Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Red Sox Maineiacs Live Chat 7:00pm: Red Sox/Mariners and Trade Deadline Talk

Come join the gang from Red Sox Maineiacs to discuss tonight's Sox game against the Mariners and give our reactions from the MLB trade deadline!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trade Deadline Looms

On this Sunday Morning we sit about 77 hours from the July 31 Non-waiver trade deadline.   It is speculated that the Red Sox are hunting for a relief pitcher ( righty, preferably), a starter, and maybe a third baseman or a slight chance of looking for a corner outfielder( either offensive player would need to be a right handed hitter to help balance the line up. ) Here is a team by team recap of the likely sellers, with players available in position of need for Boston.  First AL teams:

White Sox- SP Jake Peavy, RP Matt Lindstrom, Jesse Crain ( on DL currently), Alex Rios

Twins- SP/RP Mike Pelfrey, (RP Glen Perkins could be a big Sox target, be is unavailable per reports from all quarters).

Angels- RP Scott Downs

Astros- SP Bud Norris, RP Jose Veras

Royals- SP Ervin Santana, RP Luke Hochevar ( these two could be had even though KC may not be sellers in the true sense)

Mariners- After a recent hot streak they claim not to be sellers, but SP Joe Saunders and RP Oliver Perez are trade candidates.

This list gives us five starting pitching targets.  I will list them in what I believe is Sox level of interest. Peavy, Norris, Pelfrey, Santana, and Joe Saunders.  However on Pelfrey, Peter Gammons has reported the Red Sox have interest in Pelfrey as a bullpen guy( and they have interest in KC's Luke Hochevar who also has a starter's background). Joe Saunders would seem to be Erik Bedard v2.0.  Pass.  Reports say the Royals want at least a Garza type haul for Santana, who like Garza is a free agent at year's end. I suspect the Sox would have rather ponied up for Garza than to give the same package for Ervin.

That leaves Bud Norris and Peavy.  I think the Sox would like to find a younger guy than could control for years not just a Garza-type rental.  Norris fits that bill, but if Houston sticks to their reported extremely high demand of multiple prospects, Boston should pass.  Is Norris really any better for Boston in years to come than their own inventory of young starters?  I think Peavy is their target because he helps this year and is signed for $14.5M for 2014.  It will all depend on the cost in players. Will Middlebrooks is the name rumored most often, but I suspect one of the top pitching prospects would go as well, plus a lower level kid or two.  Would you do Middlebrooks, Ranaudo, Michael Almanzar, and Sean Coyle for Peavy?? I would at least think long and hard about it.
As far as bullpen help, on the list above , besides Pelfrey and Hochevar, the most attractive name is likely Matt Lindstrom.  It would be Jesse Crain if he was not on the DL right now, he may need to be an August trade candidate for some one.  Perhaps Peavy and Lindstrom come in the same package.  At least one report from Chicago claims the Red Sox are more interested in Lindstrom than Peavy.

The only right hand bat listed is also from the Chisox, Alex Rios. He is on the market but I think he will go to a team with more pressing offensive needs and he may bring more than the Sox should pay.

Now to the National League sellers:

Marlins- RP Michael Dunn, RP Steve Chisek( like Glen Perkins an attractive target, but not likely available.)

Mets- RP Bobby Parnell, RP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd

Cubs- RP Kevin Gregg, RP James Russell, OF Nate Schierholtz, and according to one report Theo may take offers on SP Jeff Samardzija.

Brewers- SP Yovanni Gallardo, SP Kyle Lohse, RP John Axford, RP Mike Gonzalez, 3B Aramis Ramirez( currently on DL)

Padres- RP Huston Street, RP Luke Gregerson

And two teams that may or may not be sellers:

Giants- OF Hunter Pence, RP Sergio Romo, RP Javier Lopez, and maybe Tim Linecum

Phillies- 3B Michael Young, RP Jonathan Paplebon, SP Cliff Lee

Assuming Chisek and Parnell are really not readily available the best bullpen options are either John Axford and the pair for the Padres.  Especially Luke Gregerson, who is often called the best NL set up man.  Sergio Romo may be interesting as well, but I do not think the Red Sox will overpay for a closer based on Uehara's performance so far.  And Paplebon sure as hell is not shipping up to Boston

As far as hitters go, Pence is the same as Alex Rios, he would help but the Sox will likely spend their chips on pitching.  Michael Young, please I would rather have Brock Holt on my team than Michael Young at this stage of their careers.  Aramis Ramirez, after he is off the DL with a knee sprain and proving he is healthy could be an August target.

