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October 30, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Chavis named Fall Star; Brentz mashes


This continues 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 23-29.

Arizona Fall League
Michael Chavis continued to make hard contact, delivering a solo home run as part of Peoria's 17-hit barrage on the 23rd. More important than his 3-for-17 offensive week was his spot on the field. The 2014 first-round pick got the first two starts of his career at first base. Chavis played first on both Monday and Thursday, making an error there in the latter contest. The continued strong play has earned Chavis a spot in the league's Fall Star game when rosters were announced Monday afternoon. Unlike most regular season leagues, the AFL takes prospect status into account when selecting its All-Star teams. Chavis hit .282/.347/.563 between High A Salem and Double-A Portland, blasting 31 homers on the year.

Peoria also got boosts from Josh Tobias (4 for 8) and Chad De La Guerra (3 for 7).


Henry Owens was hit hard in his start, allowing five runs on six hits in four innings. However, there was a major bright spot, as the left-hander did not walk a batter against five strikeouts as he attempts to regain some consistency with his control. Bobby Poyner allowed a pair of runs in two innings in his only appearance, getting tagged with a loss. Ty Buttrey struck out a pair in his only inning of wor but allowed a run on four hits. Kevin McAvoy worked twice out of the bullpen, allowing a run on two hits.

Dominican Baseball League
Like Chavis, Sam Travis is working out at a new position. A first baseman by trade, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe discusses Travis getting work in left field down in the Dominican Republic. Travis struggled at the plate this week, going 0 for 9 in his three starts. Blake Swihart continues his strong play, going 4 for 11 to increase his line to .417/.517/.500 through eight contests. Deven Marrero drove in a run as part of a 2-for-12 week, while Chris Madera was 1 for 7 with a double. Santiago Espinal saw time only as a defensive replacement. 

Jordan Walden had some tough luck on the mound, taking the loss in both of his outings. Recently re-signed before hitting minor league free agency, Walden allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Elih Villanueva did not surrender an earned run despite giving up six hits and walking two in his 3 2/3 innings of work.


Mexican Pacific League
A pair of Red Sox dominated the October 26 contest for Hermasillo. Bryce Brentz (pictured, above) continued his 2017 power surge, blasting three homers and driving in six runs on the day to pace the offense. Meanwhile, Chandler Shepherd got the start, allowing just one run on three hits in 5 2/3, striking out seven while walking one. Brentz, who is approaching minor league free agency for the first time, finished the week 6 for 22 with four homers and nine runs driven in. As has long been the case with the 2010 supplemental first-round pick, strikeouts have been an issue, as he struck out eight times on the week, including four times in Saturday's contest.


Venezuelan Professional Baseball League
It was a big week for minor league veteran Henry Urrutia. The outfielder extended his hitting streak to seven games, going 7 for 22 with five walks and three doubles, for a final slash line of .318/.464/.455 on the week. Heiker Meneses and Juan Hernandez also saw significant playing time, going 5 for 24 and 6 for 22, respectively. Deiner Lopez was 5 for 19, highlighted by a Sunday performance where he went 3 for 4 with a double and pair of RBI. On the mound, Dedgar Jimenez made a pair of scoreless relief appearances, allowing one hit and striking out one across 2 1/3.


Venezuelan Development Program
The Boston affiliate got only three games in this week, going 1-1-1 to maintain its spot in first place. Ritzi Mendoza continued to build on a strong first season stateside, firing five scoreless innings in his two appearances. At the plate, Keibert Petit was the offensive standout, highlighted by a four-hit contest on the 26th. Petit is now hitting .308/.390/.577 in 52 at-bats.


Colombian Professional Baseball League
Play begins in Columbia on Friday, November 3. Sandy Leon (Barranquilla) and Jose Sermo (Monterio) will be representing the Red Sox organization this winter.

Fall Instructional League
Jim Callis at MLB.com had an in-depth write-up of the Red Sox Fall Instructional Program, shortened this year due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. CJ Chatham and Bobby Dalbec, two players limited in 2017 due to injuries, were at full strength and were able to participate. Top prospect Jay Groome was in Fort Myers as well, focusing on "drillwork and fundamentals." Perhaps the most glowing words are saved for 2017 fifth-round pick Alex Scherff. The six-foot-four right-hander did not get into game action during the regular season, but Director of Player Development Ben Crockett compared him physically to former Red Sox minor leaguer Michael Kopech, arguably the top-ranked pitching prospect in the game. 

Photo Credit: Bryce Brentz by Kelly O'Connor

 
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