Minor league thread 2022

Jed Zeppelin

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Second great start for Brandon Walter with Portland.
6 IP, 3 H 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's
At 25 I wonder if they will be aggressive with him if warranted. You basically couldn’t have worse timing than being a college draftee in 2019.

Superutility prospect Ceddane Rafeala hit his 4th and 5th HRs tonight. Big power from the little guy.
 

Apisith

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It’s getting really exciting in the minors. Looks like we’re about to have a wave coming through.
 

Apisith

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Casas - OPS of .943
Mayer - OPS of .941
Yorke - OPS of .734
Duran - out with covid
Bello - 5IP/0 runs
Groome - 5IP/0 runs
Mata - TJ surgery
Bleis - hasn’t played
Walter - 11IP/0 runs
Jordan - OPS of .683
Wil Gonzalez - 7IP/0 runs
Winckowski - 10IP/3 runs
Downs - OPS of .707
Seabold - 8.2IP/2 runs
Murphy - 9IP/3 runs

Of the top 15 prospects that we have based on soxprospect’s rankings, it’s been a really great start for the system. The pitching has been ridiculously good, all 7 pitchers have started really well. Of the hitters, only Downs is a concern because he’s started slow, still striking out and not showing any ability to adjust to AAA.

And this list doesn’t include guys breaking out like Rafaella, Binelas, Lugo and Hickey.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Affiliates go 1-3 today.

WooSox (9-3) got walloped at home by Lehigh Valley, 19-11. Josh Taylor got the first inning as part of his rehab program, giving up a run on a solo homer. From there, every Wootown pitcher gave up multiple runs save Zach Kelly who came in for one out. Ahead 8-3 after 5 on the strength of a Christin Stewart grand slam and a Franchy Cordero run-scoring single and three-run double, 3 WooSox pitchers combined to give up 9 runs in the 6th. All told, the Wooers gave up 16 run in the final four innings, unanswered until they put up a 3-spot in the 9th.
Jaren Duran (#4 Sox Prospects) returned to the lineup for the first time since a Covid absence, going 1-4 with a walk and 3 Ks. Jeter Downs (#13 SP) was 2-5 with 2 Ks, Tristan Casas (#1 SP) was 2-4 with a double, walk and strikeout. Catcher Ronaldo Hernández (#28 SP) has gotten off to a rough start to the season; his 0-4 with 3 Ks dropped his season numbers to .143/.143/.214 (.357 OPS). Ryan Fitzgerald (#24 SP) was 1-3 with a double, walk and 2 Ks.

Portland (4-5) lost 2-1 in Harrisburg. Brayan Bello (#5 SP) was the tough luck loser, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits -- solo homers in the 1st and 5th -- with one walk and 8 strikeouts. Three relievers combined to pitch three scoreless innings, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts. The SeaDogs out-hit the Senators 9-3, but only managed to push across one run, on an rbi single by David Hamilton (#26 SP) that briefly tied the score in the 5th.
Hamilton led the offense, going 3-4 with a walk. Acquired in the Renfroe-JBJ trade, Hamilton is off to a hot start at .387/.459/.645 with a triple and 2 HRs. The Brewers drafted Hamilton in the 8th round in 2019 despite him missing his junior season with the Texas Longhorns due to a torn achilles tendon. That injury kept him out of minor league play in 2019 also, and Covid shut down the 2020 minor league season. In 2021, Hamilton played 68 games (.773 OPS) with the High A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and 33 games with the AA Biloxi Shuckers where he posted a .736 OPS. The achilles injury apparently didn't cost Hamilton much speed, as he was 52-for-61 in stolen base attempts in 2021; so far for Portland he's 8-for-9. Drafted (and listed) as a shortstop, Hamilton has split his playing time between short and second for the SeaDogs, as he did in the Brewers system last year. FanGraphs lists him at #15 among Red Sox prospects, with a 40+ future value.
Nick Sogard was 2-4 and Eli Marrero 1-2 with a double and a walk.

