January 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM
With the Northeast bracing for another winter storm to start the new year, what better time to check in on how Boston Red Sox major and minor leaguers fared in the various fall and winter leagues around the globe? The four major Caribbean winter leagues have finished their regular seasons, making the turn of the calendar an ideal time to take stock of the players whose seasons extended beyond September.
As always, one key thing to remember in the fall and winter leagues is that performance often takes a back seat to other developmental goals. Some players may be working on particular skills, or learning a new position/role. For others who have missed time due to injury, simply replacing missed repetitions is beneficial enough. And even for those who fall in neither group, sample sizes from the fall and winter leagues are small enough that reading too much into the stats would be silly -- 60 at-bats or 15 innings pitched do not erase what just happened over the five-and-a-half month regular season.
The levels each player reached in 2013 are included in parentheses.
Arizona Fall League
The eight-player Red Sox contingent to this annual prospect showcase league was headlined by infielders Garin Cecchini (High A/Double-A) and Mookie Betts (Low A/High A), two of their top 10 prospects. Cecchini, who led the minor leagues in on-base percentage in 2013 among qualified players, followed that performance by posting one of the best marks in the league at .434, finishing ninth in the circuit. Neither Cecchini nor Betts hit for much power, combining for one home run (by Betts) and seven doubles in 124 at-bats. Their overall numbers were fine -- .277/.434/.338 with three steals for Cecchini, .271/.368/.373 with eight steals for Betts -- and both were named to the Fall Stars game, where Cecchini hit a 430-foot home run.
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