SoxProspects News

April 23, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Poyner optioned to Pawtucket, Wright leaves start due to injury


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • In the latest Notes from the FieldSoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall featured two Greenville relievers in Brendan Nail and Devon Fisher.
  • Cundall also detailed how the organization signed several older Latin American arms early in the 2017-18 signing period to smaller bonuses due to the Red Sox being banned from signing international free agents in the 2016-17 signing period. Cundall gave an in-depth look into four of those international signees. 
  • Bobby Poyner  (pictured) was activated from the major league disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. He pitched seven innings with the Red Sox this season, sporting a 2.57 ERA with eight hits and eight strikeouts. Poyner pitched a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday for the PawSox in his second rehab assignment for a left hamstring strain before his activation. 
  • The PawSox had quite the come-from-behind win in extra innings on Sunday, plating four runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to claim a 10-9 walk-off win over the Gwinett Stripers. Mike Miller's RBI single scored Aneury Tavarez in a wild contest.
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at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: 2017-2018 International Signees and more


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the sixth edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training 2018 highlighting two more Greenville relievers and several 2017 international signees.


Though he went undrafted out of Western Carolina as a junior last year, left-hander Brendan Nail signed for $125,000 after a strong Cape Cod League season, that mark significantly representing the most the Red Sox could pay him without his bonus counting toward its draft signing bonus cap. Nail has an average frame and starts on the first base side of the rubber. He throws exclusively from the stretch from a high three-quarters arm slot with short arm action behind. He does a good job hiding the ball with his body and was tough for hitters to pick up, especially left-handers. 

Nail’s stuff does not stand out, however, so command and deception are how he will have to succeed. His fastball sat 86-89 mph and showed cut. He mixed in a breaking ball at 75-80 mph that looked like a curveball at lower velocities and more like a slider when thrown harder. 

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tavarez, Dalbec lead way in extras


4/23 Cup of Coffee: All four affiliates were in action Sunday, with two games apiece fitting into opposite extremes. Pawtucket and Salem both won thrilling back-and-forth contests in extra innings, with Aneury Tavarez (pictured) and Bobby Dalbec playing outsized roles in the victories of their respective teams. On the opposite end were Portland and Greenville, for whom nothing seemed to go right and the offense of both squads managed just one run on two hits.

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In a wild back-and-forth contest, that featured a triple play, Pawtucket scored four times in the bottom of the 11th to race with a victory at McCoy Stadium. Aneury Tavarez played a key role in the win, ripping his second double off the day to tie the contest at nine, and then scoring the winning run on a Mike Miller base hit. Taverez was 3 for 5 in all, driving in two and scoring two. Catcher Mike Ohlman also had a two-run double in the 11th as part of his 2-for-5 afternoon. In a rare feat in such a high-scoring affair, William Cuevas actually turned in a quality start. He allowed eight hits in his six innings of work but was able to pitch out of jams, surrendering only two runs. 
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April 22, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks reels in Stripers to continue scoreless stretch


4/22 Cup of Coffee: By helping the PawSox to a 6-0 victory over the Stripers, Jalen Beeks (pictured, left) picked up his first win of the season while extending his streak of not allowing an earned run to 13-consecutive innings. Rusney Castillo scored two runs in the win as the PawSox climbed over the .500 mark with a 7-6 overall record. The other three teams in the system all lost as both the Sea Dogs and Red Sox squandered solid starting pitching performances while Alex Scherff  and the Drive continued their struggles.


Jalen Beeks continued his impressive start to the season by striking out 10 in six innings of work to lead the PawSox to a shutout win over the Stripers. The left-hander, a 12th round draft pick out of the University of Arkansas in 2014, lowered his ERA to 0.64 after allowing just two hits on 98 pitches. Bobby Poyner, Brandon Workman, and Williams Jerez tossed an inning apiece of scoreless relief to preserve the shutout.  

The PawSox made good use of their six hits as Rusney Castillo was the lone player with multiple base hits, going 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Dan Butler added a double and three walks to the offensive tally. The PawSox were up 2-0 after the first inning before pouring on four runs in the bottom half of the eighth.

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April 21, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wright makes first rehab appearance, Olt and Travis lead Pawtucket's rally


4/21 Cup of Coffee: Steven Wright's rehab appearance did not go as planned as the right-hander had to leave early due to a back injury, but Pawtucket stayed in the game and won thanks to strong nights from Mike Olt (pictured) and Sam TravisMike Shawaryn turned in a quality start for the Sea Dogs while Bryan Mata's control issues continued in Salem. 

