Red Sox Spring Training Prospects 2009
ProBaseball-fans.com Boston Red Sox Correspondent Elizabeth Dreeson brings us her latest update on Red Sox Nation.
Spring Training evokes a much more intimate atmosphere than the regular season, or even the World Baseball Classic does. For established major leaguers and veterans, it is a time to work on new pitches to add to their arsenals, or maybe improve defensively. However, for the non-roster invitees, they can’t afford to work on their stuff, they have to go out there and prove that they actually have stuff. The Boston Red Sox are known for their successful farm system; in fact, teams have begun to model their farm systems after the Red Sox. American League MVP Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Jon Lester are among the players who have come out of that farm system. This year, the Red Sox have a few promising players who have exhibited the potential for great success in the future.
Lars Anderson: Anderson was selected in the 18 th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, and split the 2008 season between Lancaster (A) and Portland (AA) where he batted .317 with 18 homeruns and 90 RBIs in 118 games. Upon advancing to Double AA, he hit .316 in 41 games. Anderson has the ability to serve both as a designated hitter and a first baseman, similar to David Ortiz. He could be the first power hitter that the Red Sox have produced in a while, and will most likely start the 2009 season in Triple-AAA Pawtucket.
Daniel Bard: In the first round of the 2006 Amateur Entry Draft, the Red Sox drafted Bard, after opting not to sign with the Yankees when they drafted him in 2003. In 2008, he split the season between AA Portland and A Greenville. In AA Portland, where he spent most of the season, he went 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in 49.2 innings. In Greenville he went 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 28 innings. Thus far in Spring Training he has yet to give up a run and has hit 100 mph on the radar gun.
Nick Green: The Red Sox acquired Green in early January 2009 after spending 2008 with the Yankees’ AAA club. He is a utility infielder as he is able to play second base, third base, and shortstop and although he only batted .233 with 91 hits, he has great hitting potential. In 95 games with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004, he hit .273 with 15 doubles, three triples, and three home runs. He also made three post-season appearancse with Atlanta in 2004. Thus far this spring, Green has been solid both defensively and offensively, and could serve nicely as a utility infielder for the Red Sox.
Josh Reddick: In the 17 th round of the 2006 draft, the Red Sox drafted Josh Reddick. In 2008, Reddick spent time in Greenville and Lancaster (both in A) and AA Portland. In Lancaster, he batted .343 with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs in only 76 games. He was named the Red Sox minor league baserunner of the month in June 2008. He began 2008 in Greenville where he played 14 games and batted .340 before going onto Lancaster, and was named an AFL (Arizona Fall League) rising star. This spring, he has gained a lot of confidence at the plate and is batting a whopping .500 for the spring. He also has the ability to bunt almost perfectly down either of the baselines and is solid defensively in the outfield.
Jeff Bailey: Between 2007-2008, Jeff Bailey has appeared in 30 games for the Red Sox (splitting time between first base and the outfield), and batted .254 during that period. In 2008 alone, he split time between AAA Pawtucket and the Red Sox and he batted a combined .301 with 126 hits and 75 RBIs. Thus far in Spring Training, he is batting .462 and has collected multiple base hits. He could serve quite well as first baseman Kevin Youkilis’ backup in Mark Kotsay’s absence.
Chris Carter: In the 17 th round of the 2004 amateur draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Chris Carter. He has been with the Red Sox in AAA Pawtucket since 2007 where he batted .234 before being traded to Arizona’s AAA club where he batted .324. In 2008 he was back in Pawtucket where he batted .300 and played nine games with the Boston Red Sox where he batted .333 with six hits and 3 RBIs.
Junichi Tazawa: The Red Sox acquired Junichi Tazawa during the offseaon. They signed him for a three-year deal worth $3.3 million. The Red Sox organization intends for him to start out in AA Portland since he has no professional experience. The Red Sox found him in Japan’s Industrial League, where he shined. Thus far in Spring Training, Tazawa has exhibited a fast delivery, a great delivery and wonderful command.
By: Elizabeth Dreeson
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