Minor League Update: 8/11

Mixing up the minor league update once again:

1) Jon Lester - LHP (BOS)
Lester seemed to be riding a lucky streak since coming to Boston, but the honeymoon is now over. Lester is 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA in his last four games started. On a positive note, he's cut down on his walks. He's allowed only five walks in 22.1 IP.

2) Craig Hansen - RHP (BOS)
Maybe Hansen still has a tired arm, because he hasn't been the same pitcher since last year. His velocity is down (97 MPH is down for him) and slider doesn't have the nasty break in it like we've seen before. Lefties have killed Hansen: .349 BA in 43 AB.

3) Dustin Pedroia - IF (PAW)
Not only has Pedroia continued to hit, he's begun to work at a new position: third base. He got work over there when Mike Lowell was ailing. Pedroia's weak point has been left-handed pitchers, however.  He's hitting only .242 against them with a .669 OPS. He's hitting .324 with runners in scoring position, though, so he's been clutch for the Paw Sox.

4) Jacoby Ellsbury - OF (POR)
Ellsbury's batting average has dipped in August (.258 BA in August). He did, however, show a flash of power when he hit his first home run as a Sea Dog earlier in the week.

5) Michael Bowden - RHP (GRE)
I can't wait until Bowden arrives in Portland so I can get a glimpse of him. His 114 K in 102 IP says a lot about him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in some top 25 prospects list in all the MLB come 2007.

6) Clay Buchholz - RHP (GRE)
Buchholz is Bowden's partner in crime. I really pity opposing teams that have to face Bowden and Buchholz in a series because, odds are, they'll lose. Buchholz is 8-4 with a 2.66 ERA. He has struck out 112 in just 98 innings.

7) Edgar Martinez - RHP (POR)
Martinez has pretty much mastered AA ball (3.04, 51 K in 56.1 IP), so I'd like to see him promoted to Pawtucket. If he does well there Martinez could be in the Boston ailing bullpen before September.

8) David Murphy - OF (PAW)
Murphy's hot start has transformed into an average season at Pawtucket. He still deserves a shot at playing in the bigs. Maybe if the Sox need to add another outfielder at some point, Murphy will be their first choice.

9) Jason Place - OF (GCL)
Place seems to be on the fast track down in the Gulf Coast League. Place is hitting .286/.362/.438 with 4 home runs in 112 at-bats. The power is there and his OBP is pretty steady considering the word at the draft was he K'ed a lot.

10)Bryson Cox - RHP (WLM)
Cox seems to be the best pitcher out of the gate in the 2006 draft class. He pitched well at Lowell, earned a promotion, and continues with a perfect ERA at Wilmington in 11.2 IP.

11)Kris Johnson - LHP (LWL)
Johnson had a sketchy college career, but so far as a Sox he's been fantastic. Batters are hitting only .210 against him. It'll be interseting to see if he catches on as a starter or a relief pitcher, because he has spent time as both.

12)Justin Masterson - RHP (LWL)
Masteron is just like Johnson and Cox: he's hitting his spots with little trouble. He's got a bunch of strikeouts (22) in quite a few innings (19) and has allowed only one free pass.

13)Luis Soto - OF (GRE)
What's going on with Soto? He hasn't hit at all this year (.240/.275/.370) and I'm not sure he has much more time to prove himself. He's only 20, so he does have time to grow.

14)Brandon Moss - OF (POR)
A low hitting line (.272/.342/.426) has really stunted Moss's growth. It reminds me a lot of Hanley Ramirez who didn't do to well in Portland. Maybe a change of scenary -- a trade to the West Coast, possibley -- would do him well. He still has some value.

15)Jed Lowrie - MIF (WIL)
Power has left the bat of Lowrie. He was a little guy who swung at big stick at Stanford, but so far in 290 at-bats in Wilmington he has only hit one. He only has 18 extra base hits on the season.

16)Mark Wagner - C (GRE)
Wagner has been on a tear in August, hitting .318 in the month. He's hitting .293 at the clean-up man down in Wilmington.

17)Chad Spann - 3B (POR)
Spann's All-Star season may be over. According to SoxProspects.com, his season may be over due to a severly sprained ankle.

18)David Pauley - RHP (PAW)
Pauley still hasn't found his groove since being demoted from Boston. He's got a 5.54 ERA in Pawtucket, but that's been rising.

19)Felix Doubront - LHP (GCL)
A .185 BAA says enough about this youngster. He's allowed only five doubles in 45 innings of work.

20)Chris Turner - OF (GRE)
Turner's power is his best asset down in Greenville. He has an .810 OPS against right-handed pitchers in 292 at-bats. Fifteen of his 17 home runs have come against righties.

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