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June 30, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hamilton collects four hits; Dobbins dazzles in no-hit outing


6/30 Cup of Coffee:
 While the big-league club won in dramatic fashion in Toronto, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 3-1 on Wednesday. Jeter Downs lifted Worcester to an extra-innings win with his 12th home run of the season, David Hamilton (pictured) went a perfect 4 for 4 in Portland, Brandon Howlett homered in Greenville, and Hunter Dobbins tossed four no-hit innings in his latest start for Salem.

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Worcester operated by way of the bullpen game on Wednesday. Taylor Cole served as the opener and surrendered two earned runs on no hits, four walks, one hit batsman, and one strikeout over two-plus innings of work. Phillips Valdez took over in the third and tossed two scoreless frames, as did Geoff Hartlieb. Frank German allowed one run to score in the eighth while Zack Kelly did the same in the ninth. That sent this contest into extra innings, where Kelly gave up an unearned run but still held on to earn the win. 
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June 29, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mayer, Kavadas go deep; Mata joins Portland


6/29 Cup of Coffee:
Rehabbing pitchers took center stage on Tuesday. Josh Taylor draws nearer to his return to the majors. He was joined in Portland by a newly-activated Bryan Mata (pictured), as the Sea Dogs prevailed in extra innings. Nathanael Cruz also continues to work his way back with another appearance in Fort Myers, taking part in the FCL Red Sox shutout win. Kutter Crawford turned in a quality start in Worcester's victory, while Greenville and Salem fell despite homers by Niko Kavadas and Marcelo Mayer. Kelvin Diaz had a dominant day at the plate as the DSL squads both prevailed.

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The WooSox got the best of an ex-prospect in the series opener in Rochester. Kutter Crawford outpitched rehabbing Anibal Sanchez, traded by Boston nearly 17 years ago. Crawford allowed two runs on six hits in six innings of work, striking out eight and walking one. Eduard Bazardo pitched two perfect innings of relief, and Kaleb Ort tossed a scoreless ninth to get credit for the save. Pedro Castellanos paced the Worcester offense with three hits. Connor Wong and Christin Stewart were both 2 for 4 with a double, walk, and run scored. Ronaldo Hernandez drove in a pair as part of his two-hit night.
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June 28, 2022 at 10:13 PM

Podcast Ep. #251: The halfway point


We are officially midway through the minor league season, so there's plenty of promotion talk, MLB roster debate, and... (checks notes)... one of the DSL teams is a juggernaut apparently? Chris and Ian broke down whose starts they're buying and whose they aren't, and of course, got a big old dose of your terrific emails.
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at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Downs debuts, Seabold starts in Toronto, plethora of prospects promoted


It was a busy week for promotions within the Red Sox farm system. While several top prospects moved from one minor-league level to another, one made his major-league debut and another made the second start of his major-league career. Rehab assignment have been a hot topic as well. 

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Downs debuts against Detroit

After receiving his first call-up last Monday, Jeter Downs (pictured, right) made his highly-anticipated major-league debut in Wednesday's series finale against the Tigers at Fenway Park. With his older brother Jerry among those in attendance, Downs went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts while making his first-ever professional start at third base. He fielded both of the balls that were hit his way cleanly. 

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: FCL Red Sox shut out Braves, drama in the Dominican for both squads


6/28 Cup of Coffee:
 It was an undefeated day for the summer affiliates, as the two DSL squads and the FCL team each took home victories. Both Blue and Red in the Dominican Republic had late-inning drama, while Luis De La Rosa (pictured) twirled a gem for the FCL Red Sox as part of a shutout. Offensively, BJ Vela was 3 for 3, while Claudio Simon also had three hits.

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Luis De La Rosa spun a gem, striking out 10 hitters against one hit and one walk over five shutout innings of work, leading the way for a victory, the team's eighth in its last 10 games. Offensively, the FCL squad was paced by BJ Vela, who had a 3-for-3 performance with a pair of doubles. Lyonell James also had a mutli-hit game, while Daniel McElveny had two RBI. De La Rosa retired the final seven hitters he faced and passed the baton to a quartet of relievers that each handled an inning to preserve the shutout. Barbaro Piniero had a clean sixth inning, while Michael Valera's seventh was of the no-hit variety. Railin Perez and Merfy Andrew each permitted a single, while Andrew added a pair of walks in the ninth, but did not allow a run to score.
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June 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello solid again, Sikes has big day for Salem


6/27 Cup of Coffee: Brayan Bello headlined the day in Worcester's win with seven strikeouts in his start. Hudson Potts stayed hot with another home run for the Sea Dogs, and Niko Kavadas did more damage at the plate for Greenville. Salem dropped a tough one despite three extra-base hits from Phillip Sikes (pictured). 

