Stock Up, Stock Down for Boston Red Sox's Top 10 Prospects for Week No. 1
The Boston Red Sox have started out of the gate hot with a 5-2 record, but that doesn't mean all their minor-league affiliates have done the same.
Some of the top prospects have done well enough to move up their stock in the first week, but others have struggled to get it going heading into the second Tuesday of the season.
It may be early, but these prospects are going to make a difference in the future. Some are already at the major-league level and making some noise, but most of them still have to wait a year or two before making their big-league debuts.
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Xander Bogaerts (.278, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K) struggled in the World Baseball Classic, but has found more stable playing time with the Portland Sea Dogs. In four games, he has put together a solid .278 average in 18 at-bats. He has scored three runs and played pretty solid defense.
Bogaerts may not be moved up to Boston until after he heads to the Pawtucket Red Sox and plays enough there to get his feet wet. He is an exciting prospect to watch for the future of the Red Sox.
Jackie Bradley Jr., LF/CF
Jackie Bradley Jr (.143, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K) has not really shown that he can hit in the majors just yet. He showed a couple of flashes of what he could be in the early series against the New York Yankees, but lately, he is swinging at too many pitches outside of the zone.
When David Ortiz returns, Bradley Jr will be sent to Pawtucket for further seasoning. He is only 22, so he has plenty of time to mature to a professional hitter.
Matt Barnes, Starting Pitcher
Matt Barnes (1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) started his first game for the Portland Sea Dogs on Sunday and did not really have it going, allowing two runs in his lone inning of work, but showed some life with three strikeouts in the inning.
The 22-year-old is still a season or two away from being a spot-starter in the majors so now is the time to be patient with the young starting pitcher. Even Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz struggled when first making the jump to Portland.
Allen Webster, Starting Pitcher
An impressive spring training for Allen Webster has allowed the young sinkerballer (5 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) to make the leap to Pawtucket. In one start this season, he allowed two hits, walked three and struck out five batters in a great debut for the right-hander.
The 23-year-old seems ready for the major leagues, but only the scouts will be able to let management decide if the Red Sox should bring him up soon or not.
Rubby De La Rosa, Starting Pitcher
Rubby De La Rosa (2.1 IP, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) may not have received a loss in his first start, but he sure pitched like he wanted it. He allowed four hits and five runs in his debut with the PawSox.
The 24-year-old has plenty of potential, but a rough start to his 2013 campaign brought his stock down some. Once he can limit baserunners, then he will he be a bonafide threat to make it to the Red Sox as a starter.
Bryce Brentz, RF
It may be a small 24 at-bat sample size, but Bryce Brentz (.333, 1 HR, 5 RBI, O BB, 6 K) has shown flashes of being an outfielder that the Red Sox could use as a replacement if there are any significant injuries at the parent club.
The pop in his bat is one thing, but keeping a steady average of .300 will be a great find in a batter who has dealt with some awkward injuries, including shooting himself in the leg while cleaning his gun in the offseason.
Garin Cecchini, 3B
Garin Cecchini ( .400, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K) is only 21, but is a solid defender and is quick on the bases. He is 3-for-4 In stolen-base attempts.
Third base may be full with Will Middlebrooks taking over in Boston, but Cecchini could get some playing time if an opening develops in three to four years.
Blake Swihart, C
The Red Sox have huge organization depth at catcher and Blake Swihart (.091 AV, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K) is starting to show up on the radar as a backstop who can be a great defensive commodity somewhere down the line.
His one hit in 11 at-bats over three games with the Salem Red Sox in the Carolina League is killing his stock, however. The 21-year-old has only played three games so far and will likely improve his stroke over time.
Henry Owens, Starting Pitcher
Henry Owens (5 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) is another starting pitcher for Boston who has looked great in one start in the minors with Salem. He has a great fastball and some solid secondary pitchers.
The 20-year-old may need to pitch more in the strike zone, with two walks in his first start, but that will come soon enough. He has several more years before he is even thought of being a prospect worth bringing up.
Jose Iglesias, SS
Jose Iglesias (.450, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K) has only 20 at-bats for Boston, but has nine hits and two of them are doubles. He has shown a little more pop with the couple extra-base hits to start the 2013 season, but unfortunately, Stephen Drew is due back really soon.
The 23-year-old already has a major-league ready glove and hitting those infield-singles and bunt-singles has made it known to the Red Sox that this kid wants to stay up with the big club. If Drew succumbs to another injury, Iglesias will be a great fill-in shortstop.
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