On the farm: April summary


After a month of play, we are starting to see how things are shaking out in our minor league system. There’s some good and bad news here, so let’s get started.

Triple-A Pawtucket

The pitching has really been the story since our last update, with David Pauley (2-1, 1.33 ERA in 20 1/3 IP) and Chris Smith (1-2, 1.71 ERA in 21 IP) pitching very well as depth starters. Jonathan Van Every (.298/.372/.548 with 5 HR and 16 RBI in 84 AB) is making a case that Coco Crisp is expendable, whether Bobby Kielty is healthy or not. We should take pause, however, as he’s whiffed 30 times in those 84 ABs. Chris Carter (.290/.355/.400) is hitting well, but we’re still waiting for the power to show up. Catcher Sandy Madera earned a promotion to Pawtucket after hitting .421/.463/.737 in 9 games with Portland.

After a scorching start, George Kottaras (.244/.356/.523) and Dusty Brown (.250/.352/.383) have returned to earth. I’d be surprised if either of these guys hit .300 at this level, because they are not really contact hitters. Kottaras, especially, is working mainly on his defense to get it serviceable for the bigs. They are still getting on base, which is a good sign they’re working on their plate approaches. Craig Hansen (1.72 ERA with 17 K and 5 BB in 15 2/3 IP) finally gave up some runs, 3 of them at Rochester last night. Let’s hope this is just a hiccup. Eric Hull (4.15 ERA with 10 K and 1 BB in 8 2/3 IP) has pitched well since coming over from the Dodgers.

Double-A Portland

Undersized outfielder Sean Danielson (.296/.374/.370) has been a real sparkplug for the Sea Dogs, scoring 15 runs and stealing 6 bases in 19 games. At age 21, Michael Bowden (1-2, 3.70 ERA in 24 1/3 IP) is still young for this level. That didn’t stop him from pitching six shutout innings for hs last outing and striking out 11. Ryan Khoury (.253/.360/.440) also continues to build on his strong start and leads the team in walks. Jose Vadequano (0.54 ERA with 16 K and 3 BB in 16 2/3 IP) has been the vulture reliever for the Sea Dogs, and now has a 4-0 record. He’s got a great strikeout to walk ratio going.

Dustin Richardson (3-2, 3.96 ERA in 25 IP) has had a couple of rocky starts in a row, walking four men in each outing. He’s gotta keep those walks down to be effective. He’s shown enough flashes of brillance for me to consider him a legit prospect. True to form, Justin Masterson (1-1, 2.42 ERA in 22 1/3 IP, 28 K and 8 BB) and Michael Bowden (1-2, 3.70 ERA in 24 1/3 IP, 29 K and 11 BB) have been similarly good. Of course, this is weighing Bowden’s last April start, which was a six-inning, 11 strikeout gem.

High-A Lancaster

Josh Reddick (.360/.379/.480 in 7 games) was promoted from Greenville late in April, and he hit the ground running. Though young for this level, he’s looked pretty good at the plate, only striking out twice in 25 AB. After a sluggish start, Lars Anderson seems to have come around, finishing April with a .298/.394/.593 line and 5 HR (12 XBH) to his credit. He struck out 24 times in 94 AB, so there’s some room for improvement there. The big lefty had a 2 HR, 4 RBI game on April 28.

Christopher Jones (1-2, 4.57 ERA in 21 2/3 IP with 29 K and 4 BB) closed out a very solid April with one very nice start on the road and one disaster at home. His home/road splits just keep getting more and more exaggerated (0-1, 6.55 ERA at home, 2-1, 3.24 ERA away). An interesting reliever is Richard Lentz, who has fanned an impressive 22 hitters in 16 IP, but has also walked 13 men. Talk about ‘Wild Thing’.

Some of the Sox’ more well-known prospects are struggling badly at this level, such as Argenis Diaz (.214/.242/.214 in 84 AB, 27 K and 4 BB) and Jason Place (.169/.280/.225 in 71 AB, 24 K with 8 BB). They are still very young, so don’t panic about them just yet.

Single-A Greenville

First baseman Michael Jones ended April at .415/.477/.606 with 13 XBH (2 HR) and really drove the offense for the month. First base could become really congested for the Sox farm system if he keeps this up. Felix Doubront continued his early success, posting a 4-0 record for April with a 0.87 ERA. The lefty struck out 24 in 20 2/3 IP, and walked one guy. That’s right, one. He looks good this month too, so he could earn a promotion soon. Joining him in the ridiculous K:BB ratio club is Chad Povich, a right-handed reliever who went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 20 IP, with 21 K and 2 BB. Nick Hagadone (1-1, 0.00 ERA in 10 IP with 12 K and 6 BB), Daniel Bard (1-0, 2.56 ERA in 20 IP with 32 K and 4 BB), who has been working out of the bullpen, and Bryce Cox (1-0, 2.25 ERA in 8 IP with 6 K and 2 BB) combine to make this quite the pitching staff.

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One Response to On the farm: April summary

  1. Pat says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the update. I almost cut you off again when I was going to ask if we had the depth to deal out Moss or Coco. I’m glad I waited.

    It’s felt like we have a deep system, but need every bit of it to keep the Sox marching ahead in first place. It seems like the only players we could deal while retaining depth would be one of Coco/Moss/Van Every and Taverez.

    Future injuries aside, it seems like the only weak link on this team is middle relief, which can be strengthened with Hansen. I think we’re sitting pretty right now.

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