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April 30, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paulino, Meidroth lead 19-hit Greenville romp

4/30 Cup of Coffee
: It was a high-octane Saturday down on the farm. Greenville, led by a second straight stellar performance by Eddinson Paulino (pictured), ripped 19 hits, including 11 for extra bases on its way to a blowout win. Portland and Worcester also had big offensive nights, but both squads needed extra innings to come away victorious. The only team that didn't record a victory on Saturday was Salem, despite having two opportunities to do so. A big day by Luis Ravelo was not enough to prevent the doubleheader sweep. 


The WooSox collected nine hits and worked 10 walks in a weird 11-inning win at Polar Park. Worcester scored single runs in the 10th and 11th innings without registering a base hit in either frame. Two walks and a Jorge Alfaro sacrifice fly plated a game-tying run in the 10th inning, and a zombie-runner stolen base led to a Greg Allen sac fly in the 11th to walk it off. Alfaro also had a triple as part of his 3-for-5 effort, while Allen was 2 for 3 with a triple, walk, and hit batsman.
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April 29, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata bounces back; Yorke homers

4/29 Cup of Coffee:
It was a busy night on the farm even with a rainout for Salem. In Worcester, Bryan Mata tossed five shutout innings and Chris Martin started his rehab assignment. Nick Yorke and Tyler McDonough led an offensive outburst for Portland, while Blaze Jordan, Eduardo Lopez (pictured), and Nathan Hickey hit home runs for Greenville. 


It was the best start of the year for Bryan Mata as he blanked the RailRiders over five innings. He issued three walks but allowed only three hits and struck out five. He has struck out 20 and walked 18 over 19 1/3 innings in 2023. Chris Martin made his first rehab appearance and allowed two unearned runs, while Oddanier Mosqueda, AJ Politi, and Chase Shugart each threw a scoreless inning to close the game out. 
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April 28, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Liu continues parade of strong Portland pitching

4/28 Cup of Coffee:
While the major league squad got a much-needed off day, two of the three affiliates in action Thursday night emerged victorious. The Portland pitching staff has been an organizational highlight in April, and CJ Liu (pictured) continued that run in the Sea Dogs' victory. The WooSox powered to an early lead and hung on at Polar Park, while Salem dropped its contest in Delmarva despite a long ball from Lyonell James. Greenville was also scheduled to be in action, but heavy rains pushed the Drive out to a Friday doubleheader.


Back-to-back home runs by Wilyer Abreu and Ronaldo Hernandez in the first inning gave the WooSox a lead they would not relinquish. Abreu was 2 for 4 on the night and is now 5 for 11 with three extra-base hits in the series. David Hamilton had a double, walk, and a stolen base, scoring a pair of runs. starting pitcher Matt Dermody allowed two runs in two innings before giving way to Norwith Gudino, who got credit for the win. Gudino pitched four innings, working around six hits and two walks as he allowed two runs (one earned). Ryan Sherriff, Joe Jacques, and Chase Shugart pitched in with a scoreless inning apiece to preserve the win.
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April 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Emptying the Spring Training notebook

In the middle of March, the SoxProspects.com Brass made our annual trip to Spring Training to catch the action on the back fields in minor league camp. I was able to spend a full week in Fort Myers this year, and as a result I was able to see more players than ever before. Today I’ll focus on some deeper names to watch out for this year.

One new name to keep on eye this year is right-handed reliever Christopher Troye. The Red Sox selected Troye in the 12th round of the 2021 draft, but he only threw 33 1/3 innings last year after missing the beginning of the season due to injury. He struck out 50 hitters last year, but also walked 24. In a live batting practice situation, he was around the zone and showed overpowering stuff. Troye has a big pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He throws over the top and has deception in his delivery. His fastball worked 95-97 mph and he mixed in a high-spin breaking ball at 83-84 mph with 11-to-5 shape and a shorter, more horizontal cutter (which could have been a slider) at 88 mph. 

Right-hander Bradley Blalock is still in the process of rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last spring, but just over one year after his surgery, he was back on the mound throwing live batting practice, and his stuff looked good. He was 91-93 mph with his fastball and topped out at 94. He also showed all of his secondary pitches, which included a splitter at 84-86 mph with late drop, a slider at 82-84 mph and a curveball at 78 mph. The splitter especially was interesting, flashing above-average potential, and was significantly better than the changeup he showed prior to his surgery. Blalock will start the season in extended spring training, but the team hopes he might be ready to return in May. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan and Ramirez turn in solid starts; Jordan extends hitting streak

4/27 Cup of Coffee
: Boston's minor-league affiliates went 1-3 on Wednesday, with Portland accounting for the only win thanks to another strong start from Shane Drohan (pictured). Fellow southpaw Chris Murphy ground through 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a Worcester loss while right-hander Jose Ramirez lowered his ERA with Salem to 0.69. And although not too much went right for Greenville in a blowout loss, Blaze Jordan extended his hitting streak to nine games with a pair of singles.

