Five members of the 2007 Lowell Spinners will return to LeLacheur Park for the 2008 season. Joseph Guerra is the lone returning pitcher. Guerra began the season in the Spinners starting rotation and made seven starts and ten relief appearances before being promoted to Greenville. Guerra struggled early in the season, which contributed to this 5.48 ERA with Lowell, but improved enough to earn a promotion to the Drive, where 2-0 with a 4.02 ERA. Guerra is a control pitcher who pitches to contact. Last season he allowed 107 hits in 74 innings and struck out just 34, but he also only walked 12.
Also returning is Carlos Fernandez (Carlos Fernandez-Oliva), who hit .307 last year and led the Spinners with 267 at-bats and 70 games played. His 17 doubles and 42 RBI were the second most on the team. However, the 21-year-old struggled in the outfield, committing six errors as team’s starting left fielder.
Another member of the ’07 Spinners outfield who will return in ’08 is Kade Keowen. Keowen attended LSU as a freshman, but received hardly any at bats. He transferred to LSU-Eunice and after tearing up the junior college circuit was a ninth round draft pick by the Red Sox. Unfortunately he went down with an injury just a few games into his Spinners career and didn’t settle in until near the end of the season.
Big Deshaun Brooks also returns to the Spinners. A 26th round pick from Benedict College, the U.S. Virgin Islands native did not get any consistent playing time until the final few weeks of the season because Mike Jones, an NYPL All-Star in ’07, and Jorge Jimenez, the team’s best hitter in ’07, took up most of the at-bats at first and third base. Brooks hit .208 in 101 at bats with a pair of homers and 12 RBI.
The final returning player is the most intriguing prospect for many Red Sox fans. Ryan Dent was a highly rated shortstop from Long Beach, Cal. who the Red Sox drafted in the supplemental first round, 62nd overall, a year ago. Dent arrived in Lowell after just 35 professional at-bats in the Gulf Coast League. The 18-year-old was 8-for-45 in 11 games with the Spinners. This year Dent will begin the season as an everyday player and is expected to be one of the team’s top hitters.