Other than Cliff Lee ( more on Lee in a moment), the Brewers pair of Gallardo and Lohse are about it, if the lone report about Samardzija is not accurate( and Theo would want a ton for a 28 year old established, cost effective hurler).  Lohse, may or may not truly be on the market depending on which report you read and Gallardo before this year was basically a #1 starter, but has fallen completely off this year. Not only in his numbers, which are awful, but in his velocity and more.  I may go there but not at the cost of more than one top ten type prospect.

Cliff Lee.  Ever since last July's deadline his name has bandied about.  At the All Star break, he was not on the table per GM Ruben Amaro, Jr.  But the Phillies have lost nearly all their games since  and now the whispers are growing the Phillies will sell.  Lee even at age 34 is pitching as well as ever. He is owed around $75 million on his existing contract through 2015.  So he is no rental for 2013 only. The Red Sox must be interested, and can use that $75M to their advantage.  Generally speaking the more money the trading team eats the more in quality and quantity of prospects are expected in return. Other than the Dodgers( who reportedly are not interested) and the Yankees ( still trying to cut their 2014 payroll AND re-sign Cano) who else could go to the Phillies and say we will give you two mid top ten type prospects and offer to take the whole $75M off the Phillies hands?  The Angels? All ready drowning in bad long term deals.  Texas? They might, but they just gave up 3 or 4 good kids for Garza, and are looking for a bat now. The Orioles would love Lee, but Angelos will never shell out the cash.  If the Red Sox make a big trade this is the place.

As far as players the Sox could trade there are several on the current roster depending the type of deal. Lavarnway, Iglesias, Nava, Workman, and Britton would be in the discussion at least.  As far as the Sox top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. are untouchable, even for Lee. ( OK if the Phils would do Lee for JBJr straight up, Boston might do that).  Garin Cecchini and Henry Owens are the closest to being untouchable without being there that you can get.  The group of pitchers Matt Barnes, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and Anthony Ranaudo would be on the table only for a starting pitcher( Workman and Britton, too).  Bryce Brentz, Deven Marrero, and Michael Almanzar could all be traded.  Catchers Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez likely stay put.

The rumors and actual deals should heat any time from now until Wed. at 4 pm.  Check in hear for more information.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sox Start Second "Half"--Same Song Second Chorus??

Tomorrow the first place Boston Red Sox resume their attempt to march into the playoffs after the All Star Break.  Despite this being the unofficial second "half" of the season, the Sox are actually about 60% into their schedule with only 65 games to go.  At the break the Red Sox are 58-39 putting them 2 1/2 games up on the Rays, 4 1/2 over Baltimore and 6 over the Yankees (and the Jays 11 1/2 out).  Here are a few random thoughts about the last 65 games.

1. Red Sox still have same questions as Opening Day despite the great first half.  All winter long we all kept saying the 2013 Sox would only contend if  Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz starred at the front of the rotation.  And as of today, despite both guys roaring out of the gate, the same question exists.  Due to Lester's bad last two months and Buchholz being out since June 8, both pitchers are still unknowns going forward.  At least one and ideally both need to get back in action and at least resemble the aces they were in early 2013.

Another remaining question: Who is the closer?  Last winter it was Hanrahan vs. Bailey.  Now after Hanrahan's season ending surgery and Bailey's scattered injuries and suckitude, is the closer Koji Uehara, Bailey( who seems to be rebounding as a set up guy), or an import at the deadline?

A few other questions not answered include what can Stephen Drew bring to the Sox offense?, is Mike Napoli the needed power threat behind Papi, and will Jacoby Ellsbury put up a big contract walk year?And of course we may have an answer (unfortunately) to the question will the sophomore jinx bite Will Middlebrooks.

There are other questions as well, but if you could tell me Jon and Clay will pitch like April and May, I would tell you to buy your playoff tickets today.

2. The Red Sox can take AL East control in the next week or two.  Look at this schedule coming up.   A seven game home stand, three with New York and four more with the Rays.  Then onto Baltimore for three.  That is ten straight games versus the three teams closest to Boston.  An 8-2 stretch would likely give the Sox some daylight.  In addition after the brief stop in Baltimore, the Sox have six more at home, three each with Seattle and Arizona.

