Previewing Futures At Fenway

futures at fenway 2014

Today, Sunday July 13th, the Lowell Spinners will be playing at Fenway Park against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The event, which starts at 3:30 PM, also features the freedom to bring your dog to the park as well as a movie, Field of Dreams, after the game.Let’s take a look at the game itself and who to watch.
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Scheduled to take the hill for the Spinners is Kevin McAvoy, a Bryant College alum. Of course it would be nice to see Karsten Whitson pitch, but fans will miss him by one day as he should be taking the hill on Monday. McAvoy, 20, will be making his second career pro start after being selected in the fourth round of this year’s MLB draft. In his junior year for Bryant, McAvoy dominated in 15 starts for the Bulldogs, totaling 99 2/3 innings in which he posted an impressive 2.62 ERA, punched-out 94 men and issued just 28 free passes.

At the plate and in the field, the Spinners have a plethora of talent to watch. Some names to look for include: Danny Mars, Nick Longhi, Jordan Betts, Sam Travis, Nick Moore, and Bryan Hudson. Mars is an athletic outfielder, Longhi has a great bat, Betts shows some serious power as does Travis, whereas Moore and Hudson look to be finding their grooves at the plate.
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There will be some familiar faces in for the Lowell Spinners at the event. On rehab are pitchers Simon Mercedes and Austin Maddox, both of whom have experience for the club. Both are players Boston has hopes for, so it would be nice to see them play on Sunday.

The other former Spinner that comes to mind is now a coach— Iggy Suarez, a long time Red Sox farmhand and fan favorite. He spend the 2003 season in Lowell and hit .222 while boasting a .326 OBP swiping 12 bags on 16 attempts. Although he never made it to the big leagues, Suarez is a likable guy who loves the game, which puts him in good position to be a successful Major League coach someday.
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Futures at Fenway is always a good take and will be this year, despite a hike in ticket prices. Every year except for this one, tickets started at just $5, but now due to the movie and many seating sections being unavailable, they now start at $15. Nevertheless, it will be a fun time for all in attendance and a day to remember. Good baseball and a movie definitely gives people something to do on their Sunday as the Lowell Spinners hopefully come out on top.

Jordan Betts Providing Power Surge For Lowell Spinners

jordan betts lowell spinners

Picture courtesy of Jordan Betts’ Twitter photos

Drafted in the 18th round of this year’s MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox found themselves a bargain in Jordan Betts. The 22-year-old third baseman, who is not related to Red Sox utility man Mookie Betts, had a successful tenure at Duke playing for the Blue Devils. After an impressive summer playing for the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod League, Betts had a hot 2014 campaign, clipping five home runs while posting an outstanding .404 OBP in 51 games for the Blue Devils. Quickly, Betts signed with Boston and headed to Lowell to make his pro debut.
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So far for the Lowell Spinners, Betts is having a great year. In 19 games for the short-season club, Betts is hitting .307 with a .342 OBP while slugging .600. Of his 23 total hits, 11 have been for extra bases including five home runs already this year. Of those five home runs, three of them came off left-handed pitching. Keep in mind Betts has accumulated just 14 at-bats off southpaws and is 6-for-14 off them.

At this point in his career, Betts has basically already proved that the New York-Penn League is much too easy for him. He already hit as many home runs this year as he did at Duke in almost 1/3 of the games. This is definitely a good sign for the third baseman whose frame and past power success suggest that he has what it takes to become a big time power hitter. Although he is aggressive at the dish, when a player goes deep on a regular basis this is not necessarily a bad thing. The only time when an aggressive approach fails is when a player is not making contact, but in Betts’ experience, he always makes a great deal of contact.
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A promotion to Greenville some time soon would do Betts some good. There really is no point of him playing at such a low level given how well he played in an advanced college division. Betts is the type of guy who could start the 2015 season in high-A Salem, putting him in a great position in the organization. In a full pro season, Betts could definitely hit around 20 home runs, which is impressive at the Minor League level.

The future is bright for Jordan Betts and all he has to do is keep up that power and aggression at the plate.