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Brayan Bello, the top pitching prospect at SoxProspects.com, made his seventh start of the year for Worcester and was solid again. The right-hander allowed two runs in 5 2/3 frames, striking out seven with three walks. He has a 1.60 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 46 innings in Worcester this year. The bullpen did not allow a hit, as Michael Feliz, Zack Kelly, and Kaleb Ort combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Ort grabbed his 11th save. At the plate, Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 2 with a double and a walk, while Pedro Castellanos doubled, walked, and drove in a run. Grant Williams added a two-run single.
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June 26, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kavadas, Mayer homer again, Murphy dominates for Portland


6/26 Cup of Coffee: It was a big offensive night for the system, as Marcelo Mayer, Niko Kavadas, and Nick Northcut each belted home runs. Pedro Castellanos also made his first career appearance in Triple-A and homered. Hudson Potts homered for Portland as well, as the Sea Dogs won behind a great outing from Chris Murphy (pictured). 

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This one got away from the Sox late, but the offense still saw a few good performances despite scoring just twice. Pedro Castellanos belted a home run in his Triple-A debut after hitting eight with Portland. Christin Stewart continued his solid season in the power department with his eighth double and 13th long ball of the season. Ryan Fitzgerald and Devlin Granberg each went 2 for 5 with a double. Josh Taylor opened up a Worcester game for the fourth time this year, allowing three hits and two runs (none earned) in his lone inning. He struck out a batter and did not issue a walk. Andrew Politi was the lone bright spot on the pitching staff, tossing two hitless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. 

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June 25, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kavadas homers in Greenville debut; Fitzgerald leads WooSox rout


6/25 Cup of Coffee:
It was promotion day down on the farm, with a chain of players moving up that included some of the best performers of the season's first half. Niko Kavadas (pictured) began his stint in Greenville like he ended in Salem, taking part in back-to-back homers. This time, he joined Joe Davis and Brandon Howlett going three in a row. Alex Binelas wasn't quite as successful in his Double-A welcome, as the Sea Dogs picked up just two hits. Christin Stewart and Ryan Fitzgerald had huge nights in the Worcester win, Blaze Jordan went deep in a Salem loss, and Jedixson Paez dominated in the FCL Sox doubleheader sweep.


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It was an eventful night at Polar Park with SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall in attendance. Connor Seabold got the start but threw just one inning, lining him up to pitch in the majors on Sunday or Monday. He surrendered a leadoff homer to Mark Payton but rebounded to strike out two in the inning without allowing any additional damage. The bullpen was stellar upon taking over, as a quintet of relievers allowed just one run in eight innings. Taylor Cole and Silvino Bracho had identical lines, allowing two hits in two scoreless innings, striking out three. The Knights reached Frank German for a run in the seventh, then Michael Feliz and Zack Kelly finished the victory with a scoreless inning apiece.
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June 24, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Big Joe homers twice in return, Jordan and Kavadas go back-to-back


6/24 Cup of Coffee: While the big-league club enjoyed a day off in Cleveland, it was an action-packed Thursday for Boston's minor-league affiliates. Kutter Crawford pitched well and Yolmer Sanchez powered the WooSox to another win in Worcester, Ceddanne Rafaela and Tyreque Reed homered as Portland split a doubleheader in Richmond, Big Joe Davis went deep twice in his return to Greenville's lineup, and Blaze Jordan and Niko Kavadas (pictured, left) went back-to-back for Salem. 

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Josh Taylor made the second start of his rehab assignment with Worcester and stranded two base runners while striking out one in a scoreless first inning. Kutter Crawford took over from there and allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts over five solid innings of work. The 26-year-old right-hander extended Worcester's shutout bid into the sixth inning before committing a pair of errors, including on a pickoff attempt, that helped Charlotte score all three of its runs. In relief of Crawford, Eduard Bazardo worked his way around back-to-back singles in the seventh, Durbin Feltman earned the win by tossing a scoreless eighth inning, and Kaleb Ort notched his 10th save of the year by slamming the door on Charlotte in the ninth. 
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June 23, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata's rehab continues, Kavadas homers again


6/23 Cup of Coffee: On the night Jeter Downs made his major-league debut, Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 4-1 on Wednesday. Connor Wong and Thomas Pannone powered Worcester to a shutout win, Portland's game was rained out, Alex Binelas and Nick Yorke provided the only offense in a blowout loss in Greenville, and Niko Kavadas (pictured) continued to stay red-hot for Salem. 

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As part of a 2 for 4 night at the plate, Devlin Granberg was responsible for Worcester's two of Worcester's first three runs on a pair of RBI singles in the second and sixth innings. Sandwiched in between Granberg's two hits was Connor Wong's 11th home run of the season in the bottom of the third. Wong went 1 for 4 with the homer and a walk while fellow backstop Ronaldo Hernandez went 3 for 4 with a double and run scored. Like Granberg, Ryan Fitzgerald and Grant Williams also went 2 for 4, with the former driving in a run and the latter scoring one. Christian Arroyo punched out three times while serving as Worcester's shortstop in the second game of his rehab assignment. 
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June 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello dominates with seven shutout innings; Yorke returns to lineup


6/21 Cup of Coffee:
The organization celebrated the summer solstice with a slate of outstanding pitching. The usual excellence of Brayan Bello (pictured) was joined all the way down the ladder, as all stateside teams received a stellar performance. Jay Groome paced the group in strikeouts but was the only one to allow so much as a run. Yusniel Padron-Artiles surrendered just one hit for Greenville, while Salem's Angel Bastardo and the Luis De La Rosa of the FCL Sox went four scoreless innings apiece. Nick Yorke also returned to the Greenville lineup, Marcelo Mayer broke out of his skid, and Niko Kavadas continued his June dominance.

