Jose Vinicio, SS
Mercifully, Jose Vinicio's 2013 campaign will end in less than a week. The shortstop started off poorly, picked it up ever so briefly in June, and has come crashing not just back to Earth, but through its surface in the two months since. He's hit .000/.029/.000 in his last 10 games while striking out 12 times against zero walks. His season didn't need an exclamation point to let us know how emphatic his awfulness was, but here it is anyway.
Just a year ago, there were plenty of scouts and prospect analysts who liked Vinicio the best of Boston's shortstop prospects. Now, though, Xander Bogaerts is actually considered a shortstop prospect, so that was off the table: even if he weren't though, even with Vinicio being just 19, even with Jose Iglesias a Tiger, it's hard to have that kind of belief in Vinicio.
He could certainly turn things around, as he's absolutely young enough to improve and put on some bulk to help him do more than hit singles one-fifth of the time he makes it to the plate. It will be interesting to see what the Sox do about him in 2014, with Tzu-Wei Lin behind him at short-season and neither of them doing well enough to jump to High-A.
Justin Haley, RHP
Haley has quietly put together a decent campaign, posting a 3.61 ERA while leading the Drive in innings. He's second in strikeouts behind Francellis Montas, who is now in the White Sox system after the Jake Peavy trade, but he's also second in walks. Unlike Cody Kukuk, the leader in free passes, Haley is the right age for the level, so it's harder to cut him slack for the walks. At the same time, though, Haley has been much better about it lately, handing out walks to 3.4 batters per nine over his last 10 starts and 55 innings.
Even if his full-season line doesn't suggest as much, Haley is likely ready for the next step at High-A Salem. The sxith-round pick from Boston's 2012 draft might not end up a starter in the long-term, but he's acquitting himself well in the early going, even with the early season walk issues.
Kyle Martin, RHP
Martin was selected in the ninth round of the 2013 draft, and has already spent time in short-season Lowell as well as Greenville. He hasn't been quite as good since the promotion, but there's still things to appreciate. He's inducing ground outs 1.7 times as often as air outs at Low-A, has yet to give up a home run in 31 professional innings, and at 6-foot-6, should be able to get enough natural sink on his fastball to keep those two items relevant in the future.
He was already a reliever the moment he joined the Red Sox, so keep your expectations low. But he's worth keeping an eye on just to see if he can continue to keep the ball on the ground and in the park.
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