SoxProspects News

July 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Trade Analysis: Scouting the prospects dealt for Eduardo Nunez


While the Red Sox were in the late innings of their West Coast game against Seattle, the team announced their first move of the trade deadline acquiring utility player Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants for right-handed pitchers Shaun Anderson (pictured) and Gregory Santos. Anderson is the number seventeen pitcher in the SoxProspects rankings while the 17-year-old Santos was unranked.

Nunez has played in 76 games for San Francisco this year hitting .308/.334/.417 with four home runs and 18 stolen bases. He rarely strikes out or walks and lacks power. His average is driven largely by BABIP and inflated by his speed. Defensively, Nunez has played primarily third base but has spent some time in left field, right field and at shortstop. Nunez doesn’t grade out very well on the advanced metrics with negative defensive runs saved at every position he’s played this year and -2.0 defensive WAR according to Fangraphs. While Nunez doesn’t seem like a major upgrade offensively or defensively, his speed does bring a new dimension to the Red Sox bench that they haven’t had in a while. Nunez stole 40 bases last year and his 18 this year would lead the team, one ahead of Mookie Betts.

Another motivation in acquiring Nunez was likely his salary. Of the rental players available his salary is relatively low, with the Red Sox on the hook for just $1.5 million for the rest of the year, which leaves them with room to make more deals while staying under the luxury tax. Nunez did come at a cost, however, as Anderson had established himself as one of the more intriguing pitchers in the second tier of the system's arms and Santos represents a lottery ticket with solid statistics in the DSL.
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at 8:00 AM

2017 Annual Donation Drive - Help Keep SoxProspects Up & Running!


Dear readers,

We're asking for your help to raise $10,000 to keep SoxProspects.com up and running for another year. We have kept the site 100% free for almost 14 years now, and we hope to do so for the foreseeable future. As we scout dozens of games first-hand each year, travel costs pile up. Our other costs to run the site often go up on an annual basis as well, and our ad revenue only covers a portion of those costs. So we're reaching out to the community for donations to help us keep the site going. Donations help cover site costs in two primary areas: (1) first-hand coverage travel costs for scouting and player columns; and (2) general IT costs (hardware, software, internet costs, hosting fees, etc.).

Your donations help us travel to Fort Myers in March to cover spring training and in the fall to cover the Instructional League each year, which are vital to get “one-stop shopping” for prospects across the system at levels we can’t see regularly. They also help cover the costs of travelling to affiliate games for regular first-hand coverage. We anticipate that our total costs could approach $20,000 in 2017. While we may cover roughly half that from online advertising revenue, your donations help us ensure we can cover those costs in order to keep the site going.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis homers, Mata impresses in losses


7/26 Cup of Coffee: Michael Chavis continued his recent hot streak, but it was not enough to carry Portland in a back-and-forth affair. Mike Miller had a big game for Pawtucket in the ninth spot in the order. Brian Mata was solid again for Greenville, but took a tough-luck loss.

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The PawSox rallied late to grab the win thanks to an RBI single by Aneury Tavarez and Mike Miller scoring on a double play in the seventh. Miller had a great night out of the nine hole, going 3 for 3 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and two stolen bases. He was credited with a steal of home when Rusney Castillo was caught in a rundown. Matt Dominguez hit his eighth homer of the season, going 2 for 5 with two RBI on the night. Kyle Kendrick struck out seven in five innings of work, but Edgar Olmos picked up the win in relief. It was his seventh of the year.
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July 25, 2017 at 7:00 PM

SoxProspects Featured Video: Rafael Devers


Occasionally, we will be featuring videos here from the SoxProspects YouTube page. Today's video is of new Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers. The video features seven at-bats, from early July, against the Reading Fightin Phils. For more on Devers' promotion to the major leagues, check out Transaction Analysis: Breaking down the Rafael Devers call-up from early this week.

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


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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hart strikes out 10 in Salem debut


7/25 Cup of Coffee: There were several solid pitching performances on Monday, led by Kyle Hart (pictured), who was dominant in his debut with Salem. Hector Velazquez and Hildemaro Requena also had strong outings, while Tyler HillBobby Dalbec, and Isaias Lucena all went deep for Greenville. 

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The PawSox managed only five hits in a shutout loss to the Mud Hens. Matt Dominguez went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk, but the rest of the team went only 3 for 29. Rusney Castillo returned from a brief stint on the disabled list and went 1 for 3 with a walk, extending his hitting streak to six games. Hector Velazquez was the tough-luck loser as he allowed only two runs over seven innings. While he has struggled in Boston this year, Velazquez has been dominant with the PawSox, as his ERA now sits at 1.58 after 74 innings. 
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July 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Transaction Analysis: Breaking down the Rafael Devers call-up


Following another loss on Sunday in which the offense struggled to score runs, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski announced that the team was calling up the farm system’s top prospect, third baseman Rafael Devers. Devers will join the team in Seattle on Monday and make his first start on Tuesday (against Felix Hernandez). Indications are that he will be the club’s primary third baseman against right-handed pitchers, with Deven Marrero continuing to man the position against left-handers.

