It's half way through the season and you're probably wondering how those guys on the farm are doing. Well I'm here to tell you just how.
(Rankings are based off of Over The Monster's top 20 prospects list)
1) J. Lester - LHP
Lester made an appearance with the Sox earlier than most people thought. In six starts, Lester is 4-0 with a 3.06 earned run average with the big club. Lester is in Boston for good now.
2) C. Hansen - RHP
Hansen saw time in Portland and Pawtucket early in the season, but he's with Boston now and is getting every opportunity to pitch. Hansen hasn't had the best success, but right-handed batters are only hitting .192 against him.
3) D. Pedroia - 2B
Pedroia struggled early for Pawtucket, but boosted his batting line (.293/.376/.407) thanks to a strong month of June. His walks are down, but his strikeouts are down also, which is good.
4) M. Delcarmen - RHP
Other than Jonathan Papelbon, Delcarmen has been in the most games out of the young pitchers. He has lowered his ERA significantly (3.86) and his K/9 (8.14) is one of the best in the bullpen.
5) J. Ellsbury - OF
Ellsbury has continued where he left off, despite an injury early on. He's showing all five tools necessary to be a big-time player, but the true test will be when he's in Portland. If he succeeds there, we'll have a winner on our hands.
6) D. Murphy - OF
Murphy, my pick for breakout player of 2006, has been doing what I thought he'd do: break out. Murphy started slow in Portland, but then was promoted to Pawtucket where he got hot - and fast. He's hitting .305/.387/.517 with Pawtucket and walking a lot more than previous numbers said he would. At this point, he looks like a solid 4th outfielder if we need him, and seems to be a better option than Adam Stern.
7) B. Moss - OF
I've never been fond of Moss, and if he continues on his 2006 pace, he won't make the 2007 top prospects list. Moss is hitting only .259/.328/.421 at Portland and really hasn't found a hot streak. He has eight home runs and 24 doubles, but he won't make it anywhere if he can't hit for average at the double-A level.
8) D. Pauley - RHP
Pauley has been the surprise of the year. He made three starts for the big club and didn't fair too well. He had his bright spots in New York, but that was centered around a couple of bad outings. After he was sent to Pawtucket (he was at Portland before going to the Sox) and has struggled in four starts (5.91 ERA). It may just be whiplash after a quick major league trip.
9) J. Lowrie - 2B
Lowrie has certainly struggled in 2006. An injury has kept him out of the lineup, but his line is less-than impressive when he is healthy (.241/.353/.322). Lowrie is walking a lot, however.
10) C. Buchholz - RHP
Buchholz, my pick for breakout pitcher of the year, is having a great year for Greenville. He has a 2.81 ERA in 67.1 IP, but his 78 strikeouts are equally impressive. It'll be interesting to see if he gets promoted to Wilmington before the year is done.
11) E. Martinez - RHP
Marintez is having a good year, but not a great year compared to his past seasons. His ERA sits at a pretty 3.05 in 41.1 innings and his strikeouts are high (39). His ERA should be a bit lower, though.
12) A. Alvarez - LHP
Alvarez started the year hot as Pawtucket's best pitcher and saw time in Boston for a bring stint, but hasn't been as good recently. Alvarez has a 4.68 ERA in 82.2 innings with his strikeout numbers dropping this year. Alvarez will need to learn a pitch or two if he wants to stay a prospect.
13) L. Soto - OF
Soto has a lot of talent and a lot of skills, but he hasn't bloomed yet. How much longer can the Red Sox wait? Soto is hitting well at Greenville (.315/.347/.494) but it's a small sample size (89 at-bats). Who knows if he can get everything together and get promoted so we can see what he does at a higher level.
14) J. Van Buren - RHP
Van Buren was a Red Sox bullpen fixture for awhile, but was demoted for good after a couple of bad outings. Still, his Pawtucket numbers are good enough (1.78 ERA, 25.1) to keep his name handy in case we need bullpen help.
15) J. Corsaletti - OF
We interviewed Corsaletti last year, so we feel like he's the unofficial prospect of Over The Monster. He's having a solid year, but the only thing lacking for him this season has been his batting average (.259/.391/.395). As you can see, he's earning a lot of walks and has shown a good amount of power (five home runs). John Sickels thinks he's a sleeper - I agree.
16) M. Bowden - RHP
Bowden may be a right-handed version of Lester. Bowden has made Greenville hitters look pretty bad this season, to a tune of 82 strikeouts in 73.0 innings. His ERA is good at 3.08 and he hasn't walked many (16). Bowden is definitely earning his name in the prospect world.
17) M. Rozier - LHP
Maybe Rozier just needs better competition to be a better pitcher. His Greenville numbers are average (4.14 ERA, 42/61 BB/K), but he got a start in Portland and was fantastic. He went five innings, allowed one earned run, walked one, and struck out eight batters. More outings in Portland might be good for him.
18) C. Durbin - OF
Durbin is a favorite prospect of mine. He reminds me a lot of Trot Nixon - he's a dirt-dog player. A lot of numbers are down for Durbin (.251 batting average, three home runs) but he's a guy with a good head on his shoulders. I think he'll buckle down and have a much better second half.
19) A. Pinckney - 3B
Pinckney has certainly dropped off his pace from last year. His hot year last year gave him real prospect status, but when he was drafted no one really was thinking "great MLB player." His name may drop off of prospects list if he continues to hit poorly (.243/.307/.386).
20) J. Natale
Natale smashed the ball for two months at Greenville, and then soon was promoted to Wilmington. He hasn't hit for average like he did in Greenville, but he's getting on base at a spectacular clip (.260 batting average, .429 on-base percentage). If he regains his power form at Wilmington then he's going to be a tough out.