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Ranking the Boston Red Sox's 10 Most Untouchable Prospects

Brian RoachCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2016

Ranking the Boston Red Sox's 10 Most Untouchable Prospects

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    The Boston Red Sox will look to make several splashes in the 2013 offseason, but there are some key prospects whom they should not trade for the future.

    From the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr. to someone such as Anthony Ranaudo, I will rank the 10 prospects that the Red Sox should not think about trading, unless an ace pitcher is involved.

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10. Brandon Jacobs, Outfielder

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    Brandon Jacobs is still at Single-A but is starting to make some strides to advance his game.

    In 2011, he stole 30 bags while hitting 17 home runs and drove in 80 runs.

    This past season, with Single-A Salem, the 21-year-old hit .252 with only 17 stolen bases, 13 homers and 61 RBI. He plays pretty good defense but could be expendable with other outfielders higher in the rankings.

9. Anthony Ranaudo, Starting Pitcher

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    Anthony Ranaudo could see some time as a long reliever in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox, but it still may be a couple of seasons before he is in the rotation.

    In Double-A, he started a total of nine games and finished with a 1-3 record with a 6.69 ERA. He has struggled with walks—27 walks in about 38 innings pitched in 2012—but kept the home run down, with only four longballs allowed in 2012.

8. Jose Iglesias, Shortstop

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    The only reason Jose Iglesias is not ranked higher is because there is another shortstop on this list who is a better commodity that the Sox cannot live without.

    Iglesias played plenty down the stretch for the Red Sox but did not show he had the lumber to go with his glove. In 68 at-bats, he hit .118 and drove in only one run. That type of production is not what the Red Sox are looking for in their lineup.

    Sure, if he hit .250, then he would be in the top 5 on this list, but his tremendous fielding abilities can only take this shortstop so far.

7. Alex Wilson, Relief Pitcher

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    For most of his minor league career, Alex Wilson was used as a starter, but in 2012 he made 37 relief appearances.

    Wilson dominated with 78 strikeouts in 72.2 innings pitched. He finished with a 3.72 ERA in 40 total appearances with the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2012.

    His fastball can top off at 94-95, and he also has a pretty solid slider to go along with a decent changeup.

6. Drake Britton, Starting Pitcher

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    Drake Britton looked good when he moved to Double-A Portland during the 2012 season.

    With the Sea Dogs, he finished with 16 starts with a 3.72 ERA, but only had a 4-7 record. He struck out 76 batters in 84.2 innings pitched. He also limited the home run ball with three allowed.

    Britton will be up in the next couple of years and could be a bonafide three or four starter once he gets the call.

5. Rubby De La Rosa, Starting Pitcher

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    Rubby De La Rosa did not pitch much in 2012 but will be in the mix for a role on the 2013 Boston Red Sox roster.

    Not only can he throw in the upper-90s, but he already has some experience in the majors. He has appeared in 14 games over the last two seasons, but has only a 4-5 record.

    His ERA is not that impressive—3.96—but he is still only 23 and will grow into a great No. 2 pitcher in a rotation over the next several seasons.

4. Allen Webster, Starting Pitcher

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    The sinkerballer is another No. 3 starter whom the Red Sox will be likely to bring up in the 2014 season. His fastball can light up the radar gun, but he relies in his fastball too much. He has a really good changeup and a decent slider and curveball.

    With Portland in 2012, he started two games and had an ERA of 8.00 in nine innings. He did strike out 12 batters, but he gave up too many hits due to relying on his fastball.

    Webster has some work to do before making the majors with the Red Sox.

3. Xander Bogaerts, Shortstop

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    The best-hitting infielder in the Red Sox farm system is one who will have a chance come spring training to prove himself on defense and offense.

    Xander Bogaerts combined to hit 20 homers and drive in 81 runs with Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland in 2012. He also hit .307 with a .523 slugging percentage.

    The Red Sox are thinking of having him play some outfield over the next couple of seasons so that he can come up the system faster and maybe both he and Iglesias can be in the mix come 2014 or maybe even as early as 2013.

2. Matt Barnes, Starting Pitcher

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    Another great option to be placed in the Red Sox rotation in the near future, Matt Barnes, can hit the upper-90s with his fastball and has really dominated in Single-A at 22 years old.

    Barnes combined to go 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 119.2 innings. He walked 29 batters and struck out 133. He was almost unhittable in his first five starts with Single-A Greenville with a 2-0 record and an 0.34 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.

    His electric fastball and tight curveball make him the best pitching prospect the Red Sox have in the farm system.

1. Jackie Bradley Jr., Outfielder

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    Jackie Bradley is the future face of the franchise if he keeps up his numbers when he reaches the majors next season.

    The 22-year-old hit .315 combined with Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He may not have the power, with nine home runs all season, but he can steal bases—24 in 2012—and can field with the best of them. He has natural speed and ability to play center field.

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