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December 31, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Regular seasons close, Brentz re-signs

This continues our regular roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 December 17-30.

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League
Deiner Lopez (pictured, left) was the only Sox player to receive regular playing time over the past couple weeks. He ended his season by going 3 for 13 with two doubles, two runs, five strikeouts, and no walks. He hit .236 in 89 at-bats this winter. Lopez' Cardenales de Lara will enter the playoffs as the second seed. Juan Hernandez appeared in five games, three as a pinch-runner and two as a defensive replacement in right field. He also made an appearance in center field. Hernandez' team, Caribes de Anzoategui, will also advance to the playoffs as the sixth seed. 

On the mound, Enmanuel De Jesus pitched one inning and did not give up any hits or runs with zero walks or strikeouts. De Jesus' team, Navegantes del Magallanes, will also participate in the postseason after posting the best record in the league.
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December 19, 2018 at 8:12 PM

Podcast Ep. #150 - We know what a Roman numeral V is

Chris and Ian and all of us at SoxProspects want to thank you all for a great 2018. But before Ian sets off for the UK and Chris journeys to Florida, we wanted to leave a final (maybe) SoxProspects Podcast present for you. The guys review the Winter Meetings and the Rule 5 Draft. Chris addresses Dombrowski’s comments on the bullpen as he and Ian applaud how well positioned the team is on staffing the pen. They quickly run through the late year moves and transactions. Two excellent questions in the mailbag round out the show. Have a very happy holiday season, but before you do…

Listen in!

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December 17, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Regular season ends in the Dominican; De Jesus struggles

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 December 10-16.

Dominican Baseball League
Catcher Jhon Nunez was again the only player to appear in the league's final week. Nunez appeared in three games but only received two at-bats, going 0 for 2 with a strikeout which left his regular season slash line at .227/.277/.295 over 44 at-bats. Nunez's team, Toros del Este, finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak, and their 24-24 record was good enough to lock up the fourth and final playoff spot in the six-team league.
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December 14, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Rule 5 Recap: Sox nab Gomez, Schwaab; Ockimey undrafted

The 2018 Rule 5 draft has come and gone, and the Red Sox were once again not involved in the MLB phase. The organization's action came in the Triple-A phase, in which they grabbed right-handed relievers, Anyelo Gomez and Andrew Schwaab, from the Yankees and Tigers organizations, respectively. They also lost outfielder Tyler Hill, who was picked by Detroit and then flipped to the Yankees in a trade. 

Boston not making a pick was not much of a surprise – their only major league Rule 5 pick this decade who was not part of a pre-arranged trade was infielder Josh Rutledge. Rutledge was something of a special case, as the Red Sox drafted him from Colorado just weeks after he'd departed the Boston organization for the Rockies as a minor league free agent. There was some feeling the team might take a flier on a reliever this year, with a spot open on the 40-man roster and the 2019 bullpen still a work in progress, but the team decided the talent pool did not have what they were looking for. Most teams seemed to agree: only 14 players were selected in the MLB portion, the fewest since 2014.
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December 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Help Wanted: Web Editor & Copy Editor

SoxProspects is opening two positions for 2019! We’re looking for a Web Editor and a Copy Editor to join the Staff in January. We're seeking a commitment through at least the end of 2019, but ideally we’d find a couple new staffers who will want to stick around for the long-term if there is a mutual fit. 

Web Editor: The primary responsibility of the Web Editor will be updating certain pages of the site on a timely basis after transactions occur in the Red Sox system. The primary pages that need to be updated each transaction are the Transactions and Roster pages and each player’s page. Other pages occasionally need updating for a limited number of transactions, including the rankings pages, 40-man page, draft history and international signings pages, and the ex-players page. The hope is that the Web Editor will eventually take lead responsibility for these updates, with a handful of other web editors available to make the updates when needed. 

Applicants should have regular availability to perform the above tasks, including reasonable flexibility during business hours (ET) if needed. Overall, the estimated time commitment is about 3-4 hours per week during the season. The busiest time of year, by far, is from the June draft until the August 31 waiver trade deadline (extra backup is available during that time).

For requirements, we are primarily looking for someone with: (1) the availability and flexibility listed above; (2) a basic familiarity with SoxProspects.com and the Red Sox minor league system (you don’t need to be an expert); (3) a perfunctory knowledge of HTML or web editing programs; and (4) exceptional attention to detail. 

Copy Editor: The hope is that the Copy Editor will edit 3-4 Cup of Coffee columns per week and also about 25-35% of our other columns and features. In total, the commitment is maybe 2-3 hours per week during the minor league season, and much less in the off-season. 

Applicants should ideally have prior collegiate (or professional) writing or editing experience. It’s also very important that the applicant have a reasonable amount of availability to edit during business hours (ET), and the ability to edit the Cup of Coffee either early in morning (at or before 7 am) or late at night (often in the 11:00 pm hour) for 3-4 days per week. We also hope that applicants will have a very strong attention to detail, some knowledge of AP style, and a basic familiarity with SoxProspects.com and the Red Sox minor league system. Top-to-bottom expertise is not necessary, but the more background the applicant possesses, the better.
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December 10, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Venezuelan Development Program ends, Juan Centeno hits

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 December 3-9.

Dominican Baseball League
Jhon Nunez (pictured) was the only player to appear in the league in its penultimate week, hitting 2 for 8 with an RBI and three strikeouts in three games.
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December 3, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: 40-man roster moves and minor league roster changes

Here are November's minor league notes:

  • The biggest update from the last few weeks is the changes to the 40-man roster, including players protected (or not protected) from the Rule 5 draft. In the most recent episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast Chris and Ian discuss these decisions, in addition to taking a final look at the Arizona Fall League (AFL) season. The guys also went through the current top 20 prospects and discussed which ones they see as 2019 contributors in Boston and which ones they see as possible trade bait. 
  • Michael Chavis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Travis Lakins were all locks to be protected from the Rule 5 draft so there was no surprise when they were added to the 40-man roster. Denyi Reyes (pictured, above) and Josh Taylor were toss-ups, but the Red Sox decided to protect them as well. Reyes was the 2018 SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year, and Taylor is a left-hander who has a fastball that can hit the upper-90s but has struggled with his control and command. Teams tend to take chances on players like Taylor in the Rule 5 draft and the Red Sox did not want to risk losing him.
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at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Acosta and Castellanos continue to dominate

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 November 26 - December 2.

