Red Sox Minor League Update: July 21-27
Jun 29, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) dives back to first base against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Tonights game is Betts MLB debut. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
In a new weekly segment from BoSox Injection, we take a look at this week’s performances from a few of the top prospects throughout Boston’s farm system. Let’s get started.
Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A):
- Mookie Betts– Betts has been on a tear since the Red Sox optioned him back to Pawtucket and that continued this week. In seven games this week, Betts slashed .406/.441/.625 with 1 home run and 7 RBIs, upping his Triple-A slash line to a tidy .336/.417/.476. With all the trade rumors swirling around the Red Sox, it’s easy to see Betts back in Boston before long and he’s certainly doing nothing to discourage that notion.
- Anthony Ranaudo– Ranaudo continued a very strong season for the PawSox by turning in an excellent start on Friday. In a six-inning effort, Ranaudo shut out the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, allowing just three hits and two walks while fanning four hitters. It’s particularly nice to see Ranaudo walk only two batters as that has been a problem in an otherwise excellent season for the 24 year old as Ranaudo lowered his ERA to 2.41 and he will certainly be in the market for a September call-up.
- Allen Webster– Webster made the start for the Red Sox today, going 5.1 innings and allowing just two earned runs (though he did walk five) in a win, but he also made a good start for the PawSox on Monday. Webster lasted seven innings in that game, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. Webster will hope that that was his last Minor League start in a while as he’ll be hoping to stick in Boston for the duration of the season.
- Brandon Workman– While Webster will hope to stay in the Red Sox’ rotation, however, Workman will be hoping for the opposite as Webster is his main competition for that role. And in his one start on Thursday, Workman proved that he’s right behind Webster as he recorded a very strong start, allowing just a run on five hits and a walk while punching out six batters in six innings.
Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A):
- Blake Swihart– Swihart kept rolling right along this week, adding another chapter to his breakout season as he slashed .417/.462/.500 with a pair of doubles in six games. Given his youth (22 years old) and status as a catcher, Swihart will likely remain in Portland for the rest of the season but he’s certainly opened some eyes this season and should continue to do so as he develops into Boston’s starting catcher.
- Henry Owens– For the first time in quite a while, Henry Owens actually had himself a pretty rough start this week. He has been phenomenal all season, as his 2.56 ERA and 3.5 BB/9 represent career-bests, but Thursday’s four-inning effort, which saw him allow five runs on five hits and four walks, will mark one of the rougher patches of his year thus far.
- Brian Johnson– Johnson remains one of the more quietly dominant names in the Red Sox’ system this season, turning in perhaps his best start of the year on Friday. Starting against the New Britain Rock Cats, Johnson tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit and three walks while striking out twelve batters. One of the more underrated arms in the organization, Johnson has been excellent in Portland this year with a 2.13 ERA in fifteen starts.
Greenville Drive (Single-A):
- Trey Ball– Boston’s first-round pick in 2013, Ball has had a rough first full season for the Drive. However, he had a solid performance this Friday as he allowed two earned runs (four total) in six innings, striking out three and walking just one. Ball’s ERA is still 5.80 on the season but it does appear that he’s coming around of late.
- Manuel Margot– Margot has developed into one of the higher-ceiling prospects in the Red Sox’ organization but his talents weren’t on full display this week. In four games, Margot was just 2-15 with 5 strikeouts for the Drive. On the whole, though, he has had a successful season and his slash line still stands at a respectable.261/.329/.412 with 8 home runs and 31 stolen bases.
Lowell Spinners (Short Season-A)
- Sam Travis– The Red Sox’ second-round pick this season, Travis is really coming into his own lately and this week was no exception. In seven games for the Spinners, Travis slashed .292/.346/.458 with 1 home run and 4 RBIs. While Travis doesn’t have a huge ceiling, he seems to be the type of prospect that can quickly rise through the ranks and contribute regularly and he’s done nothing to dispel that in Lowell as he’s posted a .294/.331/.406 slash line thus far.
Ft. Myers Red Sox (Gulf Coast League)
- Michael Chavis– Chavis was Boston’s first-round pick (26th overall) this season but he has not been terribly impressive for the GCL Red Sox this season. He has slashed just .093/.188/.163 in 43 at bats and largely continued that trend this week, going 2-12 with a double. Still, it’s very early in Chavis’s career and we shouldn’t judge him based on this sample.
- Rafael Devers– Devers, on the other hand, has been incredible in both the GCL and the Dominican Summer League this year and absolutely continued it this week. He slashed .381/.435/.476 this week, which remarkably lowered his phenomenal .393/.449/.623 line with the GCL this year, as he’s really developing into a potential impact prospect.
- Michael Kopech– Boston’s second first-round pick (33rd overall) in this year’s draft, Kopech made his third appearance of the year this week and struggled. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in just 1.1 innings on Friday but, like Chavis, it’s far too early to take anything away from Kopech’s performance.