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
Greenville's season is over, but our coverage of prospects continues. We'll go through the last updates this week, and spend the rest of September looking back at Boston's farm system -- position-by-position, team-by-team.
Henry Owens, SP
Owens finished strong with Low-A Greenville after a rough outing on August 14 where he gave up three runs in one inning of work. The lanky lefty allowed four runs over his last 15 frames to drop his season ERA under five. His command and control weren't perfect in that stretch, as he punched out 11 against seven free passes, but all in all it was a solid end to a campaign that was better than Owens' ERA suggests.
April was the oddity in a season full of mostly strong performances. Owens posted a 7.85 ERA in the season's first month, giving up 22 hits and three homers in 18 innings of work. The rest of the year wasn't perfect, but it was dramatically different than its start, with Owens compiling a 4.16 ERA from May onward. For a pitcher who was a teenager for much of their professional debut, that's impressive.
Garin Cecchini, 3B
Cecchini, like Owens, had a poor start to the year, as the left-handed third baseman put up a .268/.341/.341 April. Things worked out for the 21-year-old during almost the entire rest of the season, though, and his .305/.394/.433 shows as much. You would like more power, but there's plenty here to enjoy. Cecchini was 51 for 57 on stolen base attempts, just shy of a 90 percent success rate. He struck out just 17 percent of the time, despite his youth and the level jump. He also drew nearly 12 percent walks, showing off his advanced approach at the plate.
There are things you would like him to do better, like hit for more power, but that might come in the future. The fourth-round selection from 2010 had 38 doubles and four triples, and with some time and bulk, some of those could become home runs. That being said, if he can keep his on-base percentage this lofty, power won't matter nearly as much.
Noe Ramirez, SP
Ramirez was pitching very well, but has now given up 10 homers in his last nine starts, with at least one ball leaving the park in each of those contests. Over his last 10 appearances, he owns a 4.76 ERA with 9.4 punch outs per nine, fewer than two walks per nine, and an awful 1.6 homers per nine. There's a lot to like, but also plenty to be worried about there.
Homers happen sometimes, and giving up a lot of them in the low minors doesn't mean Ramirez always will. But this does remind you that the control-oriented pitcher needs to utilize his command more consistently in order to keep the ball from hitting the fat part of the plate, and subsequently taking up residence in the bleachers.