SoxProspects News

May 31, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero homers again; Gonsalves strikes out nine


5/31 Cup of Coffee:
Regular at-bats continue to pay dividends for Franchy CorderoStephen Gonsalves' impressive strikeout rate took another step forward, and Grant Williams' hot start has propelled him to the top of Portland's lineup. It was a rougher day in the lower minors as Greenville's bullpen let one slip away and Salem was swept in a doubleheader. 

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Franchy Cordero hit his second home run in as many games and Stephen Gonsalves struck out nine in this rain-shortened victory. Cordero went 2 for 3, Marcus Wilson went 1 for 3 with a double, and Tate Matheny went 1 for 2 with an RBI single. John Schreiber struck out two in a shutout inning as the opener, and Gonsalves followed with five dominant innings. He did not allow a run while walking three to go along with his nine strikeouts. 
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May 30, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Winckowski punches out nine; Cordero homers for Worcester


5/30 Cup of Coffee:
The Red Sox system had a solid day, with only Greenville taking a loss, resulting in a 3-1 Saturday. This came despite some slow offense, including just 10 hits through a doubleheader for Worcester, while none of the affiliates scored more than four runs in a game. Despite the low run totals, there were still some shows of power, as Franchy Cordero, Johan Mieses and Josh Ockimey each went deep for their teams. The performance of the day on the mound came by way of Portland's Josh Winckowski (pictured, right), who fired seven one-hit, shutout innings with nine strikeouts. He retired the final 10 Yard Goats that he faced.

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Brandon Workman earned his first save for the Triple-A club in his return to the Boston organization as Worcester won the first game of its doubleheader in Pennsylvania with a two-run seventh inning to break the tie late on a Josh Ockimey two-run home run. Franchy Cordero also went yard, opening the scoring for the visitors in the fourth with a two-run shot of his own. Cordero had two of the five Red Sox hits and has started off his time in the minors on a high note, hitting .333 through his first set of games. Raynel Espinal threw the first six innings, surrendering six hits and a pair of runs, with five strikeouts and two walks. Workman closed it out with a trio of punchouts in a clean seventh.

Second verse, same as the first. Worcester again scored late to take a 4-2 lead and held on for the win. This time, it was the sixth inning favored by visiting hitters, as Michael Gettys worked a bases-loaded walk to get the Red Sox on the board, while Jack Lopez added a sacrifice fly to tie the proceedings. It was Jett Bandy who delivered the game-winning knock with a two-run single. Worcester registered five hits in this one as well, two of which were off Bandy's bat. Daniel Gossett earned the win with a five-inning start as the IronPigs put up six hits on the right-hander, pushing two runs across the plate. Kaleb Ort had another strong outing, striking out three in a no-hit sixth, while Kevin McCarthy made it interesting in the seventh, as he loaded the bases with three hits but escaped with no runs scored.

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Josh Winckowski fired seven one-hit innings with nine strikeouts, leading Portland to victory at Hadlock Field on Saturday. Jeisson Rosario, Joey Meneses and Grant Williams each added multi-hit performances as well. Johan Mieses got the offense going early for Portland, as he hit his 11th home run of the young season in the first inning, putting the home side ahead, 2-0. A third run came off his bat in the seventh when he reached on a fielder's choice. Joan Martinez was only able to record one out in the eighth and both of the batters he walked would end up scoring. Matthew Kent closed out the eighth inning and ceded the game to Jose Adames, who would allow a third run to score, but held on for the save.

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Rome spoiled what would have been a perfect day for the Red Sox system, as the Braves took home a 6-2 victory. The Greenville offense mustered only five hits, with both of their runs coming in the eighth. Tyreque Reed broke the shutout with a single, while Tyler Dearden continued his strong start to the season with a sacrifice fly, but it would not be enough offense. Brian Van Belle pitched the first four innings for Greenville and had a tough outing. He allowed six hits and four runs to cross the plate. While he did not walk a batter, he was able to muster only two strikeouts. Yusniel Padron-Artiles followed for a trio of frames and was able to overcome traffic on the bases in the form of four hits, with only an unearned run crossing the plate. Alex Scherff was responsible for the final run, as he pitched the eighth.

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Myrtle Beach Pelicans (CHC) @ Salem Red Sox, PPD (Weather)
The contest was postponed to due inclement weather in Virginia. It will be made up May 30 as part of a doubleheader.

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Player of the Day: With the lack of offense throughout the system on Saturday, Josh Winckowski stood out in a big way on the mound. The No. 27 prospect in the system, who came from the Mets in the trade that brought Franchy Cordero to Boston and sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City, lowered his ERA to 1.33 in his first season in Boston with his six shutout innings in Portland on Saturday. He has struck out 26 batters in 27 innings of work so far in 2021. He also helped lower his WHIP to 0.89 as he retired the final 10 Yard Goats he faced on the day.

Photo Credit: Josh Winckowski by Kelly O'Connor

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May 29, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome returns to form; Northcut highlights wild Salem rally


5/29 Cup of Coffee:
Despite one rainout and one non-competitive blowout, it turned out to be a notable Friday night on the farm. Jay Groome (pictured) was brilliant in his best start in years, though Greenville failed to capitalize, falling in extra innings. Salem nearly completed an epic ninth-inning rally, working three straight bases loaded walks and waiting through an extended delay as they tried to turn the stadium lights back on. Johan Mieses has been a one-man power surge in Portland, as he homered yet again in the Sea Dogs loss.