3. The trade deadline beckons .  One of my favorite times of the year.  But this year's supply and demand could cause slow going in the trade market.  This being the second year of the second wild card for each league, teams are still having troubles deciding is they are sellers or buyers. These are the only teams that are more than ten games out in their division and are not considered some sort of contender ( this last clause eliminates teams such as the Angels and Jays as sellers, likely.)  Those teams are Twins, White Sox, Mariners, Astros, Mets, Marlins, Cubs, and Brewers.  That makes only eight teams to be feeding the other 22.  Now the Jays ( won't help Boston), Angels, Giants, Padres, and maybe Phillies??? will join the sellers market.

4. Red Sox Rumors.  Of course here in Red Sox Nation we look at the deadline through the eyes of the Sox.  Only a few names have been floated in the media as Red Sox targets ( Matt Thornton was one but the Sox have pulled that trigger all ready).  Mostly mentioned have been Matt Garza and Michael Young, so let's start there.  First by many accounts Texas is the leading Garza suitor.  They are one of a few systems better than Boston, and if the Rangers want him I think he will go there  and soon.  It is widely reported Theo wants to trade Garza right now.  And this illustrates the main reason I do not want Garza.  Theo is hoping to deal him while he is healthy.  At last year's deadline and again last winter Theo wanted to shop him and he was hurt both times.  Due to the reported high price tag and this injury worry, I would pass on Garza.  As far as Michael Young goes, if the Phillies want to send Young and his remaining salary this way for nothing but a bag of baseballs, I might consider it if I were Ben C.  But at this point in their careers, I think I would rather have Brock Holt on this team than Michael Young.

Other rumors have included the Red Sox scouting both the White Sox and Brewers for relief help.  Even after acquiring Thornton, the Red Sox would have interest in Jesse Crain ( who is on the DL currently, by reportedly just for a minor mid season rest stop).  From Milwaukee the trio of John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez, and lefty Mike Gonzalez could be targets.

There has been one other rumor mentioned a time or two, that I am really on board with.  But any deal involving this pitcher may have taken a big hit ( or big no hit) last week.  Tim Linecum, and the remainder of his $22M deal, was possibly available according to some.  For Boston I felt he could be Buchholz insurance or he could pitch out of the bullpen as he did for Frisco last post season.  But with the Giants not definitely out of the race, how in the world do you trade a guy who just pitched a no hitter. Of course considering he threw 148 pitches in the no-no, the Giants may want to get him out of town before his arm falls off.  Of course, the other names out there are both from Philadelphia.  Jonathan Paplebon and Cliff Lee.  There is no indication the Phils plan to blow it up and deal Lee's huge contract, although that is exactly the type of move this aging roster needs.  Lee is likely the only guy the Sox would move a kid pitcher of two for ( Webster, Barnes, plus??).  The Red Sox will not trade for Paplebon. They are more likely to deal for one of the Red Sox Maineiacs than Paps.  He is expensive and heading into the most unreliable years of his long deal, and more importantly he has blown about five saves in the last week or two.  The Sox will hand the closer's keys to Rubby De LaRosa before giving up anything for our old friend Jonathan Paplebon.

5. Sox will not trade the kids.  And because of this I see the only upcoming Sox deal as another mid level kid for a reliever, a la Thornton for Jacobs.  Instead of trading the kids, I predict the Red Sox will fortify their pennant drive WITH the kids.  Brandon Workman, and Drake Britton who are currently up both can help the pen ( if Workman does not grab a starter's job).  So too could Rubby De La Rosa and / or Allen Webster.  With Shane Victorino continually hobbled, I still think Jackie Bradley, Jr. will contribute.  And with teams such as St. Louis and the Pirates having holes at shortstop, I would deal Stephen Drew on July 31 if he can prove he is healthy and insert Jose Iglesias at short. And at that time I would promote either Will Middlebrooks or Xander Bogaerts to play third ( with Brock Holt as the utility guy). I do not not really think the Sox would move Drew while in a race, but they should if they can add another prospect.

6. Xander Bogarts is just weeks away from playing for Boston.  There is no need to rush Bogaerts, but he is not overmatched at all in AAA, and his numbers are improving steadily. I really get the idea, the Sox want Middlebrooks to stay in AAA  for an extended period, this may help create the opening Xander needs.  Xander can be this year's Manny Machado.  Today, Keith Law of ESPN came out with his updated Top 50 prospects in MLB and Bogaerts was #3.  He is going to be special.  Who would you rather have helping out in August and September ( and October?) Michael Young or Xander Bogaerts?

