On the Farm: Trade deadline update
July 28, 2009 1 Comment
Some of the goings on in the Red Sox farm system as we approach the trade deadline:
Michael Bowden’s struggles continued into July, as he posted a 5.15 FIP this month (12 K, 9 BB, 2 HR, in 16 IP). It started in May, when Bowden struggled with command, walking 17 batters. In June, he started piping the ball more, and it resulted in fewer walks, but also a lot of hits and 8 HR hit against him. However, his last start suggests that he’s back to his old self, so there’s no cause for concern.
Freshly promoted from Portland, Junichi Tazawa is slated to step right into Pawtucket’s rotation. He was untouchable in July (15 K, 2 BB, 0 HR, 1.97 FIP in 16 IP), and his final line at Double-A was also very fine: 86 K, 30 BB, 7 HR, 2.57 ERA and 3.56 FIP in 95 IP. Hitters struggled to get even 10% line drives off of Tazawa his final two months at Portland, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares at Triple-A.
Fernando Cabrera (3.34 FIP), Marcus McBeth (3.32 FIP), and Hunter Jones (3.87 FIP) have formed a very nice bullpen at Pawtucket this year and deserve a mention. It’s nice to know we have good depth waiting at Triple-A in case of a catastrophe at the big league level.
After a horrible start and fighting through some back issues, Lars Anderson is starting to turn it around at Double-A. His June (.296/.394/.370) and July (.272/.352/.346) show good contact and on-base numbers, but his power has been missing (1 HR, 10 XBH over that span). Lars is having trouble squaring up and has an unusually low 14.6% line drive rate this year, and he’s pounding it into the ground at a 56.5% clip; my guess is that the back is still a problem. You have to wonder if it might be better for him to take a month off and get back to full strength than to play through this.
Josh Reddick has bounced back to have a decent July (.277/.364/.489 with 4 HR, 10 XBH, 22 K and 13 BB in 94 AB). The Sox have been batting him leadoff all season at Portland, so they want him to focus on getting on base; he has been trying to be more patient at the dish, hence the higher walks and strikeouts. Interesting that in June, when he hit the most liners (21.4%), he had his worst month statistically. Now that he’s back down to 12.5% line drives with his uppercut swing, his numbers are coming back in line. Good overall numbers, but Reddick is still having a lot of trouble with lefties at this level (.200/.333/.467 this season). He’ll need to get a better handle on breaking stuff if he wants to be more than a platoon player.
Ryan Kalish. Remember him? After tearing up High-A this year (.306/.435/.514 with 25 BB and 20 K in 111 AB), he’s starting to get the hang of Double-A pitching. His .278/.347/.467 performance this month shows that his skills may translate very well in the bigs in a couple of years.
Lefty Felix Doubront continues to be a solid starter, posting a very good July: 19 K, 8 BB, 1 HR, 3.55 FIP in 26.2 IP. His 3.77 FIP on the season means that he’ll likely be ready for the next level in 2010.
Wonder why the Sox were so willing to trade Diaz to the Pirates? His name is Yamaico Navarro, and he hit .319/.373/.543 at Salem this year (in just 94 AB). He’s just getting started at Portland, and has the current title of “shortstop of the future”. He’s already got a double and a triple among his three hits in his first 14 AB.
Last year’s top draft pick, Casey Kelly, is really turning some heads after ascending to the High-A level after spending less than two months at Greenville (39 K, 11 BB, 0 HR, 1.12 ERA, 2.76 FIP in 48.1 IP). While there, he induced 52% ground balls and only 11% line drives. At Salem, he picked up right where he left off, posting excellent numbers in June, but has now hit a little speed bump in July (7 K, 5 BB, 2 HR, 6.11 FIP in 10.2 IP). Overall, though, it’s tough to argue with what he’s done at this level (35 K, 9 BB, 4 HR, 3.69 FIP in 47 IP), and he’s maintained 51% grounders, while allowing just 10% liners. Kelly is shooting up the prospect charts (SoxProspects.com now lists him as #1 overall).
You gotta like what Eammon Portice is doing this year (4.26 ERA, 3.47 FIP). This “hard-thrower with no control” is suddenly showing loads of control. With a very strong June performance, he now boasts 97 K to just 29 BB in 93 IP. He could use a better weapon against lefties, but he stands a chance of moving up with this year’s performance.
Kyle Fernandes (53:17 in 60.2 IP), Ryne Miller (59:18 in 55.1 IP) and Derrick Loop (64:21 in 54.2 IP) get honorable mention for their excellent K/BB ratios.