Position-by-Position Breakdown of Boston Red Sox's Standout Prospects
The Boston Red Sox farm system is starting to flourish. Multiple players at different positions are doing well, especially on the left side of the infield and the pitcher's mound.
Some of these players won't be seen for several seasons, but others might get the call as soon as late August or September. Most of these players have some degree of talent and have the potential to be breakout MLB players with the Red Sox in the upcoming seasons.
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Several pitchers in the minors have made major improvements in 2013 and/or have just played really well. Below are the ones who stand out the most for the Boston Red Sox.
Rubby De La Rosa
Even though he gave up two solo shots in his second inning of work with the Red Sox, De La Rosa is still a great asset for this team to have down the stretch. He throws a fastball in the mid- to upper-90s and has a great changeup. The young righty has the potential to be something great.
The 24-year-old has a 4.23 ERA in 20 starts with the Pawtucket Red Sox and has struck out 74 in his 76.2 innings of work.
Owens dominated with Salem to the tune of a 8-5 record with a 2.92 ERA in 20 starts. He compiled 123 strikeouts in 104.2 innings before making the jump to the Portland Sea Dogs.
In only one start with the Sea Dogs, the 20-year-old lasted six innings without giving up a run and struck out 11 batters while only walking two and giving up four hits. He got the win and looks to continue his domination in his next start.
Britton has already shown what he can do in the majors with only one run allowed through 11.1 innings of work with the Red Sox this season. He has struck out 10 with only one walk, and his strike throwing has kept many hitters off balance.
Another pitcher who made the jump to the majors and succeeded is Workman. He has an ERA under 3.00 in his three career starts and has saved the bullpen arms a couple of times when working out of the pen for several innings at a time.
Huntzinger is another young gun in the Red Sox' farm system. Even though he has been used a reliever, he has shown dominance in Portland and Pawtucket.
With the Sea Dogs, he accumulated a 2.32 ERA and 13 saves to go along with his 3-0 record. With Pawtucket, he has gone 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 18 games. He has 29 strikeouts in 28.2 innings of work.
At 25, Huntzinger could see some time in the majors in September even though he isn't currently on the 40-man roster.
Before getting the call on August 4 to the Paw Sox, Ranaudo succeeded in Double-A Portland with an 8-4 record and a 2.95 ERA in 19 starts. He struck out 106 batters in 109.2 innings of work.
In his one start with the Paw Sox, the 23-year-old struck out five in six shutout innings while only allowing four hits. He didn't walk a batter. He may get a spot start in September if the Sox think he is ready.
Although he may be a 2013 draft pick, Stankiewicz has done pretty well for himself with the Lowell Spinners. He has four career games started with a nifty 1.29 ERA. It may only be seven innings, but he has six strikeouts compared to zero walks.
If he can keep this up, he might see some major league action as soon as 2015.
No one really knows how many years Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be in Boston, and these catchers will make great backups until Salty or the Red Sox move on.
Swihart may only be 21 and in Single-A Salem, but he has shown flashes of brilliance in the minors. He has tallied 33 RBI, 20 doubles, two home runs and three stolen bases this season and could see himself in Portland next season.
Butler is catching down at Pawtucket, and he has hit 12 homers so far in 2013 to go along with 16 doubles and 40 RBI. He has walked 31 times compared to 48 strikeouts with a .279 average and an .882 OPS in 229 at-bats.
First base is probably one of the weaker positions in the Red Sox farm system, but a couple of bright spots aren't too far away.
Hassan can also play the outfield, but he has played some time at first with the Paw Sox. The Red Sox will need help at first if they can't sign Mike Napoli, and Hassan could fill that void in 2014.
The 25-year-old has potential with a great glove and a pretty good offensive output. In 163 at-bats, he has a .301 average with four home runs and 25 RBI. He also has walked 29 times and struck out 41 times in his time with the Triple-A squad.
Almanzer, who plays for the Portland Sea Dogs, has not really been talked about. A .270 average may not seem like much, but he has 13 homers, 10 stolen bases in 11 chances and 69 RBI for the Sea Dogs. He can play both first and third, which could make him a great utility player for the Red Sox in the future.
Dustin Pedroia will be playing at second for the next eight seasons, but it is always good to have a backup plan for injuries or rest.
Coyle made some noise with the Salem Red Sox with 10 homers and 11 stolen bases in 11 chances. He only drove in 20 runs, but he put together an .826 OPS with only a .246 average in 36 games. He struggles with plate discipline (45 strikeouts and only 13 walks), but many professional hitters learn to be more patient over their minor league careers.
With Will Middlebrooks' struggles in 2012, the third base position is still open for guys like Xander Bogaerts, but the real guy in line to play third has played in Portland the last couple of months.
Cecchini got the call to the Sea Dogs after 63 games with the Salem Red Sox. He dominated with a 1.016 OPS in 214 at-bats before the promotion, including five homers and 33 RBI. He also walked 43 times compared to 34 strikeouts and had a .350 average.
With Portland, the 22-year-old has hit .296 but is 6-of-7 on stolen bases. He may only have two dingers, but his .860 OPS is still high for his age. Middlebrooks better make sure he proves himself when he is called up, or Cecchini may be taking his spot at third.
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The Red Sox may have traded away a real defensive gem in Jose Iglesias before the trading deadline, but there are still some solid options in the farm system.
Bogaerts has made a name for himself, but he is still only 20 years old. He pretty much dominated in Portland with a .311 average and a.909 OPS in 56 contests before getting the call to Pawtucket.
In Pawtucket, he has hit .291 with eight homers and 27 RBI. His OPS stands at .856, and he has walked 25 times while striking out 35. He may get the call in the coming weeks—especially to help out at third, even though he has only seven starts at that position in Pawtucket.
Marrero is a solid defensive shortstop at the age of 23, but he is also a nuisance on the basepaths. He may lack pop (only one home run with the Salem Red Sox), but he does have 20 stolen bases in 22 chances with a .340 OBP. He has walked a grand total of 40 times in 82 games played and has 57 strikeouts.
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The outfield may be full in 2013, but Jacoby Ellsbury could sign elsewhere come 2014. If that is the case, some of these outfield options will make an impact with speed and power in the coming seasons.
Jackie Bradley Jr.
JBJ has already seen some playing time with the Red Sox to the tune of .155 with only two homers in 23 games.
As of August 9, Bradley is on the seven-day DL with an elbow injury. But he has a solid .278 average with the Paw Sox to go along with six homers and six steals. His .378 OBP and .868 OPS are impressive and would make great additions to centerfield in 2014.
One of the outfielders who has shown some pop for the Red Sox in the farm system is Hazelbaker. He has 10 homers and 51 RBI in 102 games with the Paw Sox and has 28 stolen bases in 35 chances. The speed and power would make great additions in right or left in the future, especially since he is only 25 years old.
Brentz has been on the DL since July 5, but he played pretty well until the time of his injury. He totaled 16 home runs and 53 RBI in only 75 games and 302 at-bats. His OPS stands at .808, and the only real problem was his 19 walks compared to 76 strikeouts. However, he does bat from the right side of the plate with some pop, which is hard to find in today's game.