2024 Greenville Drive (High-A)

JM3

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In 2023, Greenville finished 63-69, but snuck into the South Atlantic League playoffs by winning by 1/2 a game in the 1st half of the season, & then went on to win the championship, sweeping all 4 games. In 2024, Iggy Suarez, 42, returns for his 5th season as Drive manager.

Greenville plays their home games at Fluor Field at the West End which opened in 2006 & boasts a capacity of 6,700. Last season, the Drive reported an attendance of 303,328 (about 4,596 per game).

Here's the brief High-A history:

As mentioned previously, in '90 Winter Haven (Quantrill) & Lynchburg (John Flaherty, Greg Blosser) became classified as "Adv A" affiliates. In '93, Lynchburg moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Lou Merloni). & then in '94 Ft. Lauderdale moved to Sarasota, FL. That team included many future Red Sox players, including Nomar, Jeff Suppan, Ron Mahay, & Merloni again. In '95, Lynchburg went away & it was just Sarasota (Aaron Sele, Trot Nixon, 4 innings of Roger Clemens). This was the status quo until '05 when the affiliate moved to Wilmington, DE (Anibal Sanchez). In '07 they moved to Lancaster, CA (Justin Masterson, Daniel Bard). & in '09 they found a home in Salem, VA (Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, Anthony Rizzo), where they stayed until Salem became the A-Ball affiliate in '21 & Greenville, SC became the high-A affiliate (Bello, Murphy, Walter).
& again, the way-too-early A+ roster projections from SoxProspects (https://www.soxprospects.com/2024.htm):

Rotation
RHP Luis Perales
RHP Yordanny Monegro
RHP Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz
LHP Dalton Rogers
RHP Matt Duffy
RHP Jedixson Paez

Really fun rotation with 2 of my top 3 Red Sox pitching prospects. The other 4 are really interesting, too. Noah Dean could also play into the rotation mix & Encarnacion was a starter last year for Greenville until he wasn't. Hopefully Perales & Yordanny continue their forward momentum. Wouldn't be surprising to see guys like Connelly Early & Nicholas Judice in Greenville next year at some point.

Bullpen
RHP Felix Cepeda
RHP Reidis Sena
LHP Jeremy Wu-Yelland
RHP Juan Encarnacion
RHP Luis De La Rosa
RHP Jonathan Brand
RHP Noah Dean
RHP Gabriel Jackson
LHP Nathan Landry
RHP Caleb Bolden

Inactive Pitchers
Nathanael Cruz
Jaret Godman
Luis Talavera

An ok mix of guys. Hopefully guys like LDLR, & Brand make a nice jump to high-A & guys like JWY & Godman come back successfully from injury shortened seasons. It will be interesting to see what '23 draftees pop & make their way into the mix, & I would be kind of surprised if Hayden Mullins isn't in Greenville in some capacity by early in the season.

Lineup
C Ronald Rosario
1B Albert Feliz
2B Luis Ravelo
3B Cutter Coffey
SS Mikey Romero
LF Gilberto Jimenez
CF Allan Castro
RF Juan Chacon
DH Kristian Campbell

Bench
C Enderso Lira
C/IF Drew Ehrhard
IF Ahbram Liendo
IF Lyonell James
OF Jhostynxon Garcia
OF Bryan Gonzalez
UT Max Ferguson

C - I guess Lira is a reasonable guy to graduate from A-Ball due to his pedigree...but he's been really bad (25 wRC+ in FCL in '22 & 59 in A-Ball in '23). I'd be more excited about moving Brannon or Johanfran up if either seems ready in the Spring. Rosario is serviceable. They could always send someone like Alex Erro back down if things get too crowded at Portland & none of those 3 are ready to move up, but meh. Not sure where they envision Ehrhard, but I don't think he's much of a defensive player anywhere.

1B - Albert Feliz seems not that ready for a promotion after striking out 36.3% of the time last season, but he did post a 104 wRC+. This is why I think Tyler Miller might stay at Greenville & start here. Lyonell James is also coming off a bit of a struggle of a A-Ball season with an 82 wRC+ (although he only strikes out 12.4% & might have been a victim of the BABIP gods). James is a CI. Gonzalez played a bit of 1st last year as well. They could give him more time at 1st this season if they do go ahead & promote Miller.

