Granadillo back for fourth season in Sox chain
The Red Sox invited 15 players to their major league camp as non-roster players, including first baseman/designated hitter Jeff Bailey, catcher Kevin Cash, infielders Keith Ginter and Tony Granadillo, outfielder Bobby Kielty and infielders Jed Lowrie, Joe Thurston and Gil Velazquez. Below are thumbnail sketches of the eight players.
Jeff Bailey, 1B/DH: Bailey, 29, made his big league debut with the Sox last July and had one hit—a solo homer against the Tigers July 8—in nine at-bats. He hit .245 with 15 homers and 60 RBI for Triple-A Pawtucket. Bailey, who signed with the Sox as a minor league free agent following the 2003 season, was originally selected by the Marlins in the second round of the 1997 draft. Bailey will wear uniform number 71.
Kevin Cash, C: Cash, 30, hit .111 with four RBI in 27 at-bats with the Sox last season and hit .176 with seven homers and 25 RBI for Pawtucket. In a big league career dating back to 2002, Cash has hit .167 with seven homers and 35 RBI for the Blue Jays, Rays and Sox. Cash, who signed with the Sox as a minor league free agent following the 2006 season, was originally signed by the Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent in 1999. Cash will wear uniform number 36.
Keith Ginter, IF: Ginter, 31, hit .247 with 15 homers and 62 RBI last season for the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate, Buffalo. In a big league career dating back to 2000, Ginter has hit .243 with 38 homers and 140 RBI for the Astros, Brewers and Athletics. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2005, when he hit .161 with three homers and 25 RBI in 137 at-bats for the Athletics. He was originally selected by the Astros in the 10th round of the 1998 draft. Ginter will wear uniform number 11.
Tony Granadillo, IF: Granadillo, 23, hit .326 with eight homers and 67 RBI between Single-A Lancaster and Double-A Portland last season. He has not been ranked in any of the three Diehard prospect issues. Granadillo, who was selected by the Sox in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft following the 2004 season, was originally signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He will wear uniform number 81.
Bobby Kielty, OF: Kielty, 31, hit .218 with one homer and 12 RBI between the Athletics and the Sox last season. He was 3-for-6 in the playoffs and hit the only pitch he saw of the World Series for a pinch-hit home run that provided the Sox with the margin of victory in their Series-clinching Game Four win over the Rockies. In a big league career dating back to 2001, Kielty has hit .254 with 53 homers and 253 RBI for the Twins, Blue Jays, Athletics and Sox. Kielty, who signed with the Sox as a free agent last Aug. 6, was originally signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent in 1999. He will wear uniform number 32.
Jed Lowrie, 2B/SS: Lowrie, 23, hit .298 with 13 homers and 70 RBI between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last season. Lowrie was ranked 11th in Diehard’s 2006 issue. 22nd in the 2007 issue and is ranked among the top 10 this year. He was selected by the Sox out of Stanford in the supplemental round of the 2005 draft. Lowrie will wear uniform number 82.
Joe Thurston, 2B/OF: Thurston, 28, hit .301 with five homers and 61 RBI last season between Reading and Ottawa, the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates of the Phillies. In a big league career dating back to 2002, Thurston has hit .259 with no homers and two RBI in 58 at-bats for the Dodgers and Phillies. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2006, when he hit .222 in 18 at-bats for the Phillies. Thurston, who was signed by the Sox as a minor league free agent, was originally selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1999 draft. He will wear uniform number 64.
Gil Velazquez, IF: Velazquez, 28, hit .246 with two homers and 29 RBI between New Britain and Rochester, the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates of the Twins. He was signed by the Sox as a minor league free agent. Velazquez was originally selected by the Mets in the 14th round of the 1999 draft and joined the Twins organization following the 2004 season. He will wear uniform number 70.
Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-979-0979. To subscribe to Diehard or diehardmagazine.com, please CLICK HERE.