Bobby Dalbec roped an RBI double to right. With two down, Tyler Hill reached on an error that cost Kannapolis two more runs. The Intimidators chipped away at Greenville starter Hildemaro Requena, who allowed three runs on nine hits, including two solo shots, in 4 2/3 innings. In the sixth, Greenville pulled away and never looked back. Netzer delivered the nail in the coffin with a two-out, three-run double to make the score 8-3. Jagger Rusconi also had an RBI knock in the frame.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata starts strong before dropping game three


9/15 Cup of Coffee: Things were looking up early in Greenville's attempt to sweep its way to its first ever South Atlantic League Title. Unfortunately, a tough fifth inning helped knock off the Drive, whose series lead was cut to two games to one.

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It was a disappointing result for the Drive, who had the sweep and the South Atlantic League title clearly in their sights after right fielder Ryan Scott blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, giving them a 2-1 lead. Bryan Mata, the 18-year-old phenom had been very strong up to that point, allowing only one run in four innings, striking out four against one walk. However, things turned on Mata and the Drive in the fifth. After the first batter was retired, three hits and an ill-advised throw on a fielder's choice gave the Intimidators a lead they would not relinquish, knocking Mata out of the game.
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September 14, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Playoffs, Otani, and winter leagues


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • The minor league seasons are winding down, but SoxProspects.com's coverage is not. Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was busy with two new editions of Scouting Scratch. The first covered some quick hitters from Lowell. His write-up featured four 2017 draft picks including two hitters in third baseman Michael Osinski and outfielder Marino Campana and two pitchers with lefty Dominic LoBrutto and righty Taylor Ahearn.
  • Continuing the trend of 2017 picks, Ian's second Scouting Scratch covered the Red Sox's first round pick, Lowell right hander Tanner Houck (pictured, right). Ian has now had the chance to see Houck three times, and his update after his penultimate start of the season was promising.
  • The podcast team took to the air earlier this week to discuss the minor league playoff teams, September rankings, and major and minor league call-ups. Within the episode, Chris gets fired up about outfielder Bryce Brentz. Listen to find out why.
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at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Tanner Houck



First-round pick Tanner Houck had an up and down first pro season with Lowell. He threw 22 1/3 innings, allowing 21 hits and walking eight while striking out 25, good for a 3.63 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. I had the chance to see Houck three times earlier in the season and wrote about it in an earlier Scouting Scratch. Recently, I caught his penultimate start. In that two-inning outing, in the first inning he showed the potential premium stuff that led the Red Sox to take him 24th overall before running into trouble in his second inning, albeit as a result of some poor defense. 

Houck hasn’t altered his delivery since he entered the organization, starting on the first base side before stepping towards the third base dugout and coming across his body. While the delivery isn’t what you look for in a starter, he repeats it well and more importantly is comfortable with it. It is off-putting, especially for right-handed hitters. When he’s keeping the ball down, he will generate a lot of weak contact on the ground. 

In the first inning of this start, he showed all three of his pitches and showed a much-improved changeup compared to earlier in the season to compliment his fastball and slider. His low arm slot does give left-handers a good look at the ball, making development of his changeup a key for him to stick as a starter long term.

In the first inning, Houck sat 93-94 mph with his fastball. The pitch showed life and sink and elicited two swinging strikes, one against a righty and one against a lefty. He threw seven of his eight fastballs for strikes and commanded the offering down in the zone, overwhelming the Staten Island hitters. 

Houck mixed in both his secondary pitches as well, both to great effect. His threw his slider 80-82 mph, slower than earlier in the year, but it had more depth and tilt. The pitch was still sweepy and at times later in the outing he got on the side of it, but it flashed above-average potential. 

The improvement on his changeup was most encouraging, as he showed more feel than earlier in the season. He had rarely mixed the pitch in early in the year, but on this occasion he showed confidence in the pitch and threw it with deceptive arm speed. It was especially effective against left-handed hitters, eliciting a pair of swinging strikes on changeups that showed late fade, falling off the table down and out of the zone, away from the hitter’s swing path. 

While Houck dominated in the first inning, flashing three above-average pitches and the ability to control all of them and locate down in the zone, he ran into trouble in the second and his stuff wasn’t as crisp. The inning was lengthened by two defensive misplays, most notably an error by the third baseman on a potential double play ball that could have ended the inning, but Houck’s fastball velocity took a slight tick down to 91-93 mph, and it lacked the finish it had in the first inning. He struggled to locate the pitch and left a few up in the zone, where the pitch flattened out. 

Houck’s secondary pitches also came and went more in the second inning. He threw a few average-to-better ones, but also some below-average ones, including getting on the side of his slider. 

Even though the second inning wasn’t as good as the first, this was still the best Houck’s stuff had looked overall. In other outings, his velocity was higher, but on this day he showed the ability to locate his fastball at 93-94 mph with sink, and if he can comfortably pitch at that velocity it will give hitters a lot of trouble. Similarly, if he can continue to refine his changeup and improve his consistency with both his secondary offerings, it will go a long way to alleviating concerns that he is a potential bullpen arm long-term.

