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SoxProspects News

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.
  • A few ranked prospects were placed on the injured list this week. No. 8 prospect in the system Aldo Ramirez was placed on the injured list Sunday with tendonitis in his throwing elbow, while No. 35 Brandon Howlett was put on the shelf on Saturday with a concussion.
  • Joey Meneses was also added to the injured list Tuesday.
  • The injuries were not limited to the minor leagues, either. Kevin Plawecki suffered a hamstring strain and was placed on the injured list on Tuesday. Connor Wong (pictured, left), ranked No. 17 in the system, was called up as the corresponding move and made his major league debut Saturday. The Houston product is 1 for 3 with a run during his stint in the majors.
  • Michael Chavis took what has become a familiar drive eastward on the Mass Pike two days later, as Christian Arroyo went down with a right knee contusion. 
  • Wong was the subject of a feature by Christopher Smith of MassLive.com in the wake of his Major League debut, recording a hit and catching a 7 2/3-inning gem by Nate Eovaldi
  • Red Sox manager Alex Cora discussed No. 3 prospect Jarren Duran on Tuesday. The Boston Herald's Steve Hewitt has the story on how the club believes the outfielder will contribute this season.
  • With the draft just a few weeks away, the options that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and the rest of the front office will have to make with the No. 4 overall pick are coming into focus. Baseball America's latest Mock Draft has Vanderbilt right-handed pitcher Jack Leiter matched up with the Red Sox.
  • Meanwhile, Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline is of the opinion that Leiter will not be there for the taking and that Boston will select shortstop Jordan Lawler, out of Jesuit Prep in Texas.

Players of the Week 6/21-6/27

Chris Herrmann, C, Worcester
4 G, 15 AB, 6 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, .400/.500/.933

Herrmann (pictured, right) provided a spark of offense out of the catcher's position for Worcester this week, though pitching struggled and the team went 1-5 on the week. The 33-year-old now has a four-game hitting streak after recording a knock in each of his four games this week. He also had a show of power, as five of his six hits were for extra bases.

Boston is Herrmann's sixth organization, though he never played a game for San Francisco as the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Miami (FL) product is now hitting .297/.409/.622 across 37 at-bats in June, a strong improvement from his May numbers. Hermann has an opt-out in his contract but is not on the 40-man roster. With Connor Wong already on the roster, he is fourth on the depth chart and a spot would need to be cleared for him to return to the major leagues for the first time since 2019.

Brandon Walter, RHP, Salem
2 G, 0-0, 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 10 K

Walter made his first career start on Friday, pitching four shutout innings. He struck out nine batters and allowed just two hits, giving the Red Sox volume when they needed it in what ended up being a 1-0 defeat. Walter was able to miss a lot of bats, striking out four consecutive batters at one point, while he punched out the side in both the second and third innings. He started the week with a shutout seventh inning on Tuesday, with one hit against one strikeout.

The Delaware product came to the Red Sox as a senior sign after pitching for the Blue Hens. He was a 26th-round selection in 2019 and pitched 33 1/3 innings for the GCL Red Sox in 2019. With a four-pitch repertoire, he has been able to miss a lot of bats in the low minors. He now has 40 strikeouts in 27 innings with a 0.85 WHIP. 

Photo Credit: Connor Wong and Chris Herrmann by Kelly O'Connor