SoxProspects News

July 16, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata in Futures Game; Another Dalbec dinger


7/16 Cup of Coffee: With the major league club closing out its first half on a high note, the minor league affiliates have been on one of their strongest runs of the season. Bryan Mata (pictured, left), the Carolina League's youngest hurler, aquitted himself well in the Futures Game, while four of the five teams in action Sunday came away with wins. Bobby Dalbec continues to be an unstoppable force this month, and Denyi Reyes was once again untouchable for Greenville. Reyes was supported by a huge effort by Victor Acosta, while Devlin Granberg reached base five times to lead Lowell. 

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Major League Baseball's All-Star weekend festivities kicked off with the annual Futures Game. The lone Red Sox representative in the contest was right-hander pitcher Bryan Mata, selected by the World Team. The organization's second-ranked prospect got the call in the third inning, allowing one hit in a scoreless frame. He walked one, and struck out Brendan Rodgers (COL), the third overall pick in the 2015 draft. SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield was in attendance at Nationals Park. He reported that Mata threw his fastball in the 94-95 range and mixed in a curve and changeup, while also getting some video of Mata warming up before coming on.

A pair of ex-Sox featured prominently the game as well. Shaun Anderson, a third-round pick out of Florida in 2016 sent by Boston to the Giants in the Eduardo Nunez deal last year, was credited as the winning pitcher. The right-hander allowed a solo homer to Yusniel Diaz (LAD) in his inning of work. Luis Alexander Basabe started in center field and was slotted in the leadoff position. One of the components of the Chris Sale trade, Basabe ripped a 102.3 mph fastball from Hunter Greene (CIN) for a two-run homer. 

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The PawSox celebrated Bronson Arroyo Day with a victory in a game that featured as many runs in the 10th inning as it did in the previous nine. After the Chiefs went up in the top of the tenth on the thrilling combination of a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, scoring an automatic runner, fairness was re-established when getting hits was involved in the game-winning rally. A Tony Renda single scored Jonathan Ortega to tie the score at two, and then Adam Lind walked off with a two-run game-winning homer. Trevor Kelly got credit for his first Triple-A win, going three innings and allowing only the 10th-inning automatic runner to score for an unearned run.

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Portland managed only four hits, spoiling a strong outing from Matthew Kent. The lefty went eight innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Deiner Lopez cracked his second homer of the year and first in 17 contests with the Sea Dogs, while Jeremy Rivera collected a pair of base hits. 

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The summer of Bobby Dalbec continues on. The scorching-hot third baseman blasted his eighth homer of the month and 23rd of the season, and did not record an out to lead the Sox. Along with Dalbec's fifth-inning solo shot were a single and a pair of walks. Through 14 July games, Dalbec is hitting an astounding .451/.508/1.059. Michael Osinski drove in three runs as part of a two-hit afternoon.

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It was yet another outstanding start on Sunday for right-handed starter Denyi Reyes. Reyes lowered his ERA to 1.79 with seven shutout innings. He allowed just two hits, striking out six without issuing a walk. It was the fifth time in his last nine starts that Reyes was unscored upon, and the 10th time in 19 outings on the year that he did not issue a walk. Supporting Reyes was a monster afternoon from Victor Acosta (pictured, right). The right fielder had 10 total bases, with an eighth-inning solo homer along with three doubles on the day. The home run was his eighth of the season, matching the career high he set back in 2013 in the Dominican Summer League.

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The Spinners took their sixth straight, and will look to complete a perfect road trip on Monday when they close the three-game set with the Muckdogs. Devlin Granberg was the catalyst for Lowell, reaching base five times by going 3 for 3 with a walk and a hit by pitch. Granberg extended his hitting streak to seven games, a stretch in which he is 12 for 28. Grant Williams added three hits for the Spinners, and Kole Cottam doubled as part of 2-for-5 effort. Starter Thad Ward was effective, going three shutout frames. The fifth-round pick last month out of Central Florida surrendered only two hits, striking out two without issuing a walk.

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A trio of Sox players saw action for the AL All-Star squad on Sunday. Angel Gonzalez, Boston's 19th-round pick in 2017 out of Puerto Rico, got the start in right field and went 1 for 2 with a stolen base and a run scored. Angel Maita also saw time in right field, flying out in his only at-bat. Ceddanne Rafaela entered the game in the eighth at second base, a position he has not yet played as a pro. Naturally, he got an opportunity quickly, fielding a grounder for the second out of the inning. He was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance, one of eight times in the game a batter reached the hard way, befitting an All-Star contest in the DSL.

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Player of the Day: There were several highly qualified individual efforts on Sunday, but the nod here goes to Victor Acosta and his four extra-base hits and total of 10-bases effort. Acosta showed power in his first professional season, blasting eight home runs in the pitcher-friendly Dominican Summer League, but he had not replicated that performance since. From 2014 through 2017, Acosta totaled just five round-trippers and never had more than 18 extra-base hits in a season. Fortunately, he's been able to tap into that power once again this season, pairing his eight home runs so far with 19 doubles, which places him third in the organization.

Photo Credit: Bryan Mata, Victor Acosta by Kelly O'Connor

 
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