With the minor league seasons wrapping up, we can now look back at full seasons with (relatively) fewer questions about progression, sample sizes, and the like. We can see progression, regression, or as is the case for most of these young players in rookie ball, where we're setting the bar. What needs improvement, what's good, and what to expect.
Most of the leagues are still winding down, but the DSL and GCL have both wrapped up. As is the case with many true rookies, it's going to be impossible to get any sort of read on some of these guys. Brandon Jacobs and Miles Head, for instance, while both promising picks in the draft this year, combined for all of 53 at bats--not nearly enough to determine anything.
But for now, let's look at the ones who did get some playing time--as limited as it may be on a team which only played 53 games (fewer than most, as rain killed the end of the season).
GCL Red Sox: .290/.331/.379, 24:7 K:BB, 9:5 SB:CS in 145 at bats
The Red Sox' first round pick started strong, going 7-15 early on, but ended up with a thoroughly streaky season. He had as many stretches of hitting .500 as he did of going 0-for-10. Really, at the moment, he seems to be a near-copy of Jacoby Ellsbury, and like Ellsbury, he needs to work on his plate discipline. He likely needs to work on his baserunning as well, since his speed should be good for a much higher SB%. He did seem to be running much more freely in the beginning of the season, so perhaps the team has already worked with him on that. A successful 2010 for Fuentes will involve more walks, and a better steal numbers. He's got speed enough that he doesn't particularly need power, but that all goes to waste if he doesn't have the opportunity or the skills to use it right.
GCL Red Sox: .289/.364/.330, 26:12 K:BB, 4 XBH, 0 HR in 97 at bats | .372/.438/.419 in August
Billed as a high-power potential first baseman, Boss showed that little of it has been realized with a dismal .330 SLG and .041 ISO. The good news is that he will be just shy of his 19th birthday when the next season starts. Otherwise, Moanaroa's first season was a mixed bag. He had a very good OBP and had a walk rate over 10%, but a very high K rate too. The good news is that many of those strikeouts were looking strikeouts, especially later in the season, so it doesn't look like he's got too many problems making contact with the ball, and his numbers only got better in the later parts of the season. The Sox will likely get him on a good strength training program in the offseason, which should hopefully help some of that potential power become present power. Let's hope for some homers in 2010.
GCL Red Sox: .194/.252/.274, 41:8 K:BB in 124 at bats | .270/.341/.378, 6:4 K:BB in last 10 games
Things did not start off well for the Sox' young 5th round draft pick. His strikeout numbers were ridiculous, his walks low, and his slash line the sort you'd only expect from a pitcher. However, much like Boss, Schwindenhammer was drafted by the Sox on his offensive potential, which SoxProspects.com has gone so far as to call "awesome". Also much like Boss, his numbers improved towards the end of the season too, if perhaps not as dramatically. It will be interesting to watch these 2 move through the system together—which hopefully they will.
GCL Red Sox: .317/.400/.520, 23:17 K:BB, 16 XBH, 5:4 SB:CS in 127 at bats
Lowell Spinners: .333/.385/.500 in 12 at bats
Picked by the Sox in the 10th round of 2007, Roque came in a good athlete with no polish. Roque has a lot of things working against him. He was in his 3rd year in the GCL in 2009 after putting up an OPS of .415 in 2007 and .644 in 2008. He's nearly 20, and still not out of what is traditionally rookie-level ball. However, he seems to've finally clicked, as the middle infielder finally got the bat working. His K:BB ratio (49:22 over the past 2 years) improved dramatically, his average improved dramatically, and perhaps most surprisingly is that he's found some good extra base power. Only 2 of the extra base hits were homers, but 5 triples and 9 doubles from a guy with only average middle infielder speed suggests he's getting some deep gap hits. If Roque can keep his numbers going through Lowell and hopefully Greenville next year, he can really re-establish himself as a legitimate prospect.