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August 31, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata joins WooSox; Romero leads FCL wave to Salem


8/31 Cup of Coffee:
The end of the complex league seasons brought a bevy of promotions as the full-season leagues go into the home stretch. Bryan Mata, the second-ranked pitcher in the system, joined Triple-A Worcester. Mata had thrown 102 1/3 innings at Portland in 2019 and 2022, with the lost COVID-19 season and Tommy John surgery sandwiched in between. Tyler Miller blasted a pair of homers to welcome first-round pick Mikey Romero (pictured) and third-rounder Roman Anthony to the Salem lineup. Greenville fell in a pitcher's duel despite the work of Yusniel Padron-Artiles, while a three-run homer by Christian Koss gave Portland the system's only victory.

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Bryan Mata was solid in his introduction to Triple-A, but the Buffalo lineup hit the Worcester bullpen hard and took advantage of some wildness, reaching base 30 times on the night. Mata went the first three frames, allowing one run on two hits. He did battle some shaky control, walking four batters against one strikeout and needing 72 pitches to get through the three innings. After opening the scoring with a run in the third, Buffalo scored at least one run in each inning after. Only Jake Thompson, who came on to retire the last batter of the ninth inning, came out without surrendering a run. Connor Wong hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, the eighth of the month for the Worcester catcher. Ryan Fitzgerald added a pair of doubles and a run scored. Triston Casas had a single, giving him at least one hit in 26 of his last 28 games.
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August 30, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Kelly, Ort join big league club; Mata moves to Worcester


The minor league season has entered its final month, with the three complex league teams having each been eliminated from championship contention. The full-season affiliates are fighting for postseason position, as is the big-league club, while big changes have occurred both in the major and minor leagues.

Boston Bullpen Boost?

With Boston's postseason hopes on life support, the organization has started to turn over the bullpen in hopes that new blood could provide a spark. Hirokazu Sawamura and Austin Davis were both designated for assignment on Monday, making room for Kaleb Ort and Zack Kelly.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Blue bows out of DSL playoffs


8/30 Cup of Coffee:
As the minor league season begins to wind down, the last of the complex league teams were eliminated from the postseason on Monday, as the DSL Red Sox Blue lost its semifinal series to the DSL Rockies 2-0 after a 3-2 defeat in extra innings. With that loss, the four full-season affiliates are the only ones still playing. Greenville and Salem wrap up their regular seasons September 11, while Portland finishes the following week and Worcester's slate extends to September 28. The WooSox stand five games back in their division, while Portland is a half-game up on Somerset for the second-half Eastern League Northeast Division title. Greenville has been eliminated from playoff contention, while Salem is eight games behind in its division.

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The Red Sox were down 2-0 at the seventh inning stretch, but were unable to come away with the victory in a win-or-go-home Game 2 of the DSL semifinals, falling in extras to the Rockies. The middle of the lineup did its part, as Armando Sierra, Albertson Asigen and Karim Ayubi combined to hit 7 for 14 as the four, five and six hitters, while each of the top three in the lineup recorded one base hit, including a home run from leadoff hitter Kelvin Diaz, but the bottom third was a combined 0 for 10 with four strikeouts, limiting the run-scoring opportunities. Additionally, Diaz's deep fly was the team's only extra-base hit, further limiting the offense. 

The pitching staff limited hits, as the Rockies had just three, but five walks, two hit batters and a pair of errors gave the team free bases, allowing runs to score on productive outs. Both of the first two Rockies' runs came on a ground out and sacrifice fly, respectively, while the game-winner came on an error. Smil Guzman, who was transferred from Red, made the start and allowed two runs, one of which was earned, over four-plus one-hit innings. He struck out a trio of hitters and walked three more. He was relieved by Wandy Abreu, who contributed five shutout innings, scattering just one walk and hit each, with three strikeouts.
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August 29, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas homers for Worcester; DSL Blue loses Game One


8/29 Cup of Coffee: Triston Casas's great stretch continued, and both pieces in the Christian Vazquez trade also homered. Josh Winckowski's return to the minors was a shaky one, while Brian Van Belle led a stellar pitching performance in Portland. David Hamilton (pictured) helped power the Portland offense, and Nathan Hickey homered for Greenville. 

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In his first minor league start since June 8, Josh Winckowski allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four. Geoff Hartlieb earned the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and AJ Politi followed with two shutout frames. Triston Casas kickstarted the offense with a solo home run in the first, and Enmanuel Valdez followed with a solo shot in the third. Both batters had two hits, with Casas adding a walk. Connor Wong's blazing hot streak hit a bump with an 0-for-4 day, and Pedro Castellanos and Nick Sogard each went 2 for 4 with two RBI. 
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August 28, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ward punches out 10, Wong homers again


8/28 Cup of Coffee: Connor Wong stayed hot in Worcester with two more extra-base hits. Niko Kavadas hit his first home run as a Sea Dog and Brainer Bonaci had a huge game for Salem. Thad Ward (pictured) also dominated in the second game of Portland's doubleheader to salvage a split. 

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Syracuse Mets (NYM) 6, Worcester Red Sox 4
Connor Wong continued his scorching pace at the plate with a second consecutive 3-for-5 evening. He homered for the 13th time and doubled for the 20th time. Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 5 with a double, while Triston Casas reached three times with a single and two walks. Jaylin Davis also tripled and Abraham Almonte picked up three singles and a stolen base. Eduard Bazardo started and struggled through three innings, surrendering four runs (two earned) on five hits. He punched out three and walked one. James Norwood, Caleb Simpson, and Zack Kelly each tossed a scoreless frame in relief with two strikeouts. 

