SoxProspects: Best and worst of May

Here’s a look at the best and worst performances in the Red Sox minor-league system for May. (SoxProspects.com prospect ranking in parenthesis)

Top offensive players in May

(7) Jackie Bradley, OF, Salem -- .382/.513/.629 with 3 HRs

(8) Bryce Brentz, OF, Portland -- .388/.439/.633 with 5 HRs

(11) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Greenville -- .336/.429/.533 with 3 HRs

(23) Keury De La Cruz, OF, Greenville -- .311/.349/.590 with 8 HRs

(36) Reynaldo Rodriguez, 1B, Portland -- .255/.333/.647 with 10 HRs

Bradley continued to dominate High-A competition in May, ending the month leading the Carolina League in batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, runs, and doubles ... Brentz capped off a monster May with a 5-hit game against Harrisburg, his second 5-hit game of the month ... Cecchini is rounding into a potential impact player, and his brother Gavin is projected as a high first-round pick in Monday’s draft ... De La Cruz is having a breakout season, and as a result is quickly moving up the prospect charts ... Rodriguez’s 10-HR month was a Sea Dogs franchise record.

Top pitchers in May

(3) Matt Barnes, SP, Salem -- 2-1, 1.93 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 36/3 K/BB, 28.0 IP

(21) Drake Britton, SP, Salem -- 2-2, 2.10 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 29/7 K/BB, 25.2 IP

(40) Mickey Pena, SP, Greenville -- 3-0, 1.91 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 40/5 K/BB, 33.0 IP

(PP) Billy Buckner, SP, Portland -- 4-1, 2.08 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 25/9 K/BB, 30.1 IP

(NR) Scott Swinson, P, Greenville -- 2-0, 1.73 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17/4 K/BB, 26.0 IP

PP means “post-prospect,” a minor leaguer who has exhausted MLB rookie eligibility

NR means player is not ranked in the top 60

Barnes sustained his stellar success with High-A Salem in May, but may start to see some bumps in the road his second time facing Carolina League opponents ... After several months in the “underachievers” category, Britton bounced back with a great month, earning a promotion to Portland on June 1 ... Pena pitched six perfect innings on May 8, combining with his bullpen to no-hit the Rome Braves ... Buckner had a marvelous May, earning himself a promotion to Pawtucket at the close of the month ... Swinson, an undrafted free agent in 2010, may have given the Red Sox front office second thoughts for demoting him to Low-A on April 24.

May underachievers

(6) Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Portland -- .0-1, 7.36 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 10/13 K/BB, 14.2 IP

(13) Sean Coyle, 2B, Salem -- .182/.264/.343 with 3 HRs

(19) Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Portland -- .222/.276/.315 with 0 HR

(29) Christian Vazquez, C, Salem -- .155/.202/.167 with 0 HR

(38) Heiker Meneses, IF, Portland -- .143/.273/.179 with 0 HR

While some struggles are to be expected upon breaking into the Double-A level, Ranaudo’s stuff has looked pedestrian in his first three starts of 2012 ... Coyle continued his odd trend of picking up a decent amount of extra-base hits and walks, but very few singles ... Drafted as an advanced contact hitter out of college, Vitek has yet to demonstrate at the professional level the batting prowess that made him a first-round pick in 2010 ... Vazquez is going to need to make some adjustments to his hitting approach, but he still has the potential to develop into a reliable backup catcher at the major league level ... A versatile 20-year-old infielder playing above his age level with Portland, Meneses may be over his head at Double-A right now.

May Notes

As of June 1, here are your batting leaders in the Red Sox system (cumulative stats, min. 100 plate appearances): Bradley at .371, Salem 1B Travis Shaw at .339, Portland OF Juan Carlos Linares at .331, and Portland/Salem OF Shannon Wilkerson at .320 ... The organization’s home-run leaders are De La Cruz, Rodriguez, and Pawtucket 1B Mauro Gomez, all with 11 round-trippers ... Stolen-base leaders are Cecchini with 18, Wilkerson with 16, and Bradley and Grenville SS Jose Vinicio with 12 each ... ERA leaders as of June 1 (cumulative, min. 40 IP) are Barnes at 1.15, Pena at 2.06, and Pawtucket RHP Justin Germano at 2.89 ... Strikeout leaders: Barnes with 78, Pena with 57, Greenville LHP Henry Owens with 56 and Buckner with 51 ... Eight players got the call to Boston from the minor leagues in April, including SS Jose Iglesias, 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Clay Mortensen, RHP Aaron Cook, OF Daniel Nava, 1B Mauro Gomez, OF Che-Hsuan Lin and OF Scott Podsednik ... Pawtucket 1B Lars Anderson hit a monster 450-foot home run on May 29 that knocked some of the lights out of the McCoy Stadium scoreboard ... After a subpar April, 2011 first-round pick Blake Swihart bounced backed nicely in May, hitting .289/.329/.408 with Greenville ... On the injury front, Boston has Daisuke Matsuzaka, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Kalish all on minor league rehab assignments.