Reading, PA USA; Binghamton Mets infielder Eric Campbell (21) celebrates with Reading Phillies player Leandro Castro (18) and Portland SeaDogs player Reynaldo Rodriguez (16) after driving in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning during the AA Eastern League All-Star game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Eastern Division defeated the Western Division, 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
With the minor-league regular season over, it's time to look back at what the farm has accomplished in 2012. The plan is go to team-by-team, as we did for our daily prospect updates, but this time around, we'll review by position, so you get a sense of where the Red Sox are strong and where they are lacking depth.
Kolbrin Vitek, 3B
Vitek was drafted 20th overall in the 2010 draft, but has yet to make it out of Double-A, or, for that matter, to succeed there. Injuries slowed him down this past season, but it's not as if he was very good when he was healthy, either. He hit .281/.350/.372 at High-A Salem as a 22-year-old, but his most promising campaign is still his first one, back in short-season Lowell, where the 21-year-old finished up there after playing in college.
The best indication of how forgettable Vitek's professional career is to this point comes courtesy of Google:
Bing has it right, but who would ever notice? Thankfully, Boston's 2010 draft, Vitek aside, is working out beautifully: the club also selected Bryce Brentz, Brandon Workman, Sean Coyle, and Garin Cecchini, and if Anthony Ranaudo ever turns into anything, there's him, too. Just keep telling yourself that while looking at Vitek's line.
Reynaldo Rodriguez, 1B/DH
Reynaldo Rodriguez isn't a prospect. He is, however, the player who spent the most time at first base with the Sea Dogs in 2012, logging 87 games at the position. The 26-year-old has been in the pros since 2006, when he first played with the GCL Yankees. After a stint in the indy leagues, Rodriguez came to the Sox, and he finished up his sixth year with a disappointing stint at Pawtucket.
As said, though, it can only be so disappointing when the expectations are nonexistent. Rodriguez isn't late to the game, like Daniel Nava or J.C. Linares -- he's been around, and didn't move very fast when he did. He's useful organizational depth for the minors, though, keeping the seat warm at first for prospects who might have a future in Boston. He was sent to Pawtucket to open first base up for Travis Shaw in Portland, and when Shaw is ready for the PawSox, Rodriguez will likely be bumped once more, assuming he's still in town.
Marquez Smith, 3B
Marquez Smith joined the Red Sox organization during 2012, after spending time in the Atlantic and Mexican Leagues. The Sox put the 27-year-old in Double-A, a level behind where he finished with the Cubs in 2011. Like Rodriguez, Smith is not a prospect, and isn't new to the game, either: he was drafted four times between 2003 and 2007, and has amassed nearly 2,500 professional plate appearances since finally signing with the Cubs in the last of those drafts.
Smith played a dozen games at the keystone, but most of his season was spent at the hot corner, replacing Vitek in the lineup while the latter recovered from injuries. He hit well enough, but that's going to be the kind of role he serves going forward: filling in the blanks in the organization where needed. Assuming Boston holds on to him, anyway.