SoxProspects News

August 27, 2018 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. 

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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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The Sea Dogs lineup blasted three home runs as part of a 10-run, 12-hit romp. Luke Tendler had a two-run blast and a double as part of a three-hit day. The minor league Rule 5 draft pick leads Portland with 61 RBI, while his 14 home runs put him second. Bobby Dalbec broke a streak of 12 straight games without a homer, blasting a three-run third-inning shot. Twelve games may not seem like a particularly notable home-run drought, but the third baseman had hit 17 in the 37 preceding games, never going more than six games without a round tripper. The offensive support made life easier for southpaw Daniel McGrath. The Australia native gave up two runs on five hits in 5 2/3, getting credit for the win.

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Salem fell to the brink of official elimination on Sunday, as it now stands nine games out of first place with a tragic number of one. The loss was no fault of second baseman Brett Netzer, who had two doubles and scored a pair of runs. CJ Chatham also notched two hits, the shortstop's fourth multi-hit contest in his last five. It was a tough afternoon for Salem starter Jake Thompson, who allowed eight runs, though only three earned, on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. 

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An outstanding effort by Angel Padron boosted the Drive and their playoff hopes. Padron gave up just two hits in seven shutout innings. He struck out five, walked one, and needed just 86 pitches to complete those seven frames. Lukas Young turned in two hitless innings of relief to complete the shutout. To the surprise of nobody, Jarren Duran played a key role at the plate. Duran was 2 for 3 with two doubles, a walk,and a run scored. He now has nine doubles in 22 games since his promotion to Class A, and 27 extra-base hits in 59 games as a pro. 

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Lowell dropped its sixth straight, as the Spinners' playoff hopes have gone into a tailspin in the last week. After firing a combined two-hitter four days earlier, the due of Thad Ward and Hunter Haworth had it tougher on Sunday. The Tigers reached the pair for seven runs in the first inning, knocking out Ward after having faced only eight batters. Trey Ganns picked up two of the Spinners' four hits. 

The loss drops the Spinners into third place in the Stedler Division standings, five games behind. They also fell into sixth place in the wild card race

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The Red Sox affiliate will not take its third Gulf Coast League championship in five years. The Tigers West ended the GCL Red Sox season in the one-game semifinal in Lakeland in a heartbreaking 11-inning loss. Tigers pitching stymied the Sox bats, limiting the lineup to only four hits while registering 17 strikeouts, Xavier Javier, the wonderfully-named Tigers starter, dominated the Sox, striking out 11 over six innings of one-hit ball. Yasel Santana kept close to that pace, giving up two runs in five frames, striking out five and walking only one. Brayan Bello and Yoan Aybar turned in two scoreless innings apiece, giving the Sox the chance to knot the contest at two in the eighth. 

Onto extra innings, the Red Sox managed to have two players reach base in both the 10th and 11th innings, but with nothing to show for it. After a perfect 10th, a hit-by-pitch by Sox pitcher Alberto Franco doomed the game and the season. A sacrifice bunt and a ground out put the winning run on third base, setting up the most devastating loss possible. Franco uncorked a season-ending wild pitch, with Moises Bello racing home to score the clinching run. 

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Player of the Day: Greenville was a challenging placement for Angel Padron headed into 2018, but the left-hander has handled the jump quite well. The 20-year-old hurler out of Venezuela appeared in just four games above Rookie ball, but he's been a vital cog in the Greenville staff, working as a swingman. Padron's seven innings of shutout work on Sunday lowered his ERA to 3.87 and he has 91 strikeouts and just 38 walks in 97 innings.

Photo Credit: Angel Padron by Kelly O'Connor

 
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