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Worcester Red Sox @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), postponed (rain)
A chance for the WooSox to even up their series with Lehigh Valley will have to wait another day. Friday's contest was postponed due to rain and will be made up on Saturday as part of a doubleheader.
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May 28, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Tyler Dearden and Raynel Espinal win players of the week


Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • Unfortunately, the full Minor Notes did not run this week, but if you were keeping up with the SoxProspects.com Twitter account, you have been kept pretty up to date. Apologies for that but we will be back next week with the normal edition of Minor Notes next Tuesday.
  • However, we did not want to leave you without this week's Pitcher and Hitter of the Week.

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Players of the Week 5/17-5/23

Raynel Espinal, RHP, Worcester Red Sox 
1 G, 1-0, 5 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 4 BB, 6 K 

Acquired in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft in December of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Espinal was basically new to the system after a lost 2020 minor league system. After winning the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week honors in just his third active week in the system. On Saturday, the 6-foot-3 righty had his best start of the season, throwing 5 innings of one-run ball on just two hits with a walk with nine strikeouts, picking up the win along the way against Buffalo. The start lowered his season ERA to 4.71 and WHIP to 1.24 while improving his K/9 to an even 9.0. 

Tyler Dearden, OF, Greenville Drive
5 G, 20 AB, 9 H, 3 HR, 3 2B, 7 R, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, .450/.522/1.050

It wasn't solely a three true outcomes (home run, walk, strikeout) week, but it was close. In his 20 at-bats this week, 13 of them ended with one of those results. After being selected in the 29th round of the draft in 2017, power was not a huge part of his game and didn't necessarily project to be with an athletic but skinny frame. Now at 23, he started off the season with five doubles and five home runs to go along with a .313/4.68/.729 slash line. However, after striking out in over 34% of his plate appearances in 2019 for Greenville, he has continued to show a lot of swing and miss, with a 34% rate again in 2021. Red Sox fans can hope that his high walk total (already almost more than his 2019 total) and newly displayed power can continue to raise his stock. As we wait and see, the 22-year-old can add his Hitter of the Week honors to his trophy case along with his 2018 New York-Penn League All-Star honors.

Photo Credit: Raynel Espinal by Kelly O'Connor

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Weber, Politi lead string of great pitching performances


5/28 Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominated throughout the system last night, as all four teams won, with none of them allowed more than two runs. Ryan Weber and AJ Politi (pictured) each went six innings with seven strikeouts. Jonathan Aruaz, Marcus Wilson, and Joe Davis each had productive days at the plate, while the Sea Dogs and Drive saw multiple hit games from eight different players. 

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Ryan Weber continued his solid season on the mound with six innings of two-run ball. He struck out seven, walked two, and kept his season ERA a shade under three. Austin Brice, Marcus Walden, and Kevin McCarthy all threw a scoreless inning out of the bullpen, with Brice and McCarthy punching out two each. Marcus Wilson had a big night, reaching four times with a single, a double, and two walks. Jonathan Arauz also singled, doubled, and walked twice out of the leadoff spot. Michael Chavis added two hits and a walk, while Franchy Cordero singled and walked in his first game with Worcester. 

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Portland picked up their second straight win behind a terrific outing from AJ Politi. The right-hander allowed two runs over six innings with seven strikeouts and just one free pass. Dominic LoBrutto, Zack Kelly, and Josh Adames each tossed a scoreless frame, with Adames nabbing his fifth save. At the plate, Ronaldo Hernandez and Ryan Fitzgerald each doubled twice, while 21-year old Jeisson Rosario went 2 for 5 with a double and two knocked in. Fitzgerald's two doubles now have him tied for the league lead with 11. 

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Four Drive hitters singled twice in five at-bats, including Christian Koss, Tyreque Reed, Tyler Dearden, and Devlin Granberg. Reed has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games, while Dearden has a knock in eight of his last nine. Brandon Howlett added a two-bagger as well. The Drive got two excellent pitching performances, as Chase Shugart started and allowed a run over four frames, while Dylan Spacke followed up with four shutout innings. Spacke lowered his ERA to a minuscule 1.26 across 14 1/3 innings so far this year. 

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The great pitching continued with Salem, as 20-year old Aldo Ramirez allowed just one run over four innings with five strikeouts and only one walk. Robert Kwiatkowski came on and tossed three scoreless innings, and Ryan Fernandez closed it out with two scoreless innings. Joe Davis led the way at the plate, going 2 for 4 with his second home run of the year. Matthew Lugo also picked up a couple hits, scored a run, and drove a run in. 

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Player of the Day: AJ Politi gets the nod after bouncing back from a rough outing last time out. The 24-year old right-hander has a high ERA this year, but he has an impressive 25 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Politi by Kelly O'Connor

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May 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mieses keeps mashing; Bello cruises for Drive


5/27 Cup of Coffee:
It was a night of extremes in the system, with a pair of affiliates getting no-hit into the late innings while the other two were seeing offensive explosions. Johan Mieses (pictured) had seven total bases through four innings to lead the Portland charge, while 22 Greenville baserunners supported a superlative effort from starting pitcher Brayan Bello. Salem nearly pulled off an unlikely comeback after going hitless into the seventh inning, and Worcester came within two outs of ignominy.

