Boston Red Sox Prospect Watch: Stars getting hot at the right time
Red Sox Advanced-A (Greenville)
When Brayan Bello got promoted to Double-A, I said Chris Murphy was the undisputed ace of Greenville. He has taken that mantle and run with it. In his lone start last week, Murph threw five shutout innings. This week he threw six innings, allowing just one run on two hits and no walks while striking out a season-high eight. In June, the left-hander has allowed just three runs in 16 innings (1.69 ERA). He has a .158 BAA and 0.69 WHIP in that time. Murphy has a 3.46 ERA, .221 BAA, 1.18 WHIP, and 41 strikeouts in 39 innings.
Jay Groome dropped his numbers heavily this week. That was thanks to the lefty allowing just three runs over 10 innings in two starts this week. Groome struck out 15 batters in that time. The 22-year-old now has a 5.66 ERA, .268 BAA, and 1.63 WHIP. That BAA is really starting to look decent and the ERA and WHIP drops are significant. He also has 49 strikeouts in 35 innings, which is a major positive.
Alex Scherff is now down to a 3.06 ERA, to go along with a .191 BAA and 1.25 WHIP. He has struck out 29 batters over 17 2/3 innings. Clearly the move to the bullpen has done wonders for Scherff. It allows him to put everything into his pitches, adding some velocity and movement. That BAA is absolutely phenomenal.
Dylan Spacke has thrown 24 2/3 innings this season. The right-handed pitcher somehow still has a 1.82 ERA, .167 BAA, and 0.93 WHIP in that time. Those are absolutely dominant numbers and 24 2/3 innings is no small sample size for a relief pitcher. What’s crazy is he seems to be getting better lately. The 23-year-old has 30 strikeouts already, not just pitching to contact.
Brandon Howlett is scorching hot. Once again he rose his average. Now the third baseman is rocking a .299/.391/.545 slash line with 11 doubles, two triples, and six doubles. Meanwhile he’s driven in 28 runs, scored 29 more, and stolen two bases. That’s right, Howlett had five RBI last week and eight more this week. He’s quickly becoming one of the most must-see prospects in the entire system for the Red Sox.
Cameron Cannon continues to raise his average as well. The shortstop is now up to .277 with 12 doubles and four home runs. Cannon has 25 runs scored, 22 more driven in, and five stolen bases. Over the last basically two weeks, the right-handed hitter has risen his average .032 points.
Tyler Esplin had one of the best weeks of all the Red Sox prospects. The 21-year-old outfielder appeared in four games and had at least one hit in all of them. Esplin went 9-for-16 with three doubles, two walks, three RBI, and two runs scored. The left-handed hitter rose his average from .252 to .288 in that time. He also has a ridiculous .419 OBP to go along with 10 doubles and one home run. Esplin has 21 RBI, 32 runs scored, and is 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts. Underrated.
Kole Cottam also had a strong week. The catcher appeared in just three games, but collected a hit in all three. One of those hits was an absolute rocket of a home run that went 110 MPH off the bat. Cottam is slashing .253/.382/.448 with five doubles and four home runs on the year. He has driven in 14 runs and scored 15 more. Could a hot-streak be coming?
Nick Sogard went 1-for-11 in the first three games he appeared in this week. In his last game he went 4-for-5 though. Sogard is slashing .278/.360/.454 with five doubles, one triple, and four home runs. He has driven in 12 runs and scored 18 more, stealing four bases in five attempts.
Tyreque Reed had been on a cold-streak since coming back from injury. His average dropped from .322 to .275. However, on Sunday Reed managed a nice 2-for-5. Not only that, but the two hits came in his last two at-bats. First, a single to start the bottom of the ninth where Reed came around to tie the game on a wild pitch. Then a single in the bottom of the tenth to walk it off. Reed is still slashing a very strong .281/.387/.553 with five doubles, one triple, and eight home runs. He has driven in 35 runs (in 30 games), scored 26 more, and stolen two bases.