Previewing the 2017 Greenville Drive

Jason Groome, courtesy of http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/pressofatlanticcity.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/b8/7b850b1a-6979-11e6-a48c-c3822c64ef62/57bcc1e61b012.image.jpg

Hey guys welcome to another round of the SAL team preview series, I’m excited to get these going again.  Today I’ll be previewing the 2017 Greenville Drive as I continue alphabetically around the league. The Drive are the single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Previously I previewed:

The Asheville Tourists (Rockies)  http://notesfromthesally.com/2016/12/01/previewing-the-2017-asheville-tourists/

The Augusta Greenjackets (Giants)  http://notesfromthesally.com/2016/12/13/previewing-the-2017-augusta-greenjackets/

The Charleston Riverdogs (Yankees)  http://notesfromthesally.com/2016/12/31/previewing-the-2017-charleston-riverdogs/

The Columbia Fireflies (Mets)  http://notesfromthesally.com/2017/01/03/previewing-the-2017-columbia-fireflies/

The Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles)  http://notesfromthesally.com/2017/01/09/previewing-the-2017-delmarva-shorebirds/

The Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins)  http://notesfromthesally.com/2017/01/23/previewing-the-2017-greensboro-grasshoppers/

 

For those not familiar with the SAL team preview series, I scour the lower levels of each organization and speculate on who might be coming to the Sally in 2017 and whenever possible I try to include a scouting report. It’s a lengthy process but I enjoy it and I learn a ton from it.

For the purpose of this piece I studied the 2016 Greenville Drive, Lowell Spinners and GCL Red Sox rosters.

At Notes from the Sally it’s all about live look scouting, the Greenville Drive are one of my home parks so I’ll see the team 20+ times in 2017 beginning on opening day when they host the Delmarva Shorebirds.  You can expect write ups on most of the Drive players listed.

Lets meet the notables

 

Jason Groome, courtesy of http://m.mlb.com/assets/images/6/3/4/201725634/cuts/Jason_Groome_1280_pgtf7psi_izrq7p8h.jpg

Jason Groome- Age 18, listed 6’6″ 220 lbs, bats and throws left.  Groom was drafted 12th overall in the 2016 draft out of high school in Barnegat, NJ (Jersey Shore).   One of the highest profile players in the draft last Summer Groome was expected to go much earlier than 12th.

Burke Granger of “Prospect Junkees” wrote up each of the players the Red Sox selected in the 1st five rounds of the 2016 draft and had this to say about Groome:

“Regarded as the top talent in the draft by MLB Pipeline, Groome slid to the 12th pick due to signability and makeup concerns.  The Red Sox signed Groome at the July 15th deadline for an above slot bonus of $3,650,000, a franchise record for draftees.  At 6’6″ and 220 pounds, Groome stands out for more than just his physical stature.  Groome possesses a mid-90’s fastball and power curveball along with changeup that was seldom needed as an amateur.  Groome didn’t pitch much as a professional after the late signing, but should open up 2017 in full season ball.”

For more on the Red Sox 2016  top draft picks click here:   https://prospectjunkies.com/2016/11/28/2016-mlb-draft-roundup-boston-red-sox/#more-6099

 

 

CJ Chatham, courtesy of https://www.d1baseball.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Chatham-1.jpg

SS) CJ Chatham-   Age 22, listed 6’4″ 185 lbs, bats and throws right.  Chatham was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft out of Florida Atlantic Univ.

One of my favorite prospect oriented websites out there is SoxProspects.com they do a terrific job of covering every inch of the Red Sox minors.  Here’s what they had to say about CJ Chatham:

Excellent athlete. Consisdred one of the top shortstops in the 2016 draft. Projects to likely stay at shortstop. Plus arm and decent range.  Good instincts. Tall for the position. Solid approach at the plate. Contact hitter with some pop and potential to add power.”

