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SoxProspects News

July 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Leadoff hitters Bonaci, Chacon key sweep in Rookie Leagues


7/20 Cup of Coffee:
While the full-season teams enjoyed their weekly Monday repose, the Rookie-level teams did anything but relax. Brainer Bonaci (pictured) reached base three more times and Wilkelman Gonzalez struck out nine for the second straight outing as the FCL Sox won their eighth straight. Juan Chacon was a similar sparkplug at the top of the DSL Red Sox Blue's 16-run outburst, while Axel James continued to rake for the Red Sox Red. 

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The streaking FCL Sox squad won its eighth straight game, running over a reeling Orioles team that has now lost eight straight and 13 of 14 on the year. Wilkelman Gonzalez turned in another strong effort, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings, striking out nine without issuing a walk. The effort gave Gonzalez the first win of his professional career. Joey Stock and Merfy Andrew pitched two hitless innings apiece out of the bullpen. Brainer Bonaci paced the offense out of the leadoff spot with a double, two walks, and a run scored. Blaze Jordan added a double, the first two-bagger of the 2020 third-round pick's career. Miguel Ugueto has been the team's hottest hitter and continued that on Monday, going 2 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored.

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Team Blue's offense was firing on all cylinders, compiling 14 hits, 26 baserunners, and getting 17 position players into the game. Juan Chacon scored three times out of the leadoff spot, going 1 for 2 with three walks. Jhostynxon Garcia hit a three-run homer in the sixth, driving in five runs as part of a 2-for-5 overall effort. Starting pitcher Yizreel Burnet cruised with the early cushion, allowing just one hit across three shutout innings, striking out five without walking a batter. 

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The Red squad scored six unanswered runs to come from behind and complete the organizational sweep. Axel James had a huge day at the plate, tripling twice as part of a 3-for-4 effort. James added a double and walk and scored three runs in the victory. Kelvin Diaz scored three runs and drove in two more as he matched James with a 3-for-4 day. Jose Ramirez fired three hitless innings in a starting role. He also struck out four and walked three. 

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Player of the Day: Brainer Bonaci is proving to be one of the Florida Complex League's toughest outs. The diminutive shortstop, who is currently 13th in the SoxProspects rankings, reached base three times Monday in the FCL Sox win. After slumping to a 1-for-21 start through his first six games, Bonaci is hitting .353/.577/.706 with eight walks and four extra-base hits in his last five contests. 

Photo Credit: Brainer Bonaci by Kelly O'Connor