No matter your age, how good or bad your winter has been, you can’t help but get excited for Spring Training and our favorite baseball team at work. Though our Sox had a shortened off season (that no one is complaining about) I’m excited to see them playing ball again.
Though you can’t put a lot of emphasis in Spring Training games, there are certain things to look for and take note of. Besides getting into playing shape, getting used to playing ball again… What you want to see is how a player approaches pitchers, how pitchers work in different counts, defensive footwork and on and on.
This is where I will pull a couple of players out of the pile and dissect what I see.
Allen Webster: I hate to be critical of a young player but Allen frustrates me. The soon to be 24 year old has yet to impress me unlike his teammates; Brandon Workman, Anthony Ranaudo and Matt Barnes. I expect to see greater improvement from a player ranked 3rd in the Red Sox prospect pool. Allen has a great Change-up that is major league ready right now. He has great velocity on his fastball but when it stays flat and or doesn’t sink, he gets hit hard. He either needs to perfect that fastball (Command) or come up with another pitch (or two) that will get hitters out.
In Fridays game against the Twins he appeared to fool no one and got roughed up in his 1.2 Innings pitched (16.20ERA). I’m not sure if his issues are more mental or mechanical but I’d expect a pitcher of his age would be further along in his development. He is looking more and more like a Relief pitcher and less like a Starting Pitcher. There have been scouting reports that have stated he may end up being a Reliever vs a Starter because of some of the issues I listed.
Garin Cecchini: Completely the opposite of Webster, I can’t get enough of our young 3rd basemen. The 22 year old is the #7 prospect in the Sox system with a very bright future. *On my list he is no lower then 4th. His approach at the plate is advanced and he could possibly play (offensively) in the Majors right now. Defensively he’s still a work in progress but I believe he will improve.
In Garin’s first three at bats (on Friday), he went two for three and didn’t look intimidated or out of place in the least. If he can improve defensively this year, I believe he will be an everyday member of the Red Sox as soon as next season.
Until the next time, enjoy the Sun and watch our Red Sox continue to progress through the Spring. Go Sox!