7. The Red Sox had better figure out the secret to beating Baltimore. By the morning of July 26, the Sox will have only three games remaining with Tampa Bay and nine with the Yanks.  But beginning with that day's three games set in Birdtown, the Sox will have 12 more games with the O's.  Nine of those are from August 27 on, including the last three games of the year in Baltimore.  I am not under estimating the talent on the Orioles at all, but there is no way Boston should be able to at least split these 12 games.  I really, really do not want to see another Red Sox pennant drive end in Baltimore.

8. John Lackey.  All together now. " I was wrong about John Lackey".  Lackey, after Tommy John surgery and after obviously working very hard to lose a bunch of weight, is morphing back into the Angels' version of the ace John Lackey.  If just one of Buchholz and Lester can rebound, Lackey could be the other top line starter needed in October.  ( And Felix Doubront may becoming one of those types of pitchers as well) .

9. ENJOY the next 2 1/2 months.  We all hope the Sox can continue the brand of baseball that has them in first place.  But no matter what happens from here on out, just remember ONE stinkin' year ago.  The upcoming pennant race was unforeseen by nearly all.  Follow our established stars ( Pedey, Papi, and Ellsbury, ) the role players who have had so much to do with this turnaround ( Gomes, Napoli, Victorino, Uehara, etc.) and watch for the kids to emerge as mentioned above.  ENJOY

Friday, July 12, 2013

How Could the Red Sox Continue to Survive Without Buchholz?

The Red Sox will be rolling into the All Star Break in first place.  They have continued to pile up series win after series win ( with a few exceptions).  And they have done this without their ace, their undefeated ace, Clay Buchholz who has not pitched since beating the Angels on June 8.  The current speculation has Clay making a rehab start in a matter of days and if all goes well back in a week or two.   But what happens if there are more setbacks? What has to happen for the Sox to thrive for the rest of the year and into the post season without Buchholz?

1. Jon Lester's revival.  The ideal would be a return to his 2013 beginning, where he not Buchholz was the ace and pitching up to the moniker.  But a return to 6 or 7 undefeated starts in a row is not mandatory, but a routine of 7+ inning starts and pounding the zone is needed.  Lester still has the capability to be a Game One playoff starter.  But he better get on track ASAP.

2. John Lackey's continuing revival.  Lackey has transformed himself back to the Angels version of John Lackey.  His fortune is entwined with Lester's because if Lester could just get back to a solid #2 guy, John Lackey is more than capable of also being a #1 playoff starter.  This is not just conjecture, he has done it before.

3. Felix Doubront staying on his current course.  Almost underneath the radar, Doubront is slowly but surely morphing into a top-mid rotation star.  He now has 11 consecutive starts giving up three runs or less.  That is too many starts to be a fluke.  His ERA is down to 3.91, and in his last hot stretch has an ERA of 1.91.

4. Ryan Dempster.  At this point all the Sox need from Dempster is innings and a veteran presence. With Doubront emerging,  Ryan is really the #4 starter ( #5 if/when Buchholz returns).  But in September and October the veteran presence on the mound could be huge.

5. Finding a reliable fifth starter.  For now this means settling on a guy ( or maybe two) from your internal options.  Allen Webster has been up and down and may not be quite ready. (Maybe).  Alfredo Aceves has pitched very well in spot starts between Pawtucket stints.  Brandon Workman is here supposedly to help in the pen.  But he may get the Sunday start in Oakland, replacing Webster.  Rubby De La Rosa is another option to boost the rotation ( or the pen?)  And after yesterday's stellar outing in Seattle ( and also off 17 consecutive shutout innings at AAA), maybe Stephen Wright is the fifth starter. And of course another way to get another starter is to trade with the July 31 deadline looming. My very initial thought is due to shortage of starters available and the Sox hesitancy to deal the kids, it is unlikely to acquire an outside starter unless it is a mop up #6 type guy.  But if Buchholz does not improve, this could change.

6. Continue to score more runs than anyone else.  The more offense this team can provide ( as they have leading the AL in runs), the less pressure on any of the pitchers listed above.  There is no reason to believe this team cannot continue to produce.

Hopefully Clay will be back shortly after next week's All Star Game, and this will be  a moot exercise.  But if much of the six items listed do come true AND the Sox add Buchholz to that equation, you have to like the chances very, very much of October baseball being played at Fenway in 2013.

Monday, July 1, 2013

RSM Red Sox Top 12 Prospects--July

As the major league season has passed the halfway mark, the minor leagues have just over two months to go.  There is much to enjoy currently in Red Sox Nation, not only the varsity with 50 wins by June 30, but a bountiful crop of prospects, several knocking on Boston's door now or very soon.

Before we get to the July rankings, a couple of housekeeping notes.  First three players who were considered for placement on this list in the past have "graduated" as prospects.  They are Jose Iglesias, Ryan Lavarnway, and Alex Wilson.  Iglesias obviously is in Boston to stay for the foreseeable future and maybe for years to come. With David Ross recently being placed on the 60 day DL this creates a spot in Boston for the next month or two for Lavarnway. And whether or not Alex Wilson stays in Boston's bullpen he should...he has shown he is a big league arm.

Next housekeeping note is the executive decision made by RSM to wait one more month to include any 2013 draftees.  But in August do not be surprised to see Trey Ball and others on the list ( Jon Denney and Teddy Stankiewicz, in particular.)  Also in the next 12 days until this year's signing deadline watch news reports ( and here at RSM) for the name Ryan Boldt.  As mentioned in some of our draft coverage he was a first round type talent who fell to the Sox 22nd round pick due to  injury and his concrete commitment to Univ. of Nebraska.  Apparently, young Mr. Boldt visited Fenway  recently and met with Sox reps. Maybe the concrete Cornhusker commitment is crumbling??  If he signs he is on this list somewhere.

Lastly a couple of format notes, the number behind each player is last month's ranking.  The slash line for hitters is HR/RBI/BA/OBP and for pitchers it is W-L/ERA/WHIP/K-BB

1. Xander Bogaerts, SS- Pawtucket {1}  If there was a ranking higher than number one, Bogaerts would possess it. Since our last report, Xander has been promoted to Pawtucket.  His final 2013 numbers at Portland were 6/35/.311/.407.  Even at age 20 he was dominating AA at the end and needed the challenge of AAA.  In his first weeks at Pawtucket his home run power has stayed and he is slowly raising his other numbers( as he did upon his recall to Portland last August.)  His line so far at AAA is 4/10/.242/.319. Bogaerts will also appear in the  US vs. World minor league all star game, part of the MLB All Star festivities, for the second year in a row. July will be a very pivotal month for Xander, if he can begin to rake AAA as he did in the lower levels he could be in Boston by some time in August.

2. Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF- Pawtucket {2}If the Sox should have an outfield need arise due to injury or otherwise, JBJr. is ready to fill in.  He continues to put up stellar numbers including his calling card high OBP, .395 for the year.  He still appears to be the heir apparent to free agent to be Jacoby Ellsbury.

3. Allen Webster, P- Boston {3} As July 1st rolls around Webster is in the Red Sox rotation replacing the injured Clay Buchholz.  After making two early season spot starts ( one strong and one awful), he now has made starts the last two times through the rotation. Both had their rough spots, a first inning grand slam by Victor Martinez of the Tigers, and helping the Sox lose a five run lead versus the Jays.  But he left the Jays game with a lead and only another long ball surrendered by Andrew Bailey prevented Webster's first MLB win. And versus the Tigers he pitched with exceptional stuff after the first inning getting a very high number of swings and misses.  Webster is due to make another start this week against the Padres at Fenway.

4. Garin Cecchini, 3B- Portland {5} One of four players who have been promoted since June's ranking ( counting Webster's recall to Boston).  Cecchini has come to Hadlock Field and continued to put up the  most outstanding offensive numbers in the system.  His first 33 AB's for Portland has created a line of 0/3/.364/.475.  These BA and OBP numbers almost exactly mirror his Salem stats of .350 and .469. More and more folks are talking about a future Sox infield ( maybe starting in '14) of from first to third  Middlebrooks, Pedey, Iglesias, and Bogaerts.  They may have to make room there somewhere for Garin Cecchini.

5. Anthony Ranaudo. P- Portland {6}There can be only two reasons why Ranaudo is still in Portland. Either because the Sox want him to dominate for a extended period of time in AA after last year's lost season at AA or it is just a roster crunch at AAA.  Ranaudo had a couple of June starts where he gave up some runs and inflated his ERA but for the season his line is still 8-2/2.68/1.05/91-29 ( in 84 IP).
Anthony is the most likely name on this list to be promoted before the August ratings arrive.