Photo credit: Tanner Houck by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Diaz and Smith combine on a three-hit shutout


9/14 Cup of Coffee: Another tremendous pitching performance, this time led by Jhonathan Diaz, moved the Drive to within one win of their first South Atlantic League title in team history. 

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Jhonathan Diaz pitched the Drive to a 2-0 series lead with 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed only two hits, both singles, and walked one while striking out seven. Hunter Smith came on in relief and allowed one hit over 2 2/3 shutout innings.

Greenville managed only six hits, with a solo home run from Roldani Baldwin (pictured) being the biggest. Brett Netzer went 2 for 4 with an RBI single, and Jerry Downs went 2 for 4 as the designated hitter. 
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September 13, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec, Espinal lift Greenville in wild Game 1 victory


9/13 Cup of Coffee: It took 13 innings, but a 17-hit attack and some clutch hitting from Bobby Dalbec (pictured) gave the Greenville Drive a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five South Atlantic League Championship Series.

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In a wild, back-and-forth affair, Bobby Dalbec twice provided go-head hits for the Drive in the eighth and 13th innings. An error by Kannapolis provided the crucial insurance run as a wild Joan Martinez was able to survive a pair of wild pitches in the bottom of the 13th to secure the save.
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September 12, 2017 at 10:38 PM

Podcast Ep. #130: Lots of stuff about error bars


September brings us minor league playoffs, September call-ups in both the majors and minors, and of course, a new set of rankings. Who's fueling the Greenville Drive's playoff run? Why is Chris so fired up about Bryce Brentz? Who did Ian try to rank much higher than the other brass members? Listen and find out!

Click through for show notes, links, and in-site player.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Greenville rained out, pausing title chase


9/12 Cup of Coffee: Game one of the South Atlantic League Championship Series between Greenville and the Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS) was postponed by rain. The two squads will try once again to kick off their best-of-three series in Kannapolis on Tuesday, with game two sliding into Wednesday's scheduled off day. Jhonathan Diaz remains scheduled to take the mound in the opener for the Drive. 
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September 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Regular season ends, Greenville advances in postseason



Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • In the most recent Scouting Scratch, Director of Scouting Ian Cundall analyzes a couple of Boston's depth pieces in first baseman Sam Travis and right-hander Justin Haley. Travis has suffered from a lack of power this season, hitting .270/.351/.375 in Pawtucket and .306/.393/.429 in 22 games in Boston. Since returning to the Red Sox organization, Haley has pitched to a 2.66 ERA in seven starts but doesn't profile as a major league starter.
  • The minor league regular season ended earlier in the week and the Greenville Drive is the only Red Sox affiliate still active. In their most recent game, the Drive shut out Charleston to win the best-of-three series. Greenville will begin a best-of-five series against Kannapolis on Monday as they compete in the South Atlantic League Finals. 
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at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Quick-hitters from Lowell



Although he has struggled in the second half of his first professional experience, Michael Osinski has been one of the better hitters in the Lowell lineup. As of September 6, Osinski has hit .259/.328/.348 in 177 plate appearances (including three games in the Gulf Coast League before a quick promotion to Lowell). He came out of the gates quickly, hitting .341/.385/.427 in his first 23 professional games, but from August 5 to September 5, he scuffled to a .171/.267/.263 line in 20 games.

Osinski was selected in the 31st round in this year’s draft out of Longwood University—from where the Red Sox previously drafted outfielder Kyri Washington in 2015—and signed for a $25,000 bonus. A shortstop in college, the 6-2, 195 pound Osinski has split time between third base and shortstop since he signed, playing 18 games at third and 13 at short. Long-term, Osinski is unlikely to stick at shortstop, as he is a fringe athlete, a below-average runner, and lacks the fluidity or range to play up the middle. At third base, Osinski has a below-average arm and his footwork is poor. He has struggled with the move as a result, making eight errors and posting just a .822 fielding percentage. 
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September 10, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Requena leads Greenville to the finals


9/10 Cup of Coffee: The Drive made sure the minor league season would go a little longer for the Red Sox affiliates, winning the clinching game of their series with Charleston.

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Greenville Drive 5 Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 0 (Game 3, Best of 3)
The Drive won the Southern Division title, beating the River Dogs in the decisive game of the best-of-three series. They now move on to play the Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS) for the South Atlantic League championship.
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September 9, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata pitches well in loss


9/9 Cup of Coffee: The Drive continued their playoff series with Charleston, taking the loss to force a Game three that will be played tonight. Bryan Mata (pictured) pitched very well for Greenville and Brett Netzer grabbed two hits.

