Boston Herald

Red Sox promote Shane Drohan, Marcelo Mayer

David Hamilton develops skills

- By Gabrielle Starr

It's hard to imagine anyone having a better start to the season than Shane Drohan had with the Portland Sea Dogs.

One of the organizati­on's strikeout leaders in 2022 with Greenville, the 24-year-old lefty earned a promotion out of spring training and dominated Double-A, going 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA over his first six starts of the year with Portland.

In the blink of an eye Drohan went from relative obscurity to arguably Boston's top pitching prospect, and the club wasted no time promoting him to Triple-A after he proved himself ready for a bigger challenge.

But the road to the big leagues isn't easy and it certainly isn't always smooth, lessons Drohan quickly learned upon his arrival in Worcester.

His first two starts at Triple-A did not go well. Through 7 ⅔ innings he has allowed 10 earned runs while allowing six walks and four home runs to go along with just seven strikeouts.

Some adjustment­s to the higher level will clearly be necessary, but even with the rocky Triple-A debut Drohan has given fans a lot to be excited about. With Brayan Bello now in the majors and most of the club's other near-MLB starting pitching prospects struggling, Drohan's massive uptick in velocity and his impressive new cutter have turned him into a serious weapon.

All he needs is some more refining and it's not a stretch to imagine he could make an impact in Boston as soon as next season.

Since coming to the Red Sox in the Hunter Renfroe trade, David Hamilton had already distinguis­hed himself with his base-running. The speedy infielder tied Jacoby Ellsbury's organizati­onal record with 70 stolen bases at Double-A Portland last year and he's kept on running since being promoted to Triple-A.

But he's also proven he can be more than just a burner.

Hamilton has taken tremendous strides at the plate and so far ranks as Worcester's top allaround run producers. The 25-year-old currently leads the team with 11 home runs to go along with 25 RBI, an .854 OPS and 25 stolen bases in 44 games.

Bobby Dalbec has also shown off his power stroke with 10 homers in Worcester, including a mammoth 515-foot bomb earlier this week, and outfielder Wilyer Abreu has continued making progress with seven home runs, 21 RBI and an .854 OPS.

Things have not gone as smoothly for Boston's top pitching prospects in Worcester. Brandon Walter (6.80 ERA) and Chris Murphy (8.35) have gotten hit hard and Bryan Mata (5.61) was struggling before going down with right shoulder inflammati­on earlier this May.

Double-A: Robbery spree

Stolen bases and home runs abounded for Portland in May, and they head into June 30-15, standing firmly atop the Northeast division.

The Sea Dogs lead all of Double-A with 96 stolen bases, and own the top of the individual standings in the metric. Corey Rosier (22), Ceddanne Rafaela (20), and Phillip Sikes (19) rank first, second, and tied for third, respective­ly. Rafaela recently set a new organizati­onal record when he stole six bases in a single game.

Portland set a new team record for stolen bases last season (171), including 70 swipes by David Hamilton. Collective­ly, they're on track to set a new mark this year.

Brian Van Belle has impressed this spring, leading the pitching staff with a 2.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, and Chih-Jung Liu already has a teamhigh 50 strikeouts. Shane Drohan's 1.32 ERA and 36 strikeouts earned him a promotion to Triple-A earlier in the month.

Triple-A: Hamilton more than a speed demon

High-A: Coffey, Troye mowing hitters down

Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan are obviously the two highest profile prospects playing in Greenville right now. Mayer (7 HR, .897 OPS) has been crushing the ball lately, which just earned him a promotion to Double-A Portland, and Jordan (6 HR, .847) has looked pretty dominant, too.

While they don't boast the same level of name recognitio­n, some of Greenville's pitchers are starting to demand attention themselves.

Right-handers Issac Coffey and Christophe­r Troye have posted prepostero­us numbers recently, striking out batters at a shocking rate. Coffey, a starter, currently boasts a 2.89 ERA with 61 strikeouts against only seven walks over 43.2 innings. Troye, a reliever, has averaged more than two punchouts per inning with 36 and a 1.56 ERA over 17.1 innings.

Coffey has now posted back-to-back outings with six scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts, but incredibly he hasn't been alone. Fellow Greenville starter Angel Bastardo has 53 strikeouts in 38 innings and Wikelman Gonzalez is now up to 54 in 32 innings after striking out 12 over 5.1 innings on Saturday.

Low-A: Hot starts cool down

After a strong April, No. 2 prospect Miguel Bleis struggled in a limited May. In just 11 games, the outfielder hit .167 with a .463 OPS, though his plate discipline was somewhat improved.

Likewise for Luis Ravelo. The infielder played a bit more in the second month of the season, but saw his batting average drop from .295 to .240 and strikeouts nearly double. His slugging percentage fell by nearly 80 points, but he still leads the roster with three home runs, and his 14 RBI in May topped the roster.



Chacon and Roman Anthony shined in May. Chacon led the team with 21 hits, including three doubles and a pair of triples in 21 games, as did Anthony's six doubles. Fellow outfielder Allan Castro led the offense with 16 walks, just one shy of his strikeout total.

Jose Ramirez was the clear standout on the pitching staff this month. His 21 2/3 innings (4 starts), 1.66 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP led the team's qualified pitchers.

 ?? PHOTO COURTESY PORTLAND SEA DOGS ?? Red Sox prospect Chase Meidroth has gotten off to a fantastic start since being selected as a fourth-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
PHOTO COURTESY PORTLAND SEA DOGS Red Sox prospect Chase Meidroth has gotten off to a fantastic start since being selected as a fourth-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

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