Recent rumors of an imminent big league debut for the Boston Red Sox''s top prospect, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, proved to be untrue, as the 20-year-old still bides his time in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Despite the delayed debut, the top of the Red Sox farm system is doing fine. Along with the big league club's first place standing, Boston once again has a baseball team worth boasting about.
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: .283/.353/.413, 23 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 38 RBI, 32 R, 7 SB
Last Week's Stats: 6-for-20, 3 2B, 0 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI
Blake Swihart made good use of his hot bat last week, knocking in five runs while scoring an additional four. He also tacked three doubles to his stat line.
The 21-year-old is making nice late-season progress at High-A. Hopefully he can continue this pace and end the season strongly.
2013 Stats: .256/.341/.334, 20 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 50 R, 21 SB
Last Week's Stats: 7-for-24, 0 2B, 1 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI
Deven Marrero had a nice bounce-back week, pasting a home run, three stolen bases and four runs scored to his stat line.
The 2012 first-round draft choice has played inconsistently this season, but his stat line definitely leaves reason for encouragement. Coupled with his glove, his developing bat will keep driving him along the road of baseball success.
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
2013 Stats (with Triple-A Pawtucket): 2 GS, 1-1, 3.27 ERA, 2 BB, 8 K, 11.0 IP
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 W, 1 L
Anthony Ranaudo endured a mediocre start with Triple-A Pawtucket.
In his second start at the level, Ranaudo allowed eight hits, two walks and four runs over just five innings.
The disappointing outing might have more to do with adjusting to a new level than anything else. Look for the righty to bounce back next time out.
2013 Stats (with High-A Salem): 20 GS, 8-4, 2.78 ERA, 53 BB, 123 K, 104.2 IP
2013 Stats (with Double-A Portland): 2 GS, 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 3 BB, 19 K, 10.0 IP
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 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: 22 GS, 5-8, 4.27 ERA, 41 BB, 126 K, 99.0 IP
Last Week's Stats: 2 GS, 10.2 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 13 K, 0 W, 1 L
Though he did not collect a win, Matt Barnes should consider this two-start week a success.
The big righty attacked hitters, striking out 13 over 10.2 innings over the two starts.
Barnes' ERA now sits at a fairly respectable 4.27. That, along with the 126 punchouts he has tallied up, reveal his 5-8 record as deceiving.
2013 Stats: 17 GS, 6-4, 3.97 ERA, 35 BB, 93 K, 81.2 IP
Last Week's Stats: 2 GS, 10.1 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 W
Allen Webster hurled 10.1 strong innings over two starts last week.
While he was far from perfect, giving up 11 hits and four runs, Webster was solid this past week.
The righty has been inconsistent this season. Sometimes he has made the Los Angeles Dodgers look foolish for letting him slip away, while other times he looks lost. Overall, the numbers Webster has posted in his first season with the Red Sox have been pretty respectable.
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): .301/.424/.411, 10 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 26 R, 6 SB
Last Week's Stats: 7-for-20, 1 2B, 0 HR, 1 R, 3 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: .276/.376/.446, 22 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 45 R, 6 SB
Last Week's Stats: 3-for-13, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 R, 3 RBI
Each of the three hits Jackie Bradley Jr. collected this week went for extra bases.
The center fielder lifted his ninth home run into the stands, while driving in three runs and scoring another five of his own.
The Red Sox know what they have in Bradley, and that is a player who has the potential to be special. It will be interesting to see how Bradley's development influences the impending Jacoby Ellsbury contract negotiations.
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): .284/.368/.456, 11 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 29 RBI, 25 R, 2 SB
Last Week's Stats: 9-for-30, 1 2B, 0 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI
While fans were glad to see Will Middlebrooks get another crack at the majors, many were disappointed that Xander Bogaerts wasn't given one.
The Red Sox's top prospect has done nothing that should disqualify him from such a promotion. In fact, he has played consistently great baseball at two different levels this season.
The problem, as manager John Farrell told masslive.com:
Based on the recommendations of the people who have gone through (Pawtucket) lately as well as talking to DiSar, it was very clear in his mind that Will was the choice, and that’s not to take anything away from Xander’s abilities. He’s swinging the bat well but it’s more on the defensive side, the finer points of the game. Right now he continues to need his reps.
Perhaps with Stephen Drew struggling, Boston will give Bogaerts a shot. This kid could make a difference in the pennant race if called up.