Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (10) | 2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13) | 2008 (2)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [69-93] AL East
AAA: [79-65] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [68-73] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [68-69] Carolina League – Salem
A: [66-73] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss):  [36-40] New York-Penn League — Lowell

Arizona Fall League PlayersSurprise Saguaros
Chris Martin (RHP); Pete Ruiz (RHP); Michael Almanzar (3B); Bryce Brentz (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Will Middlebrooks (3B); Ryan Lavarnway (C); Pedro Ciriaco (INF); Felix Doubront (LHP); Junichi Tazawa (RHP)

The Run Down

With impact talent at nearly every level of the farm, this is a deep system, and a good one.  Xander Bogaerts, a top-10 overall prospect, headlines the group and will arrive within the next year-and-a-half as a big time fantasy asset.  Behind him, Boston features a great mix of high-ceiling guys and high-floor guys, making this system not only high-impact, but rather safe as well.  The Red Sox might be another year or so away from contending again in the crazy-competitive AL East, but the club has done a quality job of trimming some fat, and setting itself up for long-term success in the process.

Top Ten Prospects

1.  Xander Bogaerts, SS:
  The Red Sox aren’t likely to rush Bogaerts to the bigs this year, otherwise he would’ve ranked considerably higher on my Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2013 list.  At age 19, he hit .302/.378/.505 at High-A before promotion to Double-A, where he posted a line at .326/.351/.598.  Aside from super-prospects Jurickson Profar and Oscar Taveras, Bogaerts was the only teenager making that sort of noise at the plate in the upper levels last year.  He’ll likely end up at either 3B or a corner OF post, but his outstanding 2012 makes him a top-5 hitting prospect, and he’ll be ready to contribute this year if Boston needs him.  ETA:  2014

2.  Matt Barnes, RHP:  The 2011 first-rounder out of UConn proved to be much better than originally advertised, posting a 2.86 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, and a K/9 at 10.0 in 120 IP between Low- and High-A.  Barnes features a plus-plus fastball and a big, projectable frame.  His secondary offerings could use some more development, but there is definite front-end potential here.  ETA:  2014

3.  Jackie Bradley, OF:  Bradley came in right behind Bogaerts on my Top 50 for 2013 list.  He’s far more likely to reach Fenway this year than Bogaerts is, but Bradley is more of a center field phenom than a weapon at the plate.  Even so, he should be able to hit in the .275 range with good on-base skills and 20 or so steals once he’s peaked.  ETA:  2013

4.  Blake Swihart, C:  A good defensive catcher with above-average potential in terms of power and average?  Sign me up.  Swihart’s scouting reports remain much more impressive than his numbers on the field, but the learning curve is always a bit slower with catching prospects, so do be patient with him.  ETA:  2016

5.  Garin Cecchini, 3B:  Cecchini hit .305/.394/.433 at Low-A Greenville in 2012, his first year of full-season baseball.  Touted for his baseball acumen, the 21-year-old is a safe bet to take another step forward in 2013 and reach the upper levels by year’s end.  If development goes well, he should turn into a typical power-hitting 3B with good AVG, and unusually good speed on the base paths.  ETA:  2015

6.  Allen Webster, RHP:  Acquired via LA in the Adrian Gonzalez swap, Webster features a well-rounded fastball-change-slider repertoire, and a frame that should be able to handle a heavy workload.  That profile has him projecting like a mid-rotation innings eater, but there is #2 starter potential if his stuff continues to develop and command improves.  He should arrive in Boston at some point this year.  ETA:  2013

7.  Bryce Brentz, OF:  An overly aggressive approach is the usual knock on Brentz, but it hasn’t really held him back thus far.  A big arm and very real power potential has him looking like a perfect fit for right field, but many folks around baseball seem to think his poor approach will be exposed at the highest levels.  I’m not sold on that just yet.  With regular time, Brentz could hit 25+ homers in the bigs.  UPDATE:  Due to an unfortunate gun accident, Brentz will be fine, but his timetable might be pushed back.  ETA:  Late 2013

8.  Brandon Jacobs, OF:  After a very impressive full-season debut in 2011 (.303/.376/.505), Jacobs regressed badly in 2012 at High-A, wrapping up the year with a line at .252/.322/.410.  It’s too soon for me to forget the 2011 production, so he hasn’t fallen off my radar entirely, but another lousy effort in 2013 would drop him from these ranks.  If he can get back on track in Double-A, however, there is significant fantasy upside.  ETA:  2015

9.  Henry Owens, LHP:  At 6-6, 190, Owens has a promising frame, and as you might expect with that sort of size, his fastball is quite good.  He posted a K/9 at 11.5 over 101 IP at Greenville in 2012 — a promising figure, but the rest of his line was rather unimpressive:  4.87 ERA, 1.45 WHIP.  Owens will move to High-A in 2013, where Boston hopes to see improvements in command and secondary offerings.  ETA:  2015

10.  Keury De La Cruz, OF:  There are a handful of others who could’ve easily ranked here in place of De La Cruz, but for fantasy purposes, the 21-year old Dominican seems to bring the biggest upside.  In his full-season debut, he hit .308/.352/.536 with 62 XBH (19 HR) in 506 PA.  The tools profile leaves a few questions, but that sort of production can’t be ignored.  ETA:  2015

From Around The Web

  1. Roddie says:
    (link)

    Regarding Allen Webster: as a Red Sox fan I think you’re mis-evaluating him. He’s a power sinker-ball pitcher. It’s not really fastball-changeup-slider, it’s sinker-changeup-slider, with the sinker operating at 92-94 MPH. At the very least, he’s going to generate a bunch of ground balls. His upside is Justin Masterson without the extreme R-L split.

