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Red Sox Minor Lines: Jay Groome’s upside is showing

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And it’s wonderful to see.

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Worcester W 3-1

Connor Wong, C: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K

Franchy Cordero, LF: 0-3, 1 K

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 0-1, 2 BB, 1 K

Jeter Downs, 2B: 0-3, 1 K

Jeremy Rivera, SS: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI

Tate Matheny, CF: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Daniel Gossett (SP): 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K (66 pitches)

Matt Barnes: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (12 pitches)

Martín Pérez (W): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (16 pitches)

Yacksel Ríos (SV): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (18 pitches)

The pitching was outstanding in this game for Worcester, holding out just long enough for Matheny to hit a two-run homer in the eighth to win it. In fact, all of the offense in this game for Worcester was provided by the eight and nine hitters, both in terms of runs scored and runs driven in. And on the mound, all eyes were on Barnes and Pérez. Both seemed relatively sharp in their rehab appearances after spending some time on the COVID list — Barnes did hit a batter as well — and the Red Sox need the help in the bullpen as quickly as possible.

Portland W 10-3

Grant Williams, 2B: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Devlin Granberg, CF: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI< 2 K

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

Ronaldo Hernández, DH: 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Hudson Potts, 3B: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Kole Cottam, 1B: 1-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Jeisson Rosario, RF: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E

Tyreque Reed, LF: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Jay Groome (SP; W): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K (84 pitches)

Josh Winckowski: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (14 pitches)

There are a few other potential nominations here, including Nick Yorke’s surge, but there isn’t much more encouraging in the Red Sox system right now than Groome’s acclimation to Double-A. This was the lefty’s second start at the level, and he has just had no trouble at all. He’s now yet to allow a run over 11 innings with Portland, and somehow even more impressively he’s got 19 strikeouts and only one walk. While the Red Sox have certainly seen some good things from pitching prospects in recent years, Groome still represents the best upside in the system. It hadn’t seemed like we’d see it again, even with this year being mostly solid, but the optimism closing out this season has to be as high as it’s been since he was drafted. Also interesting to see Winckowski in the bullpen here. I’d imagine that’s more about workload than signaling a shift in role for him moving forward.

Greenville W 4-3

Christian Koss, SS: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI

Elih Marrero, DH: 2-5, 1 K

Tyler Dearden, LF: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Stephen Scott, 1B: 0-4, 1 K, 1 E

Jaxx Groshans, C: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R

Tyler Esplin, CF: 2-4, 1 K

Chase Shugart (SP): 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K (73 pitches)

Ryan Fernandez (H): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (31 pitches)

If I was an opposing pitcher I simply would not throw strikes to Dearden. He is on an absolute tear with his power right now, extending his record for homers as a member of the Drive. This was number 24 on the season, and he now has six homers in his last seven games. It was also a big game for Koss, whose power this year has been a little bit of a surprise. He’s now got 15 homers on the season along with a .186 Isolated Power (SLG - AVG). The ceiling still probably isn’t huge here, but he’s an interesting infielder to watch as he gets up to Double-A next year.

Salem L 5-10

Ceddanne Rafaela, LF: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K

Tyler McDonough, CF: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB

Tyler Miller, 1B: 2-5, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 E

Nicholas Northcut, DH: 0-5, 3 K

Matthew Lugo, 2B: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 E

Brainer Bonaci, SS: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 K

Shane Drohan (SP; L): 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (40 pitches)

This was a tough game all around for Salem, and for Drohan in particular. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster season for him, which was to be expected as he was more raw coming into the year than your typical college draftee. More positively, another college draftee in Miller has gotten off to a great start in A-ball. This is only the third game with Salem for the 2021 ninth round pick, and in his last two he’s got six hits and 11 total bases. Also, Lugo continues to be red-hot at the plate to end his season, though he is also still struggling defensively. This error brings his total up to 34.

Player of the Day: Jay Groome

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