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A walk-off double from Mike Olt capped an impressive PawSox comeback. Steven Wright, who underwent left knee surgery last May, made his first rehab appearance but it was cut short due to a stiff back. He had gone the first 2 2/3 innings while allowing three runs on two hits. Josh Smith followed by striking out six over 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball, and Ryan Brasier picked up his first win of the season with two scoreless innings.
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April 20, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey grand slam leads Sea Dogs


4/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a welcome sight at Portland, as Josh Ockimey (pictured) cleared the bases for his first home run of the year as part of a three-hit night to propel Portland to this win. Tanner Houck struggled in his third start of the season, while Greenville fell against Kannapolis desipte a big night from Michael Osinski.

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Two days after making his 2018 debut, Josh Ockimey capped a big afternoon with a 411-foot grand slam for his first homer of the season to propel the Sea Dogs. It was the third hit of the day for Ockimey, who missed the first 10 games of the season with a minor hamstring injury. Cole Sturgeon and Esteban Quiroz have been the offensive catalysts in the early going for Portland, and both contributed on Thursday. The day after his hitting streak ended at nine games, Sturgeon doubled, walked, and scored a pair. Quiroz ripped an RBI double, his seventh extra-base hit in 12 games. 
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April 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Ockimey activated, more spring scouting notes


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:
  • In the latest Notes from the Field, SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall covered Hunter HaworthLukas Young, and Angel Padron. The three Greenville pitchers are all getting their first taste of full-season ball, with Young and Padron off to strong starts. 
  • Cundall followed that up with another article focusing on some of the system's younger arms, with Juan Florentino, Andres Jimenez, Oddanier Mosqueda, and Edilson Batista all showing some intrigue. 
  • Ninth-ranked prospect Josh Ockimey (pictured, right) was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and made his season debut for the Portland Sea Dogs. 
  • A trio of catchers were on the move early in the week as Isaias Lucena was called up to Portland from Greenville to fill in for Jordan Procyshen who was placed on the disabled list.  Charlie Madden was activated off the disabled list for Greenville to replace Lucena. 
  • With the minor league rules continuing to change, the effect on the players is starting to come out. Some players on the Drive have expressed their frustration with the new mound visit rules to Jim Rice of the Greenville News.
  • Brandon Moss returned to Portland on Wednesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Portland's first home game. After making his major league debut with the Red Sox in 2007, Moss has played parts of 11 years in the big leagues, though he is currently a free agent. 
  • Moss was also honored by being named to the Portland Sea Dogs All-Time Team, which includes the team's time as an affiliate of the Marlins and Red Sox. Joining him on the team is Charles Johnson, Kevin Millar, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez, Andrew Benintendi, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, and Daniel Bard, with Carlos Tosca as the manager. 
Photo Credit: Josh Ockimey by Kelly O'Connor

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at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Juan Florentino, Oddainer Mosqueda and more


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the fifth edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training 2018 taking a look at four more young arms.


Dominican right-hander Juan Florentino was one of the bullpen standouts in the lower minors last year, putting up a 0.96 ERA with 25 strikeouts to only 2 walks in 18 2/3 innings in Lowell, them moving up to Greenville and posting a 2.12 ERA and 18 strikeouts to 4 walks in 17 innings in Greenville. Last year, Florentino’s fastball sat 93-95 mph, but this spring his velocity was down to 89-91 mph. The drop in velocity may have been because this look was in a simulated game, so he may not have had the same adrenaline as he would if he were facing opposing hitters. Alternatively, he may have been working on his secondary pitches and fastball command and wasn’t airing it out. However, that he was placed back in Greenville to start the 2018 season after a very successful stint in Low A last year—plus that his partner-in-crime in Joan Martinez, who similarly dominated the two levels with Florentino, did receive a promotion to Salem—suggests that perhaps the velocity drop was consistent, and his performance this season in this relatively conservative placement bears watching.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Haley punches out seven, Rivera just short of the cycle


4/19 Cup of Coffee: It was a rough day for the Red Sox minor league system, as the four teams each took a loss. Jeremy Rivera (pictured) led the system with four RBI, while Justin Haley had a strong outing for Pawtucket.

