Red Sox minor league roundup: Rafael Devers continues to dazzle; Travis Shaw’s power show
|07.09.14 at 12:09 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Tuesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-3 WIN (10 INNINGS) AT COLUMBUS (INDIANS)
– Allen Webster matched a season-high with four walks, yet managed to work around some of his control difficulties (he threw 59 percent of his season-high 108 pitches for strikes) along with a seven-hit yield that included a homer to limit Columbus to two runs in seven innings. The outing reflected what has been Webster’s improved game management in 2014 — he’s pitched seven or more innings three times this year after doing it just once in Triple-A last year. The 24-year-old recorded 12 outs on the ground and six more via strikeout.
– For the first time since May 14, Drake Britton threw a perfect inning, getting a fly out and two ground outs while throwing 13 of 17 pitches (76 percent) for strikes. The improved result represented a potential building block for the 25-year-old, though he has now gone five straight outings without a strikeout.
– Though he is experiencing an adjustment to Triple-A pitching that has resulted in a considerable shift of his strikeout-to-walk numbers, Travis Shaw is showing considerable power of late — including on Tuesday, when he went 1-for-4 with his seventh Triple-A homer and a walk. Starting with a game in which he homered and doubled on June 19, Shaw is now hitting .270 with a .317 OBP, .608 slugging mark, six homers and 12 extra-base hits in his last 19 games. The control of the strike zone that he demonstrated in Double-A prior to his promotion (29 walks, 23 strikeouts) hasn’t been evident thus far in Triple-A (11 walks, 46 strikeouts), but the 24-year-old has shown an ability to punish pitches over the plate.
Between Portland and Pawtucket, the 2011 ninth-rounder now has 18 homers for the year — tied for ninth in all of the minors.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: RAINED OUT AT BINGHAMTON (METS)
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 7-6 LOSS (10 INNINGS) VS. FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
– Versatile infielder Mike Miller went 3-for-4 for his third straight multi-hit game while extending his hitting streak to eight games. During the run, Miller is 16-for-29 with a .552/.639/.724 with five doubles, six walks and no strikeouts in 38 plate appearances. For the year, he’s hitting .345/.418/.403.
– Left-hander Cody Kukuk logged just two innings before a rain delay ended his night. The 21-year-old allowed five hits (all singles) and a walk while striking out two; he yielded two runs.
– Catcher Jordan Weems went 3-for-5 with a double, and the 21-year-old now has three extra-base hits in his first 10 contests in Salem after collecting six in 50 games with Greenville prior to his promotion.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-3 LOSS AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES)
– One day after he turned 20, Daniel McGrath gave up two homers (matching a career high) and issued four walks, but still managed to keep the game under control. The left-hander permitted three runs in five innings while punching out four and getting eight groundball outs. In 10 starts in Greenville, McGrath has a 3-4 record and 3.53 ERA with 6.7 strikeouts and 4.2 walks per nine innings.
– Right-hander Jonathan Aro threw three scoreless innings, allowing three hits walking none and punching out three. In 22 games, the 23-year-old has a 1.75 ERA, 10.2 strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-4 LOSS (WALKOFF) AT VERMONT (ATHLETICS)
– Rehabbing right-hander Simon Mercedes tossed three innings and allowed two runs on six hits (including a double and triple) while walking one and striking out one. Mercedes has gotten groundballs in volume this year, but the 22-year-old has failed to exhibit the anticipated dominance that seemed possible this spring, when he was sitting at 94-95 mph and topping out at 100 with two swing-and-miss secondary pitches. In 13 games between Salem and Lowell, he has a 3.93 ERA with 8.0 strikeouts and 4.1 walks per nine innings.
– Right-hander Pat McAvoy, the Sox’ fourth-round selection out of Bryant University, tossed two scoreless innings in his pro debut, allowing two hits (both singles), walking no one and striking out a batter. A number of Sox officials raved about McAvoy’s stuff during his junior season, noting that while he typically worked at 91-94 mph with very good sink, he touched as high as 96 mph and showed intriguing slider development over his junior year, resulting in his fourth-round selection.
– Third baseman Jordan Betts homered for the second straight game. The Duke product now has gone deep five times this year while hitting .307/.342/.600. He’s tied for the fourth most homers in the league, and his .600 slugging mark is fifth.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 6-4 LOSS, 5-3 WIN VS. GCL RAYS
– Rafael Devers continues to turn heads. He went 2-for-3 with a double in his first game, then went 1-for-3 with his first GCL homer and a walk in his second contest. Devers, 17, homered to center field, underscoring the notion that he has considerable power potential given what he’s been able to do as a 17-year-old. He’s now hit in all four games since coming to the States, posting a .643/.688/1.214 line with three doubles, a triple and a homer, and between the DSL and GCL, he’s hitting an amazing .373/.472/.619 with four homers and 17 extra-base hits in 32 games. Put simply, among current Red Sox minor league position players, his ceiling is unmatched.
– In the second game of the double header, first-round pick Michael Chavis collected his first pro hits, going 2-for-3 with a double. The 18-year-old is 2-for-10 with the extra-base hit and a pair of strikeouts through three games in which he’s been playing shortstop.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 13-5 WIN VS. DSL ROCKIES
– Luis Alexander Basabe, the switch-hitting 17-year-old outfielder, went 2-for-5 with a triple and a walk. He’s been showing dynamic tools in his second year in the DSL, hitting .292/.418/.496 with 13 extra-base hits and 12 steals (in 13 attempts) in 31 games. Against right-handed pitchers, Basabe is hitting .315/.457/.565 with all 13 of his extra-base hits.
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