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SoxProspects News

August 31, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shugart shines for Lowell; Travis emerges from slump

8/31 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough day on the farm, with the affiliates getting swept and the five teams combining for just 20 hits. Pawtucket was officially eliminated from the playoff race despite a big game from Sam Travis (pictured), while a dominant Chase Shugart outing could not keep Lowell alive in the Stedler Division. Greenville's loss damaged its playoff chances headed into a critical final series. 


The PawSox were the unfortunate victims of Lehigh Valley clinching the International League's best overall record and top seed. Justin Haley turned in a solid start, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in five innings, striking out six and walking one. Travis Lakins turned in another scoreless outing, firing 1 1/3 hitless frames. Lakins has allowed a run in only two of the nine appearances he has made in Triple-A. Sam Travis broke out of an 0-for-18 slump with a perfect night at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a walk, double, and RBI. Rafael Devers was the designated hitter as he continues his rehab, going 0 for 3 with a walk, run scored, and a pair of strikeouts.

The loss officially eliminated the PawSox from the wild card race. 


In the 2018 Hadlock Field finale, the Sea Dogs wasted a quality start by Kyle Hart, falling to their New England rival. Hart allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings, striking out six, walking one, and lowering his ERA to 3.57. Luke Tendler and Chris Madera had two hits apiece, but Fisher Cat pitching held Portland scoreless from the fifth inning on to preserve the win.

If it feels like the box score each morning shows Bo Bichette beating on poor Portland pitchers, it is not your imagination. The son of former Red Sox outfielder Dante Bichette appeared in 20 games against Portland in 2018, in which he abused the Sea Dogs to the tune of .378/.430/.585. The good news is that, barring a future rehab assignment, the consensus top-20 prospect is unlikely to see any more Double-A pitching after this weekend. 


The Dash out-hit the Sox 16 to two in a game where little seemed to go Salem's way. Josh Tobias and Ryan Scott had a hit apiece as Salem wrapped up its road schedule. They return home to Haley Toyota Field for a final four-game set against Lynchburg on Friday. 


Like their Carolina League counterparts, the Drive were held to just two hits in Thursday's loss. Unsurprisingly, one of those two hits belonged to Jarren Duran, who also drove in the lone run. Eduard Bazardo allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out seven without issuing a walk. Bazardo pounded the strike zone, throwing 63 of 88 pitches for strikes. Rio Gomez fired a perfect seventh, striking out a pair. Zach Schellenger had wobbly control as he allowed his first run in eight games since joining the Drive. The 2017 sixth-round pick did not allow a hit in the eighth inning, but walked two, hit a batter, and uncorked a wild pitch. Schellenger had walked just one batter in his seven previous Greenville outings.

The loss, combined with Lexington's victory, puts the Drive three games out of first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division's second-half standings. The Drive host the Legends for a season-closing four-game set beginning on Friday evening needing a sweep to qualify for the postseason. 


Lowell was eliminated from the Stedler Division race and dropped to seventh place in the wild card standings as it suffered its ninth loss in 10 games. The Spinners registered only three hits, with Nick Northcut going 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Chase Shugart was the highlight in his Lowell debut, as the 12th-round pick out of the University of Texas delivered three hitless innings, with the only baserunner he allowed reaching on an error. Shugart struck out three, generated four groundouts and threw 26 of his 37 pitches for strikes. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was in the house; he was impressed by Shugart's athleticism and noted that the fastball touched 96 while mixing in a curve, slider, and changeup. 


Player of the Day: It had been a dreary season down on the farm, beset but injuries and underperformance, until the reinforcements from a strong-looking 2018 draft class arrived. Chase Shugart was one of the many intriguing picks from day three, signing for slot despite being ranked by Baseball America is the #294 prospect available. His three hitless innings on Thursday capped a four-game pro debut between Lowell and the GCL in which he allowed just one run in eight innings. Shugart struck out nine, walked just one, and surrendered four hits.

Photo Credit: Sam Travis by Kelly O'Connor