Garin Cecchini, 3B
It hasn't been a pretty last 10 days for Garin Cecchini, but all told since the All-Star break, he's been hitting much better than he did in the first half of the season. Cecchini is at .326/.417/.450 in the 34 games and 129 at-bats since the break, whereas he posted an OPS nearly 100 points lower in the season's first half. He's also taken hold of the third base job at Greenville even more, as David Renfroe has seen even more time at first base, and less of an even split among positions.
As the non-waiver trade deadline is in just a few hours as of this writing, and it doesn't appear as if the Red Sox are in the midst of any significant trade negotiations, noting that Cecchini is the kind of prospect the team would and should move in a trade when the situation merits it doesn't carry as much weight as it might have even a week ago. It's important to remember, though, that since Cecchini is a talented -- but not elite -- prospect at a position where Boston has some players already, he's the kind of prospect that you want packages to be built around. In trades, someone has to be sent out in order to bring value back, and you want it to be these B+ types, not the top 100 or so types that Boston seems to have collected quite a few of in the last couple of years.
Noe Ramirez, SP
Ramirez has finally reached 10 starts and crossed the 50-inning mark, giving us a nice round numbered body of work to appreciate. Since last time we looked in on him, his walk rates have fallen by half-a-walk per nine, his strikeout rate climbed by nearly a whole punch out per nine, and his K/BB rose accordingly. He's been very impressive at Low-A Greenville, as you would expect a pitcher with a quality fastball and secondary stuff -- and the command to use them -- to do.
He'll be tested once he gets to High-A Salem, though, as the better hitters there are more likely to teach him just how refined his command needs to be in order to succeed while living in the strike zone this often. That's not to say you shouldn't be excited about Noe Ramirez at all, because you should like him. He might not be a top-20 prospect type in the Sox system, but with things as deep as they are now, that doesn't have the same kind of meaning that it did last summer, or even this winter. He's an intriguing arm in a system that, for all its prospects, doesn't have very many of those. That merits your attention, and hey, even a little of your excitement.
David Renfroe, 3B/1B
David Renfroe is easily forgotten about at Greenville given Garin Cecchini pushed him off of full-time work at third base, but Renfroe is all of 21 himself, and the 2009 draft wasn't that long ago. That's not to say Renfroe is a big-time prospect or anything like that, but he's young, has improved on last year's attempt at Low-A, and at the moment is spending time at both first and third base.
His numbers were better 10 games ago, though, as he's struggled a bit as of late, putting together a .195/.250/.293 line over his last 41 at-bats. He doesn't strike out much, but he doesn't walk much, either -- Renfroe could likely stand to extend his at-bats a bit, as more whiffs could be offset by more walks and more opportunities to see pitches he can do something with. That's not necessarily what will help him improve, but he's not a particularly patient hitter at present, and the level of aggressiveness he's displayed hasn't worked out that much, either. It might not hurt to shift strategy a bit at the plate in order to realize a more successful plan.