Pawtucket W 6-3 (F/10)
Tzu-Wei Lin, SS: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Gorkys Hernández, CF: 0-5, 1 R, 1 K, 1 CS
Michael Chavis, 1B: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Josh Ockimey, DH: 0-5, 2 K
Bryce Brentz, LF: 1-2, 3 BB, 1 R
Tony Renda, 3B: 1-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI
Sandy León, C: 2-5, 1 R, 2 K
Mike Miller, 2B: 1-2, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 E
Mike Shawaryn: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K (86 pitches)
Marcus Walden: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (18 pitches)
Josh Taylor: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
The first game for any Red Sox minor-league club ended with an extra-innings victory highlighted by a go-ahead, two-run double from Renda in the tenth. It was a solid day all-around for the PawSox, but the big news was certainly Chavis’ home run. The bat, of course, isn’t really the question for him but it’s still nice to see him get off to a hot start in 2019. Also of note is that he played first base. His spot on the diamond will be important to watch for every day this year. Elsewhere, it was a nice debut for Shawaryn, who seemingly pitched better than those three runs in just over five innings would indicate.
Portland L 0-3
C.J. Chatham, SS: 1-4, 1 K
Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Kyle Hart: 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 11 K
Zach Schellenger: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 0 K
It was a rough start to the year for the Sea Dogs offense, which isn’t exactly overflowing with talent to begin with. They managed only two hits on the day as they were shut down by Phillies minor leaguer Ramon Rosso. Dalbec, (arguably) the top prospect on the roster, showed some of the concern around him here with two strikeouts. On the pitching side, Hart isn’t really a prospect and is repeating this level, but even with the nine hits and four runs allowed you can’t ignore eleven strikeouts to go with zero walks.
Salem W 10-2
Jarren Duran, CF: 3-5, 1 3B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K
Tanner Nishioka, 2B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Jagger Rusconi, LF: 4-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Kutter Crawford: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (79 pitches)
Eduard Bazardo: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (36 pitches)
Salem’s offense more than made up for the lack of production up in Double-A, as they got hits from all nine of their starters and multi-hit efforts from four of them. One of those was Duran, who is a personal favorite of mine and could be one of the fastest risers from the 2018 draft class. The speedster racked up a ton of extra-base hits last year and picked right back up with a triple in this one. On the pitching side, Crawford showed some nice strikeout stuff while Bazardo came out and impressed. The latter doesn’t get a ton of hype and has been old for his level throughout his career but has put up solid numbers where ever he’s been.
Greenville L 0-1 (F/10)
Cole Brannen, CF: 0-5, 3 K
Dustin Pedroia, 2B: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Triston Casas, 1B: 0-4, 2 K, 1 SB
Brandon Howlett, 3B: 0-4, 1 K
Alex Scherff: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (66 pitches)
The biggest story here had nothing to do with prospects but instead was the presence of Dustin Pedroia. The veteran is trying to make it back for the major-league squad’s home opener. It’s not clear how realistic that particular goal is, but he got off to a solid start on Thursday. He should be back in there on Friday. Meanwhile, 2018 first round pick Triston Casas had a rough debut, as did 2018 breakout Brandon Howlett. Alex Scherff didn’t get any support on the mound but this was a strong start in what he hopes will be a breakout campaign for himself.
Player of the Day: There were a few candidates to get the nod for the first day of the minor-league season. I was tempted to give it to Kyle Hart, but the hits and runs he allowed gave the edge to Michael Chavis. The top prospect in the system, at least in this writer’s opinion, started 2019 off with a bang. It’s still not clear where he is going to ultimately land in the field, but this bat will play and he will get a chance to show that in the majors this year. If keeps this up, it could be sooner than later, too.