The move comes just one week after the 20-year-old Devers was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket—a move that many had clamored for much sooner. The promotion evoked reactions across the spectrum: The Red Sox are making the move to kick-start the offense, or perhaps they’re getting a look at Devers in the majors before making a move for another third baseman by the deadline. 

Third base has been a black hole for the Red Sox this year with the seven players who have played there putting up a combined line of .227/.280/.320 and -1.9 bWAR, 28th in baseball at the position. For context, the AL average at third base is .252/.321/.438 and MLB average is .257/.330/.445. The Red Sox are hoping that Devers can give them a much-needed boost, but the move is aggressive—Devers will become the youngest active player in the majors by just short of eight months—and Devers could struggle out of the gates, especially defensively.

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at 2:30 PM

Minor Notes: Devers promoted to the majors


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers (pictured, right) is getting his first call-up to the majors. The Red Sox have gotten woeful production from their third basemen this year, including from Pablo Sandoval who was released earlier this week. 20-year-old Devers' minor league production this year has been anything but woeful. Devers hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs for Portland before being promoted to Pawtucket where over a brief nine game stretch he hit .400/.447/.600 with two more home runs. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and Executive Editor Chris Hatfield were all over the news and offered a detailed analysis of the transaction including some video of Devers. Devers is expected to join the team in Seattle today before making his debut tomorrow.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Olt and Chavis lead the way in Portland rout



7/24 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox were held scoreless in a loss to Norfolk despite a three-hit day by Rafael Devers and a strong start by Brian Johnson. Led by Mike Olt (pictured), Michael Chavis, and Jeremy Barfield, the Portland bats exploded en route to a blowout win. Roniel Raudes and Stephen Nogosek struggled on the mound in Salem, though Jordan Betts and Jose Sermo clubbed two home runs each. Greenville received a strong start from Jhonathan Diaz but fell in a shutout loss. 

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The PawSox lineup was unable to generate any offense to support a quality start by Brian Johnson. The lefty threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five. Noe Ramirez and Robby Scott provided scoreless relief. Third baseman Rafael Devers was the standout for Pawtucket's bats, going 3 for 4.
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July 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lovullo rips clutch home run for Salem


7/23 Cup of Coffee: It was a very quiet night for the bats as Salem was the only affiliate to pick up a win. Nick Lovullo blasted a clutch two-run homer in the ninth inning to put it away for Salem. Shaun Anderson (pictured) pitched very well, Jay Groome struggled, and Tanner Houck made his second start of the year. Bryce Brentz belted another home run for Pawtucket.

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The PawSox took a 4-2 lead into the ninth, but Austin Maddox blew the save and allowed four runs. Shawn Haviland started and pitched well, allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. Bryce Brentz went 2 for 4 with his 21st long ball of the season. Aneury Tavarez and Dan Butler also went 2 for 4. Rafael Devers was 1 for 4 with a single and two strikeouts.
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July 22, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec, Ockimey homer in wins


7/22 Cup of Coffee: Darwinzon Hernandez and Mike Shawaryn each pitched very well again in wins for Greenville and Salem. Jeremy Rivera (pictured) had a monster day at the plate with four hits, including a home run. Bobby Dalbec and Josh Ockimey also belted homers. 

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Despite another solid night overall for Rafael Devers, he couldn't come through in the end as he struck out with the bases loaded to end the game. He still collected a pair of opposite field singles. Steve Selsky was 2 for 4 with three RBI and Tzu Wei-Lin reached three times with a pair of singles and a walk. Marcus Walden was roughed up for six runs on 10 hits in just 5 1/3 innings. Robby Scott pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in his second game back with the PawSox, and Noe Ramirez struck out the side in the ninth. 
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July 21, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lin collects three hits; Madera keys comeback


7/21 Cup of Coffee: It was a full slate of games in the system on Thursday. Portland powered up with a five-homer victory. Salem came from behind to maintain its one-game lead in the Northern Division. Jalen Beeks carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before running out of gas, and Tzu-Wei Lin (pictured) had a three-hit night after starting his Triple-A assignment with a 1-for-9 stretch.