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Worcester was able to avoid being no-hit, and that was about the sum of the positive news out of Allentown on Wednesday. After a quartet of IronPig hurlers held the WooSox hitless through 8 1/3, Michael Chavis ripped a single to center for the only knock of the evening. Kyle Hart did not allow a run in his first three innings of work, extended his scoreless streak to 20 innings across three hits. Lehigh Valley jumped on the lefty in the fourth, quickly hanging five runs on him. Brandon Workman was a bright spot out of the bullpen, striking out a pair in a perfect sixth inning and throwing 11 of 13 pitches for strikes. 
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May 26, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Grand slam for Cannon; Mieses homers again


5/26 Cup of Coffee:
The affiliates dropped all four games on Tuesday but there were highlights at every level. Kaleb Ort keeps putting up zeroes in Worcester, Johan Mieses hit another home run for Portland, Cameron Cannon (pictured) hit a grand slam in Greenville, and Bradley Blalock had another strong start for Salem. 

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Worcester came back to tie the game with two runs in the ninth but was not able to get ahead in extras. Recording his most strikeouts in a game since August of 2018, Stephen Gonsalves got the start and allowed three runs in five innings, striking out eight and walking four. Colten Brewer allowed a run in his fourth straight appearance while Kaleb Ort continued to impress with his eighth straight scoreless appearance to start the year. He struck out two and allowed two hits in two innings. The loss went to Marcus Walden, though that is a bit unfair as the winning run scored on a passed ball by Jett Bandy.
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May 25, 2021 at 5:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #210 - Scouting Salem


Three weeks into the minor league season, the guys took a look around the system to gauge the early returns at each level. The injury bug, while mostly having avoided the MLB club, has hit the Red Sox system as of late, with several top prospects landing on the injured list. Chris and Ian talk about the injuries, as well as how that impacts depth for the big club. The guys play another round of Checking Levels, and Chris saw a very interesting and fun Salem team.

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May 24, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Meneses and Casas propel Portland; Reed and Dearden stay hot


5/24 Cup of Coffee:
With the 2021 Americas Olympic Qualifier starting on May 31 this will likely be the last minor league action that Jarren Duran, Triston Casas, and Jeter Downs see for two weeks. Reports are that the players will be away from their teams starting on Monday. Duran and Casas will be playing for Team USA and Downs will be playing for Team Colombia. 

In Portland, both Joey Meneses (pictured) and Triston Casas had clutch home runs, while Tyreque Reed and Tyler Dearden continued their torrid stretches in Greenville. 

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It was the best start of the season for Daniel Gossett as he combined with three other pitchers to blank Buffalo. Gossett fired the first six innings, striking out five and walking two while allowing just four hits. The scoreless start lowered his ERA to 4.50. John SchreiberBrandon Brennan, and Brandon Workman threw one inning apiece, with Brennan notching his fourth straight spotless appearance since joining the Boston organization. With Eduard Bazardo shut down for a few weeks, Brennan may be the top bullpen option in Triple-A. 
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May 23, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran goes deep twice; Dearden stays hot


5/23 Cup of Coffee:
A day after getting swept at every level, the affiliates returned the favor, sweeping all four contests on the night. Jarren Duran (pictured, left) paced Worcester's offense, while Portland came from behind to capture the win in the ninth. Greenville held onto the win, despite some wild pitching and Salem returned to the win column behind strong pitching performances throughout.

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Worcester rebounded from a tough loss on Friday to topple the Bisons on the back of strong pitching and four home runs. Raynel Espinal earned the win, holding the Bisons to just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out nine over five innings. Bobby Poyner and Kevin McCarthy teamed up for two innings of one-run ball while Matt Hall surrendered Buffalo's final two runs in his two innings of work.
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May 22, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas shines in loss; Dearden picks up three hits


5/22 Cup of Coffee:
It was a tough Friday night on the farm as the affiliates were unceremoniously swept despite some strong individual efforts. Triston Casas reached base three times on a night Portland was otherwise throttled. Worcester fell despite a strong Ryan Weber start and homer off the bat of Jeter Downs. Tyler Dearden (pictured) had a three-hit night while Gilberto Jimenez kept his hitting streak alive in tight losses by Greenville and Salem.

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Worcester drew a tough Friday night assignment with Nate Pearson on the hill for the Bisons. Ryan Weber was up for the challenge, outdueling the top Toronto prospect with a six-inning effort, allowing a run on five hits while striking out six. The bullpen could not hold on, with Seth Blair and Colten Brewer giving up a run apiece before the Bisons touched up Marcus Walden for three in the ninth. At the plate, Jeter Downs blasted his second home run on the season, a seventh-inning solo shot. Jonathan Arauz added a pair of hits for the WooSox.
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May 21, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello, Jimenez stay hot


5/21 Cup of Coffee: Last night saw a nice mix of great offensive performances as well as great pitching performances. Greenville and Salem combined for 29 runs, with the Drive also getting another awesome outing from Brayan Bello (pictured). Kyle Hart was also terrific in Worcester's win over Buffalo. Gilberto Jimenez stayed red hot for Salem as well. 

