Greenville Drive update: Jose Vinicio, Justin Haley, Kyle Martin

USA TODAY Sports

Vinicio reverses course, Haley continues to slowly improve, and Martin gets a promotion.

Jose Vinicio, SS

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 19 Greenville SALL A 361 13 4 1 20 8 12 88 .220 .255 .292 .547
4 Seasons 1011 33 18 7 76 30 39 205 .253 .293 .349 .642
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/6/2013.

Vinicio is still just 19, so there's slack to be cut. However, it's his second season at Greenville, and his improved second half has only resulted in a line of .270/.278/.340 with two walks in 36 games. At some point, it's not going to matter what his defensive ceiling looks like if he's putting up lines that Jose Iglesias could have laughed at.

There's unlikely to be much more pop unless he fills out his 5-foot-11 frame with more than the 150 pounds he's currently toting around, but most importantly, he needs to start drawing walks and finding pitches to drive, even if it's for a single. To bring up Iglesias again, he's also slight in build, and eventually learned that he just needed to work with what was given to him and within the means of his abilities. It took him years to figure that out, though, so again, we can be patient with Vinicio. But it's easy to get frustrated when his second go-round at Low-A is looking like the lead-in to a third go of things.

*****

Justin Haley, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 22 Greenville SALL A 3.76 19 95.2 410 1.484 7.0 0.6 6.4 8.7 1.37
2 Seasons 3.28 31 129.0 547 1.403 6.8 0.5 5.9 8.8 1.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/6/2013.

Haley's walk rate is still ugly, but he's cut it down to 5.2 per nine over his last 10 starts and 53 innings. That's something, at least in a relative sense, and it's worth pointing out that it hasn't hurt him quite yet, either. He owns a 3.06 ERA in that stretch, and an even more impressive 2.63 mark in his eight starts since the minor-league All-Star break.

Of course, ERA is deceptive in small samples, and eight starts certainly qualifies as such. The walks will be more problematic against tougher competition, because there's little chance he's going to hold opponents to seven hits per nine forever unless he's in the strike zone so little that it walks are coming more often than base hits. That kind of future has its own set of problems.

Haley has a .280 batting average on balls in play, so not all of his hit rate is due to the free passes creating fewer opportunities for hits. He's had plenty of luck as well, especially when you consider a .280 BABIP in the lowest level of full-season ball is considerably lower than an equal mark in the majors -- average BABIP rises the further down the ladder you go. When that luck runs out, his ERA will rise. The only positive that could come of that is a serious overhaul of what he does with the idea being a reduction in the free passes. For now, we wait, and see if he can evolve before the fall.

*****

Kyle Martin, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA G IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 22 Lowell NYPL A- 0.47 10 19.0 74 0.737 5.2 0.0 1.4 7.1 5.00
2013 22 Greenville SALL A 3.00 1 3.0 13 1.000 6.0 0.0 3.0 3.0 1.00
1 Season 0.82 11 22.0 87 0.773 5.3 0.0 1.6 6.5 4.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/6/2013.

Martin was drafted back in June as Boston's ninth-round selection, and after a solid showing with the short-season Spinners, he finds himself in Low-A Greenville and the Sally League. Registering just 7.1 strikeouts per nine doesn't seem like much, but in conjunction with the minuscule walk rate and 2.7 times as many ground outs as air outs, you can see where his ridiculously teeny 0.47 ERA came from. He's unlikely to have the exact same luck against tougher competition in the Sally, but if he can keep the ball on the ground as he's done, and limit the free passes, there might be something here.

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