The Greenville Drive (6-3) tallied the lone farm win for the day, storming from behind in the late innings to knock off the Asheville Tourists 10-9. The Drive fell behind 9-1 after 4 innings, as starter Yusniel Padron-Artiles, who had blanked the Tourists over 6 innings in the series opener on Tuesday, gave up four home runs and eight total hits, along with two walks. Left out there to absorb innings and get to his pitch count, YPA finished strong with a 1-2-3 5th inning, including fanning his final two batters. After that, the Drive's bats came alive, scoring 4 runs in the 6th, 2 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to take the lead. Meanwhile two relievers, Brendan Cellucci, who got the win, and Devon Roedahl, who earned a save, each pitched a pair of hitless, walkless, scoreless innings. Roedahl struck out the first two batters of the 9th and got a flyout to end the game and send the Drive home to Greenville with a 5-1 series win.
Tyler McDonough (#17 SP) was 2-5, Ceddanne Rafaela (#19 SP) was 1-5 with a double, Nick Yorke (#3 SP) was 2-5, Matthew Lugo (#29 SP) was 2-4 with a double, Gilberto Jimenez (#18 SP) was 1-4 with a 2-run homer, Jaxx Groshans was 1-3 with a 2-run homer and a walk, and Nick Decker (#33 SP) was 1-4 with a double.
Of note, Matthew Lugo is off to a torrid start for the Drive, batting over .500 (19-for-37, .514) with six doubles, two triples, and one home run for an overall line of .514/.538/.865 (1.403 OPS). Lugo, a nephew of Carlos Beltrán, seems to be providing an answer to FanGraphs, which lists him as a 40 FV player at #31 in the Sox system, assessment of him: "His .270/.338/.364 line at Low-A in 2021 was a hair below league average... but breaking Lugo’s season into segments illuminates that while he got off to a terrible start in 2021, he turned it around for a pretty decent second half. At the end of June, he was hitting .228 with a .551 OPS; from that point on, however, he slashed .303/.383/.429, while walking more than 10% of the time, good for a 124 wRC+. The trick will be carrying that momentum into the 2022 season while adding more consistent power to the mix." So far he's carrying that momentum and then some.

Despite losing to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers 8-4 on Sunday, the Salem Red Sox still returned home with a 4-2 series win over the Astros affiliate. The SaleSox fell behind 6-0 after 5, cut the Woodpeckers lead to two with a 4-run 6th, then failed to score again as Fayetteville tacked on two insurance runs in the 8th.
Marcelo Mayer (#2 SP) and Blaze Jordan (#10 SP) were both 0-4 with a walk and a run; Mayer with 3 Ks, Jordan with one. Miguel Ugueto (#58 SP) was 2-4, Brainer Bonaci (#25 SP) 1-2 with 2 walks. In all, the SaleSox drew seven walks -- five of them in the 4-run 6th inning -- but managed just four hits and struck out 11 times. Sox pitchers recorded 12 Ks, but gave up two home runs among their seven hits allowed, along with two walks. The Salem defense also committed two errors leading to two unearned runs.
 

pokey_reese

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Bello and Walter in Portland have a combined 21 innings over 4 starts, with 30k/2BB and 2 runs allowed, total. It's only been a few weeks, but it seems like almost every prospect in the system is killing it so far. I'm already getting excited for the mid-season lists...
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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A 2-1 night for the farm, with Worcester rained out, Portland (5-5) and Greenville (7-3) walk-off winners by respective scores of 6-5 and 5-4, and Salem (7-3) getting smoked at home 11-2.

In Portland, as noted above, Jay Groome (#6 Sox Prospects) didn't make it out of the first inning against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He got just one out while giving up 2 hits, 3 walks, hitting a batter and getting called for a balk. Dylan Spacke came in and cleaned up that inning, and pitched 3 more scoreless innings giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out seven. Brendan Nail followed Spacke with two scoreless innings of his own, also giving up a hit and a walk while striking out four. While the Hardware Hurlers (Spackle and Nail) were holding down the fort, the SeaDogs offense took the lead against the Ponies, 5-3 after 6 innings. The Ponies tied it at 5-5 in the 7th on a hit, three walks, and an error. It stayed that way until the bottom of the 9th. Devlin "Granny" Granberg led off with a double and stayed on second when Pedro Castellanos grounded out to third. The Ponies walked Tyler "You Do Not Talk About Fight Club" Dearden to set up a potential double-play. Kole Cottam (#59 SP) obliged with a bouncer up the middle that the second baseman was set to field at the bag and make the turn to first for that very hoped for double-play that would send the game into extra innings. Instead, the ball clanked off his glove past the shortstop and into shallow left field, allowing Granny to score the winning run on a completely unnecessary head-first slide across home plate (there was no play; there wasn't even a throw).
Granny was the offensive star of the game for the SeaDogs, going 3-5 with a double, an rbi triple, and two runs scored. David Hamilton (#26 SP) was 0-4 with a walk and a run. Christian Koss (#22 SP) was 1-4 with an rbi double and a run scored. Dearden was 0-2 with two walks, a run and a sac fly. Cottam was 1-4 with a walk and an rbi single. Cameron Cannon (#49 SP), who's off to a slow start to the season, was 1-4 with an rbi single.
Frank German (#35 SP) pitched a perfect 9th with three strikeouts for the win. Jacob Wallace (#36 SP) pitched a scoreless 8th with a walk and a strikeout.

