Red Sox Organization Report
: Righthander Clay Buchholz has justified the faith of scouting director Jason McLeod, who lobbied hard to take him with the 42nd pick in the 2005 draft.
After going 11-4, 2.42 between two stops last year, Buchholz, 22, has
dominated at Double-A Portland, starting the year 7-2, 1.77 with 116 strikeouts in 87 innings.
"We're very pleased with his progress," farm director Mike Hazen said. "He's been very committed to continuing to improve his overall fastball command."
This is how good Buchholz has been this year: after watching him beat Roger Clemens during a rehab start in May, a scout declared the youngster the more major league-ready pitcher.
"We need one game to win the division and you're giving me a choice between starting the kid or Clemens, I'm taking the kid off of what I saw tonight," he said.BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD
: Double-A Portland second baseman Jed Lowrie arrived in 2005 with David Eckstein/Dustin Pedroia comparisons--maybe not the most physically gifted player, but a gritty one who did all the little things. He made a solid debut at Lowell, then struggled through an ankle injury in 2006.
But fully healthy in 2007, he has thrust himself into the prospect mix. Though Lowrie, 22, may project as a utility infielder, he has the arm and glove to play shortstop.
He was hitting .307./.408/.516 while displaying plate discipline (49 walks, 50 strikeouts) that made him an organizational favorite.BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
: The Red Sox did not make North Carolina righthander Daniel Bard their No. 1 pick last year to see the following in his debut: 13.1 innings, 21 hits, 22 walks, and a 10.13 ERA at high Class A Lancaster.
Bard was sent down to low Class A Greenville and has had a difficult time maintaining his arm slot. While his easy motion and effortless mid-90s fastball mean he'll be given a long leash, more was expected of him than 41 walks in his first 35 innings. SOX YARNS
The Red Sox agreed to a scouting partnership with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League.
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was originally removed from the Futures Game roster but returned after making his major league debut, being sent back to Triple-A Pawtucket and Lakeland outfielder Cameron Maybin suffered a shoulder injury.