Stock Up, Stock Down for Red Sox's Top 10 Prospects for Week 10

Peter WoolvertonContributor IIJune 14, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Red Sox's Top 10 Prospects for Week 10

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    While the Red Sox continue to pad their lead in the AL East, prospects down on the farm are working hard to prove themselves. 

    Here, I have featured Boston’s top 10 prospects and details about their current standing in the minor league system relative to their peers. Fortunately, most have done very well. 

    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. 

10. Blake Swihart, C

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    2013 Stats: .275/.361/.419, 16 XBH (1 HR), 29/22 K/BB (49 G, Salem) 

    After a somewhat disappointing first full season of pro ball last year, Swihart has started to show off some of his impressive raw tools this year. 

    His stats won’t blow you away, but they are respectable for a player of his youth and limited experience. 

    However, over his last ten games, Swihart has slipped a bit, posting a .222 average with only four extra base hits in his last 36 at bats. 

    Swihart has made some improvements this year, particularly with regards to plate discipline. However, the young catcher will have to show more in the way of offense before he can be taken seriously as a future star backstop. 

    Conclusion: Stock down

9. Deven Marrero, SS

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    2013 Stats: .257/.323/.349, 14 XBH (0 HR), 26/15 K/BB (39 G, Salem) 

    Much like Swihart, Marrero was taken early in the first round (2012) by Boston in the hopes that he would blossom into a star and ascend the organizational ladder quickly. That hasn’t quite happened yet. 

    The shortstop is still a star defender who should compete for Gold Gloves in the big leagues, but his bat has not progressed as hoped.

    In fact, Marrero has regressed in many areas. While he still makes contact at a decent rate, his power has all but vanished from his game and his once-solid plate discipline has been very poor. 

    Marrero is certainly talented enough to turn things around. Time will tell if he can do it. 

    Conclusion: Stock down

8. Bryce Brentz, OF

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    2013 Stats: .279/.329/.502, 26 XBH (12 HR), 56/15 K/BB (49 G, Pawtucket) 

    Brentz hasn’t lost a step this year. 

    The young right fielder has posted impressive power numbers at every level of the minor leagues, and this season is certainly no exception. At Triple-A now, the right-handed slugger appears nearly ready to start mashing balls over the monster. 

    The one concern with Brentz is his plate discipline, which has not improved this year. He still strikes out at an obscene rate and rarely takes walks. While he can hit for a decent average, his on-base numbers will continue to be mediocre until he learns to walk more.  

    Conclusion: Stock up

7. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP

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    2013 stats: 59.1 IP, 2.43 ERA, 0.978 WHIP, 63/19 K/BB (11 GS, Portland) 

    Ranaudo’s stock just keeps on rising. 

    The tall righty is enjoying a brilliant rebound year after an utterly horrendous season in 2012 where he spent much of his time on the disabled list. 

    Ranaudo has always had a very high ceiling. His curveball is still the best in the organization. Most impressively, Ranaudo has been able to vastly improve his fastball command this year, an area in which he has struggled in the past. 

    If he keeps up his current pace, the Red Sox may soon promote him to Triple-A. If that happens, look for the 2010 first-round pick to make his Red Sox debut some time this year. 

    Conclusion: Stock up

6. Henry Owens, LHP

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    2013 stats: 61.0 IP, 2.95 ERA, 1.098 WHIP, 73/25 K/BB (12 GS, Salem) 

    Owens is in the midst of a real breakout season. 

    After Owens posted huge strikeout numbers last season, many in baseball recognized Owens’ massive potential. And the tall lefty has not disappointed. 

    He’s likely been one of the most consistently effective pitchers in Boston’s minor league system. While he has run into occasional control issues in starts, he has, for the most part, been dominant. 

    He won’t be in the majors anytime soon, but his massive potential should not be taken lightly. Keep a close eye on this one. 

    Conclusion: Stock up

5. Matt Barnes, RHP

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    2013 stats: 53.2 IP, 5.87 ERA, 1.453 WHIP, 64/16 K/BB (11 GS, Portland) 

    If Owens has been Boston’s most consistently effective pitcher, Barnes has been the most consistently ineffective pitcher. 

    The tall righty still has great stuff and the potential to pitch at or near the top of Boston’s rotation some day, but his first taste of Double-A ball hasn’t gone particularly well. 

    He’s still striking out more than a batter per inning and limiting his walks, but Barnes continues to be hit hard in almost every one of his starts. 

    His struggles are not unprecedented. A pitcher like Barnes who has historically relied almost exclusively on his fastball often experiences growing pains in the upper levels, where a quality secondary pitch is required to retire hitters. 

    However, his results have yet to improve despite his potential. Until that happens, his stock will not be going anywhere but down. 

    Conclusion: Stock down

4. Allen Webster, RHP

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    2013 stats: 45.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 1.081 WHIP, 50/21 K/BB (9 GS, Pawtucket) 

    Ever since being acquired from the Dodgers last year, Allen Webster has grown into Boston’s most exciting pitching prospect. He should become a staple in Boston’s rotation in the coming years. 

    While his season has largely been a success, his last start, where he allowed five earned runs over three innings of work, inflated his ERA considerably. His struggles were not encouraging, especially against a very poor Charlotte Knights squad. 

    I have no doubt, however, that Webster’s stock will bounce back promptly. He’s a very talented pitcher, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t continue to dominate. 

    Conclusion: Stock down

3. Garin Cecchini, 3B

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    2013 Stats: .351/.468/.541, 25 XBH (5 HR), 33/40 K/BB (60 G, Salem) 

    Same old story for Cecchini. And it’s a good story. 

    The young third baseman has been demolishing opposing pitchers this year at High-A Salem. He’s hit for average and power with a brilliant on-base percentage. He’s even flashed good defense at the hot corner. 

    The most impressive part of Cecchini’s game to me is his plate discipline. He is the only hitter on this list who has walked more than he has struck out this season. That is a testament to his abilities as a hitter and his massive potential for future success.

    Conclusion: Stock up

2. Jackie Bradley Jr., OF

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    2013 Stats: .348/.442/.539, 12 XBH (2 HR), 20/13 K/BB (22 G, Pawtucket) 

    If Jackie Bradley isn’t ready for the majors yet, he has to be getting close. 

    It’s true that his two stints in Boston did not go particularly well, but the way he’s dismantling minor league pitching these days leads me to believe that he should be back in the big leagues. 

    The stud center fielder continues to show off his impressive tools at the plate, as he’s getting on base at an absurd rate. His defense has also been big league caliber. 

    This kid has a bright future. And the future is not all that far away. 

    Conclusion: Stock up

1. Xander Bogaerts, SS

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    2013 Stats: .311/.407/.502, 24 XBH (6 HR), 51/35 K/BB (56 G, Portland) 

    Speaking of the future, have you seen this guy? Wow. 

    Bogaerts was already a top-20 prospect entering the season. Since then, he’s exceeded even my wildest expectations. 

    Not only has the 20-year-old played well at Double-A, he has in fact thrived. 

    He’s hit for average and power as usual, but he’s also been able to improve his walk totals considerably, leading to some of the best on-base numbers of his career. While he still strikes out a bit, he’s come a long way from his free-swinging days in Greenville. 

    Thanks to his impressive work in Portland, Bogaerts has just earned a promotion to Triple-A, taking him one step closer to the majors. While I don’t expect him to be called up to Boston until rosters expand in September, having the superstar prospect so close to the majors is very exciting. 

    Conclusion: Stock up