In Greenville, the Drive got a brilliant start from Chih-Jung Liu (#38 SP), five scoreless innings giving up just two hits and one walk while striking out nine against the Winston-Salem Dash. The Drive led 3-0 after 5 innings behind a two-run homer from Alex Binelas (#21 SP) in the 1st and a solo shot from Tyler McDonough (#17 SP) in the 3rd. But Ryan Zeferjahn lost the lead, giving up a grand slam in the 6th. The Drive tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the 6th on a Nick Northcut solo homer. Then Jordan DiValerio held the Dash scoreless over the final three innings, giving up just one single while striking out three. In a game in which all eight runs scored had come on home runs, it was fitting that it ended the same way when Stephen Scott (#55 SP) led off the bottom of the 9th with a homer to send the Drive and their fans home happy.
Astoundingly, the Drive fielded a line-up with eight Top 60 Sox Prospects prospects. McDonough was 1-4 with the homer. Ceddanne Rafaele (#19 SP) was 1-3 with a walk. Nick Yorke (#3 SP) was 1-3 with a walk and scored on Binelas' homer. Binelas was 1-3 with the homer and a walk. Matthew Lugo (#29 SP), off to a blazing start of the season, went 0-4, and Gilberto Jimenez (#18 SP) was 0-3 with a walk. Scott was 2-4 with a double and the game-winning homer. Nick Decker (#33 SP) was 0-3.

In Salem, the Charleston RiverDogs (Rays affiliate) took it to the Red Sox, scoring at least two runs each against four SaleSox pitchers while holding the offense to two runs on seven hits and no walks. Starter Juan Daniel Encarnacion looked good through three innings, scattering a double and two walks. The offense rewarded his efforts with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd on a Kier Meredith two-out single and Eddinson Paulino (#23 SP) triple to right. Encarnacion promptly coughed up that lead in the 4th, giving up a three-run home run and allowing another run to score on a pair of hits and a wild pitch. From there the rout was on.
Paulino finished 1-4 with the rbi triple. Marcelo Mayer (#2 SP) was 1-4. Blaze Jordan (#10 SP) was 0-4; Niko Kavadas (#46 SP) and Nathan Hickey (#30 SP) were both 1-4. Phillip Sikes, drafted in the 2021 18th round out of Texas Christian University, who put up a 1.086 OPS over 74 at-bats in the Florida Rookie League in 2021, was 1-3. Meredith, signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson University in July 2021, who put up a .452 OPS over 45 at-bats in the Florida Rookie League, was 2-2 with a hit by pitch.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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This made me wonder, now that we've whisked all our minor league catchers to Boston, who's still working out there?
Worcester still has two catchers on its roster: Roldani Baldwin and Deivy Grullón. Baldwin has so far gotten two starts at catcher and had one pinch-hitting appearance. Grullón hasn't caught yet; he appeared in one game as a pinch hitter and stayed in at DH for three at-bats.
 

Chainsaw318

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Worcester still has two catchers on its roster: Roldani Baldwin and Deivy Grullón. Baldwin has so far gotten two starts at catcher and had one pinch-hitting appearance. Grullón hasn't caught yet; he appeared in one game as a pinch hitter and stayed in at DH for three at-bats.
This is correct - just adding that Sox Prospects staff speculated that if Grullón had been with the team more than a few days, he might be the one up instead of Hernandez.

———————

I’d be excited if Liu’s velocity in Salem is close to middle-upper 90s. That’s what he supposedly looked like while scouted and it hadn’t totally shown up yet. Makes him potentially a real live arm with a viable pitch mix.
 

burstnbloom

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This is correct - just adding that Sox Prospects staff speculated that if Grullón had been with the team more than a few days, he might be the one up instead of Hernandez.

