by TJ HORGAN
Lowell, MA- Friday, June 14th marked the annual gathering of Lowell Spinners’ players and local press for what is known as, “media day.” The sun was beaming down on LeLacheur Park as I got to speak with some future faces of the Boston Red Sox.
Among these aspiring major leaguers was 19-year-old, Teddy Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz, who is known on twitter as, “Teddystank29” was drafted in the second round by Boston. He was drafted 75th overall by the Mets in 2012, but chose to attend a year with Seminole State, a junior college in Florida.
For Stankiewicz, attending Seminole State was, “A really good decision…it developed me more in a mental stage, and as a player…I got in the best shape of my life.”
Stankiwewicz’s attitude was overflowing with excitement to be a part of the Red Sox’s organization. When asked the question of how he liked being part of the Red Sox, he quickly but surely responded, “I love it,” with an immense grin.
Stankiewicz, who arrived in Boston for the first time in his life on Thursday, posted a 2.52 ERA in 60.7 innings pitched with Seminole State.
The only other player selected in one of the first 5 rounds who was present that day was 5th-rounder, Corey Littrell. He has a passion to help his team succeed. When asked about personal expectations, he replied, “I just want to go out there and help the team out. I just can’t wait to get out there and play.”
“I’m not going to blow it by everyone, but I know how to pitch. I can throw four pitches for a strike…My mentality makes me who I am,” said the lefty who played at Kentucky for three years.
Although Littrell mentioned that he wouldn’t, “blow it by everyone,” he had 52 strikeouts in 39 innings in the Cape Cod League. He had a breakout sophomore year with Kentucky, posting a 2.74 ERA and finishing 9-2.
Littrell noted that among his influences, his grandfather was his, “biggest role model for baseball.” Jack Littrell, Corey’s grandfather, played from 1952-1957 with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago Cubs.
Littrell lauded what he has seen from the Lowell Spinners so far, saying, “I’ve been here for a day and a half, and you know the coaches are nice and I love my teammates already.”
I also got a chance to speak with the 323rd overall pick of the 2013 draft and Venezuela native, Carlos Asuaje. He possessed a humility that sometimes seems rare in players who have recently signed a contract.
This draft was memorable to Asuaje because he said the Red Sox, “Pulled a fast one,” in the sense that he was not expecting to be drafted by Boston. The Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers, among others, were clubs he anticipated getting the call from.
Although he is considered small for an aspiring major leaguer (5’9, 160), Asuaje prides himself on work ethic. “I’m a max effort guy…I’ve never been one of those guys with tons of talent, and obviously not a lot of size, so I have to go out there and play hard everyday to at least stand out from the crowd.”
Stankiewicz, Littrell, and Asuaje are only three of the Red Sox’s 40 draft picks. However, they are suited up and ready for the season to begin in Lowell.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — He’s here! It was expected that at some point in 2013, Red Sox top prospect Xander Bogaerts would be promoted from the Portland Sea Dogs to the Pawtucket Red Sox. With now former PawSox shortstop Jose Iglesias securing a place on Boston’s roster, the time was right to bring him up. Bogaerts showed he could hit Double-A pitching as he batted .311 with 6 home runs and 35 RBIs.
The 20 year old made his PawSox debut as part of a doubleheader with the Buffalo Bisons, and he showed off all his skills between the two games. In his much anticipated first at bat, Bogaerts fouled off some tough breaking pitches to stay alive before working a walk. After grounding out in his next appearance, he legged out an infield single for his first hit in a PawSox uniform. He would then steal second base, leading to the walk off RBI single for Alex Hassan in game 1.
Game 2 saw another first for Bogaerts, his first home run. In his second at bat of the game, he crushed a moon shot that almost went into the McCoy Stadium parking lot. Later on, he smoked a single that kept a ninth inning rally alive. Jeremy Hazelbaker ended up delivering the game winning hit to give Pawtucket two walk off wins in one day.
Overall, Bogaerts was 3-7 on the day with a home run, 2 RBIs, and a steal. It was a very impressive debut to say the least, and while he likely will remain with the PawSox the remainder of the season he will be a serious contender for a September call up. His bat could be major league ready right now, though some seasoning in the minors is still a good thing. He is a shortstop, but he will see time at second and third base as well as possibly the outfield. Boston wants him to be versatile so they have more opportunities to call him up. The same was done with Iglesias. He learned third base, and has a spot in the big leagues because of it. His time is coming, and a list of young super stars that include Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado may need to expand to include Bogaerts. Believe the hype around him, he is a future All-Star wherever his position winds up being.
