Sunday, July 1, 2012

RSM Top 12 Prospects- July Update

Another month means another round of rankings by the Maineiacs of the Red Sox farm system prospects.  First we have a new name at #1 since the June rankings.  This is largely due to the the removal of two names from our list.  They are Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Kalish.  They are now being considered as full fledged major league players,  Middlebrooks due to the trade of Kevin Youkilis and his own strong play is unlikely to see AAA again.  Kalish may end up back in Pawtucket due to the outfield roster crunch to come soon in Boston, but he has shown enough at the major league level in 2010 and again this year to elevate him.

There was a fierce three way battle to replace Middlebrooks at the pole position by three players who until a week or so ago were teammates at Salem.  So with no further ado here is the July RSM Top 12 also known as :

The Killer B's

1. Xander Bogaerts  {2} The winner of the fierce battle for first.  Xander as we have mentioned each month is a 19 year old playing in the Carolina League populated by mostly 21-23 year olds.  Bogaerts was all ready holding his own in this atmosphere, and then June came along.  In June Xander put up the following stats:

8 HRs tied for first in league for June

.337 BA  2nd in CL

.433 OBP 5th in CL

.624 Slugging Ave.  3rd in league

1.057 OPS 2nd in league

The only reason for Bogaerts not to be promoted to Portland soon would be the Red Sox reticence to send a 19 year old to AA.  He is the only prospect with a legitimate shot a being a franchise player. He is #1 on the list by a nose.

2. Matt Barnes {3} Barnes continues to dominate upper A Salem as he did low A Greenville.  He did finally have a poor start his last time out to prove he is in fact human.  He finished June with an overall record for the year so far at 7-1 with an ERA of 1.86 ( it had been 1.53 before the clunker in his last start) with a 98/15 K /BB total.  He has definitely become the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox system.

3. Jackie Bradley, Jr. {7} As Bradley continues to move up our list, he has also moved up in the Red Sox system, as he is now playing for the Portland Sea Dogs having been promoted from Salem.  Bradley, an outstanding defensive centerfield prospect, put up an ungodly OBP at Salem flirting with .500 his whole time there.  And his start at Portland is more of the same, in 9 games and 40 ABs his OBP is .447 with a .350 BA.  He also has 4 doubles and has stole a couple of bags.  If Jacoby Ellsbury is to leave Boston as a free agent after 2013, Jackie has pushed himself right to the top of candidates to move in to CF at Fenway Park.

4. Bryce Brentz {9} Brentz has moved the list by 5 places for two reasons.  First, he is still the OF closest to the big leagues for Boston who is a right handed power bat.  For a number of years now the Sox seem to develop and acquire lefty hitting OFers only.  Brentz also has a plus throwing arm meaning he could play RF in the bigs, which could be the only opening in Boston if Crawford and Ellsbury continue to man left and center.  The second reason for Brentz' rush up the rankings is the strong stats he is putting up at Portland.  In June alone he hit 4 HRs with 19 RBI with a BA of .279 and an OBP of .385, pushing his numbers overall for the year to 10-37-.298-.367.  He may get a taste of AAA before 2012 ends.

5. Ryan Lavarnway {6} As Ryan continues to polish his defense behind the dish, his bat came to life in June to the tune of 4 HR- 18RBI- .405 BA- .469 OBP.  These numbers are more in line with his 2011 performance and Kelly Shoppach should be listening to his footsteps as the July trade deadline nears.

6. Jose Iglesias  {4} Jose missed nearly all of June due to injury after beginning to show life at the plate in May. And consistent life at the plate is all that is keeping Iglesias from shortstop in Boston. With the Red Sox drafting a college SS this year, Iglesias' claim to Red Sox shortstop of the future may have competition.  He will need to hit to win that competition.