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August 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wong provides the hits in Worcester walkathon


8/27 Cup of Coffee:
The continuing standout play from Connor Wong (pictured) and a 13-walk night from Syracuse pitching gave Worcester the system's only win on the night. Wong rejected the free passes in lieu of a three-hit night that saw him drive in four. Greenville endured a long rain delay only to fall in the 10th inning, while Salem suffered a tough walk-off defeat. The DSL Red Sox Blue dropped their quarterfinal contest after winning the series opener on Thursday.

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The WooSox drew eight walks and sent 16 batters to the plate in an absurd 11-run seventh-inning rally. Triston Casas and Nick Sogard both walked twice in the inning, with Casas scoring two runs. A scorching-hot Connor Wong came up twice in the inning with the bases loaded and delivered two-run singles in both opportunities. Wong went 3 for 5 in his follow-up to Thursday's two-homer effort, and he is 13 for 33 (.394) during an eight-game hitting streak. Casas and Ronaldo Hernandez finished with three walks apiece in the win. Brian Keller allowed three runs on three hits in four innings before turning things over to Chase Shugart. Shugart spun two perfect frames, striking out a pair, as he earned the win.
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August 26, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Santos strikes out 11, Wong goes deep twice in Syracuse


8/26 Cup of Coffee:
 The postseason began for the rookie-level affiliates on Thursday. The Florida Complex League Red Sox may have been eliminated by the FCL Yankees, but the DSL Red Sox Red took the opener of its best-of-three series against DSL Dodgers Mega. As far as the full-season affiliates are concerned, Connor Wong (pictured) homered twice and Victor Santos fanned 11 to lead Worcester to a blowout win over Syracuse. Trevor Story finished a triple shy of the cycle in the second game of his rehab assignment with Portland. Wikelman Gonzalez pitched well in his second start at the High-A level, but Greenville was still swept in a doubleheader. Elsewhere, Salem dropped a 13-inning marathon on the road in Columbia. 

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Leadoff man Connor Wong set the tone with a pair of home runs. The first came on the second pitch of the game and the second came with two runners on and two outs in the eighth. He also drove in a run on a groundout as part of a five-RBI night. Pedro Castellanos crushed a two-run shot in the third inning. Nick Sogard went 2 for 4 with a two-run double that plated Triston Casas, who went 2 for 5, and Ryan Fitzgerald, who went 2 for 3 with two additional runs scored. 

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August 25, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata leads Portland to shutout win; Lugo and Hickey homer again


8/25 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went 2-2 on Wednesday, as the upper-level teams both won and the lower-level teams both lost. Connor Wong and Cameron Cannon tallied multi-hit games in Worcester's win over Syracuse, Bryan Mata (pictured) twirled six scoreless frames and Hudson Potts drove in five runs in Portland's shutout win over Hartford, Matthew Lugo and Nathan Hickey both went deep in Greenville's loss to Greensboro, and Brainer Bonaci enjoyed a three-hit game in Salem's walk-off loss to Columbia. 

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All six of Worcester's runs were scored in the middle innings. Connor Wong went 3 for 5 with a double, an RBI, and one run scored out of the lead-off spot. Johan Mieses and Enmanuel Valdez also drove in runs while Christin Stewart homered for the 19th time this season and for the first time since July 31. Stewart, Jaylin Davis, and Abraham Almonte each drew two walks. Cameron Cannon had a productive night at the plate and went 2 for 3 with a double and run scored out of the nine-hole.
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August 24, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas mashes in slugfest; Ramirez unhittable in FCL finale


8/24 Cup of Coffee:
Tuesday marked the end of the regular season for the complex league teams. The FCL Sox closed their regular season in style, as a quartet of pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout before moving on to the postseason. Starter Jose Ramirez (pictured) struck out 10 in five hitless innings. The DSL Red Sox Blue will be joining their FCL counterparts in the playoffs despite dropping their finale. The DSL Red Sox Red got outstanding pitching in their final push, earning the win but falling a game short of qualifying. In the full-season leagues, Worcester and Portland both fell in slugfests, despite big nights from Triston Casas and Christian Koss. Greenville and Salem both were victorious as Wyatt Olds and Juan Daniel Encarnacion turned in strong starts.

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The WooSox nearly clawed their way back from an early seven-run deficit, scoring six runs in the final three innings before falling short. Triston Casas continued his late-season surge to lead the way at the plate. The first baseman was 3 for 4 with a double, triple, and intentional walk. He drove in two runs and scored two more. Abraham Almonte also had a triple and two RBI as part of his two-hit effort. Christin Stewart and Ronaldo Hernandez had two hits apiece. It was a tough start for Chris Murphy, who went three innings and surrendered three homers, including a two-run shot by Francisco Alvarez. Overall, Murphy allowed seven runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out two. 
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August 23, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Kavadas promoted again; Perales moves up to Salem


A handful of late-season promotions were the big story this week, and the regular seasons for the rookie leagues are already coming to a close. The DSL BOS Blue and FCL squads have clinched playoff berths, while DSL BOS Red is on the outside looking in. 

Promotions

Niko Kavadas, Shane Drohan, and Cody Scroggins were all promoted from Greenville to Portland. The second promotion for Kavadas in 2022, the 23-year-old hit .308/.472/.592 in 37 games in High-A after batting .287/.453/.609 in Low-A. Drohan posted an ERA of 4.00 with 136 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings for the Drive and was particularly sharp as of late. He pitched to an ERA of 1.77 over his last four starts. Scroggins had solid numbers before his promotion, with an ERA of 4.35 over 41 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old will now be facing more age-appropriate competition in Portland. 
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at 8:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Marcelo Mayer, Blaze Jordan, Niko Kavadas and Nathan Hickey


Over the last few weeks, SoxProspects.com Scouting Correspondent Chris Clegg has checked out several Greenville Drive home games to get live looks at some of the talent on display. The Drive have a stacked lineup after the recent promotions of Marcelo Mayer (pictured, right) and Blaze Jordan. Today we will take a look at four members of the Drive who have been promoted from Salem this year. Let’s dive into the players. 