2B - They pencilled Ravelo in at 2nd, but he also had a rough time in A-Ball, posting an 81 wRC+. No real harm in trying to move him up, though, I guess. Liendo would also be a promotion. He was playing pretty well (99 wRC+, 30 steals) prior to a season ending injury after 274 PAs. Coffey, Romero & Campbell could also all get reps at 2B, as well as Max Ferguson if he isn't promoted (24 y/o, 101 wRC+ last year in Greenville). I wouldn't be surprised if Justin Riemer were to make it here later in the year.

SS - Mikey Romero will hopefully start the season healthy & get back to hitting line drives & showing why he was a 1st round pick to begin with. Coffey will also probably get some run here, & Ravelo can play SS. Liendo has played a little bit of SS. If all goes well Nazzan could be part of this mix by the end of the year. But probably not.

3B - Coffey would be backed up by James & Liendo here. & Miller if he stays back.

OF - Chacon is similar to Liendo insomuch as he was off to a pretty good start hitting & stealing bases in Salem before his season ended early due to injury (102 wRC+ & 20 steals in 235 PAs). I could see him staying in Salem another year, but who knows? They also have Castro, Jimenez, Campbell, & SP projects Jhostynxon will be promoted & added to the mix. I would also hope to see Bleis very very soon even if he does not start the season here. It's time to see what he's got.

There will be some interesting prospects in Greenville this year, headlined by Perales & Yordanny, who should be appointment viewing until they are (hopefully) promoted.
 

JM3

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That team is an anomaly in the system in that the pitchers are more interesting than the position players. Help is on the way, but it might take a couple years.
Yeah, how the Breslow pitching production pipeline program works will be very interesting.

I'll put this here since I think Jedixson Paez (who just turned 20 on Wednesday), should start the season in Greenville after a full, & very successful season in Salem.

Altogether, it was a solid showing for Paez, who was recognized as a 2023 SoxProspects.com All-Star. Among the 28 other pitchers who eclipsed the 80-inning threshold in the Carolina League last year, Paez ranked first in walks per nine innings (1.28) and walk rate (3.6 percent), second in WHIP (1.01) and groundball rate (49.4 percent), ninth in batting average against (.228), and 10th in swinging-strike rate (14.3 percent), per FanGraphs.
Control, ground balls & swinging strikes are 3 really useful things in Fenway that Breslow seems to be looking for. He's already bumped his fastball up like 8 mph since being signed. Hopefully he has a few more in him. I'm a big Paez stan. I have him 26 compared to SP having him 39.

Paez is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 39 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 17th among pitchers in the organization. Another notable evaluator, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs, tabbed Paez as his 35th-ranked Red Sox prospect over the summer and compared him to a former big-leaguer.
https://bloggingtheredsox.com/2024/01/18/red-sox-pitching-prospect-jedixson-paez-has-advanced-feel-remarkable-command-for-his-age/
 

JM3

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Here's a BCamp writeup on Albert Feliz.

As a 21-year-old, Feliz got into 90 games for Salem in 2023. The right-handed hitter slashed .242/.315/.407 with 17 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 45 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 29 walks, and 121 strikeouts over 333 plate appearances.

Nine of those team-leading 10 home runs came after the calendar flipped from June to July, as Feliz slugged a stout .497 in his final 48 games (185 plate appearances) of the year. During that impressive stretch, he recorded both the second four-hit game (July 6) and multi-homer game (August 31) of his young career.
https://bloggingtheredsox.com/2024/01/25/red-sox-power-hitting-prospect-albert-feliz-led-low-a-salem-in-homers-10-last-season/
 

JM3

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Noah Dean > Roman Anthony ?

View: https://twitter.com/SPChrisHatfield/status/1637474091622866958


Sorry, had to lead with the sensationalistic headline.

Among the 74 pitchers who logged at least 60 innings in the Carolina League last year, Dean ranked seventh in strikeouts per nine innings (12.29), 19th in strikeout rate (28.5 percent), 29th in batting average against (.232), and seventh in batting average on balls in play (.358), which suggests that he might have gotten unlucky at times on account of poor defense behind him or something similar.

