BOSTON -- Jose Iglesias is the best defensive infielder in the Red Sox farm system, but the shortstop has been swinging a hot bat of late.
Iglesias has at least one hit in 20 of his last 25 games for the Triple-A Pawtucket PawSox and went 1-for-3 on Saturday in the Futures at Fenway game. He had a nine-game hit streak snapped on Wednesday. He's raised his average to .263 with 91 hits in 86 games.
"He's worked so hard in general, just backing up the ball and squaring it up. He's getting into counts and putting some good swings on balls," PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler said. "He's much improved but again still a young guy who needs some reps and is going to continue to get better. He's improving and that's what it's all about."
Iglesias, Boston's No. 11 overall prospect, is in his third season in the Red Sox organization. In 101 games for Pawtucket last year, he batted .235 with 84 hits.
Bard back in Fenway, but not with big league squad
BOSTON -- Daniel Bard was back in the bullpen at Fenway Park on Saturday, but not in the capacity he would have liked.
Bard has been with Triple-A Pawtucket since he was demoted on June 7 after a slew of rough outings as a member of the Red Sox rotation. Sitting in the visiting clubhouse before the Futures at Fenway game, the right-hander reflected on his two-plus months of inconsistency in the Minors.
"Frustrating is a good way to describe it," said Bard, who's 2-2 with a 7.45 ERA in 28 appearances for Pawtucket. "But at the same time, if I have a bad outing I think about it for that night and wake up the next morning and try to learn from it and move on."
There have been plenty of bad outings for Bard since he went to the Minors to work on his mechanics and rediscover the success he had in the past as a reliever.
"If he was doing what everyone wanted him to do overnight and flip the switch he'd be up here [with the Red Sox]," PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler said. "But he's doing OK, he's down in the zone, he's around the plate. He's still a work in progress. It's improvement, it's slow."
Bard did not pitch on Saturday. He allowed three runs on one hit with two walks in an inning on Aug. 16 to lose his second straight decision. He issued four walks on Aug. 14, a season-high. In 29 innings, the former Red Sox rookie of the year has walked 29 against 30 strikeouts.
He's still trying to regain the delivery and mechanics that helped him become a dominant reliever from 2009-11.
"I've been looking at a lot of video and trying to work hard to repeat that and get as close to that delivery as possible but things change, my body has changed," Bard said. "I think I've had it a few times, it's just a matter of keeping it consistently outing to outing and pitch to pitch. The talent is still there."
Yes, the talent is there. Bard had a string of three scoreless innings from July 23-29. But just when he thinks he's found something, Bard has a tendency to regress. He's allowed at least one run in six of his last seven outings following that scoreless stretch.
"I think that's kind of what's gotten me in trouble," Bard said. "I have three or four outings in a row and I go, 'OK, I've arrived, I'm back.' And maybe when I get that feeling I try to go out and do something better the next outing and that's usually what's kind of gotten me in trouble a couple of times."
Still, Bard is likely to rejoin the Red Sox when rosters expand in September.
"I'd be surprised if I wasn't [called up]. I know the results haven't been what I want but, ultimately, I think that's where I belong," Bard said. "Just getting in that environment is going to instantly make me a better pitcher."
Prospect Marrero looking to make impact in Boston
BOSTON -- Deven Marrero noticed the impact of several prospects with the Red Sox this year and thinks he can do the same some day.
The shortstop, Boston's first selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft (No. 24 overall), represented Class A Lowell at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon. He went 1-for-4 in his Futures at Fenway Debut.
Four years ago, Will Middlebrooks had a walk-off hit for the Spinners in the annual game that showcases some of the organization's top prospects. Middlebrooks broke in with the Red Sox in May and hit .288 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs before a fractured right wrist ended his rookie campaign. Daniel Nava, Mauro Gomez and Ryan Kalish have also come up through the club's farm system and have given the Sox a boost this season.
"You want that to be you in a couple of years," Marrero said. "We see that those guys have worked hard and that makes us work even harder because those guys put their work in and it's paying off for them now. They're up their doing great in the big leagues showing everybody that they belong."
The Red Sox have promoted 18 players from Triple-A Pawtucket this season.
"That's a tribute to those guys and how hard they work and being comfortable when they come up to just go out and play and do what they did to get them there," PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler said.
While Marrero still has plenty of seasoning to go through in the Minors, he could be with the Sox in the near future. He leads the New York-Penn League with 21 stolen bases. The Arizona State product is hitting .260 with two homers, 11 doubles, 15 RBIs and 32 runs in his first 50 games as a professional.
"The coaches are great, I'm learning so much here, just little thing about the game that I never knew," Marrero said. "I try to get better every day, try to work on things every day and we have great coaches who make us work every day."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.