Month: February 2009

Projected PawSox 2009- Charlie Zink

zinkWhen looking at the potential PawSox starting rotation for 2009 Charlie Zink‘s name is not the first one that comes to mind.  That is reserved for the likes of Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden, two of the Red Sox organization’s young guns.  Even if he is not in the spotlight of the other two, there is no doubting that Zink has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the Sox minor league system.

Zink enters 2009 as the reigning International League Pitcher of the Year, putting up a career-best 14 wins against 6 losses.  His 2.84 ERA was second in the league behind Syracuse’s David Purcey.  His 174 1/3 innings pitched was also a single season high.

The 29 year-old knuckleballer from El Dorado Hills, CA is in his eighth season in the Red Sox organization, parts of five of whichhave been with the Pawtucket.  Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002, Zink pitched for Sox great Luis Tiant when Tiant coached at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Prior to 2008 Zink had what was considered to be your average minor league baseball career.  But his work ethic and overall athleticism kept Zink on the radar screen of the Red Sox developmental staff.

Although Zink will throw the knuckleball a majority of the time, he does have an 80+ mile per hour fast ball that he mixes with a change-up and cutter.

Zink did break into the Boston rotation for one game in 2008, earning a no decision against the Texas Rangers on August 12th.  Zink is not on the Red Sox 40-man roster but is in big league camp as a non-roster invitee.

Zink proved to be the iron horse of the 2008 PawSox staff.  It may be too much to ask Zink for a repeat performance in 2009…but don’t be surprised if he does.

Photo courtesy Pawtucket Red Sox via Sox Prospects

Projected PawSox 2009- Gil Velazquez

This is the first installment in our look at who we expect to make the PawSox roster in 2009…

velazquezEvery team looks for a player that can fill multiple roles in the field. For the 2008 version of the Pawtucket Red Sox, Gil Velazquez filled that role.  And he will more than likely be called upon to fill that bill again in 2009.

The Los Angeles-area native will spend his second season toiling the infield at McCoy.  Drafted by the Mets as a 14th-round draft pick in 1998, Velazquez spent seven years in the Mets system before signing with the Twins in 2004.  After three seasons in the Minnesota minors Velazquez signed as a minor league free agent with Boston in late 2007.

In his first year with the PawSox Velazquez assembled a modest .260 batting average with 10 homers and 46 RBI’s, the most productive season of his professional career.  He proved to be a little anxious at the plate, garnering  a .310 on base percentage, walking only 22 times while striking out 73.

He did earn his keep on the defensive side of the ball.  In his 101 games he had the infield covered, playing 70 games at shortstop, 16 at second, 9 at third, and 4 at first.  He was also called upon to play four games in the outfield.   Despite all that moving around he only committed 10 errors.  It was rare last season to see Velazquez not get to many balls, a testament to his above-average range.

Velazquez is a non-roster invitee in Red Sox camp but don’t expect him to stay there too long this spring.  He did see action for Boston as a September call-up last season, and may be called upon again to do the same this fall.  Velazquez is not on the active Red Sox 40-man roster.

Expect Velazquez to compete for playing time with other infield veterans Nick Green, Angel Chavez, and Ivan Ochoa.  His versatility and knowledge of the system will definitely be his greatest assets.

Photo courtesy Pawtucket Red Sox via Sox Prospects

What to Expect From Us in 2009

psbfaviconPitchers and catchers are reporting to Fort Myers signifying the beginning of a new baseball season.  It also signifies a new season here at PawSox Blog.

We began this site last year in an attempt to provide coverage of the PawSox that was a bit different from what was being done in the mainstream press.  Although we did provide game coverage of the team, we did incorporate other elements that others did not.  It included full audio interviews with Manager Ron Johnson, players in the clubhouse, and visitors from Boston.

In preparing for the 2009 season, our goal is to be even more innovative than last year.  Expect more podcasting, both through audio and video.  We hope to develop more features about the players, coaches, and staff of the PawSox.  We will keep an eye on players at the lower levels of the Red Sox organization as they prepare to make their way through the system to McCoy.  We will also be doing more to inform you about the players from the rest of the International League.

As excited as I am to get going, it must be emphasized that operating this site is a part-time venture.  The demands of my job and family take precedence, so there will be stretches when there will be lapses in coverage.  I will do my best to keep these to a minimum.

I want to hear from you on ways we can cover the team better.  Contact me with your ideas.  Here’s to a successful 2009…both for the PawSox and PawSox Blog!

Four Sox Players Named as Top 100 Prospects

baseball-prospectus

Baseball Prospectus has come out with it’s list of the Top 100 Prospects for 2009.  And it features four members of the Sox organization;

17. Lars Anderson, 1B
31. Michael Bowden, RHP
87. Josh Reddick, OF
97. Daniel Bard, RHP

There’s a good possibility we will be seeing all four of these players at McCoy Stadium at one point or another this season…

Thanks to BP and Sox Prospects for the biographical information.