On the flip side of those impressive strikeout numbers, though, Dean was also among the worst in the Carolina League when it came to giving up ball four. Using the same parameters as above, Dean ranked 74th in walks per nine innings (10.29), walk rate (23.8 percent), and WHIP (1.97), 71st in ERA and xFIP (5.41), and 72nd in FIP, per FanGraphs.
https://bloggingtheredsox.com/2024/01/29/red-sox-pitching-prospect-noah-dean-ended-debut-season-on-positive-note-last-year/

Will be interesting to see if Dean can take strides to harness his control. The stuff plays, though.
 

JM3

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10 walks per 9? Wow...
Yup. Following his games was a giant roller coaster. He also had 18 wild pitches, including 6 in one game.

In his last 2 games of the season...

8.2 IP
0 runs
1 hit
8 walks
1 HBP
9 strikeouts
 

JM3

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Kind of a modern-day Nuke Laloosh (who was in turn patterned, at least in part, after this guy)
Impressively, he didn't even have the highest walk rate in the system.

I posted this list a couple months ago, but will update to indicate the guys who are no longer here...

Jedixson Paez 1.3 (A)
Jordan DiValerio 1.9 (A+)
Brock Bell 2.3 (A, A+) - MiLB R5
Isaac Coffey 2.5 (A+, AA)
Hunter Dobbins 2.5 (A+, AA)
Justin Hagenman 2.6 (AAA)
Nick Robertson 2.7 (AAA) - trade for O'Neill
Ryan Miller 2.8 (AA) - MiLB R5
Ryan Fernandez 3.0 (A, AA, AAA) - R5
Gabriel Jackson 3.0 (A, A+)
Cristian Nunez 3.1 (FCL, A)
Brian Van Belle 3.2 (AA, AAA)
Alex Hoppe 3.2 (A+, AA)
Grant Gambrell 3.3 (A+, AA, AAA)
Jonathan Brand 3.3 (A)
Brandon Walter 3.4 (AAA)
Nathan Landry 3.5 (A, A+)
Yordanny Monegro 3.6 (FCL, A, A+)
Cam Booser 3.7 (AAA)
Juan Daniel Encarnacion 3.8 (A+)
Taylor Broadway 3.9 (AA, AAA)
Angel Bastardo 4.1 (A+, AA)
Andrew Politi 4.3 (AAA)
Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz 4.4 (A)
Caleb Bolden 4.5 (A, A+)
Michael Valera 4.5 (FCL, A) - Released
Reidis Sena 4.6 (A, A+)
Chase Shugart 4.7 (AAA)
Dylan Spacke 4.7 (AA)
C.J. Liu 4.8 (AA)
Zach Penrod 4.8 (A+)
Felix Cepeda 4.9 (A, A+)
Brendan Nail 5.0 (AA, AAA) - MLFA
Luis Perales 5.0 (A, A+)
Rio Gomez 5.1 (AA, AAA) - MLFA
Luis De La Rosa 5.1 (A)
Chris Murphy 5.3 (AAA)
Shane Drohan 5.3 (AA, AAA) - R5
Railin Perez 5.5 (A) - MiLB R5
Garrett Ramsey 5.5 (FCL, A)
Wikelman Gonzalez 5.7 (A+, AA)
Dalton Rogers 5.7 (A, A+)
Luis Talavera 5.7 (A)
Oddanier Mosqueda 5.8 (AAA) - MLFA
Brendan Cellucci 5.8 (AA)
Jacob Webb 5.8 (AA)
Luis Guerrero 6.1 (AA, AAA)
Noah Song 6.1 (A, A+, AA, AAA)
Theo Denlinger 6.2 (AA, AAA)
Christopher Troye 6.6 (A+, AA)
Maceo Campbell 6.8 (A+)
Wyatt Olds 7.1 (FCL, AA)
Nathanael Cruz 7.7 (A)
Ryan Zeferjahn 7.8 (A, AA)
Bryan Mata 10.0 (AAA)
Noah Dean 10.3 (A)
Connor Butler 11.2 (FCL, A)

Butler stats from '23...

