Boston Red Sox: Ryan Kalish and the 5 Best Hitters in the Farm System
Ryan Kalish made quite a splash for the Boston Red Sox last season when he hit two grand slams in one month during his rookie season. If anything happens to the current outfielding core (another J.D. Drew phantom injury, perhaps), don't be surprised to see Kalish back in Boston.
After achieving mythical status as a high-schooler in New Jersey by not swinging and missing at a pitch for an entire season, Kalish was selected in the ninth round by Boston in 2006.
Last season, Kalish was named the Red Sox Rookie of the Year after collecting 41 hits and 10 stolen bases as on the youngest players in the American League.
This season, it was projected that Kalish would become the first player in Red Sox history to hit 20 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single season. Kalish hasn't gotten that chance yet, but when he does, he could be a force.
Kalish is the top hitting prospect in the farm leagues right now for Boston, but there's plenty of offensive talent surrounding him just waiting for their chance in the big leagues.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
It could be a long while before Will Middlebrooks gets serious playing time at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox are set at third base with Kevin Youkilis, so barring an injury, it'll be tough for Middlebrooks to get called up.
Middlebrooks was a fifth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2007. The 22-year-old third baseman is hitting close to .300 in Double-A Portland with eight home runs and 11 doubles.
Josh Reddick, OF
Josh Reddick, who started the season in Triple-A Pawtucket, saw some time in Boston recently and made the most of it, hitting nearly .400 in five games. Obviously, that's a small sample set, but with J.D. Drew struggling, Reddick could see some replacement time in the near future.
Reddick doesn't have a very good average, but his 12 home runs are a good indicator of young power. He's also drastically improved his eye at the plate, walking 31 times in 54 total games this season (his previous career-high was 38 walks in 109 games in 2009).
With an offense as mighty as Boston's, the team could benefit from developing a young player at the major league level. Really, Reddick can't do much worse than Drew.
Bryce Brentz, OF
Bryce Brentz, a pitcher turned outfielder from Middle Tennessee State was the Boston Red Sox first-round pick in 2010.
Brentz is hitting .361 in the minor leagues with 13 home runs, 11 doubles, and 38 RBI. By absolutely tearing it up at Single-A Greenville, Brentz earned an early promotion to advanced Single-A Salem.
SoxProspects.com estimates Brentz to see major-league time by 2014.
Alex Hassan, OF
A local product out of Quincy, MA (represent), Alex Hassan was chosen by the Boston Red Sox in the 20th round of the 2009 draft.
Currently playing in Double-A Portland, Hassan is hitting .330 with five home runs. SoxProspects.com projects he'll make the major leagues sometime in 2012.
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was just called up to Triple-A Pawtucket. The 23-year-old has 14 home runs for the Portland Sea Dogs so far this season.
The sixth-round pick in 2008 is in a nice position as the Boston Red Sox are in need of a future catcher.
SoxProspects.com projects Lavarnway will make his major league debut in 2012.