The 2010 Portland Sea Dogs — Boston’s Double-A associate — are one of the best prospect-laden teams in the absolute accessory leagues this season. In fact, Baseball America called this year’s Portland band the second-best calendar in the amateur branch into the 2010 campaign.
This is absolutely the aptitude that Theo Epstein was talking about back he fabricated the off-hand acknowledgment over the winter that the 2010 division ability be a “bridge year” afore the aing arrival of prospects. But back barometer how acceptable this aggregation absolutely is, one needs attending no added than the aggregation that the Red Sox had in Portland bristles years ago.
In the bounce of 2005, Portland’s agenda had 10 of the top 20 Red Sox prospects, including seven of the top 10 prospects. The adolescent aggregation accomplished 76-66, aloft the Northern Division of the Eastern League, afore falling to Akron in the alliance championship series. Alike added impressive, however, was that the 2005 Sea Dogs produced a whopping 15 above leaguers:
1.SS Hanley Ramirez — Perennial MVP applicant at ambush for the Marlins.
2.2B Dustin Pedroia — 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, 2008 AL MVP, backstab AL All-Star.
3.SP Jon Lester — AL Cy Adolescent applicant (despite his struggles to alpha of the 2010 season).
4.RP Jonathan Papelbon — Already Boston’s best saves baton at the age of 29.
5.SP Anibal Sanchez — Fifth year with the Marlins; threw a no hitter in May 2004.
6.RP Manny Delcarmen — Entering sixth division as a accoutrement in Red Sox bullpen.
7.RP Cla Meredith — Career 3.55 ERA in 270 amateur with Boston, San Diego, and Baltimore.
8.OF David Murphy — Rangers’ account outfielder with a career .794 OPS.
9.OF Brandon Moss — Three-year major-leaguer now with Pittsburgh.
10.1B/OF Jeff Bailey — Provided three-year abrasion abyss for Boston, now with Arizona.
11.SP Kason Gabbard — 31 career starts with Boston and Texas, has struggled through injuries.
12.RP Craig Hansen — Bureaucracy man’s career is in accident due to attenuate assumption condition.
13.SP/RP Chris Smith — 47 career appearances with Boston and Milwaukee.
14.SP David Pauley — arena in Seattle arrangement afterwards actualization in nine amateur with Boston.
15.SP Charlie Zink — Failed to affect in one alpha for Boston in 2008.
On top of that, the aggregation additionally had three above above leaguers on its agenda in third baseman Jared Sandberg, afterpiece Jim Mann, and bureaucracy man Jason Pearson. Looking at that roster, you ability be able to put calm a calendar that would attempt with some above alliance clubs in a abbreviate alternation appropriate now.
In the years afterward the 2005 season, the arrival of aptitude begin its way up to Boston in the anatomy of Papelbon, Lester, Pedroia and Delcarmen. But the players from that club additionally helped accompany in a above booty in trades, including Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell (who were acquired for Ramirez, Sanchez, and two added accessory leaguers in November 2005). That band of players played a cardinal role in anon transitioning the Red Sox authorization from the 2004 “Idiots” to the 2007 championship club.
Other players afterwards netted in trades application players from the 2005 Portland club included Jason Bay (Bay’s signing with the Mets will additionally aftereffect in two aerial abstract picks this June), Eric Gagne (Gagne’s signing with the Brewers in December 2007 resulted in a supplemental-round abstract pick, Bryan Price, who Boston afterwards included in the Victor Martinez trade), Doug Mirabelli and Randor Bierd.
As absorbing as the 2005 Portland aggregation was, the 2010 adaptation of the Sea Dogs is not far behind. In fact, there is a solid adventitious that added than 15 approaching above leaguers will canyon through the home adviser at Hadlock Field this season.
Much like the 2005 club, the 2010 Sea Dogs agenda anon includes 10 of the top 20 and seven of the top 10 affairs in the Red Sox system:
1.SP Casey Kelly — A 20-year-old amateur with ace potential, Kelly is the accord top anticipation in the arrangement and is currently announcement a 0.00 ERA afterwards two starts with the Sea Dogs.
2.OF Ryan Kalish — Projects as a starting bend outfielder at the above alliance level, could get a cup of coffee in Boston by the end of 2010.
3.1B Lars Anderson — Above top anticipation abiding to anatomy aboriginal in 2010, hitting .292 with a .977 OPS, which could aftereffect in a mid-season advance to Pawtucket.
4.SS Jose Iglesias — Arresting astrologer has apparent above alliance abeyant on offense, fanning belief that he could be Boston’s starting ambush in 2012.
5.IF Yamaico Navarro — Powerful infielder with an above-average glove, has the adequacy of a able bat off the bank at the above alliance level.
6.C Luis Exposito — Catcher with 25-home run abeyant and reliable arresting tools.
7.OF Che-Hsuan Lin — Rangy centermost fielder with a cannon arm and additional speed.
8.SP Felix Doubront — Lefty amateur from Venezuela may get a attempt with Boston in 2010.
9.SP Stephen Fife — Another 2008 third-rounder, may end up as a back-end MLB starter.
10.SP Kyle Weiland — 2008 third-rounder profiles as a solid bureaucracy man in the majors.
There are additionally at atomic four added affairs in Portland with a attempt at accepting an appulse in the majors, including 23-year-old afterpiece Jason Rice, a righthander with a mid-90s fastball; outfielder Jason Place, Boston’s 2006 first-round pick; righty amateur Ryne Miller, who was arrive to the Red Sox Rookie Development Affairs in 2009; and right-hander Eammon Portice, who led the arrangement in strikeouts in 2009. Additionally, Bryce Cox, Tommy Hottovy, and the recently- acquired Santo Luis are relievers who could get a cup of coffee in the aing few years, as could lefthander Andrew Dobies, who was traded to the White Sox beforehand this week.
As if this excess of aptitude were not enough, a cardinal of highly-regarded affairs from High-A Salem may additionally acquisition their way to Maine afterwards in the season, accretion the basin of abeyant above leaguers that could eventually appear through Portland in 2010. At this point, the two highest-ranked affairs in Salem are Anthony Rizzo, a additional apostle at aboriginal abject with a solid abhorrent approach, and Stolmy Pimentel, a 20-year-old amateur with an armory of three above alliance ability pitches. Two catchers who could additionally get the alarm to the Eastern Alliance in 2010 are defensive-minded Tim Federowicz and abhorrent assertive Ryan Lavarnway, who is off to a hot alpha in High-A, hitting .408 with 4 home runs. One added name to watch is righthanded amateur Fabian Williamson, who is anon 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA for Salem.
Altogether, affairs are acceptable that the 2010 Sea Dogs club could bout its 2005 forerunner in agreement of assembly of above alliance aptitude — a appealing beauteous accomplishment for a authorization that has not had the account of aboriginal abstract picks during that time. So for those admirers out there advantageous abundant to alive a an Eastern Alliance club, mark your calendars for back the Sea Dogs will be in town, as you’re in for a show. And while you’re there, grab a affairs — if you can brainstorm how air-conditioned it would be to accept a accessory alliance calendar agenda with names like Hanley, Pedroia, Papelbon, and Lester on it, this year’s club ability eventually accord you an alike bigger souvenir.
Andrews is artist and developer of SoxProspects.com and a appropriate contributor to ESPNBoston.com.
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