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SoxProspects News

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
  • There was also a rankings update at the site last week, as Bobby Dalbec officially graduated, while Rule-5 selection Garrett Whitlock has shot up the board with his dominance so far in 2021, both in spring training and with the big league club. Like Whitlock, right-handed pitcher A.J. Politi saw a big jump in his ranking to 34th. The top of the list is filled with familiar names, and Gilberto Jimenez and Tanner Houck made the fifth spot a tough decision. 
  • SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was back at the ballpark a few weeks ago to watch players at the Alternate Site scrimmage some New York Mets minor leaguers. In his first Scouting Scratch post, he was impressed by Jarren Duran and also got to see second-ranked prospect Jeter Downs live for the first time. He also wrote about Michael Chavis and Michael Gettys, who was a signing the Sox made this past offseason. 
  • In his second piece, Cundall writes about what he saw from right-handed pitcher Connor Seabold, who was acquired from the Phillies along with Nick Pivetta last summer. Also discussed in the article are another pair of right-handers in Eduard Bazardo, who made his MLB debut this season, and Raynel Espinal
  • The SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Stars were also announced, as the hitters led it off with a few repeats and some newcomers. Along with some familiar top prospects, 2020 first-round draft pick Nick Yorke made an appearance, while 17-year old international signing Miguel Bleis occupied one of the three outfield spots. 
  • As for the pitchers, there were also a few newcomers, including Connor Seabold and Jacob Wallace, who were both acquired last season, with Wallace being dealt to Boston from Colorado for Kevin Pillar
  • They weren't named Players of the Week here at SoxProspects.com, but Kutter Crawford and Johan Mieses have been hot to start the year, as Matt Collins at Overthemonster.com writes
  • The Red Sox brought back old friend Brandon Workman on a minor league deal and he has reported to Worcester. He had a 6.75 ERA with the Cubs in 2021. He had a 3.75 ERA with 20 saves in six seasons with Boston from 2013-2020. 
  • Chaim Bloom talked to Steve Hewitt of The Boston Herald about the excitement surrounding the start of the minor league season. He also spoke about Connor Seabold's injury as well as the Sox Covid vaccine situation. 
  • A pair of Boston's former top pitching prospects made news this week. Right-hander Michael Kopech, dealt in the Chris Sale deal, graduated from prospect status. The flamethrower has been outstanding in his return from 2019 Tommy John surgery, with a 1.61 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. Anderson Espinoza returned to the mound as well, with the 23-year-old having recovered from two Tommy John surgeries since last pitching in August 2016. Espinoza hurled a pair of scoreless innings on Thursday for Double-A Fort Wayne.

Players of the Week 5/3-5/10

Jordan DiValerio, RHP, Salem Red Sox 
2 G, 2-0, 4 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K 

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, the 23-year old DiValerio has impressed in Salem. He pitched four seasons at St. Joseph's and was having a terrific year in 2020 until the season got canceled. He sits around 89-92 MPH, topping out at 94 MPH. He also has a curveball as well as a splitter and changeup. The split and change have similar movement and velocity, but different spin rates.  

Stephen Scott, 1B, Salem Red Sox
5 G, 20 PA, 6 H, 3 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 7 BB, 1 K, .462/.650/1.154

Scott was drafted in the 10th round by Boston in 2019 after a monster senior campaign at Vanderbilt. He had a solid first professional year in Lowell, posting a .764 OPS in 39 games. He is a first baseman that has also dabbled in catching, as he has nine innings behind the dish so far this year. He is 24 years old and projects to be a depth piece moving forward. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Scott by Kelly O'Connor