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Kyle Hart led the way in this one, turning in his second consecutive terrific outing. He went seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run on a solo home run. He walked three, punched out six, and lowered his ERA to 2.70 on the young season. Brandon Workman had a scoreless inning and Kaleb Ort picked up his fifth save with two strikeouts. Michael Gettys belted his second home run of the year in the second inning as part of a 1-for-3 showing at the plate. Marcus Wilson added a three-bagger, while Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs each went 1 for 4 with a stolen base. 
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May 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cannon stays hot; Jimenez extends streak


5/20 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's affiliates earned a split in four games on Wednesday evening. Another blast off the bat of Johan Mieses pushed Portland to victory in Manchester. Salem took advantage of Fredericksburg's continued struggles as Jaxx Groshans and a trio of hurlers keyed the win. Cameron Cannon (pictured) continued to roll despite Greenville's losing effort, while Danny Santana strengthened his case for a call-up from Polar Park.

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A more subdued affair followed Tuesday's offensive fireworks, as Worcester managed just one run on six hits while striking out 15 times. Catcher Chris Herrmann provided the WooSox scoring with a solo home run in the second inning. Stephen Gonsalves continues to scuffle with his command while proving difficult to hit. He surrendered three runs despite giving up just two hits through his five innings while striking out eight. The left-hander walked four batters and hit another, needing 93 pitches to get through those five frames. Through three starts on the young season, Gonsalves has allowed more runs (8) than hits (7). At the plate, Danny Santana continues to show he is nearly ready for his return to the majors, going 2 for 4 with a double. Yesterday's Player of the Day is 9 for 20 since arriving in Triple-A.
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May 19, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Podcast Ep. #209 - Chris and Ian visit Worcester


With minor league game action resuming, Chris and Ian took a trip to Worcester. The stadium is a work in progress, but the early reviews say it’s going to be a great park. In addition to scouting report from the game, the guys talk about the latest news from the Red Sox system, including the injuries to a couple of the club’s top pitching prospects. A few hitters are raking to start the season. We re-ranked players at the start of the month and they talk through the biggest movers. Then the guys go level by level highlighting players who are showing something. And as always, we read through the mailbag to close the show.

As a reminder, with minor league games returning, so do our game reports for our patrons. Visit our Patreon for details. Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bazardo leaves with arm injury; Santana makes his case


5/19 Cup of Coffee: Several strong performances on the farm may be overshadowed by an arm injury to 19th-ranked prospect Eduard Bazardo. While there is no word on his status, the video did not look good. Worcester still took home the win in the game behind home runs from Jarren DuranDanny Santana, and Jonathan Araúz (pictured). In Greenville, Cameron Cannon and Brandon Howlett paced the offense once again, and Jordan DiValerio continued his impressive run in Salem. 

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It's still too early to gauge exactly how hitter-friendly Polar Park is playing, but right now the WooSox offense is firing on all cylinders at home. The team hit four home runs on Tuesday, with Jarren Duran, Danny SantanaJonathan Araúz, and Michael Gettys all going deep. It marked the fifth time in seven home games that Worcester has scored seven runs or more. Santana, who reportedly will be called up to Boston this week, also had a double and a single, and Araúz, who was just optioned to Worcester, also had a double. 
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May 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Minor Notes: Polar Park opens; Casas and Duran heat up


Here are Tuesday's minor league notes: 

  • Worcester's Polar Park officially opened on May 11, with the WooSox putting on a show for the home crowd. The team hit four home runs, two of which came from Jarren Duran (pictured), and cruised to an 8-5 win over the Syracuse Mets. Another highlight in the game was Brandon Workman making his return to the Red Sox organization after inking a minor league deal on May 6. 
  • For more on Opening Day in Worcester, Sam Dykstra of MLB.com provided an in-depth look at the day from beginning to end
  • Opening Day at Haley Toyota Field in Salem was also covered by Aaron McFarling of the Roanoke Times. McFarling interviewed several fans at the game who had waited 614 days to get back in their seats.
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May 17, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kiké Hernández homers twice; Reed hits a walk-off


5/17 Cup of Coffee:
Several home runs were hit across the system on Sunday, highlighted by two from Kiké Hernández in Worcester, the sixth from Johan Mieses (pictured, right) in Portland, and a walk-off home run from Tyreque Reed in Greenville. The starting pitching was roughed up, however, with Frank German and Jay Groome continuing their slow starts to the 2021 campaign. 

