Michael Chavis hit 18 home runs in 95 games for the Red Sox after his promotion to Boston this year. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Michael Chavis joined the major leagues April 20 and his production kept him there.

Darwinzon Hernandez is getting a handle on his control, becoming a needed arm in the Red Sox bullpen.

The Boston farm system, thinned in recent years, still supplies the big-league team with quality talent.

Nearly every spot in the lineup – save for J.D. Martinez’s place as DH – is manned by a graduate of the farm system.

If only the farm could have sprouted the two most needed positions – starter and closer.

Overall, the farm featured more successes – in terms of expectations – than failures. Other players are hovering in a wait-and-see mode.


* Infielder Michael Chavis, who added second base to his résumé, hit 18 home runs in 95 games but has been shelved recently with injuries. Will he prove to be the real thing or a flash in the pan? Remember Will Middlebrooks’ rookie season in 2012 – .288, 15 homers and 54 RBI in 75 games – and his subsequent, drastic drop-off?

* Pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez, the hard-throwing lefty, became the only member of the 2019 Sea Dogs to reach Fenway Park (debut on April 23). The concern with Hernandez were his walks (five in one game against the Rangers). He was sent down to Triple-A before arriving for good in Boston in mid-July. Since then, he has 43 strikeouts and 17 walks in 23 1/3 innings.

Bryan Mata, just 20 years old, was promoted to Double-A Portland this season. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

* Bryan Mata is another of the promising pitchers in the system, giving hope that the Red Sox will be able to develop a major league starter for the first since Clay Buchholz. Mata had his healthiest season (105 innings) and featured some dominant games in Double-A – along with some inconsistent ones. Mata does not turn 21 until next May. His potential, with a four-pitch mix that includes a mid-90s fastball, is huge.

* Tanner Houck still may be a starting pitcher after a flirt with the bullpen in Pawtucket the second half of the season. His improving change-up could be the key to add to his impressive fastball/slider combo.

* First baseman Triston Casas was a first-round draft pick out of high school. Casas, the 26th overall pick in 2018, was pushed to low Class A Greenville this year. Casas got off to a slow start but then kept getting better, finishing with .254 with 19 home runs. Casas, who turns 20 in January, could see Portland next summer.

* Bobby Dalbec, a corner infielder, will beat Casas to the majors. In 2018, Dalbec batted .257/.919, with 32 home runs and 176 strikeouts. This year, at a higher levels – Portland, then Pawtucket – Dalbec hit .239 with 27 home runs and 139 strikeouts. Next step: How well will Dalbec do against major league pitching?

* Infielder C.J. Chatham missed a month with a sore hamstring, but was otherwise consistent (.298) at Portland before moving up to Pawtucket. Five of his 20 games in Triple-A were at second base, a spot he should more time at.

* Outfielder Jarren Durran batted .387 at Salem, forcing a promotion to Portland in his first full pro season. He scuffled – his average was .208 on July 20, before raising it to .250. With his speed and mature approach at the plate, Duran could even contend for the majors by later next season.

The above players and pitchers should all reach the big leagues, with Boston or someone else.


* Pitcher Jay Groome has thrown seven innings in 2019, so far, and there is great rejoicing. The first-round draft pick in 2016 (No. 12 overall), pitched only 14 games in 2017 and none in 2018, recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s pitching for short-season Lowell, which is in the playoffs, and may get one more outing. If Groome can stay healthy, he may be able to show why Boston had so much faith in drafting him so high.

* Pitcher Kyle Hart is the crafty lefty who keeps getting results. He was promoted from Portland to Pawtucket (3.86 ERA). Now, will Boston be patient with his development?

Left-hander Daniel McGrath posted the Eastern League’s lowest ERA in 34 years while with the Portland Sea Dogs this summer. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

* Pitcher Daniel McGrath was the surprise of the minors with the best Eastern League ERA (1.68) in 34 years. It was strange that he was not promoted to Pawtucket until September.

* Pitcher Denyi Reyes is on the 40-man roster but stayed in Portland all year (4.16 ERA). He showed improvement, but the clock is ticking.

* Pitcher Travis Lakins was to start as an “opener” for Boston on Saturday. He made 10 previous big-league appearances (4.70 ERA) with mixed results.

* Pitcher Mike Shawayrn also made his majors debut this season. He had an 0.90 ERA through six games, but was hit hard his next two and sent back down.

* Pitcher Trevor Kelly gets the underdog role for reaching the majors as a 36th-round draft pick. Dominant in Triple-A, his one MLB game featured three runs in one inning.

* Pitcher Eduard Bazardo dominated in the Salem bullpen and eventually did the same in Portland – his last 14 2/3 innings scoreless (six hits, 17 strikeouts).

* Pitcher Thad Ward recorded a 2.14 ERA in his first full pro season, between Greenville and Salem, striking out 157 in 126 innings. He should be in Portland next year.

* In Lowell, pitchers Noah Song (1.06 ERA), Chris Murphy (1.08) and Yusniel Padron-Artilles (2.67) all stood out. Song and Murphy were 2019 draft picks. Padron-Artilles, drafted in 2018, pitched six, one-hit innings in Lowell’s second playoff game last week. He also struck out 14 – including the first 12 batters he faced.

* Lowell center fielder Gilberto Jimenez (.359, .863 OPS) looks like he has all the tools.


* Lefty reliever Bobby Poyner reached the majors last year with a 3.22 ERA in 20 games. He was ineffective in three early appearances and spent most of the year in Pawtucket. Poyner made his fourth appearance Friday and pitched a perfect inning (two strikeouts) for Boston.

* Reliever Durbin Feltman was supposed to be on the fast-track to Fenway. He stalled in Portland this season (5.26 ERA/1.42 WHIP).

* When reliever Matthew Gorst was promoted to Portland last year, he pitched 20 scoreless innings. He could not repeat that this year, with a 4.62 ERA.

* Starter Alex Sherff spent a second year in Greenville, but struggled with a 4.83 ERA/1.60 WHIP. He is only 21 and 2019 was his second pro season.

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