The Boston Red Sox farm system is filled with talent, but that does not guarantee success for the minor league affiliates. In Brandon Magee‘s DSL Red Sox recap, he details the ups and downs of the rookie league team’s 2015 season.
Much like the Gulf Coast League, the structure of the Dominican Summer League makes it difficult to proclaim superiority. With 38 teams in 5 separate divisions and limited interdivision play, the best teams in each division may not play each other during the regular season.
The Red Sox, for the first time in their history in the DSL, fielded a pair of teams in the league. Both teams fielded younger than average teams in both offense and pitching. However, one was a division champion and the other finished 25 games out of the race. In our final report on the minor league teams of the Red Sox, we take a look at two seasons, one good and one less good.
The Division Champions
DSL Red Sox 2
Overall Record: 45-26
Placement : 1st (San Pedro de Macoris Division) – 1/2 Game ahead of DSL Blue Jays
Playoffs : Lost 2-0 to DSL Yankees 1 in Semi-Finals[/box]
For the third consecutive season, the Red Sox fielded a division champion in the Dominican Summer League, as the Red Sox 2 won the Division title thanks to having one fewer game count over the course of the season than the Blue Jays (an early season contest was declared forfeit for reasons unknown and is not counted in the final record). However, dreams of championship glory were quickly derailed as they lost in the Semi-Finals to the Yankees 1, who ended up with the wild card into the playoffs despite winning the second most games (52) in the league.
The Red Sox were led by their pitching staff, who put up a 2.98 ERA, good for third in the league. Consistent with the ERA, the staff was also in the top ten in the league in hits, home runs, and wild pitches (in addition to runs and earned runs). The teams WHIP of 1.29 was tenth in the league as was their 2.26 strikeout to walk ratio.
The starting staff was particularly stout. Four of their five primary starters (Darwinzon Hernandez, Yorvin Pantoja, Victor Garcia and Denyi Reyes) had ERAs below the team’s average of 2.98. The bullpen contributed as well, with Victor Diaz and Jervis Torrealba picking up a combined ten wins and ten saves in 41 appearances.
The offense was consistent with only 15 players making appearances in the field for the Red Sox. Seven of the 15 players played at least 62 of the 72 games played with Stanley Espinal making an appearance in every game.
The offense was middle of the pack in the DSL, finishing the season with a .259/.344/.341 line. The Sox did finish fifth in the league in triples with 37, eighth in the league with 77 hit by pitches and just missed the top ten in stolen bases, finishing the season with 113.
DSL Red Sox 1
Overall Record: 28-44
Placement: 8th (of 10) in Boca Chica South Division – 25 Games Back of DSL Giants[/box]
While the Red Sox 2 were the top team in their division, the Red Sox 1 wallowed in the bottom of the Boca Chica South. However, their record is reflective of the division they were in, where the Giants (with 53 wins) and Yankees 1 (52 wins) dominated the division. Of the ten teams in the division, seven finished at least 19 games back of the division winning Giants.
That being said, the team was not very good. The offense put up an anemic .224/.311/.295 line, landing in the bottom four offenses in the league. A sure sign of their offensive problems shows up when looking at intentional walks in the league. While the Red Sox 2 led the league with ten intentional base on balls, the Red Sox 1 were one of three teams that was not given one. The team was not able to crack the top ten in any offensive category.
The Red Sox 1 also played only 15 men in the field during the season, with nine playing at least 50 games in the field. Marino Campana joined Stanley Espinal in participating in all 72 games of the DSL season.
The pitching staff was only slightly better than the hitting, ranking sixth worse in the league with an ERA of 4.26. The team was in the bottom five in hits allowed (657) and home runs (32). However, there was a glimmer of hope for the youthful Sox staff, whose average age of 17.8 years was the youngest in the league. The team walked just 219 batters, which ranked in the top five fewest in the league. The few walks also led them to be in the top 10 in K/BB ratio with a 2.37.
In our next installments, we will look at the individual players who drove the DSL offenses and the pitching staffs.