Boston Red Sox: Stock Up, Stock Down for Team's Top 10 Prospects for Week 9
Two months into the regular season, The Boston Red Sox sit atop the American League East, with a fairly surprising 33-21 record. The impressive play in the early part of 2013 may just be a sign of good things to come for the Red Sox.
In addition to a great Boston major league team, the Boston farm system is cultivating many promising prospects. Baseball America’s Jim Callis ranked Boston’s farm system as the fifth-best in the majors entering the 2013 season. The up-and-comers have done nothing to discredit his ranking.
From starting pitchers to shortstops, the Red Sox are developing great prospects all over the field.
Click through for a stock update on the Red Sox’s top 10 prospects for Week 8 of the 2013 season.
The following players were the top-10 ranked prospects entering the season according to Baseball America.
Due to the fantastic play of starting-pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, he has replaced shortstop Devin Marrero, who was ranked No. 10 last week.
No. 10: Starting Pitcher Anthony Ranaudo
2013 Minor League Stats: 10 GS, 6-1, 1.48 ERA, 54.2 IP, 31 H, 9 ER, 15 BB, 58 K
It's easy to forget that Anthony Ranaudo was once one of the highest-regarded prospects in the Red Sox system. Baseball America had him ranked as the franchise's fourth best prospect entering the 2011 season.
After a 2012 season marred both by struggles on the mound and a season-ending shoulder injury, Ranaudo has reclaimed a lot of the hype surrounding him. With Double-A Portland he has been as dominant as can be, as evidenced by his stat line.
It is just a matter of time before Ranaudo gets a promotion to Triple-A. If he succeeds there, the 23-year-old might crack the big league roster in some capacity as early as next season.
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
No. 9: Shortstop Jose Iglesias
2013 Minor League Stats: 33 G, .202/.262/.319, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 5 SB, 17 R, 9 BB, 18 K
2013 Major Leagues Stats: 16 G, .434/.456/.585, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, 9 R, 1 BB, 10 K
An injury to third baseman Will Middlebrooks has paved the way back to the Boston for Jose Iglesias.
Instead of playing his natural position of shortstop, the 23-year-old is with the big league club playing the role of a utility infielder.
The hype surrounding Iglesias has always been his glove, but so far in Boston, his bat has been the most impressive part of his game. He is hitting over .400 over a fairly-small stretch of 16 games this season, and he just collected his first home run June 3 against Hiroki Kiroda.
Given the underwhelming hitting stats the infielder has posted at Triple-A, it is just a matter of time before he slips back to earth. Though, it is very possible that he has figured it out at the plate, and can be an adequate hitter at the end of the Red Sox batting order.
Last Week's Stats (with Boston): 6 G, .429/.429/.667, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K
No. 8: Outfielder Bryce Brentz
2013 Minor League Stats: 50 G, .275/.324/.485, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 1 SB, 20 R, 14 BB, 53 K
Bryce Brentz has been posting great numbers all season long for Triple-A Pawtucket.
In the frame from May 28 to June 1, the outfielder has continued his tear, collecting six hits in 21 at-bats, while striking a pair of extra-base hits and driving in six runs.
Despite his high strikeout numbers, his 22 extra-base hits in 50 games show that he has some legitimate power at the plate. If Brentz continues his tear in the minors, it is not unfeasible that he could see some time in Boston at some point in 2013.
Last Week's Stats: 5 G, .286/.348/.476, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K
No. 7: Catcher Blake Swihart
2013 Minor League Stats: 40 G, .287/.372/.419, 0 HR, 18 RBI, 6 SB, 14 R, 19 BB, 20 K
Blake Swihart has been getting the job done with High-A Salem.
Over the past week, Swihart has been swinging a stellar bat, with slash-rates of .533/.611/733. That kind of play is all-the-more promising considering his initial struggles after returning from a concussion.
Swihart has also continued to play impressively behind the plate, throwing out 34 percent of potential base stealers.
At just 21, Swihart is a long way away from making the big league roster, but the strides he keeps making give plenty of reason for optimism.
Last Week's Stats: 4 G, .533/.611/.733, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 SB, 2 R, 3 BB, 0 K
No. 6: Starting Pitcher Henry Owens
2013 Minor Stats: 10 GS, 3-2, 3.53 ERA, 51.0 IP, 37 H, 20 ER, 19 BB, 62 K
Coming into his May 31 start, Henry Owens had struggled for the greater part of the month.