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The Southern Division Championship was evened at one, as the Drive offense wasn't able to come through with runners in scoring position, going 0 for 9 with RISP. Brett Netzer and Pedro Castellanos each had two-hit nights, with Netzer ripping a double. Jerry Downs drove in the lone run with a ground out in the eighth inning that scored Netzer, who doubled to open the frame. 
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September 8, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ahearn pitches in during Spinners split


9/8 Cup of Coffee: It was the final day of the 2017 regular season, with only the Short Season-A Lowell Spinners still in action. They closed by winning in the completion of Wednesday's rain-shortened affair, followed by dropping the regularly scheduled season finale. Greenville, the only Sox affiliate remaining in the playoffs, resumes its series against Charleston on Friday. 

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The two teams matched zeroes for eight and a half innings in a contest the was halted by rain in the second inning on Wednesday. The game winning rally came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, as Juan Barriento singled and came around to score on the rare walk-off triple by Michael Osinski. After Nick Duron went the first two innings, Taylor Ahearn (pictured) entered when play resumed Thursday. Ahearn was excellent, scattering three hits across five innings, striking out four. Ryan Oduber went the final two innings to get credit for the win.
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September 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Sam Travis and Justin Haley



Coming off an ACL tear that ended his 2016 season early, first baseman Sam Travis sought to reestablish himself as a potential first baseman of the future for the Red Sox this year. With the team only signing Mitch Moreland to a one-year deal, Travis could claim the first base job entering 2018 with a good, healthy season. Unfortunately, the 2017 season hasn’t gone according to plan—Travis did receive his first big league call up in May, but he has been unable to answer the biggest question mark in his game: his lack of power. 

For the season, Travis has six home runs and 14 doubles in 342 plate appearances in Pawtucket, good for a .375 slugging percentage to go along with a .270 average and .351 on-base percentage. Over his most recent stint in Pawtucket, from July 18 through the end of August, his lack of power was even more glaring, as he managed just five extra-base hits—two doubles and one home run—in 160 plate appearances, good for a .338 slugging percentage and .065 isolated power mark. 

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hernandez leads Greenville to series lead


9/7 Cup of Coffee: Seven strong innings from Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured), and home runs from Roldani Baldwin and Tucker Tubbs pushed the Drive past the RiverDogs in the opening game of their playoff series, while the Spinners game was suspended due to rain.

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Greenville Drive 4, Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 1 (Game 1, Best of 3)
Darwinzon Hernandez struck out six and allowed only two hits as he tossed seven innings of one-run ball. The lone blemish was a solo home run that gave the RiverDogs the lead in the sixth, but the Drive answered with RBI singles from Tucker Tubbs and Jagger Rusconi to take the lead in the seventh. Home runs from Tubbs and Roldani Baldwin extended the lead, and Joan Martinez shut the door with two scoreless innings of relief.
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September 6, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lozada, O'Linger carry Lowell to win


9/6 Cup of Coffee: With Greenville laying in wait for the playoffs begin, the Spinners were the only affiliate in action as the minor league season draws to a close. In his second game with Lowell, Everlouis Lozada paced the offense, while the Spinners pitching also impressed.

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The Spinners rallied late to snatch a win to cap their second-to-last series of the season. Everlouis Loazada impressed in his second game with Lowell, going 3 for 5 with the game-tying RBI single in the seventh. Alexander Martinez drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth on an RBI groundout. Cole Brannen added an RBI triple, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks. It had been a frustrating night at the dish until taking the lead, as the Spinners left 11 men on base and went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

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September 5, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Minor Notes: Rosters expand, minor league playoffs set to begin


Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:
  • With rosters expanding on September 1, the Red Sox recalled Blake Swihart (pictured, right), Sam Travis, Austin Maddox, Tzu-Wei Lin, Deven Marrero, Hector Velazquez, and Roenis Elias from Pawtucket. They now have 35 players on the active roster.
  • Elias is the only player to not appear in a game for Boston already this season, as he missed the first month of the season with an intercostal strain and then missed another two months with a rib injury. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec helps Greenville cap record-setting season


9/5 Cup of Coffee: Another regular season has come to an end for all of Boston's affiliates with the exception of Lowell. The only squad to qualify for the playoffs also picked up the only win on the day. Greenville was powered by Bobby Dalbec (pictured) and a lineup that ripped 15 hits in its final tuneup for the South Atlantic League playoffs. Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem limped into the offseason with losses, and Lowell continues to struggle, getting swept in a doubleheader by Hudson Valley.

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A depleted PawSox roster was little match for the Red Wings. Jalen Beeks closed out his regular season by allowing four runs on six hits in 4 2/3. Brian Bogusevic picked up three hits in the loss, and Ryan Court finished the season with his 21st double.
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September 4, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dominguez rips two homers, Kendrick dominates


9/4 Cup of Coffee: Weather hampered the last Sunday of the minor league season for Red Sox affiliates as Portland and Lowell were rained out. The PawSox handily beat Rochester thanks to a huge game by Matt Dominguez (pictured) and six shutout frames by Kyle Kendrick. Salem lost in a pitching duel despite a strong performance by Logan Boyd. Starter Jhonathan Diaz had a tough start in a loss for Greenville. 

