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Red Sox Minor Lines: Another day, another Nicholas Northcut homer

And Kyle Hart throws six no-hit innings.

Worcester L 3-5

Jonathan Araúz, 2B: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R

Triston Casas, 1B: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Rob Refsnyder, RF: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 L

Ryan Fitzgerald, LF: 1-4, 1 RBI

Connor Wong, C: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB

Ronaldo Hernández, DH: 1-4, 1 K

Kyle Hart (SP): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K (81 pitches)

Durbin Feltman (L): 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K (21 pitches)

There’s a little blast in the past from Hart. The southpaw, if you’ll recall, kind of put himself on the map a few years back as a potential back-end starter and did indeed get his chance in the majors, but it never really worked out as his low-stuff, command/control profile just didn’t play at the highest level. It does work at times in the minors, though, as we saw here in this dominant no-hit start. I’m not expecting we’ll see him in the majors again — his ERA is still over 5.00 after this outing — but it’s a nice story. Unfortunately, he was let down by his bullpen, including Feltman. It’s been a disappointing start for the 2018 third rounder, whose now allowed multiple runs in two straight outings and three times in eight appearances this season. That said, peripherally he still doesn’t look too bad, striking out 15 and only walking two while allowing one homer over 10 innings, which is hard to see in his 6.30 ERA. He’ll be an interesting guy to keep an eye on over the next month or so to see how much he can come back towards the mean.

Portland L 4-6

David Hamilton, 2B: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 SB

Christian Koss, SS: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Devlin Granberg, CF: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS

Hudson Potts, 1B: 3-3, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 RBI

Chris Murphy (SP): 6 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K (88 pitches)

This Portland pitching staff is honestly just stupid, and I mean that in the best way. On a nightly basis at Hadlock you have a chance to see a special pitching performance, and Murphy held up his end of the bargain in this game, though seemingly working around some issues with the defense behind him based on the unearned runs. But he’s missing bats like crazy, as he always does, and the walk rate is in control. This is the biggest thing to watch from him, and he’s certainly making me think twice about my skepticism of his ability to stick in the rotation. On the season he’s now got a 2.10 ERA with 38 strikeouts over 30 innings, walking 14. It’s still not great control, but it’ll play with this stuff, especially in this era of baseball that already features shorter starts as a baseline. On the Hamilton steal watch, he’s up to 15, which leads the Red Sox organization and the Northeast League, and ties him for sixth among all minor leaguers.

Greenville W 5-1

Nick Yorke, 2B: 0-5

Tyler McDonough, LF: 1-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Ceddanne Rafaela, CF: 0-4, 1 K

Alex Binelas, 1B: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Matthew Lugo, SS: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Nicholas Northcut, 3B: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 3 K

Gilberto Jimenez, RF: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SB

Stephen Scott, C: 1-1, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 R

Chih-Jung Liu (SP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (40 pitches)

Ryan Zeferjahn (W): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K (58 pitches)

This was a pretty prototypical Northcut kind of day, with a big grand slam, but also three strikeouts. The hit tool concerns are still there as far as his long-term projection, but in the here and now we can’t speak negatively about a guy who is already up to 12 homers. He’s hit one in each of his last four games, as well as in five of his last six, and six of his last eight, and eight in his last 10. It’s absurd. His 12 homers now put him alone in second place among all minor-league players, trailing only Moisés Gómez, a Double-A outfielder in the Cardinals system. As for Liu, I can’t seem to find anything about why he left so early, so that’ll be something to monitor over the next few days as to whether or not there’s an injury.

Salem L 6-9

Eddinson Paulino, SS: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Brainer Bonaci, 2B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 E

Miguel Ugueto, LF: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 R

Niko Kavadas, 1B: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E

Blaze Jordan, DH: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 2 K

Eduardo Vaughan, RF: 3-4, 1 R, 1 SB

Yorberto Mejicano, C: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS

Gabriel Jackson (SP; L): 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (76 pitches)

Kavadas is a guy who has kind of fallen under my radar this season for some reason. He’s an intriguing player coming out of last year’s draft class, with little defensive value to offer but big power. It’s a profile that more often than not doesn’t result in much, but if it maxes out can be a very fun and productive player. He’s a former college player in Low-A, which is a somewhat watered down level these days after getting rid of the short-season leagues, so take the numbers with some grain of salt. That said, he’s got a 1.004 OPS, and now has nine doubles on the year. That’s now tops in the system.

Player of the Day: Kyle Hart

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