Red Sox minor lines: Trouble in the lower levels?

Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

It's been a pretty fun year for prospect-watching Red Sox fans, but have all the upper-level positives masked a slide in the system's depths?

Portland L 0-5

Box Score

Christian Vazquez: 0-4, K
Garin Cecchini: 0-3, BB, K
Michael Almanzar: 0-4, 2 K
Kolbrin Vitek: 1-3

Noe Ramirez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Cecchini may have doubled in the Futures game, but at Double-A he's had just two hits in his last 16 at bats. His OBP must be getting dangerously close to .400 by now.

No, wait, .456. Carry on then.

Salem L 4-9

Box Score

Henry Ramos: 2-4, BB, K
Deven Marrero: 0-4, K
Keury De La Cruz: 0-4, 2 K
Mookie Betts: 3-4, 2B, K
Cody Koback: 0-3

Mike Augliera: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

After starting out 2-for-14, Betts has rattled off six hits in his last 10 trips to the plate.

Greenville Game 1 W 2-1

Box Score

Jose Vinicio: 0-4, 3 K

Francellis Montas: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Montas' first appearance out of the bullpen went so much better than the rest of his season has that they should probably just throw someone for an inning or two before him every time, even if he's not intended as a piggyback starter.

Greenville L 4-7

Box Score

Jose Vinicio: 1-4, 2 K

Cody Kukuk: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Austin Maddox: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Maddox, on the other hand, is kind of just miserable wherever you put him right now.

Lowell W 4-3

Box Score

Tzu-Wei Lin: 0-4
Manuel Margot: 0-3, BB, SB
Kendrick Perkins: 0-4, 2 K
Forrestt Allday: 2-4

Forrestt Allday played two games in mid-June. In his first, he went hitless with two walks and a strikeout. In his second, he picked up two hits.

Forrest Allday has now played two games in mid-July. In his first, he wet hitless in his first and, well, you see the second up above.

See you in August!

GCL Red Sox L 3-4

Box Score

Jon Denney: 1-4, 2 K
Jordon Austin: 0-1, 3 BB

Brian Johnson: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

So let's talk the 2012 draft class, and the lower levels of the farm system. So far, all of those right-handed pitchers the Sox picked up in the first ten rounds have combined for an ERA over 5.00, and a K:BB under 2.00. This is exacerbated by a couple of truly terrible numbers (Pat Light and Austin Maddox' ERAs are the stuff of 2011 Lackey or 2012 Daisuke), but there's really nobody setting themselves apart to speak of. It would be premature to call the class a bust, but for now, nobody from that year is really contributing to the overall health of the system.

As you might expect, then, for as good as the upper levels look right now, there's just not a lot going on down below Salem.

Jon Denney and Trey Ball should help that, as could Boston's various international signings. And one whiff of a year does not spell the end to a system in the least, as evidenced by the general dearth of talent in the 2009 draft class. If that left the team ill-prepared to salvage some level of respectability last year, well, there was a lot more going on than just that in 2012.

Still, the Sox could really use some surprise performances from some of the less-heralded members of the 2013 class next year. Or for some of the 2012 bunch to wake up and start performing.

Read more Red Sox:

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