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Starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick was dealing on Sunday night, throwing six shutout innings with three hits and no walks allowed. Carson Smith threw a scoreless 1/3 of an inning then Chandler Shepherd gave up two runs in 1 2/3 frames of relief. Williams Jerez closed it out with a shutout inning, striking out one. Third baseman Matt Dominguez led the charge on offense, going 3 for 5 with two homers and three RBI. Bryce Brentz went 2 for 5 and clocked his 31st home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth. 

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September 3, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barfield lights up Triple-A debut


9/3 Cup of Coffee: Jeremy Barfield hit the ground running after his promotion to Pawtucket with a huge night at the plate. The Sea Dogs won in dramatic fashion thanks to Mike Olt. Salem got a sparkling start from Daniel Gonzalez en route to a win.

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The PawSox erased an early 3-0 deficit thanks in part to a Triple-A debut to remember from Jeremy Barfield. The 29-year-old right fielder went 4 for 5 with his first Triple-A home run and two runs scored. Dan Butler also drove in a pair on a two-run double. Edgar Olmos earned his ninth win of the season with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four. Hector Velazquez pitched one inning to start the game in anticipation of his likely promotion back to Boston.
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September 2, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barfield, Ball lead Portland to win


9/2 Cup of Coffee: Jeremy Barfield (pictured) produced another big night offensively, blasting a home run and a double in Portland's win.  Tzu-Wei Lin had a nice game before his call up, and Trey Ball pitched well en route to his seventh win.

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Brian Johnson had a rough outing, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one during his fourth loss of the year. Kyle Martin struggled a bit with control, walking three, but limiting the damage to one run in his two innings. Brian Bogusevic had a big night, going 2 for 5 with his 12th home run and three RBI. Matt Dominguez also went 2 for 5 with his 14th home run. Tzu-Wei Lin went 1 for 3 with a pair of walks before being recalled to Boston after the game.

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Trey Ball struck out just one batter in six innings, but still managed to allow just two runs on four hits as he picked up his seventh win. Jacob Dahlstrand tossed two scoreless innings and Trevor Kelley finished it off with a shutout frame. Jeremy Barfield led the way, belting a three-run homer, his 27th of the season, as part of a 2-for-4 night. Henry Urrutia also had a nice game, going 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run. Jordan Procyshen laced a two-run double as well.


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Salem was postponed due to rain, but Frederick won again last night, meaning Salem has fallen two-and-a-half games behind. Salem has just four games left, as the makeup game will be played as part of a doubleheader on Sunday.

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Darwinzon Hernandez struggled, surrendering four runs on eight hits in just four innings, pushing his ERA over four. The bullpen kept the Drive in the game, as Robby Sexton and Jared Oliver each tossed two shutout innings, with Sexton punching out three. Jerry Downs went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI, and Carlos Tovar had two hits including a double out of the leadoff spot.

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The Lowell bats couldn't get anything going with runners in scoring position, going just 1 for 10 with RISP and leaving 14 runners on base. Tanner Nishioka was the highlight offensively, going 3 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. Nick Duron was solid, allowing just two runs in five innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Mitchell Osnowitz also pitched very well in relief, not allowing a run in three innings with four punch outs.

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In game one, the Sox walked off with two runs on the bottom of the ninth, with the tying run scoring on a bases-loaded walk and the winning run scoring on a wild pitch. Pedro Castellanos went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk and Eddy Reynoso went 1 for 3 with a double. Fernando Rodriguez started and threw two shutout innings. Victor Garcia got a blown save and the win, striking out seven and allowing three runs in four innings.

The Sox were blown out in game two, as Edilson Bautista allowing nine runs (five earned) on eight hits, three walks, and just one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings. Hunter Haworth was much better, firing 3 1/3 shutout frames with six strikeouts, no walks, and no hits allowed. Ricardo Cubillan had the only hit for the Sox, a single.

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Player of the Night: Jeremy Barfield homered for the third consecutive game to give him 27 on the season now. Barfield has been incredible for Portland, as his 27 long balls have come in just 92 games and 384 plate appearances. The 29-year old has been a great story this year, signing a contract with Boston in May after playing Independent ball.


Photo Credit: Jeremy Barfield by Kelly O'Connor 



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September 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Requena extends scoreless streak to 28 innings


9/1 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was the story on Thursday, and the highlight was the continued excellence of Hildemaro Requena (pictured). The Venezuelan right-hander likely closed the book on his regular season with by extending his shutout innings streak to 28. Justin Haley also continues his run of excellent pitching since rejoining the organization, while Durin O'Linger had a strong outing in the nightcap of the Lowell doubleheader. 