23 g
27.1 IP
19 hits
34 bb
4 hbp
12 wp

5.93 ERA

Butler had 1 outting where he walked 5 of the 8 batters he faced but he pitched an inning only allowing 1 run.
 

JM3

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In terms of the new guys...

Max Castillo 2.2 (AAA)
Cooper Criswell 2.4 (AAA)
Richard Fitts 2.5 (AA)
Justin Slaten 3.0 (AA, AAA)
Greg Weissert 3.8 (AAA)
 

JM3

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The Drive are having a Hot Stove event on 2/5:

Boston Red Sox Director of Player Development Brian Abraham, Greenville Drive Manager Iggy Suarez and Pitching Coach Bob Kipper will once again headline the Hot Stove event, hosted annually by the Drive to give fans the chance to gear up for baseball season and interact with the leaders behind the Drive’s on-field success.
View: https://twitter.com/GreenvilleDrive/status/1752036130747212056
 

Farty Barrett

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I think Campbell is slotted into DH but as more of a UTILITY. He’s gonna get a lot of time in the field.

SP notes he is athletic enough to play multiple positions. I bet he’s playing all over this year, with a focus on MI like was the case in 2023.

It’s interesting me he was a draft eligible sophomore who made it all the way to high A in his first season. That seems promising.

Lots of contact and good speed. He’s one that I’ll be watching. I’m curious to see if he develops into a nice valuable utility player.
 

JM3

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I think Campbell is slotted into DH but as more of a UTILITY. He’s gonna get a lot of time in the field.

SP notes he is athletic enough to play multiple positions. I bet he’s playing all over this year, with a focus on MI like was the case in 2023.

It’s interesting me he was a draft eligible sophomore who made it all the way to high A in his first season. That seems promising.

Lots of contact and good speed. He’s one that I’ll be watching. I’m curious to see if he develops into a nice valuable utility player.
Yeah, I'm a Campbell guy. I think he should play basically no DH unless he needs a rest. I think his best position will probably be LF. But who knows?

View: https://twitter.com/RotoClegg/status/1703502466602394009


Including the High-A playoffs, when Campbell played LF all 4 games (during which he had a 1.560 OPS), this was his breakdown last year:

2B - 15 games
LF - 8 games
RF - 2 games
DH - 2 games

Christopher Smith did an article on Campbell in October.

View: https://twitter.com/SmittyOnMLB/status/1717849196533866610
 

ookami7m

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For the first time in ages I'm relatively close enough to a minor league affiliate that will host a Sox team - so hopefully some fun prospects are on the team in June/July when they visit Rome.
 

JM3

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Maybe you'll get to see YORDANNY.

All told, Monegro went 6-3 with a 2.06 ERA and 93 strikeouts to 26 walks in 14 appearances (13 starts) spanning 65 2/3 total innings of work between the FCL, Salem, and Greenville last year. Among his peers in the Red Sox organization who also eclipsed the 60-inning threshold in 2023, Monegro ranked third in strikeouts per nine innings (12.75), 10th in walks per nine innings (3.56), second in strikeout rate (34.6 percent), 11th in walk rate (9.7 percent), second in batting average against (.194), second in WHIP (1.10), 12th in line-drive rate (21.3 percent), fifth in groundball rate (48.9 percent), and first in swinging-strike rate (20 percent), ERA, FIP (2.55), and xFIP (3.05), per FanGraphs.
“We were really excited about Monegro heading into the spring,” Romero wrote. “He impressed a lot with the physical shape he came into spring training, and has continued to work since then — this has been key to his early-season success. He’s super athletic with a lightning quick arm which contributes to his ability to have a plus breaking ball. He’s tightened up his delivery to let his athleticism show and be consistent with his mechanics.”
Monegro — who does not turn 22 until October — is now regarded by Baseball America as the No. 18 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks fourth among pitchers in the organization behind only fellow righties Wikelman Gonzalez, Luis Perales, and Richard Fitts. He is expected to return to Greenville for the start of the 2024 season, though he could reach the upper levels by the end of the year since he can become Rule 5-eligible for the first time next winter.
18 in BA, 20 on SP. Looking forward to the haters being proven silly.

https://bloggingtheredsox.com/2024/02/02/after-breakout-season-yordanny-monegro-comes-into-2024-as-one-of-red-sox-top-pitching-prospects/
 

JM3

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To this projected rotation...

