Deven Marrero, SS
Marrero had some issues at the plate after a stint on the minor-league disabled list earlier in the season, but he seems to be out of that particular funk. He recovered during June to hit .284/.352/.368. and is at .308/.413/.385 over his last 10 games. Those aren't super impressive numbers or anything, but Marrero is a glove-first shortstop that you want to get as much offense out of as you can: if he's hitting like he has of late, he's doing his job, even if it's not exciting.
Of course, you want him to do a bit better, and force the issue of a promotion to fill the shortstop vacancy at Double-A that Xander Bogaerts has left behind. But, given the success of Jose Iglesias in the majors, combined with the presence of the aforementioned Bogaerts, there's really no need to rush Marrero, either: it's not like Jose Vinicio is banging down the door behind him just yet.
It's also worth pointing out that your average Carolina League hitter has a slash line of .256/.333/.388 this year -- Marrero, once again, has a line that's better than average, and is doing it as a shortstop. It's not sexy, but it is successful, especially when you consider he's putting the ball in play and drawing plenty of walks despite his relative inexperience in the pros.
Blake Swihart, C
Swihart struggled in April, but it's harder to notice that in his line these days. He posted an 890 OPS in May and followed that up with an 854 in June, and has struck out just 16 percent of the time this year, with walks over 11 percent of the time, despite his youth and the fact he's a switch-hitting catcher developing two swings.
Even with April in tow, when you consider the aforementioned Carolina League average, Swihart is having himself a quality season -- catchers aren't expected to hit as much as other positions, just like at short, so when you combine his developing defense with his developing bat, you find the catcher that prospect analysts thought the Red Sox were drafting two years ago.
Mookie Betts, 2B
Betts should have had trouble taking over at second base at Salem, given the presence of Sean Coyle, but Coyle is in Fort Myers working back from a knee injury that's kept him out of action since early June. Betts had clearly learned all he could from Low-A, as his .296/.418/.477 line doesn't even tell the whole story: Betts was hitting .150/.343/.263 for the season just a little over two months ago, but has reversed that with some excellent hitting since.
He's young for the level, as the average Carolina League hitter is closer to 23 than 22, and Betts is fresh off of his teenage years. If he's able to plow through High-A pitching like he did that of Low-A, he might find himself leapfrogging Coyle, who will likely return to High-A to finish his education once his knee checks out. That's getting ahead of ourselves, though: Betts' youth likely means, despite his talent, that he'll end up in some kind of timeshare with Coyle next year, until one of them hits their way out of it.
Read more Red Sox:
- MLB Trade Deadline: How can the Red Sox fix their bullpen?
- Should the Red Sox sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia to an extension?
- The sustainable side of Jose Iglesias’ success at the plate
- MLB Trade Deadline: Patience is key for the Red Sox
- Red Sox starter Jon Lester rises and falls (and rises again?) with his sinker