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Greenville Drive update: Pat Light, Kyle Kraus, Mookie Betts

Updates on two pitchers from last year's draft class, as well as a middle infielder in his first year of full-season ball


Pat Light, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 22 Greenville SALL A 3.86 2 7.0 28 1.143 9.0 1.3 1.3 11.6 9.00
2 Seasons 2.65 14 37.1 145 1.071 8.2 0.5 1.4 9.4 6.50
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/16/2013.

The last time we checked in on Light was before the minor-league season even got going. His future is likely in relief, but as he's just 22 and in Low-A at the moment, there is no reason to push him there now given a starting gig can expose him to more minor-league work, and more time to refine his pitches and learn how to pitch to professional hitters.

He's thrown seven frames so far, giving up a homer while striking out nine and walking one. That's the kind of pitcher Light has been in his brief pro career since he was drafted by the Red Sox last summer with their last pick of the first round -- swing-and-miss stuff with plenty of control. Given his mid-to-high-90s fastball, he should be able to continue doing that by pounding the strike zone at Greenville. With a change of level, we'll get more of a sense of where his secondary stuff is at, because that's the first time he'll need to start utilizing it.


Kyle Kraus, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA G SV IP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 23 Greenville SALL A 2.25 3 1 4.0 16 1.000 9.0 0.0 0.0 9.0
2 Seasons 2.87 19 4 31.1 132 1.181 9.5 0.6 1.1 7.8 6.75
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/16/2013.

Kraus, who stands just 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, isn't like your typical pitcher of modest height. Generally, shorter arms like this one tend to throw high-heat, as that's the kind of thing that gets them noticed despite not topping six feet to begin with. Kraus, however, sits in the upper-80s, and his calling card to this point has been control.

Drafted in the seventh round last year, the senior led the NCAA in innings with 111, so it's no surprise he would throw just 27 frames in total over the season's last two-plus months after signing with Boston. He's already in a relief role, where his career will stay if it ever gets as far as the majors. To do that, he's going to have to show more than just quality control, given his lack of velocity -- Kraus is also going to have to excel with his command in order to keep hitters off-balance, and plate appearances under his control. Whether he can do that is an open question, one that 30 innings between short-season ball and Low-A are not equipped to answer. This is the first step, though, and if he can succeed in taking it, he'll get his real test later on.


Mookie Betts, 2B

2013 20 Greenville SALL A 37 1 0 1 1 0 5 2 .226 .324 .355 .679
3 Seasons 333 9 1 1 22 4 37 32 .266 .350 .315 .665
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/16/2013.

Betts used to be a shortstop, but the Red Sox are inundated with them at nearly every level of the minor leagues at this point. With that in mind, it's not surprising to see the 20-year-old Betts at second base with the move to Low-A Greenville, since Jose Vinicio is currently the shortstop there. While he played at second for most of 2012 as well while with the Spinners in Lowell, he also made it to short in 13 games -- that might happen still when Vinicio gets a day off, but you'd expect the majority of Betts' time to be at the keystone so he can fully transition to that position.

Sox Prospects says he has "plus potential" defensively. If Betts ends up being a big-league utlity infielder that can make consistent contact, draw an occasional walk, and play defense wherever you put him, then there should be some value in him. He's shown an ability to do both of those things, or at least the potential to do them, in short-season ball, and his first taste of full-season leagues should give us a better indication of whether that's actually in the cards.

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