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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Jackie Bradley Jr., Deven Marrero and the value of drafting on track record

06.27.12 at 1:45 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley was selected by the Red Sox with the No. 40 pick of the 2011 draft. (John Corneau / Lowell Spinners)

One Red Sox executive was discussing the phenomenal pro debut of Jackie Bradley Jr. recently, on a day when first-round pick Deven Marrero was working out at Fenway Park after signing his first pro contract.

“Same exact thing,” the official said, alluding to the fact that the Red Sox looked beyond the struggles of both players in their college junior years, when their offensive numbers represented disappointments in the months leading up to the draft.

The Sox believed in Bradley’s track record as one of the best college performers around in his freshman and sophomore seasons, a player who had established himself as capable of dominating in the spotlight at the College World Series, and someone who’d been outstanding for Team USA after his sophomore season. The junior year struggles, prior to a wrist injury that wiped out much of his late season, seemed more like an aberration than a red flag, leaving the Sox thrilled with the opportunity to take him with the No. 40 overall pick in the draft. Marrero was a top high school talent, top college performer at Arizona State and one of the top prospects in two wood-bat settings, both with Team USA and in the Cape League. The Sox likely trusted that broader body of work than some junior season struggles when they tabbed him as their top pick in the 2012 draft, with the No. 24 overall selection.

On Tuesday, both players offered reminders of their skills as they continue their adjustments to new levels, Marrero to pro ball with Lowell, Bradley to the upper levels with Portland.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-0 LOSS VS. CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)

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– In his first Triple-A game since being sidelined by a lower back injury in late-May, Jose Iglesias went 0-for-5 while grounding into a double play. He played all nine innings at shortstop.

Mauro Gomez went 2-for-3 with a double, his fifth multi-hit game in his last six contests. The slugging first baseman is eighth in the International League in average (.304), second in slugging (.600) and sixth in OPS (.966).

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-3 LOSS (13 INNINGS) VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS)

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– Here is what happened in Jackie Bradley Jr.‘s seven plate appearances:

1) 3-2 walk (6 pitches)
2) 3-2 strikeout (7 pitches)
3) 3-2 walk (7 pitches)
4) 1-2 single (5 pitches)
5) 3-2 walk (7 pitches)
6) 2-2 single (6 pitches)
7) 3-2 groundout (7 pitches)

It would appear safe to suggest that Bradley is comfortable hitting with two strikes, something that reflects a decision he made following his freshman year of high school to achieve a sort of mastery over hitting with two strikes. To hear more about that, listen to this podcast.

Six games and 29 plate appearances into his Double-A career, Bradley is hitting .360 with a .448 OBP, .520 slugging mark, .968 OPS, two doubles, a triple and three walks.

Bryce Brentz was 0-for-2 but with a career-high four walks. Typically known as a free-swinging slugger, Brentz now has eight walks in his past eight games after receiving just 17 free passes in his first 62 contests of the year.

– In his third relief appearance, Chris Balcom-Miller took the loss, allowing a pair of runs on four hits, including a homer. Since his move to the bullpen, he has allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings while allowing eight hits and four walks. He’s struck out four.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (13 INNINGS) AT WINSTON-SALEM (WHITE SOX)

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Sean Coyle went 2-for-5 with a double and a walk, the second time in five second half games that he has reached base three times. He’s now 7-for-16 with three doubles and a walk during a four-game hitting streak, promising signs for a player who entered the year as one of the Sox’ top young position prospects but who struggled to a line of .211/.285/.343/.628 in the first half.

Brandon Jacobs, meanwhile, is 1-for-15 with seven strikeouts in his last four games, continuing struggles that have engulfed his month of June. Though he has four homers this month, his line is just .214/.283/.405/.688. That said, in 84 at-bats, he has just 17 strikeouts (roughly one out of every five at-bats), compared to April, when he struck out 28 times in 84 at-bats (one of every three ABs). As such, at least until his recent swing-and-miss issues, there is likely some bad luck involved in his struggles this month, a notion that is backed by the fact that he’s cleared the fences four times after having done so just once in the first two months of the year.

Travis Shaw went 1-for-3 with three walks and a double, continuing a month in which opponents are working around him with increased frequency at a time when he’s hitting everything for extra bases. He had 23 walks and 35 strikeouts in the first two months of the year; in June, he has 18 walks and 13 strikeouts. More notably, in six games since the All-Star break, he has seven walks and just one punchout entering Wednesday.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 3-2 LOSS AT ROME (BRAVES)

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Noe Ramirez permitted two runs over six innings and once again attacked the strike zone, punching out four and walking one. In his first pro starts, he has 15 punchouts and three walks in 20 innings, with a 2.70 ERA in that time. He did allow his second homer.

Garin Cecchini, who endured a slump late in the first half that featured an uncharacteristically high number of strikeouts and low walks total, seems to have regained his approach in recent days. He went 1-for-3 with a walk on Tuesday, improving to 9-for-25 with five walks and three strikeouts during his six-game hitting streak.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 10-5 LOSS AT TRI-CITY (ASTROS)

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Deven Marrero continued to impress while serving as a DH in the first few days of his pro career. He went 1-for-4 with his first homer, and he’s now 6-for-12 in his first three pro contests.

– One day after he struck out in all four at-bats, Kendrick Perkins showed the ability to move quickly past a bad game. He went 1-for-2 with a homer (his second of the year) and a walk on Tuesday, thus improving to 9-for-15 for the year when putting the ball in play.

ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: RAINED OUT

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 12-6 LOSS VS. DSL METS

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Robert Del Rosario went 1-for-3 with his second homer in as many games and his third in his last four contests. He’s an older player for the DSL (19 years old, and turning 20 next month), but even so, he’s hitting. He has an eight-game hitting streak in which he’s 13-for-36 (.361).

Read More: brandon jacobs, bryce brentz, deven marrero, jackie bradley jr. Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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