Here is the first installment of my prospect reports that I will do every week throughout the minor league season.
I'll be reporting on four players of the Red Sox farm system: Pawtucket's Abe Alvarez, and Portland's Hanley Ramirez, Jon Papelbon and Dustin Pedroia.
Abe Alvarez | SP | Pawtucket | 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 10.0 IP |
This week started off rough for Alvarez, with a poor outing in the second game of Pawtucket's season against the Indianapolis Indians. Alvarez managed only four innings, gave up five earned runs and only struck-out two on the day. Luckily, Alvarez walked away with a no-decision thanks to a four run seventh inning that tied the game. Pawtucket ended up losing their game.
Alvarez's second start came last night against the Lousiville Bats, where Alvarez did a complete 180 compared to his last performance, and won his first game of the season. Alvarez went six innings, gave up only four hits, and didn't allow a run. The Paw Sox won the game 6-0 in seven innings.
Jon Papelbon | SP | Portland | 2-0, 3.27 ERA, 11.0 IP |
In his first start in the highest league Papelbon has pitched in (AA), he came out on fire. Papelbon pitched six innings, gave up two runs on five hits, and had an impressive seven strike outs to mark his Sea Dogs debut. The offense took it the rest of the way, and Papelbon won the game and opener for the Seea Dogs.
Papelbon's latest start, which came last night against the New Britian Rock Cats, was another terrific performance, but not as good as his first one. Papelbon went five innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and struck out only two on the evening.
So far every single starting pitcher of the Sea Dogs has been excellent. Charlie Zink (yes!) and Kason Gabbard have had superior, no-run outings. Papelbon and Jon Lester have given up just a couple runs (3 for Lester in his first outing) but have a high strikeout rate. And Dave Pauley was great, going five innings and giving up only one earned runs.
Hanley Ramirez | SS | Portland | .333 BA, .500 SLG, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB |
Ramirez has been hot so far this year, and we may be able to contribute Dustin Pedroia's (see below) presence as a reason he's been hitting so well. But he is Ramirez, and he is the best prospect in the Sox system, so hitting well is what he should do, and what he has always done as a Sox.
Ramirez came out of the gate slow, going 2 for 9 in his first two games, but since then has lighted up. Until last night (where Han-Ram as we call in in Red Sox Nation), Ramirez went 6 for 12 after the first two games of the season. Another stat that kind of jumps out at you is his low number of strikeouts (2) in six games this season.
Dustin Pedroia | 2B | Portland | .400 BA, .550 SLG, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 5/0 BB/K |
Dustin Pedroia, who has been quickly rising through the ranks as one of the best prospects in the Red Sox farm system, is making a name for himself early in Portland.
Pedroia is consistently out-performing his double play partner Ramirez. Only once this season has Pedroia gone hitless, but in that game he also had two walks on the day. Pedroia is an on-base machine, and so far he's done it through every level of the Sox organization.
Pedroia's best game this year was the second game of the season against the Norwich Navigators. Pedroia went 3 for 4 with two RBI's against the Navigators.