For more on the current Red Sox top 20 prospects and a whole lot more click here:   http://www.soxprospects.com/index.html

 

 

Shaun Anderson, courtesy of https://photos.smugmug.com/Gator-Baseball-2015/Florida-Gators-Baseball-vs/i-DSx7r2S/0/XL/florida%20gators%20florida%20baseballl%20february%2022nd%202015%20miami%20hurricanes%20Florida%20Gators%20pitcher%20Shaun%20Anderson%20pitching%20full%20body-XL.jpg

RHP) Shaun Anderson- Age 22, listed 6’4″ 225 lbs, bats and throws right.  Anderson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Florida.

 

John Sickles of Minor League Ball counted down his top 20 Red Sox prospects at the end of December and had this to say about Anderson:

“Age 22, third round pick in 2016 from University of Florida; gave up 12 hits in 2.2 innings in New York-Penn League; posted 1.05 ERA in 43 innings for Gators with 56/6 K/BB, 13 saves; will reportedly work as a starter due to broad arsenal including 90-94 fastball, slider, cutter, curve, change-up; command was exceptional in college, will have to see how workload management goes. ETA late 2019”.

For more of Sickles top 20 Red Sox click here:  http://www.minorleagueball.com/2016/12/29/14119404/boston-red-sox-top-20-prospects-for-2017

 

 

Mike Shawaryn, courtesy of https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/2DQmzdwbpw030N2-U8Clz1EXO9A=/0x184:2949×2150/1310×873/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/50143577/DSC_2645jpg05.0.0.jpg

RHP) Mike Shawaryn- Age 22, listed 6’2″ 200 lbs, bats and throws right.  Shawaryn was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Maryland.

mlb.com updated there top 30 Red Sox prospect list after the draft last Summer and had this to say about Shawaryn:

“The Terrapins’ career leader in wins (30) and strikeouts (307), Shawaryn works from a low three-quarters slot that adds life to his pitches, all of which have the potential to be at least solid. His fastball usually runs from 90-94 mph with sink, though his velocity was down to 86-88 at times early in the college season. His sweeping slider can get swings and misses from both lefties and righties, and he shows some feel for a fading changeup.”

“Shawaryn has a strong, durable build that lets him maintain his stuff over the course of a game and a season. He fills the strike zone, too, though some scouts wonder if he might be better suited as a reliever because of his arm angle. In shorter stints, he might have two plus offerings with his fastball and slider.”

For more on mlb.com’s top 30 Red Sox click here:   http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016?list=bos

 

 

Yoan Aybar, courtesy of https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1159/2868/products/yoanaybar_16lowell.jpg?v=1472498236

CF) Yoan Aybar- Age 19, listed 6’2″ 165 lbs, bats and throws left.  Aybar was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013.

Ryan Alber of “Prospect 1500” recently counted down his top 50 Red Sox Prospects and had this to say about Yoan Aybar:

“Incredibly raw in nearly all facets of the game, Boston tested Aybar by sending him the New York-Penn League at the ripe age of 18. His glove and his arm in center are his two best tools right now, but he’s shown promising bat speed and feel for the barrel, especially for someone his age against that level of competition. He’s exciting, but a long way away, and the large chance that he ends up flaming out keeps him below some of the other names on this list.”

For the rest of the list click here:   http://prospects1500.com/top-50-lists/boston-red-sox-top-50-prospects-2017/

 

 

Bobby Dalbec, courtesy of http://www.rightfieldfog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ORL15_bobby-dalbec.jpg

3B) Bobby Dalbec– Age 21, listed 6’4″ 225 lbs, bats and throws right.  Dalbec was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Arizona.  He exploded in the NY/ Penn league post draft and I would have him listed higher here but I think there’s a good chance he skips straight to Salem, VA and the Carolina League (A+).

Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 counted down his Red Sox top 10 Prospects back at the beginning of December (there’s been some trades since then) and had this to say about Dalbec:

“Drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Bobby Dalbec got off to a fast start in the New York Penn League posting a 1.101 OPS.  His carrying tool is double-plus raw power that he showed in his sophomore season at Arizona but injuries led to a drop off last year.  He has length in his swing, so strikeouts will likely always be part of the equation.  Finally, Dalbec was the closer for Arizona during his college career, so if third doesn’t work out, he could always move back to the bump.”

