September call-ups are right around the corner, making this an intriguing time for a few of the Red Sox? top prospects. Here is the latest look at the farm system?s elites.
Last week: No. 1
Casey Kelly, RHP
Kelly was shut down after his start Aug. 6 against Richmond with a strained lat muscle.
He will try to build on a Double-A campaign that saw him go 3-5 with a 5.31 ERA when he pitches in a winter league, probably the Arizona Fall League.
Last week: No. 2
Ryan Kalish, OF
The 22-year-old has hit a wall at the major league level. Entering the weekend he has three hits in his last 31 at-bats (.097) and has not driven in a run since his grand slam at Fenway Park back on Aug. 17.
One of those hits, however, was a crushing double off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez on Wednesday. Just a reminder of what he is capable of.
Kalish?s hold on the center field job is not lost but the league has made the adjustment. Time for Kalish to make his own.
Last week: No. 3
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
He hasn?t gone deep since his two-homer, five-RBI effort on Aug. 19 and is only 4-for-23 in seven games in that span. Still, he has five RBIs, six walks and a stolen base in those seven games.
Rizzo?s been stuffing the stat sheet often of late. His 30 RBIs in August are already a Portland team record. At 21, he is still very young for the Double-A level and probably won?t be called up in September. Look for that to happen in a year or so.
Last week: No. 4
Lars Anderson, 1B
Anderson?s ordinary numbers at Triple-A do not reflect the growth he has made this season.
Frankly, they are not all that bad anyway, and a solid stretch in the past week-plus has only helped.
In his last nine games, Anderson is hitting 13-for-36 (.361) with his eighth home run with the PawSox and seven RBIs. After hitting .303 in July he is up to .289 in August and continues to improve his numbers against lefties.
The recent progress has Anderson thinking of a potential call-up in September.
Last week: No. 5
Felix Doubront, LHP
While Kalish has begun to slump, Doubront, the other major leaguer of this list, has continued to impress.
The 23-year-old seemed very hesitant when first assigned to make himself into a reliever. The success has him singing a different tune, and he has mentioned to reporters lately that he is enjoying his new role. It is doubtful the organization is committed to the change from starter as a long-term alteration, but it?s nice to know that Doubront can handle the shift.
In his last four relief appearances for Boston, Doubront has two saves and has not allowed a run in five innings. He has 11 strikeouts in eight innings of relief overall.
Last week: No. 6
Jose Iglesias, SS
Following a successful rehab stint at Single-A Lowell Iglesias has returned to Portland and is raking. He has three three-hit games in the last week alone, raising his average with the Sea Dogs to .296.
The fact that Iglesias has hit and hit well whenever healthy is a great indication for an organization that still had some uncertainty surrounding his offensive game. His defense was never an issue. The fact that he has continued to hit even after a long layoff with injury is an even greater one.
He will continue that progress in the Arizona Fall League.
Last week: No. 7
Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
Entering his start against Kinston on Saturday night Pimentel was on a nice roll. He was 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA over his last seven outings, allowing just three runs on 10 hits over his last three.
Pimentel will not turn 21 until February and is showcasing fantastic progress at the lower levels.
While he was 10-7 with a 3.82 ERA at low-level Single-A Greenville last year, a tad better than his 2010 numbers for high-level Salem, he has limited opponents to a .251 average this year, 39 points lower than 2009. So, he has become less hittable while maintaining a solid 93-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Last week: No. 8
Josh Reddick, OF
It?s pretty remarkable to think that Reddick may surpass his 2009 average at Double-A Portland, despite a truly miserable first two months in 2010 for Pawtucket. He remains one of the hottest players in the International League and has lifted his average, below .200 into June, all the way up to .264.
Known as a streaky hitter, Reddick is on a magnificent one right now. Entering Saturday he had gone 14-for-25 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in just five games. Talk about a red-hot Reddick, now hitting .358 in August.
The big club hopes Reddick still has some hits left in his bat when he is called up in September.
Last week: No. 10
Kolbrin Vitek, 3B/DH
A promotion from Lowell to Greenville has prompted us to move Vitek up the ladder as well. He was hitting .286 in August for the Spinners before getting the call.
Vitek had an impressive 30 runs, 30 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and 20 extra-base hits in his 56 games for Lowell.
Last week: No. 9
Oscar Tejada, 2B
That bat has cooled considerably but the gains made by the 20-year-old in his jump to Salem from Greenville last year cannot be ignored. His average has increased from .257 to .304, his home runs from three to 10 and his OPS has skyrocketed 144 points.
Tejeda remains fourth in the Carolina League in hitting and is the only player in the top 13 on that list with double figures in both home runs and stolen bases.
Five others knocking on the door:
Luis Exposito, C ? A somewhat lackluster season has included a recent 0-for-12 stretch, but Exposito still ranks fourth in the Eastern League in RBIs with 85.
Yamaico Navarro, IF ? He singled on the first pitch he saw in the majors but is 0-for-7 since. This is all about getting what he can from the major league experience, which should benefit the 22-year-old plenty going forward.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP ? The 6-7 supplemental round pick has been assigned to Lowell as part of a trio which features fellow 2010 picks Brandon Workman and Chris Hernandez.
Reymond Fuentes, OF ? The ultra-athletic outfielder has stolen two bases in a game three times in his last 10 and is up to 40 for the season.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B ? The big third baseman has hit a wall in late August, batting .208 for the month. A nice finish in September will set him up for a 2011 campaign at Portland.