Red Sox minor league roundup: Brandon Workman regains footing; Mauricio Dubon, hits machine; Javier Guerra, Rafael Devers mash
|08.30.14 at 9:13 am ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 2-1 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)
— Right-hander Brandon Workman, making his first start since being sent back down to Triple-A on Sunday, had one of his best Triple-A outings of the year. He logged 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on just three hits (two singles and a solo homer) while walking two and punching out six. Though 1-8 in the big leagues this year, Workman is 7-1 in Triple-A. One caveat: He’s shown the same vulnerability to the longball in Triple-A that he has in the big leagues, having allowed 1.5 homers per nine in Pawtucket this year. With the start, Workman has pushed his innings total up to 134 1/3 for the year, the third straight year that he’s worked at least 130 innings.
— Ryan Lavarnway, back from the DL after missing eight days while recovering from a concussion incurred when taking a foul ball off the mask, slammed a two-run homer and double in his 2-for-3 return to the lineup. Though Lavarnway’s playing time has been fitful due to a host of injuries (setbacks in his recovery from a broken hamate, the concussion), he’s posted big numbers when in the lineup over the last five weeks, hitting .378/.525/.511 in 15 games since rejoining the PawSox following his hamate injury.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-2 WIN VS. HARRISBURG (NATIONALS)
— Right-hander Mike Augliera scattered seven hits over six innings, allowing one run while not walking a batter (his eighth start this year without a free pass) and punching out four. In his last six starts dating to July 28, Augliera has a 1.83 ERA, with his season ERA dropping from 5.38 to 4.56 in that stretch.
— Outfielder Keury De La Cruz went 2-for-4 with a double, the second straight multi-hit game that included a two-bagger for the 22-year-old. In 24 games in August, De La Cruz is now hitting .356/.424/.586.
— Second baseman Sean Coyle went 1-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs, his first multi-RBI game since July 21.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-4 LOSS AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
— Jake Dahlstrand was perfect through four innings (with five strikeouts) and had a shutout through five before getting charged with four runs over his next inning-plus of work. Though the four runs represented the most the 22-year-old has allowed since his promotion to Salem, his six punchouts represented his best total with Salem. Dahlstrand has a 2.81 ERA with 21 strikeouts and eight walks in 32 innings in Salem following his 2.93 mark with Greenville this year.
— Shortstop Jose Vinicio, moved up from the ninth spot to the second spot in the lineup, went 3-for-5 with a double, giving the 21-year-old eight multi-hit games in his last 11 contests. In the process, the rail-thin shortstop has raised his average from .151/.192/.164 to .257/.283/.310.
— Corner infielder Jantzen Witte pushed back past .300 with a 3-for-5 game that included his 20th double in Salem and 44th of the season. The 24-year-old is now back up to .302/.346/.465 in Salem after hitting .330/.418/.554 in Greenville. His 44 doubles are tied for the fourth-most in the minors.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-1 WIN VS. LEXINGTON (ROYALS)
— Steady Teddy Stankiewicz needed 6 2/3 innings to reach 140 in his first full professional season. He recorded seven innings in which he yielded one run on five hits while striking out three and walking none. The 20-year-old closed out his first full pro season with eight straight starts of six plus innings; he allowed one or no runs in five of those, lowering his ERA from 4.40 to 3.72.
While Stankiewicz rarely showed overpowering stuff in his first full year, he did display the ability to throw strikes with a four-pitch mix. He walked just 1.9 per nine innings. Though he punched out a modest 6.5 per nine innings, he rarely fell prey to big innings or short outings in part because he rarely beat himself. It remains to be seen if any of his pitches develops beyond a big league average grade — though his fastball registered as high as 97, it wasn’t a true swing-and-miss offering this year — his first year suggests the possibility of at least a back-end big league starter who can carry a significant innings load.
— First baseman Sam Travis went 1-for-3 with a triple and walk, giving him extra-base hits in four of his last five games. He’s hitting .277/.324/.500 with as many extra-base hits (14) as strikeouts since his promotion from Lowell to Greenville, while his 2:1 strikeout-to-walk rate (14-to-7) at the level suggests an ability to manage at-bats against more experienced competition.
— Second baseman Wendell Rijo went 0-for-4, making him 0-for-11 over his last three games. The 18-year-old’s impressive full-season debut thus now sees him with a .254/.348/.419 line.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 9-0 WIN VS. ABERDEEN (ORIOLES)
— Mauricio Dubon went 5-for-5 with a double, his third straight multi-hit game, boosting his average to .325 (second in the New York-Penn League) with a .344 OBP and .403 slugging mark. In 24 games in August, he’s hitting .402 — though with a .400 OBP (the product of one walk and 13 strikeouts) and a .460 slugging mark.
While his aggressive approach will raise questions about whether he’ll be vulnerable to pitchers with command as he moves up the ladder, and his 60.1 percent groundball rate in Lowell suggests that the BABIP gods had smiled in his favor, he has legitimate defensive tools to be a shortstop and the bat-to-ball skills to give him the potential to post the sorts of averages that can sustain low walks totals without a disastrous on-base percentage. In short, while there are very fair questions about his ultimate projection, the 20-year-old is a prospect at a premium position whose tools suggest that he is worth monitoring going forward.
— Right-hander Aaron Wilkerson, 25, continued to dominate in his affiliated debut. The former indy league pitcher, whom the Sox signed in July, tossed seven shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit, walked one and punched out nine. In his last four starts, he has a 0.32 ERA with 27 punchouts and four walks in 28 innings, giving him an ERA through 50 innings with the Sox of 1.62 with 9.7 strikeouts and 2.0 walks per nine. Of the 192 batters he faced, 45 percent of plate appearances ended in a strikeout or groundout.
ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 7-4 WIN AT GCL CARDINALS IN GCL SEMI-FINALS
— Shortstop Javier Guerra went 3-for-6 with a homer while scoring two runs, his second straight game (including the regular season finale) in which he had three hits and a homer. The 18-year-old left-handed hitter has shown an impressive ability to maintain a smooth swing in which he doesn’t have to ratchet up his effort level to drive the ball. That skill, plus the tools to be an above-average defensive shortstop, point to a player who has a chance to be one of the Sox’ top position playing prospects if he maintains his progression as he reaches full-season ball. Guerra hit .269/.286/.408 with 20 extra-base hits in 51 regular season games in the GCL.
— Third baseman Rafael Devers went 1-for-3 with an opposite-field triple to left and two walks, showing an advanced approach and the ability to drive the ball that are highly unusual for a 17-year-old. The triple to left underscored an all-fields ability shown by Devers in his pro debut. According to MLBFarm.com, 20.6 percent of the left-handed hitter’s hits went to right, 16.3 percent to left and 15.3 percent went to center. Devers finished his first pro regular season with a .322/.402/.502 line between the DSL and GCL, including a .312/.374/.484 line after his promotion to the States.
— Javier Rodriguez earned the win with five innings in which he allowed one run on three hits while punching out six without issuing a walk. That Rodriguez earned the win came as no surprise: The 19-year-old lefty went 8-0 with a 1.44 ERA in 10 appearances in the regular season. Both the five innings and six strikeouts matched season-highs for Rodriguez.
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