Saturday, May 4, 2013

RSM Top Red Sox Prospects- May 2013 Edition

With the new season only one month old, there is not a ton of movement in our rankings from April.  A couple of Sea Dogs starting pitchers have pushed a pair of shortstops  out of the top 12.  And there is  a shuffle or two from the fifth spot down.  There have been hot start for players who probably deserve a higher ranking.  But one great thing about the Sox system, there are at least 15 players ( maybe more!) on this list below who could be accurately described as " Top Ten" type prospects, and who would be in a less deep system.

The number in brackets behind the player's name is April's ranking and the slash lines used for hitters are:


For pitchers the slash line used is:


All stats thru May 3rd

1. Xander Bogaerts, SS - Portland {1} Bogaerts got off to a somewhat slow start ( by Xander's standards) attributed by some to some missed ABs due to his World Baseball classic participation. Of late Bogarts has lifted his stats to 2/11/.303/.373.  Recently Xander tripled in three straight games. And in a signal that his pitch selection is improving, he has all ready walked 11 times this year in 23 games. In 2012, he also played exactly 23 games for Portland and walked once!

2. Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF - Pawtucket {2}  All of Sox nation knows how JBJr's March and April went while playing for the Red Sox.  Since going down to AAA Bradley Jr.'s line is 0/4/.302/.400, so Bradley Jr. is still putting up big OBP numbers and will still be an outstanding big league outfielder, possibly before 2013 is over.

3. Allen Webster , SP- Pawtucket {3} Third player on this list who could easily be a #1 guy on many team's list.  Webster who made his major league debut in a spot start vs. KC in April was very solid and easily could have had the win.  At Pawtucket, Allen has followed a sterling spring training by rocketing out of the gate. His line after 4 starts is 1-0/2.70/26-6/0.90. With his fastball in the upper 90s and his great sinker, the clamor has all ready begun to bring Webster's act to Boston full time not just in a cameo role.

4. Matt Barnes, SP- Portland {4}- Barnes seems to be adjusting to AA, after a rough start or two. In his last outing he struck out 10 in 6 IP.  His stat line for the Sea Dogs is 2-1/6.75(mostly due to that bad first start)/27-8/1.75( that bad one inning start again).  If Barnes slides down this list at all in months to come, it will be more likely because of increasingly strong performances from guys below him not due Barnes' AA performance.

5. Bryce Brentz, OF- Pawtucket {6}- Brentz bumps up one spot on the list as the power hitting right fielder has put up a line of 5/20/.257/.324.  One down note is his 25 K's vs. only 9 walks.  Brentz will be in competition with JBJr for a call up to Boston this year if the Sox have an injury in the pasture. This close proximity to big league readiness, pushes Brentz ahead of the next group on the list.

6. Henry Owens, SP- Salem {7}-This tall, young lefty is one guy really, really making a push to climb these ranking even higher.  After a fantastic spring training, Owens has gone to high-A Salem and continued to dominate.  His line after 5 starts is 2-1/2.08/30-8/0.88.  Much to comment on there, 30 strikeouts in only 26 innings, a WHIP of under one, but the keynote speaker is the ERA.. Last year at Greenville, Owens had a very strong year, but with an ERA of 4.87.  Henry in the early going has cut his ERA more than in half!  Even though Owens will not turn 21 until July 21st, do not be shocked if Owens makes his Hadlock Field debut by that 21st birthday.

7. Rubby De La Rosa, SP- Pawtucket {5}  The two spot drop by Rubby really is a combination of the very cautious handling by the Sox post Tommy John surgery and strong starts by Brentz and Owens. Rubby is still very much a top of the line pitching prospect.  He has been held to 12 2/3 IP in 5 games. Expect the organization to turn De La Rosa loose more and more as the year progresses.

8. Garin Cecchini, 3B- Salem {9}  Last month we mentioned that Cecchini could place himself in the future 3B Sox conversation with a big 2013.  Well, he certainly has blasted out of the gate.  He has put up the best offensive April in the system.  His line is 3/15/.389/.481.  Garin has scored 19 runs and has 10 steals in 13 attempts. His outstanding OBP is very reminiscent of JBJr's 2012, also at Salem.  Since Jackie was drafted as a college player, and Cecchini out of high school,  Garin may not be promoted to AA as soon as JBJr was.  But if Cecchini puts up an OBP of nearly.500 for another couple of months, do not bet against it.

9. Blake Swihart, C- Salem {8} Similarly to his 2012 in Greenville, Blake got off to a slow start for a week or two, but is picking up the pace of late.  His line is 0/8/.264/.329.  Despite no home runs yet, of Swihart's 19 hits six are extra base hits ( 2 doubles and 4 triples).  Those triples may be a sign of the possibility of Swihart eventually moving away from catching.