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After cruising through five hitless innings, starter Jalen Beeks was touched for three runs apiece in the sixth and the seventh. Beeks gave up three home runs after having surrendered only five in 93 innings all season. Top prospect Rafael Devers was 0 for 3 with a walk, as his average dipped below .400 for the first time since his promotion from Double-A. Tzu-Wei Lin had three hits, while Josh Rutledge began his rehab assignment by going 1 for 4 with a double.
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July 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Houck makes professional debut



Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • First-round selection Tanner Houck (pictured) made his minor league debut for the Lowell Spinners on Monday night. The right-hander from Missouri threw one inning, allowing three runs (two earned) with two strikeouts and a walk. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall attended the game and had some positive notes despite Houck's shaky performance. 
  • After Tuesday's scheduled starting pitcher, Doug Fister, threw 2 2/3 innings of relief in Saturday's 16-inning loss, the Red Sox were forced to shuffle their roster this week. The Red Sox optioned left-hander Robby Scott, who had pitched to a 3.75 ERA in 24 innings with Boston, to Pawtucket and recalled Brian Johnson to make the start. In a move to add some additional bullpen depth (which was ultimately necessary due to a 15-inning marathon on Tuesday), Boston also recalled Hector Velazquez and optioned first baseman Sam Travis to Pawtucket. Travis, who lands third in the SoxProspects.com rankings, has hit .279/.380/.395 in 50 major league plate appearances. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers goes deep, Travis returns to PawSox


7/20 Cup of Coffee: Another home run from Rafael Devers was not enough for the PawSox, while Trey Ball was hit hard again in Portland. Greenville's offense came out firing in support of Kyle Hart (pictured), Lowell's recent slide continued, and Alexander Martinez drove in another run for the DSL Red Sox. 

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It was a strange day in Pawtucket, as the PawSox used a position player to pitch in a one-run game in the eighth. Kyle Kendrick helped out the short-handed pitching staff by going the first six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. Austin Maddox pitched the seventh, allowing one run with three walks. He needed 35 pitches to get through the inning, and with no other pitchers available due to injury or rest, infielder Mike Miller came on for his third appearance of the season. He allowed three runs on five hits over two innings as the Mud Hens pulled away. 
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July 19, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Scouting Scratch: Trey Ball


PORTLAND, Me.-- Since he was drafted seventh-overall in the 2013 draft, left-hander Trey Ball has shown flashes of promise, but for the most part been wildly inconsistent. One need only look at his last two starts for evidence: the one I attended on July 7, one of the best of his career, and his follow-up effort on July 14, in which he gave up eight runs, seven earned, and failed to record an out in the second before being pulled. Here’s the Scouting Scratch from the first of those outings.

Age: 23
Height: 6-5
Weight: 215
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Draft, 1st Rd., 2013 (New Castle (Ind.) HS)

Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; 83 pitches, 55 strikes (66%); 15/24 first-pitch strikes (63%); 12 swinging strikes.

Trey Ball has a tall, lanky, pitcher’s frame. He has added size since he signed and looks his listed height and weight (taken from the Portland game notes, rather than his outdated 185-pound listing on the milb.com roster). He is an above-average athlete for a pitcher. Already 23 with a well-proportioned body, Ball doesn’t have much projection remaining. 

Ball threw from a three-quarters arm slot with a short arm action and average arm speed. He started his delivery with his glove high and in front of his face. He doesn’t use a wind-up, stepping back and going into his high leg lift before coming forward to the plate. Ball has some deception in his delivery, keeping the ball hidden behind his body until late. He mostly repeated his delivery throughout the outing, and when he did lose his mechanics, he was able to correct them quickly, working back twice to get hitters out after falling behind 3-0.

During the outing, Ball used all four of his pitches: fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. Interestingly, Ball pitched backwards after the second inning, relying on his slider as his primary pitch. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Raudes stretches shutout streak for Salem


7/19 Cup of Coffee: Roniel Raudes (pictured) stayed hot for Salem, leading the High-A squad to a win in a pitcher's duel. Bryce Brentz connected for his 20th home run of the season in a Pawtucket win. Jeremy Barfield and the Sea Dogs nearly mounted a wild comeback, but came up just short. Despite Shooter McGavin being in attendance, the Lowell Spinners were thrashed for a loss.

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The PawSox jumped on Toledo early with Matt Dominguez and Bryce Brentz providing all the offense Pawtucket would need. Dominguez kicked off the scoring in the first with a bases-clearing double. He was credited for two RBI, as the third run scored on an error. Brentz clubbed his 20th home run in the third inning and added a third RBI with a double in the eighth. Rafael Devers went 2 for 4 with a strikeout. Fresh off of his promotion back to Pawtucket, Ty Buttrey picked up the win with three innings of shutout relief. He allowed only one hit, struck out four and walked none.
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July 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: First-round pick Tanner Houck makes pro debut


7/18 Cup of Coffee: One of the major milestones of the season took pace Monday evening, as the Red Sox top draftee made his first professional appearances. Tanner Houck (pictured) drew the start in game two of Lowell's doubleheader, showing some early jitters but also a glimpse of why he was so highly touted. Elsewhere, the PawSox staged an improbable comeback from an 8-0 deficit, while Jhonathan Diaz pitched Greenville to victory.  

