October 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM
For the next five weeks, SoxProspects.com will count down its top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and why they're ranked where we have them in the site's official end-of-season rankings.
#38: Mickey Pena, LHP
2012 teams: Greenville Drive/GCL Red Sox (Rehab)
2012 final stats: 8-8, 21 appearances (19 starts), 104 2/3 IP, 3.01 ERA, 21 BB, 91 K, 1.15 WHIP
Season in Review: Pena had an inconsistent first full season. He had stretches of great success, as evidenced by his five starts of at least 4 2/3 innings in which he allowed three or fewer baserunners, struck out at least five, and did not allow a run. He also exhibited great control, giving up just 22 walks in 104 2/3 innings on the year. But he had his share of struggles as well, and his 6-2, 175-pound frame wore down at the end of the season, shown in a 4.70 ERA in his final four starts, during which he gave up 26 hits and seven walks in 23 innings. The highlight of his season was his start on May 8, in which he turned in six perfect innings and combined with Hunter Cervenka and Tyler Lockwood for the franchise’s first ever no-hitter. He also missed most of the month of July with a strained left hamstring.
2013 Outlook: Pena has earned a promotion to Salem to start 2013. He should continue to experience success there due to his great control and four-pitch arsenal, but will strive to achieve greater consistency from start to start. Another long-term goal will be to put some more size on his frame in order to handle the rigors of starting over a full season. Pitchers of his ilk tend to face their first real challenge in Double-A, so consider 2013 a year for him to prepare for that test.
#37: Noe Ramirez, RHP
2012 teams: Greenville Drive
2012 final stats: 2-7, 16 starts, 84 2/3 IP, 4.15 ERA, 19 BB, 82 K, 1.28 WHIP
Season in Review: Ramirez’s season started late, on June 10, due to shoulder weakness. He got things going with a bang, throwing five perfect innings. He showed good control, walking just 19 batters in 84 2/3 innings, but gave up 12 home runs as well, showing that batters were making him pay for his mistake pitches already. He struck batters out at a good clip, but like Pena, he is a pitcher with good command and thus could be expected to have that kind of success.
2013 Outlook: Ramirez will also make the jump to High-A Salem, with an eye towards dropping those home run numbers. At 6-3, 180 pounds, he could also stand to get bigger. He and Pena are the kind of players who tend to get clumped together at the lower levels, but can separate themselves at the higher levels of the system.
(Photo Credit: Mickey Pena by William Parmeter; Noe Ramirez by John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)