Boston Red Sox: 5 Minor Leaguers Who Could Help Rebuild the Franchise
Prospects are the future for most major league teams, and the Boston Red Sox have minor league pitchers and hitters who can help over the next several seasons.
Jose Iglesias and Ryan Lavarnway have already gotten the chance to make a mark on the Red Sox. But there are other prospects who won't be up until late 2013.
Now, I'm not saying those prospects will be the best in the world—like Mike Trout—but they will help turn over a new leaf for the Red Sox organization.
Here's a look at five of them.
Jackie Bradley, Outfielder
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Jackie Bradley is one of the best outfield prospects in the game and won the 2012 SoxProspects.com Breakout Player of the Year award.
Playing for Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland, he hit .315 and drew 87 walks in 463 plate appearances.
He showed some pop, hitting nine home runs, 42 doubles and four triples. He also stole 24 bases.
Bradley, who is also a great fielder. is projected to be a couple of seasons away from making his MLB debut.
Matt Barnes, SP
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Matt Barnes will be on every Red Sox fans' radar this coming spring training.
Barnes has the type of stuff that lights up the radar gun. He has dominated since his arrival at Salem.
He started the 2012 season with Greenville and posted a 0.34 ERA in five starts, striking out 42 in 26 2/3 innings.
Promoted to Salem, Barnes has posted an ERA of 3.58 in 20 games, striking out 91 in 93 innings.
Barnes will be in the majors by the end of the 2014 season and could be in the rotation as soon as the 2015 or 2016 season.
Xander Bogaerts, SS
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Xander Bogaerts is several seasons away from the majors. But he is a great offensive shortstop who can get the job done defensively.
His timely hitting and surge toward the end of the regular season with the Portland Sea Dogs won him the 2012 SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year award.
In 23 games with Portland, he hit .326 with five homers and 17 RBI. Before that, he hit .302 with 15 home runs and 64 RBI in 104 games with Salem.
The Red Sox have had trouble at shortstop since the days of Nomar Garciaparra. Bogaerts should provide an answer there after the 2013 season.
Bryce Brentz, Outfielder
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Bryce Brentz is one of those players who makes everyone around him better. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he performs well in the clutch.
After a win on September 11, Brentz was hitting .476 in the playoffs for the Pawtucket Red Sox, with two homers and 5 RBI. This came after he hit only .188 in his five games with Pawtucket at the end of the regular season.
He played 122 games with Double-A Portland and hit .296 with 17 homers and 76 RBI in 456 at-bats. He may have struck out 140 times, but that number will come down in time.
He is one of those prospects who will be called up in 2013 and could be used as a fourth outfielder until he gets his feet wet enough to be a starter.
Allen Webster, SP
Allen Webster is the key to the Los Angeles Dodgers-Boston Red Sox trade in August.
His sinker is fast with a lot of movement and, as you can tell from the above video, he's looked comfortable with his new organization.
In two starts with Portland, Webster has an ERA of 8.00 and has struck out 12 in nine innings of work.
He appears to be track to join the Red Sox for spring training in 2014.