10. Anthony Ranaudo, SP-Portland {15}  The fans in Portland may have seen Ranaudo pitch at Hadlock in 2012 as well, but they most definitely are NOT seeing the same pitcher. After being bothered by a nagging groin injury in 2012, Anthony is healthy and he has been dealing. The 6'7" LSU product has a pitching line in 5 starts of 4-0/1.00/30-6/0.78.  In his last April start, Ranaudo took a perfect game into the sixth.  Very highly regarded by all of baseball since his early LSU days, when healthy, this is one guy who could surpass every other pitcher on this list in terms of an outstanding MLB career ( yeah, even Webster). Three of the Dogs starters are on this top 12 ( and a fourth in the honorable mentions), so get to Portland to see these guys (hopefully on YOUR trip to Hadlock, you will cash in the 80% chance to see a future star.....but today for my first 2013 visit....well knuckleballer Charlie Haeger did pitch 5 innings and K'd 8 in a 2-1 Dogs win in his start.)

11. Brandon Workman, SP- Portland {13} If not for Ranaudo, Brandon Workman the 2012 Red Sox minor league pitcher of the year, would be starting off for a repeat award. Workman did top Ranaudo in the perfect game attempt, Workman took a perfect game into the 7th inning in his last April start. His line so far is 4-0/2.73/34-6/0.71.  It could be a sprint between Ranaudo and Workman to see who gets called to Pawtucket first.  As I said above go to Portland and see the numerous great young stars on the currently first place Sea Dogs.  But in the case of these last two guys, unless you live in Rhode Island, you had better hurry.

12. Ryan Lavarnway, C- Pawtucket {12}  These next couple of months could really decide if Lavarnway has a Red Sox career in front of him.  This April he IS hitting again after a lackluster (Pawsox) to abysmal (Boston) 2012.  His line is 2/12/.333/.435.  His OPS is .953.  If it is true the Red Sox are sniffing around to replace Salty ( as ESPN's Buster Olney recently reported on a WEEI visit) a rejuvenated  Lavarnway might be an OK mate with David Ross behind the dish, though not an ideal platoon with two righty hitters.  Keep an eye on this.

The rest of the Top 12 contenders

13. Deven Marrero, SS {10}- Salem -Currently on DL with minor hamstring issue

14. Jose Iglesias, SS Pawtucket-{11} Despite hitting 3 home runs, his BA/OBP is only .227/.271

15. Christian Vazquez, C - Portland {16}This rifle armed receiver has also hit 2 bombs with a .392
OBP...anything close to that and here is your 2015 Red Sox starting catcher.

16. Alex Wilson, RP {14} -Boston  A definite candidate to graduate from this list soon.

17. Brian Johnson, SP- Greenville {17} High 2012 draftee has 2.30 ERA in first 4 starts

18. Sean Coyle, 2B {NR}- Salem  A red hot start of 7/12/.313/.370 with 19 runs scored his pushed this diminutive second sacker back onto the radar..could be heading further up the list

19. Drake Britton, SP- Portland {19} Fourth young gun for the Sea Dog rotation has 30 K in 30IP

20A. Travis Shaw 1B- Portland {NR} Again this year Shaw is an absolute on base machine with a OBP of .414 and has reached base in every game this year.

20B. Michael Almanzar 1B-3B - Portland  This guy rates a post of his own soon, but the general story is he was a big bonus baby from the DR at age 16.  He then did absolutely nothing until last year when he blossomed at age 21 at Salem by hitting .300 with 12 long balls.  Still a youngster, 2013 could lead Almanzar ( who like Shaw is the son of a former big league pitcher) to a big league career after all.

One last player note is on the RSM favorite son, David Chester.  The big first sacker has gone from Lowell in 2012 to this year's Grenville Drive.  He has shown his prodigious power by smacking 4 homers and 18 RBI.  His BA is only .247 but with a OBP of .368. We will keep you posted on Mr. Chester.

I apologize again for the brief moment of bitterness about my trip to Portland today.  I might have enjoyed Charlie Haeger's actually very strong outing more if Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez, and Travis Shaw had not also enjoyed the day off!  But hey there is no crying in baseball.  Right?


  1. Excellent write up on the prospects in the minor league system Deacon! The cupboard seems to be as full as it has ever been in recent memory. I've gotta get to Portland some time soon!

  2. Could we here at Red Sox Maineiacs actually have found a diamond in the rough prospect? Our man, first baseman David Chester has been red hot of late for the Greenville Drive. He capped off an eight hot stretch of .379/.438/.897 last Saturday night with doubles in the 1st and 3rd innings for 3 RBI and then capped off his night with a walk off solo home run. His seasonal stats are .278/.381/.530 for the year through Saturday night!