PROSPECTING FOR PROSPECTS

     There is a lot of information on the internet.  Maybe, too much.  There are countless websites devoted to Red Sox Nation.  Some are pretty good, others, not so good.  You could spend hours a day looking up info on your beloved club.  Soxprospects.com rates the future of the organization, listing the top young players in the chain.  Looking at it the other day, I noted that most of the top young talent is not projected to start the season in Pawtucket.  That is not to say, that at some point, they wouldn’t wind up at McCoy in 2010. 

     According to the website, Casey Kelly (#1) is ticketed for Portland.  The top pick of the 2008 draft will focus his attention completely on pitching from now on, after splitting time between shortstop and pitcher.  He is getting favorable reviews for his early work in Fort Myers.  He seems to be on the fast track and I wouldn’t be surprised if he joins our little travelling band at some point this season.  then again, he is just 20. 

     Ryan Westmoreland (#2), the ultra-talented outfielder from Portsmouth, RI will begin his campaign in Greenville.  At the tender age of 19, Ryan has been called a “Jacoby Ellsbury with power”.  High praise, especially considering that comparison came from a Red Sox official who knows both well.  Westmoreland is coming off a broken collarbone and recently had wisdom teeth removed.  I look forward to his McCoy debut, although realistically, it probably won’t happen until 2011.

    There are only two in the top ten prospects projected to commence the season with the PawSox.  Josh Reddick (#4) and Junichi Tazawa (#8).  Josh caused my most embarassing moment of the offseason.  It came at the Westin Hotel at the Boston Baseball Writers dinner.  We were standing next to each other and I introduced myself to him.  He asked me if I remembered talking to him last season.  I was completely baffled.  No one ever looked less familiar to me.  Now, in fairness to me, his hair was completely different, but no excuse.  He was a good sport about it.  I must be getting old.  He is a very talented kid.  Very soon, I think everyone will recognize him.  Tazawa has already made his Boston debut.  All the 23 year old veteran of the Japanese Industrial needs is a little seasoning.

     Here is the rest of their top ten and their projected homes for the start of the 2010 season.

     #3-OF Ryan Kalish   Portland

     #5-1B Lars Anderson   Portland

     #6- 1B Anthony Rizzo   Salem

     #7- SS Jose Iglesias   Salem 

     #9- SP Stolmy Pimental   Greenville

     #10- SP Michael Bowden   Boston

     This is according to their website.  When questioned, Sox brass like Mike Hazen usually tell you that no decisions are made until Spring Training is nearly over.  The Red Sox are far too organized and well run for me to completely believe that.  Guys get a chance.  Some play “up” and others play themselves “down” or in some cases, “out”.  No doubt, lots of “pins and needles” for the guys.

     Of the second ten prospects,  pitcher Dustin Richardson (#18) and catcher Mark Wagner (#19) are projected for Pawtucket.  1B Aaron Bates is #29 while SP Adam Mills is just one behind at #30.  Interested to see how things pan out. 

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