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May 4, 2017 at 12:30 PM

April Players of the Month: Austin Rei and Shaun Anderson

With so much of the talent in the Red Sox minor league organization having graduated from prospect status or getting traded over the past 18 months, there is a huge opportunity for talented players to establish themselves. Boston's last two third-round draft picks were standouts this April. Catcher Austin Rei (pictured) ripped 10 doubles and posted a 1.003 OPS for Salem, and Greenville right-hander Shaun Anderson posted a 1.30 ERA while leading the affiliates in innings pitched.

The April power surge was a departure for the 23-year-old Rei, who registered only 20 extra-base hits and a .318 slugging percentage in all of 2016 while a member of Greenville. The 2015 draftee battered Carolina League pitchers to the tune of .333/.429/.574, annihilating his .212/.331/.318 from the previous year. That number was made all the more impressive by him doing so while handling catching duties. His power surge came while maintaining excellent contact rates, striking out only seven times in 63 plate appearances.

Anderson, the 88th-overall selection last June's draft, had a very rough introduction to pro ball in 2016 giving up nine runs on 12 hits in only 2 2/3 innings. He discussed in spring training with SoxProspects.com's Matt Huegel his outline for transitioning to both the pros and to a full-time starting role after serving as the Florida Gators closer. That plan is paying off, as Anderson has started off 2017 by indicating that previous struggle was little more than a fatigue-driven fluke. In 27 2/3 April innings, he allowed only four runs on 18 hits, striking out 24 and walking seven. 

Photo Credit: Austin Rei by Kelly O'Connor