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Sam Travis and Jantzen Witte each had two-hit outings, but Pawtucket was shut out despite getting two in scoring position in the ninth inning. Justin Haley allowed just four hits in 6 1/3 innings, but his throwing error with one down in the sixth put a runner on third, allowing a sacrifice fly to become the difference. Haley struck out seven and walked one. Ty Buttrey pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings with four strikeouts as well. Travis now has five consecutive multi-hit performances.
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April 18, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sturgeon buoys Portland with six hits


4/18 Cup of Coffee: While the major league squad was beginning a west coast swing, the minor league affiliates stepped up to fill the primetime slot in the schedule. Pawtucket split a doubleheader against a New England rival, with Cole Sturgeon (pictured) picking up six hits on the day. A trio of relievers tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings to boost Pawtucket, while a Tyler Hill triple was the key hit in a Salem comeback.

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PawSox mainstay Dan Butler led the way on Tuesday, ripping a pair of doubles and driving in two as part of a 3-for-4 evening. Sam Travis notched his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, going 2 for 3 with a walk. Chandler Shepherd allowed three runs on eight hits on 3 2/3 innings of work, but was able to miss bats, striking out five against only one walk. 
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April 17, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: New Greenville Arms


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the fourth edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training 2018 taking a look at three pitchers who were assigned to Greenville to start the season.

2017 22nd-round pick Hunter Haworth only threw in six games in the Gulf Coast League in his pro debut, but showed enough in Spring Training that he will be making the jump to Greenville to open the 2018 season in the Drive’s rotation. Haworth threw four innings in a simulated game at the complex on Sunday, showing off a four-pitch mix.

Haworth has a strong pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds. He looks the part on the mound and has minimal remaining projection. Haworth starts on the first base side and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. His delivery has some effort, including a stab in back. He gets good plane on his fastball, throwing the pitch 89-91 mph. He did leave one up in the zone that was hit for a home run, but otherwise was effective with the pitch. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Olt powers PawSox, Scherff shaky for Drive


4/17 Cup of Coffee: Of the PawSox nine hits in a victory over the Clippers, Mike Olt had four of them in a 4-for-4 showing. Two innings of scoreless and hitless relief got Kyle Martin the win while shaky pitching performances from starters Roniel Raudes and Alex Scherff resulted in losses for both Salem and Greenville.  

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The PawSox mustered nine hits and took advantage of three Colombus errors en route to their fourth victory of the year. Sam Travis, Ivan De Jesus Jr., and Mike Olt  (pictured, below) combined for eight of Pawtucket's nine hits, though Mike Miller made sure his lone hit counted for something as he launched a solo home run. Travis also added a home run as part of a 2-for-5 evening, but it was Olt who put on a real show, going 4 for 4 with three doubles and a home run. The offense bailed out a shaky start from William Cuevas, who allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in just four innings of work. Robby Scott allowed the final run Columbus run, and Ryan Brasier notched the save with two scoreless innings.

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The Sea Dogs' contest against Hartford was postponed due to rain. The contest will be made up today, as part of a single-admission doubleheader.
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April 16, 2018 at 2:14 PM

Minor Notes: Ball moves to the bullpen; Greenville celebrates title


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press-Herald wrote about Trey Ball (pictured, right), who moved to the bullpen in Portland this year after trying to make it work as a starter.
  • Sam Travis has seen time in the outfield with Pawtucket in an attempt to have a better shot at breaking into the Major Leagues. His start in left field on April 11 was his first non-first base start since being drafted. John Wagner had the story for MiLB.com on Monday.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata walks six in only game of the day


4/16 Cup of Coffee: It was a light day on Sunday as Pawtucket, Portland, and Greenville were all rained out. Salem was shut out and Bryan Mata walked six in only four innings as he picked up his first loss of the year.

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Pawtucket Red Sox @ Toledo Mud Hens (DET), PPD (inclement weather)
The PawSox game in Toledo was postponed due to heavy rain, and the game will be made up in Pawtucket as part of a doubleheader on April 23. 
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April 15, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shawaryn stands out in first Double-A victory


4/15 Cup of Coffee: Two of the Red Sox’ top-four pitching prospects were on the hill on Saturday as Mike Shawaryn was impressive in the Sea Dogs’ win while Tanner Houck flashed a fastball that hit 94 MPH for Salem. Three of the four clubs in action were blanked on the scoreboard as the Sea Dogs were the lone squad to put up runs. Cole Sturgeon, Esteban Quiroz, and Tate Matheny all continue to impress at the plate, with the trio collecting two hits apiece in the victory for the Sea Dogs.

