clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Greenville Drive update: Carlos Asuaje, Tzu-Wei Lin, Daniel McGrath

Asuaje keeps hitting for power, Lin can't hit for anything, and McGrath shows promise and problems.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Asuaje, Utility

Asuaje has played 32 games at third base, but he's also played 18 at second and another 15 in the outfield while spending some time at designated hitter. It's unclear what his eventual role will be, or maybe all this bouncing around is telling us explicitly that the answer is simply on the diamond, wherever he can. Brock Holt's recent success in the majors, which has helped buoy the Red Sox long enough to keep their postseason dreams alive into July, is a reminder of how useful a talented utility type can be.

Asuaje is a long way off from Brockdom, obviously, as he's still in Low-A, and Holt is obviously in the midst of some best-case scenario action up in Boston. The key idea is more that someone like Asuaje becoming a utility player isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if his bat ends up good enough that he can stick in the lineup most days, even if he needs to own multiple gloves to pull it off.

You'd be right to think he won't be at Greenville for much longer, as he just wrapped up a June in which he batted .296/.327/.520 with five homers and 11 extra-base hits. He should take his bat speed up the ladder to High-A Salem before year's end, so we can get a look at what he can do against slightly more advanced competition. His low strikeout rates suggest it'll be positive.

2014 22 Greenville SALL A 313 17 8 9 7 4 36 47 .307 .402 .534 .936
2 Seasons 517 29 9 10 11 7 63 80 .292 .388 .469 .857
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/1/2014.

Tzu-Wei Lin, SS

Lin's performance has dipped each month, with a 635 April OPS followed by a 611 showing in May, and now a 540 June. While the strikeout (15 percent) and walk rates (11) are positive in the sense they're not Iglesian, he's still having a hard time putting anything worthwhile together offensively. Righties have been the bigger problem, which is odd considering Lin is left-handed: he's hitting .216/.291/.268 against right-handers, and .262/.378/.328 against his fellow southpaws. Of course, the latter has come in all of 75 plate appearances, and features a .066 Isolated Power, so maybe we shouldn't be paying all that much attention to it.

2014 20 Greenville SALL A 297 14 0 0 10 3 34 46 .227 .313 .282 .595
3 Seasons 688 28 3 1 26 9 78 133 .232 .318 .294 .612
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/1/2014.

Daniel McGrath, LHP

McGrath has seen his strikeouts drop precipitously since his debut in the Gulf Coast League, going from 13.5 per nine to 9.4 in short-season Lowell to 7.4 in his first 39 innings of full-season ball with Greenville. At the same time, his walk rates have risen, up from 2.7 to 3.5 to this year's 4.4. These are all samples, at least, and McGrath is only 19 years old and came into 2014 with 53 professional innings in total. There are reasons to be excited, but also plenty of reasons to be cautious.

He's not inducing grounders to make up for the walks or dip in strikeouts, with a ground out to air out ratio of 0.4. Most of his success to this point has come from limiting his opponents' line -- they're batting .194 against him with just 6.5 hits per nine allowed -- and that can change in an instant, especially if he's not consistently missing bats or inducing grounders.

McGrath is an international signing with real potential -- the Sox signed him in 2012 out of Australia -- but there's some obvious learning that needs to be done here. That's what he's in Low-A for, though, and why he'll probably spend the rest of the season there.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 19 Greenville SALL A 3.46 8 39.0 167 1.205 6.5 0.7 4.4 7.4 1.68
2 Seasons 3.51 19 92.1 373 1.116 6.3 0.7 3.7 9.5 2.55
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/1/2014.