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Justin Haley turned in another quality start, allowing just one run on four hits in seven inning, striking out four. Haley has quality starts in six of his seven outings since being returned from the Minnesota Twins, and he sports a 2.66 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with the PawSox. Buffalo reached rehabbing Carson Smith for three runs in the eighth inning in one of Smith's final tune-ups before returning to the major league club. At the plate, Jantzen Witte doubled twice as part of a 3-for-4 effort.
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August 31, 2017 at 11:43 PM

Podcast Ep. #129: I've had a long, weird day


With the calendar turning to September and the minor league season about to wrap up, Chris and Ian discussed the news and took a bunch of your questions! The Arizona Fall League rosters have been released, and the Red Sox are sending an interesting crew into the desert in October. The news highlights included Jay Groome's season ending with an injury, the in-game debut of a 2017 draftee and the on-mound debut of another, and a few transactions of note. And finally, you came through with an 80-grade set of mailbag questions. Why doesn't raw power always actualize in games? Might Mookie Betts ever move back to second base? Where would Blake Swihart rank if he were still eligible for the site rankings? The answers to these and more await!

Click through for show notes and download links!

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at 10:39 PM

Minor Notes: Chavis, six others headed to AFL


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • The 2017 Arizona Fall League rosters have been announced, with seven members of the Red Sox set to play for the Peoria Javelinas. They will send infielders Michael Chavis, Josh Tobias, and Chad De La Guerra, and pitchers Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Ty Buttrey, and Bobby Poyner. Former Red Sox prospect Javier Guerra will also play with the Javelinas. 
  • Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wrote more on the Sox' AFL players, including a note that Chavis will see time at first base. Johnson, who will be out of options next season, will pitch in a bullpen role, although he will be stretched out as a starter next spring.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis hits 30th home run, Mata strikes out seven


8/31 Cup of Coffee: The DSL Red Sox season came to an end after they dropped the deciding game of a three-game series to the Dodgers. Michael Chavis launched his 30th home run of the year for the Sea Dogs. Sam Travis and Bobby Dalbec also went deep, and Tucker Tubbs (pictured) launched two home runs for the Drive. The home runs from Dalbec and Tubbs were more than enough for Bryan Mata, who was on top of his game on Wednesday. 

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Pawtucket Red Sox 7, Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 5 (12 innings)
A strong night from Sam Travis powered the PawSox. Travis went 3 for 5 with a double, home run, and walk, and also added a stolen base. The first baseman entered the night with only three extra-base hits in 37 games since being optioned down to Pawtucket on July 19. Deven Marrero went 3 for 6 with a double and his first stolen base of the year, and Matt Dominguez went 2 for 5 with a walk.

Roenis Elias pitched the first inning and held the Bisons scoreless, but he did not come back out for the second. There is no word as to why he left the game. Shawn Haviland surrendered three runs in his five innings of long relief, and Chandler Shepherd earned the victory with four scoreless innings.

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August 30, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Diaz, Scott carry Greenville to dramatic win


8/30 Cup of Coffee: The Drive had a flair for the dramatic to push the team's win streak to six games thanks to stellar pitching from Jhonathan Diaz and a walk-off hit by Ryan Scott (pictured). The PawSox couldn't provide any offensive support for Jalen BeeksLogan Boyd pitched a quality start in a loss for Salem. The DSL team staved off playoff elimination - but only thanks to Mother Nature. 

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The bats fell silent for the PawSox, as they could not support Jalen Beeks. The lefty fell to 6-6 in Triple-A, giving up four runs on seven hits - including a two-run home run - in five innings of work. He also walked four, threw a pair of wild pitches and struck out four. Bryce Brentz went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. Brian Bogusevic hit the only extra-base hit of the game for the PawSox, going 1 for 3 with a double.

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August 29, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL Sox fall in opener; Ockimey keeps rolling


8/29 Cup of Coffee: The post-season kicked off in the Dominican Summer League, and the DSL Red Sox defense of its 2016 championship got off to a rough start with a loss in Game One. A quartet of PawSox arms combined for that squad's second straight shutout, while Portland failed to score despite the efforts of Josh Ockimey (pictured).

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Kyle Kendrick and a trio of relievers held the Bisons to four hits as the PawSox completed their second straight shutout win. Kendrick went the first six frames, allowing just three hits and striking out two without walking a batter. The veteran righty got off to a tough start to the 2017 regular season after an impressive spring training, but he's been excellent in the second half, posting a 2.31 ERA since the All-Star break. Carson Smith and Ben Taylor each fired scoreless innings as part of rehab stints, and Austin Maddox finished the shutout. Ryan Court led the offense, going 3 for 4 with a double.
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August 28, 2017 at 10:45 PM

