In 2012, Boston’s dismal season and last-place finish in the American League East obscured the enormous progress made by their top prospects down on the farm.
Last season, though, everything clicked for the organization from top to bottom.
After acquiring John Farrell to replace Bobby Valentine as the team’s manager and adding a few key players to complement their already strong core of veterans, the Red Sox opened the season on a tear and never looked back. The club went on to win the AL East with 97 wins before ultimately defeating the St. Louis Cardinals to claim its third World Series title in the last decade.
Many of the prospects that took a step forward in 2012 played a role in the team’s overwhelming success last season, as the Red Sox received contributions from top-ranked prospects such as infielder Xander Bogaerts, outfielder Jackie Bradley and right-handers Allen Webster and Brandon Workman. Amazingly, all four players have rookie eligibility for the 2014 season.
In addition to housing high-ceiling players such as Bogaerts and left-hander Henry Owens, Boston has projectable depth—guys that will be major leaguers—at most positions. All of their top position prospects possess a unique feel for hitting and an advanced approach, and they should continue to move up the ladder quickly as a result. The organization also has a cast of power arms waiting patiently in the high minors for crack at the major leagues.
Their overall depth ultimately allowed the organization to gamble on upside last June in the First-Year Player Draft, when it selected prep prospect Trey Ball, a 6’6” left-handed pitcher, in the first round. They also signed highly touted Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers during the international signing period.
Here’s a look at the Boston Red Sox’s top-10 prospects for the 2014 season.