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Misleading click-bait headline: Brayan Bello moves to Worcester bullpen. Believers in Bello as a starting pitcher were given no reason to fear on Tuesday. The team's top pitching prospect got his scheduled work beginning in the second inning in deference to rehabbing lefty Josh Taylor. Taylor pitched a quick first inning before giving way to Bello, who was electric. The 23-year-old went seven scoreless innings, scattering five hits, striking out seven against just one walk, and recording 10 outs on the ground. He needed just 92 pitches to complete the seven frames, 60 of which were strikes. It marked just the third time as a professional that Bello went seven innings, and the first time he went that distance without surrendering a run. Kaleb Ort struck out a pair in a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the win.
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June 21, 2022 at 12:14 PM

Minor Notes: Downs promoted, Norwood acquired from Philly


A top player reported for a rehab assignment, a highly regarded prospect got his call to the show, and a pitcher was brought into the fold this week.

Jeter Downs promoted to Boston

A rash of injuries has caused the big league club to dip into its depth in the minor leagues. Additionally, teams were capped at 13 pitchers beginning on Monday. As Boston was carrying 14 arms, this required a roster move. Newly acquired James Norwood was designated for assignment, as he is out of options, while Jeter Downs was the countermove.

Ranked No. 13 in the system, Downs has struggled offensively, with a .180/.297/.397 slash line in 189 at-bats. However, the Colombia native has strong defense and has raw power, but trouble with velocity has prevented him from tapping into such power. However, as a top-100 prospect entering 2020 and 2021 and still merely 23 years old, Downs still has time to improve his approach against velocity, which has caused some of these issues with the hit tool.

With this promotion, all three players acquired from Los Angeles in the Mookie Betts trade have now reached the major leagues, as Connor Wong has been an up-and-down catcher and Alex Verdugo has carved out a consistent role as an outfielder the past few seasons.
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at 7:11 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sale begins rehab assignment, Johanfran Garcia goes 3 for 4


6/21 Cup of Coffee: It was quiet on the farm, as the full-season affiliates took their usual Monday off from games. Chris Sale pitched an inning to begin his rehab assignment, facing off with Rays star Wander Franco, while the FCL team took extra innings to secure a win, registering merely three base knocks. In the Dominican Summer League, the two squads split their games, partially due to some quiet offenses, as the teams combined for just 13 hits. However, Johanfran Garcia was 3 for 4, while Armando Sierra had two doubles.

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There were a pair of rehabbing players, as long with Chris Sale, Wander Franco was in the opposing dugout for the Rays. The two faced off in the first inning and Sale won the battle, as Franco struck out swinging. Sale allowed a run in his one inning of work, aided by the wild pitch that struck out Franco, as he also permitted a walk and a hit. Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz followed with four innings of shutout, five-hit ball, striking out six Rays, while Luis Talavera (pictured) contributed an additional four frames. He surrendered the tying run in the sixth, but gave up merely two hits and did not walk a batter, while striking out four.

Despite only three hits, the Red Sox were able to get it done, tying the game at 1-1 on a fielder's choice by Eduardo Vaughn, while the next batter, Ahbram Liendo, singled to give his team the lead. In the 10th, the automatic runner advanced to third on a productive out and would score on a wild pitch, proving to be the difference.
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June 20, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan belts two home runs; Seabold leads Worcester


6/20 Cup of Coffee:
Some impressive performances led to the offensive fireworks in Portland and Salem. Tyreque Reed, Ceddanne Rafaela, Nathan Hickey, Blaze Jordan, and Niko Kavadas all had multiple extra-base hits, with Jordan adding two home runs. Ryan Fitzgerald also went deep for Worcester in support of a strong outing from Connor Seabold

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Another stellar start from Connor Seabold led Worcester to victory. Seabold allowed one run on six hits over six innings, walking one and striking out four. Since returning from the injured list earlier this month, Seabold has allowed just one run over 14 innings, with 12 strikeouts. Eduard Bazardo and Frank German each tossed a scoreless inning, and Kaleb Ort came on to strand the tying run at third for the save. 
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June 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hickey homers twice, Kavadas stays sizzling in June


6/19 Cup of Coffee:
There were several strong offensive performances on the farm, led by Nathan Hickey (pictured) and Niko Kavadas in Salem. Pedro Castellanos had four hits for Portland, Gilberto Jimenez had three hits for Greenville, and Tyler Esplin had a game-winning hit in extras. 

