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SoxProspects News

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