Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts and Garin Cecchini, on-base machines; Matt Barnes avoids a scare; Deven Marrero streaking
|07.07.13 at 1:00 pm ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Saturday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS AT ROCHESTER (TWINS)
— Jackie Bradley Jr., after an uncharacteristic stretch in which he walked just twice in 11 games from June 22 to July 2, appears to have recalibrated his approach to get on base with more typical frequency. He went 1-for-2 with three walks on Saturday, and now has walked five times in his last three games. Bradley is hitting .300/.397/.539 for the year.
— Xander Bogaerts likewise continues to show an impressive ability to reach base in his first exposure to Triple-A. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, and has now walked once in each of his last eight games — a span in which he’s hitting .333 with a .500 OBP. He hasn’t had any extra-base hits in that run, and indeed, hasn’t had any extra-base hits in 10 straight games, but much as was the case in Double-A Portland, when Bogaerts hit for average and got on base at a strong rate while adapting to the fact that the league was feeding him a heavy diet of breaking balls. The 20-year-old is currently hitting .250 with a .355 OBP and .400 slugging mark in 22 games in Triple-A.
— Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 1-for-4 with an RBI single. He’s hitting .293/.369/.621 in Triple-A this year, including .346/.414/.846 with runners in scoring position.
— Right-hander Steven Wright extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 2/3 with seven shutout innings in which he gave up just two singles. He walked three and struck out six to drop his ERA to 3.81. Over his last five starts, he has a 1.80 ERA while averaging seven innings per start. He has not allowed a home run in that stretch.
— Outfielder Bryce Brentz has been on crutches since Friday due to what one team source characterized as soreness in his left knee.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 9-4 LOSS VS. NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
— Right-hander Matt Barnes took a line drive off the wrist from the first batter of the game, suffering what was described based on his initial exam as a contusion. “Hopefully, it looks worse than it is,” Barnes told the Portland Press-Herald of the bump on his wrist.
— Among full-season affiliates at any level — minors or majors — third baseman Garin Cecchini now has the highest OBP in all baseball thanks to a scorching stretch in Double-A. In his first 14 games with Portland since his promotion, the 22-year-old — who went 3-for-4 with a double on Saturday — is now hitting .412 with a .524 OBP and .588 slugging mark, smacking seven extra-base hits (six doubles and a homer) in seven games. Against lefties, the left-handed Cecchini has a staggering .556/.652/.778 line; four of his seven extra-base hits have come against southpaws.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 7-2 LOSS AT CAROLINA (INDIANS)
— Shortstop Deven Marrero extended two streaks while seeing another get snapped. He went 1-for-3 with a single, a walk and a steal, and he’s now reached base in 17 straight contests. He’s also a perfect 13-for-13 in stolen bases. During that stretch, he’s hitting .303 with a .403 OBP and .379 slugging mark along with seven steals in as many attempts. He did, however, commit an error, his second of the year and his first in 30 games.
— Outfielder Henry Ramos went 1-for-5 while blasting his eighth homer of the year, matching his career-high established last year in Greenville, and he’s on track to set career-bests in OBP (.347) and slugging (.431). The 21-year-old currently has an 11-game hitting streak during which he’s hitting .340/.353/.511.
— Matt Price may be making a case for a promotion at some point this year to Double-A. The right-hander, who turns 24 on Monday, turned in his fifth straight scoreless appearance on Saturday, and has now given up just one run in his last 12 appearances (12 2/3 innings) with 15 strikeouts and six walks in that span. During the stretch, opponents are hitting .143/.265/.190 against the 2010 eighth-rounder.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 3-0 LOSS, 3-1 WIN VS. SAVANNAH (METS)
— Though right-hander Justin Haley permitted five walks for his second straight start, he gave up just one hit in five shutout innings. Since returning to the rotation in late May, Haley has given up one or no earned runs in five of his seven starts with a 2.31 ERA in that time. In 39 innings during the run, the big right-hander has allowed just two homers and five doubles en route to a .221/.335/.305 opponents’ batting line.
— Right-hander Luis Diaz, 21, overpowered an opposing lineup for the third straight start, allowing one run in a complete-game, seven-inning effort in the nightcap. He permitted three hits, walked one and struck out six. In his last three starts, Diaz has allowed two runs on nine hits and four walks in 20 innings while punching out 21, sitting in the low-90s with his fastball and touching the mid-90s.
— Mookie Betts went 2-for-6 with a walk in the doubleheader, more or less par for the course for a 20-year-old whose .420 OBP is fourth in the South Atlantic League.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 4-3 WIN AT TRI-CITY (ASTROS)
— Second baseman Cleuluis Rondon launched a ninth-inning grand slam to transform a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 win for the Spinners. It was the 19-year-old’s first homer in 64 games with U.S. affiliates (he hit two homers in the Dominican Summer League in 2011). The switch-hitter now has a six-game hitting streak during which he’s 10-for-22 (.455). He’s driven in nine runs during the stretch.
— Right-hander Joe Gunkel, a 21-year-old taken in the 18th round out of West Chester University, earned his first pro win by tossing two shutout innings in which he allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 6-5 LOSS AT GCL TWINS
— Second baseman Wendell Rijo, who bypassed the DSL to make his pro debut this year in the Gulf Coast League as a 17-year-old, had his strongest game to date, going 2-for-3 with a double (his first extra-base hit) and a walk. Rijo, the son of a scout, was considered unusually mature by the Sox, to the point where he could handle an aggressive first-year assignment in the States. In 10 games, he’s hitting .212 with a .381 OBP, walking as many times (8) as he’s struck out while swiping four bases in five attempts.
— Red Sox third-rounder Jon Denney continued the strong start of his pro career, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. He’s now reached base in five of his eight pro plate appearances (three hits, two walks).
— Third baseman Jantzen Witte, drafted this year as a senior out of Texas Christian University, went 2-for-4 with a double and triple while driving in four. In his first 10 games, he had just one extra-base hit and three runs batted in.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 1-0 LOSS VS. DSL ASTROS
— Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-4, his ninth multi-hit game of the year. The 17-year-old from Venezuela is holding his own in the DSL, hitting .253/.358/.440 with 15 walks and seven strikeouts in 25 games.
— Luis Ramos, an 18-year-old left-hander, continued to show an ability to attack the strike zone. He gave up just one unearned run in five innings, walking none and striking out three. On the year, he now has 17 punchouts and two walks in 28 innings spanning six starts while forging a 1.61 ERA.
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