Red Sox minor league roundup: Garin Cecchini, Bryce Brentz heat up; Manuel Margot hits ground running in Salem; Teddy Stankiewicz emerging
|08.18.14 at 12:40 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-5 LOSS VS. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
— Feats of Mookie: Another triumphant trio. Mookie Betts went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, the 14th time in 99 minor league games and the seventh time in 45 contests in Pawtucket that he’s had at least three hits, and the fifth time (and third this month) that he’s had two doubles in a game this year. In 45 games in Pawtucket, he’s hitting .335/.417/.503 with 19 extra-base hits, 26 walks and 30 strikeouts; over the full minor league season, the 21-year-old is hitting .346/.431/.529 with 61 walks, 50 strikeouts, 33 steals and 46 extra-base hits.
— Outfielder Bryce Brentz went 2-for-4 with a homer, giving him 10 longballs in just 51 games this year in Pawtucket. The 25-year-old has been producing since his return to Pawtucket following roughly two and a half months on the sidelines (and rehab assignments) while rehabbing a hamstring injury. In 12 August games, he’s hitting .286/.345/.571 with four homers. That uptick in production has coincided with a somewhat more aggressive approach at the plate that has been characteristic of Brentz throughout his career; Brentz has walked 7.3 percent of the time since returning from the DL, after walking in 12.7 percent of plate appearances prior to the injury. Of course, he was also struggling to a .230/.335/.430 line in April and May.
— The good news for Garin Cecchini: He launched his seventh homer of the year, matching (in 101 games) his home run output from 2013 (from 129 games between High-A and Double-A). The bad news: He struck out twice and now has 86 strikeouts, matching his total from a year ago.
Those season numbers aside, Cecchini looks like he’s amidst his best offensive run of the year. He has an eight-game hitting streak in which he’s hitting .394/.429/.697 with two homers, four doubles, two walks and seven strikeouts. In the process, he’s lifted his season line to .250/.323/.354.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-1 WIN VS. RICHMOND (GIANTS)
— On a day when he recorded an uncharacteristically low number of groundball outs (2), sinkerballer Mike Augliera nonetheless navigated effectively through six innings, allowing one run on six hits (a solo homer and five singles — four of the groundball variety) while walking two and punching out six. The 24-year-old has pitched six or more innings in seven straight outings.
— DH David Chester mashed his sixth homer in 51 games in Portland but his first since July 28. The 25-year-old is hitting .241/.316/.406 in 73 minor league games between Salem and Portland this year.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 9-1 WIN VS. MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
— Center fielder Manuel Margot went 3-for-4 with an electrifying inside-the-park home run, making the 19-year-old 6-for-9 with two homers (one of the over-the-fence variety) and seven runs batted in over his last two games, his second and third contests following a promotion. After entering the year with five career homers and 32 extra-base hits in 117 minor league games, the teenager has seen his power translate with increased frequency in games. He now has 12 homers and 37 extra-base hits through 102 contests this year. He’s hitting .292/.358/.465 in Greenville and Salem this year, up from a .270/.346/.351 line last year in Lowell.
— Corner infielder Jantzen Witte went 2-for-3 with a walk and his second homer in as many days, giving him 12 homers among his 58 extra-base hits in 115 games this year.
— Matty Johnson went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, a run during which the 26-year-old is hitting .391/.447/.580 with two homers and eight extra-base hits.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 3-2 LOSS AT SAVANNAH (METS)
— Though his ceiling may not match that of others in the lower levels like Cody Kukuk and Trey Ball, right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz may be the best bet to emerge as a big league starter in the Red Sox system below the Double-A level.
The 20-year-old has shown an ability to repeat his delivery and throw strikes with a four-pitch arsenal (fastball, curve, slider, change) while featuring the sort of frame (6-foot-4 and 200 pounds) and power (he’s touched 96-97 mph, while working comfortably in the 92-94 mph range in the rotation) to suggest an opportunity to advance. And, notably, both his stuff and results have held up over the course of his first full pro season.
The 2013 second-rounder tossed six innings on Sunday in which he allowed three runs on seven hits in which he walked none and punched out six. It was his sixth straight outing in which he worked at least six innings, his fifth straight with one or no walks, and his 14th straight with two or fewer walks. His strikeout rate continues to tick up steadily as the year progresses, from 4.5 per nine innings in April to 7.2 in May, 7.3 per nine in June, a brief dip to 6.6 per nine in July and now, to date this month, 7.9 per nine innings. So far in August, he’s 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA, 22 strikeouts and three walks in 25 innings while holding opponents to a .189 average.
He carries himself like someone who has the conviction that he will make it to the big leagues, with that makeup described as being a separator from a number of players at that level.
— Danny Bethea, serving as DH, went 3-for-3 with a homer, his first longball in 18 games this year and the second of his 63-game minor league career.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 9-1 WIN AT HUDSON VALLEY (RAYS)
— Outfielder Joseph Monge went 5-for-5 with a double, with the five hits representing a career-high for the 19-year-old. Monge, a 2013 17th-round pick out of high school in Puerto Rico, is now hitting .328/.373/.393 in 18 games with Lowell following his promotion from the GCL, where he hit .266/.390/.453.
— Shortstop Mauricio Dubon entered the All-Star “break” (which lasts one day) with his fourth multi-hit game in nine contests, going 3-for-4 with a double to push his average above .300. The 20-year-old is now hitting .305/.327/.389, including .383/.375/.447 in August. Clearly, the fact that he has no walks in 15 games this month suggests an area for refinement, but he’s struck out just six times in that stretch, suggesting a player with the hand-eye coordination to get the bat on the ball with enough frequency to permit him to go on hot streaks.
— Right-hander Aaron Wilkerson tossed six shutout innings in which he scattered seven hits, walked one and punched out four. The 25-year-old has given up one or no runs in five of his six starts since the Sox purchased his contract from an independent league. He’s 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA, 37 strikeouts and eight walks in 35 innings.
— Right-hander Williams Jerez, making his second appearance since moving up from the GCL to Lowell following his conversion from the outfield to the mound this year, tossed a scoreless inning, walking a batter and punching out two while not giving up any hits. So far, New York-Penn League opponents are 1-for-10 with four strikeouts against the 22-year-old.
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