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Red Sox minor lines: The Devers madness continues

Rafael Devers continues to do absurd things in his first professional season.

Pawtucket L 3-4 (In 11)

Will Middlebrooks: 1-5, 2 K
Travis Shaw: 1-4, BB
Alex Hassan: 2-4, BB
Deven Marrero: 1-5, K

Alex Wilson: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Pawtucket L 5-10

Travis Shaw: 2-4
Alex Hassan: 2-4, HR, K
Deven Marrero: 0-3, BB

Matt Barnes: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 4 K

Matt Barnes just continues to head in the wrong direction. And at 24 it's not like he's got an age-based excuse. He simply should be performing better than this if he's the pitcher we once thought he was, but we're three months into the 2014 season now--to say nothing of his disappointing 2013 performance--and there's no signs of a turnaround.

Portland W 6-3

Blake Swihart: 0-3, BB, K
Sean Coyle: 1-3, 2B
Michael Almanzar: 1-3, BB, 2 K
Keury De La Cruz: 2-4, K

Noe Ramirez: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Portland W 5-2 (in 7)

Blake Swihart: 1-2, 2B, BB, K
Michael Almanzar: 0-2
Keury De La Cruz: 1-3, SB, E

Brian Johnson: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Portland L 0-2 (in 7)

Michael Almanzar: 0-3, 2 K
Keury De La Cruz: 0-3, 2 K

Sean Coyle is away to the Futures Game, explaining his absence from Saturday's double header. He and Henry Owens will both start the game, giving Portland some strong representation in Minneapolis.

Salem L 0-2

Corey Littrell: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Greenville L 6-7

Cole Sturgeon: 2-4, K
Tzu-Wei Lin: 2-4, BB, K
Manuel Margot: 1-5, 2B, 2 K

Trey Ball: 4 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Greenville W 4-0

Cole Sturgeon: 0-4, A
Wendell Rijo: 1-4, K, CS
Manuel Margot: 2-3, 2B, HR

And just when Trey Ball was showing some signs of life, it all goes wrong again...

Lowell L 4-5

Shane Victorino: 0-2, BB
Danny Mars: 1-4, 3B, BB, K
Sam Travis: 2-5, K, SB
Nick Longhi: 1-3, 2B, BB

Lowell L 3-9

Danny Mars: 2-3, 2 BB
Sam Travis: 1-4
Nick Longhi: 1-3, BB, K

Lowell has been pleasantly surprising this year. Danny Mars and Nick Longhi continue to perform well, with Cole Sturgeon and Sam Travis not exactly killing the ball, but managing to get on base at a good clip. We often have to take short-season results with a large grain of salt, but usually that means not reading too much into early struggles. It's nice to just be wary about early successes instead for a change, if that makes sense.

GCL Red Sox W 17-0

Rafael Devers: 2-5, BB
Michael Chavis: 1-6, 2B, 2 K
Trenton Kemp: 1-3, K

GCL Red Sox W 9-2

Josh Ockimey: 2-4, 2B, K
Rafael Devers: 2-4, 2B, HR
Victor Acosta: 0-4, 2 K

Michael Kopech: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

There's a reason you don't often see legitimate prospects approach the highest home run totals seen in the major leagues. Part of that is because they see fewer at bats, but more importantly it's because they're young and not as physically developed, and there's only so much the lower pitching quality can contribute to the equation of getting a ball out of the park.

So when I say that Rafael Devers, 17, has five homers in 130 at bats, understand that this is pretty much as good as it gets at that level, and that while his 1.513 OPS in the GCL is almost entirely unsustainable, it could drop by 400 points and still be better than every single qualified player in his league. Early returns suggest the Red Sox made a wise investment in Devers indeed.

DSL Red Sox W 5-3

Luis Alexander Basabe: 1-3, 2B