Dec 5, 2011, 11:30 PM EDT
Red Sox outfield prospect Ryan Westmoreland is getting back on the field a year and a half after surgery to remove a cavernous malformation from his brain stem.
The 21-year-old Westmoreland will serve as a designated hitter in Dominican instructional league games this week. The current plan is for him to get one at-bat Thursday and two on Friday.
Westmoreland appeared well on his way to establishing himself as one of the game’s top outfield prospects after hitting .296/.401/.484 in 223 at-bats as a 19-year-old in the New York-Penn League in 2009. Baseball America rated him Boston’s No. 1 prospect following that season.
If all goes well in the Dominican Republic, then Westmoreland should be able to resume playing in the minors next season. Even after two years off, he’s still young enough to potentially make an impact in the majors someday.
For more on Westmoreland, check out Charles Pierce’s story on his recovery from back in March.
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