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December 20, 2021 at 9:31 PM

Podcast Ep. #236: Let me introduce to you, the one and only Alex Speier


That's right, Alex Speier's on the Podcast! Our man with the Boston Globe, fresh off of submitting his top 30 prospects for the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, joined us to talk about all things at Fenway and Down on the Farm. We've even got a bit of a throwback for the Sox farm OGs!
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at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castellanos gets hot, Cordero provides heroics


The playoffs are coming up for a few of the winter leagues, though a COVID-19 outbreak put a pause on games in Puerto Rico. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout December and January. This week's roundup covers the week of December 13 through 19.

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Dominican Professional Baseball League
The regular season came to a close last week, but the two teams featuring Red Sox minor leaguers started some play-in action on Sunday evening. With the LIDOM season shorter than usual, if the teams in fourth-place (Aguilas Cibaeñas) and fifth-place (Leones del Escogido) finished within two games of each other (they did), they were to have a play-in in which the fourth-place team needs to win once, the fifth-place team twice, to move on to the round-robin among the top four teams. On Sunday night, Victor Santos threw 1 2/3 scoreless in Escogido's 12-9 victory, forcing a deciding play-in game Monday night.
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December 13, 2021 at 12:30 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Panama starts up and Santos adds to his scoreless streak


It was another light week for Sox prospects, but this week welcomed the start of the Panama Professional Baseball League, which began on Thursday. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout December and January. This week's roundup covers the week of December 6 through 12.

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Dominican Professional Baseball League

Escogido has two Sox prospects in its ranks in Franchy Cordero and Victor Santos (pictured, right). Cordero has been playing full-time and did so again this week, going 4 for 19. His best performance came on Friday when he went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a strikeout, and his worst performance came Tuesday, going 0 for 6 with four strikeouts. On the mound, Santos had a busy week, pitching in three games. On Tuesday, he got the win with a perfect scoreless inning with two strikeouts, on Thursday he allowed one hit and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning, and Sunday he threw his third scoreless outing of the week, allowing only a walk. Santos has now strung together six consecutive scoreless outings.

Joan Martinez had two very different appearances pitching for Aguilas this week. On Wednesday, he threw two scoreless innings, working around two walks while striking out one, and on Saturday he threw only 2/3 of an inning and allowed a home run.

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December 9, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Alex Binelas and David Hamilton


Less than an hour before MLB's owners locked out the players, the Red Sox announced they had acquired outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., third baseman Alex Binelas and shortstop David Hamilton for outfielder Hunter Renfroe

The deal brings a reunion with Bradley after he left in free agency following the 2020 season. Bradley was the Red Sox' 2011 first-round pick out of South Carolina and was a key contributor during his eight years on the team, making one All-Star Team and winning one Gold Glove. Bradley really struggled at the plate with Milwaukee in 2021, hitting .163/.236/.261, but did play his usual standout defense. Bradley is due $9.5 million in 2022 and has a substantial buyout of $8 million in 2023 if his $12 million mutual option isn't picked up. Given his performance, the Bradley deal is an overpay, so in return for taking it on, as well as sending back Renfroe, the Red Sox received two prospects. 

Alex Binelas was the Brewers' third-round pick in this year's draft out of Louisville. Binelas had an up-and-down spring with Louisville, hitting .256/.344/.621 with 19 home runs and 51 strikeouts to 21 walks, and saw his draft stock fall after once being seen as a potential first-round pick. Breaking his season down further, he hit .145/.247/.274 in 62 at-bats in the first 16 games of the season, then hit .308/.395/.782 with 18 home runs in his final 133 at-bats of the season. After signing with the Brewers, Binelas was very impressive in Low-A after a brief stint in the Arizona Complex League. With the Carolina Mudcats, Binelas hit .314/.379/.636 with 9 home runs in 132 plate appearances.  
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December 8, 2021 at 10:46 PM

Podcast Ep. #235: The storm before the calm


Well, that was certainly a couple of interesting weeks! The Red Sox headed into the lockout with a flurry of activity, with three pitcher signings and the trade that brought JBJ back and a couple of new prospects into the Top 30. Chris and Ian dished on the transactions, the lockout, and even mixed in some season-end rankings talk and as always, your emails!
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December 6, 2021 at 10:09 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Martinez throws well; Dominican league enters final stretch


It was a relatively light week for Sox prospects, as the Arizona Fall League is now over and the Dominican Professional Baseball League pushes toward the postseason. However, the Panama Professional Baseball League begins on Thursday, which will feature Eduardo Vaughan and may feature Jonathan Araúz (he was previously announced for the league, but was absent from the Aguilas Metropolitanas roster released last week that does feature Vaughan)*. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout December and January. This week's roundup covers the week of November 29 through December 5.

*Dec. 7 Update: Araúz will instead play for Federales de Chiriqui, as announced later in the day on Monday.

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Dominican Professional Baseball League
Escogido has two Sox prospects in its ranks in Franchy Cordero and Victor Santos. Cordero has been playing full-time for his team, hitting 3 for 15 on the week with a walk and a pair of RBI. The runs he drove in were his seventh and eighth on the season, as Escogido is floating around .500 this year. On the mound, Santos surrendered two hits in 2/3 of an inning on Friday, but neither of the runners came around to score. 
 
Joan Martinez (pictured) appeared on Thursday for Aguilas and had a clean 1 2/3-inning appearance with a strikeout, while Phillips Valdez did not appear for Estrellas.

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November 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cordero, Crawford highlight winter league action


The winter leagues continued for Sox prospects, highlighted by the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues. Franchy Cordero (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos highlight the hitters, while Kutter Crawford and Victor Santos threw well on the mound. For the full list of Red Sox prospects participating in these leagues, check out our Fall & Winter Leagues page, which will be updated continuously throughout January. This week's roundup covers the week of November 22 through November 28. 

