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Red Sox promote Manuel Margot to Double-A Portland

Manuel Margot is on the rise. After bouncing back in style from a May injury, the young center fielder is headed to Portland.

The Red Sox have promoted top outfield prospect Manuel Margot to Double-A Portland, which is good news both for Margot, and for a Portland team in desperate need of interesting players.

At first glance, Manuel Margot's batting line doesn't look like one deserving of one of the season's earliest promotions. Particularly considering that, at 20 years old, Margot could easily spend the year at Salem and still make it to Portland early. He's hitting just .282/.321/.420 on the season which, while above average for a low-offense Carolina league, is still not exactly impressive among the ranks of top prospects.

That doesn't really come close to telling the whole story, though. Margot got off to a ridiculous start in April, hitting .324/.377/.515 in a month that saw him strike out exactly once. He then proceeded to hit .135/.175/.135 in May before hitting the disabled list for several weeks, finally returning on May 30. Since then, he's hit .316/.342/.474, and has come on even stronger of late with nine hits including two homers in his last 20 at bats. It's easy to imagine his May struggles and his extended stay on the disabled list had something to do with one another.

Margot has also shown the ability to adapt quickly after promotions before, hitting .340/.364/.560 in 50 at bats after a late-season bump to Salem in 2014. He's a strong defender in center field who already has twenty steals to his name on the basepaths, and has emerged as one of Boston's best young prospects in the post-Bogaerts and Betts era.

With his promotion, a team largely bereft of interesting talent in Portland finally gets a marquee name, to boot. Carlos Asuaje has done what he can in that lineup, but the Sea Dogs have been hurting for premier talent, the latest site of the "prospect gap" rising through the farm system in recent years. Now there's a very good reason for fans in Maine to hit up Hadlock.