SoxProspects News

June 30, 2021 at 12:56 PM

Podcast Ep. #215 - Scouting Portland, Part 1


Lots to talk about this week, but the big story is Ian saw Portland and we have a lot from his scouting notebook to go over. But first the guys go over a healthy amount of news from the system. Starting off is a discussion of how the team can help pitchers who are re-learning to pitch with the new enforcement rules in place. Connor Wong debuted with the big club. A handful of updates regarding injured players cap the news, before we turn our eyes south to Fort Myers. The Florida Complex League kicked off play, which led to a discussion of the loss of the short-season leagues. Then it is on to the scouting report on Portland, and two things to note, if you like these kinds of scouting heavy shows, you will love the game updates on our Patreon. You can find details here. Second, Ian will get another look at Portland this week, so expect more of these kinds of updates soon. Finally, Chris and Ian read through the mailbag to talk about what you want to hear about. Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Davis drives in five, Duran belts two homers


6/30 Cup of Coffee: Despite the loss, it was a notable day for the WooSox, as Jarren Duran belted two home runs, Jeter Downs went yard, and Tanner Houck was solid in his start. The Sea Dogs also put up a big offensive showing in a loss, as the pitching throughout the system wasn't great yesterday. Salem broke out for 20 runs, led by Joe Davis' (pictured) huge day at the plate. 

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 9, Worcester Red Sox 7

Jarren Duran headlined this one, belting his 14th and 15th home runs of the season. He showed off his all-fields power yet again, as the first one went to right field and the second to left field. Jeter Downs also went deep, but ended up having to leave the game after a collision at home plate. Johan Mieses also went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles. 


Tanner Houck impressed during his four innings of work on the mound, allowing two runs with four strikeouts and no walks. SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall had some more details on Houck's outing, which started out perfectly but fell apart in the fourth inning. Phillips Valdez had a clean inning with a pair of strikeouts out of the bullpen. 
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June 29, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Wong makes major league debut; Florida Complex League has Opening Day


Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • SoxProspects.com's own Chris Hatfield and Ian Cundall hosted Episode No. 214 of the SoxProspects Podcast. The crew discussed Tanner Houck's return to the mound and also answered questions from the listeners.
  • The list of updated reports also includes No. 21 Eduard Bazardo, No. 43 Kaleb Ort and No. 56 Raynel Espinal, each of whom are currently pitching in the bullpen for Worcester.
  • The FCL Red Sox started their season Monday against the FCL Braves in a game that was cut short due to rain. Among the Opening Day starters were a pair of top-20 prospects in Brainer Bonaci and Blaze Jordan, while Nick Decker appeared on a rehab assignment from Salem after suffering a leg strain on May 20.
  • Freddy Valdez, who was acquired as a player to be named later from the Mets earlier in June, also will be among the players on the FCL squad.
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at 10:00 AM

2021 SoxProspects Donation Drive


Dear readers,


We're asking for your help to raise $7,000 to keep SoxProspects.com up and running. We have kept the site free for almost 18 years now, and we hope to do so for the foreseeable future. As we scout dozens of games first-hand each year, travel costs pile up. Our other costs to run the site often go up on an annual basis as well, and our ad revenue only covers a portion of those costs. So we're reaching out to the community for donations to help us keep the site running. Donations help cover site costs in two primary areas: (1) first-hand coverage travel costs for scouting; and (2) general IT costs such as hardware, software, internet costs, and hosting fees.


Your donations help us travel to Ft Myers in March to cover spring training and in the fall to cover the Instructional League each year, which are vital to get “one-stop shopping” for prospects across the system at levels we can’t see regularly. They also help cover the costs of travelling to affiliate games for regular first-hand coverage. We anticipate that our total costs will exceed $15,000 in 2021. While we should cover about half of that from online advertising revenue, your donations help us ensure we can cover those costs in order to keep the site going.

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at 9:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Garrett Whitlock, Kaleb Ort, Eduard Bazardo and Raynel Espinal


Today's SoxProspects scouting report update highlights four right-handed pitchers that impressed at Major League Spring Training or were with Worcester to start the Triple-A season. SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Garrett Whitlock, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description:
Tall, sturdy frame. Looks the part of a prototypical starting pitcher. Little-to-no remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the third base side of the rubber. Does not use a windup. Starts tall and gets well-above-average extension towards home plate. Really uses his size well in his delivery and gets elite extension. Short arm action behind, hides the ball. Delivery is a little stiff, but he repeats it well.

Fastball: 94-97 mph. Tops out at 99 mph. Throws both a four-seam and a sinker, primarily relying on the sinker. Pitch shows heavy sink and jumps on hitters due to his extension towards the plate. Sinker induces a lot of groundballs. Velocity jumped after Tommy John surgery from prior 90-93, T95 range. Potential plus offering.

Changeup: 82-84 mph. Throws with circle grip. Pitch has improved drastically since joining the Red Sox, reportedly due to conversations with Matt Andriese during spring training in 2021. Now is his primary secondary. Pitch shows heavy drop and fade and will fall off the table at his best. Used to throw harder at 86-88 mph. Potential plus offering.

