Garin Cecchini

Red Sox Minor League Notebook: Even in Triple-A, Pawtucket Red Sox all about winning

Ryan Hannable
April 09, 2015 - 4:00 am

Most of the time the minor leagues is more about developing players rather than winning games, but don't tell that to the 2015 Pawtucket Red Sox. The PawSox have eight players on the roster who appeared in a major league game in 2014, and have eight of the top 10 prospects the Red Sox system, according to Baseball America. There is no question the team is talented, but that doesn't mean much to third baseman and No. 10 ranked prospect in the Red Sox system, Garin Cecchini. "It is," he said of the team having a talented roster. "We look good on paper, but that doesn't mean [expletive], you know what I mean? We just need to play. We need to play and help each other win. It doesn't matter how you look on paper." Pawtucket has appeared in the Governors' Cup three straight years -- winning it in 2012 and 2014 -- so the PawSox are no stranger to winning. Even spending the past two Opening Day's in the majors, Jackie Bradley is also putting a major emphasis on winning. "I think we all want to win," said Bradley. "That is always the main focus. Your mind set is to win and do your best. Ultimately we all want to play at the major league level." While Cecchini may come across as serious with saying it doesn't matter what the team looks like on paper, he is arguably the most fun player on the PawSox team. As shown with the smile that never left his face when being called up to the Red Sox last year, Cecchini is a guy who loves playing the game and loves having fun. "I like to have fun," Cecchini said. "There is a place and time to have fun, like right now you can have fun. After a loss you can't have fun. I like to have fun because you're going to die one day and what are you going to look back on? Are you going to have fun in your life or are you just going to sit back and mope around?" OTHER RED SOX AFFILIATES -- With all the top prospects in the system in Pawtucket, Double-A Portland doesn't have as strong of a team as they've had in years past. The top prospect currently with the Sea Dogs is utility player Carlos Asuaje. With High-A Salem last year he hit .323 with an on-base percentage of .398. Portland may see their best players later in the summer with potential call ups from High-A Salem. -- Speaking of High-A Salem, the team opens the year with a loaded roster. 2013 first-round pick Trey Ball is coming off his first full year in the Red Sox' organization and the tall left-hander drafted out of high school is poised for a breakout year. The same goes for 2013 second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz. The right-hander went 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA with Greenville last year and is looking to build off that this year. After being drafted in the second-round of last year's draft, first baseman Sam Travis only needed 27 games with Single-A Greenville to now open the year with High-A Salem. Travis hit .290 with three home runs and 14 RBI in those 27 games after being drafted out of Indiana University last June. -- Single-A Greenville is also filled with top prospects. First-round picks from last year, third baseman Michael Chavis and hard-throwing right-hander Michael Kopech headline the roster. Another name to keep an eye on is 18-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers. The No. 6 ranked Red Sox prospect according to Baseball America has tremendous power, which he showcased in the Florida Gulf Coast League last season. WHERE'S MONCADA? One name not previously mentioned was Yoan Moncada, who the Red Sox signed to a $31.5 million deal last month. The infielder will spend a few more weeks in Fort Myers at extended spring training as a way for the 19-year-old to get acclimated to being a professional and playing in America. It would make most sense for Moncada to join Single-A Greenville in a few weeks. If he's as talented as he's hyped up to be, it would not be out of the question for him to finish the year in Portland, especially with the lack of prospects on that roster, but it all depends on his development as the Red Sox don't want to rush him. OPENING NIGHTS Pawtucket opens its season Thursday in Leigh Valley, with their home opener scheduled for a week from Thursday against Rochester on April 16. Salem also opens at Carolina Thursday, and like Pawtucket its home opener is also a week away. Greenville opens at home Thursday taking on Augusta. With how bad the winter was in New England no team/organization had it tougher to get ready for Opening Day than the Portland Sea Dogs. They're scheduled to open their season Thursday where temperatures are expected to be in the high 30s, with some precipitation in the forecast, but the field is covered in snow after a light snow overnight Wednesday. It is supposed to warm up over the weekend -- not bad considering just a few short weeks ago there was over five feet of snow on the field. The Sea Dogs put together this unique promotional video this week, showing the difficult weather they've faced over the last few months and looking ahead to baseball season.