Sea Dogs Forced To Modify Game Schedule Frequently

After starting out 5-0, the Portland Sea Dogs have been forced to only play six games. Likewise, they have not played a game since last Tuesday, in which they defeated Portland Sea Dogs game scheduleBinghamton 2-0. Weather has not been a friend to the Sea Dogs, causing many changes to the game schedule.

Games previously set for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were postponed. The first two were away match-ups versus the Rumble Ponies while Friday’s match-up was the first of three against the Trenton Thunder. It was also set to be the start of a six-game homestand. The postponement was Portland’s second moved home game of the year. They were previously forced to move the Opening Day game against Reading.

They got the chance to resume their schedule Saturday when they played a doubleheader beginning at 1 pm. Both games were against Trenton.

Portland Sea Dogs Modified Game Schedule

According to the Sea Dogs website, “tickets for Friday’s postponed game may be exchanged for tickets of equal or lesser value to any remaining 2017 Sea Dogs home game, subject to availability. Any questions regarding rained out tickets can be directed towards the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or tickets@seadogs.com.”

The Sea Dogs played a single-admission doubleheader on Saturday, April 22nd, which consisted of two seven-inning games. Tickets for April 22nd were good for both games of the doubleheader.

The Binghamton road games have been rescheduled to June and August.

Obviously, the Sea Dogs have been hard-pressed to continue what started as a historic season. Thus far, they have relied heavily on superb pitching performances—mainly from Teddy Stankiewicz and Jalen Beeks. Additionally, the Sea Dogs have benefited from the rising stardom of Rafael Devers and Danny Mars.

The grand thing about baseball is that there is usually a tomorrow.

The Sea Dogs split the doubleheader with Trenton on Saturday, 3-0 and 0-5 respectively. On Sunday, they walked off in a 6-5 thriller. Monday, Portland lost to Hartford 5-0. As for Tuesday’s game, it was moved to May 16th at 5:00 due to rain.

Devers Showing Signs of Maturity And Stardom With Portland

Since Dave Dombrowski took over the reigns in August of 2015, the Boston Red Sox have traded over a dozen minor league players. While adding “power pitchers” will deverscontribute to team success, one can only look back if a prospect becomes a major league superstar. But there is one prospect who has remained in the farm system throughout the entire tenure. His name is Rafael Devers.

In 2013, the Dominican infielder was signed to his first pro contract and began playing in the Red Sox farm system in early 2014. At the time, Boston already had Will Middlebrooks, Jose Iglesias, Deven Marrero, Xander Bogaerts, and Garin Cecchini ahead of him on both the organizational depth chart and top prospect lists. (As of today only Bogaerts and Marrero remains on the big-league roster.)

Ascending the Ranks

As his bat developed and some of those players left the system, Devers began to ascend the ranks. By 2014’s end, Devers was already in the conversation for the top five Red Sox prospects. This was during a time when Blake Swihart and Henry Owens were still highly regarded in the minor leagues. Theoretically, the only thing keeping Devers from being major-league ready was his age, physical maturity, and defense.

However, as 2017 begins, Devers finds himself as the #2 prospect in the Red Sox farm system. He started the season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and belted a home run in his first at-bat. As of Thursday night, he’s 10-25 with three doubles in addition to the homer. This already surpasses his April hit total from 2016 with Salem.

SoxProspects.com projects Devers as having “All-Star potential regardless of position due to his value at the plate.”

Their report continues to say: “Potential to be a plus hitter for average with plus-to-better power. Fluid, easy swing. Natural hitter. Strong, quick wrists. Future plus hit tool. Easy plus bat speed and an advanced approach for his age. Solid swing mechanics and separation in stride. One of the most exciting young players in the system in years. Mature approach for his age and has shown the ability to handle aggressive assignments. Will stick at third base for the foreseeable future, but if his bat develops as projected, it would profile at first base.”

Considering third base has been a revolving door for the Red Sox, Devers could be the answer at the hot corner. This is especially true when taking into account fellow Red Sox prospect and first baseman Sam Travis. In the meantime, the 20-year-old slugger will continue to dominate with the Eastern League’s best team.

Andrew Benintendi Earns Quick Promotion to Greenville

As the Red Sox begin the Dave Dombrowski era, the catalyst of the most recent draft this past June has already started his ascent up the ranks in the Red Sox minor league system. This week outfield prospect and first round pick Andrew Benintendi was promoted from Short-A Lowell to Low-A Greenville.

Benintendi is joining a team with Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, and Javier Guerra, who Andrew Benintendiare all in the Red Sox top ten prospect list according to MLB.com and ESPN’s Keith Law. Benintendi just two months ago was playing in the College World Series and was named the SEC Player of the Year as well as the College Player of the Year by Baseball America.

Benintendi signed with the Red Sox on June 30th and was assigned to Lowell on July 1st. In 35 games with Lowell he hit 7 home runs and knocked in 15, while walking an amazing 25 times helping him achieve a .408 on base percentage. He also only struck out 7 times during his time in Lowell, showing a great deal of patience for a player with the pressure of being a top ten pick. Benintendi is only 21, but is already older than some of the Red Sox top prospects which has helped him make a jump to Greenville so quickly. With drafting players out of college, those players get the extra seasoning that players drafted out of high school do not get, likely helping them avoid an extended stay in the lower minors.

Benintendi’s first game with the Greenville Drive he continued his hot start hitting two home runs. With Greenville not looking like they will make the South Atlantic Playoffs, Benintendi’s season will be done around Labor Day, but the Red Sox will likely send him to winter ball. With Benintendi showing patience and power and hitting from the left side, he is something the Red Sox should value as an outfield prospect. Obviously the outfield right now is full of younger players as well but Dave Dombrowski will likely need to make some moves from positions of redundancy to address some weaknesses most notably starting pitching.

Red Sox Promote Rafael Devers To Gulf Coast League

rafael deversAfter a mini-tear in the Dominican Summer League, Rafael Devers is headed stateside to play for the Gulf Coast League. In 17 games for the club, Devers hit .379 while boasting a .476 OBP. He clipped three homeruns, three triples and a pair of doubles out of his 25 hits showing a glimpse of his power potential.

All along, it must have been planned that Rafael Devers would play for the GCL team. It is likely that Devers only started the year in the Dominican Republic so that he could get some extra at-bats and reps in the field. Devers spent Spring Training in the states so he has his work visa which made for a smooth transition to the United States.
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In the Gulf Coast League, expect Devers to be the everyday third baseman. Boston kept a spot open for him in the GCL so expect him to see the most reps at third base. Every once in a while, Michael Chavis might see some time at third and when that happens, it is likely that Devers will play at his secondary position: first base.

As a player, Devers is a big-time power prospect. The 17-year-old has arguably the highest upside out of all the Red Sox prospects. At the plate, power is his forte, but he also hits for contact. In the small amount of time he has been exposed to advanced pitching, Devers has fared well, but needs to prove he can make contact with high-speed pitching in a bigger sample size. On defense, obviously Devers has room for improvement, but he has a strong throwing arm which is definitely a plus. He has a lot of time to improve on defense. By the time he is fully matured, Devers should be able to get his defense up to par at third base and should be an impressive defender at first base.
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Overall, this was a good move by Boston. Hopefully this speeds up his progression and allows him to potentially play in low-A full season Greenville next year for the Drive if all goes well. At age 18 in full season baseball if Devers does not turn some heads, then who knows what will?