- Sadly, not all of the minor notes aired this week, but if you keep up with the times SoxProspects.com Twitter account, you have been kept up to date. Apologies for that, but we’ll be back next week with the normal Minor Notes edition next Tuesday.
- However, we didn’t want to leave you without this week’s Pitcher & Hitter of the Week.
Player of the week 5 / 17-5 / 23
1 G, 1-0, 5 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 4 BB, 6 K
Acquired in the minor league part of Draft Rule 5 in December 2019 after undergoing surgery from Tommy John, Espinal was fundamentally new to the system after a minor league system lost in 2020. After winning the SoxProspects.com Launcher of the Week honors his third active week in the system. On Saturday, the 6-foot-3 right-hander had his best start to the season, pitching 5 one-run innings on just two hits with a walk with nine strikeouts, taking the win along the way against Buffalo. The start lowered his season ERA to 4.71 and WHIP to 1.24 while improving his K / 9 to 9.0.
5 G, 20 AB, 9 H, 3 HR, 3 2B, 7 R, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, .450 / .522 / 1.050
It wasn’t just a week of three real results (home run, walk, takedown on takedown), but it was close. In his 20 at-bats this week, 13 of them had one of these results. After being selected in the 29th round of the 2017 draft, power wasn’t an integral part of his game and didn’t necessarily plan to be with an athletic but lean frame. Now at 23, he started the season with five doubles and five homers to go with a 0.313 / 4.68 / 0.729 slash line. However, after hitting over 34% of his home plate appearances in 2019 for Greenville, he continued to show a lot of swing and miss, with a 34% rate again in 2021. Red Sox fans can hope that its high running total (already almost more than its 2019 total) and the newly displayed power can continue to increase its stock. While waiting to see, the 22-year-old can add his batting of the week honors to his trophy case as well as his 2018 New York-Penn League All-Star honors.
Photo credit: Raynel Espinal by Kelly O’Connor