For more of Rich Wilson’s top 10 Red Sox click here: Boston Red Sox

 

Around the diamond

Catcher-

Ausin Rei- Age 23, listed 6′ 185 lbs, bats and throws right.   Rei was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Washington.  He spent all of 2016 with Greenville and struggled offensively could be a candidate to repeat.

C-3B) Roldani Baldwin- Age on opening day 21, listed 5’11” 175 lbs, bats and throws right.  Baldwin was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013.  He split time between Greenville and Lowell in 2016 and played an even about of games at 3rd base and catcher.  I saw him in Greenville, offensively he didn’t stand out, a long, linear swing and average bat speed.  A decent receiver though.

Nick Sciortino- Age 21, listed 5’9″ 197 lbs, bats and throws right.  Sciortino was drafted in the 17th round of the 2016 draft out of Boston College.

Rei probably gets the lions share of the starts if he returns, if not it could be 50/50 with Baldwin and Sciortino with Baldwin also getting some play at 3rd.

Others who could see time at catcher: Jhon Nunez, Isaias Lucena,

 

 

Middle Infield

2B) Jagger Rusconi- Age 20, listed 5’11” 165 lbs, bats both and throws right.  Rusconi was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 draft out of high school in Santa Clara, CA (Los Angeles metro).  Rusconi has had a difficult time staying healthy so far in his young career appearing in only 30 games.  Because of this I think he may be a candidate to repeat at Lowell.  We’ll see.

SS) CJ Chatham

 

Others who could see time in the Middle Infield: Carlos Tovar (2B, SS),  Victor Acosta (2B, 3B, LF), Nick Lovulo (2B, SS), Santiago Espinal (2B, SS)

 

Corner Infield

1B) Jerry Downs- Age 23, listed 6’2″ 215 lbs, bats and throws left.  Downs was drafted in the 15th round of the 2015 draft out of St Thomas Univ (Miami Gardens, FL)  Had a .153 ISO in Lowell last season with a 10% BB rate and 20% K rate.

1B) Tucker Tubbs- Age 24, listed 6’3″ 212 lbs, bats and throws right.  Tubbs was drafted in the 9th round of the 2015 draft out of the Univ of Memphis.  Had a .217 ISO last yr in Lowell with a 15% BB rate and 20% K rate.

3B) Bobby Dalbec

3B) Mitch Gunsolus- Age 24, listed 6′ 200 lbs, bats left and throws right. Gunsolus was drafted in the 10th round of the 2015 draft out of Gonzaga Univ.

 

Others who could see time on the Infield Corners:  Steven Reveles (3B, SS, 2B), Raiwinson Lameda (1B, LF, RF)

 

Outfield

LF-RF) Tyler Hill-  Age on opening day 21, listed 6′ 195 lbs, bats and throws right.  Hill was drafted in the 19th round of the 2014 draft out of Delaware Military Academy (Wilmington, DE).  He had a .155 ISO, a 10% BB rate and an 18% K rate in Lowell last year.

 

CF- Yoan Aybar

 

CF) Lorenzo Cedrola- Age 19, listed 5’11” 170 lbs, bats and throws right.  Cedrola was signed out of Venezuela in 2014.

Ryan Alber of Prospects 1500 wrote this of Cedrola while counting down hit top 50 Red sox prospects:

“Cedrola is one of my favorite Sox prospects and a candidate to shoot up this list if he can showcase his plus-plus speed, plus defense, and above-average arm in center field to go along with his plus hitting ability and potential average power at the plate. Full-season ball will be a big test, but I am confident he will succeed.”

Sounds like an exciting young player, I’m looking forward to seeing him.  He might be heading to Lowell 1st though.

