Sunday, January 26, 2014

RSM Red Sox Top Prospects 21-50

Back on November 9th we published the RSM Top 20 Red Sox Prospects from #1 Xander Bogaerts down to #19 and 20 Jon Denney and Teddy Stankiewicz, with lots of heralded and promising names in between.  Here is a list of the next tier of Sox prospects.  This is a list of some newer members of the organization on the rise and some brighter stars of the past slipping down the ranks.  We include a brief comment for 21-40 and simply a list of 41-50 ( unless we can't help ourselves).  As always RSM uses as one factor in the rankings how close a player is to helping Boston, and that comes into play for the first three names.  Team listed is the final destination in 2013.

21. Alex Hassan, OF-  Pawtucket  This on base machine only played 55 games in 2013 due to injuries. But if Boston is looking for an early season call up for corner OF or first base, Hassan could be it.

22. Travis Shaw, 1B- Portland  In his second year at Portland Shaw struggled at the plate.  But Shaw, who is another OBP monster usually up over .400, shined in the Arizona Fall League to somewhat salvage his 2013.  He should move along to AAA in his next trial to become a bona fide prospect.

23. Alex Wilson, RP- Boston (DL)  Wilson was converted to the pen and promoted to Boston in 2013. He was pitching acceptably in a mid relief role when injury cut his season down.  If the parent club did not all ready have a loaded bullpen, Wilson would likely start in Boston, but barring injuries in the Sox bullpen or a fantastic Florida showing by Wilson,  he is slated for Pawtucket again.

24.  Wendell Rijo, 2B- Lowell  This second sacker bloomed in 2013 in the GCL ( with a brief 3 game cameo in Lowell at season's end.)  At age 18 he hit .277 with an OBP of .367.  Rijo also stole 15 bags.

25. Rafael Devers, 3B  The Red Sox signed Devers last summer  as an international free agent at age 16.  He was considered the third best hitter on the IFA market by Baseball America and the best power prospect available.  At age 16 he is probably two years away from playing stateside, but watch for his numbers in the 2014 Dominican Summer League.

26. Dalier Hinojosa, P- Cuba  This 27 year old Cuban defector is only a prospect in that he has not played in America yet.  The right hander has a low to mid 90s fastball and many scouts feel his ceiling is a reliever in the bigs.  Others feel he can start in the majors.  He is very likely to start 2014 in Pawtucket, and with any type of showing in AAA,  Hinojosa should pitch for Boston is some capacity this year.

27. Ty Buttrey, P- Lowell - The 2012 fourth rounder went 4-3 with an ERA of 2.21 and a WHIP of 1.23.  The 20 year old righty should start 2014 in Greenville.

28. Jamie Callahan, P, Lowell  Another 2013 draftee ( 2nd round) joined Buttrey in Lowell and going 5-1 with a WHIP of 1.09 and had 54 Ks to only 17 walks at age 19.  Greenville is his 2014 destination as well.

29. Sean Coyle, 2B- Salem  A near top ten prospect two years ago, injuries have somewhat curtailed his progress.  But Coyle is still only 21 years old, as he was drafted out of high school.  He also hit 16 home runs between Greenville and Salem last year.  He will begin 2014 at Hadlock Field, as will the other second baseman from Salem, the top ten prospect,  Mookie Betts.  This will create an interesting puzzle to get all involved enough playing time ( SS Deven Marrero will be there also). AA should show once and for all if Coyle is a candidate for the big leagues

30.  David Chester, 1B Salem  The RSM favorite son and slugging first sacker was a SAL All Star at Greenville before his promotion to Salem.  Chester was tied with PawSoxer Bryce Brentz for the most home runs in the Sox system with 19.  He also knocked 85 runs and hit .271 with a OBP of .354. But Chester is all ready 24 and to really have a realistic shot at the Show he needs to reach AA this year, and continue to slug when he gets there.