Slider: 82-85 mph. True slider with vertical shape. Has continued working on development of the pitch with Red Sox staff in 2021. Sometimes will throw even harder in the 86-88 mph range. Pitch has shown the ability to miss bats at the highest levels. Does not have much horizontal movement. Potential above-average offering.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: The FCL era begins with a Gonzalez complete (half) game


6/29 Cup of Coffee: The Gulf Coast League is gone after a 30-year run of young players establishing themselves in the professional ranks and roughly one-third of the games getting interrupted by rain. With the 2021 restructuring of minor league baseball, the Florida Complex League is here, picking up where the GCL left off. 

Who said the complete game is dead? In the first game in FCL Red Sox history, opening day starter Wilkelman Gonzalez went four innings before the rains came in. Gonzalez allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits, striking out five and walking one. At the plate, two highly touted prospects who struggled in 2019 got off to good starts: Danny Diaz ripped a double for the Sox only extra-base hit of the afternoon and came in to score the lone run, while Antoni Flores had a single and a walk. Darel Belen, an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic who had a strong 2019 in the DSL, also had a single and a walk in the loss. 
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June 28, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Joe Davis homers twice and drives in six as Salem wins slugfest


6/28 Cup of Coffee:
The affiliates split their contests on Sunday, the final day before the Florida Complex League kicks off its schedule. Joe Davis (pictured) stole the spotlight in Salem's wild win, blasting a pair of three-run homers to lead the Sox. Portland picked up the organization's other victory in a far more subdued affair, as a quartet of hurlers gave up just five hits. Worcester dropped its fifth straight, while three homers were not enough to power Greenville to victory.

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An old friend doomed Worcester to its fifth consecutive defeat at Frontier Field. Former Boston top prospect Blake Swihart scored four runs out of the leadoff spot, including an eighth-inning solo homer off of Kaleb Ort to provide some insurance for the Red Wings. Worcester starter Daniel Gossett allowed seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits in six innings, taking the loss. Chris Herrmann had a big day at the plate, completing the more difficult half of the cycle with a homer in the seventh and a triple in the ninth. Chad De La Guerra homered and doubled on the afternoon, while Franchy Cordero turned in another two-hit effort. It was the 12th time in 34 games since joining the WooSox that Cordero has had two or more base hits. 
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June 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero goes 4 for 5; Groome has mixed results in start


6/27 Cup of Coffee:
 While the big club won in exciting fashion, it didn't go so well down on the farm on Saturday. Portland was shut out in a three-hit performance, while Greenville was only able to get four base knocks in a loss. Three of the affiliates threw a bullpen day, while Jay Groome had an uneven start as he allowed three home runs in five innings but struck out eight hitters. Franchy Cordero was the offensive star of the evening, as he was 4 for 5 for Worcester -- a triple short of the cycle. Salem was the only affiliate to take home a victory, riding five errors by Lynchburg and several free passes to a win, despite being outhit. 

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Franchy Cordero was 4 for 5 at the plate, but it wasn't enough to deliver Worcester to the win. Cordero was a triple short of the cycle, producing four of his team's nine hits and two of its six RBI. Michael Gettys and Jett Bandy had two RBI each, with Gettys' effort coming on a two-run homer. In a day with most affiliates experiencing bullpen days, John Schreiber earned the start, contributing the first two innings. He allowed a pair of runs on three hits, with two walks against a strikeout. Kevin McCarthy gave his team the most outs, throwing three innings, though he did permit six hits and an unearned run. The Red Sox were ahead headed into the sixth inning, but Brandon Brennan had a frame to forget, as he allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning, putting the game out of reach.  
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June 26, 2021 at 7:14 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran extends hitting streak; Williams channels Pedroia


6/26 Cup of Coffee:
On Dustin Pedroia night, the performance of the affiliates was anything but a laser show. The four affiliates combined to score just seven runs in being swept. Portland second baseman Grant Williams (pictured) continued to do his best impression of No. 15, picking up a pair of hits while continuing to be the hardest player to strike out in the minor leagues, but Portland dropped its third straight. Worcester, Greenville, and Salem all struggled to tough one-run losses. Salem's came despite a particularly dominant pitching performance headlined by Brandon Walter, as three hurlers combined to strike out 14 batters, walk one, and scatter just five hits without allowing an earned run.

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Kyle Hart was done in by three solo home runs as the WooSox fell in Rochester. Hart went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walking four and striking out two as he was saddled with the loss. Zac Grotz and Phillips Valdez threw a scoreless inning apiece out of the bullpen, but the Worcester lineup was unable to take advantage. Jarren Duran extended his hitting streak to eight games with a bunt single in the sixth inning. Franchy Cordero and Yairo Munoz had two hits apiece, and Cordero added a stolen base and a run scored.
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June 25, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Granberg with first Portland homer; Scherff closes out Greenville victory


6/25 Cup of Coffee:
It was an evening to forget through the Red Sox system. The major league club's strange game finished first on a wild pitch and many of the minor league contests would not have better outcomes in the moments that followed. Portland was able to erase three separate Somerset leads, but would eventually fall in extra innings, while Salem was able to generate just four hits, of which three came in the fifth inning. Worcester would give up 20 hits and 13 runs to Rochester and though Greenville would provide the bright spot with an extra-innings victory, they did cough up a five-run lead after six innings. Devlin Granberg (pictured) hit his first Portland home run, while Jarren Duran continued his torrid stretch with a pair of singles. He would raise his OPS over 1.000 to 1.007 with his offensive output. 

