The Boston Red Sox have had had a surprisingly positive start to the season, going 31-20 out of the gate. Additionally, they are cultivating a top-notch farm system and have a number of minor league prospects whose stocks are being closely monitored because of their importance to the future.
The team is loaded with a variety of prospects. Baseball America’s Jim Callis ranked Boston’s farm system as the fifth-best in the majors entering the 2013 season. So far, the youngsters have done nothing to waste such high praise.
Click through for a stock update on the Red Sox’s top-10 prospects for Week 8 of the 2013 season.
The following players are the top-10 ranked prospects according to Baseball America.
The Red Sox’s No. 9 prospect, shortstop Jose Iglesias, is on Boston’s major league roster. Left-handed pitcher Drake Britton, who is ranked as the team’s No. 11 prospect according to the Prospect Handbook, has been reviewed in his place.
2013 Stats: 10 G (9 GS), 3-4, 4.33 ERA, 52 IP, 55 H, 25 ER, 22 BB, 49 K
Although he threw five shutout innings in his last start, the 2013 season has been uneven for left-hander Drake Britton. He has yet to have a string of dominant starts, and while his strikeout numbers are impressive, his walk totals are equally disappointing.
Britton will be facing even more pressure shortly, as his trial for an offseason DUI may start as early as June.
2013 Stats: 24 G, .245/.317/.362, 11 2B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5 SB, 12 R, 10 BB
Deven Marrero just can’t seem to get anything going. Although he is averaging nearly a double every other game, he isn’t producing runs or doing much else to justify his first-round draft pick status from last year.
At this point, Marrero is well behind Boston’s other top shortstop prospects (Xander Bogaerts and Jose Iglesias) on the depth chart.
2013 Stats: 44 G, .275/.325/.494, 10 2B, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 22 R, 12 BB, 44 K
Bryce Brentz is quietly putting together a very solid season at Triple-A Pawtucket. His home run and RBI numbers continue to rise, prompting his manager Gary DiSarcina to compare him to former Seattle Mariners’ slugger Jay Buhner.
On the downside, Brentz continue to struggle making contact, and has struck out nine times in his last 18 at-bats.
2013 Stats: 42 G, .365/.475/.615, 14 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 12 SB, 30 R, 27 BB
Garin Cecchini has emerged as the best-hitting prospect in Boston’s minor league system. He set a torrid pace early in the season and has kept it up, while reaching base in nearly half of his at-bats.
There appears to be no stopping the third baseman, although an interesting attempt was made when he was in Venezuela playing for Team USA several years ago.
2013 Stats: 35 G, .261/.336/.387, 5 3B, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 3 SB, 11 R
It was a tough week for Blake Swihart, as the young catcher suffered a gruesome injury after being hit in the head by a backswing, which caused him to miss several games. He collected just one hit since returning on May 23.
Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that there will be any long-term repercussions, and he will hopefully get back on track shortly.
2013 Stats: 9 GS, 3-2, 3.80 ERA, 45 IP, 35 H, 19 ER, 17 BB, 55 K
Henry Owens struggled for the second time in three starts, giving up four runs and four walks in just 4.1 innings to Single-A Frederick on May 26.
After allowing just two home runs in his first six starts, he has given up four in the past three games.
2013 Stats: 7 GS, 4-0, 2.52 ERA, 35.2 IP, 20 H, 10 ER, 17 BB, 42 K
Sandwiched around a disastrous major league start, Allen Webster has won his last four minor league games at Triple-A Pawtucket while allowing two or fewer runs each time.
He is holding batters to just a .164 average but has been hurt by inconsistent control. He has shown how dominant he can be when he throws strikes, as he has allowed just one hit this year to hitters when he is ahead in the count.
2013 Stats: 9 GS, 3-1, 4.50 ERA, 42 IP, 47 H, 21 ER, 14 BB, 50 K
Since starting the year with some terrible starts, Matt Barnes has finally found a consistent groove. Even in games when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he is finding ways to compete. In his May 22 start against Double-A New Hampshire, he gave up seven hits in five innings, but permitted just two earned runs.
Barnes also continues racking up solid strikeout numbers, as he has whiffed 10.71 per nine innings this season.
2013 Stats: 18 G, .352/.452/.493, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB, 14 R, 11 BB, 18 K
It was a strong week for Jackie Bradley Jr., as he hit his first home run of the season and has multiple hits in each of his past five games.
According to WEEI’s Katie Morrison, Bradley’s Triple-A manager, Gary DiSarcina, told Boston skipper John Farrell he believes Bradley is major league ready if the team needs his services.
Bradley didn’t get called up following Shane Victorino’s recent injury, but if he continues playing well, it may just be a matter of time.
2013 Stats: 41 G, .272/.354/.414, 5 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 5 SB, 28 R, 21 BB, 44 K
While he hasn’t posted overwhelming numbers, 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts is doing just fine playing his first full season at Double-A.
Although it’s unlikely he will be called up any time soon, he already knows when he will be playing at Fenway Park. It was just announced that Bogaerts and the Portland Sea Dogs were selected as the team to represent the system at the annual “Futures at Fenway” game in late July.
Statistics via Milb.com