May 15, 2013 by
Pawtucket, RI -
The Pawtucket Red Sox Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox certainly provide the entertainment of big league ball games at minor league prices. The PawSox were 2012 International League Champions and now with many players back from that team and continuing to develop, this years team could be playing well into September as well. Of course every minor league players focus is to make it to the big leagues and not ever have to come back to the minor leagues.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is on the disabled list due to a right bicep injury.
The Pawtucket Red Sox roster boasts talent like Alfredo Aceves and Jose Iglesias as well as young guns Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa. Jackie Bradley Jr. is on the disabled list after a short sample with Pawtucket that has been good. Often times we know the names of the hot prospects and fringe players who spend almost the same amount of time on Interstate 95, back and forth, as they do on the field. Players who are not household names sometimes can provide a spark to a big league club with a brief stint should an injury occur. Last year Red Sox fans became familiar with Pedro Ciriaco after he mashed against the Yankees. Now Ciriaco is on the big league club as a utility infielder. I’m here to tell you about the players who may not be household names.
This year the PawSox have some impressive outfielders and corner infielders. Late spring training signing Brandon Snyder, who has major league experience with the Rangers and Orioles, has been impressive in 33 games. Snyder has 7 home runs and 26 RBI’s to go along with a .299 average. Snyder who plays mostly first base has gotten some time at third base since Will Middlebrooks crashed into David Ross. Third base is the thinnest depth wise in the organization but, the team should not sleep on Snyder. The only problem is, Snyder does not have a spot on the 40 man roster should an occasion arise where he is needed. Putting a player on the 60 day disabled list could create a spot like Alex Hassan who has not played in a game all season.
Mark Hamilton who plays first base and the corner outfield positions also has major league experience with the Cardinals. He signed a minor league contract during the offseason with the Sox and has looked good as well. He was recently named the International League Player of the Week. Last week he hit 4 home runs and had 10 RBI to lead the league. In 31 games he is hitting .275 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI. Hamilton could surely provide some insurance behind Mike Napoli and Mike Carp, who has looked good in a small sample size. Daniel Nava has appeared in a few games at first base but now seems to have unseated Jonny Gomes as the everyday left fielder.
Jeremy Hazelbaker who was drafted by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2009 draft has rotated between the corner outfielder positions. He spent the later part of last season with the PawSox after being with Double A Portland for most of the season. Hazelbaker has also provided some pop down the order for the PawSox hitting .283 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI. Hazelbaker is also not on the 40 man roster but could potentially be a piece they trade for some help near the trade deadline. He seems to me like a Brandon Moss type player. Provide some pop off the bench and maybe be a average starter for a mid market team.
The PawSox leadoff hitter last night was Justin Henry who was acquired from the Tigers by trade early this past off season. Henry is a utility player who last night played center field but opening night played third base. He is a valuable piece of the bench and I think he could potentially replace Ciriaco is he continues to struggle on the field. Henry has no major league experience. Henry this season is hitting .315 with 1 home run, 13 RBI and 6 steals. Henry has speed and as I said can play many positions defensively and play them well. Last year the Red Sox forced Ciriaco into the outfield and he did not really excel.
Bryce Brentz is ranked as the 7th best Red Sox prospect according to MLB.com.
Bryce Brentz who fits in as a right fielder with a cannon of an arm is ranked as the Red Sox number 7 prospect according to MLB.com. Brentz missed most of spring training due to a handgun accident which may have set him back with the big league club in terms of path of the majors. He could have potentially played in more games for the big league club to prove who he is as a player playing against major league talent. He along with Hazelbaker came up to the PawSox late last season and started this year with the club. Brentz is hitting .275 with 6 home runs and 26 RBI. He has a heck of a swing and hits line drives with the best of them.
Those five players could potentially become household names to Red Sox fans. As I stated all of them are not on the 40 man roster, which makes it harder for them to be called up to Boston. Should they continue to perform in Pawtucked the Red Sox will have a decision to make. These players could even come up in September when the rosters expand and more injuries are almost certain. One thing is for certain the PawSox roster is certainly talented and the players are looking for their chance to prove they can help the big league club.