Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland, who underwent brain surgery last spring, continues to make positive steps toward a full return to baseball.
Speaking Wednesday at the organization’s rookie program at Boston College, Mike Hazen, director of player development, said Westmoreland is going through workouts in Fort Myers and is itching to get to the next level.
"We’re seeing steady progress; he’s seeing steady progress," Hazen said. "It’s still going to take a little while to get him back to where he was. We’re still confident and optimistic. If you’re betting on one person to get back and make it to that place, it is him. You’d be amazed at the amount of drive in this kid, given what he’s had with the setbacks and everything he’s had to go through.
"It’s inspiring is what it is, and you just hope that he’s going to be able to take the field again because you know how bad he wants it."
Westmoreland, a 20-year-old outfielder, was considered by many to be the best positional prospect in the system entering last season. He had surgery to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain last March.
The Rhode Island native, who hit .296 with seven home runs in 60 games for Lowell in 2009, has yet to face live pitching, but he has been taking batting practice at the team’s player development complex.
Hazen said there is no schedule for Westmoreland to see any game activity. He will be handled like a rehabbing player through spring training, taking steps forward when his condition allows.
"We'll push him when we can push him, and we'll pull him back when we need to," Hazen said. "No timeframe on when he can see game action, but I know he's chomping to get out there and do some stuff."