Despite the Red Sox farm system being ranked just ninth in 2012 according to Baseball America, it’s looking like the Red Sox have quite a bit of talent down at triple-A Pawtucket at least. This week, four PawSox players– Pedro Ciriaco, Justin Germano, Mauro Gomez, and Ryan Lavarnway– were all named to the triple-A All Star team. With all of the injury troubles that the Red Sox have had this season, it amazes me that some of these players have not been in the majors yet. The only one to have been called up was Mauro Gomez, who played in two games and had just two at bats (going 0-2). However, we should be seeing some of these players as we move along as the Red Sox have some talent down at triple-A.
Ciriaco wowed Red Sox fans and management alike by putting some ridiculous numbers up during Spring Training. In 26 games and 43 at bats down in Florida, he batted .419/.444/.651 with a home run and 8 RBIs. Ciriaco had some major league experience– batting .333/.350/.513 in 39 career at bats– but the consensus was to send him down to triple-A Pawtucket. He’s been wowing fans and management down there too as he currently is batting .306/.326/.415 with 4 home runs and 21 RBIs. He is currently second on the PawSox in average and is first with 12 stolen bases. If it weren’t for the skills of Dustin Pedroia and Mike Aviles, Ciriaco would probably be in the majors right now.
It amazes me especially that Justin Germano has not been called up with all the pitching woes the Red Sox have had. While Red Sox pitching has been struggling and putting up an ERA of 4.28– Germano has been stellar at Pawtucket. Anyway you slice it, Germano has been fantastic as he’s gone 8-4 with a 2.60 ERA– leading the PawSox in both categories. Despite only 5.75 strikeouts per nine innings, he’s walked a mere 1.20 per nine innings. It really surprises me that the Red Sox haven’t called him up but while he’s in the minors, he may as well continue to dominate.
Mauro Gomez isn’t exactly a prospect, as the first baseman is 27 right now– but it surprises me he hasn’t gotten more looks as all he’s done is impress in the minors in his career. A career .280/.332/.481 hitter in the minors, Gomez has been even better this year with a triple slash line of .303/.364/.606 to go with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. While the Red Sox can’t afford to sit Adrian Gonzalez, I’m sure that if Gonzalez went down with injury or the like– Gomez would be the first one up.
The final player on this list is a bit of a surprise, considering his slow start, but Ryan Lavarnway has really been turning things around lately. The Red Sox’ best catching prospect, Lavarnway was sent down to the minors this year to work on his defensive skills but hasn’t quite left offense behind. He’s currently batting .320/.405/.489 with 7 home runs and 35 RBIs. The home runs are a bit down from last year, when he hit 32 between double-A and triple-A, but the batting average has risen– as he leads the PawSox with his .320 mark. If the Red Sox didn’t have the best catching tandem in baseball right now, I’m sure Lavarnway would be up.
All four of these players have bright futures and would probably be in the majors with a team like the Cubs or Padres. This is really a good showing for the PawSox as the last time they had this many players on the All Star team would be 2008, when they sent Jeff Bailey, Chris Carter, Joe Thurston, Jonathan Van Every, and Charlie Zink. That batch of players didn’t turn out so well, as only Bailey and Van Every really spent more than a few games with the big club. However, I’m sure that this year things will be different with this crowd of PawSox.