Blogging About Baseball

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Local boy does good.

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For the past couple years, my friend Doug has told me to “watch out for Ryan Westmoreland.” And so for a couple of years, I’ve brushed off the advice thinking that a) just because the kid came from the same town as Doug doesn’t mean he’s going to be good and b) there can’t be a legitimate major league prospect that he knows about and I don’t.

But Doug is in the know. His little brother is friends with Westmoreland, and not the “we went to school together” type friends that everyone has, but the “we actually hang out” type. So when Doug found out any pertinent information regarding Westmoreland, he passed it onto me and my unlistening ears. He told me about how Westmoreland was tearing it up at Portsmouth High School, how he threw a perfect game, and how he was being scouted.

Still, I didn’t believe him.

Doug visited me a couple months ago. Noticing that I had the 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook laying around, he said, “Look and see where Westmoreland is.” And there he was. The hometown boy and Doug’s brother’s friend was sitting pretty at #8 of the Boston Red Sox’s top 30 prospects. In 2008, Westmoreland was drafted by the Sox in the fifth round and he still signed for close to $2 million.

Westmoreland on the mound.Westmoreland at bat.

Last year, pitching at Portsmouth High School, the slim, athletic righty won seven games and lost none. He sported a paltry .45 ERA and in that perfect game Doug mentioned, Westmoreland struck out 19 of the 21 batters he faced.

Westmoreland was not drafted as a pitcher, however. The Red Sox plan on using him in the outfield because in addition to his dynamic arm, Westmoreland has a game-changing bat. In 2008, he hit .486 with four homers, 31 RBIs, 37 runs scored and 17 steals.

Currently, Westmoreland is rehabbing from minor shoulder surgery. He has not taken his first professional AB, nor recorded his first professional put out. When he is ready, he will start with the Lowell Spinners, hopefully making it up to the low A Greenville Drive before season’s end so I can see him against the Charleston Riverdogs.

I know this because I currently Google his name on a daily basis. It is borderline stalkerish and I am ashamed of it.

Sorry for not listening Doug. If it makes you feel better, I now am.

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