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After Toledo raced out in front, with eight runs in the first, the PawSox inched back, scoring runs in five different innings for the comeback win. Making his McCoy Stadium debut, Rafael Devers went 1 for 3 with a walk and a pair of runs scored. Two days after Devers made his PawSox debut, Tzu-Wei Lin suited up for his first Triple-A game--despite now having 50 major league plate appearances under his belt. Lin started at shortstop and was 0 for 5. Dan Butler had a monster day at the plate, blasting a two-run homer in the fourth inning and following up with a three-run shot in the fifth. Aneury Tavarez had his sixth straight two-hit game, a stretch that has boosted his OPS nearly .300 points. 

After Edgar Olmos struggled in his start, the bullpen combined for 8 1/3 shutout innings of masterful relief. Shawn Haviland carried the bulk of the load, scattering four hits across 6 1/3 frames. Ben Taylor and Noe Ramirez followed with a scoreless inning apiece. 
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at 6:00 AM

Podcast Ep. 126: It's What We Do When Skype Is Working, At Least


Chris and Ian battle technical difficulties on a big news weekend. Rafael Devers got upped. They say so long to Pablo Sandoval and Jhonny Peralta. They also discuss the recently shuffled rankings now that the draft and the J2 signing period are in the books. But, the trade deadline looms. Is Todd Frazier on the way? And if so, how much, how much is it going to cost the Red Sox? And will the players who will need to vie for a spot on the 40-man roster ahead of this winter's rule 5 draft be among the guys dealt? Ian spent some time watching Portland before Devers was promoted and drops some gems on the guys he saw. And we get to your emails.

Listen In!

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July 17, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Minor Notes: Devers debuts at Triple-A, deadline rumors heat up


Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • The big news down on the farm in the past few days was, of course, the Triple-A debut of Rafael Devers (pictured, right). The 20-year-old went off, going 4 for 4 with a monster home run to right field on Saturday.
  • Before Devers made his debut, Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com theorized what could be next for the young third baseman - and if he could make an impact at the big league level as soon as this year.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America also took a look at Devers right before his promotion, posting a scouting video from his observations of the lefty from the Eastern League All-Star Game.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey walks it off for Salem



7/17 Cup of Coffee: Bryce Brentz continued his powerful ways in a PawSox win, knocking a three-run homer. Michael Chavis's home run was one of few highlights as Henry Owens walked six in a blowout loss for the Sea Dogs. Josh Ockimey (pictured) was the hero in a walk-off win for Salem, going 3 for 6 with the game-winning homer. Jay Groome and Dakota Smith had strong starts in losses for Greenville and Lowell. The DSL held its All-Star Game, with Gregory Santos, Rayniel Moreno, and Alexander Martinez representing the Red Sox.

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Starting pitcher Marcus Walden turned in a strong outing in a blowout win for Pawtucket, allowing one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings, fanning five. Kyle Martin tossed 2 2/3 innings and Chandler Shepherd provided one inning of scoreless relief. Bryce Brentz powered the PawSox offense with a three-run homer as part of a 2-for-4 game. Matt Dominguez was 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI. Shortstop Mike Miller reached base four times, going 3 for 4 with a walk. After a phenomenal Triple-A debut, Rafael Devers was 0 for 4 with a walk in his second game on Sunday.
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July 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers goes off in PawSox debut


7/16 Cup of Coffee: It was a memorable night on the farm, as Rafael Devers (pictured) had a tremendous debut for the PawSox. Jalen Beeks, Elih Villanueva, Matthew Kent, and Darwinzon Hernandez all had solid starts, and Nick Lovullo also had a strong debut as he was called up to Portland. 

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It was an amazing first impression for Rafael Devers, as he went 4 for 4 with a double and a home run to lead the PawSox. The home run came off former big league left-hander Neal Cotts, and his double was a laser off of AJ Cole that short-hopped the right field wall. The only blemish on the night for Devers was a throwing error. Aneury Tavarez went 2 for 5 with an RBI, while Brock Holt went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and is now hitting .214 with Pawtucket on his rehab assignment. 
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July 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata, Jimenez, Kendrick all deal


7/15 Cup of Coffee: Both Dedgar Jimenez (pictured) and Bryan Mata turned in their second consecutive scoreless outing, while Kyle Kendrick pitched very well for Pawtucket. Rusney Castillo and Aneury Tavarez homered for Pawtucket while Mike Olt had a huge day for Portland. 

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Kyle Kendrick dazzled last night to earn his third win. He tossed seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor each threw a scoreless frame, with Shepherd racking up two strikeouts. Rusney Castillo and Aneury Tavarez each went 2 for 5 with a home run and two RBI. Brock Holt was also 1 for 5 with two RBI in a rehab game. 
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July 14, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Johnson dominates as PawSox kick off second half


7/14 Cup of Coffee: Starting pitching was the story on Thursday, as the four starters between Pawtucket, Portland, Salem and Greenville combined to allow one unearned run in 26 innings of work. Brian Johnson (pictured) and Kevin McAvoy got the call to start the second half for their respective affiliates, while Roniel Raudes and Kyle Hart dominated in A ball.

