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Thursday, May 2, 2013
SoxProspects: April minor league notes

By Mike Andrews, Soxprospects.com

Here are your Red Sox minor league notes for the month of April, including a look at how the top prospects in the system performed, some rising and falling prospects, and other miscellaneous notes. (SoxProspects.com prospect ranking in parenthesis)

Top Position Prospects

(1) Xander Bogaerts, SS, Portland -- .306/.379/.412 with 0 HRs
(2) Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston/Pawtucket – .097/.263/.129 for Boston; .278/.381/.333 for Pawtucket
(6) Bryce Brentz, OF, Pawtucket -- .272/.343/.522 with 5 HRs
(7) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Salem -- .392/.478/.709 with 3 HRs and 10 SBs
(9) Blake Swihart, C, Salem -- .254/.329/.365 with 0 HRs
(10) Jose Iglesias, SS, Boston/Pawtucket -- .450/.476/.550 for Boston; .242/.288/.419 with 3 HRs for Pawtucket
(11) Deven Marrero, SS, Salem -- .294/.400/.451 with 0 HRs and 5 SBs
(17) Keury De La Cruz, OF, Salem -- .256/.306/.400 with 1 HR and 5 SBs
(18) Brandon Jacobs, OF, Salem -- .195/.304/.325 with 1 HR
(19) Sean Coyle, 2B, Salem -- .317/.377/.730 with 7 HRs and 6 SBs

Bogaerts started off the season cold (hitting .171 through April 15), but hit .400/.489/.625 over the final 10 games of the month ... Bradley isn’t back to full form yet after being sent down to Pawtucket on April 18, and he was bothered by a minor shoulder injury at the tail end of the month ... The Salem prospect contingent has been extremely impressive early on, with Cecchini leading the Carolina League in batting average, OBP, and OPS, Coyle leading the league in slugging percentage and second in home runs, and De La Cruz second with 19 RBI ... Marrero has been on the disabled list since April 23 with a minor hamstring injury.

Top Pitching Prospects

(3) Allen Webster, RHP, Boston/Pawtucket -- 0-0 W-L, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5/1 K/BB in 6.0 IP for Boston; 0-0, 3.21, 1.14, 17/6 K/BB in 14.0 IP for Pawtucket
(4) Matt Barnes, RHP, Portland -- 1-1, 9.00, 2.14, 17/6 K/BB in 14.0 IP
(5) Rubby De La Rosa, RHP, Pawtucket -- 0-0, 7.11, 1.50, 13/8 K/BB in 12.2 IP
(8) Henry Owens, LHP, Salem -- 2-1, 2.08, 0.88, 30/8 K/BB in 26.0 IP
(12) Brian Johnson, LHP, Greenville -- 0-1, 3.38, 1.78, 8/8 K/BB in 10.2 IP
(13) Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Portland -- 3-0, 0.83, 0.74 26/5 K/BB in 21.2 IP
(14) Brandon Workman, RHP, Portland -- 4-0, 2.73, 0.71, 34/6 K/BB in 29.2 IP
(15) Drake Britton, LHP, Portland -- 2-4, 4.44, 1.40, 25/8 K/BB in 24.1 IP
(16) Alex Wilson, RHP, Boston/Pawtucket -- 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP 4/3 K/BB in 6 IP for Boston; 1-0, 10.12, 1.88, 3/1 K/BB in 2.2 IP for Pawtucket

Webster showed improved command in April, together with a well-developed ability to mix his plus fastball, changeup, and slider ... Barnes struggled mightily with his command over the month, which has been his best asset in the past ... De La Rosa has been on a 50-pitch or three-inning limit with Pawtucket ... Owens’ early success can partially be attributed to a significantly improved curveball ... Meanwhile, Ranaudo has had tremendous success with his 91-94 mph fastball, which he’s been able to locate well lower in the zone early on to get a lot of swing-and-misses ... Workman took a perfect game into the seventh inning on April 30.

Risers

(24) Travis Shaw, 1B/3B, Portland -- .282/.441/.385 with 0 HRs
(25) Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF, Pawtucket -- .311/.366/.568 with 5 HRs and 4 SBs
(27) Michael Almanzar, 3B/1B, Portland -- .319/.367/.560 with 5 HRs

Shaw continues to show a good approach and knowledge of the strike zone, and currently has the third-most walks in all of the minor leagues with 23 ... Hazelbaker has always had a solid power-and-speed combination, and if he continues to make improvements to his plate approach, he’ll solidify his status as a future major leaguer ... Following up a solid 2012 season with an impressive April may have put Almanzar back on scouts’ radars.

Fallers

(21) Jose Vinicio, SS, Greenville -- .195/.244/.299
(26) Brock Holt, IF, Pawtucket -- .152/.237/.152
(44) Juan Carlos Linares, OF, Pawtucket/Portland -- .230/.356/.361

While he’s still only 19, it was expected that Vinicio would come out of the gate stronger considering he’s repeating the Low-A level ... Holt’s offensive performance was abysmal in April, particularly considering that he hit .344 between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012 ... The fact that the 28-year-old Linares received a demotion to Double-A on April 19 doesn’t bode well for his future in the organization.

April notes

As of May 1, here are your batting and pitching leaders in the Red Sox minor league system (cumulative stats, min. 60 plate appearances or 20 IP).

Average: Cecchini at .392, Pawtucket IF/OF Justin Henry at .338, Pawtucket 1B Brandon Snyder at .324, Almanzar at .319, and Coyle at .317.

Home runs: Coyle at 7, and Brentz, Almanzar, Hazelbaker, and Snyder, all at 5.

Stolen bases: Cecchini with 10, Salem OF Felix Sanchez with 9, and Coyle, Portland OF Peter Hissey, and Greenville OF Cody Koback, all with 6.

ERA: Ranaudo at 0.83, Owens at 2.08, Workman at 2.73, Pawtucket RHP Terry Doyle at 2.93, and Portland RHP Keith Couch at 3.15.

Strikeouts: Workman with 34, Owens with 30, Greenville RHP Frank Montas with 27, and Ranaudo with 26.

Five players got the call to Boston from the minor leagues in April -- Wilson, Webster, RHP Steven Wright, RHP Daniel Bard, and C Ryan Lavarnway.

While there were several minor league level promotions when the affiliates broke camp at the outset of the month, there were no legitimate level promotions in April, which is typical. Seven players were added to full season rosters from extended spring training: LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith and RHP Charlie Haeger to Pawtucket, LHP Mathew Price to Salem, and RHP Yunior Ortega, IF Kevin Mager, UT Dreily Guerrero, and OF Jose Colorado to Greenville.

On the injury front, Boston had David Ortiz, Stephen Drew, Franklin Morales, Craig Breslow, John Lackey, and Joel Hanrahan all in the minor leagues on rehab assignment at various points in April. Minor leaguers on the disabled list include Pawtucket OF Alex Hassan (calf), OF Mitch Maier (wrist), Portland RHP Aaron Kurcz (elbow), RHP Chris Balcom-Miller (undisclosed), OF Peter Hissey (hand), Salem SS Deven Marrero (hamstring), Greenville RHP Pat Light (undisclosed), IF Mike Miller (quad), and OF Kendrick Perkins (calf).