Sea Dogs Preview

4 Apr

Sea Dogs (2011: 59-83, Last place, E.L. Eastern Division) – After suffering through the worst season in the franchises’ 18 year history, Portland will be looking to capture their first winning season since 2008, the last time they reached the postseason.

The Sea Dogs roster has 18 names that have spent some time in Portland and second-year skipper Kevin Boles will have a solid core of prospects at his disposal that could be capable of big turnaround.

Bryce Brentz – ranked No. 5 in the Sox system by Baseball America – saw his stock skyrocket after he hit 30 home runs and drove in 94 runs between Greenville and Salem last year. Now in his third season of pro ball, the outfielder will need to work on his plate patience after striking out 115 times in 2011.

Oscar Tejada returns to Portland after a tough season both at the plate (.249 AVG) and in the field at shortstop (24 errors). The 24th ranked Sox prospect will switch to the outfield this season.

More BA ranked prospects will litter the infield – third baseman Kolbrin Vitek (No. 19), shortstop Derrick Gibson (No. 25) and utilityman Heiker Meneses (No. 30).

The pitching staff may not be so much about who is currently on the roster, but who is expected to arrive in the coming days after some extended spring training.

Top organizational pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo – ranked as the No. 2 Red Sox prospect overall by SoxProspects.com – will land in Portland after only one year of professional baseball where he went 9-6 between Greenville and Salem. The former Cape Leaguer checks in at 6’7” and will be one of the most watched prospects at Hadlock this season not just for his size, but for his electric arm.

Another name of note that will join the squad in the coming weeks is Stolmy Pimentel, who started the season with the Dogs a year ago, but proceeded to go 0-9 with a 9.12 ERA in 15 starts. He went 6-4 after being demoted to Single-A Salem, instilling a bit of confidence back in the 22-year-old. Pimental ranks as the No. 23 prospect in the Sox system by Baseball America, so expectations are still high.

Brock Huntzinger, Jeremy Kehrt, Michael Lee, Eammon Portice and Chris Balcom-Miller all return to the pitching staff after making 15 or more appearances for the Sea Dogs last year.

If Pimentel can put last year’s stint with Portland behind him and Ranaudo lives up to the hype, the rest of the pitching should fall in line.

This is a well balanced team that could make some noise if their rated prospects do what they are capable of.

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