———————

I’d be excited if Liu’s velocity in Salem is close to middle-upper 90s. That’s what he supposedly looked like while scouted and it hadn’t totally shown up yet. Makes him potentially a real live arm with a viable pitch mix.
he was at 97 in the 5th. Big time encouraging outing. 21 swinging strikes in 75 pitches.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Tough night on the farm. WooSox lost a pair of 7-inning double-headers, 1-0 in 8 and 4-2. Portland, like the BoSox, lost 6-1. Greenville lost 9-4, which seems miraculous since they were out-hit 21-6. Only Salem stemmed the losing tide with a 7-1 win.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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In Syracuse, Connor Seabold was outstanding, throwing six scoreless innings while allowing four hits and two walks and striking out five. Kaleb Ort gave up a lead-off walk in the 7th, then struck out the next three hitters to send it to extras tied at 0-0.

On another day that pitching performance might have led to a win, but on this day five Syracuse pitchers combined to hold the WooSox to 2 hits and 4 walks.

The Wooers did have a couple of scoring chances.

Jaren Duran singled to lead off the game, stole second (and Jeter Downs subsequently worked a walk), but the next three batters -- Casas, Cordero and Fitzgerald -- all went down swinging.

In the 6th, Duran led off with a walk and stole 2nd after Downs struck out. Casas walked, Franchy struck out, and Fitzgerald walked to load the bases with two outs, but Christin Stewart flied out to end the threat.

And in the 8th, a Duran groundout to the right side moved the zombie runner to third with one out, but Downs' grounder to short couldn't get the run in, and Casas lined weakly to short to end the inning.

Kaleb Ort came back out for the 8th and the game ended without a hit, walk, or error. The lead-off batter sacrifice bunted the zombie runner to third, and the next batter hit a sac fly to center to end it, 1-0 Mets. The Mets improved to 2-10, while the WooSox fell to 9-4.

Duran (#4 Sox Prospects) was 2-3 with a walk and stole two bases.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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In the second game in Syracuse, the WooSox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st. Duran singled and Downs followed with another single, advancing to 2nd on the throw to 3rd. A Casas pop-up and Cordero walk loaded the bases with one out, and Ryan Fitzgerald's sac fly to right scored both Duran from 3rd base and Downs from 2nd base. (Reminiscent of Duran scoring from 2nd on a flyball in a spring training game).

Brian Keller held that lead until the 3rd inning, when a pair of singles and a two-out 3-run homer put the Mets ahead.

Silvino Bracho held the score at 3-2 Mets for two innings, but Durbin Feltman gave up an insurance run in the 6th on a walk, stolen base and two-out double. Feltman ended up striking out three, but the lead-off walk and two-out hit were deadly.

Not that it mattered, as the WooSox offense was once again shut down. After the 1st inning they barely threatened. In the 2nd a two-out walk put runners at first and second but Downs grounded out to end that threat. In the 7th, down two runs, the WooSox threatened again, with two walks and an error loading the bases with two outs and Casas coming up. But the Sox' #1 prospect came up empty, as he had all day, grounding out to end the game.

In the two games Casas was 0-7 with a walk and 10 runners left on base, three of those in scoring position with two outs. Consequently, there was no joy in Wooville.

Duran finished the two games 3-6 with 2 walks and 2 steals. Everybody else was 3-45 with 6 walks.

WooSox fell to 9-5; Mets improved to 3-10.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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In Portland, the SeaDogs clashed with another Mets affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Starting pitcher Chris Murphy (#15 SP) was solid if unspectacular, giving up two runs over five innings; both in the 5th on a two-out double following a pair of walks and a balk. In all, Murphy gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, with 5 strikeouts.

Turns out those two runs would have been enough for the Ponies, but they scored four more anyway, two each off the first two Portland relievers. And the SeaDogs failed to generate much offense, scoring their single run in the 7th to cut the lead to 4-1. (The Ponies made it 6-1 the next inning.) The Dogs had two potential rallies snuffed out by double-play grounders and another on a runner cut down trying to go first to third on a single.

Devlin "Granny" Granberg was 2-3 with a walk, and erstwhile prospect Hudson Potts collected his first hit of the season in 22 at-bats with a 5th inning double.

SeaDogs fell to 5-6; Ponies improved to 4-6.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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If the numbers weren't so gaudy it would be too depressing to bother wrapping up the Greenville Drive's 9-4 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash. The Dash banged out 21 hits, including 6 doubles, and three Dash batters went 4-for-5. Thirteen of those hits came off starting pitcher Brian Van Belle. That he only gave up four runs -- two each in the 1st and 2nd -- and lasted six innings is actually pretty incredible. That he left with the game still winnable at a 4-2 deficit equally so. But the Dash plated five runs in the 8th and 9th to put any thoughts of a comeback to bed.

