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October 23, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Chavis and Swihart start off strong


This is the first in our series of weekly roundups of the Fall/Winter Leagues. Coverage will continue every Monday into January. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January. This week's roundup covers the period of October 9-22.

Arizona Fall League

With 10 games in the books, the Peoria Javelinas are in first place in the Arizona Fall League West division with a 6-4 record. Michael Chavis (pictured) is the highest ranked player of the seven Red Sox prospects that are on the team, and he has impressed over the first two weeks. Chavis is currently batting .314/.351/.429 over 35 at-bats, with two walks and six strikeouts. Daren Willman, the Director of Baseball Research & Development for MLB, tweeted that Chavis has recorded two of the four highest exit velocities so far in Arizona, with his hardest hit coming in at 113.5 mph. 

Chad De La Guerra is only batting .235 over his 17 at-bats, but he has made the hits count, launching two home runs (one inside-the-park, admittedly), which is tied for third in the league. Josh Tobias is hitting .313/.353/.375 over 16 at-bats with his only extra-base hit being a double. 

The pitching has been lackluster so far, with only Ty Buttrey having success in his limited appearances. He has not allowed a run over 3 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out three. Bobby Poyner has also thrown 3 1/3 innings, but he allowed two runs, walking one and striking out three. Henry Owens' aggregate numbers show him still being wild and ineffective, walking seven and allowing six hits and five runs over five innings. However, his second start, in which he allowed one run on four hits and two walks while whiffing two, looks much better in the context of his first, in which he failed to record an out in the second inning, allowing four runs on two hits and five walks while facing 10 batters. Kevin McAvoy, who replaced Brian Johnson on the Peoria roster, has appeared in two games out of the bullpen, allowing three hits and four walks over two innings. 

Dominican Baseball League

Blake Swihart has been the biggest bright spot so far during the offseason action, as the switch-hitter is 6 for his first 13 with five walks and two strikeouts. He has also been catching, as all signs point to him beginning to put his lingering ankle issues behind him. Sam Travis is 4 for 17 with two doubles and three walks but has also struck out eight times. Santiago Espinal, Chris Madera, and Deven Marrero have combined to take seven at-bats, with Madera collecting the only two hits of the trio.

In two starts, Justin Haley has surrendered four earned runs on 13 hits over nine innings, walking one while striking out eight. Marcus Walden, who recently re-signed with the organization before hitting minor league free agency, turned in a solid start in his only appearance, striking out six and allowing one run over five innings. Williams Jerez has appeared in two games out of the bullpen, allowing one run over 1 1/3 innings. 

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Of the four offensive players seeing action, Juan Hernandez has had the most success by far, batting .333/.429/.361 with five walks and two strikeouts over 36 at-bats. Deiner Lopez is hitting .296 over seven games, but he has yet to walk and has only one double to go with six strikeouts. Victor Acosta is 1 for 8 in limited action, and Carlos Tovar is 2 for 8. 

On the mound, Dedgar Jimenez has thrown two scoreless innings, and Enmanuel De Jesus has allowed one run on one hit and three walks over two innings. 

Mexican Pacific League

Chandler Shepherd is the only active player currently seeing playing time, and he has gone nine innings over two starts, allowing two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts. Soon-to-be minor league free agent (assuming the club will not add him to the 40-man first, the deadline five days after the World Series ends) Bryce Brentz has struggled, going 5 for 34 for a .147 average, although one of those hits was a home run.

Venezuelan Development Program

Similar to prior years, the Red Sox have a team comprised almost entirely of their prospects in the Liga Paralela, which is essentially a minor league to the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. The Boston team is 6-1-1, good enough for first place. Raiwinson Lameda and Willis Figueroa are leading the offense, with Lameda starting 11 for 26 with a home run and two steals, and Figueroa going 9 for 26 with a home run and four steals.

The pitching is led by Jose Gonzalez, who is 3-0 and has not allowed a run over 7 1/3 innings. Carlos Cortes is 2-0 after allowing two earned runs over 8 2/3 innings, and Oddanier Mosqueda is leading the team with 12 strikeouts over eight innings.

Photo Credit: Michael Chavis by Kelly O'Connor

 
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