The Pawtucket Red Sox roster just became that much more talented, as shortstop Deven Marrero and reliever Miguel Celestino were both promoted from Double-A Portland on Wednesday, according to the PawSox themselves. While Celestino's promotion might just be to showcase him a bit for a pre-Rule 5 draft trade, Marrero has the potential to be an important piece of the Red Sox' future.
The 24-year-old Marrero batted .287/.368/.429 for the Sea Dogs in 68 games and 307 plate appearances while showing off his plus glove at shortstop. The 2012 first-round pick, selected 24th overall, is the first from that summer's Boston class to reach Triple-A. He'll likely spend the rest of 2014 there, as the Red Sox have Stephen Drew at shortstop in the majors, but Marrero could use the rest of this campaign to show that he's ready to take the position for himself and into the future starting with 2015.
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It makes sense with Stephen Drew around, and will continue to make sense considering who Boston has waiting in the wings.
Since May 31, Marrero has batted .354/.422/.525 with just 13 strikeouts in 116 plate appearances. That's only 11 percent, whereas his walk rate over the same stretch was 12: Marrero was clearly done with Eastern League pitching, and as his glove had been ready for more of a challenge long before his bat was, it was time to bump him up a level. Given how strong his performance pre-promotion was, don't expect the same struggles Marrero saw after he jumped from High-A to Double-A, but expecting him to hit the ground running with the 948 OPS he's been sporting the last month is asking a bit much.
He's not going to be an offensive force, but he doesn't have to be with his glove. If he can get on base at an above-average clip, make solid contact more often than not, and chip in with doubles and steals when he can, he'll be a valuable, cost-controlled shortstop.
As for Celestino, he's an arm who reliably throws in the low-to-mid-90s, and there aren't an abundance of those at Double-A. It's helped him rack up over 10 punch outs per nine in his 2014 stop at the level, but things should be a bit more difficult for the 24-year-old now that he's in Triple-A. That's not to say he's going to flop, but his future is in relief in a system full of guys destined for the same: sticking out is difficult, and while Celestino has done a decent job, he hasn't blown away the opposition quite enough to generate excitement.
As said before, he's Rule 5 eligible this offseason, so he could end up being part of a summer trade elsewhere, or in an offseason package. Lack of excitement or no, unless he gets clobbered at Triple-A, someone is going to take his velocity away from the Sox in December if they don't ship him off somewhere else first.