|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Brandon Workman and Frank Montas overpowering their levels||07.10.12 at 10:09 am ET|
A quick look at Monday’s action in the Red Sox farm system, highlighted by a pair of very strong performances from two hard-throwing right-handers:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: DAY OFF FOR ALL-STAR BREAK
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-0 LOSS AT TRENTON (YANKEES)
– Jeremy Hazelbaker‘s first-inning double was the only Sea Dogs hit of the game.
– Right-hander Stolmy Pimentel was scheduled to start on Monday, but was scratched late. Sea Dogs play-by-play man Mike Antonnelis reported (via twitter) that the scratch was not injury-related.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 7-0 WIN VS. FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
– Right-hander Brandon Workman was overpowering, punching out nine in six shutout innings. The only hit he allowed was a second inning single, on a day when he walked two, elicited six groundball outs in addition to his nine punchouts. Workman now has a 2.94 ERA this year (fifth best in the Carolina League among qualifying starters), his 1.02 WHIP is tied for third-best in the league, and in his last eight starts, he is 5-2 with a 2.06 ERA, and he’s striking out nearly a batter an inning (8.2 per nine) with a strikeout-to-walk rate of 4.4:1. He’s pitched at least six innings in each of his last six starts. On the year, opponents are hitting just .223 against him.
Workman is a bit older than the typical prospect in the Carolina League, as he will turn 24 next month. Though he spent all of last year in Greenville, he faced elite competition in college while pitching at the University of Texas, and he’s now holding his own as the most consistent Red Sox starter this year in Salem. In other words, there is a compelling case to be made that he should be promoted to Double-A in order to get a better read on his ability to perform in a more age-appropriate context.
– Travis Shaw went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and a homer, his 13th of the year and his first in 13 games. The first baseman has struggled a bit at the start of the second half, hitting .246/.350/.435/.785 in 18 games since he took MVP honors for the Carolina League team in the Cal League-Carolina League All-Star Game, but he’s showing signs of emerging from that, having gone 10-for-30 in his last seven games. He continues to rank in the top five in the league in average (.314, 5th), OBP (.407, 5th), slugging (.555, 1st), OPS (.963, 3rd), homers (13, tied-3rd) and RBI (66, tied-1st).
– Daily “Christian Vazquez is on Fire” update: 2-for-3, homer (5th of the year), walk. He’s now hitting .263/.351/.381/.732, marks that are close to the league average of .258/.330/.392/.721. The fact that Vazquez is still just 21 and a catcher means that the overall shape of his season is now impressive, particularly given his defensive abilities. When Rich Hill made his tour of the minor leagues, he singled out Vazquez as a catcher with whom he loved to work.
– There is little question that Michael Almanzar has shown significant improvement in his second stint in Salem, something that continued Monday when he went 1-for-4 with his fifth homer of the year. After hitting .182/.223/.245/.469 in the Carolina League in 2011 (earning a demotion back to Greenville for the second half), his line there this year is .296/.341/.436/.776. Still, the Red Sox signed him to a $1.5 million bonus in 2007 for what appeared to be his tremendous power potential. To date, even as he’s been much better at the plate this year, there hasn’t been enough power to earn him prospect status, at least to this point.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: OFF
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 10-2 LOSS AT BATAVIA (CARDINALS)
– Supplemental first-rounder Pat Light made his pro debut, giving up two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one in a pair of innings of work.
– Rehabbing shortstop Jose Vinicio went 0-for-4 in his second game in Lowell.
– Deven Marrero, serving as DH with Vinicio at short, went 1-for-4 with a double, continuing a recent string of improved performances. He’s 7-for-16 in his last four games with three doubles.
– The Spinners have now lost 11 straight.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 1-0 LOSS AT GCL ORIOLES
– Frank Montas continued his excellent start in the GCL, tossing four shutout innings in which he punched out four, walked two and did not allow a hit. The 19-year-old with the high-90s fastball now has a 1.38 ERA, 14 strikeouts, five walks and a .114 batting average against in 13 innings this year. He hasn’t permitted a run in three of his four outings. Lefties are 0-for-10 against him.
– J.B. Wendelken, a 13th-round pick by the Red Sox in the 2012 draft, made his pro debut, tossing a scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts.
– Iseha Conklin went 1-for-3. After striking out nine times in his first 10 at-bats, the 19th-rounder is now 5-for-15 with just three strikeouts in his last five games.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 4-1 WIN VS. DSL METS
– Right-hander Keivin Heras allowed one run on one hit and three walks (tied for a season high) in three innings. He took a no-decision, and is now 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA this year. He has yet to give up more than one run in any of his seven outings.
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