Greenville Drive update: Trey Ball, Teddy Stankiewicz, Wendell Rijo

Gail Oskin

Ball gets a promotion, Stanky hits a rough patch, and Rijo hits everyone.

Trey Ball, LHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 20 Greenville SALL A 5.40 2 10.0 45 1.600 13.5 0.9 0.9 7.2 8.00
2 Seasons 5.82 7 17.0 81 1.882 13.2 1.1 3.7 6.9 1.86
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/6/2014.

Remember when Henry Owens was in his first full season in the minors, weighed under 200 pounds and still stood 6-foot-6? Trey Ball is dealing with that right now, so if you see him missing his spots or handing out walks with regularity now that he's in Low-A Greenville, don't be surprised. It hasn't been a problem yet, but he's also thrown all of 10 innings.

Ball possesses more upside than any pitcher in the system, as he has a legitimate chance to be a number two starter in the majors: that's the kind of pitcher you can grab when you have the seventh-overall pick in the draft, as the Sox did a year ago. He's also further away from the majors than just about anyone in the organization, unless something clicks for him earlier than expected and cuts down on the wait time. That doesn't need to happen, however, as the Sox likely have an entire big-league rotation for the next few years already between Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, and the combination of arms at Pawtucket and Portland. Ball will get the time he needs to develop, whether it ends up being little or a lot.

Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 20 Greenville SALL A 4.22 6 32.0 133 1.281 9.8 0.6 1.7 5.6 3.33
2 Seasons 3.48 15 51.2 211 1.161 9.1 0.5 1.4 6.1 4.38
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/6/2014.

Stankiewicz started off the season well but has slipped a little over his last few starts, allowing 10 runs in his last 17 frames. On the bright side, he struck out 13 against just two walks in that stretch, and didn't give up a single homer: there's a chance the hits were just falling in too often and in the wrong places. That'll happen in the minors, especially at the lower levels, where defenses are the least polished and pitchers are in the early stages of learning the pro game.

Plus, it's not like he was bad in two of the three starts: Stanky had quality starts in two of them, giving up three runs over six innings. He's also the same age as Trey Ball, as the second-round pick from last summer's draft was a junior college pick who only spent a year there before going pro. He's doing all right for himself considering he's two years younger than your average Sally arm.

Wendell Rijo, 2B

Year Age Tm Lg Lev PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2014 18 Greenville SALL A 102 6 1 2 2 1 20 21 .321 .461 .494
2 Seasons 319 22 2 2 17 7 42 53 .291 .397 .411
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/6/2014.

On the other side of things, you have Wendell Rijo, who is all of 18 years old, also in his first taste of full-season ball, and is obliterating the opposition. Rijo has a 955 OPS on the year, and has batted .343/.489/.457 over his last 10 games. He's walked 20 times in 102 plate appearances, and struck out just one more time than that. The average Sally League position player is about 3.5 years older than Rijo, and batting .258/.328/.373.

It's not perfect: Rijo has a .400 batting average on balls in play and is striking out 20 percent of the time, and the sheer volume of walks suggests that he's got a little bit of passiveness in his approach when put in conjunction with that. Deriding that approach too much at this stage seems nitpicky, though, since Rijo is steamrolling opposing pitchers who are much older than he is. At some point, he'll face arms who force him to attack pitches more often rather than relying on a walk being the inevitable outcome of his waiting game.

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