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Worcester pitching had a rough evening in upstate New York, surrendering 20 hits and 13 runs, including four home runs. The defense didn't help much, committing a pair of errors. The bulk of the damage was credited to Stephen Gonsalves, who struggled through 4 1/3 10-hit frames. He would allow seven runs to cross the plate, six of which were earned. He gave up three of Rochester's big flies and also walked a trio of batters. Bobby Poyner was next, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings, while Marcus Walden was unable to complete a full inning, as four Red Wings scored in just 2/3 of a frame. Matt Hall was the only pitcher on the night to not allow a run, doing so across the game's final 1 1/3 innings.

Worcester actually struck first in this game on a Jonathan Arauz RBI single in the second and a Yairo Munoz triple in the following inning, but was left playing catch-up for much of the rest of the game. Jarren Duran and Jack Lopez each had two-hit games, the former of which raised his OPS to over 1.000 on the season.

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June 24, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Matheny homers twice in twinbill; Duran goes deep again


6/24 Cup of Coffee:
The affiliates' luck flipped following Tuesday's system-wide sweep. Portland got the only victory of the day, taking the opener of its doubleheader, aided by a Tate Matheny (pictured) round-tripper. Matheny went deep again in the nightcap but little else went right for a Portland lineup that did not record a hit until the sixth inning. Worcester suffered a rare loss, but Jarren Duran homered as usual. Greenville and Salem both clawed back in their contests only to fall in the 10th inning. 

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Worcester fell for just the second time in its last 14 contests despite an 11-hit effort. Unsurprisingly, one of those hits was yet another home run off the bat of Jarren Duran, his sixth in just 12 games. Duran also singled and walked during the Wednesday matinee. Marcus Wilson reached base four times, going 3 for 4 with a walk. Tanner Houck surrendered a home run to the game's leadoff batter but settled in for a solid outing. He went 3 2/3, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out six without issuing a walk, and inducing four groundouts. Kaleb Ort surrendered a crooked number for the first time in his 18 WooSox appearances. Ort gave up two runs on four hits in the eighth as his ERA ballooned to 1.29. 
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June 23, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis homers twice; Downs notches four hits


6/22 Cup of Coffee: Michael Chavis's (pictured) torrid June rolled on as he combined with Jeter Downs and Jonathan Araúz to lead the Worcester attack. One of the few players who can rival Chavis right now is Brandon Howlett who went deep again for Greenville. In Salem, Nick Yorke had a walk-off single and Matthew Lugo was on base five times. 

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The WooSox continue to score runs in bunches as they put up a 10-spot on the Red Wings. Michael Chavis led the offense as he hit two home runs and added a single and a walk. Jeter Downs went 4 for 5 with a stolen base as his average has crept up to .250, and Jonathan Araúz went 2 for 5 with a three-run home run. Daniel Gossett got the start but could not make it through the fourth inning as he allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings. Kevin McCarthy was lights out in relief striking out four in two hitless innings.
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June 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #214 - Houck returns to the hill


The first-place Red Sox are set to face the Rays and newly promoted top prospect Wander Franco, and we’re back to talk through the latest news and notes from the system. Tanner Houck got back on the bump last week, while promotion season continued with several interesting moves. Chris and Ian talked through who could be next to level up. The discussion then moved up to Fenway, and the guys discussed who might get the call if Kevin Plawecki needs a stint on the IL and whether it’s Duran time. And as always, Chris and Ian dipped into the mailbag to talk about what you want to hear about. Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 6:30 AM

Minor Notes: Bello dominates at Double-A & Leiter linked to Red Sox


 Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The SoxProspects.com Podcast team got together on Wednesday for Episode #213 where they went through the farm system and discussed, amongst other things, Brayan Bello's (pictured, right) recent promotion to Double-A Portland. That topic seemed especially relevant after his start on Friday. More on that later.

  • Over at The Athletic, Jenn McCaffrey did a Q&A and, unsurprisingly, many of the questions were focused on third-ranked prospect, outfielder Jarren Duran, and when he may get the call-up. McCaffrey agrees with most that he is expected to get called up at some point and has some notes on how the timing could impact his ability to play with Team USA in the upcoming Olympic Games.