Chris Murphy wrapped up his month of April with an uneven start at Polar Park. The left-hander allowed just one run on three hits and five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings, but he also issued four walks and hit a batter. In relief of Murphy, Andrew Politi gave up one run in the sixth and Jake Faria gave up two runs (one earned) in the eighth. On the flip side, Joe Jacques and Oddanier Mosqeuda combined for two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. 

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April 26, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Luis Perales and Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz

In the middle of March, the SoxProspects.com Brass made our annual trip to Spring Training to catch the action on the back fields in minor league camp. I was able to spend a full week in Fort Myers this year, and as a result I was able to see more players than ever before. Today I’ll focus on a pair of pitchers who scouts were very impressed with this spring.

The one pitcher I was most interested to see in minor league spring training this year was 19-year old Venezuelan right-hander Luis Perales. Perales was one of the arms I had yet to see live since he signed, but the reports I got on him last year were outstanding. Scouts identified him as one of the best pitchers in the Florida Complex League, and after seeing him live for the first time, I can understand why. 

Perales does not have your prototypical pitcher’s size, listed at 6-foot-1, 160 pounds. He has definitely added strength already and is heavier than his listed weight, but he still has some room to add additional size as he physically matures. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot and has a short arm action. His arm is very quick, and he hides the ball well, so hitters have a tough time picking him up.

In the outing I saw, Perales’ fastball velocity was not in mid-season form, but he still sat 94-97 mph and showed bat-missing ability with it up in the zone. The pitch has significant induced vertical break (the difference between the height of the pitch if it had no spin versus the height of the pitch with the spin induced by the pitcher), posting the second-highest average in the system last year, and as a result shows the sort of ride up in the zone teams look for. He complimented his fastball with two secondary pitches that each flashed at least above-average. His changeup came in 85-88 mph with late fade most of the time, but occasionally some cut as well. He also snapped off some impressive curveballs at 82-84 mph with sharp, 11-to-5 break. The pitch had solid depth, and he showed the ability both to land it in the zone and to bury it down and out of the zone when looking to put a hitter away. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela, Bleis homer; Rogers punches out eight

4/26 Cup of Coffee: It was a great night for some top hitting prospects, as Miguel Bleis and Ceddanne Rafaela each hit their first home runs of the season. Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan also had big nights for Greenville. On the mound, Brian Van Belle (pictured) and Dalton Rogers each had terrific outings.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 8, Worcester Red Sox 6
Bobby Dalbec made things interesting in the ninth inning with a two-out, two-run double to cut the deficit to two, but it wasn't enough. Greg Allen and Ryan Fitzgerald each had a couple of hits, with Fitzgerald roping a double and driving in a pair. Jorge Alfaro also homered and Wilyer Abreu reached base four times with three walks and a double. James Paxton started this one and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) on three hits and four walks. On the positive side, he did strike out five hitters. Cam Booser tossed two perfect frames with a couple strikeouts, while Ryan Sherriff had a scoreless inning of his own with two strikeouts. 
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April 25, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Minor Notes: Valdez debuts, Bello gets sent down

Last week was another busy one for Boston across the organizational board. At the major-league level, the team's top young picture was optioned to make room for a recently-acquired lefty reliever.
Enmanuel Valdez (pictured) made his big-league debut, but it was short lived as he was sent down one day after getting called up. We also have some injury updates and other transactional news before recognizing our players of the week in Juan Chacon and Sterling Sharp



Bello down, Bernardino up
Prior to Monday's series opener against the Orioles in Baltimore, the Red Sox optioned right-hander Brayan Bello to Worcester in order to make room on the roster for left-handed reliever Brennan Bernardino.
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April 24, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chacon caps off strong week with another multi-hit game

4/24 Cup of Coffee: After getting rained out on Saturday, Worcester was swept by Lehigh Valley in a doubleheader on Sunday. In Portland, Sterling Sharp tossed six innings of one-run ball to lead the Sea Dogs to their 11th win of the season. Isaac Coffey put together a strong start himself for Greenville by striking out eight while Juan Chacon (pictured) and Allan Castro led the way for Salem in a 10-1 rout of Lynchburg. 


In Game 1 of Sunday's twin bill, Brandon Walter made his fourth start of the season for Worcester. The 26-year-old left-hander yielded five runs (two earned) on six hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts over five-plus innings of work. Of the 90 pitches he threw, 57 went for strikes. Oddanier Mosqueda took over for Walter with no outs in the sixth and allowed one of the runners he inherited to score before ending the inning.

