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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
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Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

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)

(BOX)

— 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) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: javier guerra, mauricio dubon, rafael devers, ryan lavarnway
Red Sox minor league roundup: Garin Cecchini getting hot; Manuel Margot sailing in Salem; Ryan Lavarnway, Keury De La Cruz streaking; Portland punches postseason ticket 08.20.14 at 12:13 pm ET
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Garin Cecchini

Garin Cecchini

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX:

Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles (one to the opposite field in left, one to center), a flyout to left, a groundout to second and a strikeout. He’s now 2-for-10 since joining the PawSox, though with some positive signs based on the willingness to hit the ball up the middle and to the opposite field.

— Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo rolled through six shutout innings, working around seven hits (all singles) while walking just one and punching out four. He threw 62 of 94 (66 percent) of his pitches for strikes while improving to 14-4 with a 2.46 ERA, looking like a reliable provider of solid innings in the process. Between Pawtucket and the big leagues, Ranaudo has logged at least six innings in each of his last six starts, something he’s done in 14 of 25 overall starts this year.

Scouts still suggest that the 24-year-old’s mix is solid rather than overpowering, with a 7.0 strikeouts per nine rate and somewhat stark fly ball tendencies (of the pitches put in play against him, just 38 percent have been on the ground), but Ranaudo has made considerable strides in the execution of his craft to the point that he looks at the least like a solid option for a No. 4 or No. 5 big league starter who has now proven over a two-year span that he can stay healthy. Ranaudo is up to 143 2/3 innings this year, and he’s shown no signs of diminished stuff into August.

Garin Cecchini, playing third base, went 2-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to nine games, during which he’s hitting .405/.436/.703 with two homers and five doubles, a run that suggests that he’s reclaimed something akin to his typical swing and results at the plate. The timing is particularly noteworthy given that Will Middlebrooks had to leave Tuesday’s big league game with tightness in his right hamstring. Also of note: Manager Kevin Boles said that Cecchini, who has added left field to his third base duties this season, has also been taking fly balls in right, though for now, he’s not expected to play right field in games over the rest of this year.

Ryan Lavarnway has reached base in all eight of his plate appearances in his last two games. He went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a pair of walks on Tuesday, after going 1-for-1 with a single and three walks on Monday. In his last four games, he’s 7-for-10 with six walks, elevating his line for the year to .286/.393/.360 in Pawtucket.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-4 WIN AT HARRISBURG (NATIONALS) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: anthony ranaudo, garin cecchini, keury de la cruz, ryan lavarnway
Red Sox minor league roundup: Rafael Devers, middle-of-the-order prospect; Alex Hassan keeps streaking; Justin Haley’s rise 08.08.14 at 8:47 am ET
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This is what an early glimpse of a middle-of-the-order run producer looks like.

Rafael Devers did not join the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League until the season was a couple of weeks old. The GCL Red Sox have played in 42 games; Devers has participated in just two-thirds (28) of those.

Yet somehow, the 17-year-old hitting prodigy finds himself leading the Gulf Coast League in runs batted in. It’s an imperfect statistic, of course, one that often reflects as much upon the players in front of a hitter as it does on the hitter himself. But in Devers’ case, it’s nonetheless a mark that commands notice.

With a 2-for-5 game on Thursday that included a grand slam, Devers now has driven in 31 in his 28 games following his promotion. He’s homered in two straight games while going deep in four of his 28 contests since coming to the States. He’s hitting a colossal .340 with a .400 OBP and .563 slugging mark in the GCL. With runners in scoring position, those marks leap to .450/.500/.825.

There may be some randomness to those situational statistics. After all, in 28 games in the DSL, Devers hit “just” .282/.400/.486 with runners in scoring position, compared to .337/.445/.538 with three homers (and 21 RBIs) overall.

Yet even removing the question of his performance with runners in scoring position from the equation, it’s hard to find too many Red Sox prospects who have performed like Devers as 17-year-olds. Between his two levels, he has a combined .338/.424/.551 line with seven homers.

It’s been a long time since the Red Sox have had a young, inexperienced prospect performing at anything like this sort of level. Indeed, the last time the team had a player who was 18 or younger in the GCL who had a slugging percentage of .500 or better (min. 25 games) was in 2002, when an up-and-coming shortstop named Hanley Ramirez hit .341 with a .402 OBP, .555 slugging mark and six homers in 45 games in the GCL.

That line is very similar to the one Devers is currently posting, but with a few noteworthy distinctions. Ramirez was 18 at the time, having already experience a first pro season in the DSL in 2001. Still, Ramirez was a shortstop at that time with the ability to steal bases, meaning that his overall ceiling was greater than Devers’, which is reliant primarily on his bat. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: rafael devers, ryan lavarnway, sean coyle, trenton kemp
Red Sox call up C Ryan Lavarnway, send P Alex Wilson to Pawtucket 05.26.14 at 10:39 am ET
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The Red Sox on Monday called up catcher Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Pawtucket in advance of their series against the Braves.

Right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was sent to Pawtucket to clear room on the roster.

Lavarnway has appeared in 44 games for the PawSox this season, batting .265/.357/.346 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. He saw 25 games in the majors for the Red Sox last season, hitting .299/.329/.429 with one home run and 14 RBIs. He also had brief stints with the major league squad in 2012 and ’11.

Wilson pitched a scoreless sixth inning — allowing just a walk — in Sunday’s 8-5 loss to the Rays, his only major league appearance this season. He previously appeared in 18 games for the PawSox, posting a 1-0 record, 1.42 ERA and 1.263 WHIP.