  • Duran had another superb week, hitting two more home runs with a 1.141 OPS and lifting his season line to .286/.379/.627 all while being almost three years younger than league average. As Executive Editor Chris Hatfield points out on Twitter, Duran has been mostly feast-or-famine with 11 hitless games and 10 games of 2+ hits among his 28 games.
  • Like many prospects, Duran's game has evolved since he turned pro. The largest transition came over the 2019-2020 offseason where he underwent a swing overhaul to add more lift and improve his ability to drive the ball, as the Boston Globe's Alex Speier writes. However, it was odd timing that during the shutdown, a player was able to make these significant changes but that can, at least in part, be attributed to Octavio Duran, Jarren's father, who has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. That swing change has been on full display thus far in the International League in 2021 where Duran currently sits third in home runs and fourth in OPS.
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June 21, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yorke and Duran homer; Wu-Yelland leads near no-no


6/21 Cup of Coffee:
A walk-off home run from Jarren Duran (pictured), the first professional home run from Nick Yorke, a walk-off single from Tyreque Reed, and a near no-hitter for Salem made Sunday an interesting day at all levels. Jay Groome continued to miss bats for Greenville, though his control was spotty for a second straight start. Jeremy Wu-Yelland had no control issues as he retired all 12 batters he faced, and Frank German had a strong first appearance out of the bullpen. 

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A walk-off three-run home run from Jarren Duran and another spotless relief performance from Kaleb Ort led the WooSox to their 10th win in 11 games. Duran was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts before his opposite-field home run in the 10th inning. It was his 12th home run of the year and he is now hitting .286/.379/.627. He entered the year with just eight career home runs in 199 games. Josh Ockimey added his seventh home run on the year. 
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June 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: 2 more hits for Duran; 7 shutout innings for Hart in Worcester win


6/20 Cup of Coffee:
Worcester staved off a winless night for the system, as Greenville and Salem both fell in their contests, while Portland lost its game to Mother Nature. The Triple-A game was full of strong performances as Jack Lopez and Yairo Munoz each added three hits, with Munoz coming up just a home run short of the cycle. Jarren Duran came through with another two hits and has now had multi-hit games in five of his last six. Marcus Wilson also added two hits, while Kyle Hart shined on the mound. Elsewhere, Greenville did not record a hit until the sixth inning as Chase Shugart struggled in a rough pitching performance, while the Salem offense sputtered after a two-run first inning.

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Yairo Munoz was a home run short of the cycle in Worcester on Saturday night, as the home team earned the victory. While Kyle Hart had some control issues, walking four batters, you cannot argue with the results. He scattered three hits over seven shutout frames, adding five strikeouts, as well. His shutout was carried by Brandon Brennan through the eighth, while Phillips Valdez struggled in the ninth. All three Lehigh Valley runs came across to score on his watch, forcing John Schreiber to come in and record the final two outs to secure the win. Munoz was not the only plater with three hits on the evening, as Jack Lopez was 3 for 4 with a trio of RBI as well. He got the scoring going with a single in the second, adding a second RBI base hit in the fourth and a third in the eighth. Jarren Duran and Marcus Wilson each had multi-hit outings as well. Duran now has had at least two hits in five of his last six games.
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June 19, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello dominates again; Duran powers WooSox


6/19 Cup of Coffee:
It was a big night on the farm, with some of the 2021 season's top performers again grabbing the spotlight. Jarren Duran blasted a monster home run in Worcester's victory, while Brayan Bello (pictured) was dominant in his second start since his promotion to Double-A Portland. The top prospect from the 2018-19 international class made a splash in his stateside debut as Eduardo Lopez teamed with Gilberto Jimenez to lead the Salem victory. The only loss of the night came out of Greenville, as the Drive's seven-game winning streak was snapped despite the best efforts of Brandon Howlett.

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The hits have tended to come in bunches for Jarren Duran, as they did on Friday. A two-run homer in the fifth innings highlighted a 3-for-4 effort, already the fourth game with at least three hits for Duran this season. Michael Chavis and Yairo Munoz had solo home runs and Jeter Downs added a double. After following an opener in his last two outings, Stephen Gonsalves returned to a traditional starting role. He went six innings, allowing one run on seven hits, striking out seven without issuing a walk. 
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June 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Houck returns, Downs crushes game-winning home run


6/18 Cup of Coffee: Great pitching and long balls were the story last night, as Tanner Houck returned and dominated, Jeter Downs' bomb gave Worcester a win, and the Sea Dogs crushed three homers and received great pitching. Chris Murphy (pictured) was also fantastic in his start for Greenville, and Nick Yorke stayed hot for Salem. 

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The Sox won this one thanks to a clutch go-ahead solo home run by Jeter Downs in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie. The second-ranked prospect took at 1-1 breaking ball and sent it deep into the Polar Park night. He added a single as well and now has multiple hits in three of his last four games. Jarren Duran also had a good night, going 2 for 4 with his seventh double of the year. On the mound, Tanner Houck returned to action for the first time since May 4 and looked fantastic. The right-hander fired three shutout innings with six strikeouts and just one walk while not allowing a hit. The Sox staff ended up with 15 strikeouts, as Matt Hall and Kaleb Ort each tossed two shutout innings of their own with three strikeouts each. 
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June 17, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yorke keys Salem; Howlett walks off wild Drive comeback


6/17 Cup of Coffee:
It was an evening of comeback victories and stellar bullpen efforts, as the affiliates took three out of four on Wednesday. Of the 14 pitchers who threw in relief, only one gave up so much as a run, with the crew combining to surrender just two across 21 2/3 innings. That work enabled three comeback victories, none more unlikely than Greenville's rally from a 5-0 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to extend its winning streak to six games. Portland went to extra innings to complete its win, while Nick Yorke (pictured) and Jaxx Groshans both reached base four times in the Salem victory. Worcester was the only team in the system to fall, snapping a week-long winning streak.