Rotation
RHP Luis Perales
RHP Yordanny Monegro
RHP Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz
LHP Dalton Rogers
RHP Matt Duffy
RHP Jedixson Paez

The Red Sox appear to be adding David Sandlin & Cooper Adams (if these are to be trusted, which they probably aren't):

02/04/24RHP Cooper Adams assigned to Greenville Drive.

02/17/24RHP David Sandlin assigned to Greenville Drive.
Adams can start as a long reliever I'm sure... but don't know who gets bumped for Sandlin. Maybe Perales can start the year in Portland? That would be fun.

SP has Adams starting in the FCL (I would guess Salem, though), & bumped Paez from the rotation for Sandlin. Paez not being a starter this year in Greenville seems unlikely after a really good full season at Salem last year.
 
Last edited:

JM3

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There's a lot of potential there. Perales/Sandlin in late '25, Monegro in '26, you think?
I think trying to project arrival times is somewhat of a fool's errand. Ranking prospects & projecting them years out is speculative enough without adding an additional layer of how quickly they're going to reach that potential combined with the needs of the team 2+ years down the road.

SP has Sandlin late '25 & Perales/Monegro in '26.

https://soxprospects.com/

I would say the best case scenario for all 3 is probably early '25, but the most likely developmental projection is probably '26 or later.
 

JM3

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Hunter Noll did a piece with 5 Greenville storylines:

1) Can a healthy Mikey Romero get back on track?

[I think he probably will as long as he stays healthy]

2) Does Allan Castro's stock continue to sky rocket?

[I think probably not]

3) Did Jedixson Paez add some velocity?

[Hopefully?]

4) Can they repeat as Champs?

[Seems unlikely because I don't think Salem is good enough, but who knows?]

5) Who will be the breakout stars in '24?

[He mentions Mikey, Cutter & Campbell as possibilities.]

https://bosoxinjection.com/posts/boston-red-sox-5-greenville-drive-storylines-to-follow-in-2024-01hkezdnsw36
 

philly sox fan

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Thanks, that’s disappointing- I was hoping to catch them in Brooklyn, and they were here last year.
On the flip side they didn't come to Wilmington last year and they are this year. I'm still not used to realignment of the minors. but perhaps the arrangement is now that that the North and South division teams swap home series every other year.

I would pencil in Greenville going to Brooklyin, but not Wilmington in 2025.
 

JM3

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JM - who are your sleepers on this team?
Interesting question.

I think Hayden Mullins (my #52, not ranked by SP) is a guy not on many people's radars who could really pop this year if he's finally healthy. He struck out a fairly preposterous 15 hitters in 6.1 IP last season after being drafted in the 12th round in '22. His stock fell because he came with an arm injury, but he's a high stuff guy.

David Sandlin (my #12, SP #13) isn't a sleeper, but his stuff has gone up a couple levels in the pitching lab this off season & I think it's interesting he's on the same pitching staff as a couple guys in Cooper Adams (#191) & Conor Sensabaugh (#200) who have like no pedigree of college success, but did well in I believe the Tread lab to earn spots on this team. So they aren't sleepers per se... but it will be fascinating to watch how the lab grown pitchers do this year.

I also think guys like Early (#57) & Feeney (#129) are interesting because they got the Greenville placement over guys like Duffy & Wehunt from the same class, & over guys like Paez & ERC.

JWY (#99) has flashed nice stuff this spring & is quite a character. If he's healthy & pitches well, he could easily be in Portland before long.

On the infield, I don't see a lot of sleeper potential. Luis Ravelo (my #51, SP #44) plays defense that will be fun & Ahbram Liendo (#127 but probably should be higher) is a menace on the bases so he could be a fun watch (30 steals in only 71 games last year before getting hurt). Both of those guys need to cut down on their strikeouts to be truly interesting, but both are 20.

Hoping for breakout seasons from Cutter (#37) & especially Mikey (#17), but neither are sleepers.

