State of the Red Sox Farm
Since I've been busy recently, I haven't really had a chance to follow the Red Sox closely this week. All I really know is that they split with the White Sox this week. So, I'm going to look at the Red Sox minor league teams instead of the Red Sox themselves today. Maybe tomorrow I'll have my normal look at the Red Sox.
The Pawtucket Red Sox are 41-30. There's not a ton to look at here because the most exciting player who was in Pawtucket is now in Boston. Freddy Sanchez is hitting .267/.267/.333 (.600 OPS) in just 15 at-bats since being called up on May 31st. I think I'd rather have him back in Pawtucket playing every day, but hopefully Sanchez will still be ready to become a full-time player next year.
Lou Collier is the best hitter at Pawtucket right now. The 29-year-old is hitting .311/.370/.523 in 52 games. Adrian Brown (who the Red Sox almost kept out of spring training instead of Damian Jackson) is hitting .256/.306/.314. So, while Jackson is showing that he can't hit at all, Brown isn't showing that he could do any better and Jackson has added some nice speed and versatility to the Red Sox.
Anton French, 27 years old, is hitting .316/.376/.439 with 24 steals in 31 attempts in 55 games. There aren't really any other interesting hitters here. There are a few intriguing pitchers.
Bronson Arroyo, 26 years old, has a 3.63 ERA and a very nice 87 strikeouts and 16 walks in 84.1 innings. Two 24-year-old pitchers are also somewhat interesting.
Paul Stewart has a 3.25 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks in 74.2 innings. Dicky Gonzalez has a 4.26 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 10 walks in 67.2 innings. Stewart's ERA is a run lower, but I like Gonzalez's strikeout-to-walk ratio a lot better.
The talk about him in Moneyball has not gone to Kevin Youkilis' head. He's hitting .300/.468/.400 in 61 games. The 24-year-old third baseman has walked 52 times and been hit by a pitch 14 times. I would guess that he will probably move up to Pawtucket before this season is over. Kelly Shoppach, 23 years old, is hitting .274/.368/.465 in 43 games. He had an .801 OPS in Class A last year, so this is a nice improvement at a higher level.
The only other two hitters worth discussing are both rather old. 27-year-old OF/DH Kevin Haverbusch is hitting .302/.407/.490 in 29 games, but is nothing special at his age in Class AA. 26-year-old OF Jeremy Owens is hitting .301/.361/.555 in 67 games. He's a little more interesting than Haverbusch, but still probably won't ever make any impact.
Jorge De La Rosa is a very nice looking pitcher. The 22-year-old has a 2.92 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 25 walks in 61.2 innings. Last year at Class A, he had 95 strikeouts and 52 walks in 120.1 innings. So, he's improved his strikeout rate while keeping his walk rate pretty much constant while moving up a level.
Anastacio Martinez, 24 years old, has a 2.57 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 17 walks in 28 innings. Nice strikeout rate, but he will need to improve his control. Josh Stevens has a 3.17 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 11 walks in 82.1 innings. He had much better strikeout rates before this season, but his walk rate this year is very nice.
This is the Black Hole of the Red Sox farm system. As far as I can tell, there are no pitchers worth talking about who have played more than a handful of games, and just one hitter. That hitter is 25-year-old Lammont Matthews, who is hitting .288/.399/.497 in 45 games. At 25 years old in Class A, he's not worth talking about that much.
Hanley Ramirez, who was named the top prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America this season, is hitting .282/.330/.436 in 54 games. The 19-year-old shortstop has stolen 18 bases in 25 attempts and is hopefully past the off-field problems that made him report to extended spring training earlier this year.
Matt Cooper, 22 years old, is hitting .297/.424/.429 in 55 games. Last year at Augusta, Cooper had a .756 OPS. Hopefully he can move up a level soon and continue to progress. Chad Spann, 19 years old, is hitting .318/.406/.438 in 56 games. He had a .650 OPS in 57 games in the Gulf Coast League last year, so this is a very nice improvement.
Juan Cedeno, 19 years old, has a 3.83 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 25 walks in 52 innings. Very nice strikeout rate, control could use some improvement. Kevin Huang has a 5.82 ERA, but I like his 47 strikeouts and 18 walks in 43.1 innings.
The Spinners have won their first four games. David Murphy, Boston's top pick this year, is off to a .286/.421/.357 start and Jeremy West, Boston's ninth pick, is off to a .294/.294/.471 start.
So, that's the Red Sox farm system at the moment. My next look at it will probably be at the end of July, when we'll be able to take a better look at how the draft picks are doing to begin their pro careers.