Tuesday April 09, 2013 | 09:39 AM

As you can read in today's column, the underdog story of Daniel Nava continues.

Remember when Nava first came to Portland in 2009. He was a good story then - see our feature - but who knew he would stick in the majors?

Once upon a time, pitching prospects Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz came through Portland. Now they are pacing the Red Sox. See the game story and notebook.

In the minors, some prospects are already starting to shine. Pawtucket outfielders Jeremy Hazelbaker (.364) and Bryce Brentz (.333) are slugging it out. Of Hazelbaker's eight hits, three are home runs and one is a triple.. Half of Brentz's eight hits are doubles. He also has a home run.

In Portland, Boston's top pitching prospect Matt Barnes looked sharp Monday, but he threw too many pitches in the first inning (yielding two hits and a walk). He also struck out three.

Michael Almanzar (.600) had two doubles Monday, following his two-homer game on Sunday ... Xander Bogaerts (.278) went 2-for-4 ... major leaguer Stephen Drew homered and is expected in Fenway on Wednesday.

Class A Salem has a couple of infield prospects to watch. Shortstop Deven Marrero, last year's first round draft pick, hit three doubles Monday. he's batting .412 ... third baseman Garin Cecchini (.400) went 4-for-4.

I will check back later from Hadlock Field.



About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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