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Dominican Professional Baseball League

Franchy Cordero played a lot again this past week, racking up 24 plate appearances. He recorded five hits, including a double and a triple, to go along with three walks and just three strikeouts. He is hitting .271/.327/.417 this fall so far. Kutter Crawford also saw action in one game, tossing three solid innings. He did not allow an earned run, struck out five, and walked a pair. Victor Santos appeared in a couple games, totaling three innings. He did not allow a run and surrendered just one hit, walking three and punching out three. 
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November 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #234: Four to the 40, FA targets


Last week, the Red Sox added the four players we thought were sure things to the 40-man roster... and nobody else. What does that mean? Chris and Ian break it down, then look ahead to free agency and potential Red Sox targets. Plus, we've got a big old bag of your emails as our Thanksgiving appetizer. 
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November 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: AFL season ends, Casas takes OBP crown


The Arizona Fall League came to its conclusion, while baseball in the Caribbean winter leagues continued. Triston Casas (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos starred in the desert and Venezuela, respectively. 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 week of November 16 through November 21. 

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Arizona Fall League

Another edition of the AFL was completed, and Triston Casas finished in style. The system's top-ranked player reached base five times on Tuesday, going 2 for 2 with three walks. A 1-for-3 performance on Wednesday in his final appearance left him with a .495 on-base percentage, top in the circuit among players with 50 plate appearances. Jeter Downs, who got off to a scorching start before slumping, finished with a solid 3-for-7 effort on the week. Christian Koss was 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, while Kole Cottam was 1 for 5 in his lone start. 
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November 19, 2021 at 12:35 PM

First Take: Projecting protection day


Today, we'll learn what the organization really thinks about a handful of prospects, as teams have until 6:00 pm EST today to add players to the 40-man roster and protect them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft. This year, the Red Sox have a number of players who could potentially be selected, some of whom are easy decisions to protect—such as Josh Winckowski (pictured, left)—or not. However, a number of players are on the cusp, and the team's decisions on whether or not to protect those players will tell us about the players' standing in the organization's evaluation.

I will get to my projections below, but first, some general thoughts about Rule 5 that are always good to keep in mind. I would also suggest reading Ian Cundall's Scouting Scratch on eligible players, as well as listening to our podcast discussing this issue.

Having a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft is not a crisis
I project that the Red Sox will have a player selected from their farm system this year. The question is simply who that player is. However, while the club has not had any player selected from its farm system in the past 4 years, keep in mind that not every Rule 5 pick turns into Garrett Whitlock. From 2007 to 2016, the Red Sox had 13 players (really 12, with one selected in consecutive years) selected from their system. Nine of those selections were returned, and only one, Ryan Pressly, would qualify as a player the team probably wishes it could get back. As I will get into below, it is certainly possible that, say, Zack Kelly gets selected by a team that saw and really liked him in 2021. However, Kelly would have to stick with the selecting team for that to truly be any kind of loss, and even at that, it would be more likely that he turns into a Josh Fields or Cesar Cabral than a Pressly.
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November 18, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Red Sox 2021 Rule 5 Preview


By Friday, the Red Sox must decide which prospects to add to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Currently, the Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for December 9, but exactly when it would be held is unclear, should the team owners lock out the players on December 1.

Currently, the Red Sox 40-man roster is at 33 players, and if necessary, players such as Phillips Valdez, Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts could be removed from the roster in order to create more space. Because a lockout is possible, I don’t think it is out of the question for the Red Sox to overprotect players now and then figure out what to do after signing free agents later in the offseason once a CBA agreement has been reached. While I currently would not project this to be the case, it also would not surprise me if they ended up protecting eight or more prospects. 

Another possibility is the Red Sox make a trade before the deadline. Certain prospects, like Gilberto Jimenez and Ceddanne Rafaela, have no chance of contributing in the big leagues in the near term. While it could be a little difficult for the Red Sox to keep those developmental players on the 40-man roster for several years until they could make an impact at the MLB level, it might be easier for some rebuilding teams to do so. As a result, we could see the team look to make a trade like they did last year, when they traded Yoan Aybar, who needed to be protected, to the Colorado Rockies for Christian Koss, who does not need to be added until December 2022. 

Here's a short list of players who are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Locks to be protected:
Jeter Downs, SS/2B
2021 highest level: Worcester
Even though he hit .190/.272/.333 this year, Downs has too much upside not to protect him. He did show flashes this year, notably at the end of the season and at the start of the AFL, but he also had long streaks where he was overmatched at the plate and clearly pressing. In the AFL, he is hitting .200/.385/.500 in 64 PA and has shown above-average raw power and the ability to take a walk, but also too much swing-and-miss and a poor approach that leads to him giving away too many at-bats. 
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November 17, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Podcast Ep. #233: Bye ERod, Rule 5 protection preview


A former top prospect in the SoxProspects rankings (Summer 2015) has left the organization, and Chris and Ian broke down Eduardo Rodirguez's departure and gave some thoughts on early rumors linking the Red Sox to free agents. Plus, the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline is this Friday. The guys broke down the long list of potential additions and picks and spelled out how a long list of candidates does not mean there's a logjam.
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November 15, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Casas, Cottam are AFL Fall Stars


The highlight of the week was in the AFL, which held its mid-season East vs. West All-Star Game as the conclusion of a big week for SoxProspects.com top-ranked prospect, first baseman Triston Casas (pictured right). 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 week of November 8 through November 15. 
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Arizona Fall League

Casas got the start at first base in the AFL Fall Stars Game for the East side, batting sixth. In his first at-bat, he hit a line drive, ground rule double down the right field line and scored when the next batter doubled. In his other two at-bats, he grounded out to second twice before being removed in the top of the sixth with most of the starters as the East went on to win 6-5. Kole Cottam caught the last two innings of the game and reached on a fielder's choice in his lone plate appearance. 

That wasn't the top-ranked Casas' only action this week. Prior to the All-Star game, Casas went 7 for 14 with two doubles, three runs, two RBI, two walks, and a strikeout over four other games. 
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November 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Cottam blasts pair; Winckowski starts fireworks


There was much going on in the Fall and Winter leagues as the Arizona Fall League crossed its halfway point. Top prospects Triston Casas, Jeter Downs, and Connor Seabold appeared, while Kole Cottam (pictured) had a monster effort on Tuesday. 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 week of November 1 through November 8.