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Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 4, Pawtucket Red Sox 0 
Sam Travis collected two of the PawSox three hits while Jalen Beeks took his first loss of the season on the mound in a shutout defeat to the Mud Hens. Travis went 2 for 4 with a double and Beeks went four innings deep, allowing four hits, three runs (none earned) and striking out eight to lower his ERA to 1.13. It marked the second straight start of striking out eight batters for the left-hander, a 12th round draft pick out of the University of Arkansas in 2014.
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April 14, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pomeranz pitches in Portland, Hernandez dazzles for Salem


4/14 Cup of Coffee: Drew Pomeranz took a significant step forward in his rehab stint, while Dedgar Jimenez and Darwinzon Hernandez each had solid starts. Jeremy Barfield (pictured, left) and Rusney Castillo led Pawtucket's offense on a big night, and Trey Ball continues to impress in his new role out of the bullpen.

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A 15-hit offensive attack and a strong Triple-A debut from Dedgar Jimenez highlighted Pawtucket's blowout victory over Toledo. Jimenez, who was likely just making a spot start for the PawSox, allowed two runs and struck out four over six innings on a night when he was originally scheduled to be the piggyback starter for Drew Pomeranz in Portland. 
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April 13, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lozada, Castellanos power Greenville rout


4/13 Cup of Coffee: Greenville powered its way to the only win in the system on Thursday night. The Drive conquered Rome with a 17-hit outburst led by three-hit performances from Everlouis Lozada and Pedro Castellanos as well as the continued hot start of shortstop CJ Chatham. Pawtucket made a late shuffle when its scheduled starter ended up the first man out of the bullpen to relieve Rick Porcello in Boston, while Salem saw a four-game winning streak come to a close. 

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This game was interesting several hours before the first pitch, when scheduled starters Marcus Walden and Chad Bell (DET) were called up to their respective major league squads. Justin Haley was pressed into service for Pawtucket, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings. Josh Smith struck out four in his two shutout innings of work, and Roenis Elias surrendered a solo homer in the eighth. The day after breaking out of an 0-for-14 streak to start the season, Josh Barfield hit his first homer of the season. Ramon Flores hit a two-run blast that brought the PawSox within one in their ninth-inning rally. Rusney Castillo stole a base as part of his three-hit evening.
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April 12, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Walden, Lin back up with big club


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • Bobby Poyner was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday with a hamstring strain and the Sox recalled Marcus Walden (pictured, right). SoxProspects relayed the news on Twitter.
  • With Xander Bogaerts landing on the disabled list with a small crack in the talus bone in his left ankle, the Red Sox recalled infielder Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. In two games with the PawSox this season, Lin is 3 for 6 with two walks. Last year, Lin spent 25 games with the Red Sox, hitting .268 in 56 at-bats.
  • In case you missed it last season, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com detailed how the 24-year-old Taiwan native nearly gave up baseball when he was younger.
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at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Joan Martinez and Hildemaro Requena


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the third edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training 2018 taking a look at two pitchers who were assigned to Salem to start the season.


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The top relief prospect currently pitching in that role in the Red Sox system, right-hander Joan Martinez threw twice during our time in Spring Training as he ramped up for the regular season. Martinez has shown steady improvement each time I’ve seen him, the first time coming at Fall Instructs in 2016, but rather than his velocity increasing, it was the improvement on his secondary pitches that was most noticeable this year. Martinez’s fastball sat 94-96 mph, a tick down from his peak last year, but both his splitter and slider flashed above-average potential. The splitter is a new weapon for Martinez—last spring, he only featured a well below-average changeup. He throws the pitch 87-89 mph with late tumble down and away from left-handed hitters. Given his arm-heavy delivery and three-quarters arm slot from the first base side of the rubber, a pitch to neutralize lefties will be key for his development, and his splitter looks like it could be the pitch to do that. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Crawford strikes out eight, Quiroz homers twice



4/12 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox minor league system finished just 1-3 on the day, despite some a pair of three-RBI performances from Bobby Dalbec and Esteban Quiroz (pictured). Roniel Raudes pitched well in just 4 1/3 innings, while Kutter Crawford was able to strike out eight batters in just five innings.


