SoxProspects News

September 30, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Duran and Wilson homer in Arizona


With the other countries starting their leagues in October or November, the Arizona Fall League is still the only league with game action so far. Coverage of the fall/winter leagues 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 September 23-29.

Arizona Fall League
CJ Chatham cooled off a bit after a strong opening week, going 3 for 13 with a walk and a stolen base, though he is still hitting .310/.394/.414 over his first seven games. Both Marcus Wilson and Jarren Duran homered this week, as Wilson went 1 for 11 and Duran went 5 for 15. Duran also added two steals and walked three times as part of a very impressive week.
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September 23, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Chatham highlights hot AFL starts


The major league club may have been officially eliminated from contention, but this week also kicked off the Fall and Winter League schedule with the earlier open of the Arizona Fall League. With that, we begin our series of weekly roundups on 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 up to September 22. 

Arizona Fall League
The Red Sox have seven participants on the Peoria Javelinas of the AFL, as well as Salem manager Corey Wimberly serving as a coach. It is an atypically star-studded class this year, with all seven members currently ranked in the SoxProspects.com Top 40 and four among the Top 10. 

CJ Chatham (pictured) has been one of the stars in the early going. He's appeared in four of Peoria's five games, starting twice at shortstop and twice at second base. He is off to a 6-for-16 start, leading the circuit with three doubles and seven runs scored. The 10th-ranked player in the Boston system was a major catalyst in the first two Peoria victories, scoring three runs apiece in those two games. He's also stolen two bases and walked three times, good for a .375/.474/.563 line in an extremely small sample. On the negative side, Chatham has struck out seven times in nineteen appearances and he has committed a pair of errors, one at each position. 

Starring alongside Chatham in Peoria's 3-0 start was outfielder Marcus Wilson. Appearing in three games, Wilson is 6 for 11 with a double, two walks, and five RBI. Jarren Duran is 3 for 8, seeing action only in the two games that Wilson did not. 

All four pitchers saw action in the first week, with roles being swapped some: Tanner Houck, who was pitching out of the bullpen in the second half for Portland and Pawtucket, got the starting nod in the second game of Peoria's schedule. Meanwhile, regular starters Bryan Mata and Jhonathan Diaz got work in relief. Houck got credit for the win on Thursday, despite allowing two runs (both unearned) on two hits in two innings. He walked two and struck out one. Mata and Yoan Aybar were the last two hurlers that day, recording the last seven outs between the two of them on six groundballs. Aybar retired all four batters he faced, while Mata plunked one but erased him immediately on a double play. Diaz pitched in the opener, striking out three and allowing one hit in two shutout innings. 

Fall Instructional League
The Red Sox will not be participating in formal games this year, instead choosing to focus on instruction at the Fort Myers facility. The roster includes several notable players: top prospect Triston Casas is in attendance, Jay Groome will be there in a rehab capacity,  and most of the 2019 class, including infielders Cameron Cannon and Matthew Lugo, and pitchers Noah Song, Chris Murphy, and Ryan Zeferjahn

Several players from the 2019 Dominican Summer League roster are also making their first appearances stateside: pitchers Juan Daniel Encarnacion and Wilkelman Gonzalez; infielders Darel Belen and Brainer Bonaci; and outfielders Albert Feliz, Bryan Gonzalez, Eduardo Lopez, and Eduardo Vaughan.

Photo Credit: CJ Chatham by Kelly O'Connor

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September 16, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Awards week and transition to fall ball


During the season, the Minor Notes run two times a week. Now that the minor league regular season has officially come to an end, the Notes will move to once a month, running the first Monday of every month.

Here are Monday's notes:
  • The final piece during SoxProspects.com Awards Week was the announcement of the two biggest awards, the Pitcher of the Year and the Hitter of the Year. First baseman Triston Casas (pictured, right) took home the Hitter of the Year in a season where he hit .256/.350/.480 as a 19-year-old. Despite a horrible April, he rebounded to put up very impressive numbers and has now risen to the top spot in the SoxProspects.com rankings.
  • Jarren Duran and Bobby Dalbec were on the fringe of the debate between the staffers, but the actual runner up was outfielder Gilberto Jimenez. The 19-year-old signed as an international free agent in 2017 and went on to play in 2018 for the DSL Red Sox, ultimately taking home the Red Sox Latin Program Position Player of the Year. This season he was selected as a SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star and did not disappoint. Playing the entire season for Lowell where he was almost three years younger than the average hitter, he continued to rake, hitting .359/.393/.470. His consistency was incredible, aside from his eight September at-bats, he never hit lower than .341 in any of the other three months of the season.
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September 13, 2019 at 12:13 PM

