3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

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    3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    Thirdbaseman Will Middlebrooks (No. 51), shortstop Xander Bogaerts (No. 58) and catcher Blake Swihart (No. 72), are the Red Sox prospects on Baseball America's annual Top 100 list:

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2012/2612998.html
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    I'm not sure how he can list Swihart and say that he'd still make the list, even if he couldn't catch because of his bat, and then leave Lavarnway off of the list.  Does Swihart really have that big of a bat?
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    While all lists are subjective, I never liked BA's rankings. I prefer rankings heavier weighted towards ceiling than probability.
    I struggle with Middlebrooks at #50. I have seen him play maybe 15-18 times and he is a GG caliber 3B without doubt. Very strong and accurate arm. Potential for power numbers as well as the major league level. But until he proves he can hit off speed pitches, he was not ready offensively. Now, if he spens 6 weeks at AAA and he has eliminated the hole in his swing, he could be top 25 in my opinion.
    I have seen Boegarts play maybe 4 times. I like his ranking. At the risk of RS nation ridicule, he reminded me of a young Renteria, or Tony Fernandez. I was impressed with his agility at his size. I thought he was very smooth in the field. The times I did see him play, he was not as impressive at the plate as others report. 
    I have not seen Swihart play yet.  

     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]While all lists are subjective, I never liked BA's rankings. I prefer rankings heavier weighted towards ceiling than probability. I struggle with Middlebrooks at #50. I have seen him play maybe 15-18 times and he is a GG caliber 3B without doubt. Very strong and accurate arm. Potential for power numbers as well as the major league level. But until he proves he can hit off speed pitches, he was not ready offensively. Now, if he spens 6 weeks at AAA and he has eliminated the hole in his swing, he could be top 25 in my opinion. I have seen Boegarts play maybe 4 times. I like his ranking. At the risk of RS nation ridicule, he reminded me of a young Renteria, or Tony Fernandez. I was impressed with his agility at his size. I thought he was very smooth in the field. The times I did see him play, he was not as impressive at the plate as others report.  I have not seen Swihart play yet.  
    Posted by rkarp[/QUOTE]

    Quality stuff.  Thanks for the report. 

    The only thing I want to say is that most of the reports I've seen on Boegarts are high on his offensive potential and not his present day bat.  Hopefully, he has the work ethic and make up to realize the potential.

    One prospect that BA left off that I am high on: Brandon Jacobs.
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]I'm not sure how he can list Swihart and say that he'd still make the list, even if he couldn't catch because of his bat, and then leave Lavarnway off of the list.  Does Swihart really have that big of a bat?
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    Swihart is age advanced.  BA gives him a ton of pts for that.  
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    Swihart hit something like .570 on the national team in HS. Best on the team but it was also something like 17 games. Absolute king of SSS ( small sample size ). He could be a top 20 guy at the end of next year or not on anyone's list. Let's hope he's Mike Trout redux! Hey Drewski!
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]Swihart hit something like .570 on the national team in HS. Best on the team but it was also something like 17 games. Absolute king of SSS ( small sample size ). He could be a top 20 guy at the end of next year or not on anyone's list. Let's hope he's Mike Trout redux! Hey Drewski!
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom[/QUOTE]

    He raked in high school, kudos to him for that, but he's only played 2 games of pro ball, going 0-6 in the process (again, tiny sample size).  I find it difficult to call someone age advanced when they're in Greenville and short season ball had already ended by the time he signed.  Do we know where he's starting 2012 yet?

    I'm not trying to take anything away from Swihart, but if the reasoning is that his offense is so good that it doesn't matter if he can catch, then Lavarnway should make the list too, because his bat falls in the same category and he's finally being viewed as a potential everyday catcher defensively.
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list : He raked in high school, kudos to him for that, but he's only played 2 games of pro ball, going 0-6 in the process (again, tiny sample size).  I find it difficult to call someone age advanced when they're in Greenville and short season ball had already ended by the time he signed.  Do we know where he's starting 2012 yet? I'm not trying to take anything away from Swihart, but if the reasoning is that his offense is so good that it doesn't matter if he can catch, then Lavarnway should make the list too, because his bat falls in the same category and he's finally being viewed as a potential everyday catcher defensively.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    Isnt Swihart like 19?

    19 at A ball is age advanced in my opinion.  Most guys are in college.  He's already graduated from the rookie league and the gulf coast league.

    Im not saying it makes him a cant miss stud.  In fact, Id go as far as to say it may make him a bit overrated.  

    My only point is that when someone is playing with guys older than them, BA seems to think they are the second coming.

    I agree with you though.  Id much rather have Lavernaway.

     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list : He raked in high school, kudos to him for that, but he's only played 2 games of pro ball, going 0-6 in the process (again, tiny sample size).  I find it difficult to call someone age advanced when they're in Greenville and short season ball had already ended by the time he signed.  Do we know where he's starting 2012 yet? I'm not trying to take anything away from Swihart, but if the reasoning is that his offense is so good that it doesn't matter if he can catch, then Lavarnway should make the list too, because his bat falls in the same category and he's finally being viewed as a potential everyday catcher defensively.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    It's even worse than that JB - look at how they rated guys like Montero and Wil Myers, both of whome they acknowledge were unlikely to stick at C, with Myers already moving to the OF.  BA never recognized Lavarnway's talent, and now he's 24 and they can't admit their mistake.  It's pathetic really - last year they put Andrew Brackman on their list, and he was a year older than Lavarnway is now, crushed in AAA and DFA'd after the season.  Some of these picks are more about saving face than the reality of who is going to be a contributor in the major leagues.


     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list : Isnