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October 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Darwinzon dominates in Arizona


This is the first in our series of weekly roundups of the Fall/Winter Leagues. Coverage will continue every Monday into January. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously through January. This week's roundup covers the period of October 9-21.

Arizona Fall League
The Red Sox have eight players listed on the Mesa Solar Sox roster, though only seven have appeared in games so far. Top prospect Michael Chavis has yet to debut, with no official word from the team as to why. The top performer has been Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured, right), who currently leads the league in strikeouts while pitching in only six innings. His 15 strikeouts and two walks show how dominant his stuff can be, and he has also allowed only one earned run on four hits. 

Mike Shawaryn has pitched in three games out of the bullpen, allowing only one hit over 3 1/3 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out three. Left-hander Josh Taylor has also been impressive, pitching to a 1.42 ERA in  6 1/3 innings over four appearances, walking one and striking out six. Teddy Stankiewicz has been the only pitcher to struggle in the hitter-friendly league, as he was roughed up for three runs on four hits in only two innings in his only appearance back on October 10. 

After hitting 32 home runs in the regular season, Bobby Dalbec has added one more home run so far in the AFL. He's hitting .259/.375/.481 with three doubles, five walks, and 14 strikeouts in only 27 at-bats. He has struck out multiple times in five of his seven games. Josh Ockimey has had a very slow start, batting .130/.160/.130 with one walk and eight strikeouts over 23 at-bats. Esteban Quiroz has also struggled, as his .188/.316/.375 line includes a home run and three walks but also seven strikeouts in 16 at-bats. 

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League
The Red Sox have a few prospects seeing regular playing time in Venezuela, led by Cole Sturgeon, who is a starting outfielder for Margarita. Sturgeon already has 10 walks in only eight games, including nine in his last five games. His line currently sits at .240/.457/.360. Deiner Lopez is also seeing a lot of playing time for Lara while posting a solid .273 batting average, though he has yet to walk or deliver an extra-base hit. Juan Hernandez is the only other position player to see the field, and he is hitless in two at-bats.

Enmanuel De Jesus has dazzled in a relief role for Magallanes, tossing five scoreless innings and striking out five without issuing a walk in three appearances. Oddanier Mosqueda has struggled in his 2 2/3 innings with Anzoategui, allowing two runs over 2 2/3 innings in his only appearance.

Dominican Baseball League
It is a small crop of Red Sox players in the Dominican Republic this year, with two current players and two free agents currently seeing playing time. Chris Madera is hitting .222 over nine at-bats for Oriente and Jhon Nunez has appeared in one game as a defensive replacement for Este. Free-agent Josh D. Smith has allowed two runs over four innings in three appearances for Escogido and free-agent Aneury Tavarez does not have a hit in three at-bats for Oriente. 

Mexican Pacific League
The other Josh Smith from last year's Pawtucket team is also a free agent, but he is pitching in Mexico. Josh A. Smith has made one start so far for Hermosillo and he was roughed up for seven runs, five earned, in four innings. He walked one without recording a strikeout. 

Venezuelan Development Program
Similar to prior years, the Red Sox have a team comprised almost entirely of their prospects in the Liga Paralela, which is essentially a minor league to the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. The Boston team is 2-0-1 in the early going, led by Victor AcostaKeibert PetitOscar Rangel, and Carlos Tovar offensively. This team is hitting like the major league team, averaging almost seven runs per game. A lot of the pitchers have yet to make it past the DSL or GCL at this point, but Victor Garcia and Yorvin Pantoja each played in Lowell this year, and Alberto Franco split his time between Lowell and Greenville.

The most intriguing name on the roster is Christopher Acosta, a right-hander who signed for $1.5M back in 2014 and has been ranked as high as number 20 in the system by this site. SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield confirmed last week that Acosta is on the roster, though he has yet to appear in a game. 

Photo Credit: Darwinzon  Hernandez by Kelly O'Connor

 
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