Friday, June 1, 2012

RSM Top 12 Prospects-June Update

June 1st is here and we are about 40% through the minor league seasons. It is time again to rate the best 12 prospects in the Sox system.  There are a couple of newcomers to the list and some shuffling of spots.  With this year's draft only 3 days away, one notable characteristic of June's list is that the 4 players taken in the first and supplemental rounds last year are all in the top twelve.  Here are the June rankings ( the number in brackets behind the name is May's ranking):

1. Will Middlebrooks{1}  Not much need to recap Willie Middle's May.  He has been with the big club since May 2, and has hit big league pitching at only a slightly less torrid pace than he did at AAA.  6 HR's and a .316 BA in his first month.  If he stays in Boston ( and short of an extreme roster crunch, why wouldn't he), he will leave this list next month and move onto the list of AL rookie of the year candidates!

2. Xander Bogaerts {2} The 19 year old continues to more than hod his own at high A Salem.  He finished May with a 2-11-.270-.323 line( HR, RBI, BA. OBP).  Not extremely outstanding stats but again he is playing in a league of mostly 21-23 years old players at 19.  X is still shadowing Middlebrooks on this list, and since many scouts believe he will need to move off shortstop eventually, shadowing Middlebrooks may describe his upcoming years.

3. Matt Barnes {4} The 2011 first rounder from UConn continues to blast through both levels of A ball. Combining his stays at Greenville and Salem, he is 4-1 with an ERA of 1.12.  Most incredibly his K/BB numbers are 70/6.  70 strikeouts with just 6 walks, in about 50 innings of pitching.  And since his recall to Salem he has  28/2 K/BB numbers.  Portland cannot be to far from his future.

4. Jose Iglesias {6}  His offense in May was night and day from April.  He struggled mightily in April, causing the Nation to wonder if Jose would ever hit at all to go with his out of this world D.  But in May he has put up these numbers:  1-9-.341-.364, to bring his BA for the season to .275.  Any type of offensive output resembling .275 with a few extra base hits, and he is the Sox shortstop for a decade or more. Just as Dustin Pedroia was injured here in Boston, Iglesias was placed on the DL at AAA, likely preventing his recall.  If Pedroia misses any significant time, and Iggy's back woes clear up, expect to see him in Boston soon.

5. Anthony Ranaudo { 5}  After missing the first 5-6 weeks of the season with groin injury, Ranaudo has reported to the Sea Dogs.  His first three starts have been so-so.  His ERA is 7.36 with more walks than strikeouts.  His last start at Hadlock, was the best of the three.  Ranaudo is likely looking at a complete season at Portland to work off the rust from his injury and to show the talent he has displayed in amateur ball.

6. Ryan Lavarnway {3}  Lavarnway has had a solid if unspectacular start at Pawtucket.   His line is 3-16-.261-..363.  A strong OBP with lesser power numbers than he put at AA/AAA last season. A partial reason for his slipping 3 spots on the list is the outburst by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in Boston.  Our rankings consider as one facet, the ability to get the bigs and help the Sox.  The strong seasons by Salty and Papi block Ryan somewhat.

7. Jackie Bradley {8} In a lesser farm system, Bradley might be at or near the top.  His OBP has hovered around .500 all season long.  he finished May at .493 for the year to date,  and in May his monthly OBP was .519.  Throw in 3 HRs with 26 ribbies and 11 bags stolen, and you have an outstanding prospect one year removed from college and the 2011 draft.  Also, he is an outstanding defensive center fielder.  As with Barnes, he should looking for a host family in Portland any week now.

8. Ryan Kalish {7} Kalish would have slipped another notch, but this week he rejoined the active ranks after missing most of last year and all of this.  He has played 4 rehab games so far, 2 at Salem and 2 with Portland.  Ryan homered and made at game ending catch at the wall in game one with Salem. Recently on NESN,  Peter Gammons said he thought Kalish would be in the lineup in Boston before either Ellsbury or Crawford makes it back.

9. Bryce Brentz {9} Other than the top two, the only player in the same slot as May.  Similarly to Iglesias, Brentz had a tough April at the plate followed by an outstanding May.  Brentz had a pair of 5 for 5 games for the Dogs in May. He hit 4 home runs while batting .364 in May.  He had a OPS of .985. Brentz has appeared to make the adjustment to AA, although he is feasting on fastballs and still working on hitting the breaking stuff.  When he makes that adjustment, he should be on pace for a late season recall to AAA.

10. Blake Swihart {12} Another 2011 draftee out of high school and another player who struggled in April, but lit it up in May.  After hitting .202 in April, he has hit .301 in May  From May 12 thru the 22nd, he had a OBP of .364 and slugged .441.   By this time next year, Blake could be in the Top 4 names on this list.

11. Garin Cecchini {15} First new name on the Top 12.  The infielder drafted in 2010 as a high schooler is playing third base for Greenville.  He is living up to his rep as a draftee as an outstanding offensive infielder.  At the end of May his line was 2-26-.308-.392.  The 21 year old could be looking at trip to Salem by July, and could be in the 2013 Sea Dogs infield with Xander Bogaerts aand Sean Coyle.

12. Henry Owens {14}. Owens is the fourth member of the Sox quartet of 2011 high draft picks to be on our list.  A big lefty drafted from high school, the 19 year old was pushed to Greenville by the Sox.  He has responded by being second in the system in strikeouts ( to Matt Barnes) with 56 in 38 1/3 frames.  He has walked only 24 and has a 4-2 W/L record.  Owens has a definite chance to be the best HS lefty to come up the Red Sox ladder since Jon Lester.  But he is at least 3 years away.

The others in order 13 to 20:

Sean Coyle
Alex Wilson
Brandon Jacobs
Kolbrin Vitek
Stolmy Pimental
Lars Anderson
Junichi Tazawa
Travis Shaw

Next rankings come right before the fourth of July, and by then expect several of our prospects to be playing at different levels than now.

1 comment:

  1. Great breakdown of the Sox prospects!! I've been looking forward to the June update for the last week. It looks as though we have some really good prospects at the A level and they are close to getting to AA. It's going to be an exciting couple of years watching these guys climb the ladder and getting close to helping the big league team. The Portland Sea Dogs will be a hot ticket next year too.

    #4 Prospect Jose Iglesias has been put on the DL for Pawtucket and Mark Prior has been added to the roster. Any thought of having Iglesias replace Pedroia on the roster has to be put to bed for now. It looks like Pedey may avoid the DL, making it a moot point anyway. The real shame is that Iglesias just seemed to be making great strides with the bat and now he's hurt. Hopefully it's not serious and he'll be back on the field soon because he needs to play a full healthy season to develop to the point where he may be ready for the big leagues next year.

    #20 Travis Shaw is an interesting offensive prospect I was reading about him last night and he's been hitting the ball well lately. Look for him to move up the list.