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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Why Travis Shaw is driving his father nuts; Jackie Bradley Jr. on the board; Christian Vazquez is scorching

07.18.12 at 12:13 pm ET
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Salem first baseman Travis Shaw launched his 14th homer of 2012 on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy Salem Red Sox)

Travis Shaw will not expand the strike zone. It frustrates opposing pitchers. It frustrates … his father.

“He drives me nuts sometimes. He’s so patient at the plate,” said Jeff Shaw, who spent parts of 12 years in the big leagues and made two All-Star teams as a closer. “He doesn’t get fooled a whole lot. He tries to back guys into corners, get into counts where he puts good wood on the ball.”

On Tuesday night, Shaw accomplished both things for High-A Salem. In five plate appearances, he walked a career-high four times (once with the bases loaded to force in the game-winning run) and made the one ball he put in play count.

Shaw went 1-for-1 with a three-run homer. The homer was his 14th of the year. It came off a right-hander, giving seven homers each against lefties and righties. The left-handed Shaw has actually enjoyed starting success this year against left-handed pitchers, hitting .355/.430/.688/1.118 against them; against righties, he’s hitting .290/.406/.491/.897.

In his first full pro season, Shaw is not hitting .309/.413/.549/.962 with 53 walks in 88 games. He embraces the idea that patience has been a foundational element of his success.

“That’s something that’s always come naturally,” he explained. “It’s always been a part of my game, having a really good eye and being disciplined at the plate. Sometimes it looks like I’m too passive. I know I’ve been labeled that before. But I don’t consider myself passive. I consider myself extremely selective and disciplined.”

NOTE: Both Travis Shaw and Jeff Shaw will be guests this week on Down on the Farm, the weekly look at the state of the Red Sox farm system, on WEEI 93.7 FM and WEEI.com on Sunday morning from 8:30-9 am.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-3 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)

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Juan Carlos Linares continued his roll, going 3-for-4. He’s now hitting .480 (12-for-25) with a walk, a double, a triple and two homers in his last seven games.

–Though Alex Hassan hasn’t shown the power that a team would typically want to see from a corner outfielder, he continues to show a grinding, professional approach at the plate. He went 1-for-2 while taking a walk and being hit by a pitch on Tuesday, giving him a team-best .387 OBP that ranks fifth in the International League. He’s reached base in 25 straight games in which he’s had at least one plate appearance, hitting .301/.448/.410/.857 in that time.

– Right-hander Chris Carpenter turned in an impressive second outing in Pawtucket, tossing a perfect inning that featured two strikeouts. According to PawSox play-by-play man Aaron Goldsmith (via twitter), Carpenter’s fastball was 95-97 mph.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-0 WIN VS. READING (PHILLIES)

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Jeremy Hazelbaker went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two steals and two walks. The outfielder has now reached base in seven consecutive plate appearances. The three hits matched a season high, while the five times on base represented a new season high.

Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-4 with walk, a steal and his first Double-A homer. He now has four homers and 43 extra-base hits this year.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-4 WIN AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES)

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– Daily “Christian Vazquez is on fire” update: 3-for-5, sixth homer of the year, fifth homer in last 22 games. In that span, he is hitting .375/.468/.663/1.131 with 13 extra-base hits. The 21-year-old is now hitting .271/.356/.396/.752 for the season.

Xander Bogaerts returned to the lineup after missing two games following the ball he took off his face on an attempted force play. He went 0-for-5.

Sean Coyle went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. The walk was just his second in 22 second-half games, though he has shown better numbers thus far in the second half, hitting .280/.302/.366/.668 in 22 games, compared to a line of .211/.285/.343/.628 in the first half.

Michael Almanzar went 1-for-5 with his second homer in as many games. He now has seven for the year.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 5-0 LOSS AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES)

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– Left-hander Henry Owens allowed two runs on five hits (including a homer) in four innings, striking out six and walking none in the process. He continues to lead the minors with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s shown plenty of swing-and-miss stuff, though one interesting element of the 19-year-old’s season (he turns 20 on July 21) is that he’s given up a ton of fly balls, including seven homers in 72 2/3 innings. His 0.66 groundout-to-flyout rate is the second-most extreme flyout rate in the South Atlantic League.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 3-2 WIN AT TRI-CITY (ASTROS)

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– Right-hander Justin Haley, the Red Sox’ sixth-round pick this year, continued to enjoy a strong start to his pro career. He tossed three shutout innings, allowing just one hit, walking none and striking out three. It was his third straight scoreless appearance; he’s struck out nine and given up just one run and two hits in 8 1/3 innings.

– Though William Cuevas gave up his first homer of the year, he continued his string of excellent outings. He earned the win by allowing two runs in six innings. For the year, the 21-year-old has a 1.69 ERA with 33 strikeouts and just nine walks in 32 innings. Opponents are hitting .221 against him, an accurate reflection of some of the poor swings that opponents have been taking against him.

ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 4-3 WIN (10 INNINGS) AT GCL RAYS

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Kolbrin Vitek went 1-for-4 with a single and walk in his third rehab game in the GCL. He’s now 2-for-8 with a double and two walks in three contests.

Nathan Minnich, who was sent down from Lowell to the GCL this week, went 4-for-5 with a double. He was one of the Sox’ senior draftees, an eighth-rounder who won Division 2 Player of the Year honors.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 5-4 LOSS AT DSL PIRATES

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Manuel Margot went 2-for-4 with a triple and a steal (his 17th) while driving in two. It was his first multi-hit game in 15 contests.

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