Podcast Ep. #166: I think we've got a lot to talk about


You may have heard about this. The Red Sox dismissed Dave Dombrowski Sunday night. Chris and Ian question the timing (of the announcement, not the decision). They make the case for why the club needed to make a change. Ian describes the lack of depth in the upper minors that put the Red Sox in a "No Man's Land" for in-season options. But the discussion is not solely centered on the now departed Dealer Dave. The rosters for the Arizona Fall League are almost entirely set. Boston's contingency is prospect heavy and very interesting. In contrast, clubs are changing the way they handle the fall Instructional Leagues and various foreign winter leagues, which Chris details briefly. And we close the show with an interesting note from the mailbag and a quick update on the clubs in the minor league playoffs.

Listen in!

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at 11:49 AM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Offensive Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year


This week was SoxProspects.com award week, with several accolades being handed out over the last few days. We have announced the All-Star pitchers, All-Star position playersHomegrown Player, Ex-Prospect, and Graduate of the Year, and the Rookie, Breakout, and Comeback Player of the Year.

The biggest awards were saved for last. The SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year goes to Triston Casas (pictured, right) and the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year is awarded to Thaddeus Ward (pictured, below).

Offensive Player of the Year

Expectations were high for the 2018 first-rounder, and Casas did not disappoint as he led the system in RBI with 81 and finished third with 20 home runs. He had exactly 500 plate appearances in the regular season, with seven of those coming with Salem at the end of the year, and he hit  a combined .256/.350/.480 with the two teams. He flashed the plus-plus raw power that helped him get ranked as the top prospect in the system, with this pull-side home run and this home run to center field showing how much pop he has in his bat.
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September 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Minor Notes: Minor League season comes to an end as Lowell falls in final


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • In a sad day for all followers of SoxProspects.com, the minor league season has officially come to a close with Lowell's elimination in the New York-Penn League final. Lowell had tied the series at a game apiece on Monday evening, but they fell in a back and forth contest despite a strong showing from Yusniel Padron-Artilles
  • Although the minor league season has ended, the coverage has not stopped as award season is now upon all of us here at SoxProspects.com. The All-Star selections for the systems pitchers, were headlined by Thaddeus Ward and Bryan Mata. While Mata has been a top performer in the Red Sox system for some time now, Ward burst onto the scene in 2019 and has subsequently shot up the SoxProspects.com rankings in order to earn his first All-Star selection. 
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at 2:00 PM

2019 SoxProspects.com Awards: Rookie, Breakout and Comeback players of the year


SoxProspects.com award season rolls on, after All-Star hitters and pitchers were released on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, followed by the Homegrown Player, Ex-Prospect and Graduate of the Year on Wednesday. Thursday's awards focus on the Rookie, Breakout and Comeback players of the year.

Rookie of the Year
A sixth-round pick out of San Diego, Chris Murphy was assigned straight to Lowell and was downright dominant. The 21-year-old hurled 33 1/3 innings to the tune of a 1.08 ERA, which was the lowest in the system of those that pitched more than 30 innings. He also struck out 34 batters to just seven walks for a 4.86 walk to strikeout ratio, which was fifth-best among the stateside affiliates.  The California product also owned a 0.90 WHIP, which paced the system. After pitching 64 frames for San Diego during 2019, Murphy was limited in Lowell, but will likely be given every chance to start during 2020. He possesses a four-pitch mix comprised of a fastball that touches 95 mph from the left side, curveball, slider and changeup.

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September 11, 2019 at 2:00 PM

2019 SoxProspects.com Awards: Homegrown Player, Ex-Prospect, and Graduate of the Year


SoxProspects.com award season continues after position players were announced Monday and pitchers on Tuesday. The three players to follow have all graduated as prospects and have made a major impact at the major league level. 

