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March 23, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Fort Report: MLST games in full swing

Minor league spring training games are in full swing - special thanks to community members Waterview and Nick Hanson for posting first-hand reports on the SoxProspects Forum. Here are some notes from the last few days: Shannon Wilkerson hit an "absolute bomb" to left field against the Rays on Saturday ... Will Vazquez also hit a home run to left that barely cleared the wall ... Michael Almanzar looks noticeably more filled-out since last spring ... Jose Vinicio (pictured) is indeed in camp - the 16-year-old has looked understandably raw at the plate but has been a terror on the base paths ... Randor Bierd looked good again in a Triple-A start, striking out 4 in 2 innings of work ... Kade Keowen played in the Triple-A game and doubled ... Jon Still homered for Pawtucket ... Chad Povich looked good in the Double-A game, allowing just one runner in two innings ... Jose Iglesias played with the Portland, as did Ryan Lavarnway and Bryan Peterson, but don't read too much into the MLST assignments early on, as the front office likes to see how certain players fare against more-advanced competition and how certain infield combinations or pitcher-catcher batteries work together ... Daniel Nava homered to the opposite field off John Lackey in an intra-squad game on Monday ... Blake Maxwell's command has looked sharp in intra-squad games - no signs of the infamous Rollie Fingers moustache yet though ... Michael Bugary is reportedly getting his fastball back to the low-90s after sitting 87-89 mph late in the 2009 season ... Alan Embree will throw in a minor league game on Wednesday.

Several minor league campers that haven't seen ample major league time this spring got the chance to see big league game action since Friday, including Brett Harper, Pete Hissey, Drew Dominguez, Mitch Dening, Ray Chang, Ryan Dent, Willie Holmes, Zach Gentile, Mike Jones, Ronald Bermudez, David Mailman, Anthony Rizzo, TJ Large, Alex Hassan, Chris McGuiness, and Derrik Gibson.

The most impressive lines for the prospects in major league games include Josh Reddick (.417/.447/.722), Mark Wagner (.467/.500/1.067), Felix Doubront (0.00 ERA and 0.71 WHIP in 7 innings), Jeremy Hazelbaker (2-for-6 with 2 walks and 3 runs), and Hissey (4-for-6 with 2 RBI). Among the prospects not able to help their causes in short time in major league games have included Lars Anderson (0-for-18), Aaron Bates (.179 in 28 at-bats), Angel Sanchez (.214 in 28 at-bats), Junichi Tazawa (10.29 ERA); Large (16.20 ERA), Dustin Richardson (16.20 ERA), Ryne Miller (27.00 ERA), and Adam Mills (27.00 ERA).

On the injury front, Jed Lowrie has been a scratch due to fatigue from mono, Zach Daeges remains out with a strained lat, Gil Velazquez is likely out until May with a broken thumb, and Darnell McDonald is day-to-day with a strained oblique.

If you haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet, I wrote a piece for ESPNBoston this weekend on the depth of starting pitching in the Sox system. Please take a look if you get the chance.

Media links: Alex Speier of WEEI writes about how the Red Sox decided on Miguel Celestino as the PTBNL from Seattle in the Casey Kotchman deal ... Sea Dogs broadcaster Mike Antonellis interviewed Richie Lentz about the reasons for his recent retirment and his memories from Portland ... Speier noted on Saturday that Terry Francona had praise for Hissey, commenting that the outfielder has impressed with his ability to work deep into counts ... Both Speier and John Tomase of the Boston Herald authored articles this week on Joe Nelson's attempt to catch on with the big club ... Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal talked to Wagner about his two triples in the major league game on Monday, rare feat for the 25-year-old catcher ... Speier also brings us a great piece on Jason Castro, a former Red Sox draft pick who is now a well-regarded prospect considered to be the Astros' catcher of the future.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but we're headed down to minor league spring training tomorrow, and we’ll be posting regular updates on Twitter. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to sign up and follow the SoxProspects Twitter feed, as well as the feeds for Chris Mellen and Chris Hatfield.

Chris Hatfield, Jonathan Singer, John Gray, and Corey Hersch of SoxProspects.com contributed to this report. Photo by Nick Hanson.