Another week, another promotion for one of our top 10 prospects. Ryan Kalish tore apart Double-A pitching in his last week with Portland before elevating to Pawtucket. Here is a look at the week that was among the organization’s elites.
Control issues dogged the 20-year-old Kelly for a series of starts. In his latest outing, he may have been a bit too fine. For the first time in eight starts, Kelly did not walk a batter but he gave up season highs of 10 hits and six runs in just four innings against New Britain. We said several editions ago after Kelly gave up three runs in 2 1/3 innings that the organization would want to see him respond to some struggles. With 13 runs allowed in 12 innings over a span of three starts, it may be time for Kelly to respond.
With the wealth of issues at outfield for the big club, Kalish’s promotion this week is far more than a simple reward for his outstanding start at Portland. He is on the doorstep to joining a major league outfield riddled with injury concerns. The team would not bring up Kalish unless playing time was going to be constant, but with Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron slow to return and others such as J.D. Drew and Jeremy Hermida suffering their own set of ailments, that could come at some point. Kalish is 2-for-10 with Pawtucket and recorded his first Triple-A RBI on Friday at Louisville.
Anderson has not taken to Triple-A pitching as he did to that a level below, at least not yet. Although he made an initial splash upon his promotion to Pawtucket, the 22-year-old has slumped for some time now. He does not have an RBI in six straight games, has not homered in nine straight and is 6-for-38 (.158) over his last 12 games entering Saturday. The left-handed bat is 1-for-18 with nine strikeouts against southpaws.
When Memorial Day weekend arrived, essentially ushering in summer for many, Rizzo began to heat up. Entering Saturday, the 20-year-old Rizzo hit .348 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last six games.
Just as he was heating up, Iglesias entered a bit of a slump before Memorial Day weekend and then was hit on the right hand with a pitch and has not played since May 29. X-rays were negative, but the 20-year-old was only expected to miss 2-3 days and has been out for a week. He may DH when he returns as the injury may affect his throwing.
There have been signs of life lately for Reddick, who has .200 in his sights after going 5-for-17 (.294) with a homer in a six-game span. It has been a season-long slump for Reddick and with Kalish in the mix at Pawtucket, the 23-year-old has more company on the short list of outfield call-up candidates.
Doubront’s stock continues to rise as he translates his Double-A dominance to the Triple-A level. In his two legitimate starts for the PawSox (a third was cut short by rain after just one inning), he has allowed just a run in 10 2/3 innings. In addition, Doubront has stretched a season-long run without allowing a home run, now at 54 2/3 innings between the two levels. If Josh Beckett continues to be slow in his rehab from a lower back strain and just one more injury occurs, Doubront may see his first major league action.
After hitting just one home run in nearly 160 at bats, Exposito has slugged two in the last week. He hit .294 in May but is just 1-for-15 (.067) through the first four games in June. The big backstop continues to shine in pressure situations, hitting .302 (32-for-106) with all three of his home runs with runners on base. He hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning in Trenton on Thursday.
If Pimentel’s recent pattern holds true to form, he will flirt with a no-hitter his next time out. The 20-year-old has alternated near-perfect outings with more pedestrian showings, the latest a five-inning, three-run effort against Lynchburg. Since the start of May, Pimentel has struck out 25 and walked just six.
The team’s No. 1 pick from a year ago is on an impressive run at Greenville, making his debut on our list. In his last five games entering Saturday, the 19-year-old is 9-for-19 (.474) with four more stolen bases, adding to his league-leading ratio of 18 steals without being caught. There is a ton of time for the youngster to fill out his reedy frame and refine his game, but early returns on his second season in the system are good.
Dropped out: Will Middlebrooks, 3B