October 27, 2014 at 7:30 AM
Past entries in our Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.
#20: Nick Longhi, OF/1B
2014 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 121 PA, .330/.388/.440, 10 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 11 BB, 22 K
Season in Review: After signing him out of a commitment to LSU with an over-slot bonus of $440,000 and giving him a short debut in the GCL last year, in 2014, the Red Sox assigned Longhi to the Lowell Spinners, and hit well from the start. Longhi recorded hits in 25 of the 30 games he played, all while being three years younger than the average New York-Penn League hitter at just 18 years old. That performance included a 17-game on-base streak from June 25 through July 17 in which he hit .354/.425/.462. Unfortunately, his first full professional season was cut short on July 21, when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb while sliding into third base, which required surgery. His .330 average was the fourth-best mark in the league and he spent most of his shortened season splitting time between left field and right field with only an occasional game at first base, in part due to the presence of Sam Travis. - Will Woodward
Scouting Report and 2015 Outlook: Longhi was one of the best hitters on the Lowell roster this year, positioning himself as an intriguing bat to watch going forward. Longhi has a solid frame and strong core, listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. He has feel for hitting and strong bat-to-ball skills for someone his age. He starts his swing with his hands down, bringing them up and back during his load. He has yet to tap into his power potential, showing in-game gap power right now, but he has shown average-to-better raw power during batting practice sessions. Defensively, Longhi has shown off a solid-average arm, splitting time between right field and left field. He has the arm for right field, but speed is not a big part of his game, so he will have to rely on his instincts and reads to stick out there. If he cannot stick in the outfield, Longhi could settle in at first base. Longhi’s season was cut short by a thumb injury, but he was back taking fly balls and batting practice during the Fall Instructional League, so that should not be much of a concern going forward. Baring something unforeseen, he will head to Greenville to start next season, where he should be one of the key contributors in their lineup. - Ian Cundall
#19: Teddy Stankiewicz, SP
2014 Team: Greenville Drive
Final Stats: 140 1/3 IP, 11-8, 3.72 ERA, 141 H, 64 R/58 ER, 29 BB, 102 K, 1.21 WHIP
Season in Review: Another 2013 draft pick, the Red Sox selected the 6-foot-4, right-handed Stankiewicz 45th overall out of Seminole State Junior College. After ending 2013 with a brief but successful stop at Lowell, Stankiewicz spent his entire 2014 season in Greenville. He saw a large increase in innings, jumping from his 80 1/3 innings in 2013 to 140 1/3 innings in 2014 over 25 starts, the fifth-most among all Red Sox minor leaguers. His best start of the year came on June 11, when he allowed two hits without a walk while striking out six over seven innings. That strong start earned him both SoxProspects.com and South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors. He had one more strong start after that, but then he hit a rough patch from June 25 through July 26. Over those six starts, he allowed 24 earned runs over 33 1/3 innings (6.48 ERA), but did have a nice 26-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 20 year old was able to right the ship after the rough patch and finished the season strong, posting a 1.89 ERA over his last 38 innings with 29 strikeouts and four walks. - Will Woodward
Scouting Report and 2015 Outlook: Stankiewicz does not have any one pitch that stands out above the others, but he has advanced pitchability and solid-average stuff that will play in the big leagues, potentially in the back end of a rotation. Stankiewicz has an ideal pitcher's frame, listed at 6-foot-4 215 pounds. He is a good athlete with a loose three-quarters delivery that he does a good job of repeating. His arm action has a slight stab behind with a little drop and drive, but overall, the delivery works. His fastball generally sits in the low-90s, topping out at 95 mph. The pitch is on the straight side with a little late life, but he can get away with that because he has solid command of the pitch to all quadrants in the strike zone. His primary secondary pitches are a curveball and changeup, but he also mixes in a slider on occasion. His curveball works in the mid-70s with 11-to-5 break, and has flashed solid-average in game action. He throws his changeup in the low-80s with deceptive arm speed and late drop. Finally, his slider works in the 78-82 mph range, but it is definitely his fourth pitch and one that needs improvement to be anything more than a show-me offering. Overall, while Stankiewicz does not have the highest ceiling, his floor is high. Even if his development does not go to plan, you could envision him pitching out of a major league bullpen. Stankiewicz should start next year with Salem, which will provide a good test for him—even though he will be in his third year of pro ball after a year at junior college, he will still only be 21 years old. - Ian Cundall
Additional editorial support provided by Jonathan Singer.