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Red Sox Minor Lines: Brandon Walter and Kutter Crawford keep dealing

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While Nick Yorke and Gilberto Jimenez have nice days atop Salem’s lineup.

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Worcester W 7-2

Yairo Muñoz, 3B: 2-6

Jeremy Rivera, LF: 3-4, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 SB

Jeter Downs, SS: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 R, 2 K

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 3-4, 1 BB, 2 RBI

Jett Bandy, DH: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI

Ryan Fitzgerald, 2B: 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Kutter Crawford (SP; W): 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K (87 pitches)

Zack Kelly (H): 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K (38 pitches)

Crawford has been one of the bigger surprise stories on the farm this year, coming back from Tommy John stronger than most expected, especially considering many saw an eventual reliever coming into this season. That could still be true, but he’s making it hard not to buy in at least a little as he just keeps performing even after a promotion. This was his second start in Worcester, with his first including nine hits against him, though by all accounts it was mostly on weak contact. But this was a much more convincing performance. His three walks were the most he’s thrown in a start all season, but it’ll play when you only give up one hit. It’s unlikely he’ll be called upon this year at the major-league level, but he’s putting himself in the conversation for 2022 and making himself a potentially fascinating Rule 5 case. Fitzgerald, meanwhile, led the way at the plate. He’s also a recently promoted player, and this was his first homer at Triple-A.

Portland L 0-9

Pedro Castellanos, LF: 0-4, 1 E

Devlin Granberg, RF: 2-4, 1 SB

Tyreque Reed, 1B: 1-4, 1 K

Hudson Potts, 3B: 0-4, 2 K

Ronaldo Hernández, DH: 0-4

Jeisson Rosario, CF: 1-2, 1 BB, 1 K

Brayan Bello (SP; L): 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K (92 pitches)

Bello was far and away the breakout prospect in the system with his first half of work, but he’s been hitting a wall and suffering through some command issues since his promotion to Portland. The stuff has still been there, but he’s been hittable. And we should mention, in addition to the line you see above he threw a pair of wild pitches in this outing. Bello is up to a 4.81 ERA in nine starts since being promoted to Portland, striking out 47 in 33 23 innings but also walking 17. There is still a lot to like here, of course, and I’m still excited about the potential. But this is a nice reminder that, while he’s intriguing there is still work to be done. Consistency with his command was the big thing to watch for coming into the year, and while he had it early on the issue is popping up again.

Kutter Crawford
Kelly O’Connor

Greenville W 5-1

Cameron Cannon, 2B: 1-4, 1 SB

Tyler Dearden, LF: 0-4, 2 K

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 1-4, 2 K, 1 E

Joe Davis, 1B: 1-4, 1 R

Elih Marrero, C: 3-3, 3 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI

Brandon Walter (SP; W): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K (80 pitches)

Brendan Cellucci: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (18 pitches)

Don’t let Walter’s ERA at Greenville fool you. Yes, the former 26th round pick is sitting with a 4.88 ERA over five starts since being bumped up to High-A, but the peripherals are telling a drastically different story. After this tremendous outing, the righty has struck out a whopping 41 batters over only 23 innings with Greenville, all while walking only four batters. It’s probably being over-excited to call for another promotion up to Portland right now, and he does have to cut down a little bit on the hits, but at the same time he turns 25 in September. It doesn’t have to be now, but at the very least he should get a taste of Double-A before this season is over so there’s a clear path forward and plan for him next season. Well, as long as he keeps pitching like this. Marrero also deserves a shoutout here, and he’s coming off a solid July that he finished with a .773 OPS.

Salem W 8-1

Nick Yorke, 2B: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Gilberto Jimenez, RF: 3-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI

Matthew Lugo, SS: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E

Ceddanne Rafaela, CF: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R

Nick Decker, DH: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 RBI

Nicholas Northcut, 1B; 2-4, 1 BB, 1 R

Antoni Flores, 3B: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

Bradley Blalock (SP; W): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (73 pitches)

Casey Cobb: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (40 pitches)

There was a whole lot to like in this game from Salem. We’ll start at the top of the lineup, where both Yorke and Jimenez are starting to round into form for the season. It was a tough start for both of these guys, especially relative to high expectations for each, but they are swinging better bats here and set the table very nicely in this game. On the mound, we haven’t talked about Blalock too much this year but he’s been pitching extremely well of late. This was the righty’s third straight start in which he allowed two or fewer pitches. He still strikes me as a reliever, but he’s settling into a groove as a start of late.

FCL PPD

DSL Red L 0-3 (F/6)

Miguel Bleis, CF: 1-2, 1 CS

Enderso Lira, DH: 1-2

Luis Ravelo, SS: 0-2, 1 E

Simon Pacheco (SP; L): 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 0 K

DSL Blue W 11-10

Juan Chacon, RF: 2-4, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Jhostynxon Garcia, CF: 2-6, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Alexis Hernandez, 1B: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Giancarlos Santana, LF: 2-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 SB, 1 CS

Diego Rodriguez, 2B: 1-2, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB

Stiwar Adames (SP): 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K

This was a quiet day for the Red squad, who played a shortened game and didn’t get much of anything from their big signings (whose lines are noted above). But for the Blue team, the bats were red-hot. Chacon needed a good day atop this lineup and was able to get on base four times. Hernandez, meanwhile, had the best day in the lineup and raised his season OPS to .986, with the double coming in as number five on the year.


Player of the Day: Brandon Walter

Player of the Day Chart