Minor Notes: September call-ups, minor league playoffs loom


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall posted his latest Scouting Scratch, taking an in-depth look at a couple PawSox players that could get a cup of coffee with the big league squad when rosters expand in September: pitcher Jalen Beeks and outfielder Bryce Brentz.
  • Staff Writer Nick Rabasco got a look at Trey Ball in Portland in what has been an up-and-down season for the former seventh-overall draft pick.
  • The Sea Dogs announced on Friday that Jeremy Barfield and Danny Mars were named to the Eastern League Season Ending All-Star Team. The team is voted on by Eastern League managers, coaches and media personnel.
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at 10:37 AM

Notes from the Field: Trey Ball


PORTLAND, Me. -- On July 19, SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall wrote about what he saw from left-hander Trey Ball’s (pictured) start on July 7. Ball turned in one of the best starts of his career in that outing, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. What stood out in Cundall’s Scouting Scratch to me was that Ball relied heavily on his slider and induced many swinging strikes with the offering. It was more of the same in Ball’s latest dominant outing, which came on August 17.

During the afternoon tilt against the Altoona Curve, Pittsburgh’s Double-A affiliate, Ball tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing just four hits and one walk with nine strikeouts. He was aggressive from the start, using his fastball to get ahead in the count. Overall, he faced 23 batters and threw a first-pitch strike to 12 of them (52%). That’s not a particularly high percentage, but the first four batters of the game looked at a fastball for strike one. Ball’s approach early in the count was a bit different than his July 7 start, when he had used his heater to get ahead. In this start, his slider was mainly used in two-strike counts.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Velazquez allows one hit over seven innings



8/28 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox affiliates received some strong pitching throughout the system. Hector Velazquez (pictured) tossed seven shutout innings in a win for the PawSox. Portland and Salem were unable to pick up wins despite a solid start from Trey Ball and a dominant one by Mike Shawaryn. Enmanuel De Jesus pitched a good game for Greenville, who won in the eleventh inning. Nick Duron and Duran O'Linger allowed only one run in a win for Lowell.

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Hector Velazquez was masterful on Sunday afternoon, tossing seven shutout frames and allowing just a hit and a walk. Edgar Olmos was just as dominant in relief, throwing two no-hit innings with five strikeouts. All three of Pawtucket's runs came via a three-run homer by Tzu-Wei Lin in the seventh inning. Mike Miller was 2 for 3 with a double and a run.
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August 27, 2017 at 8:15 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominates, DSL Red Sox clinch playoff berth


8/27 Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominated the story line again on Saturday, as Brian Johnson (pictured), Daniel Gonzalez, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Rayniel Moreno all went at least six innings and gave up a combined four runs. Portland had a big day at the plate, posting nine runs in their victory.

Brian Johnson put together another great outing, but the offense couldn't back him, as they got shut out on only four hits. Johnson went seven strong, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Carson Smith pitched a clean inning of relief in his continued rehab assignment.

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The Sea Dogs were locked into a tie game before pulling away with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Danny Mars had a big day from the leadoff spot, going 3 for 4 with a double, scoring three runs and knocking one in. Josh Ockimey and Chad De La Guerra both had two doubles, with De La Guerra providing four RBI. Dedgar Jimenez provided 6 1/3 innings, giving up five runs. Trevor Kelley came away with 2 2/3 scoreless innings with only one hit but did allow two inherited runners to score.

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August 26, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Houck, Reyes lead Lowell to victory


8/26 Cup of Coffee: Terrific pitching was a common theme throughout the system, highlighted by Hildemaro Requena (pictured) grabbing his 10th victory. Tanner Houck and Denyi Reyes were also tremendous in an extra-innings win for Lowell. 

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The PawSox let a 3-0 lead slip away, as Williams Jerez lost his control in the seventh with five walks. He finished with an odd line, giving up two runs (none earned) on no hits, five walks, and two strikeouts. Justin Haley started and pitched pretty well, allowing just two runs in 5 1/3 with six strikeouts and one walk. Ben Taylor and Chandler Shepherd each tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Brian Bogusevic and Matt Dominguez each went 3 for 5, with Bogusevic roping a pair of doubles. Jake Romanski and Tzu-Wei Lin added RBI singles.
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August 25, 2017 at 1:22 PM

Scouting Scratch: Potential Sept. call-ups Jalen Beeks, Bryce Brentz


PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- With the September roster expansion around the corner, today's Scouting Scratch focuses on the two PawSox not currently on the Red Sox 40-man roster most likely to be added to the big league club for the stretch run—left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks and outfielder Bryce Brentz.

Beeks has been one of the most consistent arms in the Red Sox system this year. He started the season with a return to Portland, where he had spent the second half of 2016 with fine, if uninspiring results (65 1/3 IP, 4.68 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 56 K, 28 BB). This year, returning to the Sea Dogs' rotation following a stint pitching in the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League (for the purpose of limiting his innings, reportedly, rather than exploring a potential move into that role), Beeks saw great improvement, putting up a 2.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 22 walks and 58 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. Since his June 3 promotion to Pawtucket, he has continued to put up similar numbers, a 3.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 26 walks and 88 strikeouts in 86 innings.
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at 8:04 AM

2017 Annual Donation Drive - We Need Your Help!


Dear readers,

The SoxProspects.com Annual Drive is still on! 

