Top 50 Quotebook: Mike Hazen (Part 3)

In compiling the third annual Diehard Top 50, we spoke to numerous Red Sox players and executives, including director of player development Mike Hazen. Here are his thoughts on Reid Engel, Oscar Tejeda, Jon Still, Kris Johnson, Hunter Jones, Bubba Bell and Zach Daeges. For the complete write-ups of the players in the top 50, please subscribe to today!

(Part three of four)

Reid Engel, OF:
Mike Hazen: Good adjustments offensively off of '06. He had a decent year in '06 in Lowell, but some of the consistency that we saw from him—I think one of the things we talked about [was] mental consistency with Reid, the ability to stay hot or stay focused through good and bad times is one of the key things we're looking at right now. And he was able to do a lot better a lot more consistently this year.

Oscar Tejeda, SS:
Mike Hazen: Anytime you see a guy that has the level of success at that age, it definitely makes you stop and open your eyes. Great frame—we need to add some more size and some strength for him to be able to drive the ball. Certainly he needs to refine his offensive approach a little bit. But tremendous instincts for the game and we're excited to have him.

Jon Still, C/1B/DH:
Mike Hazen: I think we look more [at] Lowell as an aberration than last year being a breakout, to be honest with you. This guy was a major collegiate offensive player that kind of suffered just not having a position. [That's why] he fell in the draft. He hit in the Cape, he's always hit. We always felt like he was going to hit. Last year re-affirmed that he possesses the skills to be a very good hitter. He's probably going to catch a little bit, probably play some first base, still DH a little bit.

Kris Johnson, P:
Mike Hazen: Good progression along the lines of what [Justin] Masterson did. At the end of May, he was looking at like a 9 ERA, I think. And for his ability to kind of make some adjustments and battle back and really develop that attack mentality with his stuff—because he does have good stuff—I think we saw some of the [plus] stuff after that that's only [going to] help him as he moves up.

Hunter Jones, P:
Mike Hazen: Lot of similarities to [Michael] Bowden—an ability to pitch to both sides of the plate. He can do that and he did it pretty consistently in Portland and Lancaster. We feel the key to success, like [with Dustin] Richardson, is to work to deliver the secondary stuff to make it jump out.

Bubba Bell, OF:
Mike Hazen: I think we were certainly pleasantly surprised by the numbers he put up. He did a great job in Lancaster and held his own in Portland. Any player that does that, the second time through, we expect some of the adjustments to be made now and kind of adjust back to the level of pitching and not being in that hitter-friendly environment. That's some of the things we're looking for this year.

Zach Daeges, OF:
Mike Hazen: I think looking at his past, from Lowell to where he was when he was in college and some of the peripherals he put up when he wasn't in [Lancaster]—his strike zone judgment, we feel pretty good that's going to translate. I don't think the guy's going to hit 50 doubles every year, but we think he has a chance to be a pretty good offensive player.

(Part four of our quotebook with Hazen will appear next week)

Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752. To subscribe to Diehard or, please CLICK HERE.

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