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Kiké Hernández did his best to prove he's ready to return to Boston's lineup, going 2 for 4 with two home runs including a grand slam in Worcester's win. The grand slam was the first in WooSox history, and he followed that up with a solo shot in the seventh inning. Jack López also added a solo home run, while Marcus Wilson went 2 for 4 with two doubles, and Jarren Duran went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. After starting the year 0 for 11, Duran is now 13 for 35 in his last nine games with 25 total bases in that stretch. 
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May 16, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Downs homers in three-hit game; errors sink Portland against Yard Goats


5/16 Cup of Coffee:
It was a successful day down on the farm, as Red Sox affiliates went 3-1 on Saturday. Greenville and Worcester each had strong offensive performances driven by crooked numbers in single innings, while Salem did the same thing in its game with a four-run first. Jeter Downs (pictured, left) was the only hitter in the system to have more than two hits, as he was 3 for 4, adding a trio of RBI. He also crossed the plate twice. Danny Santana also continued to hit well in his rehab assignment, drilling a home run for Worcester. AJ Politi was the victim of poor defense, as he did not allow an earned run and only surrendered two hits, but three Yard Goats crossed the plate in his five innings of work.

Worcester broke a 5-5 tie in the seventh with a five-run frame on its way to a victory. The rally featured RBI doubles from Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs, the latter of which was 3 for 4 with three RBI, as well as a sacrifice fly from Yairo Munoz and a single courtesy of Marcus Wilson. Downs, as well as Danny Santana, homered early on in the ballgame, after Syracuse put the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole after the top of the first. Enrique Hernandez began his rehab assignment with an 0-for-2 performance from the leadoff spot as the designated hitter. On the mound, Ryan Weber earned the start, allowing five runs, four of which were earned, over six innings of work. Five of the seven hits on Weber's tab occurred in the first inning, as the right-hander eventually settled into his outing. Kevin McCarthy, Brandon Brennan and Bobby Poyner each allowed one hit in an inning of work each to finish out the contest.
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May 15, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hart, Bello highlight a night of strong pitching


5/15 Cup of Coffee:
Pitching was the story on Friday evening, as all four starters turned in strong performances. Kyle Hart (pictured) turned in six no-hit innings, but patience paid off for Worcester in extra innings. Brayan Bello and Shane Drohan both allowed just two hits apiece to lead Greenville and Salem, respectively. The only loss of the night came in Double-A as Portland fell despite a strong effort from Kutter Crawford.

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The WooSox got some excellent execution from starter Kyle Hart. The southpaw reeled off six innings of no-hit baseball, striking out six while walking four. A solo homer off the bat of Marcus Wilson in the second inning put Worcester in front, but the bullpen could not hold Hart's no-hitter or his lead. The Mets were happy to see Hart exit, connecting against John Schreiber for a one-out solo homer in the seventh to tie up the contest.
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May 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran, Casas stay hot as all four teams win


5/14 Cup of Coffee: It was a great night for Sox farmhands, as the four clubs were all victorious. The bats were on fire across the board, as the four teams combined to score 31 runs. It was another big night for top prospects, as Jarren DuranTriston Casas, and Gilberto Jimenez (pictured) all had huge nights yet again. Cameron Cannon also had a big offensive night for Greenville. The Drive also saw some great pitching, led by Chris Murphy

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The red-hot Jarren Duran stole the show again in this one, belting a 440-foot laser for his fourth home run in his last five games. The lead off hitter for the Sox added a single and a walk, boosting his season OPS up to 1.086. Chris Herrmann also had a big night, going 3 for 4 with a double. Josh Ockimey added a two-run homer as well, his second long ball of the season. Stephen Gonsalves struggled a bit on the mound, allowing four earned runs on three hits and four walks in four innings. The bullpen stepped it up as Matt Hall picked up the win with two scoreless frames in relief. Caleb Simpson, Marcus Walden, and Kaleb Ort each tossed a hitless inning, combining for six strikeouts. Ort nabbed his third save of the year. 
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May 13, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas homers twice; Winckowski continues to impress


5/13 Cup of Coffee:
With Worcester, Salem, and Greenville combining to score five runs, all the excitement was in Hartford where the Sea Dogs scored 14 times led by two home runs from Triston Casas (pictured, right). It was the best game of Casas's career, and three other Sea Dogs hitters went deep as well. In Worcester, Danny Santana made his first appearance after starting his rehab stint in Greenville.

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The Mets scored a run in the eighth and a run in the ninth to take the second game of the series. Daniel Gossett had a nice bounceback start after a rough first outing, striking out eight and allowing two runs over five innings. Making his first appearance of the year, Colten Brewer took the loss after allowing one run on just one hit in the eighth. It was a bit of a tough-luck loss given that the lone hit he allowed was a double that went off of Jarren Duran's glove in center field. 
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May 12, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran opens Polar Park in style


5/12 Cup of Coffee:
It was a memorable day for the organization as Jarren Duran (pictured) and Marcus Wilson helped introduce the world to Polar Park with a Worcester victory. Both the results and the theatrics were more muted throughout the rest of the system. Jay Groome left his second start of the season with a foot injury after being hit with a liner as Greenville took the loss. Salem failed to join Worcester in celebrating a home opener with a win, while rough defensive play sunk Portland.

