Garin Cecchini, 3B
If you're still touting Garin Cecchini as the second coming of some kind of Kevin Youkilis/Wade Boggs hybrid, you might want to stop doing so publicly. (Not that you should have ever been doing that as a baseline projection of his future, but that's another story.) Cecchini hasn't had an extra-base hit in his last 10 games, and is now batting .301/.388/.364 on the season. That's not bad at all when you consider how much more on-base percentage is worth than slugging, but it would still be nice if Cecchini could threaten to hit the ball over the outfielders' heads. You don't want them cheating on him and taking away the singles that allow him to hit .300, you know.
It's not just a Triple-A thing, either. Cecchini posted a .404 slugging and .108 Isolated Power in his 66 games with Double-A Portland in 2013, and that's a park that boosts doubles considerably thanks to the replica Monster in left. Things won't get any easier in terms of putting the ball over the fence when Cecchini gets to Fenway and its enormous right field, not unless Cecchini can target the Pesky Pole at will.
Now, don't take this to mean that I've given up on Cecchini by any means -- his stint at Portland prepared us for this kind of performance, and as said, it's good, even if it's not what everyone expected. He still looks like someone who could turn out to be an above-average hitter at the plate, and above-average for his position assuming he's at third base or left field. That's a very good player, something you can easily be reminded of when you remember what the Red Sox are currently getting out of third and left. Cecchini might end up hitting for some power someday, too, but given his shortened-swing approach with two strikes and his lovely batting eye, singles and walks are likely going to make up most of his production in the future, as well as whatever baserunning he can work in the mix. That'll play, for sure, especially if he keeps on getting on-base anywhere near his current rate. It's likely to disappoint those who won't drop their inflated expectations of him, though, which isn't fair to what Cecchini will likely become.
Christian Vazquez, C
Vazquez has finally hit his lull that he tends to after a promotion, and has batted just .204/.264/.224 in 13 May games. On the plus side, he's only striking out 17 percent of the time, and while his walk rate is down a bit relative to what you'd expect, it's too early to panic about that sort of thing, especially when he's not going right at the plate. Vazquez is a player that's typically hard to evaluate until the end of the season, since he generally has these ups and downs of development as things begin to click for him. If he can't put it together for a sustained stretch at any point in 2014, then we can worry about his big-league status for 2015. Until then, it's just an expected bump in the road for a catcher who should be helpful at the plate, but is mostly exciting for what he can do behind it.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
It's not Ranaudo's last chance to show he can be a big-league starter, not when it's his first real season at Triple-A. We have to keep in mind that he's in his age-24 campaign, though, has now thrown 82-2/3 innings over 15 starts (and 16 games) at the level, and is yet to consistently impress from a peripheral standpoint. The ERA is there, but assuming it'll keep in the transition from the facsimile of big-league hitters that Triple-A hosts to the real thing in Boston is a good way to disappoint yourself.
He'll get the time he needs to prove his future role one way or another, as the Sox are likely to turn to Brandon Workman and/or Allen Webster for their rotation needs in the majors. Ranaudo should get the chance to stick in the rotation throughout the year, maybe earning a late-season promotion out of the pen a la Workman 2013 if his performance merits it and the need is there for the Sox. Who knows, maybe seeing him in relief for a month will convince them to fast-track him there, or it'll help him learn something that can help him in a starting role.
I'd be much more confident about Ranaudo if he could go on a legitimately great run, but he seems to be a different pitcher each start, and only a few of them are any good. A potential future in relief was a possibility from the time he was drafted back in 2010, so it's not like it would be a surprise if it's where he ends up. Again, though, no one needs to make that decision just yet.