Top 50 Quotebook: Mike Hazen (Part Four)

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 David Pauley, Daniel Bard, Argenis Diaz, Jeff Corsaletti, Jason Place, Dusty Brown, Jeff Natale, Edgar Martinez, Bryce Cox, Andrew Pinckney and Jay Johnson.

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(Part four of four)

David Pauley, P:
Mike Hazen: Like him a lot—like what he brings to the table. Like the adjustments he made last year. He had a really good year at Triple-A and didn't get the opportunity to go pitch in the big leagues, but at any one time [he] could have, I think. I don't see any reason why he's not going to get an opportunity.

Daniel Bard, P:
Mike Hazen: Daniel certainly faced some adversity this year, which wasn't necessarily a bad thin to have to battle through. He had some trouble throwing strikes at times. He showed, in shorter stints at Hawaii, an ability to come in and be aggressive and change his mindset a little bit. The guy's stuff is there and we expect him to sort of put those lessons learned from '07 and in Hawaii into play in '08.

Argenis Diaz, SS:
Mike Hazen: Certainly defense [is] his calling card. He's outstanding on defense. Much like catching, [offense] is going to be the separator. He's got a good, short swing and bat to ball skills. I think being a little more selective is going to be something we stress with him this year. But I think he showed an ability to run in on fastball and he had good hitting mechanics, a good base, to start with.

Jeff Corsaletti, OF:
Mike Hazen: Did a good job. Has good ability, a good knowledge of the strike zone. Can hit leadoff, [has] a little pop. We're looking for [more] power out of him a little more consistently to really let him play in left field.

Jason Place, OF:
Mike Hazen: We got what we should have expected to get as a guy that's 19 years old and dealing with the expectations of being a first-round pick. We knew that, Jason knew that. From a fundamental standpoint, there were things with his swing we were looking to iron out [and] trying to introduce some things. Performance-wise, it was pretty difficult for him, I think. He did a good job, stayed with it and committed to it. The first three weeks in Hawaii, he was outstanding. He kind of fell off at the end. Those are the ups and downs you get at that age. And we look to build on that, much like Bard.

Dusty Brown, C:
Mike Hazen: He does a good job. We saw a lot of improvement this year from an offensive standpoint. The offense being a separator as an everyday guy, He made a lot of improvements. He can really throw, really catch and he really developed as a leader. We like him a lot.

Jeff Natale, IF:
Mike Hazen: He had a good year at Double-A. Look to continue to improve. He's going to need to separate himself defensively to continue to move up.

Edgar Martinez, P:
Mike Hazen: Looking to see a little more consistency with the secondary stuff—honing in on one secondary pitch is what we're trying to do with his slider. He has a good fastball and throws strikes, Obviously conditioning—we need to continue to stress staying in shape.

Bryce Cox, P:
Mike Hazen: I think he struggled a little bit with finding consistency, day to day, with his mechanics. Battled a couple nagging injuries that kind of forced him around a little bit. I don't know if he ever got into a great rhythm. Definitely rebounded a little bit. We look for him to [build] on that.

Andrew Pinckney, 3B:
Mike Hazen: He had a good year at Double-A, played third base everyday. He's going to have to continue to kind of perform at that level and continue to get opportunities and then perform when he does.

Jay Johnson, OF:
Mike Hazen: Pretty consistent guy. Had a pretty good [season]. Good athlete, can hit for some power, some average. Again, another guy that continues to need to perform.

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