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Red Sox Minor Lines: Salem’s lineup just keeps rolling

The top half of the High-A lineup has been fun to follow.

Pawtucket PPD

Portland L 0-2

Marcus Wilson, CF: 1-4, 2 K

Brett Netzer, 2B: 0-4, 2 K

C.J. Chatham, SS: 0-3, 1 K

Bobby Dalbec, DH: 0-3, 2 K

Kyle Hart: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 K (105 pitches)

It’s been a rough couple of days down in Connecticut for the Sea Dogs, who failed to score a run in each of their last two games. Hart was solid as he has been all year, though the 26-year-old did struggle with control which led to him being driven out of the game earlier than one would like. Offensively, Portland managed just three singles and drew one walk. Chatham was one of the 0-fer’s, and after a blazing start to the year he’s in his first slump as he’s stuck in a 3-21 stretch over his last six games. Even with this latest stretch, he’s still hitting .311/.369/.432 on the year, so as long as this isn’t too prolonged this won’t be anything to worry about.

Salem W 8-5

Jarren Duran, CF: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K

Marco Hernandez, DH: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 3 R, 1 K, 1 CS

Pedro Castellaos, 1B: 2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 K

Victor Acosta, LF: 2-4, 3 RBI, 1 K

Enmanuel De Jesus: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K (91 pitches)

This top half of Salem’s offense is something else right now. It might not have the biggest names in the system — though Duran is doing his part to chance that — but all five of these guys are producing at a steady rate and have done damage in more games than not so far this year. These five have, in order, batting averages of: .404, .286, .304, .344, and .353. Obviously batting average is far from the most important stat, but this gives an idea of how this lineup is putting balls in play and making things happen. Duran, Hernandez and Fitzgerald are all candidates for promotion at some point in the next few months, but for a Salem team that I didn’t expect to be very interesting at all they are doing something special all together.

Greenville L 6-11

Cole Brannen, CF: 0-5, 2 K

Devlin Granberg, DH: 3-4, 1 3B, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 K

Triston Casas, 1B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Marino Campana, RF: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 4-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E

Brayan Bello: 3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 1 K (69 pitches)

Hunter Haworth: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K (71 pitches)

Yoan Aybar: 0 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 0 K

On the bright side for Greenville, two of the biggest names on this roster and two guys who could end up leading this Red Sox 2018 draft class are starting to heat up after slow starts. Casas, last year’s first round pick, broke a streak of three consecutive 0-fers but even with that he’s improved his OPS by about 60 points over the last two weeks. He’s still not getting on base, but the power is starting to show up. Howlett, meanwhile, has hits in nine of his last ten games with two of his last three featuring multiple hits. We’re still waiting on more power, but his batting average is up to .243 after being at .132 before this mini run of hits. On the downside, Bello and Aybar are two of the more interesting names on Greenville’s pitching staff and both had really rough days on Wednesday.

Player of the Day: There are a lot of good options for this one, but not really any great ones that stood out. I considered Duran, Castellanos, Fitzgerald, Casas and Howlett, but ultimately I’m going with Devlin Granberg. He got on base four times in this game, had a triple, scored three runs and didn’t make an error (because he was at DH). Granberg was a college senior draftee in the sixth round last year, and he beat up on more inexperienced competition in Lowell with a .300/.383/.435 line. The success hasn’t quite been there in 2019, which isn’t a huge shock, but perhaps this game can propel him forward for the rest of the year.