NEW YORK: Ryan Kalish #55 of the Boston Red Sox hits a double to get team mate Yamaico Navarro #56 home against the New York Yankees during their game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Brandon Jacobs, LF
Last time we peeked at Brandon Jacobs and his first season at High-A Salem, he wasn't hitting for average, drawing walks, or hitting for power. He was, however, doing fine work in his second job as a windmill, whiffing 31 percent of the time.
May has been better in some ways, but in others, he's the same Jacobs he was a month ago. He's struck out just six times in his last 10 games (40 at-bats), and just 10 times over the course of the whole month. He also hasn't started to hit for anymore power at all, and walks still aren't a thing he draws regularly, but cutting down on the swings-and-misses is a start.
Jacobs has been hampered by a contusion on his hand, and he's on the minor-league disabled list because of it. He hasn't played since May 18, and as of now (as with many minor-league injuries), there's no specific time frame for him to return. We're nearly into June, though, so he's starting to miss a decent amount of time with the injury. When he does return, one hopes he brings some of his 2011 power with him.
Ryan Kalish, OF
Kalish's rehab assignment has begun in High-A, with the outfield starting two games at designated hitter and another in center. After both neck and shoulder surgeries, Kalish is expected to work his way back not just to Pawtucket, but possibly the majors, too, given all of the injury woes at that level. His 2011 was essentially a lost campaign, as he compiled just 96 plate appearances and a 550 OPS, thanks to both missing time and playing while hurt.
Kalish is still just 24, and while he wasn't quite ready for the majors in 2012, he also showed promise given he was all of 22 at the time. It's likely he could use a bit more seasoning at Triple-A, but, as in 2010, Boston might not have that option available to them thanks to injuries.
Seeing him come out hitting -- he's got a homer already, even -- is a good sign, even if it's against pitchers at a level he mastered years ago. You would think he would be rusty at this point, so the more of this we see, the more likely it is the Red Sox can weather the outfield injury storm until Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford return.
Sean Coyle, 2B
The 2012 season has not been kind to Sean Coyle. He's shown some pop, but the batting average just isn't there thanks to striking out 28 percent of the time. While he's shown patience, it hasn't looked as impressive as in 2011, when he was facing less-experienced pitching.
His last 10 games have been excruciatingly poor, with Coyle hitting .111/.179/.167 with 10 strikeouts in 36 at-bats. He had just one extra-base hit in that stretch, and it has helped to derail a May in which it looked like he was starting to come around.
Coyle is just 20, though, nearly three years under the average age for hitters in the Carolina League, so this isn't the time to panic. It's how he rebounds from these struggles that matters (or, if he rebounds at all), not the struggles themselves. Moving up through the minors is a game of constant adjustments, and right now, Coyle needs to start striking out less, putting himself back in control of his plate appearances.
He has plenty of time to figure things out, given his youth, and the Red Sox have no reason to want to rush him, either. With his power and batting eye, time and experience might be all he needs to smooth things over.