Portland Sea Dogs update: Garin Cecchini, Christian Vazquez, Travis Shaw

USA TODAY Sports

Cecchini keeps hitting, Vazquez is back on track, and Shaw has been derailed once more.

Garin Cecchini, 3B

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 22 Salem CARL A+ 262 19 4 5 15 7 43 34 .350 .469 .547 1.016
2013 22 Portland EL AA 98 7 0 2 0 1 16 20 .341 .449 .500 .949
3 Seasons 1019 76 9 14 78 16 137 163 .319 .419 .476 .895
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/18/2013.

You might have noticed already, but Cecchini doesn't seem to be having any trouble with the transition to Double-A. He's played in 22 games, and has one more plate appearance than Xander Bogaerts managed last season in his short time at the level. Just like with Bogaerts, you don't want to get overly excited about a small sample, but Cecchini seems to know what he's doing.

He's following the path of Jackie Bradley Jr. a little better than Bradley did, as last year's breakout prospect actually slowed down a bit, but was still impressive, upon reaching the Sea Dogs. Cecchini has kept his strikeout-to-walk ratio all close and Cecchini-like, though, is hitting .341, and while he's not hitting for obscene power, that's not who he is, either. This is a huge step for him, and if he can keep it up, he very well might begin 2014 in Triple-A, leading to some serious questions about just who belongs where on the Red Sox depth chart for the left side of the infield.

*****

Christian Vazquez, C

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 22 Portland EL AA 256 12 1 4 6 1 32 32 .250 .345 .368 .713
6 Seasons 1605 79 4 34 12 5 167 297 .255 .338 .389 .728
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/18/2013.

Vazquez's season might not look like all that much, but remember, he's a catcher, and he's just 22. The fact he has the same number of walks and strikeouts, and has managed an OPS over 700 and a .345 on-base percentage in spite of a low average and, for much of the season, an even lower batting average on balls in play, is worth your attention. Or, at least, merits your attention in concert with his superb defensive skills behind the plate.

He's managed to hit pretty well of late, at least in Vazquez terms, popping a .289/.372/.342 line over his last 10 games after a rough June brought his line down. He's also managed to bring his batting average on balls in play up to .274, which doesn't sound all that impressive, but remember not all that long ago he was in possession of a career BABIP at Double-A that resided in the .230s. This is an improvement, even if it's just some luck on singles finally going his way.

*****

Travis Shaw, 1B

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 23 Portland EL AA 374 15 2 10 6 0 58 87 .220 .345 .377 .722
3 Seasons 1180 73 5 37 21 3 173 249 .261 .375 .457 .833
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/18/2013.

Shaw doesn't get the same kind of pass for his offense as Vazquez, as he's not only a year older, but he's also a first baseman. After seemingly coming to life in June, July has been a cruel reminder of the work that needs to done in his development: Shaw has hit .116/.240/.372 in 14 games this month, showing some power, but little else. Strikeouts remain a problem, and until he starts to take control of his plate appearances more consistently, that's going to remain the case.

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