May 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM
This week's minor league notes:
- Mookie Betts (pictured, right) had been on fire to begin the year, and through Friday he had reached base in 71 consecutive games including the playoffs, which tied the minor league record held by Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar. The streak finally came to an end on Saturday when he went 0 for 4. Over the 71 games Betts hit .404/.478/.621.
- Betts also made news this weekend when he started his first professional game in center field on Sunday. Talk of trying Betts in center field has been talked about for a long time since second base is blocked at the major league level for the foreseeable future by Dustin Pedroia. SoxProspects.com Staff Writer Jim Crowell covers this in this morning's Cup of Coffee and wonders if Betts might see more games in center field as he works on his positional flexibility as he gets closer to major league ready.
- The top prospect in the system usually dominates the headlines, and Betts is no exception. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal speaks to Red Sox scout Danny Watkins about Betts' tools and what first drew him to Betts as an amateur.
- Lefty Rich Hill had a May 15th opt out in his contract, but as WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports, he has decided not to exercise that option and will remain with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Over 20 1/3 innings thus far this year, Hill has a 2.95 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and has 24 strikeouts to 10 walks.
- This week's SoxProspects.com video of the week features switch hitting catcher Blake Swihart. Hitting .289/.323/.463 thus far this year along with great defense, the Sea Dogs catcher has risen up the SoxProspects.com rankings and currently sits at number three.
- Another player on the rise is outfielder Henry Ramos (pictured, below). Ramos is hitting .333/.385/.465 over 144 at-bats for the Portland Sea Dogs with two home runs. The 22-year-old, former fifth-round pick started the year as the 33rd ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings but now sits 20th. This performance has Ben Buchanan of Over The Monster wondering, is Henry Ramos breaking out?
- SoxProspects.com Northeast Scout Chaz Fiorino has been busy to start the year, and this week he gave us early reports from Pawtucket, including notes on pitchers Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster and also outfielder Bryce Brentz.
- Earlier this week, I covered a couple of roster moves that included left-hander Trey Ball landing on the DL with strep throat, Daniel McGrath was brought up from extended spring training to start in his spot, and the Greenville Drive activated right-hander Taylor Grover and sent right-hander Raynel Velette to Lowell.
- The Major League Baseball draft is less than a month away, and some have already started posting mock drafts. We will again have complete coverage of the draft, including all the information you need on potential Red Sox draft history, potential draft targets, and other information. This past week, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes about how the Red Sox need to learn from past mistakes.
- Henry Owens had a start this past Wednesday that was both impressive and frustrating. The number two ranked prospect went four innings without allowing a hit, and was able to strikeout eight but walked five, his second start in a row with five walks. Tim Britton has more information on his wild start, including quotes from Owens.
- Red Sox starting third basemen Will Middlebrooks hit the DL this past week, and many Red Sox fans wondered if they would call up their top third base prospect, Garin Cecchini. That does not appear to be the plan for the Red Sox as his power is still developing and he also has work left to do honing his defense. Tim Britton talked to Cecchini who seems certain his defense will improve and promises it will be good enough for the big leagues.
Photo Credit: Mookie Betts and Henry Ramos by Kelly O'Connor.
Will Woodward is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter here.