|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Bryce Brentz bashing to the finish, Stolmy Pimentel fights his splits, Dioscar Romero rolls||08.23.12 at 1:02 pm ET|
A quick look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday, highlighted by a huge performance by slugger Bryce Brentz in Portland . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: OFF DAY
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-2 WIN AT NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
– Bryce Brentz went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers, a double and four runs batted in. In 15 games in August, he’s now hitting an even .400 with a .446 OBP, .700 slugging mark and 1.146 OPS. All three of his extra-base hits came against lefties, continuing a season in which most of Brentz’s power numbers have come against southpaws. He’s hitting .302/.359/.629/.989 with 11 homers against lefties, and .286/.350/.424/.774 with six homers in nearly three times as many at-bats against righties.
– Stolmy Pimentel tossed six innings in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four and walking two. It was his first road win of a season in which he has featured almost inexplicable home/road splits. In Portland, he is 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA. On the road, he is now 1-6 with a 7.35 ERA. The culprit? Homers: At home, he’s allowed one in 54 2/3 innings; on the road, he’s given up eight in 49 frames.
– Michael Olmsted had a scoreless inning that included a strikeout. He’s now thrown 16 innings in Double-A without permitting an earned run, striking out 25 and walking four in the process.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 5-3 WIN AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS)
– Michael Almanzar went 2-for-5 with a double, improving his line this year to .302/.355/.467/.822. His performance this year is such a dramatic departure from anything that preceded it that it’s somewhat difficult to know what to make of it — whether it indicates a late-blooming prospect whose leap forward is sustainable or something of a flash in the pan. One talent evaluator recently noted, however, that when looking for late-blooming prospects, the profile of tall, lanky sluggers sometimes fits the bill. It can be more difficult for such players to sync up their swings on a consistent basis than it is for smaller players with fewer moving parts. Almanzar, a 6-foot-3 21-year-old, certainly fits that description. Still, his huge performance in 2012 will simply mean that his 2013 season — when he presumably will make it up to Double-A — will serve as a season to indicate whether he can maintain his considerable gains of what has been an unexpectedly impressive 2012 season. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Brandon Jacobs mashing, Jose Iglesias walking, Daniel Bard striking, Chris Carpenter hitting 100||07.24.12 at 10:26 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox’ farm system on Monday …
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-1 WIN AT LOUISVILLE (REDS)
– Daniel Bard blitzed through a 1-2-3 inning in which he pumped eight of 11 pitches for strikes, the last a 95 mph fastball for a strikeout. The outing was Bard’s second scoreless effort in as many days, and offers further evidence that he is regaining his ability to throw strikes consistently. He now has four straight outings in which he’s thrown more than half of his pitches for strikes, and in his last three (dating to Thursday), he’s thrown 67 percent of his pitches for strikes. His three straight scoreless appearances represent his longest run since going to the minors.
– Reliever Chris Carpenter‘s arm appears to be healthy. According to Pawtucket play-by-play man Aaron Goldsmith (via twitter), Carpenter hit 100 mph during his scoreless inning.
– Jose Iglesias went 1-for-4 but with a pair of walks, marking the second straight game in which he took two free passes. It is the first time in his career that Iglesias has walked multiple times in consecutive games. In fact, entering 2012, he’d walked two or more times just twice — both in 2010 (once in Lowell, once in Portland). This year, he’s taken two walks in four games. His gains are still modest — his OBP is now .305 — but they show a 22-year-old whose approach at the plate is improving from year to year. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Drake Britton’s milestone; Travis Shaw is still mashing||07.22.12 at 10:41 am ET|
A snapshot of the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Saturday …
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-0 LOSS AT LOUISVILLE (REDS)
– Lars Anderson went 3-for-4, though all three hits were singles. While his .261 average this month matches that of his season, his OBP (.325, compared to .364 for the year) and slugging (.333, vs. .426) are both season-lows for a single month.
– Mark Prior continued to struggle through iffy command since his return from an oblique strain. Though he fired two shutout innings and allowed one hit (a single) while striking out a batter, he also walked a pair of batters. It was the third straight appearance and fourth time in five games that he’s walked multiple batters. He has nine walks and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings this month.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 9-1 WIN AT NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS) Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Blake Swihart’s huge day; Mark Prior returns; Brandon Jacobs putting up a Middlebrooks line||07.08.12 at 8:58 am ET|
A quick look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday…
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-2 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)
– Jacoby Ellsbury, in his first game with Triple-A Pawtucket, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout (looking), two groundouts and a foul pop-out. He also played seven innings in center field. He’s now 4-for-23 (.174) with a pair of doubles, a homer, four walks and five strikeouts in seven rehab games.
