Mookie Betts, 2B
Betts has began his run in Double-A much like he ended his time at both Low- and High-A: by hitting everything, and hitting it well. You can't get too excited (or upset) about any two-week line, especially in the minors when the goal is progression and learning, but seeing Betts debut in Double-A by batting .450/.500/.725 with six doubles, a triple, a homer, four steals against one caught stealing, and five walks to equal his five strikeouts dares you to do otherwise.
Remember, too, that Betts is all of 21 years old, or, younger than some of the position players the Red Sox have introduced to Low-A ball this season. Seeing him mash from the start is a positive, but it'll be more so if he can keep it up. It's too early to wonder when he's going to be promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, just one step from the majors, but it is worth pointing out that no prospect of consequence is holding down the keystone in Rhode Island to block Betts.
If Betts does continue to hit, as he's done almost nonstop since last May regardless of level or competition, then give it the standard 60 games or so before he gains that final promotion. Don't worry, Portland, you've still got some time to watch him develop.
Henry Ramos, OF
Ramos is still raw, but also still only 22 years old. He didn't dominate at High-A before earning a promotion to Double-A, either, so his early struggles are not a surprise. Ramos, a former soccer player, didn't become a full-time baseball player until he debuted with the Red Sox as an 18-year-old in 2010. He's shown flashes of power, but his pitch recognition and plate discipline still require work. There's talent here, though, and it might very well translate into production in the future.
He's the kind of player that you hope figures things out by mid-season in order to finish the year strong, but given that he hit just .252/.330/.416 for High-A Salem last summer, the young outfielder might need a little more time than that at Double-A to put it all together.
Noe Ramirez, RHP
Seeing Ramirez avoid walks is normal, considering he's allowed just under two per nine in his 166-1/3 professional innings over two-plus seasons. Seeing a strikeout per inning is also standard Noe Ramirez fare, as he's whiffed 8.8 per nine in his career. The thing to watch with Ramirez is whether or not he's keeping the ball down in the zone: you can find the answer without watching him pitch simply by looking at his homer rates. Ramirez's 2012 for Low-A Greenville finished with a tough second half where seemingly every fly ball Ramirez allowed went into the stands, resulting in a 1.3 homer rate at a level where most hitters just didn't go deep with regularity. In High-A, he learned his lesson, and avoided giving up a single long ball in 47 innings of work in relief. When he was promoted to Double-A, though, he allowed four in 28 frames, back to that 1.3 per nine figure.
Seeing him go six innings without an opponent going deep doesn't tell us if Ramirez has figured out what he needs to in order to retire Eastern League batters, but any appearance that ends without the need to erase the "Innings Since Noe Ramirez Allowed A Homer" whiteboard is a good one. He could have a future in relief in the majors, especially if his slider comes along, but with a fastball that sometimes sits in the high-80s, he's going to need to keep it down to stay successful.