Wilson saw action in 26 games for the Red Sox last season, posting a 1-2 record with a 4.88 ERA and 1.735 WHIP in 27 2/3 innings.

Read More: alex wilson, ryan lavarnway,
Red Sox minor league roundup: Allen Webster finds the strike zone; Brian Johnson cruising; a Mookie Betts slump looks different 05.10.14 at 9:34 am ET
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-0 WIN AT LOUISVILLE (REDS)

(BOX)

— Right-hander Allen Webster tossed five shutout innings, working around six hits (all singles) and a walk while striking out three. He threw 56 of 87 pitches (64 percent) for strikes, continuing to show evidence of improved control and ability to throw strikes this season as compared to a year ago. On the season, Webster is throwing strikes at a 62 percent rate, up from 59 percent in 2013. He has four straight starts of two or fewer walks, having issued six free passes in his last 24 frames (2.25 per nine), with a 2.25 ERA during that stretch. Though his strikeout rate is down this year from 9.9 per nine innings to just 5.3 per nine innings, he’s shown an ability to work deeper into games on a more consistent basis, having pitched six or more innings four times in eight starts, after doing so just six times in 21 starts in 2013.

— First baseman Ryan Lavarnway went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts, and he’s now hitting .258/.346/.333 — numbers very similar to the .250/.346/.350 line he forged last year. He’s gone deep just once in 136 plate appearances this season, four times in 350 plate appearances since the start of 2013 and 12 times in 717 trips to the dish in Triple-A dating to the 2012 season. The absence of offensive impact over a significant duration — at a time when he’s being crowded off of catcher not just by Triple-A colleagues Christian Vazquez and Dan Butler, but also by Blake Swihart in Double-A — suggests that Lavarnway, who will be out of options after this season, could see his 40-man roster spot put in some jeopardy this year unless some glimmers of the tremendous offensive potential he showed in 2011 (.290/.376/.563 with 32 homers in 116 games) quickly become evident.

Brock Holt went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and steal. In 23 Triple-A games, he’s hitting 337/.413/.489 with eight walks, nine strikeouts and seven steals, building on his strong major league performance.

— Shortstop Mike McCoy, who had been 0-for-20 in his previous six games (partly the byproduct of his sporadic playing time), went deep for the first time this year, slamming a two-run homer while going 1-for-1 with two walks and a sacrifice fly.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-2 WIN VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: allen webster, brian johnson, mookie betts, ryan lavarnway
Red Sox minor league roundup: Brandon Workman builds back; Drake Britton dominates; Kevin Heller going Howdy Groskloss on the Carolina League 04.17.14 at 11:51 am ET
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 7-6 WIN AT ROCHESTER (TWINS)

(BOX)

— In his first start in Triple-A after being optioned to Pawtucket last week, right-hander Brandon Workman dominated early (three shutout innings in which he allowed a single, walked no one and punched out two) before hitting a bit of a wall in his fourth inning of work, in which he permitted a groundball single, a double and a walk before being lifted after 3 1/3 innings. All three of the runners whom he put on base scored, resulting in a line of three runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings. Still, overall, the outing represented an exercise in building arm strength with the late struggles not unexpected given that it had been more than three weeks since Workman had pitched into a fourth frame.

— Given that the Sox want to avoid shuttling Workman back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, the early-season dominance of left-hander Drake Britton is noteworthy, as the 24-year-old could emerge as the first line of bullpen depth from Triple-A. Britton recorded a two-inning save on Wedneday, allowing one hit and punching out four. He worked around a pair of ninth-inning walks by recording all three outs by strikeout in a one-run win. It was Britton’s second save of the year. While his control (five walks in 8 1/3 innings) has been spotty, he has a 1.08 ERA, with opponents hitting .226 against him so far.

— Outfielder Alex Hassan went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Since going 0-for-7 in the first two games of the season, the 26-year-old is hitting at a .351 clip (13-for-37) with a .442 OBP and six doubles in his last nine games.

— In a striking reversal from a year ago, Brock Holt remains among the hottest hitters in the International League. He went 3-for-5 with a double to improve his line (in 10 games) to .415/.489/.610 with five doubles and a homer among his 17 hits. Last April, in twice the number of games, he hit .149/.234/.149 with no extra-base hits among his 10 knocks. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brandon Workman, Brock Holt, drake britton, howdy groskloss
Red Sox minor league roundup: Allen Webster gets grounded; Salem makes history; puzzling outing for Brian Johnson 04.09.14 at 11:05 am ET
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 7-1 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)

(BOX)

— Right-hander Allen Webster threw strikes and showed a strong two-seamer over the course of six efficient innings in which he threw 54 of 83 pitches (65 percent) for strikes. Though Webster punched out just three batters (while walking two), he allowed just three hits (a double and two singles) while eliciting 10 groundball outs.

“My fastball command was 10 times better than where it was the last game. I was throwing my off-speed for strikes and they were getting bad contact,” Webster told Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times. “I was staying more in line and driving the ball to the spot rather than jerking it.”

Ryan Lavarnway, who had been 0-for-14 in his first four starts of the year, made his first hit of 2014 a resounding one, launching a solo homer to the opposite field in right. Lavarnway once again played first base, making his third start at that position (compared to one each at DH and catcher). Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: allen webster, brian johnson, ryan lavarnway, salem red sox
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