Dominican Baseball League
Domingo Tapia was due for some regression after entering the week with a 0.00 ERA over 12 innings, and it happened on Monday night. Tapia did not record an out and allowed three runs on three hits. He was able to bounce back with a scoreless inning with two strikeouts on Friday. Jhon Nunez appeared in three games, going 1 for 7 with a double and two strikeouts.
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November 29, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Podcast Ep.# 149 - I’m not dead inside

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Thanksgiving leftovers linger in the fridge and the last of the pumpkin pies have been finally eaten. And with the calendar poised to turn to December, we toss another log on the fire turn our eyes towards that most magical of wintry festivals. Yes, the hot stove is crackling and the winter meetings loom on the horizon. Chris and Ian start off with the 40-man roster. They break down the players protected from the Rule 5 draft as well as the big name left exposed. They review the Arizona Fall League results. And then they take a look at the top 20 prospects and predict who gets dealt, who plays in Fenway next year and who stays down on the farm. Finally, we turn the show over to you and crack open the mailbag for some great questions.

Listen in!

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November 26, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter Roundup: Victor Acosta stays hot; Christopher Acosta surprises

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 November 19 - November 25.

Dominican Baseball League
Recently signed right-hander Domingo Tapia has been a staple in the Gigantes bullpen so far this fall, a trend that continued this week. Tapia made three scoreless appearances, allowing three hits. The longtime Mets farmhand has yet to allow a run in 13 appearances, holding opposing batters to a .233 batting average. Jhon Nunez was the only other player who saw action this week int he Dominican, going 3 for 9 with a walk, stolen base, and pair of runs scored.
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November 19, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Fall/Winter League: Dalbec, Hernandez finish strong & Castellanos heats up

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 November 12 - November 18.

Arizona Fall League
It was the final week of the Arizona Fall League with the Championship game taking place on Saturday. The Mesa Solar Sox went 2-2 on the week and just missed the playoffs by half a game, finishing 15-14-1. Third baseman Bobby Dalbec (pictured, right) finished his up-and-down AFL with a strong week, going 4-for-11 with a double, home run, 3 runs, 3 RBI, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. The other two field players both struggled this week. First baseman Josh Ockimey went hitless in 11 at-bats over three games with a walk, run and RBI to go with 6 strikeouts. Second baseman Esteban Quiroz only appeared in one game, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
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November 12, 2018 at 8:20 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Darwinzon Hernandez does well, VZ Development Program returns

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 November 5 - November 11.

Arizona Fall League
Bobby Dalbec had a cold week, going 1 for 10 with an RBI single, three walks and four strikeouts. He's now up to 29 strikeouts in 62 at-bats this year. However, the other top prospect who is spending his fall in Arizona, Darwinzon Hernandez, grabbed three strikeouts against one hit in 1 1/3 innings in his only appearance on the week. Hernandez has 21 strikeouts in 10 1/3 frames of work and he's six strikeouts back of the league lead, despite each of the four pitchers ahead of him recording at least seven more innings. Michael Chavis has also left Mesa due to an injury
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at 5:00 AM

Podcast Ep. #148 - Not a bad investment for a buck

Give it up for your 2018 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Chris and Ian get together to share the latest news from the system. After a quick recap of the Arizona Fall League and the goings on in Venezuela, they get down to how to assemble a World Series title team. They review the top player development stories in the system. They review the draft to end all drafts - 2011. They laud the deep scouting work done that brought guys like Robby Scott and Hector Velazquez. And finally, they take a short look at what the offseason ahead brings.

Listen in!

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November 8, 2018 at 1:07 PM

Minor Notes: New rankings and Scouting Scratches

Here are November's Minor Notes:
  • The Fall Stars game in the Arizona Fall League was November 3 and the Red Sox had two participants, Bobby Dalbec and Darwinzon Hernandez. SoxProspects.com's Jim Crowell has the details in this week's Fall/Winter Roundup.
  • The previous week in the Arizona Fall League, Michael Chavis was removed from the Mesa roster with an injury. SoxProspects.com's James Dunne has the scoop as well as news on all of the other Sox Prospects getting addition reps in during the fall.
  • The 147th edition of the SoxProspects.com Podcast dropped on October 19 and Chris Hatfield, Ian Cundall and Mike Andrews discussed the season-end rankings, including why some guys moved up the rankings so quickly they don't even have headshots.
  • SoxProspects.com's Ian Cundall released a Scouting Scratch the day prior as well on three young pitchers in Zach Schellenger, Joan Martinez and Yasel Santana, all three of whom Cundall got a look at during Instructs.
  • Chase Shugart and Andrew Politi, each of whom were selections in June's draft, also got the Scouting Scratch treatment from Cundall. Both pitched in Lowell during the year and showed something more at Instructs.
  • Transitioning from a center fielder with a live arm to a pitcher with a potentially more live arm, Yoan Aybar earned himself a write up by Cundall on October 9 due to the quick progress he made in six months since the position change.
  • On November 7, the team announced multiple changes in the front office, including the promotions of Eddie Romero, Jr. and Brian O'Holleran to Executive Vice President/Assistant General Manager. Both Todd Claus and Rolando Pino will become co-Directors of International Scouting. Brian Abraham is now the Director of Minor League Operations.
  • Raquel Ferrera was also promoted to Senior Vice President/Major and Minor League Operations while Chris Becerra was hired as a Special Assistant, International Scouting. 
  • On November 1, the Red Sox reinstated Dustin Pedroia, Austin Maddox, Carson Smith and Marco Hernandez from the 60-day disabled list. The team also outrighted Tony Renda and Justin Haley as well as Smith from the major league roster. All three chose free agency and the 40-man roster stands at 34.
  • The following day, 10 other minor leaguers elected free agency in Yankory Pimintel, Ivan De Jesus, Kyle Wren, Mike Olt, Josh D. Smith, Fernando Rodriguez, Anuery Tavarez, Dan Butler, Mike Miller and Mike Ohlman.
  • Ian Browne of MLB.com named their winners of Prospect and Pitcher of the year, tabbing Dalbec and Denyi Reyes, respectively.
  • Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com wrote about his 10 standout players from the Fall Stars game and Hernandez, who touched 98 mph with his fastball, was among them.
  • Callis also outlined how crucial the 2011 draft was to this year's World Series squad, as four draftees were on the roster in addition to a fifth that was a trade piece for another player.
  • Down in the Arizona Fall League, Callis has the story on how Dalbec is working on his approach to potentially remove some of the swing-and-miss from his game.
  • After this year's Gold Glove awards were released, Baseball America took a look at how each of the winners fared in the field as minor leaguers, including Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley, Jr.
  • Baseball America's Kyle Glaser welcomed Alex Speier to discuss the Red Sox farm system on their podcast on November 3. 
  • Draft grades are out and Baseball America released theirs for Boston as well.
Photo Credit: Darwinzon Hernandez by Kelly O'Connor