One bright spot for the Drive was Ceddanne Rafaela (#19 SP), who was 1-4 with a 2-run homer. Nick Northcut was 2-4 with a solo homer. Tyler McDonough (#17 SP) was 1-4 with a double. Nick Yorke (#3 SP) was 0-1 with 3 walks.

Drive falls to 7-4; Dash improves to 5-6.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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In Salem, the single-A Red Sox kept the night from being a clean sweep with a 7-1 win over the Charleston (SC) RiverDogs (Rays).

Tyler Uberstine (#51 SP) went 4-1/3 innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits and two walks, with 6 strikeouts. TU left with a 4-0 lead, but the lead-off double he allowed in the 5th came around to score on a two-out hit off reliever Joey Stock.

The SaleSox struck for a run in the 1st on a run-scoring double-play grounder from Blaze Jordan (#10 SP) and another three runs in the 2nd on a Phillip Sikes rbi double and Jose Garcia two-run homer.

After the RiverDogs run in the 5th, Stock (1 more inning), Adenys Bautista (2 innings) and Jacob Webb (1 inning) combined for four scoreless innings of relief.

In the 7th, the SaleSox tacked on a run when Eddinson Paulino (#23 SP) scored on a wild pitch while he was stealing third. In the 8th, the bottom four hitters in the SaleSox line-up put together a two-out rally to score the final two runs, with Karson Simas knocking them in with a bases loaded single.

Paulino finished 2-5 with a double, stolen base and 2 runs scored. Marcelo Mayer was 1-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Phillip Sikes was 2-4 with a double. The SaleSox other Top 60 Sox Prospects in the line-up -- Blaze Jordan (#10), Nathan Hickey (#30) and Niko Kavadas (#46) -- all went hitless.

SaleSox improved to 8-3; RiverDogs dropped to 6-5.
 

Farty Barrett

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SP #19 prospect Cedanne Rafaela up to 6 home runs so far after hitting 10 last year. (39 extra base hits) There are not many write ups on him due to his fringe status. Fangraphs has written about his solid contact skills, Sox Prospects mentions the sneaky power. But this is quite a start considering his 5’8” 150 lb frame. It’s his first year in High A after hitting a well in his first full season last year.
He was named South Atlantic player of the week April 11 - 17, so this is adding to that honor
I’d love to see him reach AA this year. He’s got super utility potential. If the bat plays he could really help with roster configuration around the same time our blue chips become MLB ready.
Bullish!
 

zougwa

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Rafaela's hot start was enough to earn him mention on last night's EEI broadcast. He's been playing mostly in the outfield for Greenville, not surprising given the infield is already stacked with Yorke, Lugo, and Binelas. There might be a quicker path for him through the upper minors as an outfielder.
 

AlNipper49

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We went to see the Drive today and as HUTB mentioned Lugo looks really, really good. Super smooth in the field and very natural at the plate. It feels really wrong rooting for a Lugo at SS (Eric Van would be proud, but we were impressed.

51011
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Another tough night in the Sox system, with three of the four affiliates taking losses. The WooSox lost to the Syracuse Mets 10-8, the Greenville Drive lost to the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox) 4-1, and the Salem Red Sox lost to the Charleston (SC - Rays) RiverDogs 5-4 in 10 innings. The Portland SeaDogs salvaged the day with a 12-5 win and a literal ass-kicking (as seen in the clips above) over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets).
 
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Heating up in the bullpen

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SP #19 prospect Cedanne Rafaela up to 6 home runs so far after hitting 10 last year. (39 extra base hits) There are not many write ups on him due to his fringe status. Fangraphs has written about his solid contact skills, Sox Prospects mentions the sneaky power. But this is quite a start considering his 5’8” 150 lb frame. It’s his first year in High A after hitting a well in his first full season last year.
He was named South Atlantic player of the week April 11 - 17, so this is adding to that honor
I’d love to see him reach AA this year. He’s got super utility potential. If the bat plays he could really help with roster configuration around the same time our blue chips become MLB ready.
Bullish!
Let's talk about Ceddanne Rafaela! He was born 9/18/2000, so he's playing this year as a 21-year-old at A+ Greenville. Last year, as a 20-year-old at Class A Salem, he hit .251/.305/.424 (.729 OPS). In 2019, as an 18-year-old, he hit .244/.319/.409 (.728 OPS) in 41 games with the Rookie level GCL Red Sox and three games at Lowell. That stint at Lowell, where he was playing as basically a high school graduate against college juniors and seniors, cost him 26 points of OPS.