Boston’s number two prospect is also feasting on Triple-A pitching. Jackie Bradley Jr. has performed well since being sent back down to Pawtucket, batting .333 atop the Pawtucket order. He is getting on base and playing very confidently both in the outfield and at the plate. Just watching him, one can tell he is a natural centerfielder as he gets great jumps on the ball and makes difficult plays look routine. He will no doubt be up in Boston again this summer, and I believe will be the team’s starting centerfielder next year.
The other prospect in Pawtucket’s outfield is Bryce Brentz. Brentz has been solid in the middle of the order, leading the team with 13 homers and 48 RBIs. If you had to pick one player to be the MVP of this team it would have to be him, though Brandon Snyder has played well too and a case can be made for him. Unfortunately for Brentz, the Boston outfield depth chart is clogged up right now. The team has Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, and Bradley all ahead of him. At age 24, his big league time is coming. The team may consider him as an option in 2014 should Ellsbury move on, but I think the more likely thing is a trade. He would make a nice trade chip for some club looking to rebuild and has a piece the Sox want. That is purely speculation, but I feel it is the most likely situation.
The PawSox remain in first place in their division by 4.5 games, doing so with not only good hitting, but solid pitching as well. Young stars and veterans are all producing for the staff, and many pitchers have gone up and down all season to Boston. The team is not only winning themselves, but helping the first place Red Sox win in what is yet another successful year in Pawtucket.
Blackhawks 4, BRUINS 3 (3OT)
A. Shaw (CHI): GWG at 12:08, 6th per.
Lucic: 2 goals
Rask: 59 saves
Blackhawks lead series, 1-0
Saturday: BRUINS at Blackhawks
Game 2, NHL Stanley Cup Final
8 p.m., NBCSN
United Center | Chicago, Ill.
Rays 8, RED SOX 3
WP: Aceves (3-1)
SV: Bailey (7)
Tonight: RED SOX at Orioles
7:05 p.m., NESN
Oriole Park at Camden Yards | Baltimore, Maryland
Felix Doubront (4-3) vs. Kevin Gausman (0-3)
REVOLUTION 4, Red Bulls 2
Kelyn Rowe: 2 goals
Matt Reis: 5 saves
Revs advance to U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals
Tonight: Vancouver Whitecaps F.C. at REVOLUTION
10:00 p.m., CSNNE/98.5 The Sports Hub
BC Place | Vancouver, British Columbia
The Boston Bruins dropped the Stanley Cup Final opener to the Chicago Blackhawks late this morning, 4-3, breaking a five-game playoff winning streak. Andrew Shaw’s goal more than halfway through the sixth period ended the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup history.
Tuukka Rask’s 59 saves were the most in a SCF game since Colorado’s Patrick Roy made 63 to clinch the 1996 series in a 1-0 win for the Avalanche.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1940 – The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox became the first teams to play at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field.
1996 – Cal Ripken (Baltimore Orioles) tied Sachio Kinugasa’s record of 2,215 consecutive games played.
Former Beverly High Panther and UMass Lowell River Hawk pitcher Jack Leathersich earned the call to Triple-A Las Vegas, beginning the trek west to the Pacific Coast League this morning.
The “Leather Rocket” was 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA over 24 relief appearances, striking out a very strong 55 batters and holding the opposition to just a .181 average.
Playing for the first time in the city of Boston, the New England Revolution defeated New York Red Bulls, 4-2.
A splendid start from in-form playmaker Kelyn Rowe saw the Revs take the lead on five minutes. After a wonderful bit of skill, Rowe fired his shot by the keeper. Fabian Espindola of Red Bulls answered 15 minutes from the break. A grave error from long-time keeper Matt Reis left the goal at the Argentine’s mercy.
However, Rowe was there again to restore the Revolution advantage 37 minutes into the match. The youngster’s burst through the center of midfield ended with a powerful finish.
Their lead was extended just after the break when fan-favorite Dimitry Imbongo made it 3-1, though Jonathan Steele’s header pulled one back for Red Bulls 11 minutes after Imbongo’s strike. Chris Tierney’s goal in minute 86 saw the Revs put the game beyond doubt.
Advancing to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, the oldest national tournament in the United States, New England will travel to the US capital on June 26 to play a struggling DC United, whom the Revs got a point from at the weekend in 0-0 draw.
BSU18?s Alex Fairchild contributed to this report.
Tonight: BRUINS at Blackhawks
Game 1, NHL Stanley Cup Final
8 p.m., NBC
United Center | Chicago, Ill.