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April 23, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan catches fire to lead Greenville rout

4/23 Cup of Coffee: An offensive explosion in Greenville was the highlight on Saturday, as Blaze Jordan (pictured) led an attack that featured 15 hits and 26 total bases. Jordan was joined by Nathan Hickey and Max Ferguson in the drubbing of Greensboro. Wyatt Olds and a stingy bullpen sent the Sea Dogs home as winners, while Salem fell despite the efforts of Roman Anthony


Worcester Red Sox @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), postponed
Saturday evening's contest was preemptively called due to rain in the forecast. The two will try for a series-closing doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. 
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April 22, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bastardo strikes out 11; Lugo homers

4/22 Cup of Coffee:
There were three one-run games, with Salem being the only team who could come out on top. A dominant start from Angel Bastardo (pictured) was not enough for Greenville, while Matthew Lugo hit a home run on an otherwise forgettable night for Portland. Cutter Coffey's walk-off single would lift Salem while Enmanuel Valdez returned to Worcester. 


The Worcester bats were cold, collecting only four hits over 11 innings. Enmanuel Valdez was back in the lineup after a cameo in Boston, and he went 1 for 5 with a triple and an RBI. David Hamilton went 1 for 4 with an RBI and his 11th steal of the year. Matt Dermody turned in a quality start, allowing three runs over six innings. AJ PolitiBrennan Bernardino, and Ryan Sherriff kept the game tied with a combined four shutout innings, but the IronPigs got to Norwith Gudiño for a run in the 11th to win it. Bernardino made his organizational debut after being claimed off waivers from Seattle on the 16th. 
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April 21, 2023 at 8:30 AM

Podcast Ep. #280: Director of Player Development Brian Abraham

When you cover the minor leagues like we do, it's all about player development, and who better to talk to about that than the guy in charge of that very department for the Red Sox? We were very happy to welcome Red Sox Director of Player Development Brian Abraham back to the show for a great interview, talking about player development plans, how decisions get made throughout the course of the season, and of course, a few key players for the organization in 2023. (Note: we highly recommend going back and listening to episode #253, which was Brian's previous appearance on the podcast, if you haven't heard it yet!)
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan turns in another strong start as Portland rolls

4/21 Cup of Coffee:
It was an exciting day for prospect-watching, as all four starting pitchers were ranked in the system's 40 best, with three sitting among the top 20. It was a split result, with two lefties in the high minors turning in quality starts but the two right-handers in Class A both struggling. Shane Drohan (pictured) has been the story of the early season, and he turned in another start worthy of the buzz to help lead the Sea Dogs. Chris Murphy joined him with a strong outing for the WooSox. Wikelman Gonzalez and Jedixson Paez had less success, faltering in blowout losses for Greenville and Salem.


It was a much-needed rebound start for 17th-randed Chris Murphy, helping Worcester to a 2-1 series lead in Allentown. The left-hander had allowed 10 earned runs in 4 1/3 in his first two starts, but on Thursday he went six strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out five, and walking two. Murphy was granted an early lead to work with, thanks to a second-inning two-run home run off the bat of Ronaldo Hernandez. David Hamilton continued to be a sparkplug, going 1 for 3 with two walks and two stolen bases out of the leadoff spot. The two swipes give him an International League-leading 10 on the year. Ryan Fitzgerald also contributed a strong night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. 
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April 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Valdez makes debut; Dalbec crushes grand slam

4/20 Cup of Coffee:
While Enmanuel Valdez made his major-league debut in Boston, Red Sox minor-league affiliates went a collective 2-2 on Wednesday. James Paxton was not at his best in his rehab outing for the WooSox, but Bobby Dalbec hit a grand slam and Marcus Wilson hit a two-run home run as part of a comeback effort that fell just short. In Portland, Tyler McDonough led the Sea Dogs to a walk-off victory in extras. Grant Gambrell struck out seven and Bryan Gonzalez homered for the first time this season in Greenville's loss to Greensboro. Earlier in the afternoon, Juan Chacon (pictured) tallied three hits and two RBIs to get Salem back over .500. 


It was a discouraging night for the WooSox pitching staff in Allentown. After Taylor Broadway struck out two over four scoreless innings to open the contest, James Paxton struggled mightily in his third appearance (first out of the bullpen) for Worcester. The rehabbing left-hander got rocked for seven earned runs on five hits, two walks, and zero strikeouts in just two-thirds of an inning. Cam Booser got tagged for three more runs in the fourth while Jake Thompson gave up one in the fifth. Following a scoreless seventh inning from Oddanier Mosqueda, fellow lefty Ryan Sherriff allowed one run on back-to-back two-out doubles in the bottom of the eighth. 
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April 19, 2023 at 12:01 PM