    • Biff Malibu says:
      (link)

      @Roddie:

      Sinker is a variety of fastball; as well as cutters. He’s going to have to be a GB pitcher in Fenway if he expects to be the reincarnate Derek Lowe of years ago. He’s throwing meatballs at that speed and he’s really gonna have to rely on the changeup or slider developing into an above average offering and possible out-pitch. When this guy gets called up he’ll have mixed results no better than a mid-rotation starter as he’ll produce when he’s on. Yet, he’ll be absolutely clobbered when not. Could be ranked lower

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      I don’t really delve into fastball nuance in these quick writeups too often, but you’re absolutely right — Wbster leans on that heavy 2-seamer, drawing all sorts of weak contact when it’s located well. Masterson-type upside seems fair. Doesn’t change the projection, though.

  2. Tecmo Ballz says:
    (link)

    How does bogaerts stack up vs javier baez of the cubs, eta, power, speed? Thanks im arguing with a friend and looking for an outside oppinion

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      Very similar profile. Both top-10 hitting prospects, both figure to hit for AVG & power from 3B, neither is likely to steal many bags at big league level. Ultimately comes down to preference with these guys, and for me, Bogaerts has an edge right now because he’s already produced at AA. Extremely close call, though.

  3. Di Ro says:
    (link)

    By the end of this year, the Red Sox will have to decide between selling the farm for a big name FA or turn over the team to the young guns. I am so stoked to see Bradley up this year around July/August. But, I am most excited for Barnes, who seems could be the next pitching legend in Beantown!

    How do you guys see Doubrant holding up this year after his insane pitching load from last year compared to previous years in the minors. He definitely had a fast downward spiral in the final 2.5 months of 2012 after showing great potential to be a 2nd or 3rd starter on the staff.

    So excited I woke up to this, my hangover is gone.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      Interesting question re: Doubront. I probably err toward the side of caution with him… wouldn’t surprised to see that regression he experienced near the end of last season to carry over into 2013.

  4. Eric W says:
    (link)

    Ryan Westmoreland would probably be number 1 on this list and top 5 in all of baseball if it was not for the multiple brain surgeries. Sad story will be interesting to see if he gives baseball another shot after his second one

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      Would love to see him give it another go. Tragic story, indeed.

  5. Roy says:
    (link)

    Just a minor note, Brentz had an unfortunate gun cleaning accident and shot himself a few weeks back. I don’t see him coming to Fenway this year, although I do like him for next year.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      Oh, shizz. Haha, man, I can’t believe you’re the only one who noticed that. I had the Brentz blurb written weeks ago & totally forgot to edit. Thank you for bringing that up. Who the f cleans a loaded gun, anyway?

      • Grilled Cheese Please says:
        (link)

        @Scott Evans: Everyone who “accidentally” shoots themselves in the leg. That’s always the excuse. “Oh I didn’t realize it was loaded”. More often than not it was just poor handling and someone not being as safe as they should have been. Not saying this is what happened with Brentz. Just giving my input.

  6. Winson says:
    (link)

    No mention of Rubby De La Rossa. Are you expecting him to make the Opening Day roster, meaning he’s not a prospect? He’s got to be easily Top 5, if not Top 2, on this list with an ETA this year.

    • Roy says:
      (link)

      @Winson: he won’t make the opening day roster.. if you look at his total innings pitched I believe he’s never pitched more than 140 in a season. Given that he’s still relatively fresh of TJ surgery, and the Sox are very patient with their prospects he will almost certainly start the year a AAA. I do agree though, he’s probably a notch above Webster at this point and deserves a top 5 ranking in their system.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      De La Rosa graduated prospect status in 2011 w/ LA. He’d be listed here if he were eligible.

  7. Aaron says:
    (link)

    I have Profar, Myers, and Yelich in my farm (3 max) in a keeper league. I prefer to stay away from minor league pitchers, due to innings limitations and the frequency of injuries. Would you recommend an offensive upgrade over Yelich that is not named Profar, Myers, Taveras or d’Arnaud? Some have suggested Gyorko. I have a lot of trade bait and I am considering making a move for a minor leaguer. I’m not as worried about 2013, but rather the better prospect moving forward. Thanks!

    • Aaron says:
      (link)

      What about Bogaerts or Buxton? Do you think Yelich will develop 25 HR power? @Aaron:

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
        (link)

        I would take only these guys ahead of Yelich in a keeper: [Profar, Taveras, Myers], Bogaerts, Castellanos, Baez.

        I do think Yelich hits 25+ in the bigs.

        • Aaron says:
          (link)

          Thanks! That’s a big help. @Scott Evans:

  8. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    Hey Scott – what do you think the odds are of Gyorko winning the starting job out of ST? And what do you project for him if he does? I saw that you listed him at #21 on your top prospects for ’13 list but I don’t recall seeing a projection.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
      (link)

      If he keeps hitting like he is, it’ll be hard to justify sending him back to the minors… my best-case projection for him: 275/335/465, 15 HR

  9. Joe Luna says:
    (link)

    Scott, love the site. Do you ever do a prospects dynasty ranking? Most sites give a ranking, but mostly based on who will have an impact in the coming year. I’m much more interested in finding the next perennial all star, even if i have to wait a season or two.

Comments are closed.