Another week in the Red Sox’ farm system and there were several notable performances to take note of, particularly among the pitching prospects. Let’s get to it.
Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A)
- Matt Barnes has completely turned his season around in the recent weeks and his start on Wednesday merely continued that pattern. He tossed 6.1 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and 3 walks while fanning 7 against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He has lowered his ERA from 5.06 on July 12 to a much-improved 3.89 with his current hot streak and is once again looking like the highly-touted prospect that the Red Sox drafted in the first round back in 2011.
- Jackie Bradley Jr. was demoted to Pawtucket this Monday after the Red Sox decided his performance at the plate has simply grown too dismal. He hasn’t been much better since joining the PawSox, slashing just .200/.200/.286 through his first week. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it shows that there are definite mechanical issues with Bradley’s swing and he will hopefully be able to work out his struggles over the next few weeks before returning to Boston in September.
- Garin Cecchini has had a shaky 2014 season overall, but he has been riding a hot streak of late and he had himself a strong six games over the last week. He slashed .412/.565/.647 over the course of the week and, though his season has still been a disappointment, his .257/.336/.367 line shows that there’s still hope for Cecchini as a Red Sox prospect.
- Henry Owens hasn’t been lights-out since being promoted to the PawSox, but he turned in an excellent start Thursday against Lehigh Valley. The lanky lefty lasted 8 strong innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk while punching out 6 batters. Owens is still just 22 years old and has an impressive 3.51 ERA and 27:6 K:BB ratio in his first 25.2 innings at the Triple-A level. Needless to say, Owens has a very bright future and could be in Boston at this time next year.
- Anthony Ranaudo made a spot start for the Red Sox last week but he’s back in Pawtucket and started twice for the PawSox this week. His first start was excellent as he threw 6 shutout innings, allowing 7 hits and a walk while striking out 4. However, today’s start wasn’t so pretty as he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 6.1 innings pitched. Still, Ranaudo has had a phenomenal age 24 season as he holds a 2.61 ERA in 138 Triple-A innings.
- Blake Swihart hasn’t set the world on fire since being promoted from Portland to Pawtucket and this week was no exception. In four games, he went only 2-14 at the plate with a walk. However, his mediocre .255/.283/.392 slash line in 13 Triple-A games is no indication of his talent as Swihart is among the top catching prospects in baseball.
Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A)
- Sean Coyle has jumped up prospect rankings throughout this season with a very strong showing in Portland and, though he wasn’t great this week, he seems to have recovered from his ankle injury. Through those five games, Coyle slashed .235/.350/.368, but on the whole, he has been excellent this season and holds a .303/.380/.513 slash line in Portland.
- Brian Johnson has quietly dominated more than any other pitcher in the Red Sox farm system this season and he turned in another phenomenal start Saturday. In 7 innings against New Hampshire, Johnson allowed just a run on one hit and 2 walks while fanning 10 batters. He lowered his ERA to a stingy 1.83 to go with his incredibly impressive 98:32 K:BB ratio and .192 opponents’ batting average. He has dominated Double-A and the Red Sox will need to find him a home in Pawtucket next season.
- Eduardo Rodriguez has been similarly dominant since the Red Sox acquired him from the Orioles. After posting a 4.79 ERA in 16 starts for the Bowie BaySox, Rodriguez has a remarkable 0.74 ERA in his 4 starts with the Sea Dogs. He was predictably good once again this Thursday as he shut out the Harrisburg Senators for 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 batters. Even following that slow start in Double-A, he has lowered his ERA to a respectable 3.79 ERA between the two teams and also belongs in Pawtucket next season.
Salem Red Sox (High-A)
- Manuel Margot got off to a great start after being promoted to High-A Salem and, though he slowed down a bit this week, his performance has stayed impressive. In six games this week, Margot slashed .250/.318/.300 with 2 stolen bases and 1 double which isn’t overly impressive without considering that Margot is only 19 years old. Through his first 9 games in Salem, he is hitting .310/.344/.517 and looks to have an awfully bright future for the Red Sox.
Greenville Drive (Single-A)
- Trey Ball was on a good run before being wrecked last week. However, he got back on track with a solid start for the Drive today. Ball tossed 6 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks while punching out 4 batters. His first full season in the Red Sox organization hasn’t gone swimmingly as his ERA still stands at 5.22 but he has made consistent progress throughout the season and that’s at least something.
GCL Red Sox (Gulf Coast League)
- Rafael Devers has slowed down after a fast start to his stateside career but he ended a slump with a solid last week. In 6 games, Devers slashed a solid .318/.400/.455 with 3 doubles and continued his phenomenal debut season in the Red Sox organization. In 39 games in the Gulf Coast League, the 17 year old is hitting .306/.369/.486 with 4 home runs. Not bad for a guy they signed on the international market just last year.