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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (6) | 2012 (10) | 2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [97-65] AL East
AAA: [80-63] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [68-73] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [76-64] Carolina League – Salem
A: [51-87] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss):  [40-33] New York-Penn League — Lowell

Graduated Prospects
None

The Run Down
This Boston farm is exceptionally strong from a fantasy perspective, but it’s a different brand of strength from the top-of-the-league systems that we’ve recently discussed.  Orgs like the Cubs, Twins, Astros, and Pirates all feature a grouping of extreme high-impact prospects at the top of their ranks, whereas Boston’s main attraction is in its fantasy-relevant depth.  Excluding Xander Bogaerts from the conversation, there aren’t any sure-fire top 50 prospects in this group (although Garin Cecchini is certainly in the T50 conversation), but even so, it’d be difficult to find another farm as strong as Boston is from prospects #5 through #10.  Everyone here can be owned comfortably in dynasty formats, and that’s a rarity among these preseason top 10’s.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B:  #3 in my top 25 for 2014 post, here’s what I had to say: “Bogaerts is primed to take over shortstop duties in Boston this spring.  Last time I ranked prospects, he headlined that list, and I suppose you could say he’s headlining this one if you’re not considering [Masahiro Tanaka] and [Jose Abreu] prospects.  In any case, Bogaerts brings enormous potential to the fantasy game, with ability to help in AVG, OBP, and HR, and some SB’s sprinkled in.  Grey has him slotted at #22 in his shortstop rankings.  He also has his own Xander Bogaerts fantasy.”  To expand on that, I see Bogaerts as a Troy Tulowitzki-type impact talent, and he’s polished enough to offer top 5 shortstop production this season.  ETA:  2014

2.  Garin Cecchini, 3B:  For a while there, I was skeptical about Cecchini as a fantasy prospect, and that was mostly to do with the fact that his pop projects as average or worse at the highest level.  The 22-year-old’s hit tool, though, is an advanced weapon and it has the potential to pick up the fantasy slack.  There’s potential here for Cecchini to develop into a Matt Carpenter-type performer, with outstanding average and on-base ability, plus plenty of runs scored (or RBI, depending on where he ends up in the Boston lineup).  His biggest impact will likely come in H2H points formats.  ETA:  Late 2014

3.  Henry Owens, LHP:  Owens posted a breakout season in 2013, with a year-end line reading: 2.67/1.13/169 through 135 IP between High-A and Double-A.  What’s most impressive about his year, though, was the fact he only gained momentum as the season wore on, posting a 1.78/1.09/46 line in 6 starts after being promoted to Portland.  Owens brings potential to be a four-category contributor, and he’s only about a year away from surfacing at Fenway.  ETA: 2015

4.  Mookie Betts, 2B:  Betts is a stick-first 2B with tons of polish at the plate.  The 21-year-old hit .314/.417/.506 with 15 HR and 38 SB in 127 games split between Low-A and High-A in 2013 — that sort of line from a middle infielder speaks for itself.  Betts will get his first taste of upper levels baseball in 2014, and while he should continue to hit for average, I’ll be very curious to see if the power production keeps up in Portland.  ETA:  2015

5.  Matt Barnes, RHP:  After an impressive pro debut in 2012, Barnes regressed in 2013 as he adjusted to life in the upper levels (4.13/1.44/142 in 113 IP between Double-A and Triple-A). Command has been the main struggle for the 23-year-old, but his secondary stuff could use some refinement too.  Even so, Barnes is an impressive athlete with great size, and he still brings front-end potential if he can make some adjustments.  A handful of solid outings in Pawtucket to begin the season, and he’ll be knocking on the big league door.  ETA:  2014

6.  Jackie Bradley Jr., OF:  From my top 50 for 2014 post, where he ranked #36:  “Bradley is a fine prospect for real life baseball purposes, but from a fantasy perspective, he’s not very interesting.  He appears to have a direct route to playing time, and for that reason alone he’s worth listing, but I’ll be surprised if there’s any significant fantasy impact here.  Grey has more on him in his outfield rankings, where Bradley comes in at #83.”  ETA:  2014

7.  Blake Swihart, C:  Swihart doesn’t bring any high-impact tools the table, but he offers enough potential in average, power, and speed to make him relevant in fantasy circles.  The 21-year-old hit .298/.366/.428 with 38 XBH and 7 SB in 422 PA at High-A Salem in 2013.  He’ll step up to the upper levels in 2014.  ETA:  2016

8.  Allen Webster, RHP:  Webster brings a bat-missing arsenal to the fantasy game, and with it, plenty of upside.  At age 24, he’s ready for an extended look in the bigs, but for the time being, he appears to be outside the scope of the Opening Day rotation.  ETA:  2014

