Ft. Myers, FL, USA; A general view from the stands during the sixth inning of a spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Of the three players covered in today's Salem Red Sox update, just one has been featured before. David Renfroe was recently promoted to the High-A Carolina League, but we covered his season with the Low-A Greenville Drive prior to this. Other than that, it's newbies. The reason for this is that most of the players that we've been covering in Salem this season have moved on to Portland. Most, not all, but the ones that remain were looked at very recently. In the interest of bringing you a look at some players we might not otherwise cover, today we'll check out Michael Almanzar and Miguel Celestinos for the first time in 2012.
Michael Almanzar, 3B/1B
Almanzar has been solid, but definitely unspectacular, in his second stint with Salem. However, in 2011, the then-20-year-old Almanzar hit just .182/.223/.245 at the level in 220 at-bats, so the results, while not eye-popping, are still a massive improvement. He's been forgotten about a bit in the wake of his disappointing 2011, especially with Travis Shaw rocketing through the system, but the corner infielder is still pretty young.
This is, in fact, his most productive campaign in the minors to this point. It took him five seasons to get to that point -- Almanzar first played as a 17-year-old in the GCL -- but he now has something to build on for 2013. His prospect status isn't quite back, but he's at least in a position to pull a late bloomer trick thanks to his 2012.
David Renfroe, 3B/1B
David Renfroe never quite got back on track at Greenville after a strong start was followed by rough stretches, but now he's been promoted from the Sally to the California League. The third-round selection from the 2009 draft has been around longer, but is the same seasonal age as, former teammate and fellow third baseman Garrin Cecchini. Cecchini is more of a prospect, but just use that as a reminder that Renfroe isn't out of this thing yet.
Like Almanzar, while his numbers don't stick out, they represent a jump from his 2011 campaign. He'll likely do the same thing he did in Greenville with Salem -- playing at first, third, and DH, wherever he is needed that day -- and will play at this level in 2013 as well.
Miguel Celestino, P
Celestino is a former Mariners' farmhand, one that spent 2007 through 2009 in the Mariners' system before he was the player to be named later in the Casey Kotchman for Bill Hall trade of 2010. He spent most of the 2010 campaign with short-season Lowell, 2011 with Greenville, and is now in Salem as a 22-year-old.
His numbers have been about the same the whole way, in the sense that they aren't awe-inspiring, but there are some things to like. He's shown very good control of his stuff over the last couple of seasons, and until recently was also good about keeping the ball in the park. Things have been rough with that area over his last 10 starts, with Celestino giving up 11 homers in 55 innings despite a tendency to get far more outs on the ground than in the air.
If he can improve his command and keep the ball down more consistently, maybe there's a future in relief for him down the road. Right now, though, all Celestino has is the hypothetical, as the Carolina League has not been kind to him.