Last fall we at RSM began the post season ranking of the Red Sox prospects with numbers 1 thru 25. To recap this is the Top 25:
1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
2. Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF
3. Matt Barnes, RHP
4. Allen Webster, RHP
5. Bryce Brentz, OF
6. Ryan Lavarnway, C
7. Henry Owens, LHP
8. Blake Swihart, C
9. Garin Cecchini, 3B
10. Jose Iglesias, SS
11. Brandon Workman, RHP
12. Devin Marrero, SS
13. Brandon Jacobs, OF
14. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
15. Stolmy Pimental, RHP ** ( since traded to Pittsburgh)
16. Drake Britton, LHP
17. Travis Shaw, 1B
18. Alex Wilson, RHP
19. Brian Johnson, LHP
20. Pat Light, RHP
21. Ty Buttrey, RHP
22. Chris Hernandez, LHP
23. Christian Vazquez, C
24. Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF
25. Sean Coyle, 2B
Here are now brief recaps of numbers 26-40.
26. Steven Wright, RHKP( K for knuckleball)- this may be the name on this entire list with the widest range of possible career outcomes. A 28 year old knuckleballer who was obtained from Cleveland for Lars Anderson. He is a guy who may never reach the big leagues or he could be in the Red Sox rotation for the next 15 years. Most scouts compare his knuckler more to R.A. Dickey's than Tim Wakefield's because Wright throws it harder as does Dickey. But, having access to Wake in the organization can only help, as the Niekro brothers helped mentor Wakefield. He is slated to begin 2013 where he finished last year, in Pawtucket. He is a guy to watch carefully as he could be rotation depth for the big club, and he may soar up our rankings next April or May.
27. Keury de la Cruz, OF- 21 year old Dominican did not get a mention in our in season monthly rankings, but he had a breakout season at low A Greenville ( with a brief Salem appearance at year's end). He hit 20 homers and knocked in 87, with a BA of .308. He should start next year at Salem, and another year matching 2012 will solidify his rising prospect status.
28. Jose Vinicio, SS -another international free agent ( 2009) from the Dominican, and another of 5 shortstops on this list. He is known as a plus defender with good speed, 24 steals at Greenville in 2012, who must fill out physically to improve his offense.
29. Manuel Margot, OF- The most likely to jump from this ranking into the Top 10 next year. The 18 year old tore though the Dominican Summer League with a line of 4-45-.285-.382, with 10 doubles, 7 triples, and 33 SB's. He could be set to make a Bogaerts-like arrival in the States in 2013.
30. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B - He crashed from top 12 ranking to begin 2012 to here based on an injury plagued, disappointing 2012 at Hadlock Field. The 2010 first round pick had a solid 2011 at Salem, but will likely repeat AA to start 2013. The college 2nd baseman has played third for the Sox system, many scouts think he will eventually be a corner OF. 2013 could be a make or break year.
31. Cody Kukuk, LHP- 19 year old who was 2011 7th round draft pick. The 6'4" lefty throws in the low/mid 90's and many scouts project him as a mid rotation MLB starter. He only pitched 10 innings in the GCL last year due to some disciplinary issues. Look for him to pitch in Lowell next June.
32. Frank Montas, RHP- another 19 year old signed 3 years ago from the DR, he lights up the radar guns at 96 to 100 mph. A big time flame throwing closer is his long term projection.
33. Tze-Wei Lin, SS- He was signed late last summer from Taiwan. This lefty batter has plus speed and is a plus defender, needs to develop his offensive game.
34. Alex Hassan, OF- This 20th round pick in the 2009 draft is not highly ranked by lots of scouts, but he played all of 2012 at AAA, 3 years after being drafted and he has one major skill: he gets on base, .377 OBP at Pawtucket. The question is can he force his way into the OF picture with Bradley, Brentz, etc.?
35. Dan Butler, C - He was not even drafted coming out of Arizona, but signed with Boston as what people thought was organizational filler, but he has quickly rose to the AAA level. His offense has been so so but he has a plus arm and is a good defender.
36. Miguel " Mickey" Pena. LHP- The 6th round 2011 draftee had a solid 2012 at Greenville with 8 wins and an ERA of 2.95.
37. Noe Ramirez, RHP - Another 2011 draftee ( 4th round), he also spent 2012 at Greenville. the 23 year old had a W/L record of 2-7 with a 4.15 ERA but he struck out 8.72 men per 9 innings.
38. Michael Almanzar, 3B- The Sox signed him with much fanfare as a 16 year old in 2007 from the Dominican and he had done basically nothing until 2012 at Salem. He had his first solid season of 12-54-.300-.353. He also began seeing time at first as well as third. He should be Portland Sea Dog in 2013 in an attempt to continue to salvage his chances at a big league career.
39. Austin Maddox, RHP- Maddox was a third round pick in last June's draft from the Univ. of Florida, where he was their closer. His fastball clocks up to 96, he threw only 10 innings in the Sox system last year.
40. Juan Carlos Linares, OF - this 28 year old who signed as a Cuban free agent in 2010 has put up strong numbers but due to injuries and roster crunches has not had a chance to advance from Portland and Pawtucket ( where he hit 8 homers in each locale in 2012). He is almost too old to be considered a prospect anymore and with the Sox all ready overloaded with right handed bats, JC may not get a chance in Beantown.
Here is a list of prospects 41-50
41.Brock Huntzinger, RHP
42. Jamie Callahan, RHP
43.Simon Mercedes, RHP
44. Aaron Kurcz, RHP ( part of the Theo compensation)
45. Kendrick Perkins, OF
46.Williams Jerez, OF
47. Mookie Betts, INF
48. Miguel Celestino, RHP
49. Justin Haley. RHP
50. David Chester, 1B
This puts a wrap on the 2012 rankings, near the end of spring training( which will begin in less than 2 weeks!!) we will have a preseason 2013 listing. We welcome any comments or questions about these rankings.