Homegrown Player of the Year
Mookie Betts won Homegrown Player of the Year in 2018 and has followed it up with another marvelous season, hitting .290/.390/.526 with 28 home runs, 40 doubles, five triples, 14 stolen bases, and 129 runs scored so far. Most of the time, that would be good enough to repeat. However, Xander Bogaerts (pictured, left) and Rafael Devers (pictured, right) consistently raked all season long, as they have each earned a share of the award.

Bogaerts has followed up a breakout 2018 season with an even better 2019. So far, the Red Sox shortstop has set career-highs in home runs (31), doubles (49), walks (69), RBI (105), on-base percentage (.380), slugging percentage (.562), and Fangraphs' version of WAR (6.2). Through September 10, Bogaerts is also second in all of baseball in extra-base hits with 80. The 26-year old earned himself a contract extension at the end of March worth a total of $132 million that will keep him in Boston through 2025. That came after a 2018 in which he hit .288 with 23 home runs, 45 doubles, and 103 RBI. His defense at short has had mixed results in 2019, as Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) has him as a below average shortstop, while Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) has him as a top 10 defensive shortstop. Either way, any time a guy can be steady at shortstop while posting a .942 OPS, he is going to be among the most valuable players in baseball.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Padron-Artiles shines, but Lowell drops title match


9/11 Cup of Coffee: Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow; That I shall say good night till it be 'morrow.

A fantastic Lowell season was sent to come to an end on Monday evening on Coney Island one way or another, as the Spinners and Cyclones engaged in a winner-take-all third game of the New York-Penn League Championship Series. Unfortunately, the franchise's first title since moving to the Mill City in 1996 will have to wait, as Brooklyn came from behind to win its second championship. 
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September 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM

2019 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Pitchers


Following up Monday's All-Star Position Players post, we are presenting the top five starters and three relievers from the 2019 season. The list includes three players from the lower minors and five players from the upper minors. 

Starting Pitcher: Thaddeus Ward
Ward's stock was on the rise after increasing his strikeout rate in each of his three years in college and was drafted in the fifth round in 2018 and signed for slightly below slot. Though he pitched exclusively as a reliever in college, he was converted to a starter upon signing and made 11 appearances last season for Lowell. The 22-year-old was bumped up to Greenville to begin the year and saw immediate success. Over his 13 starts, he only allowed more than three runs twice and finished the level with a 1.99 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 87 strikeouts to 25 walks over 72 1/3 innings. His best run came from May 14 to May 25th where he made three straight scoreless appearances while going at least seven innings in each. The righty's dominance did not stop after a promotion to Salem where he made 12 more starts with a 2.33 ERA and 11.67 K/9.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Song, Murphy dominant as Lowell ties the series


9/9 Cup of Coffee:  A day after falling on the wrong side of a pitcher's duel, the Spinners pitching staff came up big to keep Lowell alive in the New York-Penn League Championship. Noah Song was on the bump for Lowell and capped off what has been an excellent debut season, but it was Chris Murphy (pictured) who went above and beyond to help secure the victory. The Lowell bats were relatively quiet once again, but a productive day from Stephen Scott and some timely hitting from regular season hero Gilberto Jimenez was enough to get the Spinners over the line. 

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In a season that saw the Spinners pitching staff finish sixth in team ERA, it comes as no surprise that the pitching staff has been the driving force in the Spinners playoff run. The Lowell staff pitched to a 2.83 ERA in their four postseason games leading up to Monday night; a number that improved with Noah Song on the mound. Song got off to a strong start by fanning the side in the top of the first, and the Spinners offense broke the game open in the subsequent inning. Stephen Scott came to the plate and drove in Nick Decker to get the first Lowell run across the plate, and soon the bases were loaded. Gilberto Jimenez then singled up the middle to score both Scott and Antoni Flores and give the Spinners a lead they would not surrender.
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September 9, 2019 at 2:00 PM

2019 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Position Players


With the minor league regular season in the books, the SoxProspects.com Awards Week is here. Over the next five days we will be presenting our annual awards on the news page. The schedule will be as follows:

Monday: All-Star position players
Tuesday: All-Star pitchers
Wednesday: Graduate of the Year; Homegrown Player of the Year; Ex-Prospect of the Year
Thursday: Rookie of the Year; Breakout Player of the Year; Comeback Player of the Yer
Friday: Player of the Year; Position Player of the Year

We kick things off with the position players selected by the SoxProspects.com staff as for their All-Star performances in 2019. While we do consider factors such as age advancement and opponent quality, these awards are in recognition of the players' in-game performances rather than a commentary on any status as a prospect. However, the Red Sox also got notable production from its most-highly rated prospects, as all five position players currently ranked in the Top 10 turned in All-Star caliber campaigns. 

