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Predicting the Minors: Portland


SP:

Alex Wilson: Wilson was a second round draft pick a few years ago, and a guy I was pretty high on. He put up good numbers in Lowell and Salem, but struggled pretty good in Portland. He has a full season in AA thi year, and a chance to prove himself a better prospect in the system.

Miguel Gonzalez: Gonzalez was taken in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft a few years ago, and missed his first season with injury. Last season in Salem he pitched 73 innings, with a 4.54 ERA. He really isn't that great of a prospect, but has solid stuff so if he can turn it on you never know.

Stolmy Pimentel: Pimentel has always been mentioned as one of Boston's top prospects, and this is his first time to prove it away from A ball. Only 20 years old, he would be the youngest player in AA. Last season he put up an ERA in the fours in Salem, so they are going to take it along slowly with him.

Brock Huntzinger: Huntzinger is a guy you don't see bring up a lot in conversation, but he has quietly rose in the Red Sox system. Only 22, he comes from Salem of last season and joins the Portland staff.

Jeremy Kehrt: Kehrt was a 47th round draft pick, so kudos to him for getting this far. Unfortunately, he probably isn't getting too much farther. Kehrt is now 25 and in his second AA season. If the Pawtucket rotation struggles, he may see some AAA time, but that may be doubtful.

 

C Ryan Lavarnway: Lavarnway can hit, I can tell you that right now. If he were a 1B, he would probably be one of the best hitters in the minors. However, because he is a catcher and is defense is suspect, people don't look at him all too much. Lavarnway, 23, has always been one of my personal favorite prospects. The Red Sox have worled with him on defense, and it appears to be getting better, but his bat will get him to the majors one way or another.

1B Jorge Padron: Padron, 24, Really emerged last season when he played for Salem and later Portland, where he put up a combined .276 average with 1 .323 OBP and 1 home run. His skills are kind of raw, and is a little more aggressive than you'd like, but he could really have a break out season and establish himself as a prospect.

2B Oscar Tejada: Tejada really had a terrific season last year, hitting .307 with a .344 OBP. Tejada, only 21, is a bit raw, but he does have the ability and patience to take a walk, which is a good sign for a younger player.

3B Will Middlebrooks: Middlebrooks would be considered a five tool player, with speed, power, everything. Last season in Salem he hit .276 with an OBP of .331 and 12 home runs. Next season in Portland, watch to see if he can up his OBP a bit as he learns some more patience.

SS Jose Iglesias: While healthy, Iglesias really impressed a lot of people with the bat and glove. The injury was unfortunate, but he bounces back this year with maybe a chance to play in Pawtucket if it all goes right for him. The first thing to watch is a better eye at the plate, with him posting only a .315 OBP last season.

LF Juan Carlos Linares: Linares, though 26, has opened some eyes in the Red Sox organization this season. He is a very good fielder with good range and takes good jumps on the ball. He has good power, but tends to hook the ball a bit, which isn't too bad but you'd like to see some more opposite field power.

CF Che-Hsuan Lin: Lin is an intriguing player. You look at his power, there is not that much there, or much hitting at all. He walks a lot, which is good, but as he moves up he has to hit, because once pitchers realize he can't they will stop nibbling on the plate. As far as defense, that is MLB ready now, he is one of the better defenders on the MiLB.

RF Alex Hassan: Hassan, 22, has emerged in the system quite quietly. He put up eight home runs in Salem last season, with a .287 BAA. He has a big frame that brings a terrific stance, and some good present power, with a ceiling to grow.

DH Chih-Hsien Chiang: Chiang has a really nice swing with good fundamentals. He used to play 2B, but that did not work out so well so he converted to OF and now he will serve as Portland's DH. He could use to raise his OBP a bit.

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