SoxProspects News

May 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Velazquez and Devers continue to impress


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • In case you missed it, earlier last week SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall released his latest Scouting Scratch, covering Pawtucket right-hander Hector Velazquez (pictured, right). The Red Sox will need a starter this Saturday to fill the gap until David Price is ready to return and also possibly Friday depending on the Drew Pomeranz injury. Speculation has been that Velazquez could get the call due to his very strong performance thus far. Count Mass Live's Jen McCarthy among those who think he merits consideration for the fifth spot in the rotation. 
  • Velazquez had a strong start to open the week last week, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings, and added a second strong start over the weekend going 7 innings while only allowing 2 earned runs. Overall, that runs his totals to 29 innings pitched with a 1.86 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts with 5 walks. He has continued to ramp up his performance, going deeper into each game thus far in his first five games.
  • Another starting pitcher fresh off a promotion has been getting a lot of attention. Travis Lakins has also had a hot start to the year and was promoted to Portland last week. Mass Live's Christopher Smith spoke with Red Sox Vice President of Pitching Development Brian Bannister who talked about Lakins arsenal, including a newly added slider/cutter that is still a work in progress.
  • Lakins is not the only player that has gotten Bannister excited. Smith also notes that after reportedly hitting 100 mph at Portland, Bannister said reliever Ty Buttrey is also someone to watch out for. Buttrey has thrown 16 innings while allowing only 10 hits, 6 walks, and 4 earned runs while striking out 25.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that it is likely that infielder Marco Hernandez will have season-ending surgery on his left shoulder, further testing the infield depth of the organization.
  • Third baseman Rafael Devers has long been talked about as the long-term solution at third for the organization, but some, including the Providence Jornal's Tim Britton, are starting to wonder if he could be the answer in the present? Still only 20 years old, Devers has been dominating at a level where he is over four years younger than the average position player. In his first 117 plate appearances, he has hit .324/.393/.590 with 7 home runs and 7 doubles. Those numbers have him in the top 12 in the Eastern League in average, OBP, slugging, OPS, and total bases. 
  •  July 2nd is quickly approaching and speculation on where this year's crop of international free agents will sign has ramped up. As in past years, the Red Sox are heavily linked to Venezuelan prospects. Baseball America's Ben Badler listed ten 2017 international free agents to keep an eye on, and two - catcher Daniel Flores and shortstop Danny Diaz - linked to the Red Sox. Badler also notes that coming off the penalty restricting them from any international signings in 2016, he expects the Red Sox to be heavily involved and to likely trade for more bonus pool money.
  • The 2017 MLB Draft, which begins on Monday, June 12th, is also quickly approaching and thus coverage is starting to ramp up. Baseball America just released their Top 50 draft-eligible players, while MLB.com's Jim Callis did his first mock draft in which he projected Oregon lefty David Peterson (pictured, left) to the Red Sox at 24.
  • In other injury news, the Pawtucket Red Sox announced that outfielder Aneury Tavarez has hit the DL with right-hand tendinitis. Tavarez acts as key outfield depth for the organization and he got off to an incredibly strong start when started off hitting .377/.473/.475 over 18 games for Portland before being promoted to Pawtucket. He has cooled off a little for the PawSox, going 6-for-30 over his first seven games at Triple-A.
Players of the Week: 5/8-5/14

4 G, 12 AB, 6 H, 1 HR, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 K, .500/.600/1.000

Kyri may have only played in four games this week, but he made the most of them, securing a hit in each game. His best game came on Friday where he went 2-for-3 with a home run, double, and two walks. Playing in Salem for the first time, the 22-year-old has had a decent start, hitting .283/.345/.396 over his first 59 plate appearances. However, the overall stat line was helped tremendously by this past week since he came into the week hitting only .220 on the year without an extra base hit. Strikeouts continue to be an issue for Washington as he already has 20 after totaling 121 last year for Greenville.

2 GS, 0-0, 14 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 0.64 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 2 BB, 12 K

Dominant in both his starts, McAvoy enjoyed his best week of the year to secure the player of the week this week. On Monday, he threw 7 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and a walk while striking out 6. His second start on Sunday, while not quite as dominant, was still excellent - again going 7 innings, allowing 1 earned run, 7 hits, and a walk while striking out 7. McAvoy has had much better success in his second year in Portland. After finishing with a 5.80 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 79 strikeouts and 52 walks last year, he has lowered those numbers to 3.41 ERA, 1.20 WHIP to go along with 27 strikeouts and 15 walks over his first six starts. 

Photo Credit: Hector Velazquez by Kelly O'Connor and David Peterson by Samuel Marshall/Eric Evans.

Will Woodward is a Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.

 
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