August 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM
As has been the case in past years, the Red Sox have waited until August to begin promoting prospects. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal first reported that Josh Fields and Dan Butler were promoted to Pawtucket, and later, SoxProspects own Adam Fox tweeted that Christian Vazquez would be heading to Portland.
Vazquez (pictured) is the highest ranked prospect of the group, currently ranked 34th on our site. The soon-to-be 22-year-old, who is an excellent defensive catcher, hit .266 with a .360 on-base percentage and .396 slugging percentage in Salem. After batting only .155 in May, Vazquez put up a .969 OPS in June and a 1.003 OPS in July. He has been arguably the hottest hitter in the system for the past two months.
Butler will have the tough task of filling in for Ryan Lavarnway, who figures to be in the majors for the foreseeable future. Like Vazquez, Butler also had a tough May, but bounced back to have a strong June and July. The 25-year-old played two games with the PawSox in 2010, and one game last year, but will now be the main catcher for the team. It is also interesting that a year ago to the day, Butler was promoted to Portland.
Fields, who was acquired from Seattle in the Erik Bedard trade last summer, will return to Triple-A, where he threw 13.0 innings last season in the Mariners organization. This season, Fields has pitched to a 2.62 ERA over 44.2 innings with the Sea Dogs. He has been particularly dominant as of late, giving up only one run in his last 17.0 innings. Fields has a low-to-mid 90's fastball, and a very good curveball, which will make the right-hander a good fit in the Pawtucket bullpen.
There was an opening in the PawSox bullpen after Garrett Mock was traded to Houston. Aaron Goldsmith was the first to report the news. Mock returns home to Houston after spending the 2012 season in the Red Sox organization. He threw 48.2 innings and had a 3.33 ERA.
Photo Credit: Christian Vazquez by Dave Letizi