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Arizona Fall League
All eight active players in Scottsdale saw significant playing time. Top prospect Triston Casas continues to be one of the toughest outs in the desert. The first baseman was 5 for 13 with five walks against just one strikeout on the week. He also doubled, scored four runs, and drove in four, giving him a .385/.556/.462 line for the week. Kole Cottam's bat exploded on Tuesday, as the backstop homered twice as part of a 4-for-5 effort. Cottam drove in six runs in three games, going 5 for 12 overall. Jeter Downs, the hottest player during the circuit's first week, hit a bit of a rough patch, going 0 for 12 with a walk, run scored, and four strikeouts. Christian Koss went 1 for 3 in both of his two starts.
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November 4, 2021 at 11:06 PM

Podcast Ep. #232: On to the offseason


With freshly restored wills (and internet), Chris and Ian opened the offseason officially with a new podcast. The guys reviewed the end of the Red Sox playoff run and how they did on their pre-season predictions before looking ahead to the next milestones of the offseason, in particular decisions on contract options and qualifying offers. There were some recent transactions (players and coaches) to discuss, and updates on the Arizona Fall League and international winter leagues to be had. Then, as always, your emails.

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November 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Downs stays hot, Dominican league kicks off


Action in the winter leagues continued, with the Dominican Professional Baseball League starting play on October 27. 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 week of October 25 through October 31.

Arizona Fall League
A grand slam on Monday started the week off on the right foot for Jeter Downs. The league seemed to catch on to his hot streak, however, as he was walked four times over the last two games. In all, Downs went 3 for 13 with six walks, four strikeouts, and three steals. He was moved up to the leadoff spot on Thursday and even played shortstop on Saturday. He did commit two more errors this week and is already up to four this fall. Triston Casas hit .353 last week, going 6 for 17 with four walks, three strikeouts, and a double. While he did not hit for much power, an on-base percentage of .476 shows he is putting up great at-bats. Over three starts, Kole Cottam went 1 for 10 with two walks. Christian Koss had some more success in his three starts, going 4 for 13 with a double and three RBI. 

On the mound, Connor Seabold was inconsistent over his two starts. On Monday, he allowed just one run and struck out four without walking a batter over four innings. But on Saturday he took the loss after surrendering two home runs and walking three over four innings. In all, he was charged with three runs, though he did strike out four. 
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October 27, 2021 at 11:43 AM

Scouting Scratch: Breaking down the Arizona Fall League contingent


The Arizona Fall League is back after a one-year hiatus in 2020, and the Red Sox have an extremely strong contingent playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions this autumn, led by SoxProspects.com’s number one prospect, Triston Casas. The group is comprised of five* hitters and four pitchers, and eight of the nine prospects are ranked in the #SP60, including five in the top 20. Here are some thoughts on each Red Sox prospect heading to Arizona and what I will be looking for from each.

(* - Connor Wong has been with the Major League club on the taxi squad. He will likely now report
 following Boston’s elimination.)

The top prospect in our rankings, Triston Casas was an easy choice to send to the AFL given how much time he missed due to his participation in the Olympics. He was gone from May 24 to June 8 for qualifying and then again from July 16 to August 11 for the Games themselves, and during those roughly six weeks, he got just 38 at-bats for Team USA as the silver medal-winning squad’s starting first baseman. The experience Casas got on a huge stage helps make up for the missed time, but the AFL is an obvious chance to make up for those lost at-bats. For the minor league season, he ended up playing 86 games and got 371 plate appearances with Portland and Worcester, hitting .279/.394/.484 with 14 home runs and a 19.1% strikeout rate and 15.4% walk rate. The AFL should be great experience for Casas, as he will face quality, high-minors pitching, with some big names including 2020 first-round picks Asa Lacy, Bobby Miller, and Slade Cecconi.

Shortstop Jeter Downs (#SP60 no. 5) had a rough season in Worcester, but he heads to Arizona looking to build on a strong end to the season. Entering the last three weeks of the season, Downs was hitting .174/.259/.293 with 33.1% strikeout rate and 9.7% walk rate, but he closed strong by hitting .316/.372/.579 in his final 43 plate appearances. Despite his struggles, Downs did hit 14 home runs, steal 18 bases and played much improved defense at shortstop, where he was more agile than I expected and showed plenty of arm. He will never be a plus shortstop, but I think he could get to at least average and maybe above-average if he maintains his athleticism. The focus in Arizona for Downs will be at the plate. During the regular season, he looked tentative and had a lot of trouble on fastballs. He seemed to lose confidence at the plate as the year went on and was really pressing, swinging through fastballs and expanding the zone on secondary pitches once he was down in the count. His ability to handle velocity up in the zone is definitely a question mark. Something I will be keeping an open ear for is how his approach looks, as that was still on the raw side in Worcester. Downs still has the ability to develop into an everyday player, but he comes with more risk now than he did heading into the season. A strong AFL will go a long way to returning his prospect stock closer to where it was heading into 2021. 
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at 10:00 AM

Fall/Winter League Roundup: Downs has power surge


Now that the minor league season has been completed, the fall and winter league campaigns have begun. The first to get rolling is the Arizona Fall League, which is approaching its third week after Opening Day on October 13. The Red Sox sent four arms and five bats to Arizona, though Connor Wong has yet to debut as he was on the taxi squad for the major league club during its postseason run. The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League had its Opening Day on Saturday, while the Mexican Pacific League started earlier in October. The Dominican Professional Baseball League got underway this week, as well.

Follow along each week with more updates as the remaining winter leagues start their seasons in the coming weeks and months, and follow along daily on our Fall and Winter Leagues page.