It has been a blast to follow and scout the Greenville Drive’s lineup this year. The Red Sox High-A affiliate has featured a ton of talent, and even though the Drive have sent some of those players up to Double-A Portland, the team has also received a new crop of prospects. In late June, Niko Kavadas and Nathan Hickey were promoted, then, last week came the much-anticipated  Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan promotions. Here are my observations on these four recent additions to the Greenvile lineup.  

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Marcelo Mayer got off to a slow start upon his promotion, going just 1-for-18 in his first four games and 4-for-28 over a six-game series against Hickory. Still, he showed good strike zone awareness and pitch recognition. Mayer worked deep into counts and overall made good swing decisions. Although he struck out six times in those first four games, the larger issue was the type of contact he made when he did make contact. 

Early in the week, Mayer had plenty of topped balls and pop-ups, and seemed to be pressing. In his final at-bat on Tuesday night, Mayer did scorch a line drive into the right-center gap that would have likely been a hit against most teams, but Hickory center fielder Evan Carter, himself a top-100 prospect, made a great catch. As the series progressed, Mayer began swinging more frequently and tried to make things happen. 

Despite the early struggles, Mayer was able to turn things around and show why he’s one of the game’s top prospects on Saturday, when he broke out for three hits in four at-bats, including a big home run. He also did not strike out on Saturday or Sunday. 

The talent is undeniable with Mayer and was clear, even in just a short look. He has a great glove at shortstop and a strong arm to go with it. His strong plate discipline and smooth swing leave Mayer with a very high floor and plenty of upside to dream on. 

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Blaze Jordan started his Greenville career much stronger than Mayer, with a three-hit, two-home run game. He hit one home run so far over the mini Green Monster at Flour Field that it landed on top of the apartment building behind it, then followed it up with another home run in his next at-bat. Jordan finished his first series in Greenville with six hits in 18 at-bats. 

Jordan (pictured, right) is hyper-aggressive at the plate and is the opposite of Mayer in that sense. He loves swinging earlier in counts and often hurts himself because of it. I also noticed that Jordan struggled with velocity. He is very late on fastballs, even around 94 mph, and I did not see Jordan turn on a fastball all week. He can destroy offspeed pitches, but unless he can pick up on fastballs quicker out of the pitcher's hand, there are major concerns with his hit tool. It is something to monitor with Jordan moving forward. 

Defensively, Jordan is not likely a third baseman long-term. He played two games each at third and first against Hickory (plus a fifth game at DH), making one error at each position, including a bad throw from third. Jordan has big power and hits the ball extremely hard when he makes contact, but the inability to catch up to fastballs makes me slightly concerned. 

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Niko Kavadas (pictured, lefthas set the world on fire this season. After mashing 14 home runs in Salem, he earned a promotion to Greenville in late June, and he hit well enough in High-A that he earned another promotion, to Portland, last week. With the Drive, Kavadas hit ten more home runs–in nearly 100 fewer plate appearances–with a .308/.472/.592 slash line. 

The numbers look great, but also merit deeper examination. Kavadas hits the ball extremely hard with a swing geared for power and extra-base hits, but you have to wonder if Kavadas will be more of a three-true-outcome player given his 20.6 percent walk rate, 26.9 percent strikeout rate, and 24 home runs this season, those accounting for 53 percent of his plate appearances. The strikeouts come from working deep into counts and from some swing-and-miss in the zone. Kavadas makes good swing decisions in general, but he works deep into counts often and has one of the lowest swing rates in the minor leagues, which leads to more strikeouts. You would like to see him be more aggressive. 

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Nathan Hickey
 (pictured, right, with Kavadas) is similar to Kavadas in that he has strong plate discipline and is selective choosing pitches to swing at. Before his promotion to Greenville along with Kavadas in June, he had a one-to-one strikeout-to-walk rate with 39 each. In 94 High-A plate appearances, he has 17 walks to 24 strikeouts. Hickey has a .263 batting average on the season but a strong .417 OBP to go with 10 home runs. 

Hickey, a left-handed hitter, was running a 32.7-percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching coming out of the weekend compared to a 19.8 percent rate against righties, and he walks at a much lower rate against southpaws (9.0% versus 23%), but that has not stopped him from hitting for a respectable .286/.364/.571 slash line against left-handers. Still, the drastic difference in his walk and strikeout rates portends potential issues against more advanced left-handed pitching, so despite the small sample of 55 plate appearances, Hickey may end up as a platoon bat behind the plate. 

Photo Credit: All by Kelly O'Connor.

Chris Clegg is a Scouting Correspondent for SoxProspects.com. Chris has been writing about baseball since 2019 covering fantasy baseball and MILB prospects. He resides in Greenville, SC and began to develop a passion for evaluating Minor League players in 2017 when he began attending more Minor League games. You can find him behind home plate at plenty of Drive games and other MILB parks. You can find more of his work at FantasyPros and FantraxHQ. Follow him on Twitter @RotoClegg.

