Tzu-Wei Lin, SS
Lin had a decent enough July for a 19-year-old shortstop in a pitchers' league, but August has been problematic, to the tune of .193/.246/.211. There's not enough time left in the season for his slash to recover by much, but if he can turn things around in the last couple of weeks, at least it'll look like a decent campaign.
Then again, there are some things to like here. Lin is still a teenager, but he's drawn walks over 10 percent of the time, done some work on the basepaths, and is known for his defense, anyway. He's going to need to strike out less, though, given his lack of power, because the walks won't persist at higher levels if pitchers know they can challenge him with little in the way of recourse coming their way.
Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP
Stankiewicz, who was Boston's second-round pick back in June, has been playing in the starting-but-not-really game that pitchers in short-season ball go through in their draft year. He's averaging fewer than two innings per appearance, but has been fine enough in the short time he's been on the mound, limiting walks in a way that more than makes up for a lack of strikeouts in the short term.
Though Stankiewicz was drafted out of college, he's essentially a high school arm with an extra year of experience, thanks to attending junior college in order to reenter the draft. That extra year is why he's in Lowell rather than with first-round pick Trey Ball in the Gulf Coast League, but the two of them might end up at Low-A Greenville together to begin the 2014 season despite the different starting points.
Simon Mercedes, RHP
Mercedes has pulled the opposite duty of Stankiewicz, starting just three games but running on a starter-esque schedule in relief -- hence the 52-plus innings of work over 10 appearances. He's been excellent of late, with 23 strikeouts against four walks and three runs allowed in his last three appearances and 15-1/3 innings, and only has the one poor appearance of 10 to complain about, in which he allowed five runs and 11 hits in five innings.
The 21-year-old Mercedes was profiled in Baseball Prospectus' Monday Morning Ten Pack this week, courtesy of scout Mark Anderson:
In his last two outings, both of which I was in the stands for, Mercedes has fanned 16 batters in 10 1/3 innings while walking two and allowing only five hits. His recent performance is the culmination of a season that has seen him shake off the rust and really begin developing into a fine pitching prospect. Mercedes' stuff stands up to the impressive statistics, as he was hitting 96 mph regularly and sitting in the 93-94 mph range throughout his starts. His curveball is a go-to secondary pitch that can miss bats at its best, and he will show a splitter with some potential. There's a lot of development remaining for Mercedes, but he's a name to watch in a strong Red Sox system
He's young, and it's early, but throw him on the ever-growing list of potentially impressive pitching prospects that dwell in the lower levels of the Boston system.
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