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November 5, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Fall Stars recap and the Liga Paralela resumes for Boston

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 29 - November 4.

Arizona Fall League
It was another hot-and-cold week from Bobby Dalbec who went 2 for 12 with a home run, two walks, and three strikeouts. He also participated in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday where he went 2 for 2 but also committed an error at third base. Darwinzon Hernandez was the only other Red Sox prospect to appear in the Fall Stars Game, striking out one and allowing a hit in 1/3 of an inning. He reached 98 on the radar gun in this short stint. Hernandez got into one game during the rest of the week, striking out two while allowing a walk and a hit in a scoreless inning as he dropped his ERA to 2.00.
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October 29, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Chavis leaves AFL with injury

This continues our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 22-28.

Arizona Fall League
Top prospect Michael Chavis (pictured) continues to match outstanding tools and production with a frustrating propensity to miss stretches of playing time, whether due to injury or his 80-game suspension for a positive PED test earlier this year. Chavis was hoping to make up for missed time with some reps in the Arizona Fall League, but a sore wrist kept him off the field and he was withdrawn from the Mesa roster last week. Right-handed pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz was also withdrawn from the roster. Stankiewicz appeared in just one game for the Solar Sox, allowing three runs in two innings on October 10.

In other news of note from the fall circuit, mercurial slugger Bobby Dalbec and left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez will participate in Saturday's Fall Stars Game. MLB Network will broadcast the game live at 8 p.m. ET, and MLB.com will stream the contest live.
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October 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Darwinzon dominates in Arizona

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 9-21.

Arizona Fall League
The Red Sox have eight players listed on the Mesa Solar Sox roster, though only seven have appeared in games so far. Top prospect Michael Chavis has yet to debut, with no official word from the team as to why. The top performer has been Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured, right), who currently leads the league in strikeouts while pitching in only six innings. His 15 strikeouts and two walks show how dominant his stuff can be, and he has also allowed only one earned run on four hits. 
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October 19, 2018 at 3:23 PM

Podcast Ep. #147 Season-end rankings spectacular

End-of-season rankings … season is upon us, and the full complement of the SoxProspects brass is ready to chat about it. Chris and Ian welcome back The Dude himself, Mike Andrews, to the virtual studio for an extended discussion of the state of the Sox system. All topics are fair game: why Michael Chavis remains the consensus top prospect, why Darwinzon Hernandez jumped both Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata to become the top (healthy) pitching prospect in the system, the differences that put Antoni Flores ahead of CJ Chatham, the huge jumps by breakout players from Instructs for whom we don't even have headshots, and more. It sure seems like the depth, at least, is back, but is the system still down on the whole? We'll break it all down.

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October 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Zach Schellenger, Joan Martinez and Yasel Santana

FORT MYERS, Fla -- 2017 sixth-round pick Zach Schellenger has had his injury issues over the last few seasons, but he finally looks healthy and is showing the potential that impressed many scouts in the Cape Cod League in 2016. After missing a significant amount of the season due at least in part to shoulder inflammation, Schellenger was very good with Greenville at the end of the year striking out 17 hitters and walking only 3 over 10 1/3 innings.

Schellenger has an ideal pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds. He has no remaining projection and his delivery has effort. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a stiff delivery and a lot of moving parts.

His fastball sat 93-95 mph over his inning of work and showed hard boring action in on right-handers. He has an average command profile and reportedly has shown more velocity in the past as an amateur, but it is yet to be seen if that will ever come back. Even at 93-95, Schellenger can be effective and the pitch projects as a plus offering.
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October 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Chase Shugart and Andrew Politi

FORT MYERS, Fla -- The initial returns on the Red Sox 2018 draft class were that the organization went heavy on hitters and potential bullpen arms.  Chase Shugart, the team’s 12th-round pick out of the University of Texas, was seen as one of these potential bullpen arms in part because of his frame (listed at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds). Despite his only making four starts after a long delay before his debut after his signing, I have now seen him twice and believe he has a chance to be a potential starting pitcher. In this Instructs start, he was very effective, throwing two perfect innings and striking out four.

Shugart is a plus athlete and doesn’t have any projection remaining, but his arm is loose and he repeats his delivery well. He throws from a high-three quarters arm slot and shows strong pitchability and feel on the mound.
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October 9, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Scouting Scratch: Yoan Aybar

FORT MYERS, Fla - Left-hander Yoan Aybar was once seen as a raw but intriguing center field prospect. But after signing for $450,000 in 2013 and four seasons in which he failed to distinguish himself at the plate, Aybar moved to the mound in Spring Training 2018 and very quickly has established himself as one of the most intriguing bullpen arms in the Red Sox system. 

In his mound debut split between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and a couple appearances with short-season A Lowell, he posted a 4.13 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 14 walks in 28 1/3 innings. While the line may not stand out, it was impressive for a young player who had spent four years as an outfielder, and he had some buzz coming into my Instructs look at him.

