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Red Sox Minor Lines: Get excited about Bryan Mata

Bryan Mata’s strong start leads the day.

Pawtucket W 8-1

Aneury Tavarez: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Brock Holt (DH): 1-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Rusney Castillo: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Steve Selsky: 1-4, 1 K

Kyle Kendrick: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Chandler Shepherd: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Ben Taylor: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

A very strong start for Kendrick. I’m not sure that means anything at this point — I imagine he’s behind Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez on the depth chart, and possibly Jalen Beeks as well. Still, it’s better to see good starts than bad starts. So, hooray Kyle! Meanwhile, Holt is still working his way back and isn’t playing the field on a daily basis yet. His performance has been fine, but given how this injury has gone all year I’m not counting on anything until it happens. Finally, another home run for Castillo, who has made a real change this year that is resulting in more balls in the air.

Portland L 8-15

Danny Mars: 3-6, 1 RBI

Josh Tobias: 2-5, 1 K

Michael Chavis: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K

Trey Ball: 1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Jake Cosart: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Luis Ysla: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Yikes. There haven’t been expectations for Ball in a long time, but it’s still jarring to see these kind of lines. The one walk seems okay until you look at literally every other part of that line. In better news, Cosart has settled down as of late and is starting to limit his walks while still putting up solid strikeout numbers. On offense, this is Chavis’ lineup now, and it’s exciting to see how he’ll respond to that.

Salem W 5-0

Austin Rei: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

Tate Matheny: 0-4, 1 R, 1 K

Dedgar Jimenez: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

I haven’t really talked about Jimenez at all this year. Based on scouting reports, he’s simply an organizational arm. It’s getting hard to ignore his performances, though. This was his second consecutive start in which he allowed zero runs over at least seven innings, and he now has a 3.07 ERA for the season.

Greenville W 2-0 (F/6)

Lorenzo Cedrola: 1-3, 1 R, 2 SB

Tyler Hill: 1-3

Roldani Baldwin: 0-1, 1 RBI

Bobby Dalbec: 0-2

Bryan Mata: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Mata is quickly becoming one of the most exciting players in the entire farm system, as the 18-year-old put together yet another impressive start against A-ball competition. The young righty now has a 2.68 ERA in his first eight starts with 36 strikeouts to just ten walks.

Lowell L 0-4

Yoan Aybar: 1-4, 1 K

Brett Netzer: 0-4

GCL Red Sox W 9-2

Tyler Esplin: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI

C.J. Chatham: 1-3, 2 R, 1 K

Cole Brannen: 2-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI

Ritzi Mendoza: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Given that the Red Sox take their time with recently drafted pitchers, Brannen is the most exciting 2017 draftee to keep an eye on right now. He’s only been okay with his bat-to-ball skills early in his career with a .267 batting average while still waiting for his first extra-base hit. He’s shown tremendous patience, though, and now has an OBP that is over 200 points higher than his AVG. Meanwhile, after four years in the Dominican Summer League Mendoza is finally pitching in the States and he’s looking good. Through his first 15 innings he has a 0.60 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 2 walks.