Here’s a look at the best and worst performances in the Red Sox minor league system for July. (SoxProspects.com prospect ranking in parenthesis)
Top offensive players in July
(31) Mauro Gomez, 1B, Pawtucket -- .333/.390/.593 with 2 HRs
(34) Juan Carlos Linares, OF, Pawtucket -- .337/.369/.526 with 4 HRs
(40) Christian Vazquez, C, Salem -- .338/.453/.549 with 3 HRs
(42) Michael Almanzar, 1B/3B, Salem -- .333/.415/.565 with 5 HRs
(NR) Jeremias Pineda, OF, GCL Red Sox -- .436/.470/.553 with 0 HRs and 10 SBs
NR means player is not ranked in the top 60
Gomez’s impressive play in Triple-A Pawtucket earned him two separate call-ups to Boston in July, where he hit .321 in 28 at-bats ... Linares, 28, is capable of playing all three outfield positions, and may be part of Boston’s bench equation in 2013 ... Vazquez has thrown out 42 percent of would-be base stealers for the season, while posting solid numbers at the plate ... Almanzar made history by reaching base in 16 consecutive plate appearances in mid-July, matching the major league record held by Ted Williams ... Pineda, an athletic 21-year-old center fielder out of the Dominican Republic, is leading the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, hits, and total bases.
Top pitchers in July
(14) Henry Owens, SP, Greenville – 2-2, 4.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 25/9 K/BB in 22.0 IP
(53) Yeiper Castillo, SP, Salem/Greenville – 2-1, 1.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 28/13 K/BB in 37.0 IP
(60) William Cuevas, P, Lowell – 4-1, 2.18 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 35/6 K/BB in 33.0 IP
(NR) Ricardo Betancourt, P, GCL Red Sox – 3-1, 0.00 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 16/6 K/BB in 22.2 IP
(NR) Francisco Taveras, P, Lowell – 2-1, 1.59 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 22/10 K/BB in 28.1 IP
Owens, who just turned 20, leads all of the minor leagues with 12.27 strikeouts per nine innings ... After four injury-plagued seasons in Low-A Greenville, Castillo responded well to a July 5 promotion to High-A Salem ... Cuevas has impressed with a low-90s fastball that can occasionally top out around 95 mph ... Betancourt, a 19-year-old Venezuelan lefty, has posted an 0.75 ERA in 36.0 innings between stops in the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League ... Along with Cuevas, Taveras is among the top 10 in the NY-Penn League in ERA for the season.
(6) Bryce Brentz, OF, Portland – .200/.250/.326 with 3 HRs
(19) Jose Vinicio, SS, Greenville – .213/.238/.262 with 1 HR
(25) Frank Montas, SP, GCL Red Sox – 1-4, 7.64 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 18/8 K/BB in 17.2 IP
(NR) Derrik Gibson, IF, Portland – .187/.260/.209 with 0 HRs
(NR) Ryan Dent, IF, Portland/Pawtucket – .157/.224/.186 with 0 HRs
Brentz’s approach is being tested after cycling through Eastern League competition -- he spent July trying to find a balance between staying aggressive at the plate while managing the strike zone ... Vinicio’s subpar line can be somewhat attributed to the fact that he was returning from a three-week DL stint as the result of a left shoulder contusion ... Montas, a 19-year-old Dominican with a high-90s fastball, has shown solid control, but he’s been too hittable due to lack of deception and movement ... Neither Gibson nor Dent have been able to show much offensive success over extended time in Double-A ... Dent was the 62nd overall draft pick in 2007 while Gibson was the 77th overall pick in 2008 (for contrast, Will Middlebrooks was 174th overall in 2007 and Ryan Lavarnway was 202nd overall in 2008).
As of August 1, here are your batting leaders in the Red Sox minor league system (cumulative stats, min. 150 plate appearances): Portland OF Jackie Bradley at .330, Linares at .321, Greenville OF Keury De La Cruz at .314, Almanzar at .311, and Greenville OF Drew Turocy at .311.
The organization’s home run leaders are Gomez at 20, Portland OF Jeremy Hazelbaker at 17, Salem 1B Travis Shaw at 16, De La Cruz at 16, and Portland 1B Reynaldo Rodriguez at 16 ... Stolen base leaders are Greenville 3B Garin Cecchini with 36, Hazelbaker with 26, Salem OF Shannon Wilkerson with 25, DSL Red Sox OF Manuel Margot with 24, and Bradley with 23.
ERA leaders as of July 1 (cumulative, players still in the organization, min. 50 IP) are Salem RHP Matt Barnes at 2.55, Greenville LHP Mickey Pena at 2.60, Portland RHP Aaron Kurcz at 2.86, Salem RHP Scott Swinson at 2.91, and Pawtucket/Portland LHP Chris Hernandez at 2.98.
Strikeout leaders: Barnes with 122, Owens with 110, Salem RHP Brandon Workman with 94, Pawtucket RHP Brandon Duckworth with 93, and Castillo with 93.
Six players got the call to Boston from the minor leagues in July – Gomez, IF Pedro Ciriaco, OF Ryan Kalish, RHP Clay Mortensen, RHP Justin Germano, and RHP Junichi Tazawa ... Minor league level promotions included Hernandez from Portland to Pawtucket, RHP Ryan Pressly and RHP Michael Olmsted from Salem to Portland, Castillo from Greenville to Salem, LHP Dylan Chavez and LHP Kevin Brahney from Lowell to Greenville, and 1B Jake Davies from the GCL to Lowell ... The Red Sox signed four draft picks in July: RHP Stephen Williams, OF Brandon Magee, OF Khiry Cooper, and RHP Willie Ethington ... On the injury front, Boston has Daisuke Matsuzaka in Pawtucket on rehab assignment, while Chris Carpenter recently ended his rehab assignment, at which point he was activated and optioned to Triple-A ... Minor leaguers on the disabled list include Portland RHP Anthony Ranaudo (shoulder fatigue), Kurcz (undisclosed), Pena (strained hamstring), Greenville RHP Madison Younginer (lat), and Lowell OF Williams Jerez (thumb).