Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Last year, it was Jed Lowrie and this year… Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA forecasting system liked Lowrie this time last year. PECOTA saw solid K and BB rates from Lowrie in 2006. Many saw a disappointing season and he looked like a possible first-round flop. As we know, 2007 vaulted Lowrie into top prospect status.
Aaron Bates could be the Lowrie of 2008. PECOTA is predicting a MLB line of 254/335/407 for the twenty-four year old that has yet to really play in Portland. Bates has always been a solid hitter with a good approach similar to Lowrie. He suffered an injury last year. A full healthy season could be just the thing for him to breakout and a few beers at Gritty’s.
The Sox have a bunch of other players that didn’t make it into anyone’s top 100 prospects, but could do so next year with strong showing in 2008. The list includes: Nick Hagadone (plus fastball and slider – development of third pitch will determine starter or reliever), Oscar Tejada (young, raw, projectable shortstop – looked overmatch in seven PA I saw in Burlington last summer), Will Middlebrooks and Michael Almanzar (both are young, project as dynamic third baseman, acquired in 2007 for big money). Unfortunately, Daniel Bard, Jason Place, Kris Johnson, Caleb Clay have all disappointed to date and were selected in the first-round of the 2006 draft. They would likely need monster comeback years to make the grade.