action:article | category:SPORTS0102 | adString:SPORTS0102 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Baseball » Fisher Cats/EL

May 15. 2013 8:58PM

Allen Lessels' On Baseball: Portland's Michael Almanzar is the Comeback Kid


His development apparently stalled just two seasons ago, Portland third baseman Michael Almanzar, seen in a game earlier this season at Hadlock Field, has re-emerged as a Red Sox prospect. (DVM SPORTS)

MANCHESTER -- MICHAEL ALMANZAR has cooled off a bit.

No shock there. The lanky, young third baseman was on fire to start the season, his first in Double-A as he continued to rebuild the promising resume that had him signed for big money — the Red Sox inked him to a $1.5 million signing bonus in July of 2007 — out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16.

“He’s been terrific,” said Portland manager Kevin Boles. “The maturity level is his biggest thing. He’s learning his routines. He’s always been very athletic and he’s always been a big strong kid and he’s always played a quality third base and also pretty well at first base. What we’re seeing now is his work habits and routine. He does a lot of reps at game speed and I think that’s really helped him as far as carrying it over into games.”

Boles knows Almanzar.

He managed him in Single-A Greenville in 2008 and 2009 at ages 17 and 18. Almanzar spent parts of the each season in Greenville, playing at a level higher than most his age, after getting off to a fast start in the rookie Gulf Coast League.

He dealt OK with things at Greenville, but had his struggles with his offense at times in the minors until last year.

“He was always playing at a level higher than his age suggested he should play at, but he’s always handled it,” Boles said. “Now, though, I think he’s comfortable with who he is and understands what type of player he can be and he will be. I think that’s important. You see a lot of trust in himself and a lot of confidence and I think that’s going to continue to grow.”

Monster months like Almanzar, who’s 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, put together to start his Double-A career certainly help the confidence level.

He had two hits in four straight games to open the season and reached base safely in his first nine games. He had two home runs in the fourth game of the year and had five through the first 20.

“I was seeing the ball well, I’m still seeing the ball well,” Almanzar said with a smile. “See the ball. Hit the ball.”

His numbers have dropped off some and he was still at a team-leading five home runs going into Wednesday night’s game against the Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

But he was working on his second six-game hitting streak of the season before he went hitless in four at-bats in Portland’s 3-0 loss to the Fisher Cats on Tuesday night.

He likes the way things are going so far at a new level.

“It’s been going very good,” Almanzar said. “I’m working hard every day. Keep working every day.”

Boles and hitting coach Rich Gedman, who worked with Almanzar in Single-A Salem last year, like his approach.

“Offensively and defensively he works hard,” said Gedman, the former All-Star catcher for the Red Sox. “I’ve only seen him for the last couple of years and he goes about his business the right way. He’s professional about his work and plays the game the right way and plays the game hard. He’s got good size and a good arm and plays defense and plays offense. He’s got a little pop. He can hit for average. He’s a good player.”

Almanzar hit an even .300 last year in Salem in the Carolina League and had 12 home runs and 54 runs batted in 124 games and was named Comeback Player of the Year by the web site soxprospects.com.

He’s closed up his batting stance a bit from his early days and is showing more consistency with his strike zone management, Boles said.

And he’s only 22.

“He’s still a young kid and there’s a lot of upside,” Boles said. “It’s a great frame to build off and I believe he’s going to get bigger and stronger and he’s very athletic. He’s an interesting player. There’s no doubt about it. If he was coming out of the draft this year where would he go? You’ve got to keep that in mind. He’s in Double-A right now. That’s pretty impressive.”


  • Do you support minimizing risk of injury in high school ice hockey by making the penalty for boarding or checking from behind an automatic major?
  • Yes
  • 67%
  • No
  • 33%
  • Total Votes: 937
 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

NH man almost wins first $500k winner-takes-all open basketball tournament

Blue Jays move Dalton Pompey up to New Hampshire

Field set for 110th anniversary ĎClimb to the Clouds' car race

Contractors volunteer to complete renovations for 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival

Dartmouth dismisses menís lacrosse coach

Jay Perrin looks to take his MMA career to the next level at Combat Zone 49

Dartmouth runner poised for long-term success on pro circuit

'Great Race' makes pit stop in Rochester

CHIP KELLY

Chip Kelly: Last practice not Fred Flintstone leaving work

Traffic jams expected with 30,000 fans at Epping dragway

Calgary Stampsí St. Pierre, complete with tattoos and plenty of brawn, not your typical NH wedding planner

Laconia man wins grueling 500-mile race in 9 days

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!