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Red Sox 2013 first-rounder Trey Ball to join Single-A Greenville as Pat Light joins Salem

04.24.14 at 10:30 am ET
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Left-handed pitcher Trey Ball, the Red Sox‘ top draft pick (No. 7 overall) in the 2013 draft, will join Single-A Greenville today after opening the year in extended spring training, according to an industry source. The 19-year-old, who allowed five runs in seven innings in his five-game pro debut late last summer (before turning in a very impressive outing in the GCL playoffs), had been kept in extended in deference to the fact that the Greenville pitching staff is crowded with prospects, resulting in a paucity of innings to go around (Ball, Daniel McGrath and Ty Buttrey all opened the year in extended in part due to that bottleneck), and because the Sox wanted to do some work with Ball in extended on repeating his delivery and the angle and command of his fastball, as well focus on improving the consistency of his curveball and changeup, in extended before sending him out to compete for an affiliate.

He showed some solid raw materials this spring training, including a fastball that was up to 92 mph, aggressiveness in throwing that pitch for strikes, and gradual improvement during spring training in his secondary stuff. Still, given that he was a two-way player (center fielder and pitcher) in high school, Ball was far less experienced than other candidates for the Greenville rotation, resulting in the decision to let him acclimate to the five-day pitchers’ routine and work on his pitch development in extended to start the year.

A spot for Ball was created by the Sox’ decision to move right-hander Pat Light, a 2012 supplemental first rounder, to Salem from Greenville. Light, 23, dominated in his first two starts with Greenville (where he spent last year, in an injury-riddled 2013 campaign), allowing three runs in 12 innings while punching out 15 and walking none. While he struggled in his most recent start, giving up six runs and walking four in 5 1/3 innings, his age and experience suggested a pitcher who was ready to move up.

News of the promotions of Ball and Light was first reported by SoxProspects.com.

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