Sarasota, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox batting helmets and bats in the dugout before a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Deven Marrero, SS
Marrero was Boston's first-round selection at #24 in the 2012 MLB amateur entry draft, and was assigned to Lowell shortly after their season began. He hasn't done very much in his first 40-ish plate appearances as a pro, but he has already gone deep for the first time, and has racked up three steals in four chances already.
Marrero's bat is his main question mark, as defensively, he's expected to be an asset. This isn't to say he's not expected to hit -- the same questions surrounding Jose Iglesias are not enveloping Marrero -- but it's the portion of his game that's expected to come along more slowly.
As with many fresh out of school, it's the next step up, at Low-A Greenville, that will be more of a test than the short-season league. This is a chance for Marrero to get some time in the pros before moving on to regularly-scheduled playing time in a full-season league.
Kendrick Perkins, RF
Perkins was a sixth-round selection in the 2010 draft, and is in his first stint at short-season Lowell. Unlike Marrero, who jumped from college to the New York-Penn League, Perkins spent his first two years out of high school in the Gulf Coast League. That first "season" was made up of al of three games, but in 2011, the outfielder logged 200 plate appearances and a .257/.362/.386 line.
That came with strikeouts 31 percent of the time, and walks in 14 percent of plate appearances, showing a player who is certainly patient, but not necessarily in a way that benefits their game just yet. More time and experience as a pro is the cure for that, as if is for any player who simply needs to adjust in order to succeed. It's too early to know if the 20-year-old Perkins is one such prospect, but the early returns after his promotion to Lowell have been mostly positive.
Mostly, because the strikeouts are still there in a big way, with 20 already in just 57 plate appearances. He's shown considerable power, though, already surpassing his 2011 homer total, so keep an eye on those strikeouts going forward. Power isn't as easy to come by the more he climbs the ladder, and without a reduction in whiffs, those rungs are going to come slowly.
He has the tools to succeed, but they need to be sharpened into something he can use. Less chasing, more lower body in his swing -- these are the things to look for from Perkins, to see if he's begun his adjustments.
David Chester, 1B
Chester stands six feet, five inches, and has a listed weight of either 255 or 275 pounds, depending on where you're looking. He's a massive first baseman, and the 23-year-old was part of the 2011 draft class. He spent last season in the GCL, so he's not a repeat player at short-season Lowell.
He's old for the level, but early returns for the 11th-round selection have been positive. Just nine whiffs in 49 plate appearances, and a pair of long balls already in his his first 11 games at the level. He's not a serious prospect, as you might have guessed given his being a senior and in Lowell at 23, but it's fun to watch to see if one of these players can surprise.