Chase Utley continues to carry the torch for Bruins in the majors (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Now that we're at roughly the halfway point in the MLB season so let's take a look at the Bruins in the majors. There are only four of them in the bigs right now, but there are another 31 in the minors so that number of Bruins at the top level should just up a little before long. We'll get to how some of the top Bruins in the minors are doing in a little bit, but for now, here are the four MLB Bruins.
Chase Utley- 2B, Phillies
The guy who has been carrying the torch for Bruins in the pros for a while now is starting to get it going again. He started the season on the DL, but finally made his debut in May and after a slow start is back on track. For the month of June he hit .297 with a couple homers in a return to form. It's pushed his average to .286 for the year with a .389 on-base percentage and four homers. The 32-year-old who played for the Bruins from 1998-2000 is in the fifth year of a seven year deal with the Phillies.
Brandon Crawford- SS, Giants
The only Bruin that played for John Savage currently in the bigs, Crawford got called up on May 26 and in his first game hit a grand slam. He's had trouble hitting in the majors, carrying just a .198 average and his debut grand slam remains his only home run. It looks like the Giants will either get healthy or bring in another shortstop so Crawford may not be up in the majors for a lot longer, but they still expect him to be able to hit at the top level with some more time. Add that to a fantastic glove, which has drawn some rave reviews already up in the Bay Area, and his future is still plenty bright.
Ben Francisco- OF, Phillies
A teammate of Utley's since a 2009 trade that landed him in Philadelphia, Francisco has seen his role with the Phillies increase this season. A defensive replacement and occasional pinch hitter when he first went to Philly, Francisco has become a semi-regular starter this season. The average hasn't been there as he hits just .226, but he does have six home runs and a .338 on-base percentage. More than anything, Francisco is asked to move runners along and be a plus defensive player, something he's done well. Playing regularly for the best team in baseball is always impressive.
Casey Janssen- RHP, Blue Jays
Janssen has been pretty effective for his entire career, the problem is that he's had trouble getting on the mound much. Injuries have derailed him, missing all of 2008 and part of 2009 and he battled a torn labrum, and now he's back on the DL, although it looks like he might return in a couple weeks. Prior to his injury this season Janssen had made 28 appearances out of the bullpen and limited opponents to a 2.93 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He added a save, four holds and struck out almost a batter per inning so if he can get healthy the Blue Jays will sure be happy to have him back out in the bullpen.