Transaction Analysis: Enmanuel Valdez gets the call

Just before noon on Wednesday, Enmanuel Valdez broke the news that he had been promoted to the major leagues on his Instagram page. The news was confirmed through multiple reports, with Yu Chang going on the paternity list as a counter move. Valdez is off to a relatively slow statistical start in Worcester, hitting .180/.289/.333 in 45 plate appearances. However, that was largely due to a pair of rough series to start the year. Last week against Columbus, he went 6-21 with three extra base hits, including a home run and looked a lot more comfortable at the plate, particularly in his performance in Saturday's walk-off victory. He was hitting the ball hard and had no issue with velocity, even up in the zone. Valdez does have substantial platoon splits so expect him to mainly face right-handed pitching during what may be a short major league run. Even if it is only for a brief amount of time, this will be a good first exposure to major league quality pitching for him and will give him an idea of how he’s likely to be pitched when he gets called up in the future. Here is our full scouting report on the newest member of the Boston Red Sox. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mayer, Bleis each notch three hits; Yorke homers again

4/19 Cup of Coffee: It was a solid night of offense for the affiliates, led by Ahbram Liendo's four-hit performance for Salem. Marcelo Mayer and Miguel Bleis also recorded three hits apiece, while Nick Yorke belted another home run and Chase Meidroth stayed hot.  I got see Bryan Mata's (pictured) start in the Lehigh Valley up close, where he ended up tossing a solid game. Sterling Sharp and Isaac Coffey delivered good starts as well. 


Worcester Red Sox 6, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 2

Bryan Mata started for the Sox on a cold night and had a bit of an up-and-down outing. His command was rough to start the game, falling behind in counts and allowing some hard contact for outs. But he still featured some good swing-and-miss stuff, racking up six strikeouts and getting a bunch of swinging strikes. His night ended by striking out two of the final three hitters he saw, including the final batter on back-to-back wipeout sliders, his best sliders of the night. In total, he surrendered two runs on four hits with four walks in five innings. Andrew Politi came on and tossed a couple shutout frames before Joe Jacques and Chase Shugart each threw a clean inning to end the game. 

It was quiet night for the Worcester bats until they broke out with a four-run seventh, highlighted by Jorge Alfaro's three-run double. Wilyer Abreu went 1 for 4 with walk, a ninth-inning solo home run, and a pair of runs scored. 
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April 18, 2023 at 1:00 PM

Minor Notes: Hamilton and Drohan stay hot; Feltman released

It was a busy week of transactions in the majors and upper minors. The major league rotation got a boost, though the bullpen lost a couple key pieces. A new pitcher was added to the 40-man, while a fan favorite from the 2018 draft was released. For the players of the week, fans will see a couple familiar faces. 

New Podcast

Chris and Ian released a new episode of the podcast recapping Ian's recent trips to scout the Worcester and Portland rosters. They also discussed some recent transactions while going over mailbag questions. 
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April 17, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yorke, Paulino homer for first time this season

4/17 Cup of Coffee:
One day after Marcelo Mayer went deep for the first time this year, fellow top infield prospects Nick Yorke (pictured) and Eddinson Paulino followed suit for their respective affiliates on Sunday. Additionally, not much went right for the WooSox or Salem Red Sox in their respective series finale losses.


For the fifth time in six days, Worcester fell to the Clippers in Sunday's series finale at Polar Park. Norwith Gudino, making his second start and fourth overall appearance of the season for Worcester, allowed three runs on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over two innings of work. Taylor Broadway and Oddanier Mosqueda each got tagged for three runs as well. Cam Booser and Jake Thompson then combined for two scoreless frames of relief before Ryan Sherriff gave up one run on three straight hits in the ninth. Worcester's lone run came on an RBI single off the bat of Nick Sogard in the bottom of the second. Jorge Alfaro was the only member of the WooSox lineup to record multiple hits, as the three-hole hitter went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

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April 16, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Valdez caps breakout game with walk-off hit; Mayer heats up

4/16 Cup of Coffee
: A pair of top-20 prospects broke out of early-season funks as the affiliates were victorious in three of five contests. A previously-slumping Enmanuel Valdez carried Worcester as it snapped a six-game losing streak. Top prospect Marcelo Mayer also emerged from his first-week haze with a big night, though it was not enough as the Drive suffered an extra-inning defeat. Ceddanne Rafaela and CJ Liu starred as Portland kept up its winning ways. Salem split its doubleheader, carrying a no-hitter into the final inning of its nightcap win.


After a rough two weeks to start the year, Enmanuel Valdez seemed to get on track, carrying Worcester to a Saturday evening victory. Valdez, 4 for 31 to start the year, went 3 for 4 with a home run, double, and a walk. He finished the performance with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to walk the game off. David Hamilton continues to be a spark, as the shortstop went 1 for 3 with a double, two walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Jarren Duran had a pair of hits, including a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, setting the stage for Valdez's heroics.
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April 15, 2023 at 5:21 PM

Podcast Ep. #279: Scouting the high minors

It's been a frustrating week at the major league level, but we're here with some early reports from Worcester and Portland (via Mnachester) to take your mind off of the sweep by the Rays... we did need to talk a little bit about that first, though. Plus, a bit about Durbin Feltman's release and, of course, your emails!
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paxton hits 97; Drohan dominates for Portland

4/15 Cup of  Coffee:
It was a quiet night offensively with Salem rained out, but there were a few significant pitching performances on Friday night. James Paxton showed good stuff in his second rehab start in Worcester as he nears a return to the majors. Shane Drohan turned in another stellar outing for the Sea Dogs, while Wikelman Gonzalez started out hot before faltering for the Drive. 


