August 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM
Pawtucket radio broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith is reporting that outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker has been promoted from Double-A Portland to the PawSox. The promotion comes on the heels of today's recall of Ryan Kalish to the major league club. With Pawtucket short an outfielder as they attempt to make a playoff push, and Hazelbaker's second half play got him the nod.
Hazelbaker, 25, gets the news of his promotion a day after hitting two solo home runs in the Sea Dogs 5-3 loss to Binghamton, giving him a total of 19 on the season. After a slow start to 2012, Hazelbaker's production has taken off in the second half, hitting .313/.358/.595 in 163 at bats, including 10 homers and 16 stolen bases. Overall on the season, the left-handed hitting outfielder has a .273/.338/.479 line. Capable of playing all three outfield positions, the bulk of Hazelbaker's playing time in 2012 has come in left field.
Drafted in the fourth round in 2009, Hazelbaker has been known primarily for his base-stealing. He stole 63 bags in 2010 with Greenville, and 47 last year at stops in Salem and Portland. While his total of 33 in 2012 is off the pace of previous years, it ranked second in the Eastern League. Hazelbaker has also been able to pair his speed with power production that has been gradually increasing throughout his professional career. The 19 home runs, 64 RBI and .479 slugging percentage in 2012 all represent career highs.
Hazelbaker will join the PawSox in Gwinnett, GA as they work to hold onto their wild card lead in the last week of the season.
Photo credit: Jeremy Hazelbaker by drivfan08.