Corey Littrell, LHP
Littrell was Boston's fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft, and he came with little in the way of fanfare. There was potential there, though, and he's shown some of it in his initial professional campaign with short-season Lowell. The 21-year-old southpaw has struck out 25 batters against 10 walks in his 26-2/3 innings, and has kept a fairly even air out to ground out ratio going.
He didn't face many left-handed batters, but it's somewhat assumed that, as a lefty, he'll be able to handle them well enough. More importantly is that, in his initial exposure to pro right-handed hitters, Litrell succeeded, limiting them to a .206 average while striking out 20 against seven walks. It's a small sample, but it's something to build on when he gets bumped up to full-season leagues. Given the sheer volume of starters the Sox have to promote from short-season ball to Low-A Greenville, though, it's entirely possible that Littrell skips to High-A Salem, given his college experience and age.
Daniel McGrath, LHP
McGrath has no such collegiate experience to fall back on, and will either repeat at Lowell or find himself in Greenville for 2014, depending on how aggressive the Red Sox want to be with their teenage international product. Given he blew through the Gulf Coast League and has only the one poor start for the Spinners, they could certainly get away with having him either start or piggyback on another starter in 2014, if only to get him a full season's workload starting in April.
The Australian southpaw gave up six runs in five innings on August 23, but other than that, has allowed only 11 runs in 27 innings of work for Lowell. He's punched out over a batter per inning, kept free passes to a minimum, and has done all of this as one of the youngest pitchers in the entire New York-Penn League -- McGrath is only a month and change older than teammate Jamie Callahan, who is the actual youngest NYPL hurler.
Carlos Asuaje, 2B
Asuaje hasn't hit for much of an average after he was selected in the 11th round of the 2013 draft, but his debut slash line isn't all bad. He has 14 extra-base hits in 49 games, so he could use more of those to help things along, but he's shown off some solid plate discipline for someone in their first go of things at the professional level. Asuaje has walked 26 times (14 percent) against 29 punch outs (15 percent) -- that sort of thing is a good sign, as it implies that Asuaje isn't just waiting for walks, he's just showing off some pitch selection skills.
There remains work to be done in that regard -- if he were selecting better pitches to swing at, he'd probably have somewhat better results on balls in play. This is a good start, though, as being able to control the plate appearance is a solid step one in a hitter's development.
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