Aybar is still on the skinny side and doesn’t look like he will add much size. He is listed at 6-foot-2, 173 pounds, which looks accurate, and he has retained the athleticism he showed in the outfield. Aybar throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a simple delivery that has some effort. 
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October 4, 2018 at 6:35 PM

Minor Notes: Scouting scratch on Alex Scherff; Michael Chavis a big mover at MLB Pipeline

Here are Thursday's Minor Notes:
  • SoxProspects.com's Ian Cundall was down at Instructs last week and his first piece from the weekend, a Scouting Scratch on Alex Scherff (pictured), was released on Thursday, citing an above-average curveball as part of an improved look at the right-hander from Texas.
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at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Alex Scherff

FORT MYERS, Fla --- Alex Scherff’s first full professional season had its ups and downs. The 2017 fifth-round pick initially struggled in an aggressive assignment to Low A Greenville. But after a rough April in which he allowed 19 runs, 18 earned, in 17 1/3 innings over four starts, walking 13 while recording just 11 strikeouts, he righted the ship in May and early June, posting a more palatable 2.60 ERA in six starts, striking out 24 and walking 8 in 27 2/3. His momentum was halted by an intercostal strain that kept him out almost two months, but after his return on August 8, the right-hander excelled for the rest of the season. After two rehab appearances in the Gulf Coast League, he returned to the Drive and made four starts, Allowing just 3 runs in 18 innings, striking out 16 while walking just two.

Looking to build on his strong return from injury, Scherff got the start in the Red Sox Fall Instructional League opener against the Orioles minor leaguers and threw three innings. He got into some trouble in the first inning, but fared better in the next two innings. In the outing, he allowed three hits while walking one and hitting one batter, recording two strikeouts and inducing four swinging strikes.
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October 1, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Podcast Ep. #146 That's a heckuva signing for 10K

Last year, the Sox cancelled Instructs following the damage from Hurricane Irma. And we love Instructs. It's a fresh look at players who we haven't seen since Spring Training and a first look for guys who are new in the system.  Ian went to Instructs. And he liked what he saw. Chris and Ian went deep on some of the guys and lightning round through all the players in Instructs. They welcome Chris Becerra to the front office. And they wrap up the show with a trip into the mailbag.

Listen in!
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September 24, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Maddox has surgery; can free agency be changed?

Here are Monday's Minor Notes:
  • Right-handed pitcher Austin Maddox had surgery on his right rotator cuff on September 19. The 27-year-old only threw 7 2/3 innings in 2018, dealing with inflammation in his throwing shoulder through much of the season.
  • WEEI.com's Rob Bradford has been projecting who might be on the Red Sox postseason roster and has Ryan Brasier, who was called up on July 8 after pitching well in Pawtucket all year, as a lock to make the American League Division series pitching staff.
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September 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Instructs set to begin, award season wraps up

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • The Red Sox 2018 Fall Instructional League schedule and roster were announced last week, highlighted by Trey Ball (pictured) being listed as an outfielder and the Red Sox' first three selections in the 2018 draft in Triston Casas, Nick Decker, and Durbin Feltman. Contributing Editor Shawn McGrath has a full write-up on the players that will be in Fort Myers starting on Monday. 
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September 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Offensive Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year

This week was SoxProspects.com award week: On Monday All-Star hitters were announced, Tuesday was dedicated to the All-Star pitchers; Wednesday we announced the Graduate of the Year, Homegrown Prospect of the Year and Ex-Prospect of the Year; and Thursday featured the Rookie of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year.

The biggest awards were saved for last. The SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year goes to Bobby Dalbec and the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year is awarded to Denyi Reyes.
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September 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #145 - We're letting it roll, so just go ahead

Our minor league revels now are ended for 2018. Before we turn our attention to the big club and their quest to break the franchise record for wins in a season, Chris and Ian wrap up the minor league season. They preview the Arizona Fall League, highlighting the strong contingent of Sox Prospects who will play for Mesa. They begin to game plan the off-season, before getting down to the in-depth review of the system at season end. Ian concludes that the system is coming back, thanks to a great draft and high volume of international signings. But first, Chris and Ian welcome unofficial podcast ombudsman and Senior Web Editor Matt Picard to refute Chris' slanderous comments about Kevin Youkilis.

Listen in!

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at 12:00 PM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Rookie, Breakout Player and Comeback Player of the Year

SoxProspects.com award season continues after all-star hitters were announced on Monday, followed by all-star pitchers on Tuesday and the graduate, homegrown prospect and ex-prospect of the year on Wednesday.

SoxProspects.com's rookie of the year is Jarren Duran, the breakout player of the year is Kutter Crawford and CJ Chatham earns the nod for comeback player of the year.

Rookie of the Year

Jarren Duran was also named one of three All-Star outfielders on Monday after having a spectacular professional debut in 2018. Duran was selected in the seventh round of this year's draft after three years playing for Long Beach State and made an immediate impact, going 3 for 5 with two triples in his professional debut on June 17. Duran had hits in 13 of his first 15 games and was slashing .348/.393/.548 with 10 triples through 37 games with Lowell before his promotion to Greenvile on August 1.

While the triples were lacking for the Drive over the final month of the season, the 22-year-old still put up a strong slash line of .367/.396/.477. In addition to 11 triples across both levels, Duran was 24 for 34 in stolen base attempts and was third in the system in steals. With almost a 50 percent groundball rate, Duran has been effectively using his plus-plus speed to take the extra base and he was a strong contributor across two levels.

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September 12, 2018 at 2:12 PM

Trey Ball's outfield conversion to highlight Fall Instructional League

A year after being mostly washed out by Hurricane Irma, the Red Sox 2018 Fall Instructional League will open on September 17, running through October 9 and featuring many of the system's top prospects.

"Fall Instructs," as it is often called, is used to develop players in the low minors and includes both classroom training as well as on-field workouts. The organization will have 55 players in Fort Myers this year, although the game schedule has been noticably slimmed to just nine games, five of which come against the Orioles, with two more each against the Rays and Germany's Under-23 team.
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at 8:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Homegrown Player, Ex-Prospect, and Graduate and of the Year

SoxProspects.com award season continues after All-Star hitters were announced on Monday and were followed by All-Star pitchers on Tuesday. Today we cover three of the more widely known award winners, all of whom have graduated from their status as prospects.

