Trey Ball delivers a pitch during a game for the Portland Sea Dogs earlier this season.

Trey Ball delivers a pitch during a game for the Portland Sea Dogs earlier this season.

Rafael Devers is the real deal.

The top prospect in the Boston Red Sox minor league system and the No. 12 overall prospect in baseball has been as good as advertised for the Portland Sea Dogs this season. In 63 games played, the 6-foot, 195-pound third baseman has hit .297 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs.

Beyond that, however, the rest of prospects for the Red Sox’ Double-A affiliate in Portland haven’t shown the same kind of production.

And that’s shown in the standings.

The Sea Dogs start a midseason homestand Friday with a 31-36 record, 14 games behind the Eastern division leader — New York Yankees’ affiliate Trenton Thunder — and nine games out of a playoff spot.

The Sea Dogs have eight of the top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system on their roster, including five pitchers. Yet Portland sits at the bottom of the Eastern League in team ERA with a cumulative earned-run average of 4.82 — .35 points higher than the second-worst team.


Part of that can be attributed to youth. The highest of those pitching prospects, No. 7 prospect Travis Lakins, has appeared in just six games in Double-A. The almost-23-year-old right-hander is still looking for his first Double-A win, and currently sports a 6.66 ERA — third-worst on the team.

Trey Ball, a left-hander who was selected in the first round of the 2013 draft, has been in Portland all season, but still has only slightly better numbers than Lakins. Ball (No. 29 prospect) is 1-6 with a 5.60 ERA in 12 starts. A second-round pick in that same draft, right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz (No. 24 prospect), is 2-3 with a 4.41 ERA in a dozen starts. Stankiewicz is in his second year with Portland.

Jake Cosart (No. 13 prospect) and Luis Ysla (No. 20 prospect) have come out of the bullpen for the Sea Dogs. Cosart, a right-hander in his first season at Double-A, is 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA in 20 appearances, including two saves. Ysla is in his second year in Portland, and is on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster. He has struggled in 20 appearances, going 1-4 with a 6.83 ERA.

The pitching staff took a hit when Jalen Beeks (No. 28 prospect) was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. Beeks was 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA in nine starts for Portland before his promotion.

The Sea Dogs’ other two prospects in the field have fared reasonably well. No. 9 prospect Nick Longhi has spent the whole year in Portland, his first season in Double-A, and has hit .261 with six homers, 15 doubles and 31 RBIs. Josh Tobias (No. 22 prospect) has played just 38 games in Portland, and in that time has hit .271 with one home run, 12 doubles and 20 RBIs. They have been part of a Sea Dogs lineup that is hitting .261 as a team — fourth-best in the EL.

Beyond the prospects, bright spots for the Sea Dogs include outfielder Jeremy Barfield. The son of former major leaguer Jesse Barfield and younger brother of former big leaguer Josh Barfield started the year playing in an independent league before the Red Sox purchased his contract and sent him to Portland. In 25 games for the Sea Dogs, Barfield has hit .297 with four homers, nine doubles and 11 RBIs. He also pitched three innings in a relief appearance for Portland.

Speaking of relievers, Jamie Callahan has accumulated four wins out of the bullpen for the Sea Dogs, while sporting a 1.38 ERA and a 0.62 WHIP in 10 appearances. He has struck out 20 batters and hasn’t walked any. Jacob Dahlstrand has split time between the rotation and the bullpen, and he has a 5-1 record despite a 5.69 ERA.

The Sea Dogs will be glad to return home, where they are 16-15. Portland will play host to two teams — Harrisburg and New Hampshire — that were both 29-40 entering play Thursday.

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