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

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