AFL Update: Dusty Brown/Jed Lowrie/Jon Still

Lowrie's batting eye sharp despite low average

Red Sox farmhands Dusty Brown, Jed Lowrie and Jon Still all played Wednesday for the Mesa Solar Sox, who fell to Surprise, 7-4, in Arizona Fall League action. Here's a look at how the trio has fared thus far in the AFL:

Dusty Brown, C: Brown extended his hitting streak to seven games Wednesday by going 1-for-5. It was only the second single-hit game of the streak for Brown, whose average slipped from a season-high .316 to .302—the third-highest mark on the team among players with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting crown. Brown is 12-for-30 (.400) during the streak, which followed a cold season-opening five-game stretch in which Brown was just 1-for-13 (.077). He has one RBI and one double in 43 at-bats, has drawn six walks while striking out eight times and ranks third on the Solar Sox with a .388 on-base percentage. Brown has started a team-high 12 games at catcher—one more than Brewers prospect Lou Palmisano—but has committed three errors, tied for most on the Solar Sox.

Brown, a 35th-round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2000, hit .260 with nine homers and 44 RBI in 281 at-bats between Triple-A Pawtucket and Double-A Portland this year. Brown, 25, was added to the Sox' 40-man roster Oct. 31. He was not ranked in Diehard's 2007 prospect guide.

Jed Lowrie, IF: Lowrie snapped a two-game hitless streak by going 1-for-4 Wednesday. He also stole a base and was caught stealing once. Lowrie is hitting just .179—second lowest among Solar Sox qualifiers—and has gone hitless in consecutive games three times while collecting more than one hit in a game just twice. His average has risen above .200 once (Oct. 20). However, he's made his hits count by collecting 13 RBI, second-most on the Solar Sox behind AFL leader Matt LaPorta (16), and 10 runs, tied for second on the club. Lowrie has enjoyed three multi-RBI games and racked up four RBI Oct. 24. He's also recorded as many walks (nine) as strikeouts, a familiar trend for a player who has as many walks (153) as strikeouts in three professional seasons. Lowrie, who played a combined 116 games at shortstop this season for Portland and Pawtucket, has made 10 appearances at second base, six at shortstop and one at third base and has committed a total of three errors.

Lowrie, a supplemental round pick of the Red Sox out of Stanford in 2005, hit .298 with 13 homers and 70 RBI between Portland and Pawtucket. He was ranked 22nd in Diehard's 2007 prospect guide.

Jon Still, 1B: Like Lowrie, Still's performance in the AFL cannot be measured simply by a low batting average. Still continued to emerge from an ice-cold funk by going 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI Wednesday. Still has hits in five of his last six games, during which he's hit .240 (6-for-25) to raise his overall average from .114 to .159—last among Solar Sox qualifiers and third-worst among all AFL qualifiers. Prior to this stretch, Still suffered through a 0-for-21 drought over a seven-game span from Oct. 19-29. Even during the hitless spell, though, he had as many walks (eight) as strikeouts. Overall, Still has two homers, six RBI and 10 runs scored while drawing 13 walks and striking out 19 times. Still, who spent most of his time at catcher or designated hitter and made just 19 appearances at first base this season at Single-A Greenville and Single-A Lancaster, has made 17 of his 20 appearances at first for the Solar Sox and has yet to commit an error.

Still, a fourth-round pick of the Red Sox out of North Carolina State in 2006, hit .291 with 25 homers and 98 RBI between Greenville and Lancaster. He was ranked 46th in Diehard's 2007 prospect guide.

About the Mesa Solar Sox and the AFL: The Solar Sox, who are comprised of prospects from the Red Sox, Astros, Brewers, Cardinals and Cubs, have lost five in a row to fall to 11-13 and are in second place in the three-team Eastern Division, four games behind Phoenix. The division champions play in a championship game Nov. 17. The Solar Sox are managed by ex-big leaguer Dave Clark, who is a minor league manager in the Astros chain, and Chad Epperson—the manager of Single-A Lancaster—is among the Solar Sox coaches.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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