Greenville Drive update: Pat Light, Teddy Stankiewicz, Wendell Rijo

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

A first-round pick tries to get back on track, a 2013 selection joins full-season ball, and Wendell Rijo is very young.

Pat Light, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2014 23 Greenville SALL A 1.50 1 6.0 22 0.667 6.0 0.0 0.0 15.0
3 Seasons 4.71 25 70.2 305 1.415 10.1 0.6 2.7 9.0 3.38
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/8/2014.

Pat Light's 2013 season was shortened by injury and generally awful, as you can likely gather from his career numbers above. That's what makes his start to this season, with a repeat at Low-A Greenville, attention-grabbing: The 2012 first-round compensation pick dispatched his first opponents with ease, striking out 10 of them without issuing a walk, while only giving up the one run. It's not a turnaround on its own, but it's a lovely first step.

Light's future is very likely in the bullpen, so you can ignore that he's 23 and only in Low-A to a degree, as his travels through the minors will speed up once he makes the conversion. In addition, since he has missed so much time with injury, it's not as if he's 23 and giving the level a second go in the same way someone with full campaigns at Low-A in their past might be. Light put in a couple of months of work, was shelled and was hurt, and is starting over. Age will come into play for him more after he sees a promotion to High-A Salem: if he can't figure things out there in short order, you can begin to worry about his birthday.

Of course, a pitcher doesn't have to be the optimal age when they finally arrive in the majors to have a useful career. We just prefer things that way.

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Teddy Stankiwiecz, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2014 20 Greenville SALL A 11.25 1 4.0 20 2.250 18.0 4.5 2.2 0.0 0.00
2 Seasons 3.80 10 23.2 98 1.183 9.5 1.1 1.1 5.7 5.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/8/2014.

Stankiewicz's first start in full-season ball didn't go well, with the right-hander giving up a pair of homers and five runs overall in four innings of work, all without recording a strikeout. Let's remember, though, that's he's just 20 years old, with only one year of college pitching under his belt, and fewer than 20 professional innings behind him to begin this year. There will be some bumps for him, as there are for many non-elite kids in their first taste of real minor-league ball.

The 2013 second-round pick of the Red Sox has mid-rotation potential, and actually profiles as someone who should be able to move through the system at a decent pace if his curveball -- a pitch with plus potential -- can catch up to his fastball and change sooner than later. With the pitching the Sox have in the upper levels, though, it will be fine for both parties if it takes a little time for him to adjust to leagues where he's younger than his opponents.

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Wendell Rijo, 2B

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2014 18 Greenville SALL A 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333 .333 .417 .750
2 Seasons 229 17 1 0 15 6 22 34 .281 .366 .378 .743
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/8/2014.

Speaking of youth, Wendell Rijo spent most of his age-17 season playing in the Gulf Coast League before finishing up in short-season Lowell, and now he's essentially skipped that level to play the keystone for the Drive. Rijo just turned 18 last September, and is in a league where the average batter is over 21 years old -- if he takes some time to adjust and impress on the same level, it's understandable.

With that being said, though, Rijo is someone worth watching who has some present-day skills to go along with his tools. He's a former shortstop who shifted over to second, and could be a plus defender at the position. His speed has improved the further he has removed himself from an ACL injury that impacted his signing bonus as an international free agent two summers ago. He can put the bat on the ball often, and while the 170-pound infielder hasn't tapped into his power yet, he does have some bat speed, and Sox Prospects describes him as having "quick hands".

It's worth watching to see if Rijo can continue to keep the strikeouts down and the walks up, considering he's very young for the level. Not to say he's the next Xander Bogaerts or anything, but it would be nice if he at least leaned more in that direction (read: a successful one) than in that of another recent teenage Drive infielder, Jose Vinicio, who was overpowered by the opposition and is running in circles in his development now.

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