Red Sox minor league roundup: Michael Chavis getting hot; Carlos Asuaje’s monster day; Garin Cecchini rediscovers his approach
|08.14.14 at 10:43 am ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 WIN AT GWINNETT (BRAVES)
– Left-hander Edwin Escobar had his third straight solid outing since the Red Sox acquired him from the Giants. The 22-year-old matched a season-high by tossing seven innings (the fifth time this year he’s done so, but the first with Pawtucket), allowing two runs on five hits, walking one and punching out six. Escobar recovered from giving up a homer to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the first to limit the damage the rest of the way. Through three starts following the trade, Escobar has allowed four runs while walking four and striking out 16 in 19 innings.
– Feats of Mookie: Arm strength. Mookie Betts, playing center field, recorded his third outfield assist of the season (two in center, one in right) by gunning down a runner at the plate who was trying to advance from third on a fly ball. Though there were questions about how Betts’ arm might play in the outfield following his transition in May from second base, the 21-year-old has shown enough with his throws — roughly average arm strength in center — to sustain the idea that he has the tools to handle himself well in center, particularly as he increases his database of experiences.
– Garin Cecchini went 1-for-2 with a single, walk and sacrifice. He’s 10-for-21 with a homer, three doubles and a walk during the run. Whereas Cecchini had seemed as if he might be cheating a bit to stay on fastballs with velocity, and in the process pulling a bunch of groundballs while getting out too quickly on his front side, he’s been showing an improved ability in recent days to stay back and inside the ball to permit it to travel. The result has been not only better pitch recognition and fewer swings and misses but also more of the characteristic ability he’s shown throughout his pro career to impact the ball to all fields.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: RAINED OUT VS. AKRON (INDIANS)
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-3 WIN, 9-6 WIN AT POTOMAC (NATIONALS)
– Carlos Asuaje, playing second base in the first game, had his second two-homer game of the year and his first since joining Salem before going 3-for-5 with a triple as a left fielder in the second game. The 22-year-old now has four homers in 18 games in Salem and 15 in 108 total contests between Greenville and Salem with a head-turning 55 extra-base hits. After he hit .305/.391/.542 in Single-A, he hasn’t missed a beat at the higher level, posting a .325/.373/.584 line. In eigh August contests, he’s hitting .378/.410/.730.
– Right-hander Joe Gunkel had a career-high eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, during which he allowed two runs on six hits (solo homer, two doubles) and two walks. Gunkel has seen an uptick in results over the course of his time in Salem. In his last five starts, he has a 3.00 ERA with 25 strikeouts and seven walks in 30 innings; 19 of those punchouts have come in 17 2/3 frames over his last three starts. Between Greenville and Salem, in his first full pro season, Gunkel has a 3.01 ERA with 101 strikeouts and 23 walks in 101 2/3 innings.
– Catcher Jake Romanski went 2-for-3 and slugged his first High-A homer in the first game of the double header, his third contest since his promotion.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-3 WIN VS. ROME (BRAVES)
– Second baseman Wendell Rijo went 2-for-3 with his ninth homer of the year, a walk and three steals, giving the 18-year-old 12 steals in 18 attempts. In his first full pro season, he’s up to 38 extra-base hits in 97 contests while hitting .258/.347/.429.
– The ridiculous August of Manuel Margot continued with a 2-for-4 game that included a double and two steals. Margot is hitting .462/.509/.731 with eight extra-base hits in a dozen games this month. He has a 12-game hitting streak that includes eight multi-hit games to boost the 19-year-old’s season line to .287/.356/.451.
– Left-hander Daniel McGrath tossed six innings in which he allowed three runs on six hits while punching out five. His control was less than perfect, as he threw just 61 percent (60 of 98) of pitches for strikes while walking three. Still, it marked the third straight six-inning outing for the 20-year-old, a span in which he has a 3.50 ERA with 17 strikeouts, six walks in 18 innings in that time. For the season, McGrath has been one of the more consistent starters in Greenville, working to a 3.71 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 38 walks in 77 2/3 IP this year.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 3-2 WIN, 3-2 LOSS AT BROOKLYN (METS)
– Third baseman Jordan Betts went 3-for-6 with a pair of walks in the double header. The 22-year-old, who was named to the New York-Penn League All-Star team, is hitting .283/.340/.500 in his first pro summer.
– After excelling in the GCL in his conversion from the outfield to the mound, right-hander Williams Jerez, 22, earned the win despite allowing a pair of runs in two innings during which he gave up one hit, walked four and struck out two.
– Right-hander Reed Reilly, who is in the Lowell rotation after closing in college, had his second straight five-inning outing, scattering eight hits (seven singles and a double) to limit Brooklyn to two runs. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out one batter, leaving him with a 21-to-5 strikeout-to-walk rate in 25 1/3 innings with Lowell.
– First-rounder Michael Chavis had his first professional three-hit game, going 3-for-5 with a triple and a steal to push past the Mendoza Line. Chavis is now hitting .216/.317/.318, bouncing back from a slow start to hit .375/.459/.531 in 10 games in August.
– Second baseman Victor Acosta continued his recent efforts to offer signs of the ability to drive the ball that he showed last year in the DSL. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, giving him three two-baggers during a six-game August hitting streak in which he’s hitting .474/.545/.632.
– Left-hander Dedgar Jimenez struck out a season-high five and matched a season-high with five innings in which he allowed one run on four hits while walking one. Jimenez, a 6-foot-3, 18-year-old, has not dominated in the GCL, but he’s been a steady performer, giving up no more than three runs in any outing while attacking the strike zone. He has 26 strikeouts and just eight walks in 39 2/3 innings, with his walk rate reminiscent of the 55 punchouts and eight walks he accumulated in 60 innings in the DSL last year.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 6-0 WIN VS. DSL REDS
– Left-hander Enmanuel De Jesus had his third straight outing of at least five innings without allowing an earned run, tossing five shutout frames while giving up two hits and one walk. He struck out four. The 17-year-old has found his rhythm in August, strikeout out 15 and walking three in 16 innings in which he’s allowed just one unearned run to lower his ERA for the year to 3.00. He has 52 strikeouts and 18 walks in 57 innings this year.
– Left fielder Juan Hernandez, a slight 18-year-old from Venezuela, went 4-for-4 with a double to boost his line to .272/.359/.307.
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