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It was a vintage Brian Johnson start, as the left-hander needed only 90 pitches to get through seven shutout innings. Johnson allowed only three hits, and struck out and walked two apiece as he lowered his Triple-A ERA to 2.86. Austin Maddox and Brandon Workman followed, both striking out one in a hitless inning of work. Dan Butler haunted his old squad, going 3 for 4 with three runs scored, while Brian Bogusevic and Aneury Tavarez each had two hits.
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July 13, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Brentz wins Home Run Derby, Chatham returns


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • Help keep SoxProspects.com free! Please consider making a contribution to our Annual Donation Drive
  • The Draft History page has been updated with signing bonus information for every player the Red Sox signed in the 2017 MLB Draft. 
  • Bryce Brentz (pictured) won the Triple-A Home Run Derby on Monday, blasting 38 home runs over the three rounds. This was the second year in a row that a player from Pawtucket won the title, with Chris Marrero coming out on top last year.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Anderson fires seven shutout innings


7/13 Cup of Coffee: The Triple-A and Eastern League All-Star Games took place on Wednesday, with Danny Mars stealing the show down in Double-A. Shaun Anderson had a tremendous start for Salem, while Bobby Dalbec returned to the lineup in Greenville's blowout victory.

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Pacific Coast League All-Stars 6, International League All-Stars 4
The PawSox made up two-thirds of the starting outfield for the International League, with Rusney Castillo going 2 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI while Bryce Brentz went 0 for 2 with a walk. Edgar Olmos came on in the eighth and retired the only batter he faced.

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Eastern Division All-Stars 7, Western Division All-Stars 1
After recording three or more hits 12 times in the first half with Portland, Danny Mars went 3 for 4 with a double to lead the Eastern Division to victory. Rafael Devers went 1 for 2 with a strikeout and Teddy Stankiewicz tossed a scoreless inning, while Williams Jerez did not make an appearance in the game.
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July 12, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Esplin hits first pro homer, Osinski leads Lowell


7/12 Cup of Coffee: It was a quiet night in the Red Sox farm system with Pawtucket and Portland on their All-Star breaks and Lowell and Greenville with the night off. Seventh-rounder Tyler Esplin hit his first professional home run for the GCL squad. Michael Osinski (pictured), a 31st round pick this year for Boston, had a nice night at the plate in a Spinners win.

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The Spinners racked up 12 hits, led by Michael Osinski out of the eight hole. The 21-year-old Longwood University product went 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. He also started a 6-4-3 double play in the field. Yoan Aybar went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored and gunned down a would-be run at the plate in the sixth. Durin O'Linger had a solid outing on the mound, giving up two runs - neither of which were earned - on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. He walked two and struck out five.

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July 11, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz wins Triple-A Derby; Shawaryn keeps cruising


7/11 Cup of Coffee: Portland and Pawtucket started their All-Star breaks, but PawSox slugger Bryce Brentz (pictured, left) did not have the night off. The veteran minor league slugger prevailed in the Triple-A Home Run Derby on Monday night in Tacoma. Brentz blasted 17 homers in the final round to oust hometown favorite Daniel Vogelbach (SEA).

In game action, a pair of top-20 prospects coming off a string of impressive performances were on the mound. Mike Shawaryn continued to roll, while Jay Groome had a tougher evening. Roldani Baldwin continues to lead the Greenville offense, and a couple of 2016 draftees were on rehab for the GCL Sox.

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Salem and Lynchburg were knotted through regulation before the floodgates opened in extra frames. The loss doesn't take any sheen off of another strong start by Mike Shawaryn. The former Maryland Terrapin allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in 6 2/3. He struck out six, walked one, and hit two batters. At the plate, Jose Sermo was 2 for 3 with a double, two walks, and a run scored. Josh Ockimey added a double of his own, and Tate Matheny picked up a pair of hits. 
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July 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox sign fourth rounder Thompson


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
     
  • Rafael Devers (pictured) was the lone member of the Red Sox organization to play in Sunday's Futures Game. At the plate, Devers was 1 for 4 with a single and a pair of strikeouts. He laced a line drive single to right field in his first plate appearance off Futures Game MVP Brent Honeywell. 
  • Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wrote about Devers and how quickly he has risen in the system at such a young age. Devers talks about how he handles being called one of the top prospects in baseball and how he has made adjustments in Double-A that have kept him from prolonged slumps. 
  • Brad Almquist of the Boston Globe writes about Jalen Beeks and his success so far at Triple-A. Beeks credits his success to improved mechanics and command. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rodriguez dominates in rehab start


7/10 Cup of Coffee: Eduardo Rodriguez (pictured) likely made the final start of his rehab assignment on Sunday afternoon, tossing 6 1/3 excellent innings en route to a walk-off win in Pawtucket. Top-ranked prospect Rafael Devers started for Team World in the Futures Game and went 1 for 4. Michael Chavis slammed a two-run homer and Henry Owens threw five shutout innings in a Portland win. Matt Kent and Dakota Smith turned in strong starts for Salem and Lowell while Darwinzon Hernandez struggled for the Drive. 

