Marco Hernandez

Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Manuel Margot 'living up to the hype' as season ends for 5 affiliates; Marco Hernandez goes out with a bang in Pawtucket

Ken Laird
September 08, 2015 - 4:59 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday, the final day of the regular season for all the affiliates listed below: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (59-85): W, 10-2, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays) -- Shortstop Marco Hernandez (Boston's No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) went 4-for-5 with a homer, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored. Hernandez, 23, had a single in the first inning, an RBI single in the third and his fourth Triple-A home run in the sixth as as he turned on a 2-2 pitch and pulled it deep to right over the fence to extend Pawtucket's lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, the lefty-batting Hernandez doubled off a lefty hurler as he sprayed one opposite field down the left-field line to drive in two more. "He keeps improving," Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told the Providence Journal in regard to Hernandez. "This is our first look at him, but you can see why we had interest in him and why he's in our uniform now. He's got plus hand speed through the zone. You can see that he can impact the baseball." Acquired by Boston in December of 2014 as the player to be named later in the trade of Felix Doubront to the Cubs, Hernandez finished the season with a .305/.330/.454 slash line over 114 games played between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. In his 68 games with the PawSox, Hernandez slashed .271/.300/.409 and he finished with a .395 (19-for-48) surge over his final 12 games, including four multi-hit games in his final seven contests. Hernandez hit .315 in Triple-A against left-handed pitching, but clubbed all four of his homers against righties. The 6-foot Dominican hit in the two-hole of the lineup for each of the final nine games. -- RHP William Cuevas picked up the win in his final start of the season with a final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO (88 pitches, 59 strikes). It was the seventh Triple-A start for Cuevas (3-2, 2.63 ERA), who pitched at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or less in all seven outings. The 24-year-old allowed just two singles and a walk through his first five innings on Monday, allowing a lone run in the sixth on a pair of doubles. Finishing the year with wins in his last three decisions, Cuevas struck out 37 batters over 41 innings with Pawtucket while walking 14. Before being promoted to the PawSox on Aug. 4, Cuevas made 19 starts with Double-A Portland and went 8-5 with a 3.40 ERA (95 1/3 IP, 84 H, 36 ER, 91 K, 41 BB) and was named an Eastern League All-Star. Cuevas also was named Portland'€™s Pitcher of the Year on Monday. -- RHP Matt Barnes relieved Cuevas and struck out two in his lone inning of work after allowing a single. Barnes, 25, finished the year with 17 Triple-A appearances, including five starts, as he allowed 17 earned runs over 37 2/3 innings (4.06 ERA) while striking out 41 and walking 22. Selected by Boston in the first round (19th overall) of the 2011 draft out of the University of Connecticut, the 6-foot-4 Barnes also had four stints in the majors in 2015, going 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA over 23 appearances, with 31 strikeouts in 32 innings to go with 12 walks. -- Right fielder Aneury Tavarez reached base four times, finishing 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs, highlighted by a two-run double in the third inning. Tavarez, 23, made his Triple-A debut on Sept. 1 and hit .389 (7-for-18) in his cameo with a homer, two doubles, five RBIs and six runs scored. Before his promotion, over 106 games split between High-A Salem and Double- A Portland, Tavarez hit .246 with seven homers, 21 doubles, 32 RBIs and 12 steals. Tavarez also led Portland with seven outfield assists. -- Pawtucket finished in last place in the North Division of the International League for the first time in 25 years, with its highest loss total since dropping 91 games in 1985. Pawtucket had a four-year run of making the postseason come to an end, although the team did end the year with 10 wins in its final 15 contests. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (53-89): W, 10-4, vs. New Britain (Rockies) -- Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston's No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) hit two of a season-high seven Portland doubles, with Margot finishing 2-for-5 to go with a run scored a day after hitting for the cycle. Margot, 20, led off the bottom of the first inning with a double down the line in left and then sent a two-bagger off the wall in center in the third inning for his 21st Double-A double of the year. The 5-foot-11 Margot finished the season on a six-game hit streak as he hit .538 (14-for-26) over that span to raise his Portland slash line to .271/.326/.419 over 64 games played after his promotion on June 22. "I think he's kind of living up to the hype," Portland manager Billy McMillon told WEEI.com before the game on Monday. "He's a tremendous defender. Has an idea at the plate, hits the ball all over the place. And generally has been able to make adjustments on the fly. I think he got pitched to a little bit differently after he got here and he started seeing some patterns and making adjustments, and the way he finished is really good." Added McMillon: "He's spent a fair amount of time in the cages. He's worked on being more consistent, understanding his strengths and controlling the effort level. The last couple weeks or so I think we've seen him do that a lot better. The results have showed, he's starting to really hit his stride. He's got the makings of a special type of player." -- Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston's No. 24 prospect at MLB.com) hit a three-run home run as part of a five-run Portland third inning, giving the Sea Dogs a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish. Asuaje, 23, finished 2-for-4 on the day and ended the year with eight homers, seven triples, 23 doubles, 61 RBIs, 60 runs and nine steals as he slashed .251/.334/.374 over 131 games with Portland in 2015. The 5-foot-9 Asuaje was also named to the Arizona Fall League roster and will continue play there in October. -- RHP Aaron Wilkerson picked up the victory with a final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (85 pitches, 54 strikes). The 26-year-old Wilkerson (4-1, 2.66 ERA) made seven starts with Double-A Portland after his promotion on Aug. 5, allowing just three total earned runs over his final five outings, a span of 30 innings (0.90 ERA), with 25 strikeouts and nine walks over that streak. On the season, combined between Single-A Greenville, High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, Wilkerson was 11-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 29 outings, striking out 137 in 136 2/3 innings of work. "I like what I see," McMillon said of Wilkerson, who was signed by Boston last July from the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the independent American Association. "He goes out there and competes. He wants the ball. He's not afraid to throw any pitch in any count. A real competitor. His background gives him a little more motivation to show people that he can play. He has impressed me in his brief stint here." HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (66-73): W, 4-2, at Potomac (Nationals) -- Center fielder Kevin Heller, 25, went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, and a run scored to finish the year with a slash line of .297/.409/.435 over 93 games with Salem. Heller's batting average was good for second-best in the Carolina League, with his on-base percentage tops in the league and his slugging mark fifth. Signed by Boston in the 40th round of the 2012 draft out of Amherst College, the 5-foot-10 Heller finished the year with three multi-hit games in his last six. On the year, Heller had seven homers, 20 doubles, 57 RBIs and 44 runs scored. -- Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston's No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored to end his 2015 campaign with a .288/.349/.376 slash line combined between Single-A Greenville and Salem. On the year, the 21-year-old Dubon had five homers, three triples, 21 doubles, 47 RBIs and 70 runs scored to go with 30 stolen bases in 37 attempts. Selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2013 draft, Dubon played the final 62 games of the year with Salem and slashed .274/.343/.325 as the primary leadoff hitter. He had hits in 15 of his final 16 games played. -- Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston's No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) finished the year 1-for-3 with a walk and a run to put his final slash line at .260/.324/.381 over 108 games in 2015. Finishing with a six-game hitting streak and hits in nine of his last 10, the 20-year-old Rijo also had multi-hit games in four of his final six contests. -- RHP Kevin McAvoy lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his final start, with two hits, two walks and a strikeout as he allowed one earned run in the first inning after two singles and two walks forced a run in. The sinkerballer induced a grounder to end the frame and escape the jam, then pitched a perfect second inning before hitting a batter and being removed with two outs in the third. McAvoy, 22, concluded his season 11-9 with a 3.89 ERA over 26 starts with Salem. The 6-foot-4 McAvoy threw 141 innings, with 82 strikeouts and 71 walks, giving up just five home runs. -- LHP Luis Ysla pitched two scoreless innings of relief, striking out one, in his second appearance in the Boston organization since being acquired in the trade of outfielder Alejandro De Aza to San Francisco. Ysla pitched three scoreless innings in his debut on Sept. 3, striking out five batters over three innings while walking two. On the year, Ysla was 3-6 with a 5.85 ERA over 35 appearances, nine of them starts, with 101 strikeouts in 84 2/3 innings to go with 43 walks. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (72-68): L, 4-2, vs. Savannah (Mets) -- As it turns out, with Asheville's loss to Greensboro on Monday, a win by Greenville would have earned the Drive a South Atlantic League wild card berth. However, Greenville's ninth-inning rally at Fluor Field fell short, and with the loss Greenville's season came to a close. Trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston's No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) brought in DH Michael Chavis (Boston's No. 11 prospect at MLB.com) with an RBI ground out and an RBI single from left fielder Danny Mars plated third baseman Rafael Devers (Boston's No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) to cut the deficit to 4-2. A two-out single by catcher J.T. Watkins and a walk from right fielder Joseph Monge loaded the bases, but first baseman Jerry Downs grounded out to second base and the season was over. -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada, 20, concluded his 2015 season with a 1-for-4 performance, putting his final slash line at .278/.380/.438 over 81 games played in his first professional season. Moncada had eight homers, three triples, 19 doubles, 38 RBIs, 61 runs and 49 stolen bases in 52 attempts. A 6-foot-2 switch hitter, Moncada hit .310 against left-handed pitching and .262 against righties, with six of his eight homers coming against lefties. In the second half, over 56 games, Moncada surged to a line of .310/.415/.500 with seven of his eight dingers and 45 stolen bases. -- Devers, 18, finished Monday 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored, giving him hits in 12 of his final 13 games with seven multi-hit games in his last nine contests. Devers, a 6-foot lefty bat, slashed .288/.329/.443 over 115 games with Greenville on the year, with 11 homers, a triple, 38 doubles, 70 RBIs and 71 runs scored. Devers hit .302 against right-handed pitching, including nine of his 11 homers, and .252 against opposing lefties. -- Chavis, 20, finished Monday 1-for-4 with a run and on the season slashed .223/.277/.405 with 16 homers, a triple, 29 doubles, 58 RBIs and 56 runs scored in 109 games played with Greenville. Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2014 draft (26th overall) out of high school in Georgia, Chavis played 39 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2014 in his first professional action. -- Benintendi, 21, went 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI Monday to end a 12-game hitting streak and conclude his 2015 season with a slash line of .313/.416/.556 combined between Short-Season Lowell and Greenville. Over his first 54 games as a professional, Benintendi had 11 homers, four triples, seven doubles, 31 RBIs, 36 runs and 10 steals. In 19 games with Greenville, Benintendi surged to a .351/.430/.581 slash line with four homers and five doubles, going 26-for-74 with 16 RBIs and 17 runs scored. -- Shortstop Javier Guerra (Boston's No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-4 on Monday to end his season with a .279/.329/.449 slash line. The 19-year-old Guerra had 15 home runs on the year, with three triples, 23 doubles, 68 RBIs and 64 runs scored over 116 games with Greenville. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (37-39): L, 9-7, vs. Vermont (A's) -- Right fielder Tyler Hill went 3-for-4 with singles in the second, sixth and ninth innings to give himself hits in all four of his games with Lowell after his late-season promotion from the Gulf Coast League. Hill, 19, played 47 games combined this year and slashed .265/.349/.299 with five doubles, 16 RBIs, 20 runs and 13 steals in 15 attempts. Selected by Boston in the 19th round of the 2014 draft, Hill had played just four games in 2014 in his first year in the organization. -- Second baseman Chad De La Guerra tripled home shortstop Jeremy Rivera in the first inning to give Lowell a 1-0 lead, Guerra's third triple of the season. De La Guerra, 22, finished the year slashing .265/.321/.381 with two homers, 14 doubles, 29 RBIs, 28 runs and four steals. Selected by Boston in the 17th round of this year's draft out of Grand Canyon University, the 5-foot-11 De La Guerra had hits in nine of his last 11 contests. -- RHP Dioscar Romero started and allowed just one run over five innings, striking out five and walking none in a 71-pitch outing. Romero, 20, allowed just five earned runs over his last five starts, a total of 22 2/3 innings (1.98 ERA). On the year, over 14 starts, Romero was 3-3 with a 3.72 ERA as he pitched 58 innings with 36 strikeouts and 28 walks. -- Lowell owner Drew Weber announced that he is putting the team up for sale after 19 years, telling the Lowell Sun that it was a "very, very, very tough decision." The Spinners have a contract with the Red Sox organization through 2016 and with LeLacheur Park for three more seasons. The 70-year-old Weber said a price for the team has not been set, and he did not have a particular buyer in mind.