A successful rehab start for James Paxton was not enough for Worcester on Friday night. Paxton's fastball reached 97 mph and averaged 95 as he struck out six over 3 1/3. He got pulled after hitting 70 pitches. He did allow two runs on four hits and two walks. Matt Dermody was the next man up, allowing five runs over four innings. He struck out eight and walked two but also gave up two home runs. The WooSox managed four hits on offense, with David Hamilton going 1 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base. Niko Goodrum reached base three times, going 1 for 2 with two walks. 
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April 14, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: After three years away, Bell earns first pro win.

4/14 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy night on the farm, with three very close contests and one that was very much not so. Brian Van Belle turned in a gem to kick off his 2023 season to lead Portland against a top prospect in Manchester. Grant Gambrell and Jedixson Paez also made their season debuts for Greenville and Salem respectively. The two squads split extra-inning contests, with Brock Bell (pictured) earning his first winning decision as a professional for Salem. It was a night to forget in Worcester, who was trailing Columbus by a 15-0 deficit by the fourth inning.


The Clippers scored four in the first, five in the second, and three in the third and fourth apiece as the WooSox were routed Thursday night. Little went right for Chris Murphy, who went one inning, allowing eight runs on seven hits, walking three, striking out one, and hitting a batter. The offense managed just three hits against Guardians' top pitching prospect Tanner Bibee and a pair of relievers. David Hamilton continued his strong start to the season, going 1 for 4 to bring his average to an even .400. Daniel Palka had Worcester's only extra-base hit, ripping a triple in the seventh and coming on to score the team's lone run.
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April 13, 2023 at 11:24 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hamilton homers again, Sikes accounts for all 3 of Portland's hits

4/13 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates combined to go 2-2 on Wednesday. In Worcester, David Hamilton stayed hot by crushing his third home run of the year for the WooSox. Up the road in Manchester, Sterling Sharp and Phillip Sikes (pictured) shined on opposite sided of the ball in a Sea Dogs loss. In Greenville, Gilberto Jimenez went deep for the first time this year while Chase Meidroth reached base three times. Salem, meanwhile, received quality pitching from Jose Ramirez and three other relievers in a shutout win over Carolina.


Bryan Mata was erratic in his second start of the season for Worcester. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed four earned runs on four hits, three walks, and four hit batsmen to go along with two strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings of work. He plunked four of the last five batters he faced in the top of the fourth and finished with 81 pitches (45 strikes). Out of the WooSox bullpen, Jake Faria got tagged for three runs on two hits while Cam Booser surrendered one run on four hits. Left-hander Ryan Sherriff put up a zero in the top of the eighth before Andrew Politi gave up a two-run double to Richie Palacios in the ninth.

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April 12, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello pitches great, Hamilton stays hot

4/12 Cup of Coffee: Three of the four affiliates won last night, including Portland, which has yet to lose this year. Multiple hitters continued to hit very well, including David Hamilton and Chase Meidroth. Bryan Bello (pictured) also made his much-anticipated debut, and he delivered a great outing. Dalton Rogers also pitched great for Salem.

Columbus Clippers (CLE) 10, Worcester Red Sox 3
David Hamilton continued his hot start to the season, reaching base four more times in five trips to the plate. The shortstop singled, doubled, homered, and walked. He's now hitting .462 with a 1.327 OPS this year. Niko Goodrum also reached base three times with a single and two walks. Brayan Bello was terrific in his season debut, tossing six innings while allowing just one run on four hits. He threw 81 pitches, 50 for strikes, and struck out four without issuing a walk. His velocity topped out at 97 MPH, and his next appearance will likely be at Fenway Park against the Angels. 
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April 11, 2023 at 11:43 AM

Minor Notes: Bello, Whitlock ready to go; Dalbec called up to Boston

Four Sox affiliates are officially in-season, as Portland, Greenville, and Salem all got underway this past week. The Sea Dogs have yet to lose a game in their first three contests. Be sure to catch the Minor Notes here at SoxProspects every Tuesday with updates from the past week on the minor league system.


Hot Starts

Miguel Bleis, currently ranked third in the latest SoxProspects rankings, is off to a very nice start for Salem. The 19-year old his hitting .357 with a .900 OPS to go along with a double and a stolen base in his first three games. Allen Castro, another 19-year old, is also off to a scorching start in Salem with a .462/.563/.615 line. Down in Greenville, 30th-ranked prospect Chase Meidroth is 3 for 5 with four walks so far this year, good for a ridiculous .778 OBP. As part of Portland's great start to the year, seven members of the Sea Dogs currently boast an OPS of at least .900. That includes Nick Yorke, the sixth-ranked prospect, who is 3 for 10 with four free passes to start 2023. David Hamilton (pictured, left) has also been fantastic for Worcester, with more on him later. 

