Welcome to a new feature here at Over The Monster in which we will be looking at the best players on the farm from the past week. With the new minor-league schedule being implemented this year that has teams playing six-game series every week with Mondays off, there are no Minor Lines on Tuesdays. We figured rather than just leaving that timeslot blank every week, we’d hand out some fake, virtual hardware. Each week, we’ll pick players of the week for both position players and pitchers, as well as an honorable mention in each category. (See Previous Winners Here)
Position Player of the Week
Tyler Dearden (Greenville)
This was a very simple process to figure out who gets the nod here this week, and if you’ve been reading along with Minor Lines all week — and if you haven’t, shame on you — then you probably would have guessed he’d get this nod. Dearden was on fire all week for Greenville, going 9-20 (.450 batting average) with three homers over the course of six games, throwing in a trio of walks and a trio of doubles as well. He was so dominant early in the week that all three of those walks came in Sunday’s series finale. And remember, the schedules this year have minor-league teams playing the same opponent for a whole week, so the pitchers facing Dearden on Sunday saw the havoc he wreaked all week.
The outfielder was a 29th round pick back in 2017, taken out of high school in New Jersey and signed for a bit over slot to keep him away from his Penn State commitment. A left-handed bat, Dearden’s biggest strength is his power, which he showed off in a big way this week. That said, he has some swing and miss issues that have prevented the power from playing as high as it potentially could. Including this season, he’s carried a strikeout rate over 30 percent in each of the last three seasons.
Dearden is now in his age-22 season (he’ll turn 23 in the first week of July), so while he’s been in the organization for a while he’s not particularly old for this level. This is a big season for him, though, as his performance has not been here in year’s past and he’d been falling further and further off the radar. He still likely projects as an up-and-down power bat at best, but he’s putting on a show so far this year and if it continues it could certainly bump that ceiling up a peg or two. On the year, Dearden is hitting .325/.466/.761 over 58 plate appearances to go with five homers, which is already a career-high.
Honorable Mention: Tyreque Reed (Greenville)
It’s an all-Greenville party among the position players, which speaks to the kind of week this lineup had as a whole. Reed has been coming through with big hits all season, and this past week he went 8-21 (.381 average) with a pair of homers hitting in the middle of this order. Reed was selected in the minor-league portion of this past winter’s Rule 5 Draft after spending his entire career to that point in the Rangers system. He’s a big power hitter, and already has six homers this season, but there is a lot of swing and miss in his game that, at this point, keeps the 23-year-old’s (he’ll be 24 early next month) ultimate projection at organizational depth.
Pitcher of the Week
Daniel Gossett (Worcester)
This was a tough week to pick a top pitcher, as I was torn between a couple of pitchers who were solid for multiple appearances and a couple who had strong one-start weeks. This time around I decided the one-start pitchers weren’t quite dominant enough to get over the two-appearances guys, starting with Gossett. The major-league veteran made starts on Tuesday and Sunday, totaling 12 innings with four runs allowed on 11 hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts. All four of those runs were allowed in the first start, and he went six innings in each.
The righty, as mentioned above, is a major-league veteran who was brought in on a minor-league deal this past winter. He was up in the majors as a back-end starter with the A’s back in 2017 and 2018, but he went down with an elbow injury in ‘18 and was not able to pitch again until this year. (He would have pitched last year if there was a minor-league season.) He’s a traditional three-pitch starter with decent stuff but who got by earlier in his career with command and control.
Due to injuries with the current Red Sox depth starters, Gossett is suddenly at or near the top of the team’s depth chart for the rotation if there is an injury in the majors. So far this season as a whole he is pitching to a 4.50 ERA over 20 innings with 23 strikeouts and eight walks.
Honorable Mention: Alex Scherff (Greenville)
Here’s a bit of a blast from the past. Scherff had some real hype (mainly from Keith Law, but from others as well) just a couple of years ago after being selected as an overslot high school pick back in 2017. He was just never able to stay healthy long enough or keep his command consistent enough to make it work in the rotation. They have shifted him to a relief role this year, and things are going better. He made two scoreless appearances this week with no hits, six strikeouts and one walk over three innings, and on the season he has allowed four runs over 7 2⁄3 innings with seven strikeouts and the one walk. He has a ways to go to prove he is really making strides in this new role, but this week showed there is some potential.