Homegrown Player of the Year
Part of the reason the Red Sox farm system is not as elite as in past years is because so many players have recently been traded or graduated. In another year, outstanding performances from Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts or outfielder Andrew Benintendi might have put them in the running for this award with their impressive 2018 performances. However, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (pictured, left) is not just the SoxProspects.com Homegrown Player of the Year this season, he is the best position player in all of baseball. 

His 2018 season did not come out of nowhere. Entering 2018, Betts was a career .292/.351/.488 hitter with two All-Star appearances and finishes in the top-20 in MVP voting each of the last three seasons. This season, Betts took what was an already impressive track record to the next level and, as of September 11th, he is hitting .342 (best in baseball) with a .433 OBP (second in baseball) and .633 slugging (second in baseball) with 42 doubles, 29 home runs, 116 runs, 71 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. 

It is not just his offense though - he is regarded as one of the best baserunners in baseball, and he continues to produce highlight-reel plays in the field. Defense is especially important for a right fielder for the Red Sox as Fenway Park boasts one of the largest and most difficult to play right fields in baseball. Even the advanced statistics cannot deny Betts' greatness this season with him leading all of baseball in positional player WAR according to both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. That unrivaled five-tool production is why Mookie Betts was an easy choice for the SoxProspects.com Homegrown Player of the Year.
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September 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

2018 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Pitchers

Following up Monday's All-Star Position Players post, we are presenting the top five starters and three relievers from the 2018 season. The list includes four players from the lower minors, three players from the upper minors, and one starter who was traded at the end of July. 

Starting Pitcher: Denyi Reyes
After starting the season in Greenville bouncing between starting and a piggyback role, Reyes earned a full-time slot in the rotation by the end of April and he never looked back. Once he locked down a starting role in Greenville he went 8-3 with a 1.70 ERA, striking out 104 and walking only 13 over 106 innings. He won the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month award in May, June, and July over this span and was subsequently promoted to Salem to begin August. While he was not quite as dominant in Salem, he still put up great numbers while facing competition about two years older than him on average. Over six starts he went 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Reyes was also a SoxProspects.com All-Star and a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2017 and he was named the 2018 South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year. The 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic has pitched his way onto the radar, rising from being outside of the SoxProspects.com top 60 to start the year to being ranked 24th at the end of the year. 
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September 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM

2018 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Position Players

This year, we are presenting our SoxProspects.com Awards and All-Star teams a bit differently. Instead of one All-Star post and one awards post, we will be rolling everything out over the course of the week. Here is the schedule:

Monday: All-Star position players
Tuesday: All-Star pitchers
Wednesday: Graduate of the Year; Homegrown Player of the Year; Ex-Prospect of the Year
Thursday: Rookie of the Year; Breakout Player of the Year; Comeback Player of the Yer
Friday: Player of the Year; Postion Player of the Year

The 2018 All-Star lineup includes a June draftee who burst onto the scene with an outstanding first pro campaign, a pair of 2016 draftees who re-established themselves among the top ten prospects in the system. It is also a new-look roster of stars, as only two of the nine position players have been honored previously.

Catcher: Austin Rei
Rei's inclusion on this list seemed pretty unlikely in late April, when the 2015 third-round pick was mired in a season opening 2-for-34 slump that included 21 strikeouts. He turned things around soon after, with a very solid .277/.374/.433 from April 25 onward, including an outstanding July when he reached safely in 16 of 17 games and hit .339/.439/.500. Rei set career highs in all three slash stats, as well as with his seven home runs. He also provided stability behind the plate as Portland shuffled through 28 pitchers on the year: his 81 games caught led the organization.

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at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Boles not returning to the PawSox

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • With the minor league season over, the SoxProspects.com staff has voted on season-end All-Stars and award winners. The results will be posted throughout the week, with the All-Star hitters coming out on Monday, the All-Star pitchers on Tuesday, the Graduate of the Year, Homegrown Player of the Year, and Ex-Prospect of the Year posting on Wednesday, Rookie of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year coming on Thursday, and the Pitcher and Hitter of the Year wrapping things up on Friday.
  • Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times reported that PawSox manager Kevin Boles (pictured, right) will not be returning to the team. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald reported that this was Boles's decision. Boles was not under contract for 2019 and he decided to pursue other opportunities. Boles was with the organization for 11 years, with the last five coming as Pawtucket's manager. He won the Governors' Cup in 2014 with the PawSox and was named the Best Managerial Prospect in the International League this summer by Baseball America
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September 4, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Minor Notes: MLB rosters expand; minor league season ends

Here are Tuesday's Minor Notes:
  • SoxProspects.com released its August player and pitcher of the month on Monday, giving the nod to Michael Chavis and Jhonathan Diaz. Tommy Cassell went in-depth on how they each fared in the season's final full month.
  • The final day of the minor league regular season was on Monday and Trey Ball was 1 for 3  in his first set of professional plate appearances. He added a double to drive in the game-winning run. SoxProspects.com's James Dunne has the story in Monday's Cup of Coffee.
  • Rafael Devers powered the Pawtucket offense on Sunday with a two-run home run as the Red Sox affiliates finished 5-2 on the penultimate day of the regular season. Bobby Dalbec tripled and Tanner Nishioka earned player of the day honors as well.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers delivers during rehab; Betts belts pair of homers

9/4 Cup of Coffee: In the final day of the season, with all five teams failing to make the playoffs, Rafael Devers proved he was ready to rejoin the big club while Jordan Betts finished up his 2018 season with a bang for Portland. Jarren Duran delivered a fitting final performance of the season, collecting two hits in a Greenville win.


Michael Chavis provided the only run on a force attempt in the first inning, but it was the lone run for the PawSox in the final game of the regular season. Rafael Devers, in his final rehab outing, went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. Mike Shawaryn lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits two runs and striking out five to finish the year with a 3.93 ERA across 36 2/3 innings pitch for Pawtucket.