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With Brandon Walter scratched with neck stiffness, the WooSox turned to the bullpen on Saturday. Taylor Cole and Michael Feliz combined to shut Toledo out over the first five innings, but the Mud Hens got to Silvino Bracho for two runs in the seventh. Jaylin Davis had two of Worcester's six hits and drew a walk. Ryan Fitzgerald and Jeter Downs each went 1 for 4 with a double, and Yolmer S├ínchez went 1 for 2 with two walks. 
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June 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lyonell James leads FCL Sox; Kavadas goes deep again


6/18 Cup of Coffee:
All seven affiliates were in action on Friday, with only Salem and the FCL squad coming away victorious. Niko Kavadas went deep to propel Salem to a win in its contest. Lyonell James (pictured) keyed the FCL win, backing a stellar 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball by Henry Nunez and Bryan Lucas. Victor Santos suffered a tough-luck loss in Portland, which joined Worcester and Greenville in the loss column.

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The WooSox dropped their third straight despite a strong effort by veterans in the bottom of the order. Yolmer Sanchez ripped three doubles and drove in a pair as part of his 3-for-4 night out of the ninth spot. Roberto Ramos did not record an out, blasting a two-run sixth inning homer along with a single, two walks, and two runs scored. Devlin Granberg made his Triple-A debut, leading off and playing right field. He was 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. Brian Keller got the start, allowing two runs on a pair of solo homers in his four innings of work. He struck out four without walking a batter. AJ Politi had a tough night in relief, surrendering a two-run homer to old friend Ryan Lavarnway during a four-run fifth inning. 
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June 17, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata continues to make progress on rehab assignment, Paulino triples and homers


6/17 Cup of Coffee: It may have been a disappointing day in Boston sports with the Celtics falling to the Warriors in the NBA Finals on Thursday, but Red Sox affiliates at least went 5-2 to make up for it. In Worcester, Jeter Downs went deep for the 11th time this season. For Portland, Brian Van Belle struck out four in his Double-A debut while Ceddanne Rafaela collected his first Double-A triple. Nick Northcut homered yet again in a Greenville win while Eddinson Paulino (pictured) and Niko Kavadas also went yard in Salem. 

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Rhode Island native Thomas Pannone got lit up for seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, zero walks, and six strikeouts over four innings in his 11th start of the season for Worcester. The southpaw served up a pair of home runs while seeing his ERA on the year inflate to 5.02. Taylor Cole did not fare much better as he surrendered three runs in the fifth inning alone. From there, Geoff Hartlieb, Eduard Bazardo, and Kaleb Ort combined for four scoreless frames. 

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June 16, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome tosses 7 scoreless, Rafaela homers twice for Portland


6/16 Cup of Coffee: It was a banner day for starting pitching up and down Boston's organizational ladder on Wednesday. While Josh Winckowski earned his first career win for the big-league club, Brayan Bello struck out eight batters in Worcester and Jay Groome twirled seven scoreless innings for Portland. On the other side of the ball, Ceddanne Rafaela (pictured) and Pedro Castellanos both homered in Portland's victory while Matthew Lugo went deep for the third time in his last two games in a Greenville loss. 
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In his sixth start of the season for Worcester, top pitching prospect Brayan Bello allowed three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and eight punchouts over five-plus innings of work. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out the side in the top of the first and had yielded just one run through five before allowing three straight batters to reach base in the sixth. Bello now owns an ERA of 3.78 in 33 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. Out of the Worcester bullpen, Michael Feliz, Durbin Feltman, and Frank German combined to give up two runs in their four innings of relief. 
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June 15, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rodriguez-Cruz shines in debut; Kavadas powers Salem rout


6/15 Cup of Coffee:
With all seven affiliates in action, it was a wild Tuesday down on the farm. Worcester and the FCL Red Sox got strong pitching performances from Connor Seabold and the debuting Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz on their way to victory. Chris Murphy also turned in a quality start but was outdueled by the Reading staff. Niko Kavadas (pictured) reached base five times and blasted a homer to lead Salem's brunch-time offensive outburst, while Greenville fell despite a two-homer night from Matthew Lugo.

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Connor Seabold combined with a trio of relievers on a six-hit shutout, as the right-hander showed no lasting effects of the pectoral strain that cost him more than three weeks. In his second start since his return, Seabold scattered three hits across five shutout frames, striking out six without issuing a walk. He needed just 65 pitches to complete the five innings, and has now tossed eight scoreless frames since his return from the IL. Silvino Bracho went two scoreless frames, followed by AJ Politi and Zack Kelly tossing an inning apiece to close out the win. Jaylin Davis starred at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a triple and homer, driving in three. Jarren Duran went deep in his second straight contest with a third-inning solo shot.
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June 14, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Rafaela promoted to Portland, Crawford excels in spot start


One of the system's breakout prospects was promoted, Boston added reinforcements from Worcester, and two top prospects returned from injuries. 