6. Bryce Brentz, OF- Pawtucket {4}  Besides Bogaerts, Brentz is still the best power prospect on the horizon.  Brentz had a line in June of 5/12/.247/.302 giving him a year to date line of 15/51/.270/.322.  Not being on the 40 man roster may keep Brentz from a 2013 recall but if he continues to slug at McCoy he should be in the 2014 picture.  Conversely, he may also be the first name on this list to be a trade chip later this month if the Sox swing a deal to bolster their pennant hopes.

7. Henry Owens, P- Salem {7} As Owens continues to pound Carolina League hitters with a June line of 3-1/1.71/1.18/28-15, the only immediate question for Owens is will the Red Sox promote the soon to be 21 year old ( July 21st birthday) to AA or will they keep him at the same level all year as they did in 2012?  So far this year he has struck out 90 batters in 77 innings with an ERA of 2.91.  He seems to be ready for AA, if not now, very soon.

8. Rubby De La Rosa, P- Pawtucket {9} Rubby could the one name on this entire list who could play a big role in the 2013 Red Sox fortunes.   Boston has taken off the harness as De La Rosa recovers from Tommy John surgery, and his June stats are outstanding: 2-0/1.01/0.98/26-10( in 26.2 innings).  De La Rosa could be next in line if Webster falters in Boston. But more and more, day by day you keep hearing whispers that the Sox would like to plant Rubby in the Sox bullpen and soon.  He could even grab the closer's role if it stays in flux.  He certainly has the overpowering stuff to do so.

9. Matt Barnes, P- Portland {8} Although Barnes' numbers continue to be unimpressive at AA ( with the exception of 83 K's in 67 IP), the Sox front office professes to be pleased with his progression.  Barnes is certainly looking at a full year at Hadlock, but his ninth place ranking here has more to do with the names above than any disappointment in Barnes.  But if the Sox go Cliff Lee shopping in July do not be shocked if Matt is part of the deal.

10. Blake Swihart, C- Salem{10}  The young catcher continues to improve week by week and has put up a line of 2/26/.286/.369. If Swihart can continue to get on base at anything close to a .369 rate, he will be a factor in the big leagues by late 2015 or 2016;  Maybe sooner if he moves from catching.

11. Brandon Workman, P- Pawtucket  If any one on this list illustrates how deep this list of prospects is, Brandon is the guy.  He was promoted in June to Pawtucket after putting up a Portland line of 5-1/3.43/1.04/74-17 in 65 innings.  His first 29 innings at AAA showed Workman did not miss a beat after the promotion 3-1/3.41/1.14/29-11.  Workman is another name mentioned frequently as a second half bullpen arm in Boston.

12. Christian Vazquez, C- Portland  {14}  Vazquez has basically taken over the Jose Iglesias mantel.  No the Sox have not moved the catcher to shortstop.  But, Vazquez is an outstanding defensive catcher, compared to Yadier Molina behind the dish.  But at the dish with a bat in his hands is the question.  In June Christian has slumped some, although he recently broke out with 4 hit game.  His line for the year is 4/27/.240/.341.  Something close to these numbers in the bigs would suffice.  I still think Vazquez will be catching in Boston by 2015 at the latest.

The remaining contenders for the Top 12 ( who will be competing with the new draftees in August)

13. Devin Marrero, SS- Salem {13}  2012's top pick is hitting .270 with a .341 OBP
14. Drake Britton, P- Portland {UR} Lefty has rocketed back onto list with  strong June
15. Michael Almanzar, 3B/1B/DH- Portland {19} Cecchini promotion causing more  DH time
16. Travis Shaw, 1B-3B- Portland {UR}  Either Shaw or Almanzar could be dealt
17. Mookie Betts, 2B-Greenville  {20} 2011 5th rounder with a .426 OBP in his 1st year over GCL
18. Ty Buttrey, P - Lowell {UR} 2012 draftee with 16 K's in first 9 1/3 NYP innings.
19. Brian Johnson, P- Grenville {17}  2012 1st rounder has been on DL since June 9th.
20. David Chester, 1B- Greenville {20A} SAL All Star has a line of 12/64/.266/.343

The August rankings could very well see a major shakeup from these.  As mentioned above the 2013 signed draftees will join the fun and of course the July 31 trade deadline could see more than one of these players leave the Red Sox system.  Enjoy these heady days for the Red Sox and for their affiliates.