Double-A Portland Sea Dogs
Andrew Benintendi was promoted this week to Portland after his fast start at Greenville (.976 OPS). His first few games have shown that perhaps the talk about him playing left field at Fenway this summer is not realistic yet. The 21 year old Arkansas product is just two for 15 in his first four games at Portland, striking out five times and walking just once. He has a double and two runs batted in so far. It is just the first week of course, and no one was sending him up to Boston quite yet, but even though there is a need in left field in Boston, fans need to understand that Benintendi still needs to develop and prove himself at the lower levels before moving up, just like any other player.
Justin Haley is now in his third season at Portland (the first was a partial season), so as he turns 25, he needs to show something soon to stay with the organization. He has been the Clay Buchholz of their minor league system, up and down. In 2014, a 1.19 ERA in 37.7 innings, then in 2015, a 5.15 ERA in 124 innings. A sparkling 14 innings in the Arizona Fall League twirling a 0.64 ERA. This year, a 2.87 ERA in 37.2 innings. True to form, he had a third of an inning disaster of a start this week after a four start run in which he allowed just three runs in 26 innings.
Jake Romanski is a name you could hear at the major league level as a backup. He is having a big year for average this season, hitting at a .333/.361/.392 clip with just 10 strikeouts in 102 at-bats. Romanski was drafted in the 14th round out of San Diego State in 2013. Defensively, he is very solid with a strong throwing arm, so he should be able to make the majors somewhere, if not Boston.
Aaron Wilkerson may need a new challenge above Portland. Signed out of an independent league in 2014, Wilkerson has excelled everywhere he has gone. In 80 innings including last season at Portland, he has a 2.02 ERA and 0.94 WHIP striking out 81 batters, walking just 25. This season, his ERA stands at 1.37, allowing a .158 batting average against in 39.1 innings, striking out 46. The Red Sox need to send the 26 year old to Pawtucket, to see how he fares there because Portland is too easy for him now.
Next: High-A Salem Red Sox