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SoxProspects News

May 9, 2023 at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Mayer wins several weekly awards & Liu throws a no-hitter


Greenville had a great week, leading the system by going 5-1 while Worcester also had a successful week against Buffalo going 5-2. Meanwhile, Portland and Salem split their week-long series. The teams were led by some amazing performances from the Players of the Week with several other outstanding weeks from players that fell just shy of the honors. 

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Transactions

Gilberto Jimenez to IL
Jimenez (pictured, right) was placed on the 7-day IL this week. The 22-year-old peaked on the SoxProspcets.com rankings in 2020 when he climbed all the way to fifth but his development has slowed over the past several years. In 2021, the outfielder hit .306/.346/.405 but 2022 and 2023 have been tougher, as he has posted sub .700 OPS in each season. 

James Paxton returned from rehab assignment
Injuries have derailed Paxton's career as the last time he threw more than 20 innings in the majors came way back in 2019. Working his way back, the 34-year-old has made six minor league starts this spring, going 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA and 1.57 WHIP with 26 strikeouts in 21 and 2/3 innings. 

Kutter Crawford lands on the IL and gets ejected
Crawford started the season with an awful outing, allowing seven earned runs in his season debut on April 3rd. Since then he has been lighting it up, not allowing more than one earned run over his last 6 appearances with that run totaling 21 and 2/3 innings with a 1.25 ERA. That run came to a close on May 3rd when he exited his appearance against the Blue Jays with hamstring tightness. While that injury landed him on the IL, his week was not done, as he was ejected on Sunday after a standoff with former Red Sox Matt Strahm. 

Red Sox acquire Zack Littell
The Red Sox announced that they had acquired right-handed reliever Littell from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations. Littell had been pitching in the PCL for the Rangers Triple-A affiliate to start this year and has pitched well with a 2.25 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 12 innings. The 27-year-old was called up by the Red Sox and made his first appearance for the club on Sunday allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in an inning.

Notes from the Field

Capping off the first month of the season, second baseman Nick Yorke and pitcher Shane Drohan took home Player of the Month honors.

With a month in the books, the SoxProspects.com podcast crew took a look back at the first month and discuss the Player of the Month winners and answer some readers' emails as part of Episode #281.

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Players of the Week

Marcelo Mayer, SS, Greenville Drive
6 G, 31 AB, 16 H, 6 2B, 3 HR, 8 R, 12 RBI, 1 SB, .516/.516/1.516

Oh, so that's why he is the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox system and one of the best in baseball! Mayer's (pictured, left) nine extra-base hits are among the most in a single week in recent memory for the Red Sox. The team only managed a 3-3 record, but the 20-year-old secured a hit in every game. He also had two games with three extra-base hits and nine total bases. The week was impressive enough to earn Mayer the South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors as well.

This outstanding week continues a great start for the shortstop and after this week he almost tops a 1.000 OPS on the season with a .337/.414/.582 line over his first 23 games with four home runs and 10 doubles. In the South Atlantic League, only one player 20 or younger has an OPS higher than Mayer, and all of Mayer's at-bats this season have come against players older than him.

CJ Liu RHP, Portland Sea Dogs
1 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

When you throw a no-hitter, there is a good chance you win the Pitcher of the Week. The Akron RubberDucks (yes, their real name) could not touch Liu over his 91 pitches in the seven-inning complete game shutout with his only blemishes being two walks to Akron's ninth hitter in the lineup.

After starting the year unranked, Liu has climbed into the SoxProspects.com rankings, entering May at the 58th spot. He now sports a 3.65 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 29 strikeouts with 11 walks over his first five starts. In three of those five starts, Lui has not allowed a run, but the inflated ERA is due to a start on April 21st where he allowed seven runs over 3 and 2/3 innings. 

Photo Credit: Gilberto Jimenez & Marcelo Mayer by Kelly O'Connor

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.