Arizona Fall League

Jeter Downs (pictured) has continued his hot streak to end the regular season at Triple-A out West, slashing .333/.515/.958 across 24 at-bats, adding nine walks. His 1.473 OPS and 13 RBIs are each second in the league, while his five home runs leads the Arizona Fall League. He isn't the only one hitting well in the early going, as Triston Casas has started off strongly, hitting .294/.351/.441 over his 34 at-bats, though he has struck out 12 times. Kole Cottam, who has slashed .211/.333/.263 over 19 at-bats, as well as Christian Koss (.143/.250/.143), have earned part-time roles as well.

Connor Seabold has led Scottsdale on the mound, pacing the squad with 9 1/3 innings pitched. However, despite a .222 batting average against, he has pitched to a 5.79 ERA across his three appearances this fall. Despite a similar .240 batting average against, AJ Politi has been better at run prevention, with a 1.35 ERA over 6 2/3 innings. Josh Winckowski (9.53 ERA) and Brendan Cellucci (14.40 ERA) have also each made appearances for Scottsdale.

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

Early on, Pedro Castellanos has appeared in three games for Lara, hitting 2 for 10 with a home run. On the mound, Oddanier Mosqueda has pitched 2/3 of an inning. He surrendered a hit and a walk, but struck out two hitters in his lone appearance, which came on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Jeter Downs by Kelly O'Connor
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October 21, 2021 at 11:29 AM

Podcast Ep. #231: The redemption of Jeter Downs?


The Red Sox dropped game 5 of the ALCS minutes before Chris and Ian got on the line, but it's not all doom and gloom on this episode. As the Red Sox head to Houston for the end of the series, where do things stand? Chris and Ian broke down what has and has not worked thus far for Boston. Meanwhile, the Arizona Fall League is making its triumphant return after a one-year layoff, and while Triston Casas has two home runs in the season's first week, he's not the biggest Red Sox story from Scottsdale. Is Jeter Downs' hot start for real? What does it mean going forward? The guys discussed, and added some quick rankings update thoughts to close.
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October 13, 2021 at 10:15 PM

Podcast Ep. #230: On to the ALCS


Nice and simple: The Red Sox are moving on to the ALCS. Chris and Ian break down the ALDS win over the Rays, preview the ALCS against the Astros, and leave it up to you to determine if Chris made it weird with his Dancing on My Own reference.
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October 8, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Brandon Walter: 2021 SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year


Friday makes the final day of SoxProspects.com Awards week, as we announce the 2021 Player and Pitcher of the Year. 

Pitcher of the Year

On May 5th, the Salem Red Sox called on an unheralded 24-year-old lefty to pitch the final two innings of an opening day doubleheader necessitated by rain. Brandon Walter allowed two hits in three innings but struck out five of the 10 batters he faced. Two days later, Walter again pitched two scoreless while striking out half the batters he faced, but he did not appear in game action again for 10 days. The University of Delaware product, a 26th-round pick in the 2019 draft, finished the season's first month with five appearances and a solid 3.00 ERA, similar to the several college arms picked up by the organization in the last two years who made up the Salem bullpen. 
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at 8:00 AM

Nick Yorke: 2021 SoxProspects.com Player of the Year


This week is 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 players, Homegrown Player, Ex-Prospect, and Graduate of the Year, and the Rookie, Breakout, and Comeback Player of the Year. Now it is time to name the winner of the top award given out by SoxProspets.com each year, the Player of the Year.

Player of the Year

Nick Yorke was a bit of a surprise when he was announced as the Red Sox first pick in the shortened 2020 MLB draft with the 17th overall pick out of Archbishop Mitty HS (CA). It was an odd year with many seasons cut short and a truncated scouting process that had many outlets listing Yorke as a likely second-round pick. Despite his youth and inexperience, the second baseman was assigned to the Alternative Training Site last year, and even though he received glowing reports, Red Sox fans would have to wait until 2021 to get their first look at him in real game action.
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October 7, 2021 at 11:04 PM

Podcast Ep. #229: A Wild Start


It's playoff time and the Red Sox have one win in the books! Chris and Ian recapped the Wild Card Game win over the Yankees and preview the ALDS against the Rays (including a discussion of the potential roster that will likely sound hilarious in hindsight - we'll address that next week...).  Back in the minors, we finally know the Red Sox delegation to the Arizona Fall League, which included a few surprises in addition to the system's top prospect, Triston Casas. We wrapped with a spirited discussion of the SoxProspects.com All-Stars and award winners for the 2021 season and, of course, your emails!
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at 12:00 PM

2021 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
Nick Yorke (pictured, left) was an easy choice for this award, as the 2020 first-round pick had a tremendous first season as a professional. The 19-year-old hit .325/.412/.516 over 97 games between Low-A and High-A, and he is now a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball. The 2021 Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year, Yorke will likely return to Greenville in 2022, but a promotion to Portland will be in the cards if he hits anything like he did this year. Marcelo Mayer was solid in his debut as well, hitting .275/.377/.440, but that was not enough to catch Yorke. 
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October 6, 2021 at 11:00 AM

2021 SoxProspects.com Awards: Graduate, Homegrown and Ex-Prospect


We continue our SoxProspects.com Awards season with the 2021 Graduate of the Year, Homegrown Player of the Year, and the Ex-Prospect of the Year. The graduate and homegrown player of the year each played big roles in getting Boston to the postseason, while the ex-prospect had a career year on the opposite side of the country.

Follow along with us all week: 
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 Year
Friday: Player of the Year; Pitcher of the Year
 
Graduate of the Year: Tanner Houck
Though he wore out the Mass Pike headed back and forth between Worcester and Boston, Tanner Houck (pictured, left) was one of the crucial arms for the Red Sox on their way to a Wild Card berth. The Missouri product followed up a tremendous 2020 debut with 87 strikeouts in just 69 innings pitched across 18 outings, 13 of which were starts. Houck was fifth among Boston pitchers in bWAR, at 1.6, and allowed an OPS of just .608.
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October 5, 2021 at 2:00 PM

2021 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Pitchers


We continue our SoxProspects.com Awards season with the 2021 All-Star pitching staff. This years list includes a former first-round pick, an out-of-nowhere 2019 draftee, and a 22-year-old righty who was an early-season sensation.

