Red Sox minor league roundup: Bryce Brentz mashing (and walking); Mookie Betts achieves absurdity against lefties; Salem’s strikeout machines
|04.29.14 at 12:42 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Monday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-2 WIN AT LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
— Bryce Brentz continued a torrid run production stretch, going 1-for-4 with a homer and a walk. The 25-year-old is starting to combine extra-base pop with an ability to take walks, with a .340/.400/.566 line with five walks and 11 strikeouts in 15 games since April 14. All three of his homers have come against lefties. His 12 walks in April are tied for the third most in any month of his career (career-high: 15 in August 2012 in Portland).
— Outfielder Daniel Nava wasted no time feeling sorry for himself after being sent down. Nava, who played center field on Monday, added to his strong Pawtucket run by going 2-for-4 with a double and walk, improving to .333/.421/.600 in four games.
— Right-hander Allen Webster struck out just one batter but threw strikes with 63 percent of his 82 offerings and got loads (specifically, 10) of groundouts in permitting one run on five hits in six innings. The 24-year-old has a 2.78 ERA for the year, though just 4.7 strikeouts per nine innings (compared to 4.2 walks per nine).
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 8-6 WIN VS. READING (PHILLIES)
— Feats of Mookie: Relentlessly terrorizing left-handers. Mookie Betts went 1-for-2 with a double, two stolen bases and three walks, with all but one of those plate appearances (a walk in the eighth inning) coming against left-handers. As silly as his year-long line is (.407/.459/.651), his marks are even more absurd against lefties. The 21-year-old is crushing southpaws to a .517/.600/.793 line with six walks and ZERO STRIKEOUTS in 35 plate appearances against lefties.
Betts has now reached base in all 20 Sea Dogs games he’s played in this year and in 50 straight regular season contests dating to last year in Salem. In 124 minor league games since last May 5, around the time that he made a change in his stance from a significant leg kick to more of a stride in Single-A Greenville, he’s hitting .358 with a .435 OBP, .572 slugging mark, 16 homers, 44 steals (in 48 attempts), 68 walks, 53 strikeouts and 65 extra-base hits across three levels.
That is a performance of a potential star, the type of player whom the Red Sox aren’t going to trade. Read more on Betts and the position/trade questions here. For Betts’ take on the situation, and the story of Sox scout Danny Watkins‘ pursuit of Betts, click here for the Minor Details podcast.
— Sean Coyle, serving as DH, collected a hit in his only plate appearance before leaving the game with what the Portland Press-Herald described as a hamstring injury. The 22-year-old is off to a spectacular start (.316/.381/.474), but a hit by pitch that cost him a few games last week and this hamstring injury will contribute to the perception that he has difficulty avoiding injuries. In his three full pro seasons, he’s averaged just 94 games a year.
— Shortstop Deven Marrero went 1-for-2 with three walks and a steal. Like Betts, he continues to pulverize lefties. Marrero, 23, is hitting .293/.379/.379 overall, and .333/.500/.467 against lefties.
— Right-hander Mike McCarthy threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits (two singles and a double) with no walks and two strikeouts. He threw 57 of 83 pitches (69 percent) for strikes. The 26-year-old writes a column in the Bakersfield Californian that sheds light on the human condition of life in the minors. Read his latest column here.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 11-8 WIN VS. WINSTON-SALEM (WHITE SOX)
— Though left-hander Corey Littrell gave up a season-high three runs, he did so over six innings while permitting just three hits, striking out seven and walking two. For the season, the 22-year-old (who was taken in the fifth round of last year’s draft) has a 2.60 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 10 walks in 27 2/3 innings. He’s logged six innings in three of his five starts.
— Kyle Martin, 23, punched out two more batters in a scoreless ninth and now has an astounding 26 punchouts (14.3 per nine innings) and two walks in 16 2/3 innings.
— Kevin Heller, who entered Monday in a 1-for-17 funk, rebounded with a 3-for-3 night in which he homered, doubled and walked. It was the 24-year-old’s first homer of the year and his fifth in 84 professional games.
— Left-hander Brian Johnson was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week following his six shutout inning effort over the weekend. Johnson leads the league with 33 strikeouts (25 2/3 innings).
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