7. Anthony Ranaudo {5}  After missing the early season with a groin injury, Ranaudo reported to the Sea Dogs and to this point has not produced as expected.  He has a W/L record of 1-2 with and ERA of 6.23 and has struck out and walked nearly the same amount of men ( 27K/26BB).  He was skipped for one start in June to work on mechanics and his most recent start was better.  Ranaudo's stuff and resume are too good not to rank him as a top prospect, but he needs to use the rest of the Eastern League season to get back on track.

8. Blake Swihart {8} Another youngster playing in a league above his age, Swihart continues to improve each month.  The first rounder from 2011 hit 1-10-.326-.353 in June while continuing to play behind the plate.  Blake is such an outstanding offensive player that since his high school days in New Mexico it has been speculated that he may need to move to 3B or the OF.  This is because to wait for his pro catching skills to develop may needlessly delay getting his plus bat to the majors.

9. Garin Cecchini {11} The young infielder from Louisiana continues to develop his highly regarded offensive skills at  third base for Greenville. Overall for the year to date he has hit 3-37-.298-.378 just two years removed from high school.

10. Deven Marrero {UR} The first newcomer to our list is a newcomer to the system as the Red Sox first pick in this year's draft.  A shortstop from Arizona State, a year ago after his sophomore season, he was considered a lock as a top ten pick.  He struggled this year and he dropped in the draft to the Red Sox.  There are mixed opinions on his offensive ability ( less so a year ago, though), but he is said to have plus range with an above average arm.  Because of this he is expected to stay at shortstop in the pros and will not need to move to second or third.  As referenced above Marrero ( who has 2 brothers all ready in pro ball) and Iglesias may battle for the crown of Sox shortstop of the future.

11. Brandon Workman {UR} The second newcomer to the list.  This right handed starting pitcher, drafted in the 2010 draft from UTexas in the second round,  has skyrocketed up the list due to his strong 2012 season to date.  Pitching at Salem, where so many on this list have played in 2012. he has put up a line of 5-4W/L- 3.06 ERA ( which had been under 3 all year until his most recent outing) and K/BB of 62/15.  His fastball sits at 91-93 with  a 95 once in awhile. With his big time college experience at Texas, Workman has an outstanding chance to advance to Boston at least as a late game bullpen guy, if not a starter in 2 or 3 years.

12. Brandon Jacobs {UR} Jacobs returns to the top 12 for the first time since his April #10 ranking.  Jacobs has put decent numbers this year of 6-33-.270-.322.  But his return to the Top 12 is based more on his profile ( like Bryce Brentz) as a righty power hitting outfielder.  Unlike Brentz, Jacobs defensively projects as a left fielder only. The highly regarded college football  running back recruit out of high school ( the Sox signed him away from Auburn) is still learning the finer points of baseball.

{The number in bracket after the names is June's ranking}

The rest of the contenders for the Top 12

Henry Owens
Lars Anderson
Junichi Tazawa
Alex Wilson
Travis Shaw
Drake Britton
Sean Coyle
Alex Hassan

Next month it is possible some of Deven Marrero's draft mates from this year may join our list.

One last Red Sox prospect to feature for the benefit of the Maineiacs ourselves.  It is a  first baseman for the Lowell Spinners named David Chester.  He was drafted a year ago by the Sox as a senior at Pitt, in the 33rd round.  He led the Big East in home runs that senior season.  Chester, a 6'5" 270 pound slugger, has started his year for Lowell with 2 homers and 7 RBIs while hitting .311 with an OBP of .367. We will watch his progression in the Red Sox system fondly.


  1. So what 4 from this list are headed to Philadelphia for Cole Hamels, according to Tito Francona's Twitter at roughly the same time you were posting this article Deacon, Sox and Phil's are very close to a deal?

  2. Disregard my comment, apparently the FranconaESPN Twitter account is a fraud. He also tweeted that Greinke was close to being dealt to the Braves and Starlin Castro to the Rays.

  3. Marrero debuts on the RSM top 12 prospects list. Nice!! How has he played so far?