Follow along with us all week: 
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 Year
Friday: Player of the Year; Pitcher of the Year

Starting Pitcher: Brayan Bello
Coming out of the lost 2020 season, there were pitchers all over baseball who had seen notable improvement in their stuff, and Bello was someone who got a lot of attention in early 2021. He was a sensation on his way to getting the May SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month as he struck out 30 batters and posted a .192 opposing batting average. He finished the season with a 3.87 ERA, 132 strikeouts, and only 31 walks in 95 1/3 innings split between Salem and Portland. He was noted by Baseball America as one of the 10 players who most raised their stock in 2021 and at #6 is the top-ranked pitcher in the system.
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October 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM

2021 SoxProspects.com All-Stars: Position Players


With the minor league season in the books, we have reached the SoxProspects.com Awards season. 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 Year
Friday: Player of the Year; Pitcher of the Year

We kick things off with the position players selected by the SoxProspects.com staff for their All-Star performances in 2021. 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 the first, third, and fourth-ranked prospects were all unanimous selections by the staff. 

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Catcher: Kole Cottam
It was the second all-star appearance for Cottam as well as the second time he was honored in a year he was promoted out of Greenville. The former Kentucky Wildcat was an on-base machine with the Drive, now Boston's High-A affiliate, hitting .276/.386/.487 over 46 games. He forced the issue of a promotion by going 16 for 40 (.400) with eight extra-base hits in his final 12 games before getting the call to Portland. He did not miss a beat with the Sea Dogs, posting a .282/.337/.526 line in 25 contests. He is currently ranked 59th in the system. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Seabold gets the win in the season finale


10/4 Cup of Coffee: While all eyes were on the major league game, the WooSox closed out the minor league season with a win over the IronPigs. On behalf of the entire SoxProspects.com Staff, thank you for following the minor league season with us. It was great to get back into the swing after a lost season in 2020. 

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Nick Pivetta came through as Boston's closer on Sunday, and the other half of the Brandon Workman/Heath Hembree trade earned the win in Worcester's finale. Connor Seabold allowed just one run over five innings, walking two without recording a strikeout. The bullpen was dominant from there, with Kyle Hart, Zack KellyStephen Gonsalves, and John Schreiber combining to allow just one baserunner over the final four innings. 
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October 3, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL season ends, Gossett nearly throws no-hitter


10/3 Cup of Coffee
: The minor league season is rapidly coming to a close. After most of the affiliates closed out their seasons a couple of weeks prior, the Dominican Summer League had its final contests today, while the Triple-A "Final Stretch" closes out on Sunday. Worcester had a strong finish to its win over Lehigh Valley, with Daniel Gossett (pictured) carrying a no-hitter into the ninth inning after he set down the first 10 batters of the game in order. DSL Blue exploded for 13 runs, though they had plenty of help from their intra-organizational counterparts, with each team generating just six hits each.

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It was scoreless through five, but Worcester scored in three of its final four at-bats to take the win on the penultimate day of its season. The offense was led by Franchy Cordero, who was 3 for 5 with four RBI, including a three-run home run in the ninth to put an exclamation point on the game. Jonathan Arauz, who also had a multi-hit outing, delivered an RBI single in the sixth. It was also a great evening for Daniel Gossett, who nearly had a complete game shutout. Instead, he settled for 8 1/3 one-hit innings, striking out seven along the way. He had a perfect game into the fourth inning and held onto his no-hitter through eight full frames of work. 

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October 2, 2021 at 12:37 PM

Podcast Ep. #228: The Final Stretch


The Red Sox are fighting for their playoff lives. The Triple-A and DSL affiliates are in their final week. Fewer teams, but still plenty to discuss. Chris and Ian weigh in on the Red Sox wild card hopes, Jeter Downs' late-season resurgence, and the first set of players seemingly confirmed for Fall camp. Then your emails led to an extended discussion of the rules changes tested in the minor leagues this year, and more!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Winckowski shines for WooSox; DSL squads sweep


10/2 Cup of Coffee
: Baseball's regular season is headed into its final weekend as the calendar turned to October, and all of Boston's affiliates that remain in action came away with victories. Worcester had its third straight one-run victory in its series against Lehigh Valley. Both teams in the Dominican Summer League won their contests, with the Red Sox Blue in the driver's seat for a division title heading into Saturday's season finale. 

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A masterful effort by Josh Winckowski (pictured) and a four-run fourth-inning rally led the WooSox to their third straight win. Winckowski, making his second start since being promoted at the end of the Double-A season, allowed just one run on two hits across six innings, striking out seven, and walking three. Franchy Cordero delivered the key hit, a bases-clearing double as part of the decisive fourth-inning rally. Cordero added a pair of walks on the day as part of his 1-for-3 effort. A Josh Ockimey double and Jarren Duran triple accounted for the rest of Worcester's extra-base hits. Colten Brewer went the final two innings for his first save of the year.
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October 1, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wong, Matheny lead WooSox to wild win


10/1 Cup of Coffee: The WooSox survived a wild one in the Lehigh Valley, 10-9. The offense was on fire with 16 hits, nine of them for extra bases. They were led by Tate Matheny, Triston Casas, Connor Wong (pictured), and Jonathan Arauz. Both DSL teams lost but had a few solid offensive and pitching performances. 

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Tate Matheny led the way from the bottom of the lineup, going 3 for 3 with a double, two walks, two RBI, and three runs scored. Triston Casas also roped a pair of double and knocked in a run. Jonathan Arauz also doubled twice and added a single in five trips to the plate. Connor Wong went 3 for 5 with his 13th double and eight long ball of the year. Jeter Down added two hits, a double, and three RBI, while Franchy Cordero picked up a single and a double. 
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September 30, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Espinal solid again as WooSox win


9/30 Cup of Coffee:
After saying goodbye to Polar Park for the winter, Worcester kicked off the final series of 2021 down in Allentown with a victory over the IronPigs. 

