Red Sox minor league roundup: Mookie Betts moves up; Deven Marrero trying to do the same; Drake Britton's Triple-A debut; Xander Bogaerts is precocious

July 10, 2013 - 8:38 am
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A brief look at Tuesday's action in the Red Sox farm system, on a day perhaps most noteworthy for the callup of Brandon Workman. For more on Workman, and why one man who coached both him and Justin Masterson sees a number of similarities between the pitchers, click here. TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-1 LOSS AT LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES) (BOX) -- While the final line appears unimpressive, left-hander Drake Britton impressed in stretches in his Triple-A debut. The 24-year-old worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the third inning with a pair of punchouts, and held his opponents scoreless through four innings. He ended up giving up five runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he struck out five, walked one and showed an impressive determination to attack the strike zone (59 of 85 pitches for strikes -- 69 percent) while getting a lot of swings and misses (14). Lefties were 0-for-2 with one strikeout against Britton. -- Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 and has now reached base in 11 straight games. During the run, he has a .371/.488/.457 line, with marks of .269/.364/.430 in 26 games since his promotion to Triple-A. Given that the league average line in the International League is .259/.334/.397, it would appear that Bogaerts has been performing at an above-average level over his first month in Triple-A, despite being the youngest player in the league. In other words, his offensive transition has met if not exceeded expectations to date. -- Right-hander Brock Huntzinger continued his strong showing in Pawtucket, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. He allowed a hit and a walk. The 25-year-old now has a 1.80 ERA with 17 strikeouts and six walks in 15 innings for the PawSox. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: OFF DAY HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 8-6 WIN VS. MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS) (BOX) -- Feats of Mookie: Getting promoted. Mookie Betts went 1-for-4 with a double in his High-A debut. The 20-year-old forced his way to Salem by hitting .296/.418/.477 with 24 doubles and eight homers in 76 games with Greenville. His OBP ranked fourth in the South Atlantic League. The 2011 fifth-rounder was dominant over his final two months with the Drive, hitting .353 with a .451 OBP, .557 slugging mark and 29 extra-base hits over a 53-game stretch that started on May 5. Betts was also successful on 18 of 20 stolen base attempts prior to his promotion. -- Shortstop Deven Marrero went 3-for-5 with a pair of stolen bases, continuing what has been an excellent second half. In 17 games since the All-Star break, the 2012 first-rounder is now hitting .348/.430/.420 with nine walks, eight strikeouts and nine steals in as many attempts. On the year, Marrero is 16-for-16 in stolen base attempts while hitting .274/.351/.355 and playing excellent defense at short. Given that the Sox viewed him as an exceptionally advanced player when they drafted him -- even going so far as to invite him to big league camp this year -- there would appear a reasonable chance that Marrero could earn a promotion at some point to Double-A Portland. -- Outfielder Brandon Jacobs likewise continued his second-half push towards a possible promotion, going 2-for-4 with a double and driving in three. He's hitting .310/.412/.563 with 10 extra-base hits (four homers, six doubles) in 19 games since the break. -- Right-hander Mike Augliera left the game after just 1 2/3 innings after taking a line drive off the right leg. He did walk off the field under his own power. It was an unfortunate end to a tough outing, as Augliera permitted four runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks while retiring just the five batters. Still, he induced five groundball outs and all three of the hits he permitted were singles. -- Outfielder Henry Ramos went 1-for-4 with a single and a walk to run his hitting streak to 14 games, during which he's hitting .344/.373/.541. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 2-1 WIN AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES) (BOX) -- Left-hander Cody Kukuk matched a season-low with one walk, and predictably, the 20-year-old with electric stuff thus dominated. He gave up one run on five hits while punching out six in a season-high six innings. The 2011 seventh-rounder has now completed a month of strong performances, with a 1.35 ERA and .146/.309/.225 opponents' batting line over six starts since his return to the rotation on June 9. His issue has been command, as he's walked 21 batters in 26 2/3 innings during that time, but when he's in the strike zone, he's put up dazzling results. Kukuk has struck out 30 over this six-start stretch while punching out 9.3 per nine innings on the year. -- Right-hander Austin Maddox fired a pair of shutout innings, punching out two and walking none. In six appearances since his full-time move to the bullpen, the 2012 third-rounder has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts, five walks and a .224 opponents' batting average in 12 innings. -- Second baseman Keaton Briscoe, moved into the lineup with Betts' promotion, hit the game-winning two-run homer. The 22-year-old has a six-game hitting streak during which he's 6-for-20 (.300) with a walk, a homer and two doubles. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-2 WIN AT BROOKLYN (METS) (BOX) -- Right-hander Ty Buttrey was tremendous, tossing five shutout innings while allowing just a single and a walk, striking out three. The 20-year-old, a 2012 fourth-round choice, has given up just two runs in his last three starts spanning 16 innings. -- Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin went 0-for-3 but walked twice, continuing to show the plate discipline that was one of his hallmarks as an amateur in Taiwan. Lin has 11 walks (against 13 strikeouts) in 19 games, with a .264 average and .357 OBP along with a .375 slugging mark. In many ways, his performance in Lowell bears resemblance to that of Betts a year ago when he was a 19-year-old in Lowell. Betts showed excellent strike zone command and plate discipline, speed and the tools to play middle infield, but sometimes lacked aggressiveness en route to a .267/.352/.307 line that featured 32 walks and 30 strikeouts. ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: SUSPENDED (RAIN) DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 2-0 LOSS AT DSL ATHLETICS (BOX) -- Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-4, delivering his ninth multi-hit game of the season. He's batting .253/.351/.424, strong marks for a 17-year-old in a league where the average line is .231/.328/.312. Though he has now gone nine games without a homer, Acosta is still one of just nine players in the DSL with four or more homers.