Rays 8, RED SOX 3
LP: Lester (6-3)
Ellsbury: 2-5, 2 R
Iglesias: 2-4, R
De La Torre: 3.1 IP relief, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Tonight: RED SOX at Rays
7:10 p.m., NESN
Tropicana Field | St. Petersburg, Fla.
Alfredo Aceves (2-1) vs. Chris Archer (1-1)
Tonight: Red Bulls at REVOLUTION
7:30 p.m., RevolutionSoccer.net
Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium at Harvard University | Cambridge, MA
U.S. Open Cup, 4th round
AND SO IT BEGINS…
Tonight marks the opening of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks – two teams that have won the title over the previous three years.
In addition to New England’s home team involved this year, former Vermont Catamount forwards Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stålberg and Boston College’s Ben Smith will represent Hockey East for the Blackhawks. Boston University’s Jay Pandolfo is on the Bruin roster.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1839 – Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball, according to the legend. However, evidence has surfaced that indicates that the game of baseball was played before 1800.
1939 – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.
The New England Patriots welcomed quarterback Tim Tebow to its summer minicamp and it certainly brought “mania” as many expected.
Over 80 media credentials were issued for Tuesday’s sessions outside of the normal beat reporting crowd. According to Mike Reiss, national outlets present included NFL Network, ESPN, USA Today, CNN, Sports Illustrated, and several New York papers.
In honor of Opening Night in the Cape Cod Baseball League…
Orleans Firebirds ’09 outfielder and Cal State Fullerton alum Gary Brown struggled at the outset of his first season for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies (Giants), but has picked up the pace thanks to a 9-for-13 stretch, including back-to-back games with home runs.
Also, congratulations to Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (Orleans ’06) on leading the 2013 CCBL Hall of Fame class that was announced earlier this week.
The United States are three points closer to Brazil 2014. Having played every team in ‘The Hex’ once, the US sit atop the table with ten points.
In the one of the team’s best outings since the introduction of Jurgen Klinsmann as manager, goals from Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson saw the US take Seattle by storm in an emphatic 2-0 triumph over Panama.
On 36 minutes, Altidore got the opener. Michael Bradley & Co. blazed down the middle of the pitch before the AS Roma man nudged the ball to newfound left midfielder Fabian Johnson, who drove a delicious cross to the back post for the AZ Alkmaar striker to finish.
This was Altidore’s third goal in as many games. Seven minutes after the break, Eddie Johnson was sought out by Attleboro’s Geoff Cameron. Not known for his distribution, the Stoke City man played a wonderful ball over the top to Johnson, who curled his run to perfection. Johnson, playing in front of his home crowd, slid his finish by the helpless keeper with ease.
It was nearly 3-0 10 minutes from time, but the post thwarted a larger American advantage, keeping out the fruit of a 60-yard run from left back DaMarcus Beasley. Both goals resulted from the flanks, as Klinsmann outwitted an unacceptably narrow Panama.
The top three teams go directly to the World Cup, while the 4th place finishers face New Zealand in a playoff.
BSU18′s Alex Fairchild contributed to this report.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.- According to a report from ESPN, the New England Patriots have signed free agent quarterback Tim Tebow and he will report to the team’s minicamp on Tuesday. No further details on the contract have been released at the time of publication.
Tebow was taken in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, then coached by current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, after a very successful college career at Florida, where he was teammates with Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Spikes, and won the Heisman Trophy in his senior year.
Famous for his devout Christian beliefs and his celebratory prayer pose that inspired the incredibly popular “Tebowing” craze, the 25 year old made his biggest impact on the NFL in the 2011 season, where he took over the starting job in Denver from Kyle Orton and had several famous fourth quarter comebacks, including against the favored Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round, but would be soundly defeated in a 45-3 blowout at the hands of the New England Patriots a week later, Tebow’s last game as a Bronco and a starter.
In March 2012, the New York Jets sent their 4th and 6th round draft picks to the Broncos in exchange for Tebow and a 7th round pick, a trade that would be seen as a “flop,” as he never found a real role with the team, and also believed to be out of favor with head coach Rex Ryan, who stuck by starter Mark Sanchez through all of his struggles as the team finished 8-8. The Jets and Tebow officially parted ways on April 29.
While being signed as a quarterback, Tebow has struggled with his throwing arm, completing only 47.9% of his passes in the NFL, and heavily depended on running plays to score, and could possibly serve in multiple roles for the team. Coach Bill Belichick has praised his versatility and football intelligence, and even had dinner with the player when he visited the team prior to the 2010 draft.
Whether the Patriots have found a third string quarterback or just testing out a possible option is yet to be known. BostonSportsU18 will stay with the story and provide any and all updates on the situation as they come in.