Promising Pawtucket Prospects

If you want to find premium talent in the Boston Red Sox farm system, you no longer have to go turning over stone after stone hoping to find some. Talent is in all levels and at many positions. Aside from Bradley Jr., Webster, De La Torre and Wilson who have made appearances in Boston already this year, let’s take a look at a few of the outstanding young players in Triple-A Pawtucket.

Photo Credit, Boston Herald

Photo Credit, Boston Herald

Xander Bogaerts (SS/3B) is the new shiny toy that just got promoted to Pawtucket. Before his promotion he hit .311/.407/.502 with 6HRs, 38BB in 56 games with Portland. In his first day playing for Pawtucket he played both sides of a double-header earning a walk and a hit in his first game. That hit put him on base and allowed him to score the winning run of the game giving him the experience of scoring the walk-off run in his first game in Pawtucket. Following that he went 2 for 5 in the second game where he hit a two run home run (his first in Pawtucket) that was blasted so far that the outfielder barely flinched and just watched it go. Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina (who was in the Angels system and watched Trout come through the system) was quoted about the home run saying “…you haven’t seen many 20-year-olds hit balls like that.” He was impressed by Bogaerts’ patience and composure as well as his power. The hype is there and all indications are that this kid will meet the hype. Red Sox fans should be excited because Bogaerts just might be the All-Star shortstop this team has been hoping for. If Will Middlebrooks cannot beat his own issues at the plate, it is not far fetched that Bogaerts may be playing third late this season.

Jeremy Hazelbaker (OF) is a name you may not be as familiar with, but he has come into his own and is producing at a good level. He is a left-hand batter and is hitting .285/.351/.425 with 6HRs and 22BB while swiping 16 bags in 57 games for Pawtucket. In 2010 he was named the fastest base runner in the South Atlantic league according to Baseball America. He has shown heavy struggles against left-handed pitching hitting under .200 on the year. This hurts his ability to make the jump to the big leagues, but he hits well enough against right-handed pitching and has enough speed that he could be an impact platoon player.

Bryce Brentz (OF) is a more well-known name and he is knocking on the MLB door. He is hitting .274/.323./.502 with 13HRs and 13 doubles in 58 games this season for Pawtucket. After missing most of spring training due to an accident with a handgun, he has come out this season determined to rebuild his reputation. Brentz would fit well into a lineup in the 5th or 6th spot. The biggest drawback of Brentz is his lack of patience. In the 58 games this season he has walked 15 times but has struck out 58 times. He is not projected to ever be a player who walks often, but if he could lower his K rate it would help his cause quite a bit. He definitely has the make up and the power to be an everyday right fielder and that time could be coming sooner rather than later.

Brandon Workman (SP) was recently promoted to Pawtucket after going 5-1 with a 3.43 ERA  with 74 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 11 starts for Portland. In his first start for Pawtucket he got the win while allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 4. Not the most stellar numbers, but in a debut at a higher level it was certainly a decent outing that he can build off. Workman could end up in the bullpen, however he is working well in the rotation at the moment and there is no indication that they will move him to the pen anytime soon. He has a fastball that sits between 91-93 and can touch 95. He has a cutter that he throws in the high 70s and a change-up that sits in the mid 80s. Whether he stays in the rotation or ends up in the bullpen he will play an important role for the Red Sox down the road.

Photo credit, Boston Globe

Photo credit, Boston Globe

Ryan Rowland-Smith (RP) was signed by the Red Sox this past off-season. The 30-year-old left handed pitcher has done very well for Pawtucket this season. He is 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 9 walks in 36 innings. Rowland-Smith has shown dominance against both left and right-handed hitting. He has only allowed one home run in his 36 innings and could very well be next in line for the Red Sox to call up.

These players are just a few highlights in the highest level of the farm system for the Red Sox. All of these players paint the picture of just how deep the Red Sox farm system truly is. Whether these players get called up to the Sox this year, next year or end up in a trade to bring another piece back, they will be important pieces going forward. Red Sox fans should be excited about the present as well as the future.

Tyler Moore-MLB Contributor-Title Town Sports


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