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Pawtucket was leading 6-5 after five innings, but an eight-run sixth saw Buffalo take over and win the teams' three-game set. Rusney Castillo, Anuery Tavarez, Michael Ohlman and Jantzen Witte each had two RBI, with Witte's coming in the form of a two-run home run in the fourth inning, which gave the Red Sox their 6-5 advantage. Brandon Workman failed to record an out despite facing six batters to begin the sixth, as four reached on hits and two got on via the walk. All six of them ended up scoring.  He relieved Chandler Shepherd, who did not fare much better. He allowed five runs in five innings of work, all of which came on three home runs. Kyle Martin allowed a run and a walk in two shutout innings.
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April 11, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata goes five scoreless in 2018 debut


4/11 Cup of Coffee: With Jay Groome and Michael Chavis both on the shelf temporarily, Tuesday saw the debut of the highest-ranked active player in the Red Sox system. Bryan Mata (pictured), the precocious 18-year-old right-hander already in High A, was solid in his introduction to the Salem faithful. Portland, meanwhile, needed 13 innings to pick up its first win of the 2018 season, while old friend William Cuevas returned to the system to lead the way for Pawtucket. 

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William Cuevas, a workhorse in the system from 2009 to 2016, starred in his return after spending last season in the Detroit and Miami organizations.The veteran righty scattered three hits across 6 1/3 scoreless innings, walking five and striking out two. Williams Jerez struck out two in 1 2/3 innings of relief, and Roenis Elias pitched the ninth for the save. Mike Olt, added from Portland to take the roster spot opened by the promotion of Tzu-Wei Lin, was 2 for 4 with a double. Sam Travis delivered the key hit, a two-run fifth inning single.
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April 10, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Houck impresses during debut in Salem



4/10 Cup of Coffee: Tanner Houck made his debut in Salem in the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Although the 2017 first round draft pick didn’t factor in the decision, he did enough across four innings of work to help the Red Sox win. Ryan Scott had three hits while Hunter Smith recorded the win. The other three teams in action lost. Ryan Brasier got the loss in relief for the PawSox while Kyle Hart was roughed up in the Sea Dogs defeat and Alex Scherff took the loss for the Drive.

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Jalen Beeks gave up one run in four innings of work while striking out eight, but the Bisons scored the game-winning run in the top of the 12th to hand the PawSox their second loss of the season. Ryan Brasier took the loss, giving up two hits and one unearned run in 3 2/3 innings of relief. He struck out four. Aneury Tavarez was the lone player with two hits for the PawSox as he went 2 for 5 with a run, double, RBI, and a walk.  
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April 9, 2018 at 12:39 PM

Minor Notes: Chavis suspended & games begin


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • On Friday, it was announced that the Red Sox top positional prospect, infielder Michael Chavis (pictured, right), has been suspended for violating the Minor League Baseball Drug Policy. Chavis posted a heartfelt response to the suspension on his Twitter account where he said that while he is incredibly frustrated and has no idea how Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHMCT) got into his system, he still supports the drug testing programs and has no choice but to accept his suspension. Chavis was due to open the season on the Portland DL, but now he will not be able to play again until the end of June.
  • It must be so hard for Chavis, believing he is innocent but being unable to prove it. Milford, Mass native, and current Cleveland Indian Chris Colabello knows exactly what Chavis is going through after he was suspended 80 games in 2016 for the same drug, DHMCT. Colabello said to Chris Villani on WEEI that he believes Chavis is telling the truth about not knowingly having taken the drug. 
  • Similar to Chavis, the top-ranked pitcher and overall prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings, Jason Groome, will start the season on the DL. After a very strong spring training, a mild flexor strain will initially sideline as Alex Speier of the Boston Globe first reported. The injury is only expected to cost the lefty a couple of weeks as Groome hopes to build on his form from this spring.
  • Prior to the injury, SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall saw Groome pitch two innings down in Fort Myers. His three-pitch mix was on display and this year's first edition of Notes from the Field is a must read.
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at 7:30 AM

Notes from the Field: Alex Scherff


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the second edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training 2018.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Although he was drafted in the fifth round, right-hander Alex Scherff received the third-highest bonus of any Red Sox draftee. Scherff was old for a high school draftee—he will play his first full professional season at 20 years old—but he showed off a big arm in high school, reportedly topping out in the high-90s. Scherff didn’t pitch last season after signing, so Spring Training provided my first opportunity to see him live. Starting for High A Salem, Scherff threw four innings in Sarasota against the Orioles and showed off an intriguing three-pitch mix. However, he also showed that he has a long way to go developmentally.