The PawSox finished the year with a 66-73 record. 
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September 3, 2018 at 2:30 PM

August Players of the Month: Michael Chavis and Jhonathan Diaz

The minor league season comes to a close on Monday for a non-playoff bound Sox farm system. But baseball won't be stopping anytime soon for one of the Players of the Month for August in Michael Chavis.
The top-ranked SoxProspects.com prospect is heading to the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost time, and lost at-bats, following an 80-game suspension to start the year. Chavis (pictured, left) would do well if he continued his torrid pace at the plate from August and kept it going out in the desert. 

Joining Chavis as Player of the Month is Jhonathan Diaz after the left-hander started August with two losses before finishing off the month with three wins in four starts, allowing just two earned runs in that time frame.

Diaz's pick as Pitcher of the Month snaps a three-month string of selections for Denyi Reyes.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Trey Ball starts at DH, rips game-winning double

9/3 Cup of Coffee: With the regular season set to come to a close on Monday and all five remaining teams eliminated from postseason contention, the focus was squarely on individual performances on Sunday. The biggest news of the day was that left-handed pitcher Trey Ball (pictured), who had struggled on the mound since being taken seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft, would get the start at designated hitter and bat ninth in the Portland lineup. Some rust was inevitable with Ball having not hit in an organized game in over five years, and he struck out in both of his first two at-bats, but he was the improbable source of an RBI double that proved to be the game winner. 

Elsewhere, Jhonathan Diaz and Tanner Nishioka led Greenville, while a big evening from Tyler Esplin and the first New York-Penn League homer off the bat of Brandon Howlett powered Lowell.


Veteran right-hander Josh A. Smith was the tough-luck loser, as a committee of five Scranton hurlers struck out 12 PawSox while holding them to two runs. Smith allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out eight without issuing a walk. Left-hander Josh Taylor, acquired in the deal that sent Deven Marrero to Arizona, made his Triple-A debut, striking out three in two scoreless frames. Rafael Devers doubled as part of a two-hit evening, and he his now 5 for 17 during his rehab assignment. 
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September 2, 2018 at 6:55 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers powers Pawtucket; Nishioka follows suit with Drive

9/2 Cup of Coffee: Rafael Devers homered in a rehab appearance, powering Pawtucket to win while Tyler Hill had three hits in a split of a doubleheader for Salem. Tanner Nishioka and Hunter Haworth were both crucial in victories for Greenville and Lowell, respectively.


Four pitchers combined for a shutout while a rehabbing Rafael Devers provided all the offense the PawSox would need. Josh D. Smith (4 IP, 3 H, 2 K), Travis Lakins (2 IP, 1 H, 1 K), Fernando Roriguez Jr. (2 IP, 1 H, 3 K), and Marcus Walden (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) all pitched in for the shutout with Lakins picking up the win and Walden the save. Devers hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning as Pawtucket collected just five hits as a team.     
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September 1, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Greenville and Lowell eliminated from playoff contention

9/1 Cup of Coffee: With the GCL playoffs already over, it is now official that no other Red Sox affiliate will play in the postseason. Greenville and Lowell were eliminated on Friday night while Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem were previously eliminated from contention. Rafael Devers (pictured, right) continued his rehab assignment, while Yasel Santana had a tremendous debut for Lowell.


Rafael Devers played for the third straight night, going 1 for 3 with two strikeouts and a throwing error. The single was one of only three hits for the PawSox, with a Brandon Phillips solo home run and a Tony Renda single being the only other damage. Renda also stole a base, while Phillips slugged his third home run in the last nine games. Chandler Shepherd was the tough-luck loser, dropping to 7-10 after allowing two runs in six innings. Matthew Gorst followed with two innings of one-run ball, striking out three. It was a particularly tough evening for Michael Chavis as he went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts. 
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August 31, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shugart shines for Lowell; Travis emerges from slump

8/31 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough day on the farm, with the affiliates getting swept and the five teams combining for just 20 hits. Pawtucket was officially eliminated from the playoff race despite a big game from Sam Travis (pictured), while a dominant Chase Shugart outing could not keep Lowell alive in the Stedler Division. Greenville's loss damaged its playoff chances headed into a critical final series. 


The PawSox were the unfortunate victims of Lehigh Valley clinching the International League's best overall record and top seed. Justin Haley turned in a solid start, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in five innings, striking out six and walking one. Travis Lakins turned in another scoreless outing, firing 1 1/3 hitless frames. Lakins has allowed a run in only two of the nine appearances he has made in Triple-A. Sam Travis broke out of an 0-for-18 slump with a perfect night at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a walk, double, and RBI. Rafael Devers was the designated hitter as he continues his rehab, going 0 for 3 with a walk, run scored, and a pair of strikeouts.
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August 30, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Minor Notes: Reyes, Rusney rewarded while Miller contiunes to mash

Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • Michael Chavis is prepared to continue dealing with the PED whispers and cat calls he gets at games from the crowds writes Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal. "That's something I'll have to deal with," Chavis told McNamara, "but Lord knows when I'm playing at Yankee Stadium they're not going to be too kind anyway. It's just something to get used to." 
  • Denyi Reyes (pictured, left) has been named the South Atlantic League Most Outstanding Pitcher. The right-hander sported a 10-3 record with an 1.89 ERA and 122 strikeouts across 123 2/3 innings pitched for the Greenville Drive before his promotion to the Salem Red Sox on Aug. 4.  
  • Dakota Randall of NESN.com details five players to watch when rosters expand on Sept. 1 in the majors. Randall points out Brandon Phillips, Travis Lakins, Chandler ShepherdMike Shawaryn and Chavis as possible players to get a call up to the big club.
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at 6:27 AM

Cup of Coffee: Oskinski, Butler, Rivera, Quiroz with 3 hits; De La Guerra drills 4 RBI

8/30 Cup of Coffee: Three teams were successful offensively, and two were not. Pawtucket saw six extra-base hits from six different guys, while Portland punched out 14 hits and Salem scored 10 runs.  On the other side of the coin, Greenville lost in extras and Lowell was three-hit in a shutout. Kutter Crawford also earned himself a quality start for Salem, throwing seven innings of two-run ball. Meanwhile, in Pawtucket, Christian Vazquez and Rafael Devers each delivered a hit while on a rehab assignment. Chad De La Guerra (pictured) paced Salem with a 2-for-4 evening.