What's missing here? Oh yeah, his 19-year-old season of 2020, which he lost due to Covid-19. That's a lot of potential development for a young player. So let's look at his 2021 season more closely. Through June, two months of play (the minor league season started in May last year), Rafaela was hitting .225/.302/.317 (.619 OPS). For the month of July he slashed .258/.298/.584 (.882 OPS) and for August he hit .278/.327/.478 (.802). He reached his statistical pinnacle on Sept 3 with a line of .251/.307/.449 (.756 OPS) before slumping a bit for the rest of the month to dip back down to the .729 OPS he finished with.

At 5'8" and 150 pounds, Rafaela is a smaller player, and the scouting reports don't project much growth. As an excellent infielder and outfielder, I've wanted to compare Rafaela to another smaller-bodied defensive whiz Sox prospect of the last 10 years, one Marcus Lynn Betts. But looking at their batting numbers, the comp just isn't there. Mookie did struggle in Lowell as a 19-year-old, finishing that season with a .658 OPS. But as a 20-year-old, he tore through both Greenville (then Class A) and Salem (then A+) with respective .895 and .966 OPSes. In 2014 at the age of 21, Mookie lit up Portland and Pawtucket on his way to putting up an .812 OPS in 52 games with the Red Sox. Of note, at all four of his upper minors stops Mookie posted OBPs above .400.

Rafaela's hot start to 2022 still has me dreaming on what may be, but we should temper our expectations. The scouting reports I've read on MLB Pipeline and Sox Prospects both note good bat to ball skills but an overly aggressive approach that leads to weak contact and few walks. His minor league numbers back that up. Even in his hottest month last year, July, when he posted an .882 OPS, his OBP was .298. And so far this year, his 1.255 OPS is again driven by slugging and low on OBP. "Wait" you say, "he's got a .415 OBP right now." True, but that's paired with a .380 batting average (and a .382 BABIP). He's got only 3 walks in 53 plate appearances. So when the hits stop finding holes and the batting average comes back to earth, he's not walking enough to make me comfortable with his offensive floor.

But hey, it's early yet and time will tell. Perhaps his high batting average and slugging in the early going are due to an increased discipline of only swinging at better pitches. Perhaps pitchers are challenging him in the zone and he's feasting. Perhaps if pitchers adjust and start nibbling more, Ceddanne will lay off the bad pitches and start taking more walks. We can hope. And after all, isn't that what following prospects is all about? Hoping that these young guys will meet or exceed expectations and fulfill their baseball dreams by making it big in The Show (and making our dreams for great Red Sox teams come true in the process)? So let's enjoy Ceddanne's hot start and hope he can ride it all the way to Boston!
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Another tough night in the Sox system, with three of the four affiliates taking losses. The WooSox lost to the Syracuse Mets 10-8, the Greenville Drive lost to the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox) 4-1, and the Salem Red Sox lost to the Charleston (SC - Rays) RiverDogs 5-4 in 10 innings. The Portland SeaDogs salvaged the day with a 12-5 win and a literal ass-kicking (as seen in the clips above) over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets).
It's late, so I'm just going to note top prospect performances.

AAA
Fitzgerald was 1-5 with a 3-run Johnson (5)
Downs was 1-3 with 2 walks
Casas was 1-4 with a solo homer (4) and a walk
Catcher Ronaldo Hernández, recently back after a quick Covid call-up to The Show, was 0-5 with 3 Ks and a passed ball

AA
David Hamilton was 1-1 with a double and a walk and 2 runs scored. The second run he scored was when Tyreque Reed was hit by the pitch that sparked the brawl (bases were loaded, with Hamilton on 3rd). He came out of game the next inning; I'm guessing he may have been injured in the brawl. If you watch the video, you'll see that Hamilton (#53) is tackled by the pitcher and piled on by several Ponies.
Cameron Cannon was 2-3 in place of Hamilton.
Christian Koss was 3-5 with a 3-run Johnson (1)
Cole Kottam was 2-5
Tyler Dearden was 1-3 with 2 walks
Brandon Howlett was 0-4 with a walk and 3 Ks. He's off to a very slow start after a strong 2021.
Former prospect Hudson Potts followed up his first hit of the season with a monster game, going 4-5 with a double and two dongs.

