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Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts is heading to Pawtucket

06.13.13 at 12:49 pm ET
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It’s time.

On Wednesday, Xander Bogaerts drove in the only two Portland runs of the double header while collecting two of Portland’s eight total hits. Bogaerts went 2-for-6 with a walk. The remarkable 20-year-old now is hitting .311 (10th in the Eastern League) with a .407 OBP (6th) and .502 slugging mark (10th). He is performing at a dominant level in Double-A, despite his status as the youngest position player in the league.

With Jose Iglesias remaining on the big league roster, there’s a vacancy at shortstop in Pawtucket, and so the Sox — after having front-office deliberations this week about whether or not to promote the top prospect in their system — will indeed unveil him in Triple-A tonight (weather permitting), according to multiple Red Sox sources.

And with good reason. Bogaerts is the first Eastern League player at age 20 or younger to have a slash line of .300/.400/.500 since 1999, when Nick Johnson hit .345/.525/.548 as a 20-year-old. Joe Mauer did not match Bogaerts’ rate stats; nor did Anthony Rizzo or Grady Sizemore or Adrian Gonzalez or Jose Reyes when they performed in the Eastern League.

Bogaerts had shown everything he had to demonstrate at the level. It is time, once again, for the precocious 20-year-old to be challenged, this time one stop short of the big leagues.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: OFF

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-2 LOSS (8 INNINGS), 1-0 LOSS VS. ERIE (TIGERS)

(BOX GAME 1, BOX GAME 2)

– Though right-hander Miguel Celestino suffered the loss in the first game of the doubleheader, he threw well, allowing one run on two hits and a walk in three innings while striking out four. The 23-year-old, who features high-90s velocity, has allowed two runs in his last 7 2/3 innings (2.35 ERA) while punching out 11 and walking two, a stretch that suggests that, after struggling with his results at the start of his transition from the rotation to the bullpen, Celestino might be getting to a point of comfort in his new role. On the year, he has a 6.37 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 17 walks in 35 1/3 innings.

– Right-hander Jeremy Kehrt, in his first start after 10 relief appearances, allowed just one unearned run in six sharp innings of work in which he gave up three hits, walked none and struck out six. The 27-year-old continues to put up outrageous groundball numbers, with 3.15 groundouts per flyout in Portland and 3.05 groundouts per flyout on the year (including his 11 innings in Triple-A Pawtucket).

– Though Anthony Ranaudo has not pitched since June 4, when he allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings, he is not injured, according to a Red Sox source. Instead, he’s simply getting a normal mid-season breather through a skipped start. The 23-year-old has thrown 59 1/3 innings thus far this year.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 9-5 LOSS VS. WILMINGTON (ROYALS)

(BOX)

– Outfielder Keury De La Cruz went 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, recording his eighth multi-hit game during the torrid stretch. The 21-year-old is hitting .477/.489/.659 in his last dozen games, with six doubles and a triple. While he has yet to repeat his home run prowess of a year ago, when De La Cruz launched 20 homers at age 20, he is leading the Carolina League with 23 doubles.

– Shortstop Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double against top Royals pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer. While it was a strong game for the 22-year-old, his overall numbers in his month since returning from the DL have not been strong. In 25 games, he’s hitting .238/.280/.297 with six extra-base hits — all doubles — in 108 plate appearances. His low strikeout total (16) suggests hand-eye coordination and bat-to-ball skill, but at this point, Marrero appears to be putting little charge into his swings.

– Right-hander Noe Ramirez logged three shutout innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out two. On the year, in 41 1/3 innings, he has a 2.40 ERA with 37 strikeouts and eight walks.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 10-5 LOSS AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES)

(BOX)

– Shortstop Jose Vinicio has scuffled in his first return for a second season at Greenville, posting a .185/.235/.255 line in 51 games. His struggles have intensified as of late. After an 0-for-4 night on Wednesday, the 19-year-old going 5-for-his-last-35 and failing to knock an extra-base hit in his last 12 games. Vinicio isn’€™t getting on base via free passes either; he hasn’€™t drawn a walk in 13 contests, working only eight walks this season while striking out 47 times. Vinicio’€™s batting average hasn’€™t risen above .200 in well over a month, and he hasn’€™t gotten more than one hit in a game since May 24.

– Hard-throwing 20-year-old Francellis Montas, whose last win came back on April 29, only went four innings for his third start in a row, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks while fanning six. Montas was the victim of a high pitch count, forcing him out of the game after a 30-pitch fourth inning in which he allowed two runs on three hits and a walk.

A wild pitch in the first inning allowed the first run of the game to score. Montas held the RiverDogs to only one run through his first three, but came unraveled in the fourth, leaving balls up in the zone and getting hit hard.

In his last three outings, he’€™s thrown 70 or more pitches while going exactly four innings in each outing. Montas remains 1-5 on the year, while his ERA is up to 5.82 through 12 starts. The right-hander’€™s ERA has not fallen below 5.00 since his second start of the season.

Austin Maddox, who relieved Montas in the fifth, had a rough outing, giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits, including three home runs, in five innings of work. Maddox was forced to go the distance to save a bullpen that had been overworked, with the Drive having to play five games over the course of three days. Maddox, who has made seven starts and appeared in relief five times, has been tagged for 50 runs in his 50 1/3 innings pitched, allowing a league-leading 12 home runs. Maddox received the loss, his fifth of the year, and the 2012 second-rounder’ ERA rose to 8.23 on the season.

– Right fielder Aneury Tavarez went 2-for-4 on the day with a RBI and two runs scored. Tavarez clubbed his team-leading fourth triple of the year, raising his slugging percentage to .402 on the season. The 21-year-old has been on a hot streak over the past couple weeks, batting .313/.353/.563 in June.

– The Drive are conducting an auction of game-worn “Boston B Strong” jerseys — the same model worn by the Red Sox in their first home game following the Boston Marathon Bombings — with all proceeds going to support One Fund Boston. To check out the auction, click here.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 WIN VS. DSL INDIANS

(BOX)

– Shortstop Javier Guerra went 3-for-4 with three doubles, with the 17-year-old snapping a four-game hitless streak in which he was 0-for-11 but with six walks.

Read More: aneury tavarez, anthony ranaudo, austin maddox, deven marrero
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