At the end of every week I'll update OverTheMonster.com with prospect updates on four particular Red Sox prospects. I'll explain how they performed over the course of the week. The four prospects that I have chosen - all top 10 prospects in the Red Sox farm system - are left-handed pitcher Abe Alvarez, shortstop Hanley Ramirez, right-handed pitcher Jon Papelbon and shortstop Dustin Pedroia. The prospects will always stay the same (unless a player is injured for the majority of the season, if that does occur than I will choose a new prospect) so we can see how they perform throughout the length of the season.
SP Abe Alvarez | LHP | Pawtucket Red Sox
Alvarez was Portland's Pitcher of the Year in his second season in the Red Sox organization last year after. He accumulated a 10-9 record with a 3.66 earned run average in 26 games started. SoxProspects.com on Alvarez:
On July 22nd last season, the Red Sox called Alvarez up to the big league club for a start spot on a day game of a double-header against the Orioles. He did better than expected, pitching 5 innings and giving up 5 earned runs against a stacked Baltimore lineup.
This season Alvarez is expected to start in Pawtucket's rotation, where he could see more time in the majors if he is needed.
SS Hanley Ramirez | B: Switch - T: Right | Portland Sea Dogs
Ramirez is touted as Boston's top prospect, but after the Red Sox's signing of All-Star shortstop Edgar Renteria, Ramirez's future is uncertain. After hitting .310 for Sarasota in 62 games last season, Ramirez was promoted to Portland where, in 30 fewer games, amassed much better numbers than in Sarasota. Ramirez had an identical .310 average at Portland, but had four more home runs (five total) and improved his slugging percentage by 123 points. SoxProspects.com on Ramirez:
Ramirez could have a position change in his future, quite possibly second base where the Red Sox would need him more than shortstop at this point.
SP Jon Papelbon | RHP | Portland Sea Dogs
Jon Papelbon really came on in 2004 while starting 24 games at Sarasota. Papelbon finished the season with a 2.64 ERA and 10.65 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Papelbon quickly jumped up the prospect list with his 2004 season, and is scheduled to start in the rotation for the Portland Sea Dogs this season. SoxProspects.com on Papelbon:
Papelbon reminds me a lot of Roger Clemens: big, tall pitcher that has one helluva fastball. He'll be leading the Sea Dog's rotation this year, alongside fellow prospects Jon Lester and Manny Declarmen.
SS Dustin Pedroia | B: Right - T: Right | Wilmington Blue Rocks
Dustin Pedroia came on quickly as the newest member of the Boston Red Sox in 2004. The 65th round draft pick in 2004 started his career at Augusta, where he batted .400 in 50 at-bats for the single-A club. Pedroia's performance pushed himself into a promotion to high single-A Sarasota. His promotion sent Hanley Ramirez to Portland. Pedroia finished the season with a .336 batting average in 107 at-bats in Sarasota. Here's what Sox Prospects say on Pedroia:
Pedroia is slated to begin the season at Wilmington (Wilmington is what Sarasota was last year).