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Tuesday afternoon brought the long-awaiting opening of Worcester's Polar Park. VIPs for the event included Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez, Jim Rice, and Bob Cousy, and James Taylor was joined by his son Henry to sing the national anthem. Also on hand were SoxProspects.com's Executive Editor, Chris Hatfield (@SPChrisHatfield), and Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall (@IanCundall), who reported both on the park and the prospect-studded WooSox lineup. 
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May 11, 2021 at 1:10 PM

Minor Notes: Minor League Baseball is back



 Here are Tuesday's minor league notes: 

  • Baseball is officially back in the minors, and it was an action-packed first week for Sox farmhands. The WooSox picked up their first win in franchise history on Friday. Third-ranked prospect Jarren Duran keyed the maiden victory and broke out with a big weekend after an 0-for-11 slump to start the year. The Sea Dogs have also started hot with a 5-1 record, led by Johan Mieses, Jack Lopez, and Jeisson Rosario, who all have begun 2021 with an OPS north of 1.000. Durbin Feltman is also off to a terrific start with seven strikeouts and no walks in three innings. Salem has also seen some great performances, with Gilberto Jimenez flashing his elite speed and Stephen Scott (pictured) and Jordan DiValerio off to hot starts. 
  • The season being in full swing means the return of the Cup of Coffee, which will recap each game in the system from the previous night, highlighting top performances and giving updates on how top prospects performed. Check them out early each morning (besides Tuesday mornings) on the News page
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May 10, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Scott and Mieses hit two home runs; Ramirez pitches well for Salem


5/10 Cup of Coffee: The bats combined to slug 10 home runs across the minor league landscape, led by Johan Mieses and Stephen Scott (pictured, right) who hit two apiece. Aldo Ramirez was solid in his first uninterrupted start of the season, and Andrew Politi had an up-and-down start for Portland. Monday will be an off day all season for the affiliates, so look for the action to resume on Tuesday. 

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The first start of the season at second base for Connor Wong was one to forget, as he committed three errors that led to three unearned runs in a loss for the WooSox. The pitching was otherwise dominant, combining to walk one and strike out 13. Ryan Weber struck out six and allowed four runs (one earned) in 3 1/3 innings. Bobby Poyner followed with three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball, and Kevin McCarthy and Kaleb Ort each struck out two in a scoreless inning. 
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May 9, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Munoz with four hits, three RBI; Greenville gets first win


5/9 Cup of Coffee:
It was a productive day down on the farm, as each of the four affiliates earned a win on Saturday, resulting in a 4-1 record as Salem split its doubleheader. No. 2 prospect Jarren Duran was a catalyst for Worcester in the leadoff spot, while Kutter Crawford looked strong in his return from Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile, Yairo Munoz and Ceddanne Rafaela each had four hits on the day, while Tyler Dearden went deep twice.

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The Red Sox made it two straight on Saturday behind a 14-hit performance, seven of which came from two key guys in the order. Jarren Duran had a 3-for-5 outing at the plate from the leadoff spot, including a solo home run -- his first at Triple-A -- to put the exclamation point on a three-run fifth that would lead the team to victory. He was only bested by Yairo Munoz, who was 4 for 5 out of the cleanup position. He got the scoring going with an RBI single after the first three Worcester hitters reached base to lead off the contest. Munoz paced the team with three RBI as well. Chris Herrmann and Tate Matheny also each had multi-hit outings, one of which left the yard for Matheny. Kyle Hart got the starting nod and was shaky in his season debut, allowing four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. However, he did notch six strikeouts against one walk. John Schreiber earned the win with two shutout frames, striking out four batters. Eduard Bazardo closed it out with a clean ninth to earn his first save of 2021.
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May 8, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Downs, Duran lead first WooSox win


5/8 Cup of Coffee:
Worcester and its top two prospects broke out of season-opening slumps as Jeter Downs (pictured) and Jarren Duran keyed the franchise's first victory. The win leaves Greenville as the lone winless affiliate, as the Drive were outpaced for a fourth straight game. Portland used an 11-hit attack to pick up its third straight win, while Salem saw its Friday evening contest washed out. 

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History was made on Friday evening as the Worcester Red Sox picked up the first win in franchise history. After being held hitless through the first three games, Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs led the way at the plate. Duran had three hits out of the leadoff spot, while Downs was 2 for 4 with a walk, double, and stolen base. Marcus Wilson is off to a strong start in his first Triple-A go-around. He tripled and walked on Friday, driving in a pair. Stephen Gonsalves turned in a solid start despite battling some wobbly control. The left-hander issued six walks and hit a batter in his 5 1/3 innings of work, but he struck out nine and surrendered just two hits. Veteran reliever Marcus Walden was again excellent, striking out four in 1 2/3 scoreless frames.
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May 7, 2021 at 1:00 PM

2021 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 2 - Pitchers


For Part Two of our look at the best the Red Sox system has to offer entering 2021, we look to the mound and honor the pitchers selected as SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Stars. The list is highlighted by four starters ranked in the top 10 in the system, and three relievers who are either looking to have breakout seasons or are looking to regain past prospect status.

