Red Sox minor league roundup: Brian Johnson’s perfect day; Travis Shaw’s glimpse of a possible Fenway future; Xander Bogaerts, on-base machine
|07.28.13 at 2:11 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 10-0 LOSS VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
— PawSox outfielder Bryce Brentz, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, underwent surgery to repair his right meniscus on July 16 that will likely end his year. Thus would end a bizarre and ultimately disappointing year in which the outfielder showed slugging potential but still showed an inconsistent approach that raises questions about the 24-year-old’s future likelihood of being an everyday big league corner outfielder.
— Shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-4 but took a walk, giving him 24 straight games in which he’s reached base. He has 23 walks and 28 strikeouts with Pawtucket. Surprisingly, he’s walking with greater frequency (14.1 percent, compared to 13.5 percent in Double-A) and striking out less often (17.2 percent, as opposed to 19.7 percent in Double-A) than he did in Portland. That ability to demonstrate improved strike zone management against higher level competition will add further fuel to the perception that he is a player who can be challenged by the big leagues — though some team officials continue to caution that Bogaerts would benefit from more development time in Triple-A.
— Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. The 24-year-old feels that he’s made meaningful strides in his offensive approach, as he explained to Rob Bradford.
— Right now, the best hitter in Pawtucket is Alex Hassan. The 25-year-old went 2-for-4 with a double. He’s reached base in 18 straight games, during which he’s hitting .359/.468/.578 with three homers and five doubles.
— Right-hander Brandon Lyon had his best outing since signing a minor league contract with the Sox, tossing a pair of shutout innings while giving up a hit and striking out a batter.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-2 WIN VS. HARRISBURG (NATIONALS)
— In the Futures at Fenway game, Travis Shaw got to showcase the swing that Sox officials have long believed is well-tailored for Fenway Park — albeit in somewhat unexpected fashion. A first baseman who, at his best, exhibits a tremendous ability to let the ball travel deep and then drive it from gap to gap had a landmark game in what has been a challenging month and season, going 3-for-4 with a single, double and homer. Shaw is hitting .226/.343/.408 this season, but he’s still shown power (13) and the ability to work walks (60) even through his season-long struggle. In July, he’s hitting just .183 with a .272 OBP, but he’s turned up the power, going deep six times in 22 games.
— Third baseman Garin Cecchini went 0-for-2 but worked a pair of walks. After four straight games without striking out, he’s walked 20 times compared to 25 whiffs. He also swiped his fifth bag in six attempts in Double-A, giving him 20 steals (in 28 attempts) on the year between Salem and Portland.
— Right-hander Keith Couch continues to perform well in the rotation. The 23-year-old gave up two runs on just two hits (a single and triple) in seven innings of work, punching out three and walking two. In 10 starts, Couch is 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 21 walks in 57 innings while giving up just three homers.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: RAINED OUT VS. FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-3 WIN AT LAKEWOOD (PHILLIES)
— Left-hander Brian Johnson had his second straight dominant outing since a return to Greenville following a lengthy stint on the DL with left shoulder tendinitis. The 22-year-old tossed five perfect innings, striking out four and getting seven groundball outs. He has thrown nine shutout innings allowing just one hit with nine punchouts and two walks in two starts since his return to Greenville, his most dominant outings at any point this year in Greenville.
— Shortstop Jose Vinicio had his third straight multi-hit game, going 3-for-5 to improve to 7-for-15 during the first three contests against Lakewood. He did, however, get caught stealing, ending a stretch of 13 consecutive successful stolen base attempts. The 20-year-old is hitting .228/.265/.293 with 20 steals in 27 attempts this year.
— Catcher Tim Roberson, 23, is offering tremendous run production in Greenville. After going 2-for-5 with a double and driving in three, in 22 games in Greenville, he has 25 RBI, hitting .315/.333/.489 overall but a ridiculous .480/.462/.920 in 26 plate appearances with runners in scoring position.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 2-1 WIN AT CONNECTICUT (TIGERS)
— Right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz, the 19-year-old whom the Sox selected in the second round this year, had his second straight perfect outing in his pro debut, recording two innings without allowing a hit or walk. In three innings, his line features zeroes straight across, as he has yet to strike out a batter.
— Right-hander Sergio Gomez, 19, continues to show the ability to generate strikeouts (he punched out five in 4 1/3 frames), allowing him to work around a slew of baserunners. Gomez allowed seven hits and two walks but still managed to escape perpetual traffic jams having permitted just one run. He has a 2.09 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 10 walks in 38 2/3 innings. He has not elicited a groundball out in either of his last two appearances.
— Right-hander Joe Gunkel, a third day Red Sox draft pick this year, had his best pro appearance, throwing 2 2/3 perfect innings while punching out four. In 7 2/3 shutout innings with Lowell, Gunkel has allowed just one hit, walked three and punched out 10.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: RAINED OUT
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 6-3 WIN VS. DSL ATHLETICS
— Colossal left-hander Dedgar Jimenez added to his strong resume in his pro debut, tossing six innings in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while punching out four and walking one. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder has a 42-to-6 strikeout-to-walk rate this year along with a 1.60 ERA.
— Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-5 with a double. The 17-year-old leads the DSL Sox in slugging (.399) and extra-base hits (13), strong marks in a league where the average slugging percentage is .315.
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