Red Sox minor league roundup: Alex Hassan raking; Keury De La Cruz drives in everyone; Daniel McGrath strikes out everyone; Manuel Margot, Tzu-Wei Lin ahead of the curve
|07.14.13 at 2:10 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox system on Saturday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-1 LOSS VS. ROCHESTER (TWINS)
— Alex Hassan continued his excellent performance in Triple-A, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk. In 25 games, the 25-year-old now is hitting .337/.439/.542. His pitch selection/recognition and ability to hit line drives has allowed him to hit for outstanding average and OBP, traits that have been consistent throughout a minor league career that has seen him hit .291/.399/.443. Those abilities were sufficient to land him a spot on the Red Sox 40-man roster this offseason, and Hassan represents a meaningful depth option capable of giving the Sox competitive at-bats to maintain right-handed lineup depth should injury warrant it.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-2 LOSS, 6-0 LOSS AT BINGHAMTON (METS)
— Catcher Christian Vazquez went 2-for-3 with a double to extend his hitting streak to seven games in the first game, but followed that with an 0-for-3 performance while behind the plate in the second game. Vazquez continued a season in which he’s had a relatively consistent approach but streaky results. He’s currently amidst a 10-game hot streak that has seen him hit .357/.386/.452.
— Corner infielder Michael Almanzar went 0-for-5 with a walk in the doublehader, and the 22-year-old is just 3-for-32 in his last eight games. After a promising power surge (11 homers through 52 games to start the year), Almanzar has now gone 35 games without going deep, a stretch during which he’s hitting just .232/.300/.320. His line on the year has dropped to .268/.331/.446.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 3-1 WIN VS. POTOMAC (NATIONALS)
— Outfielder Keury De La Cruz had an excellent plus/minus rating on a day when he went 2-for-3, drove in three runs and cut down another with an outfield assist at the plate. De La Cruz pulled a two-run RBI single to right and later delivered another run with a single to left. Though he’s struggled in July (.205/.286/.295), the 21-year-old still ranks second in the Carolina League with 66 RBI, a reflection of his season-long excellence with runners in scoring position (.368/.413/.560). With the bases empty, De La Cruz is hitting just .219/.256/.325.
— Shortstop Deven Marrero snapped a two-game hitless stretch (0-for-7) by going 2-for-4 with a double. The 22-year-old is hitting .329/.415/.402 in 21 games since the All-Star break.
— Starter William Cuevas had a strong outing, allowing just one run in five innings while scattering seven hits, walking two and striking out five. The 22-year-old would have gone out for the sixth inning, but a rain delay led to the end of his night. Though he got off to a rough start to the year, Cuevas has been the most consistent Salem starter over the last month, going 4-0 with a 3.24 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 14 walks in 41 2/3 innings while averaging roughly six innings per outing.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 1-1 GAME SUSPENDED (5 INNINGS) DUE TO RAIN
— Though the performance is not yet official pending completion of the game on Sunday, starter Luis Diaz continued his strong work in Greenville. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed just one unearned run on three hits in five innings, striking out five and walking none. He now has 49 strikeouts and 13 walks in 52 innings this year, and he’s worked at least five innings in all but one of his starts this season. His ERA sits at 2.77.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-4 WIN VS. JAMESTOWN (PIRATES)
— Outfielder Manuel Margot, 18, had his third straight two-hit game in which he reached base three times, going 2-for-4, getting hit by a pitch and recording his ninth steal of the season. Margot, who started the year just 4-for-9 in stolen base attempts, has now swiped five straight bases in the last three games without getting caught. His nine steals rank fifth in the league, while he is also in the New York-Penn League’s top 25 in average (.282) and OBP (.366) — noteworthy accomplishments given that he is the youngest position player in the league.
— Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin snapped a five-game, 0-for-18 stretch by going 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The 19-year-old had walked five times during his hitless stretch, showing an approach that, in combination with his speed, suggests potential leadoff ability. On the year, Lin is now hitting .241 with a .347 OBP, .349 slugging mark and seven extra-base hits (five doubles, two triples) in 22 games.
— Right-hander Jonathan Aro continues to perform well in his role as a piggyback starter. He allowed one run in four innings while striking out three and refusing to issue a walk to earn the win on Saturday. In six games this season with Lowell, the 22-year-old has a 1.88 ERA with 25 strikeouts and just five walks in 24 innings.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS (6 INNINGS) VS. GCL TWINS
— Impressive left-hander Daniel McGrath gave up just three hits in five innings, but two of them were solo homers (the first two homers he’s permitted this year), resulting in his first professional loss. Still, McGrath once again showed the ability to deliver a surprising number of innings given his workload restrictions, authoring his fourth straight five-inning outing, and he punched out seven while walking one. In 20 innings this year (tied for second most in the GCL), he has a 1.35 ERA (fifth best in the GCL), 30 strikeouts (most in the GCL), six walks and a 0.70 WHIP (third lowest in the GCL) while holding opposing hitters to a .129 average (lowest in the GCL).
McGrath, who turned 19 earlier this month, is making his pro debut after signing last spring with the Sox. As a 6-foot-3 left-hander with a three-pitch mix (high-80s to low-90s fastball, curveball, changeup) that he can throw for strikes, he presents a different look than most hitters in the GCL have ever seen, with the dominating results to show for it. He’s recorded half of his outs by strikeout.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 7-4 LOSS AT DSL INDIANS
— Shortstop Javier Guerra had his second straight three-hit game and his fourth of the year, going 3-for-4. The 17-year-old from Panama, who was hitting .154/.330/.231 through 24 games, is now on a hot streak that has seen him hit .476/.542/.476 in his last six contests. On the year, he leads team regulars with a .372 OBP.
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