Starting pitcher: Connor Seabold, Worcester Red Sox
The voting may have gone differently if the SoxProspects.com Community had known that Seabold (pictured, right) would open the season on the injured list with right elbow inflammation, but most of the chatter has the injury pegged as minor. Seabold came over in July 2020 from Philadelphia with Nick Pivetta in the trade for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Since he was acquired, reports have Seabold picking up a tick or two on his fastball while continuing to show a potential plus changeup and average slider. In 56 1/3 innings in 2019, most of which came in Double-A, Seabold pitched to a 2.24 ERA and struck out 58 while surrendering only 11 walks. With some of the injury risks in the Boston rotation, getting Seabold back on the mound will be very important as he is one of the top depth pieces in the upper minors along with the next player on this list.
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at 12:00 PM

2021 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 1 - Hitters


With the return of minor league baseball comes the return of another annual tradition - the SoxProspects.com Preseason All-Stars. Below are eight position players that the SoxProspects community is very excited to follow this year, with some having a shot at making MLB debuts this summer. 

Catcher: Connor Wong, Worcester Red Sox
Wong is the top catching prospect in the system and ranked 18th overall. He is very athletic for a catcher, as he was a shortstop in college. He also possess a lot of power that has translated well into his professional career so far with 34 home runs in 173 games in High-A in 2018 and 2019. He really broke out offensively in 2019 when he got called up to Double-A, posting a .997 OPS with 9 home runs in 40 games for the Tulsa Drillers. His hit tool will determine how productive of a player he can be in the major leagues, but he will be able to provide value in other ways given the versatility he provides on the defensive side. Wong looks to become the second player from the Mookie Betts trade, along with Alex Verdugo, to provide great value to the big league club. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sea Dogs sweep, Yorke grabs two hits


5/7 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs picked up their first two wins of the season with a doubleheader sweep of the Fisher Cats. Outside of that, it was a very rough night on the farm, both on the mound and at the plate. Nick Yorke had a pair of hits for Salem, and the Drive belted three home runs in game one of their doubleheader. Johan Mieses (pictured) hit a huge home run for Portland, while Worcester remains in search of their first win. 

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Worcester's tough start to the campaign continued last night, as the Sox struck out 18 times and were held to just four hits, all singles. Jonathan Arauz was the lone bright spot, going 2 for 4 with a run scored. Daniel Gossett was touched up for four runs on eight hits in three innings, taking the loss. Bobby Poyner had a nice night, tossing two scoreless frames in relief. Eduard Bazardo struggled, surrendering four runs (two earned) on three hits in just 2/3 of an inning. 
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May 6, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Decker, Lugo go deep as Salem splits


5/6 Cup of Coffee:
A second attempt at a full slate of games was unsuccessful, as rain in Portland forced a postponement. Following Tuesday's rainout, Greenville dropped its opener despite the efforts of Brandon Howlett. Salem finished Tuesday's rain-halted introduction to Low-A before picking up the system's first win in the regularly scheduled contest, with second-round picks Nick Decker (pictured) and Matthew Lugo playing longball. A late rally featuring a pair of solo homers fell short as Worcester remains winless

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Worcester is still looking for its first win in franchise history as it fell to Toronto's migrant Triple-A affiliate. The home run haunted WooSox starter Raynel Espinal, as a solo shot in the first and two-run blast in the second accounted for the three runs he allowed in five innings of work. The 2019 minor league Rule 5 selection struck out four and walked two in his first appearance since Tommy John surgery 22 months ago. Marcus Walden and Kaleb Ort both struck out a pair while working a hitless inning apiece. Both Worcester runs came on the long ball, with Chris Hermann and Marcus Wilson both going deep. 
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May 5, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Connor Seabold, Eduard Bazardo, Raynel Espinal


Although the minor league season was postponed until May 4, the players at the Alternate Training Site (ATS) in Worcester have been able to get some work against players from outside of the organization in three sets of scrimmages against players from the New York Mets’ Site this month. Two of the sets were played at the Mets’ site in Brooklyn, but the teams played three games April 17-19 at Polar Park, and I was fortunate enough to attend two games—the first time I’ve seen live baseball since September 2019. Since these were only scrimmages, I won’t be doing a full scouting scratch, rather here is a compilation of notes from the two games headlined by standout performances from Connor Seabold.

- Connor Seabold got the start in the last game of the series and was solid, throwing six shutout innings, striking out five, while allowing five hits, walking two. The Mets lineup featured several former major league players, so it was a good test for him and he passed easily, even though he lacked feel for his best pitch. Seabold came out throwing 93-95 mph in the first before settling in at 91-94 mph. His control was plus, but his command was a little off and he lost it at times, especially in the second inning. Whenever it went, however, he was able to pitch through it and work out of trouble. Seabold’s best secondary is his changeup, but he only threw it a few times of the course of the outing. It was clear he lacked feel for it until his sixth inning off work when he threw a few good ones—both parts of that statement confirmed by Seabold in his post-game press availability. With his changeup lacking, he instead relied on his slider, which flashed solid-average potential. It ranged from 81-86 mph and had short, 10-to-4 break. He showed confidence in the pitch, which is an encouraging development as our previous reports had it as a clear third pitch and more on the developmental side. If that pitch can get to average, along with his increased velocity and plus changeup, that gives him three at least average pitches in his arsenal. Seabold also showed a fourth pitch, a curveball, that he has used sparingly before. It came in 75-79 mph with longer, 11-to-5 shape. He did not consistently snap it off and it seemed like a fringe-average pitch at best. Overall, it was an encouraging look, as Seabold was able to control a veteran lineup without his best pitch. 
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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rosario and Casas notch two hits; WooSox falter in debut


5/5 Cup of Coffee:
The Cup of Coffee returns for the first time in 602 days as Tuesday marked the start of the much-anticipated 2021 minor league season. Rain spoiled the party as Greenville was rained out and Salem was suspended in the second inning after an exciting start. Both Worcester and Portland struggled offensively, though a few top prospects had solid opening performances. 