Christian Vazquez was 2 for 4 in a rehab stint and Dan Butler hit 3 for 4 from behind the plate with a home run as Pawtucket scored three in the first on the way to even the series with Lehigh Valley. The PawSox hit five doubles, one each from Tzu-Wei Lin, Rafael Devers, Brandon Phillips, Rusney Castillo and Tony Renda. Pawtucket also got six innings of one-hit ball from Mike Shawaryn, though he did allow two runs thanks to a walk followed by a two-run shot in the fifth. Josh D. Smith threw 1 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, and Robby Scott earned the save with a one-hit ninth.

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August 29, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Northcut, Granberg power Lowell; Wright shows stuff in rehab

8/29 Cup of Coffee: Of the five affiliates in action Tuesday, only Lowell came away victorious, with two teams suffering difficult walk-off losses. Nick Northcut and Brandon Howlett joined fellow 2018 draftee Devlin Granberg (pictured, left) in stopping the Spinners late-season slide. Greenville fell despite an outstanding Jhoanthan Diaz start, while Steven Wright threw two hitless innings for the PawSox. 


It was a tough evening for the PawSox despite some help from an MLB battery on rehab assignments. Knuckleballer Steven Wright, on the disabled list since late June after re-aggravating his left knee injury, got the start. He went two hitless innings with a walk and a strikeout. One day after catching Eduardo Rodriguez in Portland, Christian Vazquez was in Pawtucket, going 0 for 3. After a 9-for-17 performance that included eight runs scored in a four-game series in Buffalo, Michael Chavis could not keep up that staggering pace in his McCoy Stadium debut, going 0 for 4 with a strikeout. Chavis had entered riding a 16-game hitting streak across two levels. Mike Miller continues his excellent recent play, going 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI. He is 14 for 26 in his last eight games.
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August 28, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: E-Rod, Vazquez rehab; Cuevas delivers knockout

8/27 Cup of Coffee: It would've been a perfect day on the farm if not for a loss from Lowell. Fine pitching performances from William Cuevas (pictured), a rehabbing Eduardo Rodriguez, and Enmanuel De Jesus all resulted in wins. CJ Chatham could not be contained at the plate as the shortstop helped Salem steal an extra-inning victory.


William Cuevas cruised through seven innings of work, matching a career-high with 10 strikeouts to push Pawtucket past Buffalo. The 27-year-old allowed five hits and two earned runs (a two-run blast from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the bottom of the first inning) while issuing just one walk to pick up his 10th win of the season. Travis Lakins picked up his second save with the PawSox with two innings of scoreless relief. International League batting average leader Rusney Castillo continued to pad his lead, going 2 for 5 with two singles and an RBI. Kyle Wren also added two hits.

The win puts Pawtucket 5.5 games back of Indianapolis in the Wild Card race.  
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August 27, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Chavis continues to rake after promotion

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • Top-ranked prospect infielder Michael Chavis has continued to rake this season (see below for more detail) and was promoted to Triple-A as a result. Despite that, NESN's Dakota Randall argues that fans might have to wait a while before a big league call-up.
  • In that article, Randall quotes SoxProspects.com director of scouting Ian Cundall on his thoughts and he says, “with Devers locked in at third base, I guess (Chavis stays at) first, but neither are ready for a call-up at this point. Longterm, Chavis has more upside at first base than [Josh] Ockimey does if everything clicks.”
  • Both Chavis and teammate Josh Ockimey earned a spot on MLB.com's Top Prospect Performers on Saturday and Chavis also made it on Friday and incredibly on Sunday as well.
  • After Chavis' 80-game suspension to start the season, he knows the PED talk follows him and he's dealing with it as The Boston Globe's Alex Speier writes.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis ablaze in Buffalo; GCL Sox face playoff heartbreak

8/26 Cup of Coffee: On a weekend that featured the major league club taking its first three-game sweep of the season, the system's only playoff qualifier saw its season come to a close in wild, crushing fashion. The GCL Red Sox fell in the 11th inning in their single-elimination league semifinal. Greenville, with a dominant two-hit start from Angel Padron (pictured), continues to make its own playoff push. Meanwhile, the PawSox postseason chances might have been different if circumstances hadn't delayed the arrival of Michael Chavis until late August. 


For the first time in his Triple-A career, Michael Chavis failed to home run. In the third game since the 2014 first-round pick joined the PawSox he merely went 3 for 5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Chavis is 8 for 14 with 17 total bases since the promotion. Josh Ockimey homered in his second straight contest, adding a walk and a single. Tony Renda contributed three hits, picking up a pair of stolen bases. The PawSox offensive outburst was plenty to support Chandler Shepherd, who surrendered just two unearned runs on four hits in six innings. Josh D. Smith gave up a run in relief, but also struck out Vladimir Guerrero Jr., only the second time in his last nine games the Toronto ├╝ber-prospect has gone down via strikeout. 
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August 26, 2018 at 6:47 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dynamic duo in Chavis, Ockimey; Feltman roughed up

8/26 Cup of Coffee: It was a stand-up second act from Michael Chavis in his second game since joining the PawSox, homering again (he hit a homer on Friday) and scoring three times while Josh Ockimey (pictured) also hit a round-tripper in the PawSox win. Esteban Quiroz also hammered a home run in his return to normalcy for Portland, and Durbin Feltman faced his first real set of adversity in a loss for Salem.  


A night after making his smashing Pawtucket debut with a home run and two doubles, Michel Chavis once again mashed for the PawSox, going 2 for 5 with a home run, double and three runs scored in a 13-hit barrage from the Pawtucket offense. Josh Ockimey, in his 17th Triple-A game since his promotion from Double-A Portland, hit his fourth homer while adding two singles. Dan Butler and Mike Miller compiled three hits apiece while Aneury Tavarez scored two runs. 
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August 25, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis a hit in Triple-A intro; Decker debuts

8/25 Cup of Coffee: Michael Chavis (pictured) stormed into Buffalo to join the PawSox, homering and doubling twice in his Triple-A debut to brighten what was otherwise a dreary day down on the far. The affiliates went 0-8, with five of the losses by a deficit of at least six runs. Other than Chavis, there were some individual highlights worth noting. Second-round pick Nick Decker made his long-awaited pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, veteran Brandon Phillips continues to rake for Pawtucket, and Alex Scherff turned in a solid outing in Greenville.


