Deven Marrero, SS
Marrero had been hot for a bit, but his bat seems to have cooled off, and his OPS has fallen to 676 because of it. He's still having a solid campaign, all things considered, as he's looked great on the bases -- it's hard to argue with 18 of 18 on steals, even in High-A -- and has 20 extra-base hits in 72 games, which would look a little nicer in his slugging if he weren't hitting .258. The patience is there, and the strikeouts are at a reasonable rate, but he needs to start getting more out of the balls he does put in play, even if it just means more singles.
Remember, too, that Marrero's calling was always going to be his defense. The bat is more of a question mark, but the expectation is that he'll hit more than enough to justify a role as a starting big-league shortstop. The fact he's not really far behind the average Carolina League hitter even with his scuffles is a bit encouraging, but hopefully the last month-plus of the season goes better than his July has to reinforce that point further.
Blake Swihart, C
Swihart has also seen his production slip after stringing together high-quality work in both May and June. While he hit .281/.361/.438 prior to the All-Star break, he's at just .226/.305/.310 since. Swihart might be a little tired, honestly: he's caught 74 games, or eight more than he caught in all of 2012, setting a career-high in the process. That's pretty normal for a young catcher first building up their workload behind the plate, and one wonders if the Salem Red Sox will compensate a bit by giving Swihart a few scattered games at DH over the rest of the season.
Mookie Betts, 2B
Betts started off a bit slow after a promotion to High-A Salem, but he's turned that around quickly. In his last 10 games (of 14), he's hit .324/.333/.622 with two homers and five extra-base hits in all. He's got three steals in three chances in that time, too, and just three strikeouts. It's a small sample, but it's always good to see pitchers having to adjust to a hitter after a promotion instead of the other way around.
Betts had no trouble walking in Low-A, and drew 18 more free passes than strikeouts in his time there. It's to be seen if he'll keep that up a level higher, but he's at least off to a decent start by virtue of whiffing all of three times in 14 games. You'd prefer he achieve it by walking, but hey, one thing at a time: he's slugging .510 two weeks into a promotion, and that's pretty alright.
Read more Red Sox:
- Dustin Pedroia's extension perfect for Red Sox and Pedroia
- Brandon Workman is earning a permanent Red Sox job
- Red Sox trade target: Jesse Crain
- The red-hot Rays, and the "underdog" Red Sox
- Mike Napoli's unique, weird, game-winning night