Ceddanne Rafaela promoted to Double-A Portland

One of the breakout prospects of the 2022 season, Rafaela was promoted to Portland after just 45 games in Greenville. With a batting line of .330/.368/.594 to go along with 14 steals and high-level defense, Rafaela proved that he was ready for a new challenge. He acclimated quickly to Portland, with an early line of .346/.393/.692 in six games.

An in-depth look at Rafaela came in the newest series at SoxProspects.com, Scouting the Box Score. Managing Editor James Dunne details Rafaela's rise and provides historical comparisons for his promotion. Rafaela's promotion was also discussed on the 250th episode of the SoxProspects.com Podcast. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL intra-organization game goes to extras, Bleis records two hits


6/14 Cup of Coffee: There were just two games in the organization today, as the two DSL squads played an intra-organizational contest, while the FCL lost to the Pirates. Miguel Bleis (pictured) led the way for the FCL squad, driving in two of the team's three runs as part of a 2-for-5 afternoon, but a five-run seventh sunk the Red Sox against the Pirates. In the Dominican Republic, the two teams could not be separated after nine innings, so they went to extras, with Blue taking victory in the 10th.

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It was a tight contest through six innings, but a five-run seventh sank the Red Sox against the Pirates. Miguel Bleis, who has been cold through the first week of the FCL season, notched two hits and had two RBI, including a solo home run in the fifth. The home side got it going early, as Bleis got his first RBI on a double after Ahbram Liendo had a two-bagger of his own to open the bottom of the first. Jedixson Paez had the start and struck out just two, but was effective, surrendering just two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits and two walks. Merfy Andrew handled the final 2 2/3 innings, giving up just a hit and a pair of walks, while he notched a trio of punchouts.
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June 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM

Scouting the Box Score: The Rise of Ceddanne Rafaela


Welcome to our newest SoxProspects.com feature, "Scouting the Box Score." Beyond our usual scouting coverage, we hope to use this space to look into the development of some players in a little more depth and context, where they stand at present, and how they got there. While we'll necessarily incorporate scouting elements, this feature will focus a bit more on present and past in-game performance. As always, especially with any new content, we look forward to your feedback. We hope you enjoy it!

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The week began with the exciting and somewhat surprising news that Ceddanne Rafaela was getting promoted from Greenville to Portland. While Rafaela has been very good during his time with Greenville, the speed of his promotion exceeded some of the best players to come through the system in recent years. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Scott hits walk-off home run; Duran and Mayer also homer


6/13 Cup of Coffee:
A walk-off home run from Stephen Scott (pictured) propelled Greenville to victory. Several other players homered on Sunday including Jarren DuranJeter Downs, Tyler McDonoughAlex BinelasJoe Davis, and Marcelo Mayer.  The pitching struggled, with Brett Kennedy turning in the best start of the day. 


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With Kutter Crawford starting in Boston, Worcester turned to the bullpen in the series finale. Frank German got the win, and Kaleb Ort earned the save, despite each pitcher allowing a run. Both Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs went deep for the WooSox, and Jaylin Davis went 1 for 4 with a double. Duran went 3 for 4 with his fifth home run, and Downs went 1 for 2 with a walk. 
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June 12, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Northcut, Rafaela homer again, Liu dominant for Greenville


6/12 Cup of Coffee: Greenville was the only Sox affiliate to win last night, as Nick Northcut followed his three-home-run game with another home run. Ceddanne Rafaela also homered again for Portland. Chih-Jung Liu (pictured) had the best pitching performance last night, striking out nine in five innings for Greenville. 

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The Sox lost by the same score for the second consecutive night. They had just four hits, as Jaylin Davis and Yolmer Sanchez each hit doubles. Ronaldo Hernandez also belted a solo home run, his sixth of the season. After Michael Feliz struggled, Taylor Cole came in and tossed three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and no walks with four strikeouts. Zack Kelly also pitched a scoreless frame. 

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June 11, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Northcut belts three home runs, drives in eight


6/11 Cup of Coffee: Offense was the story in the system last night, as Portland and Greenville combined to score 28 runs. Nick Northcut (pictured) had the biggest day, crushing three home runs and driving in eight. Tyreque Reed also lifted a couple home runs, while Ceddanne Rafaela had a huge game for the Sea Dogs. Brayan Bello and Bryan Mata each turned in very good outings on the mound as well. 

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Worcester dropped this one but Brayan Bello was very good in his start. He allowed just two runs in six innings and struck out eight. He walked three but only gave up three hits and has been doing a great job of keeping the ball on the ground. Andrew Politi also struck out three in his 1 2/3 scoreless innings. At the plate, Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a double, while Connor Wong also picked up two hits. Jaylin Davis added a double and a walk. 
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June 10, 2022 at 12:30 PM

Scouting Scratch: Breaking down Brayan Bello


Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a chance to see all of the ranked members of the Worcester and Portland rotations, save for Connor Seabold given he has been on the injured list. Here's my break down of the top pitching prospect in the system, right-hander Brayan Bello. 