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The first event of the MLB All-Star Break took place on Sunday afternoon as Team USA and Team World faced off in the Futures Game. Third baseman Rafael Devers was Boston's only representative in the game, going 1 for 4 with a couple of strikeouts for Team World. A pair of former Red Sox prospects split time at second base for the World team in Yoan Moncada (0 for 2 with a strikeout) and Mauricio Dubon (1 for 3 with a run). Michael Kopech threw a scoreless inning for Team USA, striking out Moncada. 
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July 9, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jimenez, Mata, Olmos dominate on the mound


7/9 Cup of Coffee: The minor league squads got great pitching performances up and down the Sox system on Saturday. Dedgar Jimenez (pictured) highlighted all of those outings, authoring possibly his best outing of the year. Bryan Mata was impressive again for Greenville. Edgar Olmos continued his hot streak since his move to the rotation.

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Edgar Olmos continued his dazzling streak of solid starts since being moved to the rotation, picking up his sixth win of the year with six shutout innings. The 27-year-old lowered his ERA to 1.64, allowing just three hits, striking out six and walking none. Pablo Sandoval went 2 for 4 in another rehab start. Matt Dominguez added an RBI double.

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A pair of home runs could not carry the Sea Dogs on Saturday, as the bullpen surrendered three late runs. Jeremy Barfield and Chad De La Guerra each clocked solo homers, but Portland could not muster much offense beyond that. Elih Villanueva authored his best start since signing with the Red Sox organization, allowing two runs on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. He settled for a no-decision, however, as Luis Ysla gave up two runs late.
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July 8, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ball, Olt lift Portland in doubleheader


7/8 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs scored a combined 16 runs in their doubleheader, with Trey Ball (pictured) tossing a complete game in the first one. Brett Netzer, Boston's 2017 third round pick, broke out and reached base four times as Lowell scored 11 runs. Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers each racked up two hits, Mike Olt popped a grand slam, and Brock Holt played well in a rehab game.

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Kyle Kendrick had another rough outing, allowing 10 hits and four runs in five innings. Kyle Martin and Ty Buttrey each tossed two innings in relief, with Buttrey putting up zeros in both frames. The offense was held to just five singles, with Heiker Meneses grabbing two hits. Pablo Sandoval and Jhonny Peralta each went 0 for 4 with a strikeout. 

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Trey Ball led the way in game one with seven strong innings of one-run ball. He struck out seven, did not walk anybody, and allowed just three hits in the complete game effort. SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall, had a chance to take in the action and reported Ball's slider as being his best offering during the outing. Chad De La Guerra paced the offense by going 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI. Rafael Devers was 2 for 3 with a walk and Michael Chavis went 2 for 3 with a double. Brock Holt also went 1 for 2 with two walks in a rehab appearance.
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July 7, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barfield caps monster game with walk-off slam


7/7 Cup of Coffee: It was a stunning comeback win in Portland, as Jeremy Barfield (pictured) connected for the ultimate baseball moment: a walk-off grand slam with his team trailing by three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Elsewhere, Hector Velazquez continued to dominate the International League as the PawSox won a nail-biter, and Logan Boyd and Trevor Kelley had strong outings in their Salem and Portland debuts, respectively. Greenville and Lowell had their contests rained out.

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Hector Velazquez came out on top in this pitchers' duel, scattering four hits across seven scoreless innings. He struck out seven, walked one, and threw 60 of his 95 pitches for strikes. With another dominant outing, Velazquez lowered his Triple-A ERA to 1.48, and he has allowed no runs in five or more innings in six of his 12 starts. Tim Melville (MIN) was matching Velazquez pitch for pitch until the seventh inning, when Steve Selsky doubled and came in to score on a throwing error. Ben Taylor pitched two perfect innings to earn the save.
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July 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: International and draft signings


