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Lester has been red hot in Fort Myers
Boston’s ace has done all he can to quiet any whispers concerning his poor 2012 season. In 14 innings of work this spring, Lester has allowed only two runs, and has posted a marvelous 0.714 WHIP. With any luck at all, Lester’s strong performance thus far is a good sign of things to come for the young staff ace.
Ho-hum, Pedroia is hitting the cover off the ball. What a surprise. The second baseman’s slash line this spring of .320/.414/.480 is always nice to see. I’m sure I don’t need to say much more here. Pedroia is simply an animal.
Acquired last year in the mega deal with the Dodgers, Webster is now ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Red Sox system. While few doubt his enormous potential, his performance this spring has been so good that he’s caught even the most optimistic scouts off guard.
In 11 innings of work, Webster has racked up 14 strikeouts, issued just one walk, and posted a brilliant 1.64 ERA. Webster’s sinking fastball has clocked in near triple digits and his changeup has devastated opposing hitters. While I wouldn’t expect him to pitch with the team on Opening Day, Webster may force the Red Sox to call him up if his success continues at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Jackie Bradley Jr.
One of the Red Sox most exciting prospects, Bradley has done nothing but impress in big league camp this spring. In 35 plate appearances, he has registered 15 hits, five walks and a stolen base, good for a ridiculous 1.343 OPS. Bradley’s spring performance is just another pit stop in his meteoric rise through the Red Sox system. Expect him to start the season in Triple-A and earn a call-up in short order.
Although he’s only thrown eight innings of work, Buchholz’s small sample size looks promising. He hasn’t allowed a run yet, and has retired 24 of the 32 batters he has faced, striking out seven. After a rocky start to last season, where he posted an ugly 5.53 ERA before the All-Star break, Buchholz settled down and posted a cool 2.43 ERA through June and July, and finished the year with a strong 3.76 ERA in post-All-Star break play. With any luck at all, Buchholz will pick up right where he left off.
The Red Sox newest pitcher, Dempster was signed to a two-year deal after a strong year with the Cubs and Rangers. The seasoned veteran has been very reliable thus far in Fort Myers, posting a cool 2.08 ERA over nine innings of work. Dempster has not issued a walk this spring, retiring 26 of the 32 batters he has faced. Dempster is hot.
After rumors spread that he may be traded before spring training even started, Salty ended up joining the club in Fort Myers. And he has responded with some impressive numbers. In 24 plate appearances, Salty has cracked five doubles and posted a cool 1.077 OPS. Salty started to show signs of tapping into his immense power last season. Perhaps 2013 will be the season where he pulls it all together.
The veteran reliever Uehara has proven a worthy investment thus far. In five spring appearances, he has struck out five batters and not allowed a single baserunner let alone any runs. Uehara’s dominance will be a valued asset for the Red Sox this year.
Although Napoli got a late start in spring training due to injury concerns, you'd never know it watching him play now. In 14 at-bats, Napoli has hit .429/.500/.929 with two home runs and six RBI. Trusting Napoli’s hip to hold up for 162 games may be akin to playing with fire, but for the moment, Napoli’s power bat is a force to be reckoned with.
Wilson is just the sort of pitcher people tend to forget about. With such a stacked bullpen, the Red Sox have no need for a minor league power reliever. Just the same, Wilson has been brilliant. In six innings of work, he’s recorded seven punch-outs, allowed just one walk, and hasn’t given up a run. There isn’t room for him in the bullpen now, but expect to see Wilson at some point in 2013.