Red Sox Organization Report
Portland Is For Whom Bubba Bell Tolls
BOSTON--There are hot starts, and then there's the solar flare that was Bubba Bell's April, May and June.
When he was promoted from high Class A Lancaster to Double-A Portland on July 5, Bell either led or ranked among the minor league leaders in virtually every offensive category. He was batting .370 with 22 home runs and 83 RBIs in 76 games. He had scored 95 runs with a 1.120 on-base plus slugging percentage, and had compiled more walks (48) than strikeouts (39).
Bell slowed the pace thereafter, batting .240 in his first month at Double-A before a hot streak boosted him to .271. Regardless, the 2005 39th-round pick out of Nicholls State had vaulted himself to prospect status through sheer force of will.
"His start was impressive, regardless of the numbers," farm director Mike Hazen said. "His home/road OPS split was pretty even, not something we see from everyone. His walk/strikeout ratio was equally impressive."
The 6-foot, 195-pound outfielder needed relatively little time to start hitting at Portland, stringing together six multi-hit outings in 10 starts.
"We feel he has adjusted well, taking into consideration the typical adjustment period needed for any player moving from one level to the next," Hazen said. "His approach and daily work have remained consistent and that is the biggest thing."
A Houston native, Bell has a similar build and game to Louisiana native David Dellucci, who has made a respectable career out of being a fourth outfielder.
He showed the Red Sox a lot by continuing to hit even after leaving the Lancaster bandbox.
"I think we're seeing the results of his continued hard work and typical level to level adjustment, not something he has needed to adjust to," Hazen said. "If anything, I think it was the mental adjustment of trusting that the same swing that produced results in Lancaster could do the same in Portland."SOX YARNS
• Defense-minded Portland catcher Dusty Brown was named Red Sox minor league player of the month for July after hitting .455 (25-for-55) with three homers, eight doubles and 11 RBIs.
• First-round pick Nick Hagadone got off to a solid start at short-season Lowell. In one four-start stretch, Hagadone struck out nine, allowing just three this and two walks in eight shutout innings.