Scherff is listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, with a solidly built frame, especially in his upper body. He doesn’t have much remaining physical projection and is not a standout athlete. Scherff’s delivery is on the rough side and is something the Red Sox might tweak as he develops. Scherff starts on the first base side and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. He uses a medium leg kick and has a slight trunk twist in his delivery before he comes forward. Scherff’s delivery is very stiff and arm heavy. He has a very strong, live arm, which he uses to make up for not effectively incorporating his lower half into his delivery. He struggled to find a consistent arm slot and release point in this outing, varying it from pitch to pitch. The change in slot was especially noticeable on his breaking ball, when he would come more over the top than when he threw his fastball.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pomeranz rehabs for PawSox; Hernandez shines for Salem


4/9 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy afternoon down on the farm. While the major league club was completing its comeback win to move to 8-1 on the year, a major reinforcement was prepping in Pawtucket as Drew Pomeranz got the rehab start. Two key pitching prospects made their 2018 debuts, as Mike Shawaryn got the nod for Portland and Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured, left) took the mound in the first game of Salem's doubleheader. Greenville was swept in its twinbill, despite the best efforts of CJ Chatham and Everlouis Lozada

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Pawtucket's second contest of the season featured a rehab outing by left-hander Drew Pomeranz as the 17-game winner works his way back from a forearm injury. Pomeranz struggled with his control, throwing only 47 of 85 pitches for strikes while walking six batters in 4 1/3. In all, he allowed two runs on two hits, striking out one. Sam Travis and Tzu-Wei Lin both picked up a pair of hits to lead the offense, while spring training acquisition Ramon Flores blasted a third-inning solo homer.
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April 8, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Quiroz hits first home run on quiet night


4/8 Cup of Coffee: Both the PawSox and Sea Dogs failed to get their first wins of the season while the Red Sox and Drive both had their games postponed due to inclement weather. Offense wasn’t a factor for either team in action on Saturday as both the PawSox and Sea Dogs combined for a total of nine hits and four runs. 

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Tzu-Wei Lin and Ivan De Jesus Jr. were the only two PawSox to register a hit in a season-opening loss to the Iron Pigs, a day after their original season opener was postponed due snow. Justin Haley went just 2 2/3 innings deep into his start on a total of 73 pitches. Kyle Martin came on in relief and allowed two runs, one earned, in the fourth inning to take the loss. Roenis Elias, Robby Scott and Ryan Brasier (pictured) combined for five innings of scoreless relief.
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April 7, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec sparks Salem's rally, Crawford and Reyes stifle the Power


4/7 Cup of Coffee: The weather did not cooperate for both Pawtucket and Portland, but there were some solid performances last night in the lower minors. Salem rallied for a walk-off win while top-20 prospects Jake Thompson and Joan Martinez pitched well and Cole Brannen led Greenville's offense in support of Kutter Crawford and Denyi Reyes (pictured, right).

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Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (PHI) @ Pawtucket Red Sox, PPD (snow)
The season opener for the PawSox was snowed out, which is one of the most depressing sentences a minor league baseball blogger can write. The season will kick off on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. and Friday's game will be made up when Lehigh Valley is back in Pawtucket at the end of May. 
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April 6, 2018 at 7:30 AM

Notes from the Field: Jason Groome


At the end of March, the SoxProspects Staff made their annual trip to Minor League Spring Training. Over the next few weeks, their notes and observations will be featured on SoxProspects News. Here is the first edition of Notes from the Field from Spring Training 2018.


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The top prospect in the Red Sox system, left-hander Jay Groome did not disappoint over his three innings of work for Low-A Greenville showing off better stuff compared to last season and overwhelming the Twins hitters. Overall, Groome struck out six over his three innings of work, allowing one hit and walking two. 

The impact of Groome’s offseason workout program, which included training with Chris Sale, was noticeable, as he looked in better shape compared to this time last year. He already has a large pitcher’s frame, especially for a nineteen-year-old, and will always have to watch his conditioning, so it was encouraging that he focused on this area over the off-season. 

Groome’s delivery was the same as past looks and he did a good job repeating it for the most part. He did lose his mechanics a few times, which impacted his control and led to a pair of walks. Both times, however, he righted the ship and struck out the next hitter. 

