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Aaron Bates

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Aaron Bates

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First baseman Aaron Bates was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jeff Zona and made his pro debut on June 20th of that year with the Lowell Spinners and, after going 0-for-4 in his first game, began a 17 game hitting streak the next day. Overall, he hit .360 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs in 27 games with the Spinners before earning a promotion to the Greenville Drive in late July. With the Drive, he hit .270 with 4 homers and 16 RBIs in 43 games.

Bates began 2007 with the Lancaster JetHawks and had a 26-game on-base streak from April 13th to May 11th. On May 19th, in a game against the Lake Elsinore Storm, he went 5-for-5 and became the first player in the history of the California League and the first Red Sox minor leaguer since Jack Littrell of the Hornell Maple Leafs in 1949 to hit 4 home runs in a game. Overall, with the JetHawks, he put up a .332 average with 24 homers and 88 RBIs in 98 games and was named a California League All-Star. He was promoted to the AA Portland Sea Dogs in early August and reached base safely in his first 13 games there. However, he trailed off from there and ended the year with a .198 average with 4 homers and 13 RBIs in 27 games.

Bates did not homer in the first 25 games of 2008 for Portland but then tied the team record with 7 RBI on May 6, including a grand slam. He ended the season with a line of .276/.366/.420 in 124 games, with 11 homers and 68 RBI. He was back at Portland to start the 2009 campaign and tore the cover off the ball this time. In 52 games, he hit .340/.405/.505 with 13 doubles and 7 homers in 232 at-bats. This earned him a promotion to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox.

Bates made his major league debut with the Red Sox on July 6, 2009. He had been called up when 3B Mike Lowell went on the disabled list with a hip injury. In his debut, he went 0 for 3 against the Oakland A's, striking out twice.

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