A+
Yorke 1-4
McDonough 0-4 with 3 Ks
Lugo 0-3 with a walk and an rbi groundout
Folk Hero Joe Davis was 0-0 with a HBP in the 1st and replaced in the field for the 3rd inning. I have to assume he was hurt enough by the HBP that he had to come out of the game.
Jimenez was 1-4 with 3 Ks
Rafaela didn't play

A
Eddinson Paulino 2-5 with 2 doubles
Marcelo Mayer 4-5 with 2 doubles
Nathan Hickey 1-5
Niko Kavadas 2-4 with a double
Blaze Jordan 1-5
Wilkelman Gonzalez had a mixed start: In 4 innings he gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 wild pitches, but just 1 unearned run, and he had 6 Ks.
 

Chainsaw318

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Let's talk about Ceddanne Rafaela!
editing down your long and good post for space, but wanted to let you all know there is a lot of Rafaela talk on the SoxProspects.com podcast this week. Their read (interpreted by a causal fan) is that his defense may already be mlb quality or will be soon, and if there is some reality to either the hit tool or power, he has a mlb utility guy, carried by the ability to cover the middle of the diamond spaces.

if hit tool or power is real, that floor becomes more real and he’s a better one of those - if both are real, he’s a potential top 50 prospect in the game.
The likelihood is somewhere well short of that, but a fun guy to have.

I’m excited that the system has more of these guys, and that’s where depth matters. If 2-3 of the below-the-radar guys become interesting per year, you can trade for mid-season help without depleting the whole operation.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Man, everyone in Maine seems to be talking about the brawl last night. That’s a serious baseball fight!

With that team’s pitching and Hamilton’s hot start, the ballpark should be rocking this summer. Great stuff.
 

burstnbloom

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I read that Hamilton was ejected and that just wasn't reflected in the box score. I've been trying to find where I saw that to confirm but haven't been able to find it. Hopefully that's the case.
 

mikeford

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To me it looked like Hamilton was actually trying to keep people away from the pitcher, thinking he'd been seriously injured.

For his troubles, the pitcher then double legs him and tries to beat HIM up.
 

edoug

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To me it looked like Hamilton was actually trying to keep people away from the pitcher, thinking he'd been seriously injured.

For his troubles, the pitcher then double legs him and tries to beat HIM up.
Two huge mistakes by the pitcher,
1.He was too aggressive. Reed shouldn't have punched him but he was hit by a pitch at over 90 MPH. He was probably not in the greatest mood.
2. You don't leg dive in a brawl.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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To me it looked like Hamilton was actually trying to keep people away from the pitcher, thinking he'd been seriously injured.

For his troubles, the pitcher then double legs him and tries to beat HIM up.
I’m really puzzled by what went on with Hamilton. He goes over to the pitcher where he’s laying on the ground after being punched and …. does something for not much more than a second. As Ponies from the dugout come rumbling that direction he backs away and all those guys rush past him. Then the pitcher gets up and tackles him and a handful of Ponies join in, and not a single Sea Dog comes to his aid. I'd love to know what Hamilton did when he went to the pitcher.
 

mikeford

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I’m really puzzled by what went on with Hamilton. He goes over to the pitcher where he’s laying on the ground after being punched and …. does something for not much more than a second. As Ponies from the dugout come rumbling that direction he backs away and all those guys rush past him. Then the pitcher gets up and tackles him and a handful of Ponies join in, and not a single Sea Dog comes to his aid. I'd love to know what Hamilton did when he went to the pitcher.
My best guess from just watching it is Hamilton goes to the pitcher, believing him to be hurt and tries to shield him from anyone falling or stepping on him. He cedes his position when the pitchers teammates hit the scene. The pitcher gets up and maybe believes Hamilton is the guy who punched him because he got clocked that hard? Would definitely love to hear from the pitcher about what the hell he thinks happened here.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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My best guess from just watching it is Hamilton goes to the pitcher, believing him to be hurt and tries to shield him from anyone falling or stepping on him. He cedes his position when the pitchers teammates hit the scene. The pitcher gets up and maybe believes Hamilton is the guy who punched him because he got clocked that hard? Would definitely love to hear from the pitcher about what the hell he thinks happened here.
If that's what happened, it's very strange that Hamilton would get ejected. He ended up on the bottom of a pile of ponies after trying to help their pitcher and gets ejected? No justice.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Nice pitching night for Portland. Walter got the start with 10k/0bb over 6, 2er on 6 hits (all singles). The pen then threw 4 hitless, scoreless innings, including 2k/0bb for Jacob Wallace (1.50 era) with Frank German getting his 3rd win already with 4k/0bb over 2.

German has not given up a run yet and has struck out 13 over 7ip with no walks and only two hits against. Have to think he’ll see Worcester before long and have a chance to see Boston before the year is out.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Hamilton is 3-3 with his 3rd bomb of the year. He turns 25 in September so not young, but hard not to take notice of him (and Binelas) so far.

