Red Sox's Miles Head Hits His Way Out Of Low Class A
BOSTON—When he opened the season at low Class A Greenville, Miles Head barely registered on the prospect radar.
In some ways, it was easy to overlook the 20-year-old. He was a 26th-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2009, falling in the draft because many organizations assumed he would fulfill his commitment to the University of Georgia. He batted .225/.314/.314 in his first year and a half in the organization. And his frame—he's listed at 6 feet, 215 pounds but is probably an inch or two shorter—isn't that of the prototypical first baseman.
But his performance this season in the South Atlantic League was as impressive as any in the Red Sox system. Head batted .338/.409/.612 with 15 homers in 263 at-bats, leading the South Atlantic League in batting, runs (61) and OPS (1.021) when he was promoted to high Class A Salem.
The Sox said they weren't shocked by the performance. Obviously the organization believed in him, giving him a $335,000 bonus to steer him to pro ball.
"I'm a little surprised that he dominated this much, but not overly surprised that he had a good first half," farm director Mike Hazen said. "Offensively, he's always showed us a good approach. He's been remarkably consistent with his ability to maintain his approach in the gaps, up the middle, not get too pull-happy."
In moving up to the Carolina League, Head exceeded his own expectations for the year.
"I just wanted to not stay in extended (spring training)," he said. "I'm a young guy. I just wanted to play the whole year in Greenville. It's awesome to get moved up."
Head, a righthanded hitter, credits the development of a consistent approach for his success. He got off to a .261/316/.420 start at Salem, with two home runs in his first 69 at-bats.
"I try to make it as simple as possible, stay with a middle-of-the-field approach," he said. "I'm not trying to force the ball to right field and I'm not trying to pull."
It is an approach that has served him well. One talent evaluator noted that, as a short first baseman, Head will need "to hit like Billy Butler" to carve out a big league future.
"But it's hard to go against what he's done this year," said the evaluator.
• Righthander Kyle Weiland, 24, made his big league debut on July 10, getting a start against the Orioles after going 8-6, 3.00 with 99 strikeouts in 93 innings in Triple-A.
• Righthander Stolmy Pimentel was sent down to Salem from Double-A Portland after going 0-9, 9.12 in 50 innings.