Sam Travis: Red Sox First Baseman Of The Future?

sam travisIn the second round of the 2014 MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox made a great move going after an established college bat, and one of the best first baseman in the draft. They picked Sam Travis, a first baseman from Indiana University Bloomington. He and Cubs draft pick, Kyle Schwarber, made up a powerful one-two punch for the Hoosiers.

Travis, 20, dominated throughout his entire college tenure, smacking 31 career home runs for the Hoosiers with his lowest OBP in any given season being an impressive .397. In the summer, Travis also experienced plenty of success.  A Cape Cod League All-Star in 2012 and a member of Team USA’s collegiate team in 2013, it is fair to say Sam Travis was a highly successful college athlete. He signed with the Boston Red Sox on June 17th and headed to Lowell for his pro debut. He then began his journey toward becoming the Boston Red Sox everyday first baseman.
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So far this year for the Lowell Spinners, Travis looks comfortable at the plate. At first he struggled a bit, but now he is tearing the cover off the ball, raising his average to .284, smacking a pair of home runs in 17 games. He is 15 for his last 41, putting him at a .366 average in his last 10 games, making it clear that he has a bright future in the game. In the field, Travis is playing first base for the Spinners without seeing time elsewhere. His secondary position is third base, but at this point it seems unlikely that he will be playing it any time soon.

In a draft where Boston took many high ceiling players over high floor players, Sam Travis offers a high floor to the Red Sox. He is a well polished young player who possess some serious power which is much more developed than most players from the draft. His bat is something special and people will not have to wait and see his power develop because it is already there.
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Of course power is not the only thing a player needs to be successful at the Major League level, but Travis has those as well. Granted with his impressive plate discipline, superb contact hitting, and his high quality defense at first base, all Boston needs to do is sit back and let Travis play. He is mature enough that he should be able to handle any challenge Boston throws at him, but the club should not give any prospect too many challenges. It would be surprising to see him end the year in Lowell and not start his 2014 campaign in at least high-A Salem.

Beyond then, the sky is the limit for Sam Travis. As the best first base prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, and with Mike Napoli set to be a free agent after the 2015 season, if he develops nicely, Travis is likely to get a shot at being the Boston Red Sox everyday first baseman by 2017. He still has a long ways to go, but if he keeps up what he has been doing for the past few years, the future is bright for him.

Lowell Spinners Return to Futures at Fenway

Futures at Fenway 2014

Day to include Spinners game, Field of Dreams screening and Day for the Dogs

LOWELL, MASS. – The Lowell Spinners, Class-A affiliate of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, announced they will participate in the 9th annual “Futures at Fenway,” presented by Xfinity, Sunday, July 13 at Fenway Park.

The Spinners will play host to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, with a 3:30 first pitch in the team’s sixth appearance in the game.

 “We are once again thrilled to participate in the ‘Futures at Fenway,’” said Spinners President and General Manager Tim Bawmann. “Not only is it a great opportunity for the fans, but an incredible experience for our staff and players alike to give them a taste of the Major Leagues.”

The Spinners past participation in the game has been highlighted by some memorable moments, from the very first “Futures at Fenway,” when Joshua Papelbon, younger brother of then Red Sox closer and Spinners alum Jonathan, struck out the final batter to earn the save. The memories continued in 2008 with current Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks delivering a walk-off RBI single in extra innings and this summer provides the chance to add a new chapter to the story.

 “There is so much history at Fenway,” said Bawmann. “To be able to contribute a little bit of Spinners history to it is something we grateful for the opportunity to do.”

Admission for the game is $15 and includes not only the ticket to the Spinners game, but also to stay for the post-game screening of the iconic baseball movie, “Field of Dreams,” which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014. In addition, the game will be dog friendly, as fans are welcome to bring their dogs to the ballpark.

Tickets for the game go on-sale this Thursday, May 8, at noon exclusively at www.redsox.com/futures. Individual, group and season tickets for the Spinners are on sale now at www.LowellSpinners.com or by phone at (978) 459-1702.

