Kansas City, MO, USA; World designated hitter Xander Bogaerts hits a single during the third inning of the All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE
Xander Bogaerts, SS
(Note: Baseball-Reference hasn't updated their stats as of this writing, so all numbers in the tables are prior to July 24th games.)
After going deep for homer #13 on Tuesday, Xander Bogaerts is now hitting .285/.359/.472 as a 19-year-old in the High-A Carolina League. The league as a whole, average age of 22.5 years, is at .259/.329/.394. Xander Bogaerts is really good at baseball.
He's at .306/.350/.472 in his last 10 contests, hitting for power against both lefties and righties (lower batting average against southpaws, but higher Isolated Power), and while his July overall has been relatively slow, he's clearly been working to fix that before the calendar turns over. There's not a whole lot more to say about Bogaerts at this point, as he's proving he can hit in a league with older, more experienced players once again.
Outside of his performance though, it's a good time to reflect on how Boston seems unwilling to even enter discussions that would likely cost them Bogaerts in a deadline trade. It's not surprising that their top prospect would quietly get this kind of untouchable tag attached to him, and it's certainly not official, but given nothing has even reached the point where his would has been mentioned, you have to feel a little good about it.
Brandon Jacobs, LF
Brandon Jacobs, on the other hand, is in no such class that he's likely to avoid being dealt. If the Red Sox were to make a deal, either this deadline or this off-season, Jacobs is the kind of prospect that they would likely move. He's not really a top 100 guy, with some tools and some ceiling there for willing parties to dream on, but he doesn't project to be such a force that the Red Sox would miss him, especially with what is a talented group of outfield prospects in the system.
He's picked things up as of late, despite the busted hamate bone, hitting .279/.311/.488 in his last 10, going deep twice along with three doubles. The strikeouts are still there, but that's basically expected at this point, given he's punching out 25 percent of the time on the year. The walks are good, not great, and the same can be said for the power, but let's remember he's also just 21. It might take another stint at Salem before we know what Jacobs has to offer, but as said, he could also be dealt before that point, too.
Sean Coyle, 2B
Sean Coyle has mostly had a disappointing campaign, one full of swings-and-misses and far less of his power than we expected to see given his success in 2011. That being said, he's doing well in July, hitting a ridiculous .405/.463/.676 over his last 10 games, courtesy of two homers, four doubles, nine singles, and three walks. For the month, Coyle is at .324/.355/.494, easily his best stretch of the season. That's a good sign considering how poor the first half went, and with another month like that to end the season, he could actually put a pretty bow on top of what has overall been a tough 2012.
He's even younger than Jacobs, though, and in many ways is more interesting, given he's an infielder with some serious power potential. Don't give up on him just because a 20-year-old's first try of things at High-A didn't go well, especially if he ends the season performing essentially the opposite of how he began it.
One last thing: Coyle looks like he's cut into his walks a bit during this last month of play, but he's also only punched out 10 times -- his previous low for any month was 24 in 87 at-bats. If a little more aggressiveness thrown into his approach means fewer strikeouts, it might be worth losing a few percentage points of walks over. Granted, you want more walks than he has in July, but again, he's 20, and learning the game: this is potential progress we're seeing, and the next step will be adding some of the walks back in without piling on whiffs.