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The international signing period opened up on July 2nd and the Red Sox made quick work, signing several top prospects including catcher Daniel Flores (pictured, right), and shortstops Danny Diaz and Antoni Flores. To get more information on these young players, the SoxProspects.com podcast team welcomed international prospect guru Ben Badler of Baseball America to break down these players and give more insight into the Red Sox international strategy after being forced to sit out the 2016 signing period.
  • The deadline to sign draft picks is Friday, July 7th at 5:00 pm. On the Podcast, Chris and Ian talked about the 2017 draft signings, which as of this writing still does not include fourth-round pick Jake Thompson. The guys pointed out that the Red Sox have $420,955 remaining to sign Thompson and use on bonuses over $125,000 for picks after the 10th round and stay under their cap, plus the 5% overage they are allowed without losing their 2018 first-round pick. However, should they fail to sign Thompson, losing the $397,800 slot value for his pick, they are left with just $3,265 to spend on bonuses over $125,000 for picks 11-40. This could be the reason that some reported late-round signings that might command over-slot bonuses have not been announced, as they could hinge on the signing of Thompson.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn strikes out nine, Castillo returns to PawSox


7/6 Cup of Coffee: It was a night of low-scoring games, with solid pitching performances from Jalen BeeksKevin McAvoy, and Mike Shawaryn (pictured), but few standout performances offensively. Five of the eight games ended with shutouts, with the Boston affiliates coming out on top in two of those. 

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Brian Johnson gave up hits to five of the first six batters as he took the loss in his second rehab appearance. Johnson surrendered three runs in the first inning, but rebounded to retire 10 of the next 11 batters. Chandler Shepherd and Jamie Callahan each struck out two in their scoreless appearances. Rusney Castillo returned from the disabled list and went 0 for 4, while Jhonny Peralta, Pablo Sandoval, and Bryce Brentz all went 1 for 3, with Brentz adding a double. 
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July 5, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Jay Groome


In his first start of the 2017 season, left-hander Jay Groome allowed nine earned runs in an inning and a third before leaving with a lat injury that would keep him sidelined for two months. The start of the Lowell Spinners’ season coincided with the start of a rehab assignment for Groome, and I was able to attend Groome’s first two starts there.

Groome’s first start lasted just 2 1/3 innings before being interrupted mid-at-bat by rain. In that outing, he struck out three and walked one while allowing one hit. Five days later, Groome lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and walking two with five strikeouts before leaving after 73 pitches. It was clear Groome was working out the kinks during these outings. He still showed flashes of why he is so highly regarded, while at the same time showing that he still has a long way to go developmentally.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome dominates, earns first pro win


7/5 Cup of Coffee: For the second straight start, Jay Groome (pictured) dominated on the mound in what was also his return to Greenville. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Henry Owens continued to struggle with his command in his first start since his demotion to Portland. Eduardo Rodriguez also struggled in a rehab start for Pawtucket. Outfielder Victor Acosta made a splash in his debut for Salem. Two 2017 draft picks - Brett Netzer and Kutter Crawford - made their pro debuts for Lowell.

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In his second rehab start working towards returning from the disabled list, Eduardo Rodriguez once again put up warning flags with a rough outing. The 24-year-old lefty struggled with his command in four innings of work, allowing four runs on four hits and five walks. He also struck out five and threw 88 pitches. Jantzen Witte clubbed his third home run of the season in a 1-for-3 performance. Jhonny Peralta belted his second home run since signing with the Sox. Pablo Sandoval went 1 for 4 in a rehab start.

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July 4, 2017 at 4:07 PM

Podcast Ep. 125: International signings with Baseball America's Ben Badler


A very special Independence Day edition of the SoxProspects Podcast brings Ben Badler back to talk about the Red Sox's haul of international free agents. The guys talked with Ben about Venezuelan catcher Daniel Flores, the consensus second-ranked prospect in the 2017 class, and the rest of the players who've signed. Chris and Ian also talked about the players traded for international bonus pool money, the latest draft signings, and the latest rankings.

Listen In!
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at 9:17 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers and Baldwin homer on day of tight contests


7/4 Cup of Coffee: There was lots of drama across a full slate heading into the holiday, as the eight games played by the affiliates were all decided by two runs or fewer, with three heading to extras. Rafael Devers continued to try and homer his way out of the Eastern League and his fellow Dominican, Drive catcher Roldani Baldwin (pictured), also went deep. Strong performances on the mound from Edgar Olmos, Kyle Hart, and Andres Jimenez only resulted in one win for their respective teams.

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Edgar Olmos delivered a strong start, but the bullpen imploded in the ninth. Olmos went 7 2/3 innings, surrendering just one run on six hits while striking out three. Noe Ramirez was first out of the pen and gave up the first four runs in the ninth to let the RailRiders tie the game. Austin Maddox was tagged with the loss after he allowed the winning run with two out in the ninth. Brock Holt, who continues to work his way back from vertigo, paced the offense with a 2-for-4 performance that included a two-run home run in the fifth. Designated hitter Pablo Sandoval went 2 for 4 as well, while Jhonny Peralta, who started at third, went 0 for 4.
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July 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: International signing period opens



Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • The 2017-18 international signing period began on Sunday and the Red Sox were able to add some impact talent for the first time in three years. Boston could not pay bonuses of more than $300K in 2015-16 due to exceeding their bonus cap during the previous period. They attempted to work around these restrictions by using package deals-- signing multiple players from the same agency and redistributing the wealth-- and were unable to sign international free agents last period due to penalties from MLB. When the new period began on July 2nd, the Red Sox signed three notable Venezuelan prospects: catcher Daniel Flores (ranked as the 2nd-best international prospect by Baseball America and MLB.com) and shortstops Danny Diaz (ranked 7th by BA and 13th by MLB.com) and Antoni Flores (ranked 35th by BA and 20th by MLB.com). These three players will earn bonuses of $3.1M, $1.6M, and $1.4M respectively. The Red Sox signed two more players unranked by BA and MLB.com: shortstops Nelfy Abreu ($450K bonus) and Denny Daza (bonus unknown). 
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at 8:00 AM

Trade Analysis: Scouting Nick Longhi, Stanley Espinal and Imeldo Diaz


Sunday marked the beginning of the 2017-18 international amateur signing period, with the Red Sox making a big splash in having reached reported agreements for three signings of over $1 million. But with this the first international period under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the club entered with a hard $4.75 million bonus pool cap. With reported agreements with three Venezuelan players alone reaching $6.1 million—those with catcher Daniel Flores for $3.1 million, shortstop Danny Diaz for $1.6 million and shortstop Antoni Flores for $1.4 million—it was clear the organization would need to trade for more pool space.

In a series of moves Sunday morning, the Red Sox did just that, trading away three prospects for bonus pool space: the number 13 prospect in the just-updated SoxProspects rankings, Portland first baseman Nick Longhi (pictured above), to Cincinnati in exchange for $2.75M in space, and two Lowell infielders, third baseman Stanley Espinal and infielder Imeldo Diaz, to St. Louis. The Reds and Cardinals were both capped at spending $300,000 per player after exceeding their bonus pool during the previous season, thus they were both unlikely to spend their allotted pools—$5.25 million for the Reds and $5.75 for the Cards. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz collects four hits in PawSox loss



7/3 Cup of Coffee: It wasn't a successful day in the Red Sox system as all five active affiliates lost on Sunday afternoon. Shaky starting pitching was the main suspect as Shawn Haviland, Trey Ball, and Bryan Mata struggled for the PawSox, Sea Dogs, and Drive. Salem starter Roniel Raudes turned in a strong outing but it wasn't enough as the Red Sox were shut out. PawSox right fielder Bryce Brentz (pictured) was one of few bright spots on the day, going 4 for 5 with a double and a triple in a losing effort.

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The PawSox were on the losing end of a slugfest on Sunday as starting pitcher Shawn Haviland was rocked for eight runs in three innings. Ty Buttrey and Chandler Shepherd each allowed three runs before Ben Taylor tossed a scoreless frame. Bryce Brentz had a huge day at the plate, going 4 for 5 with a double, triple, and three RBI. Jhonny Peralta, starting at designated hitter, went 2 for 5 with two RBI.
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July 2, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Stankiewicz and Boyd throw six shutout innings



7/2 Cup of Coffee: It was a day full of doubleheaders in the Red Sox farm system as Pawtucket, Portland, and the DSL Red Sox each won both games of a twin bill. Boston's third base depth stepped up for the PawSox as both Pablo Sandoval and Jhonny Peralta homered. Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured, right) and Logan Boyd both turned in six shutout frames for Portland and Greenville respectively. Shaun Anderson was not as successful in Salem, lasting only 2 2/3 innings in a loss.

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The PawSox and RailRiders continued Friday night's game, which had been suspended with Pawtucket leading 2-0 after three innings. Kyle Martin picked up the first three innings on Saturday afternoon, allowing two runs. Jamie Callahan struck out three in two shutout innings and Austin Maddox recorded his second save to close it out. Jhonny Peralta slammed his first home run with the PawSox as part of a 2-for-5 game. Ryan Court also went 2 for 5 and hit a two-run shot, his seventh of the season.
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July 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn deals, Johnson rehabs



7/1 Cup of Coffee: Bryce Brentz continued his torrid home run pace with his 18th, as Pawtucket had its game suspended. Brian Johnson made a rehab start for Lowell and threw 51 pitches. Mike Shawaryn (pictured) was also dominant again with six shutout innings. Jhonny Peralta picked up his first hit in the Red Sox organization. 

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The PawSox and RailRiders had their game suspended after three innings of play and will pick up today at 4:35 p.m. Pawtucket currently leads 2-0, as Bryce Brentz blasted a two-run shot in the first inning. Brentz now has 18 long balls on the year. Jhonny Peralta picked up his first knock in a PawSox uniform with a double to the wall in left. Jalen Beeks was dominant in his three innings of work, allowing zero runs on just one hit with no walks and five strikeouts.
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