Greenville Drive update: Manuel Margot, Jamie Callahan, Myles Smith

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Kicking off our 2014 minor-league coverage with a look at three of Low-A's more intriguing prospects.

Manuel Margot, CF

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 18 Lowell NYPL A- 216 8 2 1 18 8 22 40 .270 .346 .351 .697
2 Seasons 525 18 9 5 51 17 58 65 .279 .367 .393 .761
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/2/2014.

Margot is likely Boston's top position prospect at the lower levels, and he'll be all of 19 years old in 2014. Margot's line from last summer might not look like much, but context is key in the minors: the average New York-Penn batter hit .242/.313/.338, and did so at an average age of 21. Statistics won't tell you everything, but seeing an 18-year-old outplay elder competition is a positive you can celebrate.

It's believed Margot will develop more power with additional experience and the strength that age brings. If not, though, he already does a solid job of pitch recognition and plate discipline that should improve with time, and his combination of speed and defense in center should make him a valuable contributor regardless of how many walls he puts over the wall.

Seeing him face Low-A pitching with Greenville isn't the test for Margot and his future -- that comes much later -- but it's a step up from a short-season league both in terms of competition and handling the rigors of a lengthy professional baseball season.

Star-divide

Jamie Callahan, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 18 Lowell NYPL A- 3.92 12 59.2 239 1.089 7.2 0.6 2.6 8.1 3.18
2 Seasons 4.08 16 68.1 275 1.112 7.4 0.5 2.6 8.0 3.05
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/2/2014.

Callahan was the youngest pitcher in the New York-Penn League a year ago, and he's going to stick out similarly in the South Atlantic League. He unsurprisingly still has much to learn, especially in terms of consistency, but when Callahan was on for the Spinners, opposing batters couldn't touch him. He had a 12-inning stretch over two July starts in which the right-hander allowed just one baserunner while striking out 17 of the 36 batters he faced, and four of his other 11 starts saw him striking out at least a batter per inning.

It's exciting because he was just 18, but again, stats aren't everything at the minor-league level, and missing bats in short-season ball is something just about anyone with a working fastball can do -- it's almost more noteworthy when they don't. The 2012 second-round selection has real potential, but as with just about every other pitching prospect out there, save your unbridled enthusiasm for a higher level.

Star-divide

Myles Smith, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A- 1.69 5 10.2 38 0.469 4.2 0.0 0.0 10.1
1 Season 1.69 5 10.2 38 0.469 4.2 0.0 0.0 10.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/2/2014.

Smith, Boston's fourth-round pick from the 2013 draft, is an intriguing arm. He's relatively new to pitching, so the Red Sox consider his arm to be more like that of a teenager coming out of high school than for your standard college pitcher hitting the pros. A velocity spike his sophomore year was part of that as it saw Smith jump to the mid-90s seemingly late in his amateur career, and now he can touch 97, even if he generally stays a little lower on the scale, with Baseball America stating he's more like 91-95 most times.

He's just 170 pounds and stands under six feet tall, so he has room to grow at least in terms of filling out his frame. The undersized Smith can sling it, though, and if he can refine his slider that's currently also a pseudo-cutter to join his plus change and that velocity, the Red Sox will have plucked yet another useful arm out of the initial rounds of the draft.

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