Top Prospect Ryan Westmoreland Hoping to Break Through in 2010

by NESN Staff

January 10, 2010

Outfielder Ryan Westmoreland can do a lot on the baseball field.

Last season, the 19-year-old proved that he can hit for average and power by posting a .296 batting average and a .484 slugging percentage. He displayed remarkable speed and quickness by swiping 19 bags in 19 attempts.

But here's the bad news, Red Sox fans: he can't run through walls.

And when attempting to while tracking down a deep flyball in September last season, Westmoreland's brilliant campaign came to a close as the Rhode Island native broke his collar bone running into the outfield fence.

?I ran into the wall. I was out cold, so I don?t remember if I ran through it,? Westmoreland told WEEI.com. ?But the next day I went out there and there was a hole in the left-field wall, and it was right around where I hit. I kind of put it together. I left my mark, I guess you could say.?

Talk about a gross understatement. Westmoreland not only left his mark last season, the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder is expected to leave an even bigger one in the organization for years to come as he has been pegged as Boston's No. 1 prospect by Baseball America. 

?It?s a great honor,? said Westmoreland, ?but it really doesn?t mean anything unless I produce.?

But the pressures of such a high honor don't seem to faze the left-handed hitter. Westmoreland is putting all titles and accolades aside and concentrating on 2010.

After 60 games with the Lowell Spinners in his first season of pro
ball, Westmoreland will likely be calling Greenville home this summer.
While the Single-A stint will indeed be a tough test for the super
sophomore, the local boy has goals in mind, but is working on keeping
himself grounded.

?It would be great to get to Boston because I?ve been a Red Sox fan
my whole life," said the Portsmouth (RI) High School alum. "It would
definitely be a special experience. At the same time, I?m still
fighting for a spot."

But no one said anything about Westmoreland needing a hometown discount to one day sport the red 'B' on his hat. For now however, he's going to do everything in his power to compete on a daily basis, no matter where he's playing.

?This is going to be my first full season. That?s going to be a big
thing,? he said. ?I?m really looking for it. This season, 70
games was long for me, but I think I?m ready. I?ve been preparing all
offseason because I know I?m probably going to get in a full-season
situation. I?ve been trying to prepare myself physically and mentally."

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