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Bryce yourself: Big game for Brentz05/13/2011 1:00 AM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
Top overall Draft pick Bryce Harper might be the hot prospect right now, leaving another Bryce flattered to be mentioned in the same breath as the teenage phenom.
Selected by the Boston Red Sox 36th overall in the 2010 Draft, Class A Greenville's Bryce Brentz is matching the highly touted outfielder every step of the way.
Brentz went 4-for-6 with four runs and an RBI to power the Drive past the Asheville Tourists, 16-12, on Thursday.
It was Brentz's second consecutive four-hit night and his fourth contest in a row with at least three hits. It also extended his Minor League-leading hitting streak to 24 games and his on-base streak to 33.
Brentz is batting .393, two points behind South Atlantic League leader Harper -- MLB.com's preseason No. 3 prospect -- who is mashing a blistering .521 (21-for-41) over his last 10 games.
While the Red Sox prospect leads all Sally League hitters with 31 RBIs -- one more than Harper -- and extra-base hits (21), Harper is slugging a league-high .702 with Brentz right on his heels at .679.
"I think it's pretty good to be a Bryce right now," Brentz said. "It's flattering to be compared with Harper and it's great to see we're both doing so well.
"Being a No. 1 overall pick is probably quite stressful, but I wish him the best. He can do great things."
With significantly less fanfare, Brentz is creating his own hype. In the four-game set against Asheville, the right fielder hit a scorching .636 (14-for-22) with 10 runs and nine RBIs.
The hot start is very different from 2010, when he hit .198 with 39 RBIs in 69 games with the short-season Lowell Spinners.
"Asheville didn't do anything wrong, I just happened to make some adjustments with how I hit with two strikes," he said.
"Sometimes you have to slow down, take a deep breath and let the pitch come to you. If you're in a pitcher's count, you have to battle and try to get it back to 2-2 or 3-2."
On Thursday, he did just that. He had a run-scoring single in the first inning, and he singled, stole second base and scored again in the second frame. After a pair of groundouts in his next two at-bats, Brentz singled back up the middle in the seventh and collected his fourth hit to lead off the ninth.
With 55 hits -- the most across all of pro ball -- Brentz already has three more hits than he collected in more than twice as many games a year ago.
"It's all going pretty well right now and I can't ask for more," Brentz added.
"Baseball is full of ups and downs, and you'll always get hot and cold streaks. [Hitting coach] Luis Lopez is loving what I'm doing right now and I'm loving it too."