– Mark Prior, activated from the disabled list on Friday, pitched in his first game since June 21. None of the three batters he faced made contact, as he walked two and struck out one. He earned the win for an effort in which nine of the 19 pitches he threw were strikes.
– Zach Stewart continued his strong start with the PawSox. Though he isn’t striking out anyone, he’s getting loads of grounders, resulting in fickle run yields. On Saturday, he tossed six shutout innings before stumbling in the seventh, ultimately permitting two runs on seven hits (four singles, three doubles) while walking two. He did not strike out a batter.
Stewart’s first three starts in Pawtucket have been somewhat similar from a statistical standpoint to what Aaron Cook was doing in April. He has just five strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings, but he has yet to give up a homer, he’s walked just two and he now has a 1.96 ERA.
– Jose Iglesias went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and an RBI. It was his second multi-hit game in his last three contests.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-3 LOSS AT TRENTON (YANKEES)
– Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. In 18 games since his promotion from High-A Salem, he’s hitting .384/.446/.507/.953. He leads all of minor league baseball with 33 doubles, seven of which have come in Double-A. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Sox avoid a scare with Blake Swihart; Drake Britton is dealing; Lars Anderson is on fire||06.16.12 at 10:39 am ET|
A quick look at Friday’s action in the Red Sox minor league system:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-3 WIN AT BUFFALO (METS)
– Lars Anderson is amidst one of his most impressive stretches as a professional, a run that continued on Friday when he went 2-for-5 with a homer (his ninth of the year). In 17 games dating to May 27, he is hitting .362 (fourth in the International League during that stretch) with a .479 OBP (1st), .759 slugging mark (1st), 1.237 OPS (1st) and six homers (tied for second).
– Ryan Kalish went 1-for-5 while slamming his fourth homer in eight games in Pawtucket and fifth overall in 14 minor league games this year.
– Pedro Ciriaco went 4-for-5 with a homer and double, his second four-hit game of the year. He currently has an 11-game hitting streak. For the year, he’s hitting .302 but with just a .322 OBP, the byproduct of the fact that he’s walked five times (against 36 strikeouts) in 208 plate appearances.
– Justin Germano tossed 5 2/3 innings while allowing one run on four hits and one walk, striking out six to improve to 8-3 with a 2.49 ERA. Opponents are hitting .215 against him. He’s been the most effective starter in Pawtucket this year, and so he could be part of the discussion for the Red Sox rotation depending on the length of Josh Beckett‘s absence.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-2 WIN AT RICHMOND (GIANTS)
– Left-hander Drake Britton continued to excel in his promotion to Double-A Portland, firing six innings while allowing two runs on eight hits, striking out four and, perhaps most significantly, walking none. In three starts since moving up from High-A Salem, Britton is 1-0 with a 1.10 ERA, 11 strikeouts and eight walks in 16 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .177 against him. Friday marked the third time this year that he did not walk a batter in a start of at least five innings, something that he did just once in 2011 in Salem.
– Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares went 3-for-3 with a double and walk. He ranks second in the Eastern League with a .337 average, second with a .409 OBP, third with a .534 slugging mark and third with a .943 OPS. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Xander Bogaerts’ power show; Drake Britton dominates; Noe Ramirez perfect in debut||06.11.12 at 10:44 am ET|
Bryce Harper‘s first visit to Fenway Park was a dazzling display by a player who is performing like a once-in-a-generation talent. The Red Sox don’t have a comparable player in their system. Nor does anyone else in baseball.
But the Red Sox do have a player who, at 19, is emerging as a tremendous prospect in his own right. Xander Bogaerts is the second-youngest position player in the High-A Carolina League, a level where the average position player is over 22 years old. Yet the shortstop is revealing few signs of his youth on the playing field.
On Sunday, he went 3-for-3 with a single, double, homer and walk. On the year, he is hitting .292 with a .360 OBP, .489 slugging mark, .848 OPS, eight homers and 25 extra-base hits, ranking among the league’s top 10 in the last four of those categories.
