|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Brandon Jacobs mashing, Jose Iglesias walking, Daniel Bard striking, Chris Carpenter hitting 100||07.24.12 at 10:26 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox’ farm system on Monday …
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-1 WIN AT LOUISVILLE (REDS)
– Daniel Bard blitzed through a 1-2-3 inning in which he pumped eight of 11 pitches for strikes, the last a 95 mph fastball for a strikeout. The outing was Bard’s second scoreless effort in as many days, and offers further evidence that he is regaining his ability to throw strikes consistently. He now has four straight outings in which he’s thrown more than half of his pitches for strikes, and in his last three (dating to Thursday), he’s thrown 67 percent of his pitches for strikes. His three straight scoreless appearances represent his longest run since going to the minors.
– Reliever Chris Carpenter‘s arm appears to be healthy. According to Pawtucket play-by-play man Aaron Goldsmith (via twitter), Carpenter hit 100 mph during his scoreless inning.
– Jose Iglesias went 1-for-4 but with a pair of walks, marking the second straight game in which he took two free passes. It is the first time in his career that Iglesias has walked multiple times in consecutive games. In fact, entering 2012, he’d walked two or more times just twice — both in 2010 (once in Lowell, once in Portland). This year, he’s taken two walks in four games. His gains are still modest — his OBP is now .305 — but they show a 22-year-old whose approach at the plate is improving from year to year.
– Alex Hassan reached base all five times he stepped to the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk and getting hit by a pitch. He has a .390 OBP for the year (fourth best in the International League, tops on the PawSox), and a .444 mark in July.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-4 WIN (11 INNINGS) AT TRENTON (YANKEES)
– Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-3 with his second homer and three walks, his most walks since getting to Portland. He now has 15 extra-base hits in 33 games in Portland. Bradley also stole his sixth base in Double-A, giving him 22 steals for the year.
– Bryce Brentz went 3-for-5 with his second double and second walk in as many days. Before Monday, he was just 4-for-32 (.125) with one double and three walks in his previous eight games.
– Pete Hissey had his third straight two-hit game, going 2-for-5 with his first homer of the year. It was just his fourth professional homer; he’s never hit more than two in a season. That said, the 22-year-old’s .393 slugging percentage this year is easily his best as a pro. His previous high is .347 with Greenville in 2009.
– Jeremy Hazelbaker went 1-for-5 while blasting his seventh homer in 12 games since the All-Star break.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 11-5 WIN VS. MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
– Brandon Jacobs went 3-for-5 with a double and a homer. He’s now hitting .319/.388/.514/.901 this month. On the season, the 21-year-old is hitting .284/.340/.444/.784 with nine homers and 12 steals, though he has some odd splits to get to that point. While he did his damage against right-hander Roman Mendez (formerly of the Sox) on Monday, he’s hitting just .247/.296/.366/.662 against righties, as compared to eye-popping marks of .397/.466/.679/1.145 against lefties. Also, even though he plays in an extreme pitcher’s park, he’s hitting .324/.400/.515/.915 at home, and .254/.290/.390/.680 on the road.
As such, it’s difficult to know precisely what to make of Jacobs’ season beyond this: He’s capable of impacting the game with his bat and on the bases. His game could still use overall refinement, but in a worst-case scenario, he projects as a big league platoon player with the potential to be a viable starting outfielder. While he’s mostly played left, he has played some center field this year, thus increasing the value of his potential offensive contributions.
The Sox have a crowded long-term outfield picture. Jackie Bradley Jr. almost certainly isn’t going to be traded, and so the team features Brentz, Jacobs and Keury De La Cruz (along with more advanced players like Ryan Kalish and Daniel Nava) as a next wave of outfield talents that appears capable of either helping the Sox by moving up the ladder or by being used in a trade. The fact that Jacobs is playing extremely well this month will only increase his potential value as a chip.
– Michael Almanzar went 3-for-3 with a double, homer and HBP, the second straight game in which he’s reached base in all four of his plate appearances. He’s amidst his best stretch of the year — and indeed, his pro career — going 14-for-30 (.467) with four homers, three doubles, six walks, a .568 OBP and .967 slugging percentage in his last eight games.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 5-0 WIN AT ASHLAND (ROCKIES)
– Blake Swihart went 1-for-4 with a homer, his third of the month and sixth of the year. July continues to be the switch-hitting catcher’s best offensive month, as he’s hitting .298 with a .355 OBP (his best in any month thus far), .561 slugging mark (again, his best such total) and .916 OPS.
– Garin Cecchini went 1-for-2 with a double and his 33rd stolen base of the year. He’s hitting .336/.427/.467/.895 in 28 games since the All-Star break.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: RAINED OUT
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 3-0 WIN AT GCL RAYS
– Right-hander Ellis Jimenez tossed six shutout innings in which he struck out seven and walked none. For the year, the 20-year-old has 21 strikeouts and just two walks in 28 innings.
– Jeremias Pineda went 2-for-4 while driving in a pair of runs. He now has a 10-game hitting streak during which he’s hitting .381/.395/.548/.943.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 WIN AT DSL MARLINS
– Catcher Alixon Suarez went 1-for-4 with a triple, his third of the year. He has 16 extra-base hits in 39 games this season, including five (two doubles, two triples and a homer) in his last five games.
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