The time has come when the strength of the Boston Red Sox farm system might give the team a huge advantage in the pennant race.
With top prospect Xander Bogaerts tearing the seams off the ball in Triple-A Pawtucket, he seems primed to be promoted to the big league club to assist the playoff-hopeful Red Sox.
Aside from the buzz surrounding Bogaerts, there is other big news on the prospect front, including two of our top 10 guys seeing promotions. So, without further ado, let's check out the stock updates for these guys.
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.
The following players were the top-10 ranked prospects entering the season according to Baseball America.
Please note: Players recently drafted by the Red Sox will not be included, as they do not have any statistics to draw from. If you would like more information about Boston’s most recent additions to the minor league system via the draft, have a look at their scouting profiles right here on B/R.
2013 Stats: .281/.357/.410, 20 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 33 RBI, 28 R, 7 SB
Last Week's Stats: 8-for-21, 1 2B, 0 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI
The eight hits sliced by Blake Swihart this past week did wonders for his batting rates.
The catcher saw his batting average increase to .281, but not much else changed. He was not a particularly notable run producer, but that is not solely his fault.
Swihart continues to produce at High-A Salem and has compiled a sold season down there.
2013 Stats: .253/.333/.328, 20 2B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 46 R, 18 SB
Last Week's Stats: 1-for-13, 0 2B, 0 HR, 0 R, 1 RBI
It's safe to assume that Deven Marrero would like to erase this past week from his memory banks.
The shortstop collected just one hit in 13 at-bats while driving in just one run.
The cumulative numbers are not looking very good for Marrero to this point, and he must show that he can be a greater factor with the bat before he is brought any further along in the Boston farm system.
2013 Stats: .272/.321/.487, 15 2B, 1 3B, 16 HR, 53 RBI, 34 R, 1 SB
Last Week's Stats: Did not play
Bryce Brentz is done for the season, according to NESN.com, due to an ankle injury.
Prior to the injury, however, Brentz showed what kind of player he can be. With the power he boasts, he can help give a power surge to the Boston batting order in the future.
2013 Stats (with Double-A Portland): 19 GS, 8-4, 2.95 ERA, 40 BB, 106 K, 109.2 IP
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 W
The great season Anthony Ranaudo has enjoyed just got a little happier.
The 23-year-old right-hander got a promotion to play for Triple-A Pawtucket this past week.
In his first start with Triple-A, Ranaudo was very good. He lasted six innings of four-hit ball to collect his first win at the level. Also notable is the fact that he walked no one and gave up no runs.
2013 Stats (with High-A Salem): 20 GS, 8-4, 2.78 ERA, 53 BB, 123 K, 104.2 IP
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 W
Anthony Ranaudo was not the only fortunate Red Sox farm hand.
This week, fellow prospect Henry Owens got the call to start for Double-A Portland.
He lasted six strong innings in his debut with the Sea Dogs. He picked up the win, fanned 11 and allowed no runs.
The promotion was to be expected, as the 21-year-old enjoyed stellar success at the High-A level. There, he was able to overpower hitters to the tune of 123 strikeouts in just 104.2 innings.
2013 Stats: 20 GS, 5-7, 4.38 ERA, 37 BB, 113 K, 88.1 IP
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 0 W
Matt Barnes has had a really hard time finding consistency this season.
While the two runs over 5.2 frames he surrendered in his last start aren't a ton, it is just another average start for Barnes. Barnes continues to strike out hitters at a fantastic rate, but he also allows too many of them to score.
His most recent start can be chalked up as a success, but he needs to have a dominating outing in the near future.
2013 Stats: 15 GS, 5-4, 4.04 ERA, 32 BB, 83 K, 71.1 IP
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 0 W, 1 L
Although Allen Webster was tagged with the loss in his most recent start, he was far from awful.
The righty allowed three hits, a walk and a single run while striking out 12 opponents in six strong innings.
Webster has been up-and-down for much of the season. This was another good start for the 23-year-old, so it raises his stock a bit.
2013 Stats (High-A Salem): .350/.469/.547, 19 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 44 R, 15 SB
2013 Stats (Double-A Portland): .294/.409/.413, 9 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 24 R, 6 SB
Last Week's Stats: 1-for-17, 0 2B, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 5 BB
Garin Cecchini just never seems to get into any kind of a slump.
After a less-than-stellar week the week before, Cecchini bounced back with a great stretch, scoring six runs, driving in four and stealing four bases to go with 10 hits.
Cecchini certainly is having no problem dealing with Double-A pitching. Though he is just 22 years old, the third baseman seems to have a future at Fenway Park not too terribly far away.
2013 Stats: .278/.378/.489, 20 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 40 R, 6 SB
Last Week's Stats: 4-for-7, 0 2B, 0 HR, 1 R, 0 RBI
On the bright side, Jackie Bradley Jr. was able to hit the ball well this past week.
The only problem is that his action was limited to seven at-bats.
The center fielder continues to wait in the wings in Triple-A. He might very well be able to make a difference in the pennant race if he were needed, but the success of guys like Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes has buried him on the depth chart.
Maybe 2013 wasn't the year for Bradley's big splash, but make no mistake about it, those days aren't far off.
2013 Stats (Double-A Portland): .311/.407/.502, 12 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 40 R, 5 SB
2013 Stats (Triple-A Pawtucket): .282/.378/.477, 10 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 24 R, 2 SB
Last Week's Stats: 10-for-31, 5 2B, 0 HR, 4 R, 1 RBI
At the ripe age of 20, Xander Bogaerts seems ready to hit in the big leagues.
The Red Sox's top prospect has been seeing time at third base lately, presumably to groom him there defensively so he can fill that positional void at Fenway.
The anticipation of this singular talent's arrival is extremely exciting. Hopefully the team will make good use of him as it tries to take the AL East in the final months of the regular season.