Tigers to host Spinners for three-game series

The Connecticut Tigers will host the Lowell Spinners, New York-Penn League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, for a three-game series at Dodd Stadium starting Monday at 7:05 p.m.  The Spinners enter the series with a middling 4-6 record, but they have a roster loaded with talent.

The Spinners starting rotation includes one of the biggest arms in the Red Sox farm system in 6-foot-2 right-hander Roman Mendez.  Mendez’s fastball sits in the mid 90s and hit 99 miles per hour in his most recent start according to Chris Mellen of SoxProspects.com.  In addition to his exciting stuff, Mendez showed excellent command last season in the Gulf Coast League, issuing only eight free passes in 50 innings of work.  Mendez is scheduled to start against the Tigers on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Spinners will send another exciting young arm to the hill against the Tigers in 19-year-old right-hander Madison Younginer.  Mike Andrews of SoxProspects.com gave me the following scouting report on Younginer in an interview conducted in May:

Younginer has electric stuff and an arsenal that could round into a devastating three-pitch mix: a mid-to-high-90s four-seam fastball, a 12-to-6 curveball,and a low-80s changeup. This year Younginer will need to work on cleaning up his delivery to develop a consistent release point to enhance his fastball command and continue to work on the feel for his changeup, which showed good progression during the 2009 season leading up to the draft. He should show flashes of dominance with the Spinners in 2010.

Outfielders Brandon Jacobs and Bryce Brentz and infielders David Renfroe and Kolbrin Vitek are among the top position players on Lowell’s roster.

Andrews says the 6-foot-1, 225 pound Jacobs might have the most power potential in the Red Sox minor league system, though he has not yet homered in the 2010 season.

Renfroe might be the most intriguing prospect on the team thanks to his abundance of tools.  Here is what Andrews had to say about him in May:

Renfroe brings solid all-around tools and an excellent baseball acumen to the table. He has a smooth swing that produces excellent backspin on the ball, and he has demonstrated above-average power potential that should begin to show as he improves his pitch recognition. A shortstop in high school, Renfroe moved to third base this past Fall.

Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz are very successful college hitters who just began their professional careers a little over a week ago.  They were the top two selections of the Red Sox in the 2010 draft, with Vitek going 20th overall and Brentz going 36th overall.  Brentz is off to a slow start, hitting .100 with zero home runs and 4 RBI.  Vitek is hitting .281 with zero home runs and 4 RBI.

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