Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Defense reigns among Red Sox farmhands

As long as we're on this minor-league theme today: Baseball America annually surveys managers across the spectrum of the minor leagues to find out who has the best tools. This exercise is illuminating enough with hitters and pitchers, but it's even more interesting when you're looking at defense -- something that's barely measured well enough in the major leagues, let alone in the minor leagues.

The results? The Red Sox have some quality defensive players moving through the lower levels of the organization. Among them:

Best defensive catcher: Luis Exposito (Carolina League), Tim Federowicz (South Atlantic League)
Best defensive first baseman: Anthony Rizzo (South Atlantic)
Best defensive outfielder: Che-Hsuan Lin (Carolina)
Best outfield arm: Lin (Carolina)

Lin was the consensus best defensive outfielder in the South Atlantic League a year ago as well, and he's still not yet 21 years old. He has almost as many walks (58) as strikeouts (69) this season while hitting .267/.357/.374 at Single-A Salem.

For the sake of comparison, Jacoby Ellsbury hit .299/.379/.418 in half a season in the Carolina League, walking almost as often (25 times) as he struck out (28).

No comments: