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SoxProspects News

March 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Fort Report: Hazelbaker sees big league action

  • Jeremy Hazelbaker was the only minor league camper to see big league game action since Tuesday's Fort Report. Juan Apodaca, Ryan Khoury, Bubba Bell, and Alex Hassan will travel to Jupiter as extras in today's game against the Cardinals (which could get rained out). These "extra" slots are often reserved as rewards for players who have shown improvement and hustle in minor league camp. Hazelbaker has already seen action in two games, picking up two hits and a walk in six plate appearances.

  • Of the top positional prospects in major league camp, Josh Reddick (.471), Ryan Kalish (.300), Che-Hsuan Lin (.273), and Yamaico Navarro (.278) have all held their own in a small sample against advanced competition. However, Lars Anderson has struggled out of the gate, going hitless in 20 plate appearances. According to several onlookers, the first baseman has also looked a little lost at the plate.

  • Ron Cimelis of MassLive.com reports that Tazawa has recently become the "apple of the Asian media's eye", and that the Japanese media has outnumbered American journalists at Some recent Sox games. Tazawa pitched two scoreless innings against the Mets yesterday.

  • Maureen Mullen of PawSox.com brings us a great report on Kalish, who is loving the intensity and the fan support in major league games. Mullen also reports that Kalish will likely start the season in Portland, but a quick call-up to Pawtucket is a distinct possibility.

  • Speaking of Kalish, he competed in a Dancing with the Stars-style dance-off against Mark Wagner, Anderson, and Bowden this past weekend to benefit the Red Sox Foundation. The competition was judged by Mike Cameron, Jeremy Hermida, Kelly, and Jed Lowrie. Kalish went home the winner. Click here for video. If you only click one link in this report, make it this one.

  • On Thursday, Rob Bradford of WEEI remarked on the unique sound of Bard's fastball hitting the mitt of Luis Exposito and how loudly the pop reverberated through City of Palms Park. In the report, Bard comments that he "loves throwing to Expo", especially the pop of the fastball when it hits the leather of the backstop's glove. Exposito attributes it all to Bard, which is not surprising given the velocity of the flamethrower's fastball.

  • Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston compares and contrasts Hanley Ramirez, Boston's one-time shortstop-of-the-future, and Jose Iglesias, the new heir apparent to the Sox shortstop throne. McDonald talked to both players, Sox coach Ron Johnson, and manager Terry Francona, as well as Red Sox Assistant GM Ben Cherington, who played a pivotal role in putting together the trade that sent Ramirez to the Marlins in November 2006. Francona told McDonald, "We all thought Hanley was a really good prospect. I don't know, honestly, if we knew he was going to be that good that quick." The Red Sox staff all spoke glowingly about Iglesias, but Johnson admitted that it's really not fair to compare the two players at this time, particularly as Ramirez has cemented himself as one of the top players in all of baseball.

  • On Wednesday, Francona answered some fan questions on NESN.com. When asked to talk about what prospects have impressed him so far this spring, the Sox skipper mentioned Kalish, commenting on the outfielder's bat speed and hustle, and also spoke highly of Iglesias, Reddick, and Navarro.

Chris Hatfield, Jonathan Singer, John Gray, and Corey Hersch of SoxProspects.com contributed to this article.