You may have noticed I have a bit of an affinity for prospects. I am addicted to Baseball Prospectus, both articles and podcasts, and always look forward to the Friday updates on Sox Prospects. Even with those great resources, there are some guys that just don’t get the love, so it is time to change that. I am going to highlight a few under-the-radar Boston Red Sox prospects — each of whom are currently with the Lowell Spinners – who a true Red Sox fan should take note of.
A guy who is very young and raw – but I love watching – is Manuel Margot. He is with the Spinners after spending his first pro season in the Dominican Summer League. This 19-year-old kid has very good plate discipline and can fly on the bases. His current flaws are a lack of power and a less-than-ideal arm for a guy who will likely play in the big leagues as a center fielder. Both of those “flaws” will be addressed in time as he puts on some strength; he is currently long and lean. The biggest obstacle I see is his stride; he steps in the bucket a bit more than I would like to see, and I expect him to be exposed by the time he reaches AA when pitchers wise up and pound the outer half of the zone. If he makes a small adjustment to his stride, he can be a real impact guy by 2015 or 2016.
Tzu-Wei Lin is a fantastic defensive shortstop who has a sure-thing big league glove. He will never hit for any power, and his contact is something that needs improvement. In just 27 pro games thus far, he has an OBP 100-points higher than his average. I love young guys that show patience right out the gate in pro ball, as that is a skill that is hard to teach. I see him as the next Jose Iglesias.
The last guy I want to highlight today is this year’s second-round pick, Teddy Stankiewicz. Usually, a second-round pick who hasn’t even thrown a professional pitch isn’t a guy that would be highlighted in this format, but he is getting overlooked out of the draft thanks to Trey Ball and Jon Denney getting so much attention. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Stankiewicz, a right-hander, has four pitches, including a fastball that can touch 96 mph. He was a second rounder last season but didn’t sign with the New York Mets and went to JC instead. The Red Sox were finally able to ink him yesterday and sent him to Lowell. If he can put together a strong showing this summer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him open next season up at high-A Salem and maybe even get some run at jetBlue Park soon.