Welcome to Fenway’s Futures. This week we look into the return of Brian Johnson, lament another subpar performance from Henry Owens and take a look at this week’s top performers throughout the minors. Because we know what you’re here for, we also give an update on the top prospects.
Triple-A Pawtucket: Brian Johnson (LHP)
After a slew of promising starts for Johnson, the lefty hit a small bump in the road during his latest outing. On Sunday, Johnson only lasted three innings in Columbus, allowing four earned runs on six hits in three innings. He also struck out one and walked four, throwing 78 pitches, 46 of them being strikes. It was an unfortunate outing to cap off what had been, for the most part, an encouraging July from Johnson.
This was his first start for Pawtucket since he took some time off, so an adjustment period is to be expected. Anxiety is no joke, and with other viable (whatever, they might be) options in Triple-A, there’s no real rush for Johnson. Still, he didn’t look half bad in four starts split between Lowell and the Red Sox Gulf Coast affiliate, so the potential is still there. It will be interesting to see how quickly he gets back to where he was before he was placed on the temporary inactive list in early May.
Quick update on Henry Owens
If you can believe it, Owens followed up a strong start with a poor one. After posting seven innings of one-hit ball on the 16th — arguably his strongest outing of the year — Owens was flat five days later, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings. He also walked three.
Double-A Portland: Mauricio Dubon (SS)
He’s the one raking in Portland that isn’t mentioned in Chris Sale rumors. Over the last 10 games he’s hitting .421 and is riding a seven game hitting streak. MLB.com has Dubon ranked as the 11th best prospect in the Red Sox system. He started the year in Salem, slashing .306/.387/.379 (with a pedestrian .766 OPS, though) and has missed a beat since being promoted. In 27 games at Portland, he’s hitting .333/.372/.476 and raised that OPS to .848.
The irony of him not being mentioned in trade rumors is that if the Sox make a move over the next week, it’s more likely than not it’s Dubon on the move than Benintendi or Moncada. It’s unfortunate that he’s blocked by two organizational cornerstones and a third wunderkind that might very well also be one, but Dubon is a nice prospect who could turn into a serviceable every day starter for someone down the line.
Quick Update on Yoan Moncada
The last 10 days in Portland haven’t been kind to Moncada, who’s hitting a measly .167 over that last span. He hasn’t hit a home run since he hit two in one game on July 18th. [Editor’s note: These stats are through 7/25, and Moncada did hit a homer last night]
Even Quicker Update on Andrew Benintendi
He’s playing left field now! It’s all happening!
High-A Salem: Rafael Devers (3B)
He’s had quite a week, hitting .300/.391/.650 with a 1.041 OPS over the last seven days. He’s hit .378/.434/.711 during an out-of-his-mind stretch throughout July. This season, his month splits go as such:
It’s well documented that Devers was wildly unlucky to start the year – in April he had a ugly .145 BABIP. This July, that numbers up at .458, which is fun. Totally, completely unsustainable, but fun. In a perfect world Portland plays at least a few games with Benintendi, Devers, and Dubon all on the left side with Moncada at second. Could that team beat the Sixers!?
Low-A Greenville: Luis Alexander Basabe (OF)
He’s hitting .318 over the last week and .373 in the month of July. Considering he’s a career .260 hitter throughout his short career, there’s probably some sort of regression not far away. He has five plus tools, although scouts seem to be the least confident in the hit tool. He’s shown some of that surprising power this month as well, hitting four home runs while only hitting six in the previous three months combined.
He was also born in 1996, and there’s nothing quite like writing about young prospects to help remind you that time is fleeting and we all grow old.
Photo by Kelly O’Connor/www.sittingstill.smugmug.com