23-year-old right-hander Brayan Bello has been one of the most impressive pitchers in the minor leagues this year, rising recently to number 49 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, and he recently earned a promotion to Worcester, putting him on the brink of the big leagues. In 56 innings, he has allowed only 35 hits and 15 earned runs, while striking out 76 and walking only 21. He has three starts with 10 strikeouts and a seven-inning no-hitter on his ledger already, and his swinging strike rate of 18.3% is 19th in all of minor league baseball of pitchers with at least 30 innings. 

Bello has an average frame and has filled out considerably since he signed. He now has a well-proportioned frame and sturdy lower half, but has maintained his athleticism and does a good job repeating his delivery. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and has a very quick arm. His fastball has sat 95-97 both times I’ve seen him this year), topping out at 98. He generates easy velocity and can hold it, still hitting 97 in the fifth and sixth innings of recent outings. Bello will show both four-seam and two-seam variations, with the four-seam in the upper portion of that velocity range and two-seam coming in at 95-96 mph usually. The four-seam fastball is on the straight side and will show some bat-missing ability when he commands it up in the zone. His two-seam shows hard, late sink down and in on a right-handed hitter and is a pitch he really has made strides with this year.  
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Seabold returns from IL, Mayer homers again


6/10 Cup of Coffee: With the rookie league teams back in action and sweeping the competition, it was a 5-2 Thursday for Boston's minor-league affiliates. Connor Seabold returned to the mound while Ronaldo Hernandez homered in Worcester's win, Jay Groome allowed just one run over five innings in Portland's loss, Wyatt Olds fired five one-run innings of his own in Greenville's win, and Marcelo Mayer (pictured) went deep for the second time in three games in Salem's loss. 

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Worcester won its third straight game on Thursday thanks to a strong effort from its pitching staff. Connor Seabold returned after missing the last 3 1/2 weeks with a pectoral strain and tossed three scoreless innings in his eighth start of the season. The right-hander yielded two hits and three walks while striking out two on 51 pitches (32 strikes). In relief of Seabold, Brian Keller, Silvino Bracho, Thomas Pannone, Zack Kelly, and Frank German combined for six scoreless frames to preserve the shutout. 

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June 9, 2022 at 11:10 PM

Podcast Ep. #250: Pronounced "Say-DAHN"


Another week, another promotion, as defensive whiz Ceddanne Rafaela got the call to Portland to headline our news segment. The guys shared their thoughts on the move, as well as Bryan Mata's return to Salem, Nick Yorke's toe, the start of the complex league season and more! Plus, Chris got around to telling us some more about what he saw from the Low-A affiliate when he got three games with the Salem Sox recently. Plus, your emails!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter and Winckowski lead Worcester to doubleheader sweep


6/9 Cup of Coffee: With the rookie league teams off on Wednesday, Boston affiliates went a collective 2-3. Both of those wins belonged to the WooSox, who received impressive starting pitching from Brandon Walter (pictured, right) and Josh Winckowski en route to a doubleheader sweep in Buffalo. Speaking of pitching, Chris Murphy struck out a season-high 11 batters in Portland while Brendan Cellucci continued to thrive as an opener in Greenville. On the other side of the ball, Niko Kavadas went deep for Salem. 

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Brandon Walter bounced back in a big way after getting roughed up in his Triple-A debut last week. Making his first start on the road for Worcester, the left-hander allowed just one run on four hits, three walks, and five strikeouts over six solid innings of work. 65 of the 95 pitches he threw went for strikes. Kaleb Ort took over in the seventh and struck out two to earn his seventh save of the season. Rob Refsnyder accounted for Worcester's first two runs on a two-run double in the first inning. Ryan Fitzgerald provided some insurance in the top of the seventh by crushing his 11th home run of the year. Refsnyder and Connor Wong each had two hits. 
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June 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan fans 14, Uberstine fires immaculate inning


6/8 Cup of Coffee:
Six affiliates were on the schedule Tuesday for the first time this season, as the complex leagues joined up with the full-season squads. The heavy-hitting Dominican Summer League Blue team was the only one to come away with a victory, but the day saw some impressive individual performances and important milestones. Shane Drohan (pictured) and Tyler Uberstine were both having excellent appearances on the mound for Greenville and Salem that were ultimately spoiled by decisive homers late in the outings. Ceddanne Rafaela and Reidis Sena were among those making debuts at a new level after a promotion, Nick Yorke made his return to the Greenville lineup, and Marcelo Mayer went deep for Salem.

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Worcester Red Sox @ Buffalo Bisons (TOR), postponed
The Bisons planned to host a School Kids game with a morning start time, but as so often happens upstate, the weather had no interest in complying. They'll try for a doubleheader Wednesday, but with a more traditional 5 p.m. start time, kids will need a different excuse to play hooky.

