Morning Sox Stuffers 3/8/2012: Prospects Impress, Are Impressed Upon

Still taking any excuse I can get to use this picture. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

It's been a while, folks, but at least for today, Morning Sox Stuffers is making its return to the front page of Over The Monster as Mr. Kory heads southeast for spring training.

I'm out of practice with this, so apologies in advance if I get off-topic or have some sub-par offerings for you today.

Wells Fargo to Charge $7 For Checking Acc--

Wait, no, that's definitely wrong. Let's try again.

Back In Boston Fort Myers

Brentz Makes Good Impression On Valentine - Chris Girandola and Ian Browne / MLB.com

"I can tell you this, the one kid is a little different ... a liiiittle different," Valentine said in a drawn out way.

Valentine speaks, as you might have guessed based on the headline, about one Bryce Brentz, ranked tenth on our list of top prospects and rather higher on certain other ones.

Brentz made his first spring training appearance yesterday, lacing a pitch from Joel Carreno back up the middle for a single in the seventh inning. Normally not a big deal, and even in this case not a huge one, but Joel Carreno is a 25-year-old who was getting outs in Double-A last year before throwing 15 pretty great innings for the Blue Jays. You may remember him from two of our blowouts against Toronto, in which he allowed a run on a Marco Scutaro double (when Scoot was the only player performing at all), and on the other hand struck out David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis.

Of course, it's a sample size of one, but it's just a nice, small-scale representation of how far Brentz has come from getting beat up on a daily basis in Lowell. If Valentine ends up being right that there's something just "a little different" about Brentz, then it won't have come without warning.

Andrew Bailey Over Lat Pull, Cleared To Face Live Hitters -- Drew Silva, NBC Sports

Everyone can exhale now after our first Bailey health scare. That was fast.

Positional Battle: Red Sox Shortstop -- Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation

Spring Training's Often Hidden Quirks -- Maureen Mullen, CSNNE

A fun look at the weirdness that is an unofficial B-game.

Hot Prospect Will Middlebrooks Taking It All In -- Tim Britton, The Providence Journal

Being able to chat with a veteran like Aviles makes that transition easier.

"I talk to him a lot, hang out with him a lot," Middlebrooks said. "Just kind of pick his brain and say ‘What do I do? What do I not do? What do I do to stay off people's bad lists?' He's helped me out a lot."

Just don't ask for fielding tips, Will.

Trying Not To Sell Jose Iglesias Short -- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe

Chad Finn provides his usual enjoyable Sox history lesson.

Around The AL East

New O's Boss Duquette Has First Sox Reunion -- Ian M. Browne, MLB.com

Somehow Duquette and the O's is a match made in Heav--well, it's a match made somewhere.

Former Yanks' Head Focuses On Dominican Prospects -- Ronald Blum, Newsday

Scranton Yankees Change Name To Empire State Yankees -- Mike Ashmore

Well la-de-da!

Longoria's Hand Continues To Improve -- Bill Chastain, MLB.com

MLB In General

Yu Darvish Debuts, Is Good -- Jeff Sullivan, Baseball Nation

A's Hopeful For Resolution Of Territorial Rights -- Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com

The New Moneyball -- Jeff Sullivan, Baseball Nation

Morneau Close On Getting Timing Back -- Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com

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