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The first game in WooSox history ended in a loss as the offense could not get much going against Nate Pearson and the Bisons. Pearson recorded eight of his 11 outs via strikeout. Tanner Houck did not have the same success, as Buffalo got to him for three runs on eight hits over three innings. On a positive note, he did strike out four without walking a batter. Ryan Weber was near-perfect in relief as he fired three hitless innings, but Buffalo put the game out of reach with three runs off of Kevin McCarthy in the seventh. 
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May 4, 2021 at 4:00 PM

May 2021 Ranking Update: Whitlock rises, Dalbec graduates


The May 2021 ranking updates are live. The delayed start to the minor league season led to relative stability on the big board, with the most notable exceptions being a pair of current major leaguers: Bobby Dalbec (pictured, left), a fixture in the Top 20 for much of the last five years, reached the 130 at-bat milestone and graduated from prospect status; and climbing up from #16 in the rankings to fourth is rookie sensation Garrett Whitlock

Whitlock a rare Rule 5 phenom
For much of the last decade, Boston's
 role in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft had been as a trade facilitator. Players such as Jeff Kobernus, Jandel Gustave, and Marwin Gonzalez were selected by Boston only to be flipped for considerations without such onerous roster requirements. Between 2009 and 2018, the only player the Red Sox selected without the intention of dealing him was Josh Rutledge, who weeks earlier left the Boston organization to ink a minor league deal with Colorado only to be crooked back. That trend shifted when Chaim Bloom selected infielder Jonathan Araúz from Houston in December of 2019 and was able to keep him on the major league roster throughout the shortened 2020 campaign. Araúz remains with the organization, currently a member of the major league taxi squad and sitting at 22nd in the prospect rankings.
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May 3, 2021 at 9:30 AM

Scouting Scratch: Jarren Duran, Jeter Downs, Michael Chavis and Michael Gettys


Although the minor league season was postponed until May 4, the players at the Alternate Training Site (ATS) in Worcester have been able to get some work against players from outside of the organization in three sets of scrimmages against players from the New York Mets’ Site this month. Two of the sets were played at the Mets’ site in Brooklyn, but the teams played three games April 17-19 at Polar Park, and I was fortunate enough to attend two games—the first time I’ve seen live baseball since September 2019. Since these were only scrimmages, I won’t be doing a full scouting scratch, rather here is a compilation of notes from the two games headlined by standout performances from Jarren Duran.

- Jarren Duran has carried over his performance from Red Sox spring training, where he was one of the most intriguing hitters in camp, to the ATS, where he has continued to show the power potential that has been unlocked by his swing change. I saw seven at-bats from Duran over the two games, and he hit two home runs in the second game. He hit the ball hard two other times and showed consistent ability to impact the baseball, an area in which he was lacking in the past. Duran is also more aggressive at the plate, as he seems to hunt fastballs early in the count and rarely gets cheated when he decides to swing. This aggressiveness is something pitchers could take advantage of, and he did show some swing-and-miss in the two-game look. Defensively, Duran has started to see time in the outfield corners more recently, but in this look he played center field. He was not really tested, but I did notice a few times that he took a false step or had trouble reading the ball off the bat, which has been an issue since he converted to the outfield. While his speed allows him to cover for these issues sometimes, it is a deficiency that could be magnified at the major league level. 
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at 7:00 AM

Minor Notes: Rosters, new rankings announced


Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The SoxProspects.com crew is back at live games. Our own Director of Scouting Ian Cundall spent some time at the Alternate Training site in Worcester and he discussed that experience and more with Executive Editor Chris Hatfield on Episode No. 208 of the SoxProspects podcast.
  • With the new minor league season beginning, the SoxProspects.com Top-60 rankings have been refreshed. The top three, first baseman Triston Casas (pictured, left), infielder Jeter Downs and outfielder Jarren Duran, stayed the same, while right-handed pitcher Garrett Whitlock jumped 11 spots to reach No. 4. Fellow right-hander Tanner Houck, formerly No. 7, rounds out the Top 5.
  • Whitlock had the second-largest jump in the rankings, beat out by AJ Politi, who lept 14 slots from No. 48 to No. 34. Right-handed pitcher Nathaniel Cruz and Jeremy Wu-Yelland, a left-handed arm, climbed eight and seven spots, respectively.
  • Bobby Dalbec, who made Boston's Opening Day roster and has been playing first base, also officially graduates from prospect status on May 4.

  • The scouting team also updated seven scouting reports, including a pair of players in the back half of the Top 60 in No. 55 Brian Van Belle, a right-handed pitcher, and shortstop Antoni Flores, ranked No. 58. Outfielder Wil Dalton, catcher Jaxx Groshans, right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson, first baseman Stephen Scott and right-handed pitcher Jordan Divalerio also each have refreshed scouting reports.
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