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SoxProspects News

September 21, 2021 at 6:30 PM

Minor Notes: Minor league season ends, organization awards announced

Here are this week's Minor Notes:
  • Episode No. 226 of the SoxProspects.com Podcast came out on Wednesday. Chris and Ian discussed the Red Sox debuts of Connor Seabold and Kutter Crawford, as well as the stretch run for the minor league season.
  • Save for Triple-A Worcester and the two DSL teams, the former of which plays until October 3 and the latter of which will complete their seasons the day before, the minor league regular season is now over and none of the minor league affiliates qualified for the postseason.
  • Worcester finished its regular season with a record of 66-52, good for third place in the Triple-A East Northeast Division, 5.5 games behind division winner Buffalo. Triple-A is now in the Final Stretch and the Red Sox will play two five-game series to close out the year, one at home against Rochester and another on the road against Lehigh Valley.
  • Portland had a final record of 67-47, trailing Double-A Northeast Northeast Division winner Somerset by 2.5 games.
  • Greenville also had a winning record, finishing 67-53, but also finished well short of the postseason, as they were 16 games behind the High-A East South Division winner Bowling Green.
  • Salem won the Low-A East North Division title with a record of 71-49, but missed a postseason spot by one game, finishing one game short of Down East. The Red Sox were in playoff competition until the season's final day.
  • The FCL Red Sox were 37-20 on the season and were in fifth place in the Florida Complex League, five games behind the FCL Rays, which won the title, as the FCL will not be having a postseason.
  • The Red Sox organization also released its minor league awards. Jarren Duran is the team's offensive player of the year, Ceddane Rafaela is the defensive player of the year, Brayan Bello is the starting pitcher of the year, Durbin Feltman is the reliever of the year, Christian Koss is the baserunner of the year, the Latin Program position player of the year is Allan Castro, while the Latin Program pitcher of the year is Jedixson Paez.
  • The only off-field award, the Lou Gorman Award, went to Kutter Crawford. This award is given to the minor leaguer that has demonstrated perseverance and dedication while working his way to the major leagues. Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2019 and made his major league debut September 5.
  • The big league club's COVID-19 outbreak is nearly over, as Chris Sale and Matt Barnes were reinstated from the COVID-19 IL on Friday. Jarren Duran, Christian Arroyo and Jonathan Arauz, each of whom are on a rehab assignment in Worcester, remain on the list.
  • Triston Casas, Josh Winckowski and Ronaldo Hernandez were each promoted to Worcester from Portland to get some extra playing time, as the Triple-A team still has 10 games to go. The corresponding moves included Jose Adames, Seth Blair, Jeremy Rivera and Joey Meneses being sent to Portland, while Alex Claudio was released.
  • Casas was highlighted on MLBPipeline's list as one of seven top prospects to make their Triple-A debut amid the Final Stretch.
  • MassLive's Christopher Smith has the story on Jay Groome, who has had a bit of a rebound season after missing significant portions of the past few seasons due to injury. He has pitched well since his promotion to Portland and now has a daughter to cheer him on.
  • Worcester reliever Daniel Gossett has a unique way of living. Joe MacDonald of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette discussed with the right-hander how he will spend his offseason.

Players of the Week (September 13-20)
Pedro Castellanos, LF/RF, Portland Sea Dogs
6 G, 25 AB, 12 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, .480/.517/.880

Castellanos (pictured, right) finished off 2021 with a bang, leading qualifiers with a .480 batting average and was just behind Jeter Downs with a pair of home runs. The 23-year old finished the year with a four-game hitting streak and had arguably his best game of the season on Saturday, going 4 for 4 with two doubles. He finished September with a .375/.482/.688 line, which helped increase his OPS to .835 across 369 plate appearances this season.

It's unclear where Castellanos fits defensively, which limits his major league upside, but he has shown the ability to hit throughout his minor league career since being signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2015. He struggled with in-game power early on, but has a .300/.352/.433 career line in 1,701 plate appearances in his minor league career, with a slugging percentage of .471 that was his best since his professional debut in the DSL in 2016.

Brandon Walter, LHP, Greenville Drive
1 G, 0-0, 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K
The No. 26 prospect in the system closed out his first full professional season with a strong outing, continuing the strong showing he has put up since a July promotion to Greenville. He allowed just two hits to Aberdeen on Thursday, with just one run across the plate. He also struck out eight IronBirds in just five innings of work. His 0.40 WHIP led all pitchers in the system with more than five innings this week.

Walter (pictured, left), who was selected in the 26th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Delaware, has a starter's frame and a three-pitch mix that leaves him the chance to start at the major league level, but it's unclear if he will be able to continue as a starter due to an unorthodox delivery with a decent amount of effort, as well as his command and control profile. However, Walter has strong major league potential and showed it across his first professional season, with 132 strikeouts in just 89 1/3 innings. He pitched to a 0.97 WHIP and ERA of 2.92 across Salem and Greenville.

Photo Credit: Pedro Castellanos by Kelly O'Connor; Brandon Walter by Bryan Green