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The WooSox winning streak came to an end at seven games on a tough evening at Polar Park. Daniel Gossett saw his night spoiled with a five-run fifth inning. Overall, the right-hander surrendered six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3. Brandon Brennan made his return to Worcester after being outrighted earlier in the day, striking out two and allowing one hit in a scoreless inning. A two-run eighth-inning rally spoiled the shutout bid. Johan Mieses had two of the six Worcester hits. Top prospects Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs combined to go 0 for 9 in the loss. 
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June 16, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Podcast Ep. #213- Talking Bello on the water


Chris and Ian are back with your weekly trip around the Red Sox farm system. We talk through Brayan Bello’s promotion and how he might fare in our next rankings update. The guys also talk about another pitcher who is showing he is ready to level up. They welcome Yacksel Rios to the club, to join the ranks of hard throwing right handed relievers. They have updates on some injured prospects as well as some news from the now-renamed Florida Complex League. Chris and Ian check levels and crack open the mailbag to close the show. Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero raises average to .406, Groome strikes out seven


6/16 Cup of Coffee:
It was a clean sweep for the affiliates on Tuesday as the offense was firing on all cylinders at each level. Jeter Downs, Jonathan Araúz, and Franchy Cordero (pictured) helped Worcester put up a 10-spot on the IronPigs, Jeisson Rosario drove in four for Portland, Tyler Esplin had three hits in support of Jay Groome in Greenville, and Ceddanne Rafaela was on base four times for Salem. 

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Franchy Cordero went 3 for 3 with three doubles and two walks to raise his average to .406 in Worcester's victory. .406 is a more sacred number at the major league level than it is in the minors, but at this point, it is clear that Cordero is not being challenged in Triple-A. He was walked intentionally with two on and two out in the fourth inning, and he now has 14 extra-base hits in 16 games with the WooSox. Jeter Downs went 2 for 3 with two walks, Jonathan Araúz drove in four runs as part of a 3-for-4 night, and Jarren Duran went 2 for 6 with a double. Josh Ockimey hit his sixth home run and drew two walks in his first start since last Tuesday. 
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June 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox acquire Rios, Chavis hits his way to Boston


Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • Chris and Ian recorded a much-anticipated Podcast episode reviewing the final prospects received in the Andrew Benintendi trade. They also discussed the Olympic Qualifier event and answered mailbag questions. 
  • The 2021 SoxProspects.com Donation Drive is live! We have been able to keep this site free, and any donations help us stay free. As always, thanks to all of our readers for visiting the site and all of our forum members for posting!
  • The bottom of the 40-man roster saw some turnover last week as Brandon Brennan was designated for assignment. Ryan Weber was added to the 40-man, but after a rough outing against the Blue Jays, he was also designated for assignment. Weber's spot was quickly filled as Yacksel Rios was acquired from Seattle for cash considerations. 
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June 14, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ramirez shuts down Fredericksburg; Downs homers twice


6/14 Cup of Coffee:
Sunday's slate was highlighted by tremendous offensive performances in the upper minors and some great pitching in the lower minors. Aldo Ramirez (pictured) and Chase Shugart led Salem and Greenville to victories, while the WooSox launched five home runs with two coming from Jeter Downs and one coming from Jarren Duran. Nick Yorke continued to hit his way out of his early-season slump, and Brandon Howlett remained one of the hottest hitters in the system with another home run. 

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Worcester had 10 runs by the third inning as they came out swinging in the series finale with Syracuse. Jeter Downs hit his fourth and fifth home runs as part of a 2-for-6 night. Downs was just 3 for 23 since returning to the WooSox lineup, but he rebounded to notch his third career multi-homer game. Jarren Duran had also been a bit cold in the same stretch as he was 4 for 24, but he went 2 for 4 with his 10th home run and two walks on Sunday. Also going deep were Johan Mieses and Michael Gettys, and Franchy Cordero went 2 for 6 with a double and two strikeouts. The performance actually lowered his OPS to 1.195 with Worcester. 
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June 13, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran homers, Gambrell makes system debut


6/13 Cup of Coffee:
Overall, it was a winning Saturday for the Red Sox system, as the four teams went 3-2 on the day, including a split in a double-header by Salem. Worcester put forth the most dominant performance, drilling three home runs, including a lead-off shot by Jarren Duran (pictured) as well as an impressively deep shot by Franchy Cordero to help put the home team away. Chris Herrmann and Jack Lopez added three hits each, providing a spark for the top of the lineup. Portland and Greenville split a pair of pitcher's duels, one of which went to extra innings, while Salem alternated between struggling offensively and putting on some fireworks.