Hours after his promotion from Double-A Portland was announced, Michel Chavis drew the start at third base and the sixth slot in the batting order. Things got off to an inauspicious start with a called strike three in his first plate appearance, but he followed that up with a two-run homer in the fourth and a pair of doubles. Brandon Phillips, 15 years Chavis's senior, ripped four more hits to continue his rampage through the International League. On August 2, Phillips was batting a meager .191 in his attempt to make it back to the majors. Since then, he is 30 for 72 (.417) with eight doubles.
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August 24, 2018 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chatham, Nishioka deliver four-hit efforts

8/24 Cup of Coffee: There were several outstanding individual performances down on the farm on Thursday. CJ Chatham (pictured, left) had four hits in Salem's loss, giving him seven over the last two days. Tanner Nishioka also had a four-hit night, including two doubles and a home run. No starting pitcher allowed more than three runs on the day, and four did not surrender a single run. Matt Kent went seven shutout frames in Portland's win, Jeison Pena and Jhonathan Diaz went six scoreless apiece for the DSL Red Sox1 and Greenville, and Lowell's Chris Machamer turned in five innings without allowing a run.


The PawSox plated only one run, despite a 10-hit evening. Unsurprisingly, Rusney Castillo had two of those hits, as the outfielder continues to pace the International League in batting average (.329) and base hits (148). Brandon Phillips continues to be a consistent force, going 1 for 3 with a walk. Phillips has reached safely in 25 straight games. Josh A. Smith turned in a quality start, allowing three runs on five hits in six innings. The three runs allowed by Smith were the most given up by the starter in the system on Thursday.


Portland earned a split of its four-game set in Manchester, largely due to the efforts of Matt Kent. The lefty scattered seven hits across seven scoreless innings, striking out eight without walking a batter. Kent threw 62 of his 94 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 3.15. Trevor Kelley went two innings to complete the shutout. Jeremy Rivera had three hits and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot, while Luke Tendler hit a two-run homer as part of a 2-for-5 effort. Michael Chavis picked up another hit, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.


Salem was on the receiving end of the shutout despite the best efforts of shortstop CJ Chatham. The 2016 second-round pick one-upped Wednesday's 3-for-3 performance by going 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles. He was 8 for 11 in the Frederick series. It was another solid outing for Denyi Reyes, who allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. Both runs came on a sixth-inning home run. Mark Montgomery made his Salem debut after a pair of rehab outings in the Gulf Coast League. The former Yankee farmhand was a top relief prospect whose career has gone off course due to injuries, most recently an elbow strain that had him on the shelf since May. He was signed in July as a minor league free agent. 


It was an all-around strong performance by the Drive, pairing strong pitching with an offense that ripped 11 hits, including six for extra bases. Tanner Nishioka (pictured, right) had a monster evening, going 4 for 4 with two doubles and a two-run homer. Jarren Duran chipped in with a double and a homer, his first round-tripper since he was promoted to Greenville at the beginning of the month. The seventh-round pick has 84 hits in 56 games as a professional. On the mound, Jhonathan Diaz earned his 10th win of the season, giving up only three hits in six shutout frames, striking out five and walking only one. Juan Florentino and Devon Fisher combined for three hitless innings to secure the shutout. 

The victory moves Greenville to within two games of Lexington in the South Atlantic League Southern Division second-half standings, with 11 games remaining.


In the completion of a game started on August 7 the Spinners were unable to cut down on a 4-1 deficit. Jose Gonzalez had surrendered four runs in 3 2/3 before rain halted the contest three weeks ago. When play resumed, Logan Browning took the mound, cruising through three scoreless innings before surrendering a pair of runs in the eighth. Grant Williams reached base four times, going 2 for 3 with a double, two walks, and a run scored. 

The regularly-scheduled contest didn't go any better for Lowell, who managed only three hits in a shutout loss. The lack of offense wasted a strong outing by Chris Machamer, who gave up four hits in five scoreless innings of work. It was the first time as a pro that the former Kentucky Wildcat had completed five innings as a pro, as he lowered his ERA to 2.70 in eight appearances. A Lane Milligan double was the only extra-base knock for the Spinners in the nightcap, while Devlin Granberg picked up another hit, his team-leading 59th. 

The sweep did no favors to the Spinners playoff hopes. They fell four games behind Tri-City in the Stedler Division, as the ValleyCats knocked off Brooklyn. While they sit only 1 1/2 games out of the wild-card spot, they face a significant hurdle there as well as three teams are ahead of them. 


While the GCL Red Sox were not in action on Thursday, their place in the playoff standings was firmly established. The win by the GCL Tigers West ensures that the Sox will finish with the third seed. The Tigers West trail the GCL Cardinals by 1 1/2 games for the top overall seed.


Only one of the two DSL squads was in action on Thursday, as the Sox1 team knocked off the Marlins. Jeison Pena joined the parade of starters turning in excellent outings, giving up just three hits in six scoreless innings. He struck out two, walked one, and cut his ERA to 2.64 in what is almost certain to be his final outing of 2018. At the plate, Jose Navas picked up two hits, and Wilker Vargas added a double.


Player of the Day: While another huge night by CJ Chatham and a bevy of scoreless outings on the mound all warrant mention, Tanner Nishioka earns today's recognition. The third baseman delivered four hits and 10 total bases to power Greenville. Nishioka has a .323/.401/.500 in 73 contests with the Drive, and he sits second on the club in both home runs and RBI despite having only the eighth-most plate appearances. It was the second four-hit game of the season for the 2017 ninth-round pick.

Photo Credit: CJ Chatham, Tanner Nishioka by Kelly O'Connor

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