Outlook: One of the top two professional baseball teams in Massachusetts return for their 18th season in Lowell.
The Red Sox have been dropping top-notch prospects in the Spinners laps for quite some time and this year is no different as they have a solid core of players from this year's draft to go along with players who have already dipped their toes in the pro waters.
Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, center fielder Manuel Margot and pitcher Ty Buttery are all top 30 prospects in the Boston system per Baseball America and there aren't many teams in the league who can boast that type of potential on their rosters.
The 18-year-old Lin, who signed for $2.05 million last June, joins a long line of stud Boston shortstop prospects and brings with him a few additional Taiwanese media members.
Buttery is a 20-year-old is hard-throwing righty who was selected in the fourth round out of high school a year ago.
Margot, also 18, brings blazing speed to the table, having stolen 33 bases over 68 games in the DSL last year.
Teddy Stankiewicz, a 19-year-old pitcher out of Seminole State College, was Boston's second round selection (45th overall) a year after being selected in the second round by the New York Mets out of high school.
The 6-foot-4 righty can get his fastball up to 96-miles-per-hour and is very confident in his four offerings.
Other 2013 draftees include LHP Corey Littrell (5th round), OF Forrestt Allday (8th), RHP Taylor Grover (10th) and INF Carlos Asuaje (11th).
Manager Bruce Crabbe returns for his fourth season with the Spinners, making him the longest tenured bench boss in team history.
Thoughts: We've seen lots of talent come through Lowell over the years, but as a whole this team...on paper...seems to be one of the strongest in recent memory at the start of a season.
The whole Lin, Margot, Buttery combo is a sensational showcase for the fans who have already heard much about these three.
I?ll be interested to see how returning guys like LHP Dylan Chavez and OF Kendrick Perkins respond after both have already seemingly worked their way up a level. Injuries and struggles see them both back in Lowell, but they each have tons of potential that could make this a brief stop.
I talked with Stankiewicz on Media Day (I'll have more from that in the next day or so) and the youngster seems very poised, full of energy and ready to start his career. He should be fun to watch.
Player to Watch: Margot - There is a reason I only mentioned him briefly above and that was because I was saving it for down here.
As it stands right now Margot is one of the top three or four outfield prospects for the Red Sox and he is only 18-years-old.
Baseball America has him at number 20 overall in the Sox system, as does MLB.com.
Signed as a free agent for $800,000 in 2011, he instantly created Margot-mania when he drove in six runs in his very first game as a pro.
He has five-tool potential carried by plus speed that is evident on the base paths and in the field where he is also capable of mowing down advancing runners with a great arm.
His power is continuing to blossom and his four home runs in the Dominican Summer League last year proved that he can provide the pop.
Margot will be an instant hit at LeLacheur Park this season.
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