There was a time earlier this year in High-A when he had to adjust to the more sophisticated pitch mixes of the Carolina League pitchers, and during which he seemed like he was desperate to start blasting homers in a fashion comparable to the one in which he made his mark last year in Single-A Greenville, where he had 16 homers in 72 games last season.
But now he’s find his comfort zone, resulting in a dominant stretch against players who are considerably older and more experienced than him. In 22 games since May 22, Bogaerts leads the Carolina League — a level that features ballparks in which home runs are notoriously difficult to come by — with 13 (five homers, seven doubles, a triple). During that spell, he’s hitting .329 with a .376 OBP, .633 slugging mark and 1.009 OPS.
A case can be made, based on Bogaerts’ performance and age, that no one in the Red Sox farm system (including Salem teammates Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr., who have been nothing short of amazing this year) has as high a ceiling as Bogaerts.
For more on Bogaerts’ prospect status — including an explanation about how chicken pox nearly prevented him from being a Red Sox, and why his name is being mentioned in the same breath as Hanley Ramirez — click here.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-1 WIN VS. GWINNETT (BRAVES) Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Travis Shaw and the art of finding value in the draft; Lars Anderson locked in; Xander Bogaerts’ big day||06.04.12 at 9:32 am ET|
The lion’s share of attention regarding the Red Sox’ draft will focus on Monday night, and rightly so. Teams take players in the first round for a reason, foremost the idea that they want to grab the best player on the board. But that doesn’t mean that the only players who will come to make an impact are those who are taken at the top of the draft.
In the world of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, in which it will be substantially more difficult to take players with signability questions and convince them to pass on college — as the Sox did with Will Middlebrooks, a fifth-round selection who required a $925,000 bonus in 2007. With significant penalties for over-slot bonuses, it would be hard to move around enough money to pony up for a player like Middlebrooks, given that the slot for the Sox’ fifth-round slot this year is $218,100.
That said, there are still good players to be had relatively late in the draft. Sunday offered a reminder of that notion.
Travis Shaw was taken in the ninth round by the Sox last year, a stage of the draft at which the Kent State product was available in part because the college third baseman was viewed as a likely first baseman in the pros. That, coupled with the fact that he displayed what some considered average raw power at this time, kept him on the board until the 292nd pick. Once selected by the Sox, Shaw signed quickly for a $110,000 bonus.
Shaw performed well last year in Lowell, hitting .262/.371/.446/.816 with eight homers and 13 doubles in 57 games. But this year, he’s been a force, producing one of the most consistent and impressive performances in the Red Sox system. On Sunday, he continued a recent torrid stretch by going 3-for-5 for High-A Salem with a pair of doubles and a homer.
The game represented the continuation of a power surge by the 22-year-old. After he hit one homer in his first 39 games — in part a reflection of a league (the Carolina League) and home ballpark (LewisGale Field) where big power numbers are rarely seen — he’s blasted five in his past 10 games, and four in his last six. For the year, he’s hitting .341 (second in the Carolina League to teammate Jackie Bradley Jr.) with a .423 OBP (fourth), .566 slugging move (third) and .988 OPS (third).
He shows an ability to drive the ball to the opposite field in left-center and has a good understanding of both the strike zone and the pitches he can drive. The Sox observed those traits and felt that he represented a good hitter with a chance to develop power — typically an easier progression than finding a player with raw power and no approach and hoping that he can figure out how to apply that skill with any consistency. Shaw demonstrates an above-average hit tool with tremendous makeup, the sort of player on whom a team can make a bet that he will improve. He calls his father, former big league closer Jeff Shaw, on a nightly basis to digest his at-bats and to understand the game from the pitcher’s perspective so that he can figure out how opponents are attacking him and what he needs to do to stay ahead.
It remains to be seen what kind of career Shaw has, but one year removed from his selection in the draft, even though he has multiple levels through which he must progress, Shaw looks like a future big leaguer. As this year’s draft nears, his performance serves as a reminder that there’s quality to be found not just at the top of the draft, but also deeper down.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 WIN AT LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
– Lars Anderson remains the hottest hitter in the International League. He had his third straight multi-hit game in which he had at least one extra-base hit, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, and in his last eight games, he’s hitting .481/.563/1.037/1.600 with four homers and 12 RBI. For the year, he’s now hitting .270 with a .389 OBP (10th in the International League), .491 slugging mark, .879 OPS and 32 walks (7th). Read the rest of this entry »
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