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Grading Top Boston Red Sox Prospects This Spring

Aashish SharmaCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2013

Grading Top Boston Red Sox Prospects This Spring

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    We are entering the last few days of spring training. Meaningful baseball is now just six days away, and that means final roster decisions are being made.

    By now, most Boston Red Sox prospects have already been reassigned to minor league camp, where they will be further designated to various Single-, Double- and Triple-A affiliates. But there are still a few who are fighting for a final spot on the Opening Day roster. 

    Let's take a look at a few of the top Red Sox prospects (according to SoxProspects.com) and evaluate how they fared this spring. 

Jose Iglesias

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    In four years with the Red Sox, spring training 2013 has been by far Jose Iglesias’ most productive. In 20 games, he has registered a .273 average with a homer, five doubles, a triple and seven RBI.

    He has looked more confident at the plate and has been driving the ball with authority—most likely a product of the 10 pounds of muscle he added during the offseason.

    His one area of weakness has been OBP (.298). But his improved offense along with his characteristically stellar defense seems enough (for the time being) to earn him a spot on the Opening Day roster.

    Spring 2013 Grade: B

Xander Bogaerts

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    Xander Bogaerts is currently listed as the top prospect in the Red Sox's farm system. The 20-year-old has already put together impressive numbers in a relatively short professional career. In three seasons of minor league play, he owns a .296 average with 39 homers and 168 RBI.

    Due to his participation in the World Baseball Classic (he represented the Netherlands), Bogaerts did not get much playing time with the Red Sox during spring training. He played in just four games, going 2-for-6 with an RBI.

    While Bogaerts seems poised to inherit a significant role with the Red Sox in the future, his 2013 spring isn’t a significant enough sample size to warrant a grade.  

    Spring 2013 Grade: Incomplete

Allen Webster

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    One of the Red Sox's biggest breakout players, Allen Webster made quite a splash in spring training. In four appearances spanning 11 innings, Webster posted a 1.64 ERA while striking out 14 hitters and allowing just one walk. He also registered two saves in as many opportunities.

    He has since been reassigned to Triple-A Pawtucket, but don’t be surprised to see him in the big leagues should he continue his dazzling pitching. 

    Spring 2013 Grade: A

Rubby De La Rosa

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    Red Sox pitching legend Pedro Martinez, who joined the Red Sox as a special assistant, had special words when describing Rubby De La Rosa’s potential.

    According to a February piece by WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, Martinez said:

    Anything you want to do in baseball, as far as pitching, that kid has a chance. He has an opportunity to be someone special. Not just a regular player, but special. When you see someone like De La Rosa you think someone special, like a [Roger] Clemens, a Juan Marichal. You think about elite players. That’s the type of stuff he has.

    Despite Martinez’ endorsement, De La Rosa struggled in camp. He made four relief appearances, posting a 9.45 ERA in 6.2 innings of work, while striking out five and walking five.

    His game still needs some fine-tuning, but Pedro Martinez’ words are not to be taken lightly. De La Rosa still has the makings of a star.

    Spring 2013 Grade: C-

Matt Barnes

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    Selected 19th overall by the Red Sox in the 2011 amateur draft, Matt Barnes made an instant impact between Salem and Greenville. The 22-year-old started 25 games between the two squads (totaling 119.2 innings), going 7-5 while posting a 2.86 ERA.

    While there is certainly room for improvement, the UConn product displayed promising talent in his first pro season.

    Barnes did not make an appearance at big league camp this spring, but if he continues to dominate in the minors, expect him to be an important part of spring training in 2014. 

    Spring 2013 Grade: N/A

Bryce Brentz

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    After accidentally shooting himself in the leg just prior to spring training, Bryce Brentz cost himself the opportunity to get playing time in Red Sox big league camp.

    Now fully recovered from his injury, Brentz has played in three Triple-A spring training games. He went 3-for-8 with a double, a home run and an RBI. However his nine plate appearances are not enough to evaluate his shortened spring.

    Spring 2013 Grade: Incomplete

Jackie Bradley Jr.

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    Jackie Bradley Jr. has had one of the best spring camps by a position player in recent history. He has outshined all of his teammates offensively, posting a ridiculous .423/.508/.615/1.123 stat line with two homers, four doubles and nine RBI in 23 games.

    There is no question he deserves a spot on the Red Sox's Opening Day roster. Bradley will eventually come back down to earth, but the Red Sox could certainly ride his hot bat out of the gate.

    Spring 2013 Grade: A

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