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Roman Anthony runs hitting streak to 9, Yosander Asencio goes 4 for 5


8/23 Cup of Coffee:
The two DSL teams went a combined 3-0, as Blue made a late comeback in a suspended game against a Kansas City affiliate and then put together another strong offensive performance in the regularly scheduled contest, scoring 21 runs over 16 innings of play, with Andy Lugo generating four RBI. Elsewhere, Red made a comeback of its own, adding five runs in the eighth inning against the Guardians, thanks in part to four hits for Yosander Asencio. On the mainland, the FCL team was unable to dig itself out of a 9-0 hole, despite scoring seven runs across the seventh and eighth innings and yet another multi-hit game from Roman Anthony.

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The Red Sox scored seven runs between the seventh and eighth innings, but as they were down 9-0 after six frames, it was not enough to secure a victory. Roman Anthony continued his torrid start to his professional career with a 2-for-4 performance and now sports a 1.031 OPS over 36 plate appearances. He was joined in the multi-hit club by Ahbram Liendo, who was 2 for 3. Jedixson Paez had a trying outing on the mound, as he completed just four innings and surrendered three runs on four hits. He was followed by six relievers, only two of whom recorded more than two outs. Nate Tellier struck out both of the batters he faced, while Michael Valera had a clean eighth inning with a pair of punchouts.
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August 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Home runs for Hernández and Ferguson; Ward struggles


8/22 Cup of Coffee:
The offense was quiet in the upper minors, save for a two-run home run from Ronaldo Hernández (pictured). It was a rare tough start for Thaddeus Ward in a blowout loss for Portland, and Max Ferguson hit his first home run for the Drive. Johnfrank Salazar's three hits helped Salem win a one-run game. 

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A quality start from Brian Keller was not enough as the Red Wings split the series. All the damage came off of Keller on a three-run home run as right-hander went the first six innings. AJ Politi, Frank German, and Kaleb Ort followed with scoreless innings. For the WooSox, a two-run home run from Ronaldo Hernández cut the lead down to one, but they could not tie it up. The home run was his 12th of the year as part of a 2-for-4 day. Triston Casas went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts, and Abraham Almonte went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks. 
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August 21, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: McDonough hits for cycle, Lugo belts two homers for Greenville (again!)


8/21 Cup of Coffee: Tyler McDonough (pictured) and Matthew Lugo combined for a ridiculous 21 total bases in Greenville's offensive beatdown. Ceddanne Rafaela also had a big game in Reading with another couple of extra-base hits. Mikey Romero also continued his hitting streak for the FCL Sox. 

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The Sox dropped a tough one that was called early due to rain. Victor Santos struggled, allowing eight hits and four earned runs in the first 3 1/3 innings. Geoff Hartlieb came on and tossed 2 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run. Eduard Bazardo pitched a clean seventh with no hits allowed and one strikeout. Triston Casas stayed hot, picking up two of the Sox' three hits. Connor Wong had the other hit, his 18th double of the season. Franchy Cordero hit a sacrifice fly before being pulled early from the game due to a callup to Boston. 
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August 20, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello rehabs in Worcester; Lugo hits two home runs for Greenville


8/20 Cup of Coffee: The bats were alive on Friday as several notable prospects launched home runs. Franchy Cordero and Connor Wong went deep for Worcester, and Matthew Lugo (pictured) hit two for Greenville. Brayan Bello had another stellar rehab performance, and Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz was stellar again in the FCL.

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Franchy Cordero, Connor Wong, and Triston Casas again led the offense in an easy win for the WooSox. A day after hitting two home runs, Cordero went 3 for 5 with a grand slam. Wong hit his fourth home run in his last six games, going 1 for 4 as the designated hitter. Casas got pitched around as he went 0 for 1 with three walks. He now has 12 walks in 15 games in August. Abraham Almonte also had a night, going 3 for 4 with a home run and a walk. 

In his second rehab start, Brayan Bello went 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches with 50 of them for strikes. Zack Kelly and Kaleb Ort ended the game with a scoreless inning apiece. 
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August 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero fuels Worcester's comeback, Mata puts together quality start


8/19 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 6-2 on Thursday. Franchy Cordero (pictured) homered twice while Ryan Fitzgerald provided the late-game heroics in Worcester's second straight walk-off win. Portland received a solid start from Bryan Mata in its low-scoring victory over Reading. Big Joe Davis went deep for the 17th time this season in Greenville's loss to Bowling Green. Chase Meidroth left the yard and Matt Donlan collected his first professional RBI in Salem's one-run win over Delmarva. 

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The WooSox walked it off for the second day in a row. Ryan Fitzgerald provided the late-game heroics this time around by driving in Triston Casas -- who was representing the winning run -- on an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Fitzgerald wound up going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, one RBI, and two runs scored. Casas scored two runs in the process of going 1 for 4 with an RBI double and one walk. Franchy Cordero led the way out of the leadoff spot by going 3 for 4 with with two home runs and four runs driven in. Connor Wong also clubbed a two-run homer in the come-from-behind victory while Jeter Downs was forced to exit in the sixth inning due to an apparent leg injury. 

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August 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas and Mayer come through in the clutch


8/18 Cup of Coffee:
 With the rookie-level squads having the afternoon off, Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 3-1 on Wednesday. Triston Casas came through with the walk-off single in Worcester's low-scoring win. Nick Northcut accounted for Portland's only two runs in a loss. Much like Casas, Marcelo Mayer (pictured) delivered in the clutch with a big home run in Greenville's comeback win over Bowling Green. Finally, in Salem, Eddinson Paulino and Chase Meidroth combined for six hits while Juan Daniel Encarnacion tossed five scoreless innings in a home win for the Red Sox.