Catcher: Kole Cottam
It was a season of steady improvement in Cottam's first full professional campaign. The 2018 fourth-round pick out of Kentucky had a modest .213/.348/.333 line through the end of May, but kicked off June with a seven-game hitting streak and did not look back. Cottam hit .311/.427/.513 in June and July to earn himself a mid-August promotion to Salem. His .377 on-base percentage with the Drive placed him tenth among all South Atlantic League players with at least 300 plate appearances. The former Kentucky Wildcat is currently ranked 44th in the system.
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at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Lowell in New York-Penn League finals, Dombrowski fired


Here are Monday's minor league notes:

  • Check out the 165th episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast, where Chris and Ian recap what has happened so far in the postseason. Ian saw Lowell in action for two playoff games and he goes over what he saw from Jay Groome, Yusniel Padron-Artiles, and Joe Davis. They also give updates on Ryan Zeferjahn and Aldo Ramirez, as well as a recap of Salem's playoff run. Lastly, they give a September rankings update and take mailbag questions. 
  • According to multiple reports, the Red Sox are parting ways with Dave Dombrowski. Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reported that Assistant General Managers Eddie Romero, Brian O'Halloran, and Zack Scott will take over for the rest of the season. 
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at 8:00 AM

Podcast Ep. #165 - The Ballad of Big Joe


Even if the ultimate goal of minor league games is player development, winning still matters to those players. With Lowell and Salem qualifying for the post-season, we get more looks. Case in point, Ian saw both Spinner wins last week. He got good looks at Jay Groome, Yusniel Padron-Artiles, and Big Joe Davis among others. Chris and Ian talk through the Salem guys who shined in their post season series. And they close out the show by going through September's system rankings update.

Listen in!

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bell, Rodriguez shine as Lowell drops opener; Salem eliminated


9/9 Cup of Coffee: Despite continued excellence by Kole Cottam and Keith Curcio in the Carolina League semifinals, Salem dropped its third straight to end its season. Salem had jumped out to a promising two-games-to-none lead at home, but Wilmington swept the three games in Delaware to take the series. Lowell, the final Sox affiliate left standing, dropped the opener of the New York-Penn League finals, stranding the potential tying run at third base in the bottom of the ninth. The pitchers' duel at LeLacheur Park saw only seven hits total between the two teams and featured noteworthy performances from Spinners hurlers Brock Bell (pictured) and Jorge Rodriguez.

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A thrilling Carolina League semifinal series came to an end Sunday with the home team having prevailed in each of the five contests. Daniel Gonzalez took the ball for Salem and allowed three runs, all coming on a pair of homers. Gonzalez went 4 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two. Alex Scherff struck out three and allowed a run on two hits in two innings of relief, and Wilmington reached Andrew Schwaab for a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning.
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September 8, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Diaz dazzles as Salem falls in extras


9/8 Cup of Coffee: Meeting the opposite fate of their colleagues in Lowell, Salem found themselves on the wrong end of a walk-off courtesy of old friend Tyler Hill. Jhonathan Diaz (pictured) saved one of his best starts of 2019 for Saturday night, while Grant Williams led the Red Sox at the plate with a three-hit effort.  

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A year removed from leading off for Salem, Tyler Hill walked off the Red Sox to keep Wilmington's playoff dreams alive. Things were quiet for seven innings, thanks in large part to the efforts of Jhonathan Diaz. The Venezuelan left-hander went six shutout innings in which he allowed just two hits and struck out eight. However, things soon fell apart for the Red Sox as the Blue Rocks reached relievers Joan Martinez and Yoan Aybar for a combined four runs. 
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September 7, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Deja vu as Lowell walks off to New York-Penn League finals


9/7 Cup of Coffee: Lowell walked it off for the second night in a row to advance to the New York-Penn League finals, as Joe Davis played the hero role yet again. Alex Erro came up big for Lowell offensively, while the pitching staff combined for 17 strikeouts. Salem dropped a tough one despite a great pitching performance from Andrew Politi.

