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SoxProspects News

June 8, 2021 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.
  • The players to be named later from the Benintendi trade included Freddy Valdez, Grant Gambrell, and Luis De La Rosa. Valdez is a 19-year old outfielder who posted an impressive .814 OPS in rookie ball for the Mets back in 2019 as a 17-year old. Gambrell is a 23-year old right-handed starting pitcher who had a 4.37 ERA in 22 2/3 in High-A in the Royals organization so far this year. De La Rosa is also super young, as he made 11 starts in the DSL as a 17-year old in 2019. He had a very impressive 2.33 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings. 
  • Brandon Workman is back up in Boston after a brief stint with Worcester. He opted out of his contract, giving the Sox a couple days to make a decision on whether or not they wanted to add him to the big league roster. He has made two appearances so far for the Red Sox, striking out three in 1 1/2 innings. 
  • The Olympic qualifying tournament is over, and Red Sox prospects had a great showing there. Triston Casas went 6 for 15 with two doubles and just two strikeouts, while Jarren Duran went 7 for 19 with a double and a triple. Jeter Downs did not do as well for Columbia, as he went just 1 for 10, but the one was a home run. Downs and Casas are already back playing games with the Sox. 
  • Baseball America's newest Top 100 came out, and both Casas and Duran moved up. Duran jumped all the way to 29th from 86th, while Casas went from 38th to 27th. Jeter Downs also made the list at No. 68.
  • Katie Morrison of MassLive.com talks about the crowded outfield in Worcester in her latest notebook. The demotion of Cordero has made it a bit clustered, especially with Duran due back from Team USA. 
  • That crowded outfield could be helped at some point, however, with the promotion of Duran. Alex Speier of The Boston Globe wrote that it is just a matter of when, not if, for Duran. 
  • Thad Ward was transferred to the 60-day IL, as he underwent Tommy John surgery, as Alex Speier of The Boston Globe writes

Players of the week 6/1-6/6

Raynel Espinal, RHP, Worcester Red Sox
1 G, 1-0, 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K

Espinal quieted a Rochester offense that averaged 11 runs per game in the other five games of the series. The 29-year old right-hander was selected by Boston in the Rule 5 draft in 2019. He spent the first seven years of his professional career in the Yankees system. He has had some injury history, as he missed the entire 2015 season and also underwent Tommy John surgery in July of 2019. He has come back from that nicely in 2021, posting a 3.44 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in six starts this season for Worcester. He has 32 strikeouts and 10 walks. 

Devlin Granberg, OF, Greenville Drive
5 G, 18 AB, 11 H, 3 2B, 3 HR , 7 R, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, .611/.696/1.278

Granberg had about as good of a week as a player can have, with an OPS just a shade below 2.000. The best game for Granberg game on Friday, when he went 4 for 4 with all four hits going for extra bases. The 25-year old, who has spent time in both corner outfield spots as well as first base this year, has tremendous numbers overall this season, hitting .347/.440/.694 in 20 games. He also had a solid year in 2019 that was split between Salem and Greenville, posting a .769 OPS in 124 games. 

Photo Credit: Raynel Espinal by Kelly O'Connor