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In what will likely be his final start of 2021, Raynel Espinal (pictured) locked up with Phillies prospect Colton Eastman on a pitchers' duel. The opposing starters combined to allow just one run in 12 2/3 innings, with former first overall pick Mickey Moniak connecting on a homer off Espinal in the sixth. Espinal finished with the one run allowed on four hits in six innings. He struck out four, walked two, and lowered his ERA to 3.44. 
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September 29, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL affiliates sweep on Tuesday


9/29 Cup of Coffee: Three DSL games filled the slate, with the Red Sox affiliates notching a clean sweep. There were solid pitching performances across the teams, with Michael Valera and Barbaro Pinero having the two best. 

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The Red Sox pulled away late in the completion of a suspended game. Yordanny Monegro pitched well before the rain came, striking out three over three shutout innings. Barbaro Pinero started things back up on Tuesday and struck out five over 3 1/3 scoreless frames. Alexis Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a home run while playing first base, left field, and right field. After the Pirates inched within one run in the eighth, Johnfrank Salazar gave the Red Sox some cushion by lacing a two-run double. 
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September 28, 2021 at 12:35 PM

Minor Notes: Munoz, Espinal receive awards from WooSox


 

Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • On the newest episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast, episode No. 227, Chris and Ian discuss some of the promotions to Worcester that occurred due to other teams' seasons coming to an end. One of those includes top prospect Triston Casas. They also talk about Ian's trip to Salem and what he saw there. They wrap up by talking about Bobby Dalbec's second-half breakout as well as answering some email questions.
  • Another Scout Chatter piece is out, where Ian details some reports received from the FCL and DSL teams. The post is highlighted by 17-year old Miguel Bleis, who was the Red Sox most expensive international free agent signing since 2017-2018. The Sox have loved what they've seen from him so far, and apparently the sports card market has taken notice as well, as his autographed "First Bowman" baseball cards have recently sold for around $100 on eBay. Ian also talks about catcher Enderson Lira, outfielder Juan Chacon, right-handed pitcher Yizreel Burnet, shortstop Johnfrank Salazar, as well as seven more young prospects. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: A good day for Lyonell and Axel James


9/28 Cup of Coffee: Only the Dominican Summer League played yesterday. The Red team blew away their opposition while the Blue team dropped a close one. Both squads got their fair share of offense out of the James brothers.

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Starting pitcher Jean Carlos Reyes surrendered three runs over three innings but the Blue team offense kept things close with Lyonell James driving in two runs in the top of the third inning with a single, and Armando Sierra knocking in James later on in the in the top of the fifth on a fielder's choice to tie the game. Faysel Gregorio pitched a pair of scoreless innings in relief but with the game tied in the sixth inning, Railin Perez allowed a solo home run that decided the seven inning game.
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September 27, 2021 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran homers in Polar Park finale


9/27 Cup of Coffee: Sunday was the last game of the season at Polar Park, with the WooSox falling just short. It was still a great inaugural season in Worcester, with 9,508 fans showing up for the home finale. Connor Seabold struggled in his limited action, while Jarren Duran and Ronaldo Hernández led the offense.

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Connor Seabold was pulled after 2 1/3 innings and only 49 pitches in the WooSox loss to the Red Wings. The team says they want to keep Seabold fresh in case he is needed in Boston, though reports from the game state that he was tended to by the team trainer. He walked three and allowed three runs on three hits. Daniel Gossett followed with four innings of one-run ball, and Colten Brewer struck out three over 2 2/3 shutout innings. 
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September 26, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hart leads Worcester to win after Seabold scratch


9/26 Cup of Coffee: There was one fewer game than usual on Saturday as the two DSL squads had their weekly intra-organizational showdown. It was a game that was dominated by Blue, which led 9-0 after the third inning. The victors were led by Armando Sierra, who was 3 for 3 with a trio of RBI. The other contest on the docket was in Worcester, as the Red Sox took down Rochester. Franchy Cordero went deep for the 12th time in Worcester this season, while in a spot start replacing the healthy scratch Connor Seabold, Kyle Hart (pictured) did not surrender an earned run across 5 2/3 innings of work. 
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It was a pitchers' duel, as Worcester and Rochester combined for just nine hits on Saturday. Rochester struck first, leading in the fourth, but Franchy Cordero drilled a solo home run and Jack Lopez had a two-RBI single as part of a three-run seventh that proved to be the difference for Worcester. Kyle Hart took to the mound in Connor Seabold's stead, the latter of whom was scratched as major league depth, should they need an arm that is fully stretched out. Hart surrendered just an unearned run across 5 2/3 innings in his spot start. He scattered three hits and a walk while striking out six. Stephen Gonsalves pitched two no-hit innings, while Austin Brice closed it out for the save.

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September 25, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Winckowski takes no-hitter into 6th


9/25 Cup of Coffee:
Worcester continues to play out the Triple-A "Final Stretch," as Josh Winckowski (pictured) was saddled with the tough-luck loss despite not allowing a hit until the sixth inning. The DSL squads swept the two Royals affiliates with the Team Blue win boosting them into the division lead. 

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Thursday night at Polar Park featured a pitchers' duel between two hurlers making their Triple-A debut. Josh Winckowski was outstanding in his maiden WooSox voyage, going 5 1/3 no-hit innings before the Red Wings reached him for a pair of runs in the sixth. Overall, the right-hander allowed two runs on three hits in six frames, striking out six without walking a batter. 
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September 24, 2021 at 1:39 PM

Podcast Ep. #227: Scouting Salem and Late Season promotions


While Worcester continues through the final stretch, the rest of the minors have wrapped up their seasons. With the near end of the season, we have a final round of promotions to Worcester to discuss. In addition, Ian had a long strange trip getting to Salem, and shares his notes on the interesting prospects. As promised Chris and Ian talk about Bobby Dalbec's breakout. The guys run down the system awards that the Red Sox announced recently. And finally we get to your emails, which were exceptional, as always. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Crawford, Casas lead Worcester to win


9/24 Cup of Coffee: Worcester was again the only game in action stateside last night, as they made it back-to-back wins against Rochester. The offense recorded eight runs on 12 hits, led again by Triston Casas and his three-RBI night. Kutter Crawford (pictured) also racked up the strikeouts, picking up his third win since his promotion. The DSL teams split on Thursday, with the Blue squad getting the win to move 1/2 a game out of first place.

