The Red Sox will continue to groom their prospects with the Greenville (S.C.) Drive.
After seven seasons with the Single-A affiliate, Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett announced the club reached a four-year extension with the minor league organization on its player development contract. The extension keeps the South Atlantic League Single-A affiliate in Greenville through the 2016 season.
"As an organization, we truly value our relationship with the Drive and the City of Greenville, and we are excited to extend our affiliation for an additional four seasons," Crockett said in a statement. "Our minor league players benefit greatly from their experience with the Drive's outstanding staff under the leadership of Craig Brown and Mike deMaine, as well as Greenville's state-of-the-art ballpark and passionate fan base."
The Red Sox started its partnership with the Drive in 2005, the same year the club moved from Columbia, S.C. to Greenville. Prior to the overhaul, the Drive — then known as the Capital City Bombers — were the New York Mets' minor league affiliate.
In recent years, Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Ryan Kalish and Ryan Lavarnway have each sharpened their skills in Greenville before making appearances in the majors. The Drive most recently reached the South Atlantic League Championship Series in 2010.
"This is a great day for the Greenville Drive and the entire Upstate of South Carolina," Greenville co-owner and president Craig Brown said in a statement. "The partnership we have forged with the Boston Red Sox is of enormous importance to us and the very talented Major League prospects that consistently play for the Drive at Fluor Field. The true test of a world class organization is the delivery of sustained success over a period of time and the Red Sox have set the standard in this regard.
"In the end, the success of an organization is the result of its people, and working with the Red Sox ownership group, Ben Cherington, Mike Hazen, Ben Crockett, the coaching staffs and entire the Red Sox organization has been a wonderful experience. The Red Sox set the bar very high both on and off the field, which serves as an inspiration to our organization. We are delighted to formally extend our relationship and look forward to the continued development of our partnership for many years to come."