We still need your help to hit our fundraising goal of $10,000 to keep the site up and running for another year. We are still quite a long way from this goal—less than halfway as of this writing, in fact—so if you've thought about contributing before but haven't gotten around to it, now is a GREAT time to jump in and show your support! In order to meet our fundraising goal for this year, we are extending the Annual Drive to run through the end of the minor league season in September.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec, Mata shine in Drive rout


8/25 Cup of Coffee: The minor league season is coming into the home stretch, and the three Boston affiliates with playoff aspirations were all victorious on Thursday. Greenville, the only team in the organization to clinch a playoff berth stomped on their cross-Carolina rival, led by monster evenings from Bobby Dalbec (pictured) and Santiago Espinal and the pitching of Bryan Mata. Salem got its second-straight walk-off win, this time on a home run off the bat of Jeremy Rivera. The DSL Red Sox maintained their thin 1/2-game lead in the DSL wild card race with their victory.

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The PawSox were held to only four hits by veteran left-hander Brett Anderson and a trio of relievers. Brian Bogusevich had a solo home run and Jantzen Witte had a pair of hits in the losing effort. It was a rare tough night for Jalen Beeks, who allowed six runs on six hits in five innings, with the big blow a three-run homer allowed in the third inning. Beeks did strike out seven against only two walks.
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August 24, 2017 at 9:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox trade for Davis for stretch run


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox acquired speedy outfielder and (brief) 2016 World Series hero, Rajai Davis (pictured), in exchange for outfielder Rafael Rincones, according to multiple reports. Dave Dombrowski said the team was interested in Davis as a Dave Roberts-style pinch runner down the stretch even before Jackie Bradley Jr. sprained his thumb, but the injury accelerated the timetable. Rincones, 18, has played in 58 games over the past two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He was hitting .258/.373/.369 with one home run and 19 RBI when he was traded.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz homers twice; Netzer paces Drive


8/24 Cup of Coffee: After three years of marking time in Pawtucket, Bryce Brentz (pictured) has made some adjustments to his swing, and he now has a 30-home run season to show for his efforts. He blasted two more as part of the PawSox win. Salem got a walk-off win to keep them a game up in their playoff race, while the DSL Red Sox kept pace as well with a doubleheader split. Greenville put up a monster day offensively, led by Brett Netzer and Stanley Espinal.


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Bryce Brentz continued his impressive comeback season with a pair of home runs that led the way. A solo shot in the fifth and a three-run blast in the sixth made up four of the PawSox five runs, and gave the 2010 supplemental first-round pick an even 30 for the season. It is the second 30-homer season of Brentz's career, as he pulled off the feat way back in a 2011 season split between Greenville and Salem. Kyle Kendrick was solid in his start, allowing three runs in five innings, before the trio of Carson Smith, Marcus Walden, and Austin Maddox dominated with four scoreless innings to seal the win.
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August 23, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn leads Salem, Tubbs loses streak


8/23 Cup of Coffee: It was a rough night down on the farm, as just two affiliates eked out wins. Mike Shawaryn (pictured) led Salem to victory, while Lowell rode an offensive outburst to the win. Greenville and Portland were on the wrong end of lopsided scores, and Pawtucket failed to overcome and early deficit. Both the GCL and DSL squads dropped their contests as well, though in doing so the DSL club dropped back ever so slightly in the playoff picture.

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The PawSox pushed across just two runs in the fourth, courtesy of a Matt Dominguez home run following a double off the bat of the resurgent Bryce Brentz. Brentz and Deven Marrero each tallied two hits in the game. Blake Swihart, meanwhile, was held hitless, striking out three times a part of an 0-for-4 performance. Roenis Elias was roughed up, essentially out of the gate, surrendering a solo shot to just the third batter of the game. Elias took the loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits in seven innings, though he did also punch out seven batters. Chandler Shepard came in out of the pen and was tagged for Buffalo's final two runs over two innings of work.
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August 22, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drive eclipse Power on Baldwin walk-off


8/22 Cup of Coffee: Only one stateside affiliate got a victory on Monday, but Greenville's game provided enough action for an entire organization: 15 runs, a walk-off win courtesy of Roldani Baldwin (pictured), and your run-of-the-mill 22-minute solar eclipse delay. Elsewhere, the DSL Sox got another win to continue their run toward the postseason, and Michael Chavis broke out of a short slump with a four-hit performance.

