My Fave Five Future All-Stars

Congrats to Orange Bird over at Up in Section 360 for getting today’s trivia right. The question was, “Which team won the championship of the Players League in 1890, its only season.” The answer was the Boston Reds (very creative :-). Orange Bird also got the manager, King Kelly. Today’s question is below.

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All right so know it has been about six games into Spring Training and most of us have gotten a good look at some of the next hall of famers. So here are my Fave Five.

Lars Anderson

Anderson was drafted by the Red Sox with the 553rd pick in the eighteenth round in the 2006 draft. What a steal! Anderson has one of the best eyes I have ever seen at his age. His eye will only get better as his carer goes on. He also has a fantastic swing. My personal swing is a mix of Anderson’s and Jim Rice’s. At age seventeen at Jesuit High School he hit .371 with five home runs, 28 RBI’s, and 26 hits in 70 at bats. Three years later he got called up to AA. In 2008 he split time with Lancaster and Portland. He had eighteen home runs, 80 RBI’s, 139 hits, and a bating average of .317. This spring as of March 2 he has a .125 batting average, zero home runs, one hit, one walk, and no RBI’s in eight at bats.   Anderson has already been compared to last year breakout star Joey Votto of the Reds, present
day Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, and future Hall of Famer Fred McGriff. Anderson will probably make it to the majors after Mike Lowell retires which could be as early as 2015. I see Lowell retiring at age 40. Anderson would be up and down form AAA to the majors in 2014. After Lowell retires Youkilis would then move to third base and Anderson would then win Rookie of the Year at first base. Okay well maybe I am going a little to far. The bottom line is Anderson is going to make a splash in the majors when he gets called up.

Jeff Bailey

Bailey was drafted in the second round with the 64th pick in the 1997 draft by the Florida Marlins out of Texas A&M. Bailey shows fantastic plate discipline. He does not swing at bat pitches and will take a walk any day. Bailey can play outfield, first base, and D.H. It is not likely that he will get a starting spot with the Red Sox anytime soon. David Ortiz is at D.H., Kevin Youkilis is at first, and Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, and Jason Bay are in the outfield. His only real chance of starting with the Red Sox is if they let Jason Bay go which is really unlikely. I think Bailey will get traded to maybe the Mariners or Pirates at the end of the season if not earlier. In 1998 he was in the rookie league. He hit .331 with 42 hits, two home runs, and 28 RBI’s. Ten years later splitting between Pawtucket and Boston he hit .299 with 27 home runs, 140 hits, and 81 RBI’s in 468 at bats. This spring in nine at bats he has hit .556 with five hits, zero home runs, and four RBI’s. Bailey has a bright future just not with the Red Sox.

Charlie Zink

Knuckleballer Charlie Zink made his major league debut for the Red Sox against the Rangers. He had a 1-2-3 first inning, then gave up a two-run single in the second inning, but pitched well until the fourth.

Charlie Zink was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002. You might remember him as the starter in this game.

Yes, that was that crazy nineteen to seventeen win against the Rangers. Zink is a knuckle baller and could be the next Tim Wakefield. The biggest difference between Zink and Wakefield is Zink has a low 80’s fastball and mixes that in with his knuckleball. Zink though is far away from being Tim Wakefield (as shown above). In 2002 Zink made his pro baseball debut. In 30 games with Augusta and Sarasota he went one and two with 59 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.42! Zink could become a starter after Tim Wakefield retires. It is very unlikely that the Red Sox would want and have to knuckleballers in the same rotation. Wakefield said though that he could pitch till he turns 45, so their is the chance that Zink gets traded. In 2008 he was with the Red Sox and Pawtucket. He went fourteen and six with 107 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.18. This spring he has one strikeout, and an ERA of 9.00 in two innings. Zink could be the next Tim Wakefield but I do not think he will be that good. He might be a solid fifth starter.

Junchi Tazawa

Junichi Tazawa.jpg

Junchi Tazawa was signed this offseason by the Red Sox. He is already being compared to Hediki Okajima and Dice-K! He apparently has a great fastball and gives 110% every time. His fastball should fit right at home with the Red Sox. I mean Beckett probably has the best but every Red Sx starter has at least a good fastball. In the majors you have to be a gamer. I your not go look at Alex Rodriguez. Okay that was a bad example. Just look at any player he plays baseball for money and not the love of the game. It is unlikely that Tazawa will start the season with Boston put he probably will be a September call up. In 2010 though I am sure he will start the season with Boston. Tazawa has not yet pitched in spring training but will get to now that players left for the World Baseball Classic. Tazawa, Okajima, and Saito along with others could be deadly in front of Papelbon.

Angel Chavez

Angel Chavez Getting Ready To Bat by SacTownFilmer.

Angel Chavez was signed by the Red Sox in January. Chavez can play all utility positions and has a fantastic glove. I doubt Chavez will take the utility role form Jed Lowrie or Julio Lugo but he could make the bench. The fact that he has a great glove just gives him more hop that he might make the bench. Chavez reminds me of Mike Lowell. Both have good gloves and decent bats. While I do not see him taking over third base any time soon he could be very valuable to the Sox. In 2000 with the AZL Giants he hit .276 with eight hits, one home run, and seven RBI’s in 29 at bats. In 2008 with Las Vegas he hit .292 with ten home runs, 68 RBI’s, 135 hits, in 463 at bats. This spring he is doing great and if I was Terry Francona and Theo Epstein I would give him a spot on the major league roster. Chavez has only played in ten regular season MLB games so he lacks experience but all of these guys lack experience. 

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All right today’s question is simple. Who was nicknamed “Bow Wow”?


Photos

1- sonsofsamhorn.net

2- sonsofsamhorn.net

3- boston.com

4- sportsillustrated.com

5- redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

6- fickr.com

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7 comments

  1. Elizabeth D

    Bob,
    I like your analysis of Charlie Zink. He definitely could be the next Wakefield. I like Anderson and Bailey a lot. Carter and Green are also on my list of projects. I saw Junichi Tazawa pitch and let me tell you, I was impressed. Angel Chavez hit two home runs that day too, and looks great defensively.
    -Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  2. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Bob …

    I look forward to watching Japanese pitcher, Junchi Tazawa pitch … He looks like he can be a very good Major League pitcher !!!
    .
    “Congratulations” on your #12 ranking on the latest “Leader’s List” !!!
    Keep up the excellent work !!!
    .
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”
    http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

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