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A trio of home runs, one each by Jarren Duran, Franchy Cordero and Michael Chavis, led the Red Sox to a dominant win Saturday night. Duran, who was 2 for 6, got it started early with a leadoff big fly, while Chavis extended the lead with a three-run homer in the third as part of a two-hit day. Cordero's home run in the eighth was an exclamation point on the proceedings in Syracuse. Chris Herrmann and Jack Lopez each added three hits at the bottom of the lineup as well. John Schreiber was utilized as an opener and surrendered a hit in his inning, followed by Kyle Hart. He went seven solid innings, scattering five hits and two runs, with four strikeouts and a pair of walks mixed in.
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June 12, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Castellanos goes deep twice; Howlett powers Greenville


6/12 Cup of Coffee: It was a night of comebacks all across the system. While the major league club was making up a season-high four-run deficit, Triple-A Worcester used a late rally led by Michael Chavis to take its fourth straight win. Portland was on the other end of a decisive rally, carrying a Pedro Castellanos-powered (pictured) 6-4 lead into the ninth only to see New Hampshire score 10 unanswered runs. Greenville led from the post, scoring in the top of the first and surviving a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. Salem could not come back from a walloping from Mother Nature early in the day that left the grounds unplayable.

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What had been a pitchers' duel between Stephen Gonsalves and Tylor Megill turned wild in the late innings. The WooSox prevailed in a wild comeback, scoring four runs in the final two innings off of old friend Stephen Nogosek. Michael Chavis provided a key two-run eighth-inning double that gave Worcester the advantage. Chavis had previously gotten Worcester on the board with his solo homer in the fourth. Jack Lopez had a pair of hits coming off the bench, including a decisive ninth-inning single. 
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June 11, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Howlett ropes three doubles, Duran goes deep


6/11 Cup of Coffee: The WooSox, Sea Dogs, and Drive all received very solid starting pitching performances from Daniel Gossett, Josh Winckowski, and Brian Van Belle. Brandon Howlett (pictured) had a monster game at the plate for Greenville with three extra-base hits, and Jarren Duran went deep for Worcester. 

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Jarren Duran belted his first home run since coming back from Team USA, a two-run blast in the third. All the Sox runs came via the home run, as their other three runs came on a three-run homer by Jonathan Arauz. Yairo Munoz also had a big night at the plate, going 3 for 4. Daniel Gossett delivered a solid start, lasting the first 5 2/3 innings while allowing just two runs on five hits. The bullpen did not allow a run, as Austin Brice struck out three in 1 1/3 frames, and Matt Hall and Kaleb Ort each tossed a scoreless inning. 
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June 10, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis powers WooSox; Granberg keeps hitting


6/10 Cup of Coffee:
Some standout offensive performances highlighted a Wednesday split down on the farm. Michael Chavis (pictured) had a big day backed by a few of the regular recent standouts for Worcester, continuing its offensive surge. Salem was on the opposite end of a blowout, with Jeremy Wu-Yelland toiling through the toughest start of his young professional career. Portland prevailed in a back-and-forth contest, while Greenville fell despite the efforts of Devlin Granberg and a patient ninth-inning rally.

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Getting away from hitter-friendly Polar Park has not dulled the Worcester offense, as the WooSox tallied double digits for the second straight night in Central New York. A pair trying to reset in Triple-A led the offensive attack in the mid-week matinee. Michael Chavis had a three-run homer in addition to two singles and a walk, while Franchy Cordero raised his OPS since his demotion to 1.306 with a three-hit afternoon that included a double and a walk. Marcus Wilson blasted his eighth home run of the season, while Johan Mieses went deep for a 13th time and second since his promotion from Portland. 
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June 9, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran and Casas return; Ramirez impresses again


6/9 Cup of Coffee:
The Worcester and Portland offenses got a big shot in the arm with Jarren Duran and Triston Casas returning from their time with Team USA. Both players made an immediate impact upon their return, though Marcus Wilson (pictured) and Joey Meneses had the biggest hits in those games. Ryan Weber and Aldo Ramirez had great starts while AJ Politi and Chase Shugart struggled. Salem is playing the Fredericksburg Nationals once again, but they have improved and won 7 of their last 12 games after starting the season 1-17. 

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A gem from Ryan Weber and a balanced offensive performance led to Worcester's blowout victory. Weber twirled seven two-run innings, with both of the runs scoring with two outs in the seventh. He walked two, struck out five, and allowed only two hits. 
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June 8, 2021 at 4:43 PM

Podcast Ep. #212 - Finally, the rest of the Benintendi bounty


It’s your weekly trip from Fort Myers to Boston, with stops in Salem, Greenville, Portland and Worcester, in between. And yes, with 4 straight weeks, we can officially call ourselves a weekly podcast. This week, Chris and Ian talk about the final return for Andrew Benintendi as the players at last have been named later. After that, the news from the system include an unfortunate injury update for Thaddeus Ward along with a promotion for Johan Mieses. Ian shares updates from the Olympic Qualifier. The guys talk through the return of Brandon Workman and some interesting updates to the Baseball America Top 100 list. And before cracking open the mailbag, the guys share some thoughts on Nick Yorke and small samples. And to close the show we get to a couple of your questions. Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 2:07 PM

Minor Notes: Casas, Duran play well for Team USA



Here are this week's minor league notes:

  • The 2021 SoxProspects.com Donation Drive is live, as we look to reach our goal of raising $7,000. We have been able to keep this site free, and any donations help us stay free. Any help is very much appreciated and as always, we thank everybody for reading!
  • The SoxProspects.com May Players of the Month were announced, as Johan Mieses and Brayan Bello were recognized for their terrific starts to 2021. The month for Mieses earned him a promotion to Worcester on Wednesday, where he has already hit a home run. The month for Bello vaulted him into the top 10 on the SoxProspects.com rankings, and he also earned a promotion to Portland in a transaction announced Tuesday. 
  • Speaking of rankings, the newest SoxProspects.com podcast is out with a lot of rankings discussion. Chris and Ian also talk about the demotion of Franchy Cordero, as well as an update on the rest of the players the Sox received from Kansas City in the Andrew Benintendi trade. They end the show with a mailbag.
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June 7, 2021 at 3:00 PM

SoxProspects welcomes moderator (back) to team


The SoxProspects.com team is happy to announce that longtime contributor jmei (John) is rejoining the moderator team. 

John previously served as a moderator from 2012 until stepping away in July 2019. He was a leader on forum management team and has long been one of our most knowledgeable and insightful posters. We are thrilled to have him back on board.

Head on over to the forum to welcome him back and converse about the rest of the goings on in the system.

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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello strikes out nine; Davis homers twice


6/7 Cup of Coffee
: It was a mixed bag for the affiliates on Sunday, with most of the best performances coming from the lower minors. Brayan Bello (pictured) struck out nine and did not walk a batter in his latest gem, while Matt Kent and Shane Drohan also turned in solid performances. Brandon Howlett, Cameron Cannon, and Joe Davis all had great days at the plate as Greenville scored 15 runs and Salem scored 9. 

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A day after giving up 18 runs, the Worcester staff struggled again against the Red Wings. With the bullpen already taxed, Kyle Hart had to take one for the team as he surrendered nine runs over 5 1/3 innings. Hart was tagged for four home runs on a 91-degree day with the wind blowing out at 11 mph. Caleb Simpson also allowed a home run, but Kaleb Ort was able to strike out the side in his lone inning of work. 
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June 6, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Offenses struggle, Granberg homers in Greenville back-and-forth win


6/6 Cup of Coffee:
It was not pretty down on the farm Saturday evening. Two affiliates were held to one run, while a third was shut out. While Portland and Salem kept it close, Worcester suffered a devastating 17-run defeat. Salem was kept to five hits, while the offensive drought was worse for the Sea Dogs, as only three hitters managed to notch a base hit. Yairo Munoz (pictured) provided a dose of power for Worcester, drilling a home run to provide the only scoring for the home team at Polar Park. Greenville provided the lone bright spot, as some key walks in the eighth inning gave the Drive the win over Asheville.

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Rochester posted eight runs in the first inning against Kevin McCarthy and it did not get better from there, as the visitors followed that up with three and six runs in the second and third innings, respectively, on their way to a dominant win. Worcester scored its only run on a Yairo Munoz home run in the sixth inning. He was one of three Red Sox hitters with two-hit outings, joining Jeter Downs and Marcus Wilson. Matt Hall replaced McCarthy and did not fare much better, allowing seven runs to cross the plate in 1 1/3 innings, though only four of them were earned. Tate Matheny made his debut on the mound, delivering a scoreless ninth.
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June 5, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero fireworks signal Benintendi trade completion; Granberg goes wild


6/5 Cup of Coffee:
It was a big day for the Red Sox organization, as the team completed its offseason deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City less than an hour before kicking off the first series of 2021 against the Yankees. Franchy Cordero and Josh Winckowski, the two players named at the time of the trade, formed the welcoming committee for Freddy Valdez, Luis De La Rosa, and Grant Gambrell. Cordero blasted two homers as he reestablishes himself in Triple-A, while Winckowski turned in a solid outing despite taking the loss for Portland. Greenville's 14-hit attack was led by Devlin Granberg (pictured), while the three Salem hurlers turned in a six-hit shutout win.

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Things got off to an inauspicious start at Polar Park when Luis Garcia began the game with a home run off Daniel Gossett. Gossett quickly righted the ship as the Worcester offense gave him more than enough support. The 28-year-old righty went seven innings, allowing just that one run on three hits, walking three and striking out nine. Austin Brice and Caleb Simpson threw a scoreless inning apiece after the bullpen. 
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June 4, 2021 at 11:00 AM

May Players of the Month: Johan Mieses and Brayan Bello


Even with some of the top prospects getting hurt, there were several very strong performances across the minor leagues in May. The two winners are at very different stages of their career, with Johan Mieses in his eighth minor league season while Brayan Bello (pictured) is in his third. Mieses formed a formidable middle-of-the-order in Portland with Triston Casas and Joey Meneses, but he will now take his talents to Worcester. Bello is part of a talented Greenville rotation that has three prospects in the top 23, but he has stolen the show early on. 