He flipped the calendar on a good note, surrendering just two hits, two walks and one earned run over six full frames against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
The 20-year-old left-hander might need a little more time before he can climb up the ladder of the minors some more. If he is able to string together some good starts, he should garner consideration for a promotion soon enough.
2013 Minor Stats: 1 GS, 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
No. 5: Third Baseman Garin Cecchini
2013 Minor League Stats: 49 G, .358/.469/.578, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 13 SB, 34 R, 32 BB, 27 K
Garin Cecchini just keeps proving why he is among the best bats in the Boston farm system.
Over the past five games, the 22-year-old has collected eight hits in 21 at-bats, which calculates to a .381 average.
While Cecchini won't be in the big leagues for a while, if he continues to blossom, the dual-presence of Cecchini and assumed-third baseman-of-the-future Will Middlebrooks will give the Red Sox an interesting situation to manage.
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, .364/.462/.409, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 4 R, 4 BB, 2 K
No. 4: Starting Pitcher Allen Webster
2013 Minor League Stats: 8 GS, 5-0, 2.57 ERA, 42.0 IP, 24 H, 12 ER, 28 BB, 45 K
2013 Major League Stats: 2 GS, 0-1, 11.74 ERA, 7.2 IP, 11 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
Allen Webster must wish he could post the same kind of numbers in Boston as those he has at Triple-A Pawtucket.
The 23-year-old has won each of his last five starts in Pawtucket, going at least 5.0 innings and allowing no more than two earned runs in any of those starts.
Unfortunately, in that time frame he also had a game with Boston where he lasted only 1.2 innings and surrendered eight runs.
The right-handed Webster has some more work to do, but he should be playing a factor with the big club in the not-so-distant future.
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 1-0, 2.84 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
No. 3: Starting Pitcher Matt Barnes
2013 Stats: 11 GS, 3-2, 5.62 ERA, 49.2 IP, 57 H, 31 ER, 15 BB, 56 K
Matt Barnes had a head-scratchingly bad outing his last start with Double-A Portland.
The 22-year-old right-hander lasted just 1.2 innings, and surrendered six hits (including three home runs) and seven earned runs. On the plus side, he struck out two hitters, which is consistent with his 10.1 strikeouts-per-nine-innings.
The start was the worst of a frustrating season for Barnes. There isn't reason for too much concern, as Barnes is still finding his way in his first season in Double-A. The worst thing that can be concluded from his struggles is a later arrival in Boston than expected, maybe sometime in 2015. But even that is reading a bit too much into it.
Last Week's Stats: 2 GS, 0-1, 12.50 ERA, 7.2 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
No. 2: Outfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr.
2013 Minor League Stats: 20 G, .354/.457/.544, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 15 R, 13 BB, 18 K
2013 Major Leagues Stats: G, .163/.280/.233, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 8 R, 6 BB, 15 K
After his initial failures at the big league level, Jackie Bradley Jr. is getting a second crack at things.
His domination of Triple-A pitching prompted last week's promotion to the big league club, and Bradley looks like he might be ready to contribute.
Filling in for an ailing Jacoby Ellsbury, the 23-year-old has collected four hits in 12 at-bats since returning to Boston, which calculates to a .333 average. More will need to be seen from Bradley, but if the Red Sox did not feel he was ready, he would not be back with the team this quickly. With the injuries to Ellsbury and Shane Victorino, Bradley should be able to find some playing time at present.
Last Week's Stats (with Boston): 5 G, .333/.333/.500, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K
No. 1: Shortstop Xander Bogaerts
2013 Stats: 48 G, .302/.393/.490, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 5 SB, 34 R, 28 BB, 45 K
The consensus-top prospect in the Red Sox farm system just continues to rake.
Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a very hot week at the plate, collecting 11 hits in 27 at-bats, hitting three home runs and driving in nine runs while striking out just once. His slash line over those six games is an unbelievable .550/.630/1.150.
The 20-year-old is frustrating Double-A pitchers consistently in his first season at the level. He is a top-chip in the Boston farm system, and is essentially untouchable, unless an unrefusable trade comes along.
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, .550/.630/1.150, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB, 6 R, 5 BB, 1 K