Groome came out strong, sitting 94-96 mph for the first two batters before dropping to 91-93 mph when he had to pitch from the stretch. This drop in velocity from the stretch held throughout—even in his third inning of work, he was still hitting 95 from the windup but never got higher than 93 with a runner on base. Groome’s command was better at lower velocities, but it was good to see him coming out with more velocity and able to reach back for more if he wanted to. Groome’s fastball overwhelmed the Low A hitters, and he got seven swinging strikes with it across 12 batters faced. Consistent fastball command will be key for Groome’s development going forward, and it will be interesting to see if he can harness the pitch at higher velocities or if he tends to sit at one velocity with the ability to reach back for more when ahead in the count. 

Groome mixed in both his curveball and changeup, with the former still well ahead of the latter. Groome threw his curve 80-85 mph, with the majority in the 80-82 mph range. He snapped off a couple well-above-average ones, including a backdoor breaking ball to a right-hander for a strikeout looking that followed a swinging strike on a curveball for strike two. The pitch showed tight rotation, 1-to-7 shape, and excellent depth through the zone. He does a good job snapping off the pitch and can either throw it for strikes or bury it down and out of the zone. 

Groome’s changeup was inconsistent but flashed average potential. He threw it 84-86 mph with deceptive arm speed, but the pitch lacked movement. Coming in, it looked like a fastball, but kept the hitters off balance because of the separation in velocity. He was throwing the pitch considerably harder than he threw it last season (80-83 mph), so he is definitely still developing a feel for the pitch. 

This type of strong performance from Groome was reportedly the norm throughout Spring Training, but unfortunately, he will start the season the disabled list in Greenville after suffering a mild flexor strain, according to Alex Speier. Groome struggled through injuries last season, with this same one ending his season early in August. It is somewhat concerning that he seems to be continuing to suffer muscle strains like these and the lat strain that cost him most of 2017’s first half, so this bears watching going forward, especially given his high-maintenance frame. 

Photo credit: Jay Groome by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Diaz dominates to open 2018 season


4/6 Cup of Coffee: The 2018 minor league season is underway, and two Red Sox affiliates celebrated opening day victories. Greenville's contest was never in doubt, as a 13-hit offensive attack was paired with a masterful performance from starting pitcher Jhonathan Diaz (pictured). Salem picked up the other win on the day, hanging on for a one-run victory, while Portland had a rough transition from sunny Florida to New York's unseasonably frigid southern tier. 

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It was a tough start to the season for Double-A Portland, shut out by their Eastern League rivals. Teddy Stankiewicz got the opening day call for the Sea Dogs for the second straight season and struggled out of the gate. The right-hander allowed a pair of home runs in a five-run first inning, including one to a former Heisman Trophy winner. Tate Matheny collected two of the four Sea Dogs hits. 2013 first-round pick Trey Ball tossed two hitless innings in his new role out of the bullpen. Ball struck out three and walked one, throwing 24 of his 36 pitches for strikes. 
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April 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Roster reveals and Opening Day


The Minor Notes series begins today and will run every Monday and Thursday throughout the season. Check back then to get caught up on all the recent news, notes, scouting reports, and other information from the Red Sox minor league system.

Here are Thursday's minor league notes:


  • It is finally here! Minor league games begin today for all the full season affiliates. SoxProspects.com has lots of key resources for you to use throughout the year: 
    • You can check out the full rosters on the Team Rosters page which will be kept up to date throughout the season. 
    • If you haven't signed up for the Forum, you can chat with other readers and SoxProspects.com staff members on a variety of topics, and every morning there is a Gameday Thread which lists the game times, opponents, and starting pitchers for each of the affiliates.
    • The Stats page is currently empty, but this page will be filled with up-to-date stats for all Red Sox minor league players, and it will have the ability to sort and filter those stats.
    • The Transactions page lists all transactions for the season so you can track when players are promoted, placed on injured reserve, or, in some cases, suspended.
    • Also be sure to check out the Scouting Log. This makes it easy to see when there are new scouting notes added by the SoxProspects.com scouts. Look for many new scouting reports to be uploaded soon, as well as another scouting piece on the News Page from spring training
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April 2, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Final spring training notes and roster moves


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • A few members of the SoxProspects.com staff wrapped up their trip to spring training last week. Thorough write-ups on the more notable players will be posted on the News page over the coming weeks, but the staff also shared some interesting nuggets on Twitter.
  • Both Director of Scouting Ian Cundall and Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino saw Alex Scherff (pictured), with Cundall noting his quick, live arm, while Fiorino observed that he was struggling with his release point which led to inconsistent results.
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