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Kutter Crawford started this one and impressed, going the first five innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits. The right-hander struck out nine and walked just one hitter. Colten Brewer had a very nice outing out of the bullpen tossing two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no free passes. John Schreiber finished it off by striking out the side in the ninth inning. 
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September 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM

Scout Chatter: Miguel Bleis, Enderso Lira and more DSL prospects


The Red Sox Florida Coast League has wrapped up, but the Dominican Summer League teams are still playing and it's time for the final Scout Chatter with reports we've received on those affiliates. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. Today, we focus on the players from the Red Sox Dominican Summer League teams. 

The early returns on outfielder Miguel Bleis—who signed in January for $1.5 million, making him the Red Sox’ most expensive international signee since 2017-2018—have been very encouraging even though he has only played 15 games. In 41 plate appearances, he is hitting .262/.341/.449 with four home runs and seven steals. Obviously, he is still early in his career, but one scout told me, “he’s the real deal.” 

Catcher Enderso Lira has been the most intriguing position player prospect in the DSL other than Bleis. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Venezuelan signed for $850,000 in January, the second-highest bonus in the Red Sox’ international class. Still only 17, Lira has a great frame for a catcher, with projection remaining, and is athletic enough that one scout suggested to me he could even handle third base if he outgrows catcher. He has looked good behind the plate though and has an above-average arm already. Offensively, he has a very advanced approach for his age, with more walks (31) than strikeouts (18) this year. His swing is short and direct, and he has quick hands. Right now, he mostly hits hard line drives, but he should grow into some power in the future, especially given his frame. Lira has a long way to go developmentally, but is a very intriguing prospect at a position the Red Sox have really struggled to develop. He has shown promise both offensively and defensively, and given how low the bar is for catching at the big league level right now, adding a player with his potential warranted the jump from unranked to 35th in the system that Lira has made this year. 
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at 7:18 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas homers in Triple-A debut


9/23 Cup of Coffee: With the regular season over for most of the minor leagues, Worcester was the only squad in action, as a pair of players making their WooSox debuts made an impact.

Worcester Red Sox 4, Rochester Red Wings (WAS) 3
Wednesday marked the start of the Triple-A "Final Stretch," a ten-game showcase being held this year in lieu of playoffs. Triston Casas (pictured) made his WooSox debut, facing a tall order in Nationals' top prospect Cade Cavalli. Cavalli won the first battle of former first rounders, getting the strikeout in the first inning. However, in the bottom of the third, Casas pushed an opposite-field two-run homer to tie the game at 2-2. Next batter Franchy Cordero hit a 450-foot blast to give the WooSox a lead they would not relinquish. 

Casas was not the only Top-30 prospect making his Worcester debut, as catcher Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 3 after the promotion from Portland. Jeter Downs also picked up a pair of hits, pushing his OPS back up over .600 for the first time since early August. Downs and Hernandez were both hit by pitches as well. Jonathan Arauz doubled as part of his two-hit night. Rehabbing outfielder Jarren Duran was 1 for 4 out fo the leadoff slot. 
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September 22, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Home runs for Bleis and James, three more hits for Lira


9/22 Cup of Coffee: It was another light day on the farm as just the DSL teams were in action on Tuesday. Triston Casas's Triple-A debut should come on Wednesday in Worcester. Home runs from Axel James and Miguel Bleis and another three-hit game from Enderso Lira were the highlights for the DSL squads. 

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Five pitchers combined to pitch a four-hit shutout. Royman Blanco and Faysel Gregorio led the way by each tossing two scoreless innings. Blanco got the win, and Robinson Parra closed things out with two strikeouts in the seventh. Juan Chacon went 2 for 3 with a double out of the leadoff spot, and Lyonell James went 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base. Johnfrank Salazar broke the game open, clearing the bases with a triple in the fourth. 
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September 21, 2021 at 6:30 PM

Minor Notes: Minor league season ends, organization awards announced


Here are this week's Minor Notes:
 
  • Episode No. 226 of the SoxProspects.com Podcast came out on Wednesday. Chris and Ian discussed the Red Sox debuts of Connor Seabold and Kutter Crawford, as well as the stretch run for the minor league season.
  • Save for Triple-A Worcester and the two DSL teams, the former of which plays until October 3 and the latter of which will complete their seasons the day before, the minor league regular season is now over and none of the minor league affiliates qualified for the postseason.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: A grand slam for Axel, and a trio of hits for Lira


 9/21 Cup of Coffee:  With the 2021 Florida Complex League officially in the books, the Dominican Summer League is the only thing we've got left on to talk about on Tuesday mornings for a while. Fortunately, there's plenty of excitement there. Yesterday's games featured a grand slam, a talented catching prospect going off, and some very solid pitching performances from both the starters and the relievers.

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Alex Zapete got the scoring started early with a first inning RBI double, and Armando Sierra drove him in shortly after with an RBI base hit to center. Alexis Hernandez homered an inning later, giving the Blue team a 3-0 lead. Blue got one more run in the top of the sixth inning courtesy of a Rivaldo Avila RBI single to left. The Blue team also benefited from a strong start by Yordanny Monegro. The 18-year-old righty went four shutout innings, surrendering only a hit and two walks while striking out six. Stiwar Adames picked up his third win of the season, allowing a run over two innings, while Railin Perez earned his ninth save of the season, striking out three over two innings and dropping his ERA to a meager 1.23 over 29.1 innings.
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September 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sogard homers twice; Salem fails to make playoffs


9/20 Cup of Coffee:
A heartbreaking loss for Salem ended the team's playoff hopes, while the season also came to an end for Portland and Greenville. The only affiliates to play beyond Sunday will be Worcester and the two DSL squads. Jarren Duran and Jonathan Araúz both continued to rehab with the WooSox, Hudson Potts homered for Portland, and Nick Sogard (pictured) launched two home runs for Greenville. Nick Yorke ended the season with another impressive on-base streak going, as he all but wrapped up the Offensive Player of the Year award. 

