I never thought that I would be all that interested in minor league teams. I have gone to games at Pawtucket and loved the atmosphere, so I started there and looked into the A and AA teams as well. The Portland Seadogs, the AA team, have some promising talent yet to get the attention of the folks in Pawtucket and Boston. Others, (see also: Jackie Bradley Jr.) skyrocketed to the top. He is reason enough to take a look at the talent that resides at the farm level. Players like Brandon Workman, who we saw throw a few innings during spring training, are the future of the organization. Anthony Ranaudo is another standout pitcher that will hopefully have a stronger year with the Seadogs than he did last year, as he had some difficulty with injuries. Scouts say he has a perfect build for the game, and he has a bright season ahead of him this year.
At the AAA level in Pawtucket, players like Drew Sutton and Justin Henry add value with strong fielding and at bats. Henry, with a .300 batting average last year, placed 7th best average in the league. Sutton bounced around with four different clubs last year, but maintained a batting average in the mid .200s. Where Pawtucket shines is its depth of pitching. Players like Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and knuckleballer Steven Wright will make this a team to watch. Some of these guys were able to play in Spring Training. I would love to see them come up and play at Fenway during the summer.
So long as these players stay healthy, and stand out where and when they are able, the franchise will be better for it. As a franchise, they need to cultivate these players into major league material. Raw talent can only take you so far, which is what we see with Bradley Jr. as of late, and John Farrell’s concern about him hitting poorly against left-handed pitchers. There are weaknesses to address to make each player a bit more polished. Each player is different, but if trained the Red Sox way, their assets will be accentuated, and utilized for that special skill that brought them to the table in the first place. Ultimately, the Red Sox have a strong farm system, filled with players ready to be molded.
What other Sox prospects are you looking forward to seeing at the minor league parks this summer?