February 27, 2011

On Baseball: Here's your handy 2011 preseason prospect primer

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Linares, 26, an outfielder, is entering his first full pro season after defecting from Cuba. He batted .297 in the Arizona fall league but, given his age, needs to impress quickly in the minors.

Westmoreland, 20, is the outfielder everyone is rooting for. Coming back from brain surgery last year, Westmoreland is far from playing in games, but he is taking batting practice. 

DARK HORSES: Che-Hsuan Lin, Bubba Bell, Dan Butler.

Lin, 22, is a solid center fielder and average hitter who gets on base. His age is a plus. On the other hand, Bell, 28, is an outfielder fighting the clock. He batted .293 last season, but could be looking at his last year in the Red Sox organization.

Butler, 24, was a non-drafted free agent in the summer of 2009. He batted .315 for Greenville and Salem last season and may get to Portland this year. 

WAIT AND SEE: Will Middlebrooks, Oscar Tejeda, Kolbrin Vitek, Sean Coyle, Felix Sanchez, Chris Balcom-Miller, Adalberto Ibarra.

Infielders Middlebrooks, 22, and Tejeda, 21, will play for Portland, where Double-A pitching can determine if a player is a real prospect.

Infielders Vitek, 20, and Coyle, 19, were first- and third-round draft picks last year, respectively. Highly thought of, but unproven.

Sanchez, 20, is a speedy outfielder who hit .323 in Lowell. Balcom-Miller, 21, a pitcher and Rockies prospect, came to Boston in the Manny Delcarmen trade. Ibarra, 23, is a raw catching prospect from Cuba.

Other names will likely pop up as minor leaguers begin spring training this week, and by the end of March as players are assigned to teams.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:



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