Boston Red Sox Arizona Fall League update: Fall Stars edition

Nov 5, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; West infielder Mauricio Dubon of the Boston Red Sox during the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; West infielder Mauricio Dubon of the Boston Red Sox during the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Fall League’s “Fall Stars” Game saw three of the Red Sox farmhands get a chance to perform against the best of the best

Before we get into how the Boston Red Sox fared this week, let us take a brief look at the organization’s performance in the Fall Stars Game.

Michael Kopech was the star of the three, hitting 100 on the radar gun a remarkable five times over two perfect innings in which the former first rounder struck out three batters.

Trey Ball benefited from the practice of taking certain players no matter how they are actually performing (more on that below) to make the team. Ball retired the only batter he faced in the game.

Mauricio Dubon who is performing better than Ball, but still only is in the middle of the pack on his own Surprise Saguaros in hitting, played second base in the game without seeing a plate appearance. Dubon was behind game MVP Willie Calhoun on the depth chart, perhaps leading to his lack of a plate appearance.

Let’s take a look at how everyone’s week went

The Pitchers

Trey Ball is just having a miserable time of it. He made two appearances on the week, one scoreless and another in which he gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Ball’s 8.64 ERA and 12 walks over 8.1 innings is nothing worthy of an All-Star team but the league tends to take the players most likely to get the most fans, it would seem. Rusney Castillo was on last year’s Fall Stars team and also did not deserve it from a performance standpoint. It might be getting close to the time that they shut down Ball for the season. This wildness can’t be doing anything for his confidence.

Michael Kopech’s performance this week was more like an All-Star. This week’s start was a four inning scoreless gem in which he gave up one hit and struck out six batters. The laser throwing righty has struck out 18 batters in 14 innings, while walking just one batter. Of the three runs allowed in his 14 frames, one came on a solo home run. Kopech’s 11 hits allowed means he has a batting average against of just .220. If there can be a pitcher who is league MVP in the AFL, Kopech has to be in the running.

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Jamie Callahan is the Red Sox pitcher that was more deserving of All-Star recognition than Ball. He was a bit more stingy with the hits this week, allowing just one over two innings of work. His nine hits allowed over eight innings translates to a .290 batting average but he still has not allowed a run in those eight innings. Callahan has walked a single batter while striking out eight.

Jalen Beeks extended his own scoreless appearance streak to four with two scoreless innings this week. He has walked none and struck out four over the four innings of the last two weeks. Beeks has now struck out 10 over 8.1 Arizona innings. His 3.24 ERA is not as spectacular as that of his teammates but has been a quite respectable performance for the former Arkansas Razorback.

The Hitters

Mauricio Dubon didn’t have the greatest week, which had nothing to do of course with being on the Fall Stars team. Dubon was two for 12 on the week, though one of those hit was his third home run on the season in Arizona. Dubon is not hitting for a great average in Arizona but his .264/.291./.509 batting line puts him tenth in the league in Slugging Percentage. Dubon is continuing his practice of starting one game a week in center field. The young Honduran stole his third base of the AFL season this week.

Next: Red Sox interest in reliever Greg Holland

Danny Mars broke out of a two for 29 skid with a three hit game. Overall, Mars was four for 10 on the week. Before that big game, Mars’ average had dipped to .122. While Mars continues to have a tough Arizona campaign, at least possibly this solid week could send the young speedster in the right direction. He was caught in his one stolen base attempt since his three steal first week of the AFL.  Mars has not hit for extra bases in the AFL resulting in a .188/.235/.188 batting line.

Stay tuned each week for updates for the Red Sox prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League.