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Red Sox minor lines: Jason Groome debuts

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Pawtucket W 2-1

Marco Hernandez: 3-4, HR
Christian Vazquez: 0-4, K

Brian Johnson: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Joe Kelly: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

One does kind of wonder if maybe Brian Johnson would have given the Red Sox a better outing than Henry Owens. OK, so one doesn't really wonder given how bad Owens' outing was, but either way, I guess I can see how they would prefer throwing Owens into the fire than Johnson, given that the latter missed time for anxiety issues so recently.

Of note: for all that Owens has struggled this year and looked completely untenable in the majors, this is still a guy who, at 24, is capable of racking up some nasty strikeouts against very difficult competition. It's easy to get incredibly down on him, and it's possible he never puts it together at all, but I feel like he's being written off a bit too thoroughly by some portions of the fanbase, all things considered.

Portland L 0-4

Yoan Moncada: 1-2, 2 BB, K
Mauricio Dubon: 0-4

Teddy Stankiewicz: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
Brandon Workman: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Some far more...composed second outings from Yoan Moncada and Brandon Workman in their second appearances for the Sea Dogs post-injury. For Workman, all that really matters at this point is displaying physical progress. For Moncada? I don't know that there's much he could do in the final weeks of the minor league season which would really slow that particular hype train. And certainly if any such sequence exists, it doesn't involve reaching base three times in four attempts.

Salem W 12-1

Rafael Devers: 1-5
Nick Longhi: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB

Jake Cosart: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

A good-not-great August seems likely to leave Devers short of a .800 OPS when all is said and done this year. Just too much early damage to overcome. Oh well, that doesn't leave him all that far removed from Yoan Moncada in 2015, and that was with Moncada failing to hit early against easier competition while a year older than Devers, so...Yeah. This is one of those seasons that only really looks disappointing on paper until you consider how crazy it is that Devers was able to perform at all under the circumstances, much less completely crush the second half.

Greenville L 2-9 (8/21)

Luis Alexander Basabe: 1-4, 2B
Michael Chavis: 0-3, 2 K, 2 E
Josh Ockimey: 1-4, 3 K
Kyri Washington: 3-4, 2B
Austin Rei: 0-4, 2 K

Greenville L 2-8 (8/22)

Luis Alexander Basabe: 0-5, 2 K
Michael Chavis: 0-4, 2 K
Josh Ockimey: 0-4, 2 K
Kyri Washington: 1-4, 2 K
Austin Rei: 1-3, BB, K

It's really hard to characterize the season of the Greenville Drive. Are they disappointing for unanimously failing to maintain their early-season success? Are they exciting because they had that early-season success in the first place, putting a lot of names on the radar for potential breakout seasons in 2017? Really it comes down to personal opinion, probably, but at the end of the day it's a decidedly mixed bag performance from the Drive.

Lowell W 9-6 (8/21)

Matt McLean: 1-5
Tyler Hill: 4-5, 2 2B, HR, SB
Ryan Scott: 1-5, 2 K
Bobby Dalbec: 1-4, 2B, K
Yoan Aybar: 0-4, K

Lowell W 8-1

C.J. Chatham: 0-4, CS
Tyler Hill: 2-4, BB, CS
Ryan Scott: 1-2, 2 BB, K
Bobby Dalbec: 3-5, 3B, HR, K
Yoan Aybar: 0-4, 3 K

Michael Shawaryn: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

So, Tyler Hill. I'll admit, at one point I was pretty sure Hill was one of those 23-year-old guys who just sort of hangs around in short-season ball for a couple years and then vanishes. Not so! I'd forgotten that he was a 2014 draft pick from the 19th round, largely because in his two years in the system he'd seen fewer than 150 at bats and, frankly, he wasn't much ballyhooed when he came into the system.

But Hill was and is a big bundle of tools who was actually projected to go in the first ten rounds at one point, and now we're starting to see those play out on the diamond. Second only to the performance of Bobby Dalbec who, as you can see above, continues to be entirely unreasonable (six homers in 88 at bats now with a .386 average. Alright, sure), Hill is hitting .346/.414/.508 thus far for the Spinners, showing a lot of discipline at the plate for someone who may as well be fresh out of high school for all the experience he has. He's just another highly athletic outfielder in a franchise that seems to have no end of them, but if he performs like this in Greenville and perhaps even Salem next year, he'll start drawing some serious attention.

Seriously, though, Bobby Dalbec. What the heck? Guy was being used as a pitcher at the end of his college career.

GCL Red Sox W 6-3

Jason Groome: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Here's the debut we've all been waiting for, and it's just about what you'd hope for. Groome picked up something approaching a full game's worth of swings-and-misses in just two innings, was throwing in the 90s, and somehow has not stopped being a big lefty in the months since he was drafted. There's even some video of him to be found, because Alex Speier is awesome.

Realistically, Groome is a 17-year-old kid who doesn't pitch enough like one that he's going to be facing appropriate competition this early in his career. He'll find his place before too long in full-season ball, though, and honestly if that comes in Salem instead of Greenville he can consider himself far ahead of schedule. The road to the majors shouldn't be all that easy for a guy his age who's likely not going to be put on a slow, cautious track. But nobody would be surprised to see him make parts of it look that way.