Instead, injuries derailed the dream for now. Last season, Linares –– then in Triple-A –– suffered torn ligaments in his ankle, a setback that sidelined him for the rest of the 2011 season.
After being promoted to Triple-A last month, he's eager to maintain the momentum he gained in his time at Double-A Portland.
"In reality, this is my first year playing a lot because my actual first season, I was getting operated on," Linares said. "Now, I'm actually getting a full year under my belt and haven't gotten injured. Things are going well."
As a member of the Sea Dogs, Linares ignited the offense with his bat, unloading eight home runs and 33 RBIs. The outfielder also batted .333 in 58 games, validating his reputation for raking.
"For me, it's all about playing baseball," Linares said. "I'm not worried about where they send me. It's all about playing. All ballplayers want to play like I'm playing right now, not [watching from the sidelines] like last season."
The Cuban native is also working on improving his English. So much so, PawSox shortstop Jose Iglesias is forcing Linares to strictly speak English with team personnel.