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Ceddanne Rafaela made his Double-A debut but did not record a hit as Portland lost its series opener at Hadlock Field. Rafaela slotted into the second spot in the lineup, playing center field, following a stint that saw him leading the South Atlantic League in batting average (.330), hits 65), and runs (37) at the time of his promotion. Christian Koss tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning, his sixth of the season. Pedro Castellanos was 3 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Tyler Dearden and Kole Cottam added two hits apiece. Starter Brett Kennedy took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in six innings. Rio Gomez, Caleb Simpson, and Oddanier Mosqueda each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
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June 7, 2022 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Rookie ball begins, Mata returns to action


Worcester split this past week, going 3-3, while the Sea Dogs have won two in a row after dropping their previous seven games. Greenville had a tough week, going just 1-5, but Salem has started off June by ripping of five straight wins. The big league club has also won five consecutive games.

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Transactions

Duran fills in for Bradley Jr.

Jaren Duran joined the Sox in Oakland for his second stint with the big league club in 2022. It was short-lived, as he was sent right back down after Jackie Bradley Jr. returned from paternity leave, but he made the most of his two starts. Duran hit leadoff in both games, going 2 for 5 in his first game and 1 for 4 in his next game. He has been terrific with Worcester this year to the tune of a .916 OPS with 22 extra-base hits and 11 stolen bases. Overall in Boston he is 4 for 13 with a triple and an .819 OPS. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Opening Day for FCL, DSL


6/7 Cup of Coffee:
It was Opening Day for the Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League, with a trio of Red Sox affiliates celebrating by starting 1-0. DSL Blue had the biggest offensive day, scoring 11 runs on 16 hits, but each squad recorded at least 10 base knocks. Ranked No. 42 in the system, Freili Encarnacion had three hits for DSL Red, while Marvin Alcantara did the same for DSL Blue.

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Down 6-0 headed into the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox responded with four in the fifth, one in the sixth, and two in the seventh to claim victory. Eight of the team's nine hitters recorded a base hit, including four doubles, one of which was from No. 8 prospect Miguel Bleis (pictured). Three runs went on the tab of Jose Ramirez, who got the start, while three more were charged to Francis Hernandez. Ramirez threw four innings and struck out three with just two hits allowed, but did walk three Braves. Hernandez followed with 3 2/3 innings of work with five punchouts, but had similar control issues, issuing a pair of free passes, with five hits. Retiring the final four outs, Luis Guerrero earned the save.
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June 6, 2022 at 9:00 AM

2022 SoxProspects.com Donation Drive


Dear readers,


Happy Opening Day for the Red Sox Rookie Ball teams! Now that the minor league season is fully underway, we're asking for your help to raise $8,000 to keep SoxProspects.com running on all cylinders. We have kept the site free for almost 19 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 to ask for donations to help us keep the site going. 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 $20,000 in 2022. While we should cover more than half of that from other sources, your donations help us ensure we can cover those costs in order to keep the site going.


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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela doubles before promotion; Dobbins debuts


6/6 Cup of Coffee: Ceddanne Rafaela has been one of the breakout players in the system this season, and he was rewarded with a promotion to Portland. He went 2 for 4 with a double in his last game with Greenville on Sunday. David Hamilton (pictured) and Alex Binelas both hit home runs, and Hunter Dobbins made his system debut for Salem. 

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The Mets hit four home runs, including two off Kutter Crawford, to take down the WooSox. Michael Feliz served as the opener with a scoreless frame, then Crawford came in and allowed three runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Durbin Feltman followed and gave up a two-run home run, and AJ Politi gave up a solo shot but was otherwise effective. Politi struck out four without issuing a walk in two innings. 
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June 5, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata begins rehab stint in Salem; Wong powers WooSox


6/5 Cup of Coffee:
Beyond any game results, by far the biggest news on Saturday was the return of Bryan Mata (pictured, right) to the mound. Mata was the consensus top-ranked pitcher in the system three years ago but had not pitched in game action for just over 33 months due to the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season followed by Tommy John surgery in April 2021. The 23-year-old helped Salem to a victory. Elsewhere, Worcester got a solid start from the system's current top pitching prospect, as Brayan Bello was supported by Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez. Portland split its doubleheader, while Greenville suffered yet another one-run loss.

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After getting out to a comfortable 6-1 lead, Worcester overcame two game-tying rallies to walk off with the victory. Brayan Bello turned in another strong start in his fourth Triple-A appearance. The right-hander surrendered a run in the first, then cruised through five innings without allowing another. Bello ran into some trouble in the fifth, departing with a pair of runners on base who would go on to score. He finished with three runs allowed on five hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight while walking only one. Bello has now racked up 34 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings since his promotion.
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June 4, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hickey reaches base five times, drives in three in Salem win


6/4 Cup of Coffee:
A solid victory for Salem was a bright spot on an otherwise dreary day on the farm. Nathan Hickey (pictured) and Phillip Sikes went a combined 4 for 4 with 6 walks in a relentless win that saw 22 Red Sox baserunners. Worcester has been without Triston Casas and will now have to make do without Jarren Duran, who joined the major league squad on the West Coast. The post-Duran era got off to a shaky start. Greenville suffered a de facto sweep, falling in both the completion of Thursday's contest as well as Friday's regularly scheduled affair. 

