The big story this past week was the departure of the Boston Red Sox top prospect, Yoan Moncada.
In probably the biggest story that could come out of the Arizona Fall League (AFL), Yoan Moncada was shut down for the remainder of the season with a sprained left thumb.
The top prospect in the Boston Red Sox farm system suffered the injury swinging a bat on October 21. His AFL season numbers were .292/.370/.458 with ten strikeouts and three walks. Last season, Moncada was scheduled to play in the AFL but was shut down due to an injured wrist. In August, Moncada sustained a sprained ankle which curtailed his base stealing for the last six weeks of the season. He stole just nine bases in 45 games in Portland after stealing 36 in 61 games at Salem. The Red Sox stated Moncada would be ready for Spring Training in February.
Let’s take a look at what the other Red Sox players did in Arizona last week.
Mauricio Dubon used a three hit game on October 19, to spring into a hot streak this week. The young Honduran shortstop was five for 15 for the week. What is even more encouraging than the five hits is that four of them went for extra bases, two doubles, a triple and a home run, with a walk thrown in there as well. The 160 pound Dubon is streaking after starting the AFL season four for 18. What’s more is that Dubon ended the season with a fantastic run at Portland with a .909 OPS in 251 at-bats there. Dubon is logging one game a week in center field to increase his versatility, along with his usual slick fielding at shortstop.
Perhaps the Red Sox advanced Danny Mars too far too fast as he continued to struggle this week. In the first week of the season, Mars managed to steal three bases, but you can’t steal first base. Mars is a terrible two for his last 26 after a solid first week. Perhaps in the future, the Red Sox will think twice before putting hitters into the AFL without any experience above Single-A. He stole 31 bases in 108 games at High-A Salem last season. If Mars does not get back on track, he could be stuck in A ball for another season if his terrible performance in Arizona continues.
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Trey Ball bounced back from his terrible five walk outing to post a perfect inning in his first appearance of the week. The wildness came back in the second appearance of the week, allowing a run on two hits with another walk. In just 6.2 innings in Arizona, Ball has walked nine batters. While he is allowed only four hits in that 6.2 innings, all the walks have contributed to a 8.10 ERA. Ball really needs a positive week to get himself back on track. One thing this Arizona stint could portend is that he may not be suited too well for the bullpen after all his struggles there in this AFL season.
Michael Kopech had a decent outing in his weekly start. He struck out four in four innings while allowing a run (courtesy of a solo home run) on three hits. It was his first home run allowed in 10 AFL innings this campaign. Perhaps the most encouraging sign is that he has walked just one batter while striking out 12 over those 10 innings after walking 33 over just 56.1 innings this past season at Lowell and Salem.
Jamie Callahan is bending but not breaking so far in the AFL. He has allowed eight hits over six innings, but still has not surrendered a run. If he is creating jams for himself, he is learning how to get himself out of them. This isn’t a good trait to get himself into jams of course, but it shows the composure has has had so far in Arizona to not let any inning blow up on him yet. Callahan has also struck out seven while walking just one in these first three weeks of the season.
Jalen Beeks had a solid week, twirling two scoreless innings over two appearances. The Arkansas native allowed a hit, walked none and struck out two. After a tough first outing, Beeks has permitted just one run over his last 4.1 innings, certainly pushing his stock upward as he tries to impress the Red Sox brass with an ability to come out of the bullpen. Like his Red Sox teammates, he is also able to strike people out, notching eight in 6.1 AFL innings.
Stay tuned each week for an update on the Red Sox prospects in the Arizona Fall League.