9.  Anthony Ranaudo, RHP:  After losing almost all of 2012 to injury, Ranaudo bounced back in 2013 with a huge year:  2.96/1.14/127 in 140 IP between Double-A and Triple-A.  Judging by last year’s line, you’d expect the scouting reports on the 24-year-old to be a little stronger than the back-end projections most evaluators are turning in.  Still, the 24-year-old offers mid-rotation upside, and the ability to be an efficient, ratio-helper in the fantasy game.  Ranaudo will be right there with Webster in the mix for starts if an opportunity opens up this season.  ETA:  2014

10.  Trey Ball, LHP:  Drafted 7th overall last June, Ball offers a high-impact profile.  The 6-foot-6 19-year-old features a front-end arsenal (FB, CH, CB), and there’s plenty of reason to stash him in deep dynasty formats, but until he gets a year under his belt at the full-season level, it’s tough to put a firm projection on him.  ETA:  2017

2013 Boston Red Sox MiLB Preveiw

From Around The Web

  1. DiRo says:
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    Not sure where Mookie will be playing when he gets called up, more than likely I see him as a trade chip in the next year or two for the Sox.

    The Sox farm pitching seems to be its strongest in many years and that trade with the Dodgers only looks better every season. They again have trade chips for a big name player if they wish to make that type of move. However, I don’t see that happening unless Victorino gets badly injured, Sizemore fails miserably and Brasley Jr fails to impress.

    • @DiRo: I wouldn’t say a big trade is out of the question…

  2. goodfold2 says:
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    almost thought one of these guys was available in my porn deep dynasty league, but nope, that was the MIA henry owens.

    • @goodfold2: Ha! Yeah, these guys aren’t gonna be around in most dynasty leagues… great system.

  3. Yescheese says:
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    The problem with the Sox prospects is their publicity! All 10 of these guys are owned in my dynasty’s. Crazy. Wish I had some mookie action.

    Did you see the Baseball Prospectus top 100 for fantasy this past weekend? Really nice feature with a “realistic ceiling” and “realistic floor” comprable to today’s players. Would be awesome to integrate this for fantasy. You’re the man Scott!

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Yescheese: Ha same here! Deep 16 teamer with 10 man milb systems but man they are hyped…

      Saw the first 50 BP ranks (2nd page is subscriber only!) and thought it was really cool too. Though Ive noticed Scott using comps in these posts lately (like Ceccini with Carpenter) which im liking.

      • @Swfcdan: I try to work in the comps when they come naturally… I don’t find forcing comps to be very useful…

    • @Yescheese: Yeah, Brett Sayre does great work over at BP… he loves him some Billy Hamilton much more than I can stomach, though…

  4. MB says:
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    Do you know anything about this Steven Souza guy in Washington?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @MB: he appears to be the best unowned player in my deep 30 man with 20 minor league slots dynasty league. I will be bidding crazy like on him at all star break bidding war, unless of course WAS brings him up, then i’ll black friday like stomp people to death to get to the front door of his store first.

  5. Swfcdan says:
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    Guess thats the problem for us, a lot of upper levels arms but no place in the majors for any of them yet. Got Ranaudo in a deep keeper, what do you think the order of promotion is when they get an injury (to Bucholtz) out of him Barnes and Webster?

    Also based on what youve read, roughly how many homers would you project out of Jose Abreu this year? Am high on him, got him in one league but narrowly missed out by one pick in one of my money leagues. Interested to hear if you think he’ll be a top 12 1B right off the bat. He’s certainly a guy im looking forward to watching, along with Tanaka.

    • @Swfcdan: Well Webster has already surfaced, so he’s in position to get the first look, but I think how each performs in spring will dictate that order…

      I’m excited about Abreu as well… 30 HR is definitely within reach… T12 1B in my book…

  6. GT says:
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    He may not be a top 10 guy, but Alex Hassan has a chance to make some noise this year. The coaches tweaked his swing in 2013 and he delivered a .321/.431/.460 in 255 Pawtucket ABs. He’s always had stellar on base skills, and the power is coming around. At 25 years old he probably gets some time in Boston this year and can play corner outfield and 1B. If Carp is traded, he could slide in right behind Napoli/Nava on the depth chart.

    • @GT: Hassan is definitely ready for a look — figures to be a very nice bench bat & occasional starter, but I doubt he ever gets enough time on the field to warrant fantasy relevance…

  7. Alan says:
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    Fair trade?

    Arenado and Franco for Austin Jackson

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