|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Sox finally unveil Mercedes; Bogaerts does it again; Hill on the rehab trail||08.24.12 at 12:10 pm ET|
A brief synopsis of the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 2-1 LOSS AT CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)
– Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who was 0-for-14 in his first three games after being optioned back down to the minors, has shown a better approach in recent days. He went 1-for-3 with a walk on Thursday, and is now 3-for-11 with three walks in his last four games. Still, it has been a difficult run for Kalish in Triple-A. In the second half of the season, he’s hitting .190/.261/.238/.499.
– Rehabbing left-hander Rich Hill tossed a scoreless inning in which he permitted one hit, got a pair of groundouts and threw seven of 12 pitches for strikes. It was the first of back-to-back games for Hill, who has now made four straight scoreless appearances across three minor league levels.
– Zach Stewart threw a season-high seven innings while permitting two runs on four hits (including a homer) with four strikeouts and no walks. In 11 starts for Pawtucket (since the Sox acquired him for Kevin Youkilis), he has a 3.94 ERA with 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings and just 2.1 walks per nine innings.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 14-9 WIN AT BINGHAMTON (METS)
– Xander Bogaerts blasted his fourth homer in 13 Double-A games, and his third to the opposite field. He was then hit on the forearm in his second at-bat, but according to the Portland Press-Herald, while he had a bump from the drilling, he expects to return to the lineup soon. The youngest position player in the Eastern League is now up to 19 homers in 117 games this year.
– Travis Shaw, who entered the game in a 2-for-26 slump, delivered his first three-hit game in Double-A, going 3-for-5 while tying a franchise record with three doubles. Of Shaw’s 16 hits in Portland, 12 have been for extra-bases, with 11 doubles and a home run.
– Jeremy Hazelbaker went 4-for-6 with a double and a triple. Since June 1, he’s hitting .293/.355/.524/.879 with 33 extra-base hits in 69 games. That run over the past three months has brought his 2012 numbers (.271/.338/.465/.803 with 17 homers and 33 steals) roughly into line with his 2011 line (.269/.360/.445/.805 with 17 homers and 47 steals) in Portland.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: CANCELLED AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS) DUE TO RAIN
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-3 WIN VS. ASHEVILLE (ROCKIES)
– Keury De La Cruz, on almost a nightly basis, continues to be the standout performer in Greenville this year. He went 2-for-4 with a double and a steal, giving him 61 extra-base hits (including 19 homers) and 19 steals (in 26 attempts) this season. His 61 extra-base hits are the most in the South Atlantic League. With one more homer and one more steal, De La Cruz would become the first Red Sox minor leaguer since George Lombard in 2005 (at the age of 29) to have a 20/20 season.
– Garin Cecchini went 0-for-4 but stole a base, his 44th (in 48 attempts) this year. He has 10 games remaining to get the six steals needed to reach 50.
– For the first time since June 30, left-hander Miguel Pena threw six innings in a game. He worked around seven hits (one homer) to allow three runs (two earned) while striking out three and walking none. After giving up three homers in his first 16 outings with Greenville, the 21-year-old has now permitted three in his last three starts.
– This is a great story about the most significant thing to happen in Thursday night’s game in Greenville.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 8-7 WIN AT ABERDEEN (ORIOLES)
– Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a triple, walk and his 22nd steal of the year (a total that is second in the New York-Penn League). Marrero, who turns 22 on Saturday, is enjoying perhaps his best stretch of the year, as in his last 10 games, the first-round pick is hitting .368/.455/.500/.955.
– Second baseman Mookie Betts continues to show a solid approach at the plate as well as solid defensive and baserunning tools. The 19-year-old — the youngest position player on the Lowell roster — went 1-for-2 with a walk and a steal on Thursday. He’s now hitting .271/.339/.299/.638. Though he has just six doubles, that likely reflects the reality of being a teenager who is less developed physically than others in the league. He continues to demonstrate a good approach — and good production — with runners in scoring position, a circumstance in which he’s hitting .404/.470/.442/.912.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 10-4 WIN VS. GCL RAYS
– Second baseman Mike Meyers went 4-for-5 with two doubles, continuing a ridiculously hot stretch that has seen him go 18-for-32 with a .563/.611/.813/1.424 line over his last 10 games. Meyers leads the GCL Sox in average (.321), slugging (.464) and OPS (.838).
– Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon went 3-for-5 with a double for his first multi-hit game since July 19. The 18-year-old has 16 extra-base hits in among his 41 hits.
– Catcher Beau Bishop went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game as a professional. In 16 games, the former New Zealand softball star is hitting .189/.232/.208/.440.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 6-2 LOSS VS. DSL YANKEES
– Simon Mercedes, a 6-foot-4 20-year-old out of the Dominican who agreed to sign with the Sox in February for an $800,000 bonus, made his professional debut after more than six months waiting for Major League Baseball to conclude its background investigation and to make the deal official. (Mercedes had previously been caught changing his name and date of birth, resulting in multiple years of ineligibility to sign.)
Though Mercedes was, unsurprisingly, somewhat rusty in his first pro game, his fastball registered at 94-95 mph, and he flashed the power stuff with a secondary pitch (a curveball) that convinced the Sox to sign him this year. He tossed four shutout innings, permitting four singles, striking out four and walking two.
– Center fielder Manuel Margot continued his offensive binge. He went 3-for-4 (accounting for 60 percent of his team’s hits) with a steal, and in his last 10 games, he’s hitting .405/.500/.571/1.071. On the season, the 17-year-old is hitting .285/.382/.423/.805 with 21 extra-base hits, 36 walks and 25 strikeouts. His 33 steals are the third most in the DSL.
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- Cup of Coffee: Montas strikes out eight in Greenville loss
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