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SoxProspects News

July 30, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Feltman impressing & Salem sweeps POTW

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • With the trade deadline approaching, the SoxProspects.com Podcast team went to work on the latest edition, looking at the recent trade of Jalen Beeks (pictured, right) and the potential for additional moves. 
  • In the pod, they also discussed the mid-season prospect rankings from Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. Baseball America did not have any Red Sox in their Mid-Season Top 100, but they also updated their Red Sox Top 10 Prospects as well. Not to be left out, MLB Pipeline also updated their Top 100 at midseason, and similarly, they also updated their Top 30 Red Sox Prospects.
  • Durbin Feltman was drafted in the 3rd round by the Red Sox this year's draft. He was viewed by many as the top pure reliever in the draft class, and as a result, had the potential to move very quickly through the system. His first four innings for Lowell have been virtually perfect, with 7 strikeouts and no baserunners allowed. For Baseball America, Alex Speier writers that he has been as advertised and still poised to move quickly.
  • There are many amazing notes in each edition of the daily Cup of Coffee, but this one from Saturday morning was especially fun. Third baseman Bobby Dalbec hit his 25th home run and is now the single-season home run leader for the Salem Red Sox. Dalbec is now only four strikeouts away from topping last year's total of 132, but despite the swing and miss, he has still enjoyed a very good season, hitting .254/.369/.560 over 339 at-bats with the record-setting number of home runs along with 27 doubles.
  • Unfortunately, Rafael Devers injury to his left hamstring has forced him to the DL. As the corresponding move, the Red Sox have again recalled infielder Tzu-Wei Lin. In his 44 at-bats thus far this season with the major league team, Lin has only hit .182/.265/.227, however, he has been far more impressive with Pawtucket putting together a .315/.369/.457 line over 49 games.
  • Another reminder that the SoxProspects.com donation drive goes through August 10th. Please consider a donation so that we can continue to provide this great content and keep the site free, just as we have done for the last 15 years.
Players of the Week

Jerry Downs, 1B, Salem
6 G, 17 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 4 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, .353/.542/1.118

Downs, a 2015 15th round pick, had one of his best weeks of the year for the Salem Red Sox. He had hits in five of six games and had extra-base hits in four of six. His best game of the week came on Tuesday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks where he went 2-for-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI. In just this one week, Downs was able to raise his OPS by 59 points.

On the year Downs is still only hitting .235/.326/.382 in his first year for Salem. Downs' season started off very well, going 28-for-83 in April. However, he really struggled over May and June where he hit only .198/.272/.297. Hopefully, this strong week will start to push his performance close to what it was for Greenville last year where he finished at .274/.368/.444.

Tanner Houck, RHP, Salem
2 G, 12 IP, 2-0, 0.75 ERA, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 0.00 WHIP

Despite only going 3-4 on the week, another Salem Red Sox earns the pitcher of the week after securing two of the three wins on the week. Similar to Downs, Houck (pictured, left) came into the week struggling a bit, entering the week with a 4.80 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. Expectations were much higher for Houck after being selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2017 draft.

This week showed what made Houck such a highly touted draft prospect. Pitching on Monday and Saturday, Houck went 6 innings in each allowing 1 run. The better of the two starts was on Monday when he struck out 8 without walking a batter. Overall he held hitters to a .167/.186/.214 line and threw strikes on 71% of his pitches which is a big improvement from the rest of the season where he only threw 58% strikes and hitters had a .768 OPS against.

Photo Credit: Jalen Beeks and Tanner Houck by Kelly O'Connor.

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.