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SoxProspects News

March 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Fort Report: Benintendi to bat third in Boston?

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • As a consensus top prospect in the game, Andrew Benintendi (pictured) has drawn plenty of attention in spring training. On top of that, he's been crushing the ball to the tune of a .370/.414/.778 line in nine games. Red Sox manager John Farrell noted that he is considering batting Benintendi third in Boston's lineup, where his left-handed bat would help balance out the righty-heavy top of the Red Sox lineup.
  • Left-hander Henry Owens has struggled tremendously with his control in recent seasons and this trend has continued into spring training this year as Owens has walked 12 batters and allowed 13 runs in just 7 1/3 innings. However, the Red Sox still believe in Owens' potential and are not ready to give up on the 24-year-old.  
  • Owens' struggles have allowed other pitchers to move up the depth chart in the battle to be Boston's seventh starter. Kyle Kendrick is one such pitcher and, since signing with the Red Sox, has impressed in the Grapefruit League. In 13 innings this spring, Kendrick has a 2.08 ERA with 10 strikeouts and three walks.
  •  Hector Velazquez is another piece of the starting pitching mix. Matt Collins of Over the Monster suggests that Velazquez has a unique importance to the Red Sox. Other veterans, like Kendrick and Roenis Elias, have uninspiring ceilings, while prospects, like Henry Owens and Brian Johnson, have struggled this spring, but Velasquez is interesting because he is such an unknown quantity.  
  • Alex Speier of the Boston Globe examines the Red Sox rotation, which features no homegrown arms but still projects as one of the best units in baseball. He questions the importance of developing pitching, noting that though most recent championship teams have had at least two homegrown starters, the Cubs had none during their marvelous last season. This will be the first time in eleven seasons that the Red Sox have had no homegrown anchor in their rotation.   
  • He hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2014 but Brandon Workman is making strides in Fort Myers. Workman underwent Tommy John Surgery in June 2015 and missed almost the entirety of last season rehabbing. This spring, his velocity has been improving and he's only allowed one run in seven innings.  
  • The Red Sox played an exhibition game against Team USA on Thursday and Jalen Beeks started for the Red Sox after Elias was scratched from his scheduled start. Despite the short notice, Beeks impressed with two shutout innings, striking out two while walking one and allowing a hit. 
  • Former All-Star Allen Craig has had a tough time since being traded to Boston in July 2014. Craig watched his performance slip after suffering a Lisfranc injury to the point where the Red Sox outrighted him from the 40-man roster. However, he's been hitting the ball well in spring training and could force his way back to the majors this season. 
  • The following minor league players (not on the 40-man or a non-roster invitee to major league camp) saw action in major league games this week: Jalen Beeks, Cesar Cabral, Taylor Grover, Teddy Stankiewicz, Trey Ball, Williams Jerez, Erik Cordier, Shawn Haviland, Ty Buttrey, Jantzen Witte, Cole Sturgeon, Kyri Washington, Mike Miller, Austin Rei, Heiker Meneses, Deiner Lopez, Tzu-Wei Lin, Ryan Court, Jordan Betts, Jose Rosario, Tate Matheny, Tyler Hill, Joseph Monge, Carlos Quentin.
Photo Credit: Andrew Benintendi by Kelly O'Connor