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Triston Casas proved to be both the catalyst and hero in Worcester's walk-off win over Rochester on Wednesday afternoon. Casas went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, driving in his side's first run on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning and his side's last run on a game-winning single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Ronaldo Hernandez also went 2 for 4 while Jaylin Davis, Jeter Downs, and Nick Sogard accounted for Worcester's other three hits. Downs had a nice game defensively at shortstop as well. Enmanuel Valdez drew three walks out of the two-hole.
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August 17, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan stays hot with 4 hits for Greenville


8/17 Cup of Coffee: Blaze Jordan (pictured) headlined a series of big offensive nights in Greenville's win. Connor Wong had another good game for Worcester, while Thad Ward pitched well again for Portland. Reliever Matt Strahm also made his first rehab appearance with Worcester. 

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Rochester Red Wings (WAS) 4, Worcester Red Sox 1
The Sox got big nights from Connor Wong and Ryan Fitzgerald at the plate, but went just 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Wong went 3 for 4 with two doubles, while Fitzgerald also had three hits including a two-bagger. Ronaldo Hernandez had the lone RBI on his 25th double of the season. Brian Keller started and allowed four earned runs over five innings, walking four and striking out three. Matt Strahm made a rehab appearance out of the bullpen, his first game action since July 12 at Tampa Bay. The lefty tossed a perfect inning with one strikeout. Durbin Feltman, Caleb Simpson, and Kaleb Ort tossed scoreless frames of their own. 
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August 16, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Bello rehabs, Romero and Anthony debut


It was a big week in the minor leagues, as multiple 2022 draft picks, including Boston's top two picks, made their professional debuts. Brayan Bello (pictured, left) also returned to action. 

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Bello Rehabs

Right-handed pitcher Brayan Bello made his first appearance since being pulled early from his start against the Houston Astros on August 3. He tossed 3 2/3 innings and struck out six while allowing one run. Bello has struggled with Boston, posting an 8.47 ERA in 17 innings. The good news is that number is not going to sustain, as he has still been getting a ton of ground balls at the MLB level, suggesting his luck has been on the wrong side so far. According to Fangraphs, 578 pitchers have thrown at least 10 innings this year. Bello ranks 7th in ground ball rate at 65.5%. Between Portland and Worcester this year he is 10-4 with a 2.36 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Blue clinches division in intraorganizational game; Roman Anthony 3 for 3


8/16 Cup of Coffee:
With the intraorganizational battle in the Dominican Summer League, there were only two games on the docket in the organization on Monday. The FCL squad did enough hitting for all three teams, as it scored 14 runs, including four RBI from Roman Anthony, who was 3 for 3 on the day. He was not alone in grabbing three hits, as Brooks Brannon tripled twice as part of a 3-for-4 performance. On the mound, Luis Perales no-hit the Orioles for three innings for the FCL, while Wandy Abreu struck out five DSL Red hitters in his two innings of relief.

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In a game that was shortened due to wet grounds, the Red Sox left no doubt, crushing the Orioles. Roman Anthony was the headliner, with a perfect 3-for-3 day, driving in four runs with a two-bagger, as well. He was joined in the three-hit club by fellow 2022 draftee Brooks Brannon, who was 3 for 4, adding two triples. Luis Perales and Francis Hernandez each spent three innings on the mound. Perales, who started, did not allow a hit, but did surrender an unearned run. He struck out four and walked one. Hernandez closed the contest with another unearned run, though he did surrender a double. He walked a batter and struck out three more. The FCL squad is one-half game back of the FCL Rays in the FCL South division, but remains four games up on the FCL Pirates for the wild card spot.
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August 15, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello rehabs in Portland; Yorke heating up in Greenville


8/15 Cup of Coffee:
While the affiliate results were mixed, there were very strong performances on the farm on Sunday. Brayan Bello and Rob Refsnyder helped Portland, while Shane Drohan (pictured) and Nick Yorke led the way for Greenville. Connor Wong went deep for Worcester, and Yorberto Mejicano capped off a great week by reaching base five times for Salem. 

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Victor Santos struggled again in his second Triple-A start, allowing five runs over 3 2/3 innings. He gave up two home runs on Sunday after surrendering two in his previous start. James Norwood turned in his longest outing of the season, allowing one run and striking out five over 2 1/3. Chase Shugart and Frank German followed with scoreless innings, though German hit two batters. 
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August 14, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gonzalez goes six hitless; Mayer a lone bright spot for Greenville


8/14 Cup of Coffee: A few of the affiliates' contests came down to the wire, with Worcester earning a late win while Portland and Greenville fell late. Wikelman Gonzalez (pictured) threw six no-hit innings before being lifted in Salem's two-hit victory. And while the DSL teams furthered their pace ahead of everyone in their respective division, the FCL Red Sox came up short in a game that featured 50 runners left on base.

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Despite striking out 16 times and leaving 21 runners on base, Worcester rode a 4-run third inning and held on for a narrow victory. Ronaldo Hernandez and Connor Wong homered in the third as the WooSox claimed a lead they would not relinquish. Enmanuel Valdez and Devlin Granberg had two-hit offerings for Worcester.
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August 13, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Valdez, Casas power WooSox romp


8/13 Cup of Coffee: A pair of slugfests were the highlight of Friday's schedule. It was an offensive onslaught for Worcester with Enmanuel Valdez and Abraham Almonte homering twice and Triston Casas (pictured) going deep on a night he reached base five times. A late rally helped Salem vault to the victory, while Bryan Mata held the Flying Squirrels in check for Portland. Greenville bettered its Thursday performance by getting some hits, while the FCL needed only three to come out victorious.

