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SoxProspects News

June 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Ortiz shot, signings, and De La Guerra/Ward win POTW

Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • While it does not involve minor leaguers, the biggest Red Sox news over the weekend was that retired superstar David Ortiz (pictured, right, from 2013) was shot while in the Dominican Republic last night. While there are still many unknowns, he is believed to have come out of surgery okay and is resting. Details about his status and recovery as well as the motive for the shooting have not been fully revealed, but the latest reports indicate he is supposed to fully recover. The Boston Globe has a summary of the events to date. After retiring in 2016, Ortiz has held the position of Special Assistant to Fenway Sports Group.
  • Thaddeus Ward and Triston Casas took home the SoxProspects.com Player of the Month honors with dominant Mays. Ward has certainly not slowed down as you can see in the weekly honors below.
  • The first Red Sox signing of the 2019 draft is in. As Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com first reported, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with 3rd-round pick Ryan Zeferjahn, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Kansas. Slot for that pick was $543,500 and Zeferjahn signed for $500,000 leaving the Red Sox a little extra cash to add to their relatively small pool this year.
  • As SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield notes, Tulane University announced that Red Sox 12th rounder Brendan Cellucci will play ball in the Cape Cod League this summer. The Cape is one of the best summer showcase leagues, allowing collegiate players another chance to play in front of professional scouts. Playing on the Cape after being drafted was especially common under the old draft rules and allows the team to continue to evaluate the player prior to the signing deadline.
  • Infielder Marco Hernandez has had a long road back after missing almost two full years after shoulder surgery. After Mitch Moreland was forced to the DL, a spot opened up for Hernandez and he has taken advantage with four hits in his first nine at-bats after hitting .299/.356/.442 over 42 games split between Salem and Pawtucket. NBC Sports' Jacob Camenker writes that all the while, Hernandez stayed positive and knew if he got healthy he could play. 
  • After playing three years in Independent Ball for Sioux Falls, Dylan Thompson was signed by the Red Sox and made his season debut for Portland on Friday after starting the year at Salem. He went on to get the win with 6 innings, 3 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk with 5 strikeouts. The Portland Press Herald's Kevin Thomas spoke with Sea Dogs Manager Joe Oliver about what Thompson has to offer.
  • Steven Wright made his first rehab appearance for Pawtucket on Sunday, going 1 2/3 innings, allowing a solo home run to go along with two strikeouts.
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Players of the Week (June 3 through June 9)

Chad De La Guerra, INF, Pawtucket
8 G, 28 AB, 9 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 R, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K, .391/.481/.913

De La Guerra (pictured, left) made it to Triple-A during his fifth minor league season but struggled mightily during his 22 game stint, only managing to hit .137/.158/.205. While he had definitely seen improvement over his first 15 games entering the week, he still had only hit .264 with four extra-base hits and a tough 15-to-2 strikeout to walk ratio. Things can change quickly here early in the season, and De La Guerra turned it around in basically four games to open the week. Monday through Thursday, the 26-year-old went 7-for-15 with a double and three home runs. He finished the week with only two hits over his last eight at-bats (both doubles) but the damage had been done. That four-game hot streak buoyed his season line to .303/.354/.526.

Thaddeus Ward, RHP, Greenville
1 G, 1-0, 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 0.67 WHIP

Coming off the Player of the Month honors, Ward takes home his second Player of the Week honors in the last three weeks and continues to dominate at Greenville. In Thursday's start against the West Virginia Power, Ward threw 70% of his pitches for strikes, though he did throw two wild pitches. The only damage against Ward came in the sixth where the leadoff hitter reached on an error and scored on a double a couple of batters later, the only extra base hit Ward allowed on the day. Ward's 1.84 ERA leads the South Atlantic League by a fair margin. He also leads the league in strikeouts with 80 and is sixth in WHIP with a 0.98. His ERA has been on a steady decline this year after giving up nine earned runs in his first 19 1/3 innings on the year. In the 49 innings since, he has been on an absolute tear, allowing only five runs with 56 strikeouts.

Photo Credit: David Ortiz and Chad De La Guerra by Kelly O'Connor.

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