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June 3, 2005 at 5:55 PM

Greenville Bombers report with Rick Ludwig by David Laurila

Friday, June 3 - This Greenville report is thanks to Rick Ludwig, a Bombers season ticket holder.
DL: It's been awhile since we last did a Bombers report. How did the team look in the month of May?
RL: The team struggled early through a deep slump, and has started to return to the promise of the first few weeks. They appear to have three players I'm sure will make it to Fenway in the future.
DL: Christian Lara is one of the more highly regarded prospects wearing a Bomber's uniform. What have you seen from him this year?
RL: You found my 1st of the three. You need to go back to Rick Bureleson to find as good a shortstop prospect. He consistently makes all the routine plays, and most of the hard ones. His good range and accurate arm set him apart from the average shortstop. He has shown good instincts and control at bat to be a good 2-hole hitter. It would not surprise me to see Christian and Hanley in 3-4 years, providing a strong middle infield in Fenway.
DL: Which other position players have impressed you this year?
RL: John Otness has shown good bat speed and the ability to take a pitch the other way. He looks like the best hitter on the team and can play several positions defensively very well. Andrew Pickney has provided a very good amount of offense and has very good power up the gaps. He has also provided a steady glove at 3rd. Logan Sorensen has shown a great glove at 1st and is rapidly improving with the bat.
DL: Mike Rozier and Andrew Dobies are two of the more promising pitchers in Greenville. What are your early impressions of each?
RL: You found the other two on my list. Andrew seems a bit ahead of Mike at the moment, but that is expected from a college pitcher compared to someone who was pitching in high school a year ago. Mike has really come on lately. You could see that he'd let one bad inning affect the rest of the game, now his poise is really showing through. His last outing was a strong one, touching 90 at times, and he earned his first professional win. Look for both of these guys to make a run through the system and be in Boston by 2008.
DL: What has Ryan Schroyer shown in the early going?
RL: Strong record and ERA, but almost a hit per inning, which is not good for a reliever. Too many hits and too many inherited runners scoring. If he can reduce the hits, he will be very effective for the Bombers.
DL: Luis Soto struggled before being sent back to Extended Spring Training earlier this year. What did you see as his biggest problem(s) in adjusting to the SAL and the outfield?
RL: It seemed Luis was lost at the plate, and in the field. He has a cannon for an arm and his natural position is at short. The fact that the Sox have so many good players at that position necessitated his moving to a new position, and I don't think he was ready for it.
DL: Is there anything else you'd like to pass along from Greenville?
RL: Bob Kipper has done a good job of getting the pitchers to buy into his methods. Mental preparation is every bit as important as being able to throw 90. Randy Phillips has also done a great job with the hitters, preparing them for the game, and the bats are coming on after being silent earlier in the year. Lastly, props have to be handed out to my favorite mascot of all time, our own Ace. Ace keeps the crowd going and the kids laughing -- having a good time. Ace by far is the MVP of the off the field staff.