And One More Thing … Red Sox
You can check out my take on the year that was in the Red Sox organization here.
Sometimes in my line of work, you run into a player who makes an impression. There’s not necessarily a reason why. It’s not because of tools jumping off the page at you when you watch him play or an achievement this player accomplished. Sometimes, it’s simply the way a player carries himself, talks and acts like a professional. Such is the case for me with Kris Negron.
I interviewed Negron two years ago at the first Futures at Fenway doubleheader. He was a 2006 draftee who had just been promoted from the Gulf Coast League — where the GCL Red Sox had won the title, by the way — up to short-season Lowell. Negron had the appropriate wide-eyed look and spoke articulately about the opportunity he was being given to even just take batting practice at Fenway Park. The fact he made an incredible leaping grab in the game certainly added to the first impression. Good makeup + some tools is always a good combination.
Things haven’t gone so smoothly for Negron since. He hit .225 in 2007, mostly with Greenville, though he did steal 31 bases. He went back to Greenville to start the 2008 season and hit .244 with 25 steals over 92 games. The Sox sent him up to Lancaster and he enjoyed the hitting friendly California League, hitting .328 in 33 games, stealing 6 more bags (his 31 steals were good for third in the organization). He even showed some pop with a .629 slugging percentage up there and played every day as the JetHawks made it to, but eventually lost, the Cal League championship.
Was this the start of something for Negron, who’s pretty much a second baseman now, though he’s dabbled in the outfield a bit? Did the move to the California League ignite something in the 22-year-old? Only time will tell, but I can tell you I’ll be one who’ll be watching to find out.