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The PawSox entered the ninth with a lead, but the advantage cratered with an error and pair of homers leading to a four-run Bisons ninth. Brian Johnson continues to orbit around the 70-pitch mark as he ramps up after a late-July shoulder injury. The lefty struck out five in four innings of work without issuing a walk but gave up two runs on a pair of solo homers. Heiker Meneses had a three-hit night out of the leadoff spot, and Ryan Court homered for the 10th time this season. Carson Smith struck out two in a perfect inning of relief in his rehab stint.
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August 21, 2017 at 1:10 PM

Minor Notes: Looking ahead to September promotions



Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Friday's Scouting Scratch took a look at five late-round draftees currently playing in Lowell: infielders Garrett Benge (selected in the 13th round) and Frankie Rios (17th round) and right-handed pitchers Lukas Young (21st round), Taylor Ahearn (32nd round), and Durin O'Linger (undrafted).
  • Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero discussed some of Boston's international free agent signings. Romero reported that the Red Sox have moved Danny Diaz, who is listed 21st in the SoxProspects.com rankings, from shortstop to third base. 
  • Matt Collins of Over the Monster previewed some names that the Red Sox could promote when rosters expand in September. Infielders Deven Marrero, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Sam Travis are almost certain to be added to the major league roster along with lefty Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Requena, Hill power Drive



8/21 Cup of Coffee: Greenville, led by dynamic games from Hildemaro Requena and Tyler Hill (pictured), knocked three home runs in a blowout win. Lowell was the only other affiliate to win as Tanner Houck threw three shutout innings and Nick Sciortino homered twice. The PawSox lost despite a strong game by Justin Haley. Portland played a doubleheader against Binghamton, who walked off in both games. Salem lost a slugfest with Victor Acosta leading the way with three RBI.

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Justin Haley turned in another strong start for the PawSox, allowing two runs and striking out five in six innings, but his offense and bullpen let him down in a loss. Kyle Martin allowed four runs in an inning of relief and Williams Jerez threw a scoreless frame, striking out two. Pawtucket's only run came via a fourth inning home run by Brian Bogusevic, who was 1 for 3.
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August 20, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks goes seven strong in win


8/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough day down on the farm, with only two affiliates coming away with victories. Jalen Beeks (pictured) was excellent again to lead the PawSox, while the DSL Red Sox continued their playoff push with another walk-off win. The offenses struggled elsewhere, as Greenville, Lowell, and the GCL Sox combined for only 10 hits in three losses.

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Left-hander Jalen Beeks turned in another quality start to lead the PawSox. Beeks struck out five and walked only one while surrendering a pair of runs while matching a season high with seven innings. In the 14 games he's taken the mound since his promotion from Portland, Beeks has turned in quality starts in nine of them. Tzu-Wei Lin blasted his first home run in 25 games since joining Pawtucket, a decisive two-run blast in the top of the seventh.
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August 19, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Swihart, Marrero, Dalbec all homer


8/19 Cup of Coffee: Blake Swihart broke out and ripped a three-run homer, his fourth of the year with Pawtucket. Kyle Hart (pictured) pitched really well in a loss and Greenville dropped one despite smashing four long balls. 

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Hector Velazquez was solid, but the eighth inning got away from Marcus Walden. Velazquez gave up three runs in six innings with five strikeouts and one walk. Walden gave up seven runs on four hits and three walks, as he only got two outs. Carson Smith pitched a clean inning, walking just one. Mike Miller even got into this one and allowed a run. Blake Swihart belted a three-run homer and Deven Marrero went 2 for 4 with a solo shot. Sam Travis was 2 for 4 as well. 

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The offense sputtered in game one and Henry Owens gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out just two. Josh Smith got the final two outs. Jordan Procyshen drove in the lone run with an RBI double. Josh Tobias added a double and Michael Chavis went 1 for 3. 
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August 18, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Late-round 2017 draftees



LOWELL, Mass -- With Brett Netzer’s promotion earlier this month, the Lowell lineup is on the thin side. 2017 13th-round pick Garrett Benge out of Oklahoma State is one of the most intriguing of those who remain. Benge has minimal projection in his 6-foot, 205-pound frame and is already a below-average runner with a questionable defensive profile. What Benge does bring to the table is a nice left-handed swing and solid-average bat speed. Benge starts in an open stance and utilizes a leg lift timing device. He has a small hitch in his load, but has quick hands once he gets going forward. In recent looks, Benge has shown an all-fields approach and some feel for hit. His pitch recognition needs some work and he only has gap power at present, but he has some upside at the plate. 

There are more questions, however, about Benge’s defense, as pre-draft reports (including one from Jim Callis on the SoxProspects.com Podcast) predicted. His arm is fringy for third base and his footwork and glove are below-average. He already has nine errors in 32 games and could have had several more on throws in the dirt that were successfully scooped by his first baseman. With his frame and offensive profile, a move to second base could be beneficial, but he doesn’t have the athleticism you like to see up the middle. If Benge hits enough then the Red Sox can figure out a defensive home at a later date, but the below-average defensive profile puts a lot of pressure on his bat to produce. 
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