Top Draft Pick’s Happy To Be A Red Sox: Pat Light – Lowell Spinners

By Rodger M. Wood

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Even though he was born in Colts Neck, NJ and raised deep in New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies’ territory, Red Sox 2012 MLD 1st round sandwich, and 37th pick overall, Pat Light is overjoyed to be a Boston Red Sox.

The 6’6” Monmouth University right hander said the Red Sox drafting him was “a dream come true. The Yankees/Red Sox rivalry across New Jersey is tough, and I probably will lose a few friends saying this, but I consider it to be a privilege to be with the Red Sox and part of that old rivalry. I’d love to beat the Yankees in Fenway Park some day.”

Light started 13 games, pitched 75.2 IP, and struck 61 batters for the Blue and White this past college season. Before the 2012 season, he was a Golden Spike or college baseball’s Heisman Trophy Award candidate, and #53 on Baseball America’s pre-season draft prospect list.

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After going 20-0 in three seasons at Christian Brothers Academy and winning a New Jersey high school state championship, he was the Minnesota Twins 28th round pick in the 2009 MLD but elected to go onto Monmouth rather than sign.

Light throws a four seam fastball as fast as 99 mph, a solid slider, which breaks down and away on righthanded batters, and a split change up in the upper 70s.He knows how to pace himself to go the distance, throwing his fast ball in the low 90s and only occasionally slipping in a fastball in the 96 – 97 mph range to keep the opposing batters honest.

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Sometimes victimized by an inconsistent, varying arm slot when throwing his off speed pitches, Light is working on repeating his most effective delivery every pitch at Rookie A NY Penn League Lowell.

“Lowell pitching coach Paul Abbott is working with me every day to improve and maintain my mechanics. My slider and change up sometimes lose their effectiveness late in the game when I tire and change my delivery.”

The 21-year old hurler must be learning his lessons. At Lowell, he is 0-2 W-L with a good 2.96 ERA in 10 starts and 24.1 iP. He’s stuck out 25 batters and walked only 5. The opposition has scored only 8 earned runs against him.

His potential, work ethic, and the way he’s performing at Lowell most certainly make the Red Sox happy too that he’s a Boston Red Sox.
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Cubs 19-Year Javiar Baez Promoted to Fast A

By Rodger M. Wood

19-year old shortstop, Javiar Baez,  fed so well off Midwest League pitchers in his first 57 games in his first full professional season at Peoria that the parent Chicago Cubs decided to give him a tougher test at Fast A- Florida State League Daytona midway through the 2012 season.

The Cubs $2.625 million dollar investment after they drafted him first (9th overall) in the 2011 Major League Draft appears to be paying off  handsomely.

The promotion came after Baez was named Midwest League Player of the July 9-15 week, after hitting 478 BA, 11 hits in 23 AB, 3 HR, 2 2B, 2 3B, driving in 6 RBI, stealing 2 bases, and scoring two runs. He had hit safely in 11 games and carried a 331 BA for the week.

The 6-1, 205 youngster looks like he has the range and speed to play major league shortstop, but still growing, maybe into a Cal Ripken sized shortstop, and competing for the position with another stellar prospect in the Cubs minor league system, Arismendy Alcantara, and Starlin Castro at the major league level, may face a position change to 3B, 2B, catcher or even outfielder in the near future.

In 57 games played at Peoria, Baez compiled a 333 BA, 71 hits, 10 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, and 33 RBI in 213 AB. With a 9 BB/48K ratio, he can work on his plate discipline by laying off the bad pitches which Midwest pitchers occasionally fooled him with.

Opposing Fast A- pitchers will be more cunning, and throw more good strikes, but once Javiar Baez becomes acclimated to Fast A baseball, it could be just a brief time before he progresses up through AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa to hitting third in the Cubs lineup at Wrigley Field.

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