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Doubles from Jarren Duran and Franchy Cordero were not enough, as the Mets got to Daniel Gossett for seven runs. Cordero also walked three times, and now has an impressive ratio of 13 walks to 10 strikeouts in September. In addition to Duran, Jonathan Araúz also continued his rehab in Worcester, going 1 for 3. Durbin Feltman had a scoreless inning of relief, but the Mets got to Eduard Bazardo for two runs in 2/3 of an inning. 
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September 19, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Granberg drills grand slam, Worcester shuts out Syracuse


9/19 Cup of Coffee:
While the FCL squad lost in the completion of a suspended game and DSL Red Sox Blue fell short in the weekly intra-organizational contest in the DSL, it was a clean sweep for the full-season affiliates on the penultimate day of the minor league regular season. Devlin Granberg (pictured) was the offensive star, hitting 4 for 5 with three extra-base hits, including a grand slam as Portland scored 12 runs on 15 hits. Interestingly, this was nearly matched by Salem, which had 15 knocks but only 11 runs. Pedro Castellanos also had four hits for Portland, while Connor Seabold pitched the first five innings of a combined shutout for Worcester. The best start of the evening was arguably Chase Shugart, who scattered four hits and struck out eight across five innings. 

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Five Worcester pitchers combined for the shutout in Syracuse Saturday. The starter was Connor Seabold and he was strong through the first five innings, surrendering just five hits and a walk, with five punchouts as well. Yacksel Rios, Colten Brewer, John Schrieber and Kaleb Ort each were given an inning to finish off the shutout, the latter two of which did so without a hit. Tate Matheny, who pinch-hit for Jarren Duran in the sixth, notched a hit in each of his two at-bats, each of which went for extra bases while Joey Meneses joined him in the multi-hit club. Jeter Downs also drilled his 14th home run of the season in the second inning.
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September 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wins, offense hard to come by for affiliates on quiet Friday



9/18 Cup of Coffee:
Wins were hard to come by for the affiliates Friday, but a number of strong individual performances overshadowed the wins and losses on this night. Jeter Downs (pictured) offered some late-season inspiration in Worcester, while Nicholas Northcut added a big-three run blast despite his team's losing effort. Yusniel Padron-Ariles was a hard-luck loser in his impressive effort on the mound.

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Worcester was three-hit in a sluggish offensive output on Friday, with the lone bright spot being Jeter Downs. Syracuse let loose a flurry with 13 hits and the seven runs, with much of the damage coming against Worcester starter Kyle Hart. He went five innings, allowing seven hits and two walks versus five strikeouts, giving up three runs. Austin Brice, Stephen Gonsalves, and Brad Peacock all allowed runs in relief. Downs recorded two of the team's three hits, giving his team the only run on a fifth-inning solo home run. Jhonny Pereda managed the team's only other hit in the contest. Worcester's late-season stumble has put them a little further from playoff position, now sitting 5.5 games out of a postseason spot.
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September 17, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Potts leads Portland, Greenville wins in 12


9/17 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs offense came alive with 14 runs, led by a big night from Hudson Potts (pictured). Greenville grabbed a win in 12 innings, thanks to 19 strikeouts from the pitching staff, including a terrific start from Brandon Walter. Both DSL Sox teams also saw a few standout offensive performances. 

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Worcester tied the game with a pair of runs in the ninth, but it wasn't enough. Josh Ockimey had a solid night, going 1 for 3 with a double and a sacrifice fly. Chad De La Guerra also went 1 for 3 with a double and added a walk and a stolen base. Johan Mieses also doubled. Kutter Crawford was solid, going the first 5 1/3 while allowing two runs with seven strikeouts and just one walk. Zack Kelly and Durbin Feltman each gave up a run in three combined frames. 
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September 16, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barnes rehabs in Portland; Hernandez homers twice


9/16 Cup of Coffee:
Three teams were in action on Wednesday, with the two in playoff contention both handed losses. Portland fell to the brink despite a two-homer effort by Ronaldo Hernandez (pictured). Nick Decker had a big night in Salem's loss, as the Sox got some help in their playoff push. Brian Van Belle and three relievers combined on a three-hit shutout to put Greenville in the win column. Worcester was the other team scheduled to play, but the contest in Syracuse was rained out.

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Worcester Red Sox @ Syracuse Mets (NYM), canceled (rain)
The second game of this week's series in Central New York was called because of downpours off and on throughout the day. The game will not be made up.

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Hartford got off to a 9-0 lead and never looked back in a slugfest that featured 28 hits, 12 for extra bases. Matt Barnes made a rehab start, allowing a pair of unearned runs in the first inning, striking out a pair. Pushed out of his normal starting role, Chris Murphy was not on his game. The left-hander retired just one batter while allowing six runs on five hits, walking one. Ronaldo Hernandez has a big day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with home runs in consecutive innings, giving him 16 round-trippers on the year. Ryan Fitzgerald also went deep for Portland. Triston Casas continued his recent hot streak, going 2 for 4 with a walk. The system's top prospect is 12 for 23 with seven walks in his last seven games. 
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September 15, 2021 at 12:11 PM

Podcast Ep. #226 - Debuts and Playoff Pushes


With the minor league season winding down, there's no less to discuss on the SoxProspects Pod. Ian and Chris got on the horn to discuss the MLB debuts of Kutter Crawford and Connor Seabold, the minor league playoff picture, and the pending announcements of which Sox farmhands will be heading to the Arizona Fall League. They also analyzed the movers and shakers in our most recent rankings update, then closed, as always, with your emails.

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