August 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM
This week's minor league notes
- One of the hottest hitters in the minors was promoted to Salem last week, as Manuel Margot (pictured) got the bump up from Greenville. Margot was torching the South Atlantic League, hitting .378/.440/.600 over his last 100 plate appearances for the Drive, and he has gone 6 for 13 with two home runs in his first three games for Salem. Currently ranked 10th in the SoxProspects.com rankings, Margot has exceeded expectations in his first full season as a professional, and his prospect status continues to climb.
- Another prospect who has seen his stock rise over the last few weeks is Matt Barnes. The former first-round pick has allowed seven runs in his last 32 1/3 innings, surrendering 18 hits and 10 walks while striking out 25. In his start last week, he went a career-high eight innings while allowing only one run. He got a slow start to the season after experiencing shoulder soreness in spring training, but he has rebounded nicely, and pushed his overall ERA down to 4.12.
- It has been a tough year for Garin Cecchini, as he has dropped from number four in the SoxProspects.com rankings down to number 15. He seems to have rediscovered his approach over the last eight games, as he has hit .394/.429/.697. He has struggled to drive the ball at all this year, but he has now hit four home runs in his last 16 games.
- There may not be a more respected teammate in the Red Sox system than Matt Spring, who is currently playing for the PawSox after starting the year in Portland. Joon Lee of WEEI.com talked to several teammates about Spring's influence both on and off the field, and Spring discussed his major league dreams.
- Rich Sauveur has worked with a number of talented young pitchers this season as the pitching coach for the PawSox. While Henry Owens has only been in Pawtucket for a few weeks, Sauveur told Alex Speier of WEEI.com on his Minor Details podcast that Owens can be a number one or two starter for the Red Sox, citing his poise on the mound, command, and two plus pitches as the main reasons.
- Mookie Betts has been on the move five times this year between Portland, Pawtucket, and Boston, but he has consistently performed through the changes. Since being sent back down to Pawtucket to get consistent at-bats on August 7, Betts has hit .375 with an OPS of .965. His on-base skills, speed, and surprising power makes Betts a nearly ideal leadoff hitter, making him a very valuable player.
- Two recent additions to the farm system have been playing well, with 2014 first-round pick Michael Chavis batting .441/.513/.618 over his last 11 games, and Eduardo Rodriguez has allowed only two runs while striking out 23 in his three starts since coming over from the Orioles in exchange for Andrew Miller.
- Undrafted college free agents rarely make an impact on an organization, but Dan Butler (pictured), who was signed out of the University of Arizona in July of 2009, has defied the odds and made the major leagues. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal talked with Butler about his unlikely path to Fenway, which is even more surprising when you consider he was not even the starting catcher on his college team.
Photo Credit: Manuel Margot and Dan Butler by Kelly O'Connor