SoxProspects News

July 30, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cottam shines in Greenville, Rodriguez fans 12


7/30 Cup of Coffee: Despite four affiliates with off days, there was still plenty of action in the system. In Pawtucket, Gorkys Hernandez led an offensive barrage that saw the PawSox emerge victorious in a slugfest, while Greenville fell short despite an outstanding day at the plate from Kole Cottam (pictured). In the GCL, Jorge Rodriguez dazzled as he struck out 12 batters, and strong performances from Matthew Lugo and Daniel Bakst helped the Red Sox rout their opponents.

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Overcoming an early deficit, the PawSox offense exploded as they defeated the IronPigs. Gorkys Hernandez brought the power, launching his 16th home run of the season as he drove in four runs. Chad De La Guerra joined him in the home run column with his 11th long ball of the campaign. While they didn't go yard, Juan Centeno and Rusney Castillo each smacked a double as part of three-hit nights. Josh Ockimey had a productive night at the plate as he reached base four times via two singles and as many walks, while Cole Sturgeon also notched a pair of singles and drove in two runs.

Josh Smith was roughed up in his start to the tune of seven runs in 5 2/3 innings, but the bullpen was flawless to earn Pawtucket the victory. Domingo Tapia was the first out of the 'pen and fired 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and he was followed by Ryan Brasier who hurled a nearly immaculate inning, striking out three. Trevor Kelley relieved Brasier and contributed a scoreless ninth. 

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Chase Shugart was hit hard as he surrendered four runs in five innings pitched, despite striking out six. He was followed by Brendan Nail who struck out a pair in two scoreless innings, but things fell apart as Logan Browning who gave up two runs in his two innings pitched to earn the loss. At the plate, Kole Cottam was the lone Greenville batter to record multiple hits and made the most of them, homering and doubling as he drove in two and scored three runs. Devlin Granberg chipped in with a single, a walk, and two runs scored.

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It was a day to remember for the GCL Red Sox as they routed the Orioles squad convincingly. Although they only notched a single extra-base hit, the Red Sox offense exploded for thirteen hits and five walks. Matthew Lugo and Oscar Rangel who each recorded three hits, with Rangel driving in four and Lugo scoring twice and recording two RBI. Daniel Bakst continued his strong start to his professional career by notching two hits, including a double. Nilo Rijo was also productive at the plate, driving in two runs as he singled and walked twice. 

On the mound, Jorge Rodriguez was superb, tossing five shut out innings and striking out twelve (nearly doubling his career-high). Eddie Jimenez and the bullpen took over from there and cruised, as Jimenez hurled two scoreless frames and struck out three. He was relieved by Brandon Walter who fired a perfect inning, and Devon Roedahl who allowed an unearned run in his lone inning of work.   

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Much of the action came early as the DSL Red Sox1 squad fell to their Athletic counterparts. Starter Claudio Ochoa struggled from the start but was let down by his defense as he allowed five runs (two earned) in three innings pitched. Highlighted by a two-inning, three-strikeout appearance from Cristofe Tineo the bullpen was excellent, but the damage had already been done. The bats came through in each of the first two innings but fell silent after that, with Yorberto Mejicano recording the lone extra-base hit with a double. Also contributing were Albert Feliz, Eduardo Lopez, and Nelfy Abreu who collected two hits apiece.

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Nearly every member of the Red Sox lineup reached base at least once as they outlasted their split-squad opponents. Angeudis Santos had perhaps the best day at the plate for the Red Sox in a day of solid performances, as he doubled, walked and was involved in two scoring plays. Another standout performance came from Jose Navas who drove in three despite only singling and walking. Reidis Sena started what would be an excellent day at the park for the pitching staff by going four innings and allowing two runs (one earned). He was relieved by Faysel Gregorio who was superb, striking out four in as many shut out innings. Emerson Ortiz hurled a scoreless ninth and struck out two to end the game.

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Player of the Day: Things did not start off according to plan for Kole Cottam in 2019, but since the weather turned the catcher has seen his performance drastically improve. The months of June and July have been eerily similar for Cottam, who has launched 18 hits, six doubles, and two home runs in each of the past two months; good for a .305 batting average and nearly 120 point OPS climb. Never lauded for his defense behind the plate, Cottam will need to hit as a professional, and he is slowly starting to show why the Red Sox took him in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. 

Photo Credit: Kole Cottam by Kelly O'Connor

 
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