It’s been the season that many had hoped for out of Sean Coyle following his breakout campaign in his first full season as a pro with Greenville in 2011.
After battling through the struggles and injuries of the last two seasons, his numbers with Portland this season are a vast improvement, but despite the pick-me-up that the middle infielder has provided himself this season, his attitude coming into the year had not wavered.
“I kind of always play with a chip on my shoulder and have that kind of attitude and bring that wherever I am,” Coyle said. “To come out and experience a little bit of success at the beginning of the year this year was definitely something that was uplifting.”
Last season the infielder was held to only 60 regular season games after dealing with elbow, knee, and hand injuries.
Coyle missed High-A Salem’s first round of the playoffs as well, but returned for the Carolina League Championship, helping to guide the Sox to a title run with seven RBIs over three games, earning series MVP honors and more importantly some positive momentum heading into the offseason.
“I think things kind of clicking in the playoffs and tasting that success kind of got the ball rolling into the offseason,” said Coyle, Boston’s 2010 third-round pick. “I didn’t take too much time off. I went right in and started getting after some things. I had a lot of stuff that I really wanted to work on, had a good plan and executed it.”
In working with Portland hitting coach Rich Gedman, Coyle was able to maintain that momentum coming into the 2014 season, resulting in a .317 batting average, 12 home runs, 20 doubles, 51 RBIs, 51 runs, and 13 stolen bases on 14 attempts over 78 games.
Those numbers helped Coyle earn an Eastern League All-Star nod and a spot on the Team U.S.A. roster in the Futures Game held during MLB’s All-Star weekend.
Now, he and his Sea Dogs teammates are looking to closeout a highly successful season as a group, looking to nail down the club’s first playoff appearance since 2008.
“We have a bunch of guys that pick each other up and have good attitudes,” said Coyle. “We just got to keep the ball rolling.”
Henry Owens – The Portland starter picked up his 14th win on Tuesday night, setting a single season team record. Owens also became the first 14 game winner in all of professional baseball this season.
Squeezing the system
Pawtucket (AAA) – Since returning from Boston on July 20, Mookie Betts is hitting .325 with seven RBIs and seven runs in nine games. On Tuesday, he had a seven-game hit streak snapped.
Portland (AA) – Not only did Owens became the game’s first 14-game winner on Tuesday night, but his team became the first to 70 wins. The Sea Dogs currently maintain a five-game lead over Binghamton (Mets) in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division.
Salem (A+) – Starter Pat Light went a season-high seven innings for his fifth win on Sunday. In his last six starts, the former first-rounder is 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while holding opponents to a .219 batting average.
Greenville (A) – Outfielder Franklin Guzman went 4-for-4 on Tuesday night, the first four-hit performance of his career. Since being promoted from Lowell he is hitting .294 with six extra base hits, six RBIs, and 11 runs in 14 games.
Lowell (Short Season A) – Slick-fielding shortstop Mauricio Dubon earned New York-Penn League Offensive Player of the Week honors after putting up a hitting line of.444/.429/.667 thanks to five multi-in seven played. He added two home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs.
Gulf Coast (Rookie) – Michael Chavis, Boston’s first round selection this past June, has hit safely in his last three games. The 18-year-old shortstop has struggled in his debut run, hitting just .135 in his first 16 games as a pro.
Dominican (Rookie) – With a 36-14 record, the DSL Sox hold a four-game lead in the Boca Chica South Division with 22 games to play. Outfielder Raiwinson Lameda stole three bases on Tuesday to bring his season total to eleven.