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Salem could not finish off a sweep of the Blue Rocks as they lost in heartbreaking fashion. The Sox broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth when Tyler Esplin drove a one-out single, promptly went first to third on another single by Tanner Nishioka, then scored on a wild pitch.
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September 6, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Padron-Artiles gem, Davis walk-off lead Lowell; Esplin powers Salem


9/6 Cup of Coffee: Both affiliates that qualified for the playoffs won on Thursday night in impressive, memorable fashion. Lowell fans got to see a performance for the ages as Yusniel-Padron Artiles recorded a professional baseball record for consecutive strikeouts, setting the stage for Joe Davis heroics (pictured) that evened the Spinners' best-of-three series at one game apiece. Not to be overshadowed was a two homer game by Tyler Esplin in support of another strong Thaddeus Ward effort that gave Salem a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-five Carolina League semifinal.

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Tyler Esplin had a very strong close to his regular season with Greenville  to earn him a late promotion to playoff-bound Salem, and his powerful bat now has the Sox on the cusp of the Carolina League finals. Esplin blasted a two-run homer in the second inning following a Triston Casas double to give Salem a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The 20-year-old outfielder then added an insurance run with a solo blast in the eighth inning.
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September 5, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Playoffs begin for Salem and Lowell


Here are Thursday's minor league notes:

  • The playoffs are underway, with Salem and Lowell being the only two affiliates to qualify. Salem won its first game, while Lowell dropped game one despite some impressive pitching performances. 
  • With the season over in the upper minors, the Red Sox called up a stable of pitchers from Pawtucket. Mike Shawaryn, Trevor Kelley, Colten Brewer, and Bobby Poyner all joined the big league club on Wednesday, and the Red Sox now have 21 pitchers on the active roster. 
  • Another player who is in Boston, though he is not on the active roster, is Bobby Dalbec (pictured). Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wrote about how close Dalbec is to the big leagues and when fans could expect to see the right-handed slugger in Boston. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Playoffs begin, Granberg with three RBI


9/5 Cup of Coffee: The playoffs are underway, and Salem and Lowell each made it to the playoffs. Salem earned a strong victory in the first of a five-game series behind 17 hits from seven different hitters. Devlin Granberg (pictured), Garrett Benge, Keith Curcio and Kole Cottam each recorded three hits, including deep flies from Granberg, Benge and Curcio. Lowell was on the wrong side of a 4-1 decision against Batavia in a three-game set. The Spinners only notched five hits, including a double from Gilberto Jimenez. Joe Davis also added an RBI single in the eighth.

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Salem scored early and often as part of a 17-hit explosion. It started with a four-run first, all of which happened on five hits before an out was recorded, including a three-run home run from Devlin Granberg. Granberg was one of four Red Sox to smack three hits, including Garrett Benge, Keith Curcio and Kole Cottam. Benge and Curcio each added home runs as well, and all of their hits were of the extra-base variety. Enmanuel De Jesus earned the start in the playoff opener and pitched 5 2/3 innings of three-run ball. He allowed seven hits and struck out five, without walking a batter. Yoan Aybar pitched two innings of no-hit ball and Joan Martinez finished it off with a clean ninth inning. 

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Noah Song went the first three innings for Lowell and surrendered just one run on three hits. He walked one and punched out six Muckdogs. Chris Murphy handled the middle innings and added six strikeouts of his own, but two runs crossed the plate, on a pair of hits and walks each. Dylan Spacke allowed a single run on three hits, with four strikeouts mixed in. Gilberto Jimenez contributed a double, while Joe Davis drove in the only run for Lowell.

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Player of the Day: In a game full of strong offensive performances, Devlin Granberg stood out. The sixth-round pick in 2018 was 3 for 5 and helped start Salem off on the right foot with a three-run home run after the first two hitters reached. Granberg started the playoffs out with a bang and it was his fourth multi-hit game in his last nine contests. The home run also was his first in Salem after his call-up on August 7.