Greenville seems to have way too many "Outfiedlers" as the graphic calls them. Juan Chacon (#79) seems like the biggest sleeper candidate from the group as he looked good this Spring. He's another guy like Liendo who stole a lot of bases in Salem (20 in 57 games) while being an ~average hitter, but then earned a promotion. Chacon is 21 & showed a bit of pop & defensive skill in Spring Training.

Castro & Campbell aren't sleepers, but I'm glad Campbell is finally getting some love from SP & Speier et al after being way underrated. Lopez & Gonzalez are both returning players who may get some 1B & DH reps.

The fact that Caden Rose (#111) received a Greenville placement is a really good sign after he didn't get into any game action after being drafted in the 7th round last year & receiving an underslot bonus. There isn't anything that impresses me that much in his profile, but you never know.

I wouldn't really call any of the catchers sleepers. I'm a Ronald Rosario (#84) stan, but not really sure he's got a next gear unless he can drastically cut his 30% k-rate. He only recently turned 21, though.

This was a really long non-answer for which I apologize, but the definition of "sleeper is always challenging".

If I'm going to pick one pitcher & one hitter who aren't currently in the SP top 60 to crash the party, I'll go Hayden Mullins & Juan Chacon.
 

AlNipper49

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Thank you! I always like a few under the radar guys. It looks like Chacon will be my guy. I love rooting for the Venezuelans.
 

mwonow

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What's the deal with Mikey? Is he still injured from last year, or is this a new/different thing?
 

JM3

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What's the deal with Mikey? Is he still injured from last year, or is this a new/different thing?
The last I heard is he's just taking it easy & ramping it up from the same injury, but they just don't want to rush him after what happened last year when they did.
 

JM3

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On Sunday, Greenville lost 7-2.

Some defense & control issues for Hayden Mullins in his start.

2.2 IP
1 run
0 ER
1 hit
3 bb
1 hbp
2 k's

60 pitches, 29 strikes (48.3%)

Similar issues for Gabriel Jackson who allowed 3 runs (0 ER) in 2.1 IP, 2 hits, 2 bb, 1 hbp & 3 strikeouts.

Cade Feeney's issues were more pitching-inflicted, allowing 3 earned runs in 2 IP.

Jonathan Brand pitched a 1-2-3 9th with 2 strikeouts.

Ronald Rosario was 2-4 with a double.

Tyler Miller was 1-3 with a walk.

Cutter Coffey was 1-4 with a steal.

Bryan Gonzalez was 1-4 without a steal.

View: https://twitter.com/Hunter_Noll/status/1777052964558881233
 

JM3

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View: https://twitter.com/ByAndrewParker/status/1779640837556625742


I would be a bit surprised if they moved Brand too fast mostly just based on the fact they never promoted him last season, despite pitching well all season & putting up a 2.58 ERA in Salem as one of their primary closers.

He's 5'9 & already 24, but he has top tier pitchability & if he keeps pitching like this, they might as well try him at Portland when a bullpen opening arises.
 

AlNipper49

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Little League day was on Sunday. Owner Craig Brown is incredibly supportive of youth baseball. Highlighting the day was Allan Castro hitting a Little League home run in the 7th. Solid triple where the ball flew by the 3Bman to allow Castro to bolt in, just before the throw.

It was also a Black Spinners uniform day. One of my favorite uniforms in organized sports. (The Black Spinners were the negro league team which played about a mile away….their old field is currently being rebuilt. The Drive will play a game or two there, it will be awesome)
 

JM3

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Little League day was on Sunday. Owner Craig Brown is incredibly supportive of youth baseball. Highlighting the day was Allan Castro hitting a Little League home run in the 7th. Solid triple where the ball flew by the 3Bman to allow Castro to bolt in, just before the throw.
View: https://twitter.com/GreenvilleDrive/status/1779624026467447122


It was also a Black Spinners uniform day. One of my favorite uniforms in organized sports. (The Black Spinners were the negro league team which played about a mile away….their old field is currently being rebuilt. The Drive will play a game or two there, it will be awesome)

View: https://twitter.com/CityGreenville/status/1779527060156784644


Oh, & Jonathan Brand is the best pitcher in MiLB.

View: https://twitter.com/RotoClegg/status/1780052990050590756