 

RF-LF) Ryan Scott- Age 23, listed 6’2″ 195 lbs, bats left and throws right.  Scott was drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Here’s an interesting piece I found on Scott, he was a finalist for the”Gregg Olson award” (college baseball’s breakout player of the year) http://sunbeltsports.org/news/2016/6/14/BB_0614164238.aspx

A senior sign,  Scott will be 24 in July so if he gets off to a fast start he probably won’t be long for Greenville.

 

CF-RF-LF) Matt McLean- Age 23, listed 5’11” 190, bats left and throws right.  McLean was drafted in the 9th round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Texas at Arlington.

The Baseball draft report is one of my go to sites for pre and post draft coverage.  Here’s what they wrote about McLean while writing up the Sun Belt conference pre draft:

“On (kind of) the other end of the spectrum is Matt McLean of Texas-Arlington. McLean is a good runner and savvy all-around ballplayer who (to my knowledge) isn’t being talked up by anybody as a serious draft prospect. I’m not sure whether he is or isn’t, but the way he commands the strike zone has my respect. McLean is off to a similar start as Studdard (12 BB/4 K), but differs in that it’s part of a longer track record of doing so (40 BB/19 K last year). When looking to fill out rosters late during the draft, I’d recommend McLean to my scouting director every time. I’m high on the McLean’s on the world not only for what they could become in their own right – solid org guys can occasionally turn into useful pieces over time – but also because of the unseen positives that bringing players like this into an organization can provide. I don’t think McLean possesses any magic plate discipline dust that would rub off on his teammates, but having my young guys exposed to his consistent professional approach to the game, calculated plan of attack as a hitter, aggressive yet smart style of play in all phases, and determination to succeed no matter what couldn’t hurt.”

For more on the Sun Belt and much more draft coverage click here:  2016 MLB Draft Follow Lists – Sun Belt

 

Others who could see time in the outfield:  Chris Madera (RF, LF), Granger Studdard (LF, RF), Juan Barriento (RF)

 

Starting Pitchers

LHP) Jason Groome

RHP) Shaun Anderson

RHP) Mike Shawaryn

LHP) Darwinzon Hernandez– Age 20, listed 6’2″ 185 lbs, bats and throws left.  Hernandez was signed out of Venezuela in 2013.

Sox Prospects has a write up on every player I listed .  Here’s a snippet from what they wrote about Hernandez:

“Left-hander with a sturdy pitcher’s frame and some deception in his delivery. Possesses an intriguing fastball/curveball combination, but still young enough that changeup could take a step forward as well. If changeup and command and control improve, could project as a number four/five type starter with a plus fastball and two average secondaries. If need be, stuff could play in bullpen role, where he could rely on his fastball and curveball and air it out in short stints. High-risk prospect given combination of age, physical development and delivery. Has already shown fastball velocity increases as he has matured, so wouldn’t be surprised to see velocity continue to increase.”

For more on Hernandez plus much more on the Red Sox system click here:   http://www.soxprospects.com/players/hernandez-darwinzon.htm

 

Other SP we could see: Enmanuel De Jesus (LHP) could be back,  Dedgar Jimenez (LHP) could be back too, Kevin Steen( RHP), Dakota Smith (RHP),  Robby Sexton (LHP).

 

I enjoyed digging into the Red Sox system.  It’s not what it was two years ago but there’s still pieces.  The strength of the team will lie in the starting pitching led by high profile prep lefty Jason Groome. followed by two promising college arms in Shaun Anderson and Mike Shawaryn.

For the position players the middle infield has a chance to be interesting 2nd rd pick CJ Chatham is 6’4″ and projected to stay at SS that alone makes him interesting.  And Rusconi was drafted out of Los Angeles as a prep in the 5th round that’s an intensely competitive area but because of injuries he hasn’t had a chance to show what he can do yet.  Aybar in center looks interesting as well and I’m holding out hope we see Cedrola.

I hope you got as much out of this as I did, up next is a look at the Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals).  Cheers!

 

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