Photo Credit: Devlin Granberg by Kelly O'Connor

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September 3, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Salem wins division & sweeps players of the week


Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • As the calendar turns and the minor league regular seasons come to an end, the SoxProspects.com rankings get an update. There are many changes, including the graduation of lefty Darwinzon Hernandez from the rankings. Check out the top 20 prospects here and the 21st through 60th prospects here.
  • After finishing the first half with a 25-42 record, worst in the Carolina Leauge's Northern Division, Salem turned things around in the second half. After a 3-1 victory on Sunday, Salem clinched the Northern Division's second-half crown edging out second-place Potomac. The division title earns them a playoff spot and they will face off against the first-half division winners, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, in a series beginning on Wednesday.
  • In advance of the playoffs, the top-ranked player on the SoxProspects.com rankings, first baseman Triston Casas (pictured, above right), was promoted to Salem. In 118 games at Greenville, Casas hit .254/.349/.472 with 19 home runs, The home run total is all the more impressive with the pitcher-friendly environment in the South Atlantic League and ties him for third in the league. He is also seventh in total bases, 13th in OBP, and fourth in slugging. Casas also hit a 437-foot bomb in his second game for Salem on Monday night.
  • Casas continues to draw rave reviews in his second professional league season. Still only 19 years old, the Boston Globe's Alex Speier writes that Casas has perspective and stats beyond his years.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sturgeon hits three home runs, Casas goes yard in debut


9/3 Cup of coffee: It was an exciting final day of the regular season, as three affiliates won their contests and the other lost a thriller in extra-innings. Cole Sturgeon (pictured) single-handedly won the game for Pawtucket, as he launched three home runs including a two-run walk-off; while the Sea Dogs fell despite strong efforts from Jeremy Rivera and Jarren Duran. In Salem, Alex Scherff delivered an excellent start and Triston Casas launched a home run to give Salem the victory. 

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In the final game of their 2019 campaign, Cole Sturgeon and the PawSox put on a thriller as they came from behind twice to defeat the IronPigs. Sturgeon hit a career-high three home runs, including a long ball that tied the game in the eighth, and the home run to walk it off in the tenth. Oscar Hernandez chipped in with an RBI double to open the scoring. Teddy Stankiewicz got the start for Pawtucket and was solid, scattering four hits across as many scoreless innings and striking out three. Tanner Houck relived him and delivered 2 2/3 innings in which he surrendered a run. Coming on in the ninth, Trevor Kelley kept things even with a scoreless frame, and Domingo Tapia got the win despite allowing an unearned run in the tenth. 
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September 2, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas joins Salem and keys playoff-clinching win


9/2 Cup of Coffee: Lowell will have some company among Boston affiliates in the postseason, as Triston Casas (pictured, left) made the most of his Salem debut and sent the Sox to the playoffs. The two playoff-bound squads were the only two winning teams on the penultimate day of the minor league regular season, as Nick Decker powered the Spinners in their push for home field advantage. Eastern League ERA leader Daniel McGrath got promoted to Pawtucket, where he turned in a quality start in a PawSox loss, while the depleted rosters of Portland and Greenville combined for  total of five hits in their respective losses. 

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The PawSox dropped their third straight, falling in the ninth after a solid start by the recently-promoted Daniel McGrath. It was the first Triple-A start for the lefty, who had made a relief appearance for Pawtucket back in June. McGrath went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out a pair while walking three. McGrath will win the  Eastern League ERA title after posting a 1.68 mark on the year. A pair of runs in the ninth were both charged to Colten Brewer, who took the loss. Rusney Castillo drove two runs and doubled as part of a two-hit afternoon. CJ Chatham also had a pair of hits, scoring twice. 
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September 1, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata and Diaz shine on the mound


9/1 Cup of Coffee: A pair of sterling pitching performances helped secure a winning day in the Red Sox system. Bryan Mata (pictured) had a record setting night to lead Portland to victory, while in Salem, Jhonathan Diaz was excellent for his second straight outing as the Red Sox shut out Carolina. Brandon Howlett launched a home run in a Greenville loss, while in Lowell, Jay Groome made his third appearance of the 2018 season as part of a Lowell victory. Portland and Salem each recorded shutouts.

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The PawSox were able to keep pace with Lehigh early, but the IronPig offense was able to get to starter Kyle Hart and never looked back. The lefty finished with four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, while striking out four. From the lead off spot, Cole Sturgeon homered and walked to lead the Red Sox. Jantzen Witte and Bryce Brentz each delivered a pair of singles, while Bobby Dalbec collected a hit for the fourth game in a row. 
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