The Boston Red Sox are a hot mess, so there’s never been a better time to focus on what’s going on in the minor leagues. Unfortunately, the minor league squad didn’t fare much better, going a combined 1-5 in the day’s action. Pawtucket and Salem both played doubleheaders, so it was a busy day for the Red Sox prospects.
Red Sox Farm Report: April 6, 2019
Pawtucket Red Sox vs Syracuse Mets, Game One
- Final: 4-3 Loss
- Chavis: 0-4, 3K
- Hernandez: 1-3, 1 HR
- Mejia: 1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H
It was a tough day for just about everyone in Pawtucket. Top prospect Michael Chavis went 0-4 while striking out three times, which obviously isn’t good. Other notable hitless players were left fielder Bryce Brentz, first baseman Sam Travis, and designated hitter Rusney Castillo. The lone bright spot came when center fielder Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the first inning.
Nobody particularly stood out on the mound during Game One of the doubleheader. Nobody pitched more than two innings or surrendered more than one run. The closest thing to noteworthy happened when Jenrry Mejia blew a save in the seventh inning. Mejia, of course, once had a lifetime suspension due to multiple PED violations.
Pawtucket Red Sox vs Syracuse Mets, Game Two
- Final: 6-3 Loss
- Chavis: 0-3, 1K
- Renda: 1-3, 1 HR
- Shepherd: 5 IP, 4 ER, 6 K, 3 BB
What a day to forget for Michael Chavis. Between the two games, the top prospect went 0-7 with four strikeouts. Chavis still has a .429 batting average and a 1.357 OPS, so two subpar games is nothing to worry about. Of course, the rest of the roster didn’t do much better, as Red Sox legend Tony Renda drove in two of the four runs with a second-inning home run.
Chandler Shepherd has been on the 40-man roster for three years yet has never sniffed the majors. That won’t be changing any time soon if he keeps pitching like this. Relief pitcher Travis Lakins made his season debut as well, allowing one run in one inning of work.
Pawtucket Sea Dogs vs Reading Fightin Phils
- Final: 8-1 Loss
- Dalbec: 0-2, 2 BB
- Chatham: 0-2, 1 BB
- Houck: 4 IP, 7 ER, 3 K, 3 BB
Nothing about this game was good. The Sea Dogs offense had just two hits on the night and top pitching prospect Tanner Houck got shelled in his AA debut. So far on the season, Bobby Dalbec is batting just .100 with a 0.408 OPS. The season is obviously young, but this isn’t an encouraging development for one of Boston’s best prospects.
Houck wasn’t the only pitcher with a rough AA debut. Reliever Zach Schellenger allowed one run in 0.2 innings of work, bringing his season-long ERA up to 5.40. He walked more batters (three) than he struck out (two) in what was ultimately a disappointing performance for a pitcher capable of hitting triple digits.
Salem Red Sox vs Wilmington Blue Rocks: Game One
- Final: 2-1 Win
- Duran: 1-3
- Fitzgerald: 2-3, 1 2B
- Mata: 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
A win! The Salem Red Sox pulled out a nailbiter for the only victory in the Red Sox organization. Center fielder Jaren Duran continued his strong season by going 1-3 while scoring a run. Duran emerged out of nowhere last season and is currently hitting .455 with a 1.09 OPS. Nobody can stay THAT good for a whole season, but Duran should be a top-10 prospect in the system if he can keep this up.
The big winner of the day is starting pitcher Bryan Mata. Mata easily had the best day of anyone in the system, tossing a gem of a game. While allowing just one earned run in 5.2 innings is obviously fantastic, the most encouraging part of his night was that he didn’t issue a free pass. Mata was an absurd number of batters last season, but could be Boston’s best pitching prospect if he can consistently find the plate.
Salem Red Sox vs Wilmington Blue Rocks: Game Two
- Final: 2-1 Loss
- Osinski: 2-3, 1 2B
- Duran: 1-3
- Diaz: 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, 0 BB
Yet another game where the pitching showed up but the offense didn’t. Third baseman Michael Osinski made the most of his season, debut, driving in a run while going 2-3 with a double. Nobody else did that much, although Jaren Duran recorded yet another hit.
Jhonathan Diaz is a fringe top-20 prospect in the system, but he helped out his stock with a solid start. The lefty allowed just one run in 2.2 innings of work, striking out five while not allowing a walk. He could have gone deeper into the game, as he threw just 45 pitches. However, it seems like Salem’s managerial staff didn’t want to put too much strain on the pitcher.
Greenville Drive vs West Virginia Power
- Final: 6-5 Loss
- Brannen: 0-4, 2 K
- Casas: 0-3, 3 K
- Padron: 4 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Greenville’s offense had the best game of the minor league clubs, but the pitching ultimately didn’t do their part. It was a tough day for former top picks, as Cole Brannen and Triston Casas combined to go 0-7 with five strikeouts. Brannen has been a disappointment ever since arriving back in 2017, while Casas hardly has any minor league experience.
If there was a star of the game, it was Angel Padron. Taking over in the first inning for an ineffective Yasel Santana, Padron pitched four innings while allowing just one earned run. He didn’t strike out too many batters, but he ate innings and limited runs, which is the ultimate job of a pitcher.