Norwith Gudiño has been great on the mound so far this year. He has appeared in two games and has yet to surrender an earned run for Worcester. Brock Bell and Luis De La Rosa of Salem have each given up a pair of runs but have posted impressive strikeout-to-walk ratios of 4:0. More on Shane Drohan (pictured, below) below. 
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April 10, 2023 at 9:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Bryan Mata and Brandon Walter

In the middle of March, the SoxProspects.com Brass made our annual trip to Spring Training to catch the action on the back fields in minor league camp. I was able to spend a full week in Fort Myers this year, and as a result I was able to see more players than ever before. Today, we’ll focus on the top two pitchers in our rankings heading into our trip to Fort Myers.

The top pitcher in the SoxProspects rankings, right-hander Bryan Mata, is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and had been optioned to minor league camp in time for us to see him on the back fields. While Mata’s velocity is back, his command and control are still a work in progress. His fastball sat 95-97 mph and he touched 98 mph, but it was very hittable when in the zone in this outing. Mata’s four-seam fastball lacks movement and is very straight, so his command needs to be there for that pitch to be successful. It is better to the arm side at this point, and in this outing, he had the tendency to cut off his delivery and yank the pitch to the glove side. 

Mata also showed all three of his secondary pitches: slider, changeup and curveball. He got whiffs with all of them, though all were inconsistent. His slider was his primary out pitch at 87-89 mph, but he struggled to find his release point with it, often holding it too long and yanking it glove-side. His changeup was a little more impressive in this one, flashing late dive down and away from a left-handed hitter’s bat, and he actually snapped off a few decent curveballs, including one that he got a whiff on from Twins shortstop Carlos Correa—who was hitting every inning while rehabbing in this one, as were Alex Kiriloff and Byron Buxton, making things a bit harder on Mata. His curveball has long, vertical break and flashed average potential. At the end of the day, spring training is all about building towards the regular season, and in flashes, Mata showed why he is so highly regarded. It is still unclear if he is a starter long-term, but with the arsenal he has, he could be very effective in a multi-inning bridge role at some point this year. 
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter bounces back as Worcester gets swept in doubleheader

4/10 Cup of Coffee:
With Portland, Greenville, and Salem all having a rare Sunday off, Worcester was the only affiliate in action to close out Easter weekend. Despite getting strong starts from left-handers Brandon Walter (pictured) and James Paxton, the WooSox were swept by the Buffalo Bisons in a doubleheader and fell to 5-3 on the season as a result.


Playing in their second doubleheader at Sahlen Field within the last three days, the Red Sox turned to Brandon Walter to start Game 1 of Sunday's twin bill. The 26-year-old southpaw bounced back from a rough season debut last week by scattering just four hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings this time around. All four of those hits came within the first two innings as Walter finished with 82 pitches (53 strikes). Out of the bullpen, Ryan Sherriff surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits in the seventh and was ultimately charged with the loss. Andrew Politi also recorded an out. 
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April 9, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Home runs for Dalbec and Duran; multi-hit games for Yorke and Rafaela

4/9 Cup of Coffee:
13 was the lucky number on Saturday with both Worcester and Portland plating 13 runs. Jarren Duran (pictured) and Bobby Dalbec starred for the WooSox, while Nick Yorke and Ceddanne Rafaela were two of the key contributors for Portland. Salem had the bats working with every player in the lineup recording at least one hit.


Seven of Worcester's nine starters had multi-hit games as they beat the Bisons. The team clubbed four home runs, led by Jarren Duran, who went 3 for 5 with a two-run home run, two doubles, and a walk. The shortstop, Bobby Dalbec, went 2 for 6 with his first home run of the year. Dalbec's home run traveled 420 feet, while Duran's went 407. Also adding home runs as part of multi-hit games were Daniel Palka and Greg Allen. Caleb Hamilton continued his strong start by going 3 for 4 with a walk.
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April 8, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: WooSox sweep doubleheader; Drohan leads shutout for Portland

4/8 Cup of Coffee:
After games were postponed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Worcester finally got the series kicked off in Buffalo. Bryan Mata showed electric stuff in the first game of the doubleheader, and the WooSox capped an impressive comeback in the second game. Shane Drohan (pictured) led Portland to a shutout victory, while Greenville's offense could not capitalize on some chances against Rome. Salem was locked in a back-and-forth contest with Delmarva but ultimately fell in extra innings. 


