The Portland Sea Dogs limped into August with the worst record in the Eastern League (40-67) and facing imminent mathematical elimination (any combination of Portland losses and Trenton victories totaling eight) from the playoffs.

Even so, there are signs of progress at Hadlock Field. The two top prospects, center fielder Andrew Benintendi and second baseman Yoan Moncada, are thriving. Benintendi was named Eastern League Player of the Week on Monday and Moncada was named MVP of the Futures Game in July.

As a team, the Sea Dogs are the only franchise in the league with a batting average that has climbed steadily since the season began. They hit .222 in April, .254 in May, .273 in June and .281 in July.

Jon Nunnally, Portland’s first-year hitting coach, said he doesn’t pay attention to such numbers.

“It’s about getting them to understand what the approach should be of each and every individual person,” said Nunnally, 44. “The numbers part of it, I don’t worry about it, man, because those things will take care of themselves. That’s something that fluctuates all the time.”

Catcher Jake Romanski, who worked with Nunnally last season in Class A Salem (Virginia), said the hitting coach is a tireless advocate for his players.

“If you need help, he’s willing to do anything for you,” Romanski said. “He always wants to be here. He always wants to work. If some guy’s struggling and he wants to go into the cage early, Jon is like, ‘What time do you want me here?’ ”

Romanski, batting .301 and tied with Aneury Tavarez for the team lead in multiple-hit games with 24, said Nunnally’s best attribute may be his ears.

“He wants to listen to what the player wants to do,” Romanski said. “He’s not trying to teach you his way. He wants to help you learn the way that’s best for you.”

Nunnally’s way was good enough to forge a 15-year playing career that included parts of six seasons in the majors. Primarily an outfielder who also played a little second base in the low minors, Nunnally broke into the big leagues with the 1995 Kansas City Royals, and also played for the Reds, Red Sox and Mets. In the minors he also played for the Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh organizations. He also played in Japan and Mexico.

The three hitting coaches who most influenced him are Mitchell Page, Gene Tenace and Ken Griffey Sr.

“Those three guys put together helped shape and mold my mind into what I wanted to do as a hitting coach,” Nunnally said. “I got a mechanical side. I got an approach side. I got direction. Those three guys helped me out tremendously.”

Four years after his last major league appearance as a player, Nunnally failed a drug test while playing for the Brewers’ Triple-A team in Indianapolis. The drug was reported as steroids but Nunnally said it was a diuretic to combat swelling of his hands and feet when he flew. He served a 15-game suspension at the start of the 2005 season.

The next year he found work as a hitting coach with Cleveland, the organization that originally drafted him. He moved quickly up the ladder, starting in rookie ball and reaching Triple-A by his fourth season. In 2010, he was promoted to the big leagues and lasted a year and a half before being fired in June 2011.

The Blue Jays hired Nunnally for their Triple-A club in Buffalo for 2013 and he moved to Double-A New Hampshire in 2014 before joining the Red Sox organization in 2015.

“He brings passion and energy to the field,” said Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles. “He’s willing to help these kids any time they want. He’s always available to them.”

Such varied experiences have taught Nunnally that different players require different approaches. Some learn visually. Some require a hands-on approach. Others learn best through conversation.

“The main thing is keeping it simple for everybody,” he said. “Rhythm, balance, getting a good pitch to hit and attacking the baseball. You figure out how to get as consistent as you can possibly get with that and have fun.”

He may not pay attention to the numbers but others do. Sea Dogs hitters are trending up. The arrivals of Benintendi and Moncada, both of whom started the season at Class A Salem, contribute to the improvement. Nunnally deserves some credit as well.

“You’ve got to take care of the mind and how they go about doing their job,” he said. “Hopefully, over the course of time, things get better.”

For four straight months, they have.