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SoxProspects News

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.
  • Pitcher of the Year was another hot debate with both high profile and under the radar names being considered. Thaddeus Ward would definitely fit as an under the radar name, opening in the season as the 38th ranked player on the SoxProspects.com rankings. He earned this award with a 2.16 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while striking out over 11 batters per 9 innings split between Greenville and Salem, and that performance shot him up the rankings, ultimately ending the year ranked eighth.
  • One high profile named considered was Bryan Mata, ending the year ranked second in the SoxProspects.com rankings. He was extremely young for both levels he pitched at this year and might have the most upside, but after dominating at Salem (1.75 ERA, 1.09 WHIP), he struggled over the second half of the season after his promotion to Portland (5.03 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), ultimately landing him just short of the award.
  • The true runner up for the Pitcher of the Year was another one of the under the radar arms. Australian lefty Daniel McGrath (pictured, left) was not even ranked to begin the year and had struggled at various levels of A-ball throughout his six professional seasons. This year was different, beginning the year at Double-A Portland and dominating from the start, first as part of the bullpen before moving into the rotation. Read more about Mata and McGrath in as part of the SoxProspects.com All-Star Pitchers.
  • Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski was fired on Sunday night, capping off a busy week. In turn, the SoxProspects podcast team gathered together to discuss a busy end to the season. In addition to the firing, they also discussed the AFL, changes to Instructs, gave some playoff updates and took listener questions.
  • The Pawtucket Times' Brendan McGair writes that Dombrowski's leaving is good news for the Pawtucket Red Sox since he had a history of trading off prospects in the upper minors to get veteran players in return. While that may have benefited the major league team, it often came at the expense of the Triple-A roster.
  • The Arizona Fall League starts in less than a week, and lefty Jhonathan Diaz was a late addition to the Red Sox affiliate, the Peoria Javelinas. He joins six other players from the organization including three top 10 prospects: Righties Bryan Mata and Tanner Houck and outfielder Jarren Duran.
  • While Duran fell just short of SoxProspects.com Hitter of the Year, he was awarded the High-A Player of the Year by Baseball America. Additionally, Baseball America also named several organizational players All-Stars in their respective leagues. They were: Trevor Kelley (Triple-A), Duran (High-A), Jimenez (Short-Season A), and Jorge Rodriguez (Rookie).
  • While the Lowell Spinners ultimately fell one win short of the first title in their history, the season was still a major success as Carmine Frongillo writes for the Lowell Sun.
Photo Credit: Triston Casas and Daniel McGrath by Kelly O'Connor.

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