Mieses was signed as a minor league free agent in February of 2020 after he hit .233/.319/.440 across 118 games in Double-A and Triple-A with the Cardinals in 2019. The powerful right-hander hit 22 home runs and seemed to get a bit unlucky with a .254 batting average on balls in play. The Red Sox started Mieses in Portland, but he's already hit his way to Worcester. He leads the system with 11 home runs and ended May hitting .288/.374/.725. He struck out in 20 percent of his plate appearances while alternating between left field and right field. The 25-year-old now joins a crowded outfield that includes Jarren Duran, Franchy Cordero, Marcus Wilson, and Michael Gettys. If Mieses keeps hitting it will be hard to keep him out of the lineup no matter who is in front of him. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome, Espinal, Wu-Yelland, German deliver strong starts


6/4 Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominated on this night throughout the system, with four very solid starting pitching performances, including Jay Groome for Greenville and 2020 fourth round selection Jeremy Wu-Yelland for Salem. Marcus Wilson went deep for Worcester, backing Raynel Espinal's (pictured) fantastic outing. Ronaldo Hernandez and Nick Yorke also had productive nights at the dish. 

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Raynel Espinal settled down the Red Wings after an 18-run outburst yesterday. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits. He struck out six and walked just one. It was the second time in Espinal's minor league career where he lasted seven frames. Matt Hall also threw a shutout inning, and Brandon Brennan picked up his first save of the year. Marcus Wilson had a big night at the plate, going 2 for 4 with his fifth long ball of the year. Yairo Munoz also picked up two hits and Franchy Cordero stayed hot with a three-bagger. 
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June 3, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ramirez rolls for Salem; Howlett keys Drive outburst


6/3 Cup of Coffee:
It was a mixed result down on the farm on Wednesday night, as the affiliates split a pair of blowouts and a pair of nail-biters. Brandon Howlett (pictured) was unstoppable as Greenville rolled at home, while Aldo Ramirez was sterling in his start for a victorious Salem squad. Little went right on the mound at Polar Park but Worcester did get a longer-term boost as it welcomed back catcher Connor Wong. The work of Pedro Castellanos was not enough to overcome an early deficit on the road for Portland.

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Rochester came out swinging, with 16 runs and five homers in the first five innings. Ryan Weber was the first victim, giving up eight runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3. He fared better than Bobby Poyner, who allowed eight runs, including three long balls, in 2/3 of an inning. The Red Wings also touched Kaleb Ort for his first earned run allowed on the season in the ninth. Michael Gettys had a big night at the plate for Worcester, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Josh Ockimey continues to take things out of the hands of defenders, as he homered for the fifth time this year along with a walk and pair of strikeouts. Connor Wong returned to the starting lineup after being out since May 11. The 17th-ranked player in Boston's system got the start at catcher, going 0 for 3. 
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June 2, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Reed hits his eighth home run; Crawford cruises


6/2 Cup of Coffee: The hot start to the season for Tyreque Reed continued as he hit his league-leading eighth home run in support of Brayan Bello for Greenville. Franchy Cordero continued to sting the ball in Worcester, Kutter Crawford allowed just one hit over five innings for Portland, and Jaxx Groshans (pictured) had three more hits for Salem. 

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Kyle Hart gave up five runs in a second straight start, with a Carter Kieboom grand slam doing most of the damage. Hart walked four and gave up four hits while striking out three in 5 2/3 innings. Brandon Brennan allowed his first run as a member of the WooSox, and Austin Brice tossed a scoreless ninth. 

Worcester struck out 17 times on Tuesday with each of the last eight outs coming via strikeout. Prior to the strikeout streak, they had hit three solo home runs, with Marcus WilsonJosh Ockimey, and Chris Herrmann all going deep, though they also combined to strike out eight times. One of two players to not strike out was Michael Chavis who went 2 for 4, and Franchy Cordero went 2 for 4 with a double. 
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June 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Podcast Ep. #211 - June Rankings Update


Welcome to summer. With Memorial Day weekend in our rear view mirror, our new rankings are out and Chris and Ian had a chance to discuss them as well as go over some of the news from the system. They talk about Franchy Cordero’s demotion to Worcester--and subsequent big weekend. And they discuss what young player might also get sent back down to the minors. We are hearing rumors about the players to be named later in the Benintendi trade, and it could be this week we hear who they are. On the rankings, special attention is paid to some of the top pitching performers in the system. And to close the show we get to a couple of your questions. Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 7:00 AM

Minor Notes: Casas, Downs, Duran head to Olympic Qualifiers; Bello jumps 15 spots in June 1 rankings


 Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • The SoxProspects rankings received a refresh for June 1. Gilberto Jimenez leaped Tanner Houck to go from No. 6 to No. 4, while Garrett Whitlock graduated. Brayan Bello (pictured, left) had the biggest jump, going from No. 24 to No. 9, entering the top 10.
  • In one of the week's biggest moves, outfielder Franchy Cordero was optioned from Boston to Worcester on Thursday. Cordero struggled in the big leagues, hitting .179/.228/.274 across 99 at-bats. However, he has taken more kindly to Triple-A pitching, as he has a .417/.462/.917 with two home runs since joining Worcester. However, this is an incredibly small 12 at-bat sample.
  • Colten Brewer,  a right-handed reliever, was the countermove. He was recalled the following day.
  • Right-handed pitcher Austin Brice, who was designated for assignment May 21, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Worcester.
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