The WooSox managed only three hits but still came out on top in the first game of the doubleheader. David Hamilton did most of the damage, going 2 for 3 with a double, two steals, and two runs scored. Bobby Dalbec collected the other hit as he went 1 for 3 with an RBI. On the mound, Bryan Mata debuted after being pushed back the last two days due to rainouts. His control was not sharp, but he limited the Bisons to one run over 3 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out six. His four-seam fastball averaged 96 mph and topped out at 98. The bullpen locked things down, with Oddanier MosquedaChase Shugart, and AJ Politi combining to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Politi earned the save, his first of the season. 
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April 7, 2023 at 9:00 AM

Notes from the Field: Dalton Rogers, Noah Dean, Nathan Landry and Alex Hoppe

In the middle of March, the SoxProspects.com Brass made our annual trip to Spring Training to catch the action on the back fields in minor league camp. I was able to spend a full week in Fort Myers this year, and as a result I was able to see more players than ever before. Over the next few articles, I’ll break down some of the players who intrigued me down there, starting with some recently drafted pitchers. 

The highest drafted pitcher in the Red Sox 2022 draft class having been selected in the third round out of Southern Mississippi, where he worked exclusively in relief in his one season playing for the Golden Eagles, left-hander Dalton Rogers only threw one inning in game action while I was down there, but he showed off a polished arsenal that should get him to at least Double-A Portland in pretty short order. Rogers is undersized, listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, with minimal remaining physical projection. He has a deceptive delivery, and his 92-94 mph fastball plays above that velocity. It is tough to pick up and has good shape, allowing it to play up when he locates it up in the zone. He got four swinging strikes with the pitch in his inning of work, two each from right- and left-handed hitters. For his secondary pitches, he showed an 82-mph slider with long, sweepy, 2-to-8 shape and an inconsistent changeup at 85-86 mph. 

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bleis, Castro shine for Salem as three teams open 2023 season

4/7 Cup of Coffee:
Six days after the start of the Triple-A season, the rest of the full season leagues kicked off on Thursday. A rehabbing Garrett Whitlock led Portland to the system's only victory of the day. Salem dropped a slugfest despite the efforts of phenom Miguel Bleis (pictured, right) and emerging outfielder Allan Castro (pictured, left). Chase Meidroth reached base four times, but Greenville fell in a lower-scoring affair to open its season. The rain finally stopped out in Buffalo but the waterlogged field was still in no condition for baseball, postponing Worcester's scheduled doubleheader. 


Worcester Red Sox @ Buffalo Bisons, postponed
After rainouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, Buffalo optimistically scheduled a doubleheader on Thursday. While the rain had moved through, the field was not yet playable, delaying the Bisons' home opener another day. The teams will try again for a doubleheader on Friday. 
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April 6, 2023 at 11:59 PM

Podcast Ep. #278: MiLB Opening Day 2023

Minor league opening day is here! (The rest of it, at least, given that Triple-A started last week.) Chris and Ian are here to break down the rosters for each of the affiliates and what they're looking forward to seeing in the coming weeks and months! Plus, as always, your emails.
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at 12:00 PM

2023 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 2 - Pitchers

For part two of our look at the best the Red Sox system offers in 2023, we turn to the mound and honor the pitchers selected as SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Stars. The list is highlighted by four starters ranked in the top 15, and three hard-throwing relievers.


Starting Pitcher: Bryan Mata, Worcester Red Sox
A top-five prospect in the system heading into 2023, Mata features a fastball that hits 100 mph, even after Tommy John surgery. Mata went under the knife in April of 2021 and returned to the mound in June 2022 in great shape. By the end of July, he was fully stretched out and threw around six innings per start. From July 31 through the end of the season, Mata pitched to a 2.72 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 53 innings. He still struggled with his command, walking over four batters per nine innings. Mata has an arsenal that could fit in a big-league rotation, but command and durability concerns make some scouts think he is a reliever long-term. He will open the 2023 season in Worcester's rotation, and he could play his way up to Boston with a strong start to the season. Mata was added to the 40-man roster at the end of 2020. 
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at 11:00 AM

2023 SoxProspects Pre-Season All-Stars Pt. 1 - Position Players

The 2023 Triple-A campaign is underway and the rest of the full-season league, and the SoxProspects.com team has chosen its annual slate of All-Stars. The class represents a large turnover from the 2022 class, with only five players (two pitchers and three position players) repeating honors. We begin with the position players, with all nine players ranking among the top 20 prospects in the system.


Catcher: Nathan Hickey, Greenville Drive
A fifth-round pick in 2021, Hickey repeats his spot as the catcher on the All-Star squad after a strong 2022 campaign. He hit .271/.429/.507 in an initial assignment to Salem, following that up with a .252/.397/.539 after his June promotion to Greenville. He tallied 18 doubles and 16 homers between the two levels while working a 19.2 percent walk rate. Hickey returns to the Drive to start 2023, where his pop and advanced approach should lead to continued strong production. He is currently ranked 19th in the system.
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata's season debut pushed back as WooSox get rained out again in Buffalo

4/6 Cup of Coffee:
For the second time in as many days, the WooSox were unable to take on the Bisons in Buffalo on Wednesday. After Tuesday's series opener was postponed due to wet field conditions, Wednesday's doubleheader was pushed back due to a combination of wet field conditions and the potential for severe weather later in the day (Twitter link to announcement).


