Catcher Luis Exposito Leads Red Sox Prospects in Arizona Fall League

The Mesa Solar Sox finished at the bottom of the Arizona Fall League, but a couple of young Red Sox prospects were able to end the offseason tuneup with impressive numbers.

Shortstops Jose Iglesias and Casey Kelly, catcher Luis Exposito and outfielder Ryan Kalish, as well as pitchers Richie Lentz, Randor Bierd, Chris Province and Dustin Richardson all suited up for Mesa this past fall, but the Solar Sox struggled, finishing with a 13-18 record and a last-place finish.

Exposito, a 22-year-old Miami native who earned a promotion to Double-A Portland this past summer, led the group with a .314 batting average and ended the fall with a seven-game hitting streak where he went 11-for-28 (.393).

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder had 16 hits (three doubles) in 51 at bats and a .795 OPS. In 23 games with the Seadogs this past summer, Exposito hit .337 with five doubles, three homers and 12 RBIs.

Kalish, who smacked 13 homers with Portland this summer, was right behind Exposito with a .301 batting average (22-for-73) in 21 games. The 21-year-old also had 15 RBIs, tying him for second most on the team.

Iglesias was able to compile a group-high 29 total bases as he finished with a .275 batting average in his first year since signing with the Red Sox organization out of Cuba. The 19-year-old cranked a pair of homers and drove in 12, but it was his smooth play in the field that wowed the scouts.

Kelly, a shortstop and pitcher in his second season of professional baseball this past summer, wasn't as strong at the plate, as he finished with a .171 average and struck out 17 times in 41 at bats. The 2008 first-round draft pick split the summer between shortstop and pitcher but found far more success on the rubber than at the dish, hitting just .224 with 10 RBIs in 32 games for Greenville.

In the first half of the season, the 19-year-old looked strong on the hill, posting a 6-1 record (1.12 ERA) and a bid to the Future's All-Star Game with Greenville before getting hit hard in Salem, where he finished with a 1-4 record and 3.09 ERA.

Bierd, a 25-year-old right-hander, made seven starts spanning 25 1/3 innings, both of which were team highs, and finished with a 3-2 record to go with a 6.04 ERA.

Lentz, Province and Richardson all pitched out of the bullpen, with Province finding the most success as he potted a 3.46 ERA in 13 innings. The 24-year-old righty grabbed a pair of saves and struck out nine batters while walking five.

The right-handed Lentz allowed seven earned runs on 13 hits in 15 1/3 innings for a 4.11 ERA, though he managed to walk just three batters while striking out 16. In 11 2/3 innings, Richardson allowed seven earned runs on eight hits for a 5.40 ERA while walking 10 batters and striking out 18.

The AFL ended this past weekend when the Peoria Javelinas defeated the Phoenix Desert Dogs 5-4 for the league title on Nov. 21.

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