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Some good news came in the hours before the game when it was reported that Jarren Duran would join the major league club as Jackie Bradley, Jr. went onto the paternity list. Little else went right for the WooSox on Friday. Josh Winckowski struggled in his return from his first taste of the majors, allowing seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in four innings. Taylor Cole was also hit hard in relief as the Mets broke the game open at Polar Park. A bright spot came at the back end of the bullpen, as AJ Politi, Zack Kelly, and Kaleb Ort threw a hitless inning apiece to close things out. Kelly was particularly impressive, striking out the side on 14 pitches. Rob Refsnyder had two of Worcester's four hits. Connor Wong and Jaylin Davis added a double apiece.
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June 3, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter's Worcester debut a short one, Murphy impresses for Portland


6/3 Cup of Coffee: Rainy conditions in different parts of the country resulted in Greenville's game getting postponed and Salem's getting called in the fifth inning. Salem did win that game, though, and Marcelo Mayer and Wikelman Gonzalez are two big reasons why. Elsewhere, Brandon Walter struggled in his Triple-A debut with Worcester while Chris Murphy (pictured) gave up just one hit in his latest start for Portland. 

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Brandon Walter made his highly-anticipated Triple-A debut at Polar Park but things did not go as planned. Walter, the second-ranked pitching prospect in the organization, surrendered six earned runs on five hits, one walk, one hit batsman, and two strikeouts in just 1 2/3 innings of work. 24 of the 42 pitches the left-hander threw went for strikes. Brian Keller did an admirable job out of the bullpen, scattering two hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts across 4 1/3 scoreless frames. Durbin Feltman and Silvino Bracho each gave up a run. 

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June 2, 2022 at 10:53 PM

Podcast Ep. #249: A Winck and a nod


As the calendar turns to June, there's plenty to discuss in the Red Sox system. Another top-tier promotion brings Brandon Walter to the loaded Worcester rotation, while his teammate, Josh Winckowski, returns from making his MLB debut. Plus the guys discuss the injuries keeping the club's top prospects on the sidelines, our new rankings, and your emails!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Uberstine deals, Downs and Kavadas homer


6/2 Cup of Coffee: Boston's affiliates went 2-2 on Wednesday. Worcester got the early start and Jaylin Davis and Jeter Downs both homered in a win. Christian Koss and Kole Cottam each had two hits in a Portland loss. Ceddanne Rafaela accounted for Greenville's lone hit in a shutout loss while Tyler Uberstine (pictured) stole the show in Salem with five scoreless frames en route to a victory. 

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A Wednesday matinee at Polar Park saw Worcester hold on for a 6-5 win over Syracuse. Thomas Pannone was brilliant in his ninth start of the season. The native Rhode Islander allowed just one earned run on five hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts over five innings of work. 41 of the 59 pitches he threw for strikes. Michael Feliz followed suit by tossing a scoreless frame in the sixth, but Geoff Hartlieb got rocked for three runs in the seventh and Eduard Bazardo allowed one unearned run to score in the eighth. Fortunately, Franklin German held on in the ninth to earn his first save of the season. 
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June 1, 2022 at 1:00 PM

May Players of the Month: Brayan Bello and Devlin Granberg


Highlighted by a promotion from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, it was a memorable month of May for Brayan Bello (pictured). The top pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization, Bello kicked off the month by tossing a seven-inning no-hitter against the Reading Fightin' Phils at Hadlock Field on May 5. He then tossed six scoreless frames in his final start for the Sea Dogs before moving on up to Worcester on May 17 -- his 23rd birthday. 

Since then, Bello has made three starts for the WooSox. The hard-throwing right-hander has posted a 3.18 ERA and 2.58 FIP with 26 strikeouts to eight walks over 17 innings of work. He became the first pitcher in the International League this season to record 10 or more punchouts in multiple games. 

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: McDonough, Rafaela power lineup as Drive fall in slugfest


6/1 Cup of Coffee:
All three affiliates in action went into extra innings, with the home team prevailing in each of the contests. Worcester got the lone win of the night, with Connor Wong coming up with the game-winning hit after the team squandered a late three-run advantage. Victor Santos turned in an outstanding start for Portland before New Hampshire took advantage of the bullpen. Greenville fell in an extended slugfest despite a monster night from Tyler McDonough (pictured) and Ceddanne Rafaela.

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It was a back-and-forth contest at Polar Park, with the WooSox coming back from an early 5-3 deficit only to give up a late 8-5 lead. Kutter Crawford got the start, allowing five runs on nine hits in three innings. He surrendered a home run to Khalil Lee, who came to the Mets organization as part of the three-way deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City and brought Franchy Cordero and Josh Winckowski to Boston. Taylor Cole and AJ Politi delivered two scoreless innings apiece, but a defensive miscue behind Zack Kelly in the eighth led to three runs scoring. Kaleb Ort came on to stifle Syracuse, striking out two in his two perfect innings, getting credit for the victory.
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