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SoxProspects News

May 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Many on the mend; MLB draft creeping closer

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • Dustin Pedroia nearly talked his way into the lineup on Sunday, after originally planning on taking the day off, but due to slick conditions in Rochester, the rehabbing second basemen was eventually pulled from the lineup. After going 0 for 3 on Saturday for the PawSox, Pedroia asked if he could get a few more at-bats as designated hitter. He was granted that request before the Red Sox decided field conditions weren't ideal in his return from surgery on his left knee.  
  • Speaking of rehabs, Tyler Thornburg is with Pedroia at Triple-A, as the right-handed reliever is inching his way closer to being called up to finally pitch for the Red Sox. He missed all of 2017 with thoracic outlet syndrome after being acquired by Boston on Dec. 6 of 2016 in exchange for Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington (pictured, right) and Yeison Coca
  • Pennington, a 29th-round selection in the 2014 draft for the Red Sox, just announced his retirement after sustaining an arm injury. Pennington would've required his second Tommy John surgery. Dubon is also on the mend after tearing his left ACL earlier this month. As SoxProspects.com executive editor Chris Hatfield tongue-and-cheek suggested, the Brewers "might want to put Yeison Coca in bubble wrap for a bit."   
  • The Major League Baseball draft starts on June 4 and lasts until June 6. SoxProspects.com will have you covered each of those days as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com gives us a Mock Draft, where he has the Red Sox selecting Steele Walker, an outfielder out of the University of Oklahoma. When it comes to New England talent projected to be selected near the top of the upcoming draft, BC High's Matt Vasil, a University of Virginia commit, is someone that could be selected in the top-50 picks.
  • Since a demotion to Double-A Portland, Chad De La Guerra is batting .407 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 13 games. The 25-year-old second baseman hit just .137 with one homer in 22 games with Triple-A Pawtucket before being sent down. Like De La Guerra, Jantzen Witte has also hit well for the Sea Dogs since his demotion from Pawtucket, hitting .452 in his last eight games with two home runs and 10 RBI. 
  • On Thursday, the Sea Dogs pulled off an improbable comeback, coming out on top in a contest that they were trailing 7-0 heading into the seventh inning. As it turns out, Altoona actually had a comeback of its own, tying the score at nine apiece in the bottom of the ninth, but Luke Tendler blasted a three-run homer in the tenth, as James Dunne explains in Thursday's Cup of Coffee, to give Portland the series-opening win.
  • Salem swept its doubleheader with Wilmington on Sunday, both wins coming by the score of 7-3. With both victories, the Red Sox are now the only team in the system with a .500 record (20-20) or better. 
  • Getting off topic from the Sox farm (for a second), Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote about how former Sox pitcher Jake Peavy wants to pitch again and how Blake Swihart is a hot-button topic within, and outside of, the organization. 
  • Speaking of Swihart, SoxProspects.com executive editor Chris Hatfield had some thoughts on the whole situation that he shared on Twitter. Hatfield said, "I'm not saying that Swihart was going to be the second coming of Buster Posey and the club screwed that up, but the number of wrong moves they made with him starting in about 2015 has been startling, and it's what got us to this position." 
  • If you haven't heard of Vlad Guerrero Jr. by now, well, at least now you have. The Toronto Blue Jays top prospect continues to amaze by showing off raw power reminiscent of his Hall of Fame father. On Sunday, he went 4 for 4 with a home run and powered Double-A New Hampshire past Binghamton in Game 1 of its doubleheader. 
Players of the Week

Jantzen Witte, 3B, Portland
8 G, 31 AB, 14 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, .452/.514/1.288

Since his demotion from Triple-A Pawtucket to Double-A Portland, the right-handed hitting Witte has torn the cover off of the ball. In nine games he is hitting .457 with the Sea Dogs and this past week he collected 14 hits in eight contests.

Although no one in the organization really wanted to see the 28-year-old take the step down to Double-A, Witte hasn't wasted his time after hitting a meager .217 with the PawSox, including just four extra-base hits in 13 games. He has seven in nine with the Sea Dogs.

With Jordan Betts hitting .275 with three home runs in 23 games since his promotion to Pawtucket, Witte will have to wait a little longer before another chance with the PawSox.

Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, Portland
1 GS, 6.1 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 0.79 WHIP

Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured, right) hasn't exactly shined this season with Portland, as the tall right-hander has allowed 10 hits twice in eight appearances and five times has given up three runs or more.

But on Friday, Stankiewicz was stellar in relief of Travis Lakins, pitching 6 1/3 innings and striking out seven of the 24 batters he faced. The 24-year-old tossed 64 of his 89 pitches for strikes. It has been an up-and-down start for Stankiewicz, but in his last six appearances, he has lasted five innings or more.  

Photo Credit: Josh Pennington, Teddy Stankiewicz by Kelly O'Connor.