Worcester Red Sox, Buffalo Bisons (TOR) (PPD)
Because the first two games of this six-game series between the WooSox and Bisons have been postponed, the two sides are now scheduled to play a pair of single-admission doubleheaders at Sahlen Field on Thursday and Saturday. 

Left-hander Matt Dermody and right-hander Bryan Mata (pictured) were slated to start for Worcester in Wednesday's twin bill. It remains to be seen if that is still the case on Thursday, though the forecast in Buffalo looks far more encouraging in terms of expected precipitation. Regardless, the first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Eastern time. 

Photo Credit: Bryan Mata by Kelly O'Connor
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April 4, 2023 at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Let the games begin!

Baseball is officially back! Last week the organization finished spring training and we wrapped up the Fort Report and are now we are on to the first Minor Notes of the season. Released every Tuesday throughout the season, Minor Notes is the SoxProspects.com weekly update that is designed to give you a quick rundown of all the things that happened up and down the farm over the past week. 

Spring training is over and the minor league affiliates get set to open their seasons, with Worcester starting this past Saturday, April 1st, followed by the rest of the full-season squads on Thursday, April 6th. The big club has also gotten underway and opened up the season by going 2-1 in their first series of the year against the Baltimore Orioles. 


Worcester set 2023 opening-day roster

Worcester made their 2023 opening day roster official in advance of their first game on the 1st and sent out SoxProspects eighth-ranked player, lefty Brandon Walter (pictured, left), to start the season. The WooSox pitching struggled all day with Walter giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks while only striking out one as each of the five pitchers on the day gave up at least a run and the team ultimately lost 16-6. They rebounded on Sunday winning 8-1 on the back of a great start by Norwith Gudino who threw five scoreless innings without recording a strikeout. 

Worcester will roll out a team with significant experience as six of their nine positional starters on opening day have big leave experience including Bobby Dalbec and Jarren Duran who saw significant time with the big league squad last season and were optioned to Worcester earlier in the week. Their rotation features upside, showcasing three pitchers inside the SoxProspects top 15 rankings with Chris Murphy (13), Walter (8), and Bryan Mata (6).
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April 3, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gudiño fires 5 scoreless frames as WooSox take series from Mets

4/3 Cup of Coffee:
Much like the big-league club, Worcester capped off the weekend with a series victory at Polar Park. Led by a strong pitching performance from Norwith Gudino (pictured) and multi-hit efforts from the bottom third of the lineup, the WooSox defeated the Syracuse Mets by a final score of 8-1 to improve to 2-1 on the young season.


Minor-league signee Norwith Gudino made the most of his organizational debut on Sunday afternoon. The 27-year-old right-hander got the start for Worcester and scattered just two hits and three walks over five scoreless innings of work. Interestingly enough, he did not strike out any of the 20 batters he faced. Of the 80 pitches he threw, 49 went for strikes. Out of the WooSox bullpen, minor-league Rule 5 pickup Joe Jacques allowed one run on two hits in the sixth before Chase Shugart, Ryan Sherriff, and Andrew Politi combined for three scoreless frames the rest of the way.
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April 2, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter inconsistent as WooSox fall to first loss

4/2 Cup of Coffee:
After Friday's opening day victory, Worcester fell to 1-1 on the year as a stacked Syracuse lineup unloaded for 20 hits and five home runs. The WooSox remain the only team in action, with the rest of the full season affiliates kicking off on Thursday.


April Fools' Day proved to be a particularly cruel one for the WooSox pitching staff. Brandon Walter went just 3 2/3 innings in his 2023 debut, allowing five runs on seven hits, striking out one, walking two, and surrendering a home run to 2019 first-round pick Brett Baty. It was an even tougher afternoon for the bullpen, as a quartet of relievers gave up 11 runs in 5 1/3 frames. Each of the four relievers surrendered at least one run, with Oddanier Mosqueda having the most success. The left-hander who made a run at a major league roster slot allowed a run on two hits in 2 1/3, walking one and striking out a pair.
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April 1, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Whitlock strikes out six; Hamilton shows off power and speed

4/1 Cup of Coffee:
Minor league baseball returned on Friday with the WooSox kicking the season off at home. Portland, Greenville, and Salem will begin their seasons on April 6.

There are a few improvements in 2023 for fans of the minor leagues. MiLB.tv is now a free add-on for those with an MLB.tv subscription. No separate MiLB.tv subscription is needed to watch the games. Also, Triple-A games will have Statcast data available. The feed from Opening Day for the WooSox is available here. You can see exit velocity, launch angle, and pitch velocity for every prospect. 
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