by TJ HORGAN
Lowell, MA- Friday, June 14th marked the annual gathering of Lowell Spinners’ players and local press for what is known as, “media day.” The sun was beaming down on LeLacheur Park as I got to speak with some future faces of the Boston Red Sox.
Among these aspiring major leaguers was 19-year-old, Teddy Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz, who is known on twitter as, “Teddystank29” was drafted in the second round by Boston. He was drafted 75th overall by the Mets in 2012, but chose to attend a year with Seminole State, a junior college in Florida.
For Stankiewicz, attending Seminole State was, “A really good decision…it developed me more in a mental stage, and as a player…I got in the best shape of my life.”
Stankiwewicz’s attitude was overflowing with excitement to be a part of the Red Sox’s organization. When asked the question of how he liked being part of the Red Sox, he quickly but surely responded, “I love it,” with an immense grin.
Stankiewicz, who arrived in Boston for the first time in his life on Thursday, posted a 2.52 ERA in 60.7 innings pitched with Seminole State.
The only other player selected in one of the first 5 rounds who was present that day was 5th-rounder, Corey Littrell. He has a passion to help his team succeed. When asked about personal expectations, he replied, “I just want to go out there and help the team out. I just can’t wait to get out there and play.”
“I’m not going to blow it by everyone, but I know how to pitch. I can throw four pitches for a strike…My mentality makes me who I am,” said the lefty who played at Kentucky for three years.
Although Littrell mentioned that he wouldn’t, “blow it by everyone,” he had 52 strikeouts in 39 innings in the Cape Cod League. He had a breakout sophomore year with Kentucky, posting a 2.74 ERA and finishing 9-2.
Littrell noted that among his influences, his grandfather was his, “biggest role model for baseball.” Jack Littrell, Corey’s grandfather, played from 1952-1957 with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago Cubs.
Littrell lauded what he has seen from the Lowell Spinners so far, saying, “I’ve been here for a day and a half, and you know the coaches are nice and I love my teammates already.”
I also got a chance to speak with the 323rd overall pick of the 2013 draft and Venezuela native, Carlos Asuaje. He possessed a humility that sometimes seems rare in players who have recently signed a contract.
This draft was memorable to Asuaje because he said the Red Sox, “Pulled a fast one,” in the sense that he was not expecting to be drafted by Boston. The Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers, among others, were clubs he anticipated getting the call from.
Although he is considered small for an aspiring major leaguer (5’9, 160), Asuaje prides himself on work ethic. “I’m a max effort guy…I’ve never been one of those guys with tons of talent, and obviously not a lot of size, so I have to go out there and play hard everyday to at least stand out from the crowd.”
Stankiewicz, Littrell, and Asuaje are only three of the Red Sox’s 40 draft picks. However, they are suited up and ready for the season to begin in Lowell.