Edit: Later on, Binelas made me look smart going 3-4 with a walk and his 5th bomb of the year.

Mayer hit his 1st of the season, Kavadas his 2nd. Niko is striking out a lot, walking a lot, and hitting the crap out of the ball so far. Basically doing exactly what you’d hope for when taking a shot on a beefy college masher.

Edit #2: One night later, Binelas hits #6 and is batting .306/.435/.714 for a tidy 1.149 OPS. Only area of concern so far is a K rate north of 30%.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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Late to the party but if Rafaela does keep it up for the year, they should Javy Guerra him. AKA trade high, not turn into a MR.

Probably a lazy comp but that's who I first thought of. All glove SS who had an abnormal amount of HRs one year that vaulted him into the 50s on many top 100 lists. All helium.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I wonder when they move German up, he is striking out 2 batters an inning and basically unhittable so far while repeating AA.

Permanent move to the pen has been very kind to him so far.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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I wonder when they move German up, he is striking out 2 batters an inning and basically unhittable so far while repeating AA.

Permanent move to the pen has been very kind to him so far.
If he keeps it up, by mid May at the latest. As you said, he's repeating the level so there's no reason for them to not pull the trigger.

His last 4 games, he's at 6.0 ip, 0 hits, 1 hbp, 0bb/13k, 1r/0er. 19 batters faced. 68.4% K%. 15% Strikes looking, 21% strikes swinging. I also need to stop calling him Frankyln German. Totally different guy.

Andrew Politi is mowing people down too and is also repeating AA. 5.2 ip, 1 hit, 2 hbp, 0bb/12k. 0r/0er.

Everyone in Portland seems to be pitching well though. I have only browsed this thread so apologies if Chris Murphy has been brought up. Bello and Walter tend to get all the press but Murphy is very interesting. If he stays healthy, he's going to be in pretty much every Sox top 10 list. How far he goes depends on how he fairs against RHH, but he's a lefty who sits around 93-94 and tops out at 96-97. From what I saw (last year, not yesterday), he has 1 plus pitch, 2 average ones and a show me pitch. Last night, he went 6.0 ip, 2 hits, 1bb/6k.

For the year, he's at 4 GS, 2.25 era, 20.0 ip, 5 hits, 5r/5er, 1 HRA, 7bb/24k. He has faced 78 batters, 30.8% K rate.
vs R: .143/.217/.238 in 46 PA, 4bb/13k, .207 BAbip
vs L: .214/.313/.321 in 32 PA, 3bb/11k. .313 BAbip.

Last year:
vs R: .277/.342/.572, .326 BAbip, 86k/25bb, 314 PA
vs L: .134/.236/.165, .236 BAbip, 42k/11bb, 110 PA

Good to see the early results vs R. Obviously, we are in SSS season and I'm "sampling" those. I'm just reporting what has happened, not what is going to.

I didn't have much of an opinion on David Hamilton prior to this season, but I'm giddy in the early going. I'd like to see him get some reps in the OF too, prepare him for a super sub role a la Brock Holt. His speed is legit, his eye looks discerning and he should be an averagish defender at multiple positions (I'm guessing he could play all 3 OF spots but that's a guess). Careers have been made from less. If he hits for any power, he's an every day player. 12 sb/2cs in the first 14 games. In 33 AA games last year, he had 11 sb/3cs. I'll make the Tony Phillips with better speed comp even if I don't necessarily buy it. Just the last time a player was compared to Tony Phillips, it was Mookie Betts. Here's hoping for the rub.

Binelas, Caddenne, and Lugo have been covered. It's nice to see Gilberto hitting for some power in the early going. 4 doubles/2 HRs in his first 11 games. Last season, he had 3 HRs in 94 games. The season before that, 3 in 59.

I know he hasn't played since 4/17, but Brainer Bonaci gets mentioned a lot by what I assume are opposing scouts. Either that or super fans who somehow know who Brainer Bonaci is. They don't compare him to Dustin Pedroia but he gets the same kind of comments. "Plays above his ability." "Hustle player." "Knows how to play the game." Now that Brayan Bello is a legit prospect, Bonaci is my super binky. Through 7 games, he's hitting .318/.571/.318 with 13bb/5k in 35 PA.

Really though, this minor league season couldn't have started much better.

edit: It's also weird writing "Bello and Walter get all the press." They aren't your typical top prospects.