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Nine of Worcester's 16 hits went for extra bases in a rout of its Yankee counterpart. Enmanuel Valdez blasted a solo home run in the first and a three-run shot in the fourth as part of a 4-for-6, six-RBI evening. Valdez now has four homers and 12 RBI in eight games since coming over from Houston. Triston Casas reached base five times, going 3 for 4 with a home run, double, and two walks. The 22-year-old is hitting .333/.439/.688 over his last 13 games. Abraham Almonte hit a pair of two-run homers, walked twice, and scored four runs. Franchy Cordero scored three times as part of a 3-for-5 effort, including a double, stolen base, and a walk. 
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August 12, 2022 at 9:14 PM

Podcast Ep. #258: Post-Deadline Re-Rank


The Red Sox have added a lot of talent over the past month, which made the August rankings update particularly interesting. The guys discussed the debuts of new players and some big moves from more familiar names in the #SP60. Plus, they discussed some corresponding releases and, as always, your email questions.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Miller hits grand slam, finishes triple shy of cycle; Rafaela homers


8/12 Cup of Coffee:
 While the big-league club snapped a four-game losing streak on Thursday, Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 4-3. Chris Murphy pitched into the seventh inning for Worcester as Jeurys Familia made his organizational debut and Abraham Almonte homered in Scranton. Earlier in the afternoon, Portland won its third consecutive game over Richmond thanks in part to a quality start from Brian Van Belle and a home run from Ceddanne Rafaela. Things did not go so well in Greenville, as the Drive were no-hit by Hickory. Tyler Miller (pictured), meanwhile, recorded a season-high five RBIs in Salem's blowout victory over Kannapolis. Down in the Florida Complex League, Jedisxson Paez tossed five scoreless, one-hit innings.

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It was an interesting night on the mound for Chris Murphy. Making his eighth start for Worcester, the left-hander allowed four earned runs on five hits, five walks, one hit batsman, and five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. All four of those Scranton runs came in the second inning. Murphy did face the minimum on four separate occasions, though. In relief of Murphy, James Norwood recorded the final out of the seventh while Jeurys Familia -- who was recently signed to a minor-league deal -- struck out the side in his organizational debut. 
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August 11, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lugo and Yorke go deep; Ward tosses 5 scoreless.


8/11 Cup of Coffee:
As the big-league club continues to flounder, Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 4-2 on Wednesday. Brian Keller put together another impressive start for Worcester while Ryan Fitzgerald homered in his return to the WooSox lineup. In Portland, Thaddeus Ward twirled five scoreless frames while Tyler Dearden played hero in the Sea Dogs' second straight walk-off victory. Nick Yorke (pictured) went deep for the eighth time this season in Greenville while Brainer Bonaci enjoyed a multi-hit night in Salem's extra-innings loss to Kannapolis. And down in the Dominican Republic, Boston's DSL affiliates swept the competition. 

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Another strong start from Brian Keller was not enough to lift Worcester to a win on Wednesday night. Keller allowed one earned run on three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts across six innings of work. The 28-year-old has now surrendered one run or less in his last seven starts to lower his ERA on the season to 3.16. In relief of Keller, A.J. Politi worked his way around three hits and one walk in a scoreless seventh inning. Chase Shugart, on the other hand, was charged with the loss and blown save as he gave up the game-tying and game-winning runs in the bottom of the eighth.
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August 10, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan steals show as he, Mayer join Drive; Romero, Anthony debut


8/10 Cup of Coffee:
Tuesday was debut day down on the farm. Boston's top three picks in the 2022 draft all made their debuts in the FCL, which fell despite the continued excellence of Miguel Bleis. Top prospect Marcelo Mayer moved up to High-A Greenville where he was joined by the high-powered debut of Blaze Jordan (pictured). Chase Meidroth helped power Salem in his first full-season appearance. Victor Santos took the loss in his first go with the WooSox, while Portland relied on a group of mainstays in its win.

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It was a difficult introduction to Triple-A for Victor Santos. The 22-year-old right-hander went 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, including a pair of third-inning home runs. Zack Kelly was a highlight out of the bullpen striking out two of the three batters he faced in a scoreless ninth. The Worcester lineup managed just three hits off of former first-round pick Matt Krook and a trio of RailRider delivers. Ronaldo Hernandez had one of those hits, as well as a pair of walks.
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August 9, 2022 at 8:18 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rookie teams go 3-0, Bleis notches three htis


8/9 Cup of Coffee: It was an undefeated Monday for the system, as the DSL teams and the FCL squad each took home wins while the full-season affiliates had their weekly off day. DSL Blue and Red combined for just eight base knocks over 14 innings, but were able to do just enough to squeak out with a win in a pair of pitcher's duels, with William Colmenares contributing the most impressive outing, as he threw five on-hit frames. In Florida, Miguel Bleis (pictured) was 3 for 5, leading the way to victory for the FCL Red Sox, which held off a late comeback from the Braves.

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Miguel Bleis led the way with a 3-for-5 performance with a pair of doubles, driving in two runs as part of a 13-hit attack by the Red Sox. Aside from Bleis, Chase Meidroth, Enderso Lira and a rehabbing Tyler Esplin also recorded multi-hit efforts, while Albert Feliz notched his first home run on the season in the seventh. Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz only completed two innings of work and only surrendered an unearned run, but had plenty of traffic, with three hits and two walks. In earning the win, Jhonny Felix handled the bulk relief, permitting just one runner to cross the plate over four innings, striking out three against a trio of hits and two free passes. 
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at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Mayer & Jordan promoted and Bleis wins first POTW


It was a busy week throughout the system with new SoxProspects.com rankings to start the week, the trade deadline coming mid-week, and some of the system's top prospects promoted. 

