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May 13, 2019 at 12:50 PM

Minor Notes: Dalbec powers up & Chavis stays up

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • The Eagle-Tribune's Chris Mason could sense it was coming, writing mid-week about the reason to believe Bobby Dalbec's (pictured, right) breakout was coming. He finished the week with some superhuman performances and you can read more about that in the Players of the Week.
  • When your a highly touted prospect who has a strong start in the majors, you are going to get a lot of attention. It is no surprise that infielder Michael Chavis continues to draw praise for his early season performance that has him hitting .282/.407/.563 over his first 71 at-bats. After going 0-for-19 earlier this week, he broke out in a big way on Mother's Day, going 3-for-5 with a season-best 5 RBI. The Boston Globe's Nora Princiotti has more on his big day and how he works through struggles.
  • You might think after a big game Chavis might relax and soak it all in as a 23-year-old in the majors. Not exactly. Chavis paused to address the media mid-way through his hour-plus-long batting practice he took *after* Sunday's game as MassLive's Christopher Smith notes. Every player has their own routines and Chavis says "I’ve done this since I was a kid. Even when I was like 14 years old, after a game I’d go hit if I didn’t feel good. In high school, I did the same thing. It’s part of my thing.”
  • Justin Long, Red Sox Senior Manager of Media Relations and Baseball Info, noted that Chavis is now third in most RBI for a Red Sox player through his first twenty games with 19. He trails George "Boomer" Scott's 1966 season and some guy named Ted Williams who each had 20.
  • Another player who seems to get featured in every edition of the Minor Notes this season is centerfielder Jarren Duran. That is really no surprise as he has hit .398/450/.516 leading all of minor league baseball in average. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier features him in his most recent minor league notebook with notes on how he likes to "embarrass some people" with his speed, his defensive transition from second base to center field, and ongoing development. Speier's notebook also has information on right-handers Mike ShawarynEduard Bazardo, and Durbin Feltman as well as second baseman Brett Netzer.
  • Duran's success has been hard earned. Aaron McFarling of the Roanoke Times writes that it all started in sixth grade with Duran begging his dad to throw him batting practice on a daily basis and his father always was up for it. All that hard work is paying off and Duran has flown up the SoxProspects.com standings, currently coming in ninth.
  • Ranked two spots ahead of Duran is shortstop C.J. Chatham who just can't stop hitting .300+. He spoke with Chatham this week as well about how Red Sox manager Alex Cora's emphasis on putting the ball in play and pressuring the defense has reinforced his offensive approach.
Players of the Week (May 6 through May 12)

Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Portland
4 G, 16 AB, 8 H, 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, .500/.556/.1.438

After a rainout, Dalbec only played in four games this week but made the most out of them. His one down game came on Thursday where he went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. In the other three games, he absolutely raked with an extra-base hit in each and reached base at least two times including two games with three hits or more. The 23-year-old capped off the week on Saturday with an absolute monster of a game. After grounding out in his first at-bat, he did not make another out. His other five plate appearances in order were: solo home run to left center, solo home run to left, double to left, intentional walk, solo home run to right center. I guess Trenton should have walked him again in the 12th (even though they went on to win).

The award-winning week brings his season triple slash up to .248/.387/.495 with six home runs. while the average is down from his time in Double-A to end last year, there is a lot more optimism to be taking as he is walking a lot more (17.7% walk rate, up from 12% in 2018) and striking out much less (25.8% strikeout rate, down from 32.6%). As his SoxProspects.com profile says, he is unlikely to ever hit for a high average, but if he can continue to get on-base at a high clip and tap into his big power, it should propel him further up the ranks. Dalbec was also named the Eastern League Player of the Week this week.

Kutter Crawford, RHP, Salem
1 G, 1-0, 6 1/3 IP, 1.42 ERA, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 0.47 WHIP

Crawford (pictured, left) was dominant on Wednesday, holding division leading Wilmington to only one run and racking up his first ever double-digit strikeout game. The only damage came in the fifth inning when Crawford gave up a leadoff triple. After a walk, that run came around to score on a sacrifice fly before striking out the next two to end the inning.

This start continues an excellent run of starts for Crawford, now up to 23 on the SoxProspects.com rankings. In his seven starts this year, he has given up one run or less in six of them with four games with seven or more strikeouts. He finished the year with Salem last year with a 4.31 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 31 1/3 innings but has lowered those numbers thus far this year to 2.38 and 1.12 respectively.

Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec and Kutter Crawford by Kelly O'Connor.

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