 

Spinners to Give Away World Champ Replica Rings

Lowell spinners World Series Replica Ring

First 1,000 fans to receive replica ring from Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

LOWELL, MASS. – The Lowell Spinners, Class-A affiliate of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, announced as the Red Sox staff and players from the 2013 World Series Champions received their World Series rings Spinners fans will receive a ring of their own this summer, thanks to Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.

 The first 1,000 fans through the gates Saturday, July 26 will receive a replica of the ring earned by each of the 2013 World Champions. Among the ring recipients Friday afternoon at Fenway Park are Spinners alumni Clay Buchholz (2005), Felix Doubront (2007/2008), Will Middlebrooks (2008), Jackie Bradley Jr. (2011), Brandon Workman (2010), Arnie Beyeler (2000/2001), Drake Britton (2008), Alex Wilson (2009) and Ryan Lavarnway (2008).

“We are so thrilled to have so many of our alums earning World Series rings,” said Spinners President and General Manager Tim Bawmann. “This is something every little boy dreams about as a child and something they will remember for the rest of their lives. We are even more excited to be able to offer a replica of this accomplishment to our fans this summer.”

The ring, produced by Success Promotions, will also be given away by the Red Sox prior to their May 20 game, but fans who miss that opportunity will have a second chance at the Spinners this summer. The rings will be given to the first 1,000 fans through the gate July 26, a day where the athletes from LIAM Nation will also be honored.

“We were as excited as anyone to see what the rings look like,” said Bawmann. “We knew we are giving it away, but just like everyone else, we had not seen the rings until the players received their rings this afternoon.”

The replica ring giveaway is one of many Red Sox World Series themed giveaways and tributes planned during the Spinners season as we celebrate both the 2013 World Series title and the 10th anniversary of the 2004 title. In addition to the Replica Ring giveaway, the team will hold Dave Roberts “The Steal” Bobble Head Night (August 7) and Pedro Martinez Bobble Head (June 26) from the 2004 team and the 2004, 2007 and 2013 World Series trophies will be on hand Monday, June 23.

The Spinners kick off their 19th season of baseball in Lowell when they host the Vermont Lake Monsters Friday, June 13. Tickets for all 2014 home games are available now, starting at just $7, at www.lowellspinners.com.

Lowell Spinners Unveil New Hi-Def Video Board for 2014

Lowell Spinners

Game-Day experience gets better

LOWELL, MASS. – The Lowell Spinners, Class-A affiliate of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, unveiled a new high-definition video board to replace the left-field scoreboard as preparations for June 13’s Opening Day continue at LeLacheur Park.

 The new LED video displays were designed and manufactured by Daktronics, the industry leader in outdoor displays. The boards were installed in the fall by Scoreboard Enterprises of Mansfield, Mass. to be ready for the spring events at the ballpark.

“We are thrilled to have worked with Daktronics and the city Manager’s Office to bring a state-of-the-art display to LeLacheur,” said Spinners President and General Manager Tim Bawmann. “We pride ourselves on providing the best family entertainment to our fans and this new display is going to only enhance the game-day experience for the best fans in baseball.”

The main display measured approximately 14 feet high by 36 feet wide and features a 15HD pixel layout. It is capable of showing one large image or be divided into separate windows to show a variety of vivid graphics, colorful animations, up-to-the-minute statistics and more.

In addition, two auxiliary displays were added to the facility, one on each side of the main display. These 13 feet by 12 feet displays feature 26 millimeter line spacing and provide the opportunity to showcase sponsors throughout events while providing additional opportunities for stat and game displays.

“Having the ability to incorporate more real-time data into the game experience allows us to add value for the baseball purist, while the video display as a whole adds to the overall entertainment experience,” said Bawmann. “It is a win-win for all.”

The installation also included Daktronics powerful Dakstats software solution, the premiere software for managing game, season and career statistics, as well as Show Control, which allows for an easy, user-friendly control system to provide fans with the ultimate game experience.

The Spinners kick off their 19th season of baseball in Lowell when they host the Vermont Lake Monsters Friday, June 13. Tickets for all 2014 home games are available now, starting at just $7, at www.lowellspinners.com.