Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boston Red Sox Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Boston Red Sox here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 18, 2011.

1. Will Middlebrooks, 3B - 273 AB, .315/.361/.546, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 19 BB, 65 K, 6 SB 0 CS (AA)

Middlebrooks is starting to put everything together and was rewarded with a trip to the Futures Game. One of the best fielding 3B in the minors, the bat is catching up as he is beginning to tap into that power potential.

2. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP - 5-5, 3.89 ERA, 90.1 IP, 77 H, 26 BB, 81 K (A/A+)

Fully recovered from the elbow injury that plagued his junior year at LSU, Ranaudo is showing the frontline starter form that initially had him as the top pitcher going into the 2010 Draft. He could fight for a spot in Boston's rotation as early as next year, though I think patience can only help his development.

3. Blake Swihart, C - 99 AB, .545 AVG, 54 R, 54 H, 17 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 19 SB (HS)

One of my favorite players in the draft he is one of the tougher signs although I think Boston's deep pockets make it happen. Very athletic behind the plate with the potential to be a plus hitter with above-average power.

4. Matt Barnes, RHP - 11-5, 1.93 ERA, 121 IP, 79 H, 33 BB, 117 K (College)

Barnes throws his fastball in the mid 90's and even still has a little projection left. He has good command of a plus curve and a solid change and just needs to be more consistent with his secondary offerings.

5. Bryce Brentz, OF - 288 AB, .326/.381/.622, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 25 BB, 65 K, 3 SB 3 CS (A/A+)

Many people were skeptical about how Brentz would produce at the professional level. It is safe to say that he has silenced his doubters by hitting for average and power while keeping his strikeouts at bay.

6. Brandon Jacobs, OF - 310 AB, .323/.403/.529, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 34 BB, 84 K, 22 SB 7 CS (A)

Jacobs has turned his raw tools into production in just his second full year showing an impressive power/speed combo. The strikeouts are slightly concerning, but not so much if he continues to put up these numbers.

7. Jose Iglesias, SS - 229 AB, .227/.275/.245, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 12 BB, 33 K, 6 SB 3 CS (AAA)

Normally hitters struggling as much as Iglesias is don't rank this high on prospect lists. But he is stupid good with the glove at short and he is only 21 years old so he has time to figure things out at the plate.

8. Ryan Lavarnway, C - 333 AB, .318/.392/.595, 25 HR, 69 RBI, 39 BB, 73 K, 0 SB 1 CS (AA/AAA)

The opposite of Iglesias, Lavarnway has mashed at the plate all year and is pushing Boston to get his bat to Fenway. Now the only question left is can he provide adequate defense behind the dish or will he simply be relegated to DH.

9. Alex Wilson, RHP - 8-4, 2.87 ERA, 97.1 IP, 85 H, 34 BB, 86 K (AA)

Although his future is most likely in the back of the Sox bullpen, Wilson has been extremely good starting for Portland and they might as well continue to throw him out there every fifth day while its working.

10. Kyle Weiland, RHP - 8-6, 3.00 ERA, 93 IP, 69 H, 37 BB, 99 K (AAA)

Currently the number 5 starter for Boston due to injuries, Weiland has looked a little overmatched in his first two starts. Regardless he earned the call up after a filthy first half in Pawtucket only giving 69 hits in 93 innings.

11. Garin Cecchini, 3B - 107 AB, .271/.361/.467, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 14 BB, 19 K, 12 SB 2 CS (SS)

Very possibly the best pure hitter in the system, Boston is going to take it slow with Cecchini after an ACL injury lost him his senior season. Could move up this list quickly with a big second half.

12. Xander Bogaerts, SS - 113 AB, .230/.313/.460, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 13 BB, 31 K, 1 SB 1 CS (A)

Perhaps the most exciting player in the system Bogaerts reminds some of former Boston farmhand Hanley Ramirez. He certainly is showing the power and his athleticism could keep him at short in the long run.

13. Chih-Hsien Chang, OF - 285 AB, .330/.387/.642, 16 HR, 69 RBI, 21 BB, 56 K, 4 SB 1 CS (AA)

Chang has come out of nowhere to be one of the top hitters in the Eastern League earning a spot in the Futures Game. I want to see if he can sustain this production for the rest of the year and at the next level before I put him any higher.

14. Miles Head, 1B - 338 AB, .317/.384/.562, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 35 BB, 70 K, 4 SB 2 CS (A/A+)

Head has been one of my favorite players in this system this year as he has shown a smooth swing as a 20 year old. Definitely one to watch along with Cecchini for the next couple years, as both are blocked by All-Stars at the ML level.

15. Alex Hassan, OF - 316 AB, .304/.430/.459, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 62 BB, 57 K, 7 SB 2 CS (AA)

Hassan employs a great approach at the plate and has shown a propensity for hitting the ball hard this year. Might profile more as a fourth outfielder, but a good one at that.


Noe Ramirez, RHP - 8-4, 1.69 ERA, 90.2 IP, 56 H, 20 BB, 103 K (College)

Although he could go back to Cal State Fullerton for his senior year, Ramirez has nothing left to prove there. I am higher on him than most and I love his ability to command his three-pitch mix which includes a plus change-up.

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