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Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan promoted

As SoxPropects.com's Executive Editor Chris Hatfield first reported, shortstop and top-ranked prospect Marcelo Mayer (pictured, right) was promoted from Low-A Salem to High-A Greenville. Mayer was narrowly beaten out for this week's SoxProspects.com Player of the Week after posting a .607 OBP with a home run and two doubles, and that type of outstanding performance has been emblematic of his first full season as a professional. His final line with Salem is .286/..406/.504 with 16 steals without being caught, 36 extra-base hits including nine home runs, and 51 walks to 78 strikeouts. He was 1.8 years younger than the average position player in the Carolina League and only 11 of his 308 plate appearances came against a pitcher younger than his age of 19. 

Mayer's Salem teammate, infielder Blaze Jordan, will be making the trip with him up to Greenville after he was promoted as well. Jordan is currently ranked 18th in the system in the latest SoxProspects.com rankings after hitting .287/.357/.446 for Salem. The 2020 third-rounder raked to start the season, hitting .310/.372/.498 with eight home runs through the end of June, but since then he has yet to hit a home run and has slugged only .321 over those 29 games.
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August 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas doubles twice; De La Rosa shines in Salem


8/8 Cup of Coffee:
It was a tough day on the farm with the four affiliates combining to lose five games. Triston Casas was one of the lone bright spots for Worcester, Stephen Scott and Izzy Wilson each went deep for Portland, newcomers Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier tried to jumpstart Greenville, and Luis De La Rosa (pictured) helped keep things close for Salem. 

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Triston Casas went 2 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI in Worcester's loss to Durham. Casas now has at least one double in four straight games. Devlin Granberg also added a double, and Franchy Cordero went 1 for 3 with two stolen bases. Eduard Bazardo allowed just a solo home run over three innings while striking out five. After AJ Politi fired two scoreless innings, three relievers combined to allow eight runs over the next three innings. Kaleb Ort was able to stop the bleeding with a scoreless ninth. 
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August 7, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Granberg, Yorke with big nights, Jordan clutch for Salem


8/7 Cup of Coffee: Offense shined in the system last night, as five of the seven teams in action last night scored at least six runs. They were led by Devlin Granberg's (pictured) multiple-home-run game and Nick Yorke's big day for Greenville. Alex Binelas also had made a big impact with four RBI, and Blaze Jordan came through for Salem. Tyler Uberstine had a good start for Greenville, and there were multiple terrific performances out of the bullpen. 

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Worcester Red Sox 9, Durham Bulls (TB) 1
Devlin Granberg led the Sox' nine-run offensive attack with three hits including a pair of home runs, a double, and three runs scored. Triston Casas doubled, walked, and drove in a run as well. Ronaldo Hernandez added an RBI single, and Enmanuel Valdez had another good game despite not recording a hit with a pair of walks, a sacrifice fly, and a run scored. Connor Seabold started and lasted just 3 1/3 innings, but he only gave up one run and punched out five. The bullpen was tremendous, led by Geoff Hartleib's 2 2/3 shutout innings, followed by a clean seventh by Durbin Feltman. Frank German closed it out with a couple dominant scoreless innings, striking out four without a free pass. 

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August 6, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Valdez blast supports Murphy's strong start


8/6 Cup of Coffee:
Solid starting pitching and inclement weather were the themes on Friday. Chris Murphy (pictured) highlighted a strong slate of hurlers, going seven innings to lead Worcester's win. Brian Van Belle and Jedixson Paez also turned in solid efforts in wins for Portland and the FCL Sox. Meanwhile, rainy weather postponed Salem's contest, while the two DSL squads had their games suspended. Greenville suffered the system's only loss on the night despite the efforts of Matthew Lugo

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He didn't quite replicate the no-hitter of the previous night, but Chris Murphy turned in an excellent start, getting support from a couple recent reinforcements. Murphy went seven strong, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out five and walked four as he lowered his ERA to an even 3.00 across two levels. Franchy Cordero gave the WooSox a lead they would not relinquish when he blasted a home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Enmanuel Valdez gave Murphy a cushion when he delivered a three-run shot in the fourth. Triston Casas contributed a double and Nick Sogard stole a pair of bases. 
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August 5, 2022 at 10:48 AM

Podcast Ep. #257: Buy/Sell/Trade


Buy? Sell? Get you a CBO who can do both? Chris and Ian had plenty to analyze from the trade deadline. The guys broke down Christian Vazquez's exit, the arrivals of Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham, and of course, had the scoop on the newest crop of Sox prospects.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: WooSox combine for no-hitter; DSL teams explode offensively


Cup of Coffee 8/5: On a night when there were a bevy of options for Player of the Day, five of Boston's seven affiliates won -- some with significant margins of victory, others with momentous efforts -- as the future of the franchise shone brightly. The WooSox drubbed Durham for 17 hits and 12 runs, a feat overlooked by a combined no-hitter, while Salem pitched a shutout and Boston's DSL teams combined for 24 runs and a pair of wins. And as Boston continues to search for long-term pitching answers, a refreshing return from Thaddeus Ward (pictured) provided a much-needed spark despite a Portland loss.

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Three pitchers combined for a no-hitter in a dominant effort against Durham. Michael Wacha contributed 4 2/3 innings on a rehab stint as Worcester jumped out to an early and insurmountable lead thanks in part to a six-run third inning. Worcester's 17-hit barrage to Durham's none was extra salt in the wound of this matchup, led in large part by Abraham Almonte's 4-for-5 outburst with three RBIs and three runs scored.
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August 4, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mayer keeps rolling; Keller fans 10


8/4 Cup of Coffee:
For the second straight day, all four full-season affiliates were swept, and for the second straight day it was not any fault of Marcelo Mayers. Shane Drohan and Brian Keller turned in solid starts for Greenville and Worcester, respectively, and the two prospects acquired in the deal that sent Christian Vazquez to San Diego both made their Red Sox system debuts. 

