The last week within the organization has seen the Triple-A debut of Felix Doubront and the Single-A dominance of Stolmy Pimentel, two pitching prospects whose progress remains extremely promising. Here is a look at the latest results for the organization’s rising stars.
Last week: No. 1
Casey Kelly, RHP
For the first time in his professional career, Kelly has had some command issues and remains nine starts into his Double-A career without a win. He gave up a two-run homer in five innings of a loss to Reading on Wednesday, striking out four and walking three in an 87-pitch outing. The 20-year-old Kelly has issued nine walks in 12 2/3 innings over his last three starts and 16 in 33 1/3 innings overall. He had exactly 16 in 95 innings last year at the Single-A level. The mild struggles have done little to dampen the enthusiasm of Red Sox fans eager for his call-up.
Last week: No. 2
Ryan Kalish, OF
In a doubleheader last Saturday, Kalish went 3-for-7 with a home run, a double, a walk, two stolen bases and three runs. He also suffered a forearm injury that kept him out of the next week of games. The 22-year-old Kalish returned and had a single and a walk in Friday’s loss to New Britain, which dropped the Sea Dogs to .500 (23-23) for the first time since April 24. Despite the absence, Kalish remains among the Eastern League leaders in stolen bases (12), walks (27) and runs (28).
Last week: No. 3
Lars Anderson, 1B
After tearing apart Double-A pitching and having a promising start at Triple-A Pawtucket, Anderson has hit his first rough patch of the season at the plate. He is 1-for-18 over his last five games and has 11 strikeouts against just one walk in a span of nine. The one hit was a home run, however, Anderson’s third in 23 games for the PawSox. The 22-year-old California native is 1-for-18 with nine Ks against lefties at the Triple-A level. Still, he has recently been moved from the sixth spot in the Pawtucket lineup to cleanup, a clear indication the club is eager to see how he can handle an increased role.
Last week: No. 4
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
It has been eight games since Rizzo’s last home run and four since his last extra-base hit. Additionally, he had nine strikeouts against one walk in a span of eight outings. But the promising 20-year-old enters Saturday still hitting six points higher (.254) for Portland than he did at Single-A Greenville over the first month of the year. Baby steps for the big lefty.
Last week: No. 5
Jose Iglesias, SS
The up-and-down Iglesias followed up his second four-hit effort in just over a week last Friday by going 0-for-15 over his next four games. After that little drought he went 5-for-7 with an RBI, a double and a stolen base in a pair of games. The 20-year-old remains somewhat frightened of free passes. He hasn’t drawn a walk in the entire month of May, during which he has played in 20 games and has had 80 at bats. Some patience at the plate would be a nice thing to see.
Last week: No. 6
Josh Reddick, OF
The season-long struggles for Reddick have caused him to be dropped from the leadoff spot in the PawSox’ order to sixth for Thursday night’s game against Norfolk. Manager Torey Lovullo said it was an effort to take some pressure off Reddick and maybe get him into the flow of the lineup a bit. The 23-year-old had a double and scored a run, but an 0-for-3 effort the next night caused his average to fall to .186. His on-base percentage is only .225, a product of just nine walks against 38 strikeouts. We keep him in this spot for now, but the oldest player on this list has to get going soon.
Last week: No. 7
Felix Doubront, LHP
After several days between full starts amid his promotion to Pawtucket and a rain-shortened, one-inning debut at the Triple-A level, Doubront finally had a full outing for the PawSox on Friday night and did not disappoint. The lefty, who struck out two in a perfect inning in his rain-shortened outing, allowed just one run in five innings while striking out six. The 22-year-old Venezuelan is a combined 4-1 with a 2.39 ERA between Portland and Pawtucket and has yet to allow a home run in 49 innings.
Last week: No. 8
Luis Exposito, C
While the power remains hard to come by (just one home run in 153 at bats), Exposito continues to be a consistent producer at the plate. We all know how he does behind it. After recording four hits in seven ABs over his last two games, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has a hit in eight of his last 10 games and at least one RBI in eight of his last 12. Exposito is hitting .298 and has 12 of his 14 doubles in the month of May.
Last week: No. 9
Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
When Doubront was given a promotion to Triple-A, some felt that Pimentel would be the choice to fill the southpaw’s spot with the Sea Dogs. He was not, but has shown in the past two weeks that he may be done with Single-A hitters, even at High-A Salem. Two starts after tossing six perfect innings against Myrtle Beach, Pimentel issued just one walk in six hitless innings against Winston-Salem on Thursday. He has 15 strikeouts and just three walks in 17 1/3 innings over a three-start stretch, and his 2.70 ERA in May has put the 20-year-old Dominican’s rocky first month behind him.
Last week: No. 10
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
The big third baseman figured to cool off a bit, and he has. He is 2-for-16 over his last four games and has struck out at least once in eight straight, a slightly troubling sign for a guy who had issues with high strikeout totals in the past. Despite the slump the 21-year-old still ranks among the top 10 in the South Atlantic League in batting average (.323), on-base percentage (.413), OPS (.894), doubles (14) and walks (22).