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Prospect notes: Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman, Miguel Celestino, Jose Vinicio

03.08.13 at 7:50 pm ET
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Brandon Workman (John Corneau / Lowell Spinners)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring training intrasquad games have started, with Red Sox prospects facing one another on the back fields of the team’s spring training complex. At this early stage of the spring, pitchers tend to look dominant for a couple of reasons. First, hitters are still gaining their timing against legitimate velocity (never mind breaking stuff, against which the hitters have little chance at this juncture) and, on top of that, with big league camps still featuring a wealth of upper levels position prospects, relatively advanced pitchers end up facing much, much younger hitters.

Those realities should limit irrational exuberance regarding early glimpses of pitchers in the spring. That said, a pair of important Red Sox prospects who in other years (when the team’s upper levels pitching prospect base was a bit smaller) might have been in big league camp had strong showings in their first intrasquad action of the spring. Both Anthony Ranaudo (a supplemental first-round pick in 2010) and Brandon Workman (a second-rounder in 2010) showed lively stuff in mowing through opposing minor leaguers, most of whom haven’t played above A-ball.

Because the Sox are playing a night game on Friday, manager John Farrell had a chance to join front office and player development staff members at the minor league complex to watch the two colossal right-handers (Ranaudo is 6-foot-7, while Workman is 6-foot-6) who are both likely to start the year back in Double-A Portland.

“It’s just a look at their delivery and just to see them execute on the mound. It’s not under the microscope, by any means,” Farrell explained of his visit to see the two pitchers. “You’re looking at two big, strong right-handed pitchers with a lot of promise and a lot of talent.”

Here’s a look at Zapruder film of what Farrell saw from the two pitchers:

A couple of additional minor league notes:

– Shortstop Jose Vinicio, who suffered a season-ending knee surgery in Greenville last year, will play with a knee brace to start the season. Initial impressions suggest that a) the brace has not limited his defensive mobility and b) even with its weight, he still has yet to eclipse 140 pounds.

– Right-hander Miguel Celestino, whose fastball velocity registered as high as 98-99 mph at times last year, will be moved to the bullpen going forward in hopes that his impressive stuff can be channeled in a fashion to permit him greater consistency. Celestino’s fastball is an intriguing weapon, though as a starter, his inconsistent secondary stuff (slider, changeup) limited his effectiveness. The Sox are hoping that, while working out of the stretch on a full-time basis, Celestino can still emerge as an impact arm. The 23-year-old was acquired by the Red Sox as a player to be named from the Mariners (along with Bill Hall) for Casey Kotchman in spring training of 2010. He went 7-9 with a 4.68 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 44 walks in 134 2/3 innings spanning 26 starts last year for High-A Salem.

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