|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Bryce Brentz bashing to the finish, Stolmy Pimentel fights his splits, Dioscar Romero rolls||08.23.12 at 1:02 pm ET|
A quick look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday, highlighted by a huge performance by slugger Bryce Brentz in Portland . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: OFF DAY
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-2 WIN AT NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
– Bryce Brentz went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers, a double and four runs batted in. In 15 games in August, he’s now hitting an even .400 with a .446 OBP, .700 slugging mark and 1.146 OPS. All three of his extra-base hits came against lefties, continuing a season in which most of Brentz’s power numbers have come against southpaws. He’s hitting .302/.359/.629/.989 with 11 homers against lefties, and .286/.350/.424/.774 with six homers in nearly three times as many at-bats against righties.
– Stolmy Pimentel tossed six innings in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four and walking two. It was his first road win of a season in which he has featured almost inexplicable home/road splits. In Portland, he is 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA. On the road, he is now 1-6 with a 7.35 ERA. The culprit? Homers: At home, he’s allowed one in 54 2/3 innings; on the road, he’s given up eight in 49 frames.
– Michael Olmsted had a scoreless inning that included a strikeout. He’s now thrown 16 innings in Double-A without permitting an earned run, striking out 25 and walking four in the process.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 5-3 WIN AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
– Michael Almanzar went 2-for-5 with a double, improving his line this year to .302/.355/.467/.822. His performance this year is such a dramatic departure from anything that preceded it that it’s somewhat difficult to know what to make of it — whether it indicates a late-blooming prospect whose leap forward is sustainable or something of a flash in the pan. One talent evaluator recently noted, however, that when looking for late-blooming prospects, the profile of tall, lanky sluggers sometimes fits the bill. It can be more difficult for such players to sync up their swings on a consistent basis than it is for smaller players with fewer moving parts. Almanzar, a 6-foot-3 21-year-old, certainly fits that description. Still, his huge performance in 2012 will simply mean that his 2013 season — when he presumably will make it up to Double-A — will serve as a season to indicate whether he can maintain his considerable gains of what has been an unexpectedly impressive 2012 season.
– Right-hander Keith Couch became the first 10-game winner in the Carolina League by throwing seven innings in which he allowed one run on three hits while striking out two and walking one. In his last seven starts, he’s averaging 6 2/3 innings an outing with a 1.76 ERA. He’s struck out 32 and walked just seven over 46 innings in that stretch.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-1 LOSS VS. AUGUSTA (GIANTS)
– Blake Swihart went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in the second game of the double header, giving him seven for the year. The 20-year-old switch-hitter has been hitting for average and power since his return from the DL, hitting .320/.320/.520/.840 with a homer and two doubles in seven games.
– Keury De La Cruz went 3-for-7 with a double and his 19th homer of the season in the doubleheader. His month-by-month OPS: .932, .939, .895, .849, .882. He’s endured some of the typical decline of a player in his first full professional season, yet he’s continued to impact the ball over the course of it, and so he has not been knocked backwards while hitting the proverbial while that often greets a 20-year-old in his first full pro season with an affiliate. He now has 60 extra-base hits in 111 games.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 3-2 WIN (11 INNINGS) AT ABERDEEN (ORIOLES)
– William Cuevas continued his spectacular performance in Lowell, giving up just one hit in 6 2/3 shutout innings while striking out five and walking one. The 21-year-old is now 7-2 with a 1.36 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 14 walks in 66 2/3 innings. His fastball (often in the low-90s, touching as high as 95), curveball and changeup combination has also been that of a prospect. Opponents are hitting just .207 against the Venezuelan.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS AT GCL RAYS
– Sergio Gomez, two days shy of his 19th birthday, allowed two runs on three hits in five innings while striking out six and walking one. He has an impressive 56-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 57 1/3 innings this year in the GCL en route to a 2.83 ERA. Opponents are hitting .210 against the right-hander — including a surprisingly low mark of .117 by left-handers.
– Cleuluis Rondon went 1-for-4 with his sixth triple of the year. It was just the second extra-base hit of the month for the shortstop, who got off to a terrific start but who has seen his numbers erode steadily as the season has progressed. In 15 games in August, he’s hitting .143/.228/.224/.453.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 6-1 WIN AT DSL YANKEES
– Manuel Margot went 2-for-4 with a homer, his fourth of the year and his first in 40 games (dating to July 5), while also drawing a walk. The center fielder is having a terrific August, hitting .329/.430/.457/.887 with six extra-base hits in 19 games this month. At 17, his combination of performance and tools at a middle-of-the-field position has made him the most impressive Red Sox position prospect in the DSL this year.
– Dioscar Romero continued his recent dominant run, tossing five shutout innings while striking out five and walking none. He’s walked one or no batters in each of his last seven starts, a span during which he has a 0.50 ERA with 29 strikeouts and five walks in 35 2/3 innings. He hasn’t given up an earned run in any of his last four starts.
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