31. Noe Ramirez, RP- Portland  This righty was converted to the pen in late 2013, and in one indication the Red Sox feel he can rise rapidly in this new role, Ramirez was invited to Boston this winter for the Rookie indoctrination seminars.  The other invitees included Henry Owens, Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Garin Cecchini and other top ranked minor leaguers.

32. Luis Diaz, P- Salem  In 2013 between Greenville and Salem, Diaz sparkled.  The 21 year old went 9-4 with an ERA of 1.96.  In 101 innings his WHIP was 1.08 and he struck out 94 batters with only 24 walks.  Portland looks like his 2014 assignment, if not on Opening Day soon thereafter.

33. Stephen Wright, P- Pawtucket/Boston  Again he is not really a "prospect" in the true since of the word.  But Wright has shown he can get big leaguers out with his knuckleball.  He should begin 2014 back in AAA, but do not be shocked if Wright starts a number games for Boston again in 2014.

34. Dan Butler, C- Pawtucket  Sort of a catching version of Stephen Wright, he also is not a young, exciting prospect.  But scouts agree he is on target to become a very solid backup big league catcher.  If any health issues arise with AJ Pierzynski or David Ross, Butler could get the call while Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart continue to ripen.  And as was undrafted out of college, the scouts have been wrong about Dan before.  Maybe he can be more than a backup.

35. Tzu-Wei Lin, SS- GCL  The shortstop from Taiwan was signed in June of 2012.  He is considered the fastest base runner in the entire system.  An outstanding defender, the development of his bat will guide his fortunes.  Last year hit only .226 but with a homer and 20 RBI.

36. Keury De La Cruz, OF- Salem   A power prospect who hit 9 home runs and drove in 89 runs in 2013.  But he did strike out 130 times, so the Sox will be watching for development of a better strike zone awareness from the 21 year old.  Hadlock Field is his expected home in 2014.

37.Cody Kukuk, LHP- The 20 year old lefty had some shaky 2013 stats, 4-13 with an ERA of 4.54. But he did have 113 strikeouts in only 107 innings pitched.  His good stuff and left handedness continue to make him a pitcher to watch.

38. Pat Light, P- Greenville-  2013 injuries limited Light to only 34 innings, in which he put up an 7.34 ERA. 2012 sandwich pick draftee, has to wipe away 2013 and look forward to re-establishing himself, likely as a bullpen artist down the road with his overpowering fastball.

39. Myles Smith, P- Lowell.  This righty is a  2013 draftee in the fourth round from JUCO.  He throws in the low 90s and should begin 2014 in Greenville.

40. Corey Littrell, LHP- Lowell  Corey was drafted also in 2013 in the fifth round out the Univ. Of Kentucky.  He had a 1.74 ERA at Lowell in 31 innings with a 30/10 K/BB numbers.  The 21 year old, due to his college background,  could jump over Greenville and start 2014 at Salem.

Here is the rest of the top 50:

41. Keith Couch, P
42. Nick Longhi, OF- a 2013 draftee, high schooler expected to be unsignable.  Watch his name.
43. Daniel McGrath, LHP- lefty from Australia, made his pro debut in 2013.
44. Henry Ramos, OF
45. Mickey Pena LHP- lefty arrived in Portland late 2013, will be in SeaDogs '14 rotation
46. Sergio Gomez, P
47. Heiker Meneses, INF
48. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B The 2010 first round pick at age 25 may be near the end of the line with Sox
49. Jose Vinicio, SS Another former highly regarded player who has crashed and burned.
50. Victor Acosta, 3B International signee who will begin his Sox career in the Dominican.  17 year old reported to have major power potential.

There you have it.  Soon it will be time for pitchers and catchers ( Feb.15th!) and over the course of the spring we will see where these prospects go for 2014.  You can count on one or two of these names from the lower lists shooting into the Top 20, maybe even the Top Ten in a year or two.

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