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SoxProspects News

April 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Weekly Notes: April 20th

This week's minor league notes:

    Matt Barnes (Kelly O'Connor)
  • The SoxProspects.com Community voted on the Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week for 4/9-4/15 and selected PawSox third baseman Will Middlebrooks and Greenville starter Matt Barnes. Middlebrooks, the #1 prospect here on SoxProspects.com, went 11 for 30 on the week, with 3 home runs and 10 RBI. Barnes, who was selected by 79 out of 80 voters, pitched 5.0 shutout innings, striking out 7, while allowing only 1 hit and no walks in his lone start.
  • Kolbrin Vitek, the Red Sox top pick in the 2010 draft, continued his steady start in his first year at Double-A, having reached base in all 15 games this season. He went 9 for 29 with three doubles over the past week.
  • Pawtucket went 6-1 on the week, including a four-game sweep of Bryce Harper's Syracuse Chiefs. They finished their road trip 7-2. Middlebrooks has continued to mash. In his six games over the past week, he has gone 11 for 26 with a double, 4 home runs, 13 RBI, and 7 runs scored. That adds up to a slugging percentage of .923. 
  • Lost in some of the hoopla over Middlebrooks' hot start has been the play of Xander Bogaerts at Salem. He is riding an eight-game hitting streak, and went 9 for 28 with 3 doubles, a home run and a stolen base. This is all the more impressive when considering that the 19-year-old Bogaerts is the second-youngest player in the Carolina League
  • Barnes also continued his fantastic pitching, going 6.0 shutout innings on Wednesday to lead Greenville. Barnes has yet to give up a run in 16 innings, and has 25 strikeouts to just 2 walks. WEEI.com's Alex Speier wonders when he will be promoted, and our forum discusses that same question. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo named Barnes the Prospect Watch Pitcher of the Week.
  • Luis Exposito, who peaked as the #9 prospect on our rankings, saw his time with the Red Sox organization end this week, as he was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles after being designated for assignment on Sunday. Exposito was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the 31st round of the 2005 draft, and appeared in 486 minor league games over seven seasons.
  • Ronald Bermudez and Jayson Hernandez both came off of the disabled list at Portland, while Tony Thomas did the same at Pawtucket. PawSox Infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who may have been a candidate for a recall to Boston, suffered a poorly-timed oblique strain. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list on 4/16, retroactive to 4/12. Second baseman Jose Garcia, who was off to a good start with Greenville, was also placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Juan Carlos Linares appeared to injure his leg in Monday's Portland game, but was back in the lineup by Wednesday.  
  • Brandon Workman was assigned to Salem and will make his 2012 debut this evening.
  • Left-handed pitchers Andrew Miller (left hamstring strain) and Rich Hill (Tommy John surgery) continued their rehab assignments. Hill made three appearances at Salem, pitching 4.0 innings, allowing 1 hit, walking 1 and striking out 8. Miller, who may be close to completely healthy, appeared in three games for Pawtucket, giving up 4 runs in 2.2 innings, walking 7 and striking out 7. 
  • Per Alex Speier, right-handed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will begin his rehab assignment this Monday with the Salem Red Sox.
  • Chris Mellen, Director of Scouting here at SoxProspects.com, has begun his regular feature The Book based on individual scouting trips during the 2012 season. Check out his features on Bryce Brentz and Chris Hernandez. Chris also sent in first-hand reports from three Portland games he checked out 
  • Meanwhile, Special contributor Elizabeth Dreeson checked in on the PawSox series in Syracuse.  She talked to Lars Anderson about his move to the outfield in search of major league opportunity.
  • Justin Germano (Kelly O'Connor)
  •  Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus weighed in on the strange start to the season for Henry Owens. Goldstein opines "no pitcher in the minors this year has a more confusing statistical line." Through three starts, Owens has a 11.81 ERA despite striking out 22 of the 57 batters he has faced.
  • A nice piece by Brian MacPherson in the Providence Journal features Justin Germano, who got the chance to learn from Greg Maddux during their time with the San Diego Padres. Germano channeled his inner-Maddux in an excellent start on Tuesday, tossing seven scoreless innings without walking a batter, allowing only 3 hits while striking out 5.
  • The Red Sox worked out former phenom Mark Prior in Fort Myers. No word on whether he has worked out elsewhere, or been offered any kind of contract.