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Worcester managed only four hits against a parade of six Durham hurlers, wasting a solid outing from Brian Keller. The 28-year-old righty, taken last December in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, allowed just one run on two hits in six innings, striking out 10 and walking two. Keller has a 1.59 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings going back to the start of June. Eduard Bazardo took the loss, giving up two runs in 1 2/3. Bazardo has given up multiple runs in four of his last five outings, following a 10-appearance run in which he gave up just one run total. The newly-acquired Enmanuel Valdez made an impact in his first appearance in a WooSox uniform. Batting cleanup and getting the start at second base, Valdez blasted a fourth-inning solo home run.
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August 3, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bleis stars in FCL Sox romp on deadline day


8/3 Cup of Coffee:
It was a tumultuous trade deadline Tuesday that saw the departure of longtime top-20 prospect and 2016 first-round pick Jay Groome. Despite some unsightly team results, there were several notable individual performances. Miguel Bleis (pictured) was a dynamo for the FCL Sox in their victory, while top-ranked Marcelo Mayer had a big day in Salem's loss. Triston Casas was one of the few bright spots in Durham's drubbing of Worcester, and Brent Kennedy had a strong start as Portland finished on the short end of a 1-0 outcome.

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The game was not without positives. For one, Triston Casas was on base twice, with a single and a walk, as the heir apparent to Eric Hosmer is 7 for 20 with three walks and three strikeouts in his last five games. Also, Darwinzon Hernandez struck out the side in a perfect seventh inning. Finally, at no point during the day did the WooSox trade Juan Soto, guaranteeing that at least one team had it worse.
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August 2, 2022 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Vázquez traded to Astros for pair of prospects, Northcut promoted to Portland


While the deadline for clubs to sign the majority of their draft picks has passed, MLB trade deadline day is now upon us. The Red Sox were able to sign 18 of their 21 selections from last month's draft. Two of the three who did not sign (13th rounder Gavin Kilen and 14th rounder Travis Sanders) will honor their commitments to their respective colleges. Austin Ehrlicher, selected in the 18th round, has until next July to sign since he is a JuCo product who was taken after the 10th round and is therefore a draft-and-follow player. 

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Transactions

Vazquez traded to Astros for pair of prospects
The longest tenured member of the Red Sox organization was traded to the Astros for a pair of minor-leaguers on Monday night. Christian Vazquez (pictured, right), who Boston selected in the ninth round of the 2008 amateur draft, was dealt to Houston for infielder/outfielder Enmanuel Valdez and outfielder Wilyer Abreu

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at 11:00 AM

July Players of the Month: Brainer Bonaci and Luis Perales


A late surge propelled Brainer Bonaci past the field, edging out an attempt by Niko Kavadas to earn  Player of the Month recognition for a second straight month. Bonaci, who turned 20 on July 9, had shown solid contact and on-base skills throughout the season but had not hit for substantial power. The extra-base power showed up last month as he delivered a .324/.448/.581 line in 96 plate appearances. 

Through June, Bonaci had shown impressive command of the strike zone as he worked 46 walks against 48 strikeouts in 269 plate appearances. He did this despite racking up just eight doubles, three triples, and no home runs, just an .063 isolated slugging percentage. Once July came, Bonaci ripped nine doubles, two triples, and his first two homers of the year. He was particularly productive during a seven-game hitting streak from July 22 through 29 going 14 for 26 with eight extra-base hits and five walks, a .539/.594/1.077 line. The stretch has brought his on-base percentage for the season up to .395, fourth in the system among stateside players with at least 150 plate appearances.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: A trio of one-run games; two hits for Lyonell James


8/2 Cup of Coffee: It was nailbiters galore for Complex Monday, as all three affiliates played to one-run contests, though only DSL Blue finished with a win. Lyonell James (pictured) did his best for the FCL team, tying the game at 5-5 in the eighth as part of a two-hit day, but the FCL Rays would take a walk-off win, as did DSL Colorado in extra innings over Red. The DSL teams combined for just 11 hits over their 19 innings of baseball, going cold offensively.

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The Rays walked it off in the bottom of the ninth to spoil a three-run comeback by the Red Sox in the eighth, including RBI knocks by Johnfrank Salazar and Lyonell James. James had two hits on the day, as did Allan Castro. The eighth and ninth hitters in the order represented 2/3 of their team's offensive output. However, the Red Sox did walk eight teams, including three free passes issued to Juan Chacon. On the mound, Yordanny Monegro struggled, surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits in 1 2/3 innings of work, though he was picked up by Jhonny Felix. The right-hander scattered just a hit in 2 1/3 frames of work and was the only Red Sox pitcher to not allow a run.
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August 1, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas homers; Mata strikes out seven


8/1 Cup of Coffee:
With Salem rained out, Triston Casas was the top prospect to play on Sunday. He made his mark with a solo home run, one of three home runs that the team hit. Bryan Mata was homer-prone but still turned in his longest outing of the season. Nick Northcut and Nick Decker (pictured) hit home runs, and David Hamilton swiped two more bases. 

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Five Worcester pitchers combined to stifle Buffalo. AJ Politi was the opener and struck out three in two scoreless frames. Durbin Feltman and Chase Shugart added two scoreless innings apiece, and Frank German converted the save with a scoreless ninth. Triston Casas got the scoring started with a long solo home run to right field, and Deivy Grullón and Christin Stewart each went deep later in the game. Devlin Granberg went 2 for 5 with a stolen base out of the leadoff spot, and José Peraza went 2 for 4. 
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