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SoxProspects News

November 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Song and Houck deliver, but USA bid falls short

We continue our weekly roundups of the Fall and Winter Leagues, highlighting performances from players in the Red Sox organization. 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 of November 11 to 17.

WBSC Premier 12 Tournament
It was a disappointing end to the tournament to team USA, dropping an opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite solid contribution from a pair of Red Sox hurlers. 2017 first-round pick Tanner Houck (pictured) got the start in Wednesday's Super Round matchup with Australia. The righty allowed two runs on just two hits in his five innings of work, striking out five, walking two, and throwing 46 of 72 pitches (63.9%) for strikes. Unfortunately, that was all the support the Australian staff needed, holding the USA lineup to a single run and saddling Houck with the tough-luck loss. Noah Song was outstanding, going unscored upon in 3 1/3 hitless innings across three appearances. Song struck out three and walked one, with a particularly dominant effort coming in Friday's win over Taiwan. Twitter user @redsoxstats put together a video of Song's effort. Song earned enough trust from manager Joe Girardi to get the call with two outs in the seventh inning and a one-run lead in the decisive Bronze medal game. 

At the plate, CJ Chatham started all five games, going 5 for 17 with a double and two walks. Chatham played almost exclusively second base, save for two innings in left field in Monday's contest. Bobby Dalbec also started each game, twice getting the call at first base and serving as the designated hitter in the other three. He was 3 for 17 on the week with a double, three walks, and seven strikeouts. 

After Song departed Sunday's final after eight innings with a 2-1 lead, Mexico stunned the US with a game-tying run in the ninth and a walkoff in the ninth to take the third and final qualifying spot. There will be more opportunities, with March's Americas qualifier, followed by another global tournament in Taiwan. The schedule presents difficulties, however, as the Americas qualifier takes place during Spring Training.

Dominican Baseball League
Marco Hernandez saw his first action of the winter for Licey. The infielder homered as part of a 5 for 19 week, driving in a pair of runs. All five of Hernandez's starts came at second base. Right-handed reliever Domingo Tapia was the only other Dominican League player in the Red Sox organization to appear, surrendering three runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning in his only appearance. Neither Joan Martinez nor Jhon Nunez got into a contest this week.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico)
The Puerto Rican League system opened on Friday and played through the weekend while mourning the passing of Vera Clemente, widow of the circuit's namesake. Jantzen Witte, recently resigned as a minor league free agent, started all three games for Santurce and went 1 for 11 with a double. Fellow re-signee Jeremy Rivera was 2 for 8 on the week. Sam Travis was 1 for 5 with a walk and three strikeouts, while Alan Marrero struck out twice and went 0 for 3 in his lone appearance. Second-round pick Matthew Lugo, one of the youngest players in the league, struck out in his only plate appearance after entering Saturday's contest as a defensive replacement at shortstop.

Mexican Pacific League
Konnor Wade, the only Boston player in the Mexican League this winter, did not play this week. He last appeared in a game on October 31.

Photo Credit: Tanner Houck by Kelly O'Connor