Clearwater, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Lars Anderson (62) hits a double in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Ryan Kalish, OF
Kalish is now hitting a combined .367/.475/.673 in 2012 across three levels. It might be safe to say that there's nothing wrong with his timing, despite the lengthy layoff from playing.
Kalish switched places with Jason Repko recently, with Repko hitting the 60-day DL and Kalish taking his spot on the 40-man roster. It was a clean way of putting Kalish in a position to stay at Pawtucket and continue his development -- remember, he wasn't pressed into action in the majors in 2010 because he was ready -- while also allowing the Red Sox the option of calling him up if they need him, while only needing to deal with the clutter of the 25-man roster to do so.
He's hitting for power, not striking out overly much, and drawing plenty of walks. He's been an absolute force at the plate, and that's an encouraging sign from a player who lost nearly all of 2011 to injury.
Lars Anderson, 1B/LF
Things didn't go so well for Lars Anderson in the majors once again, but he's looked good at Pawtucket after a slow start to the season. He hit just .255/.358/.400 in April, but has turned things up as of late with an 845 OPS in May, and an 1117 showing to this point in June. Seven of his eight homers have come in his last 149 at-bats, he's drawing walks, and while the batting average isn't there, it likely never will be.
He might not have room in a Red Sox system that is loaded with outfielders, and Boston already has their first baseman of the future locked up well past the point the team has control of Anderson, but the fact he's hitting at Pawtucket -- finally -- is a good sign. Last year, the Athletics nearly took him in a deadline deal to get Rich Harden in Boston, and you would think that this time around, if he's still performing in July, someone will be even more likely to try to pluck him from Pawtucket.
Expect Anderson to be part of a package deal before this year's trade deadline, as he almost was in 2011. Even if the Red Sox think he can become something, there isn't much in the way of room for him to do so for an organization loaded up at every position he could potentially handle.
Alex Wilson, RP
Wilson has thrown 24 innings as a reliever, and the righty has seen nothing but success in the role. He's logged 25 punch outs in those 24 frames, walked just seven batters, and has yet to give up a homer. While his seasonal ERA is 3.58, in his time in relief, he's at 2.63.
Wilson has projected as a reliever ever since he was at college, but the Red Sox like to give arms like this a shot at starting, for two reasons. The first is that it's always worth checking to see if yes, a pitcher actually should relieve rather than start, as their mechanics might become more consistent, or they might develop that third pitch. Second, starting means more innings in the minors, and more experience before heading to the majors. Wilson might relieve forever in the bigs once he gets there, but he ended up with over 300 innings in just three years time by pitching in minor-league rotations rather than out of bullpens.
Boston's stacked pen -- and the presence of Clayton Mortensen, Junichi Tazawa, and now, as long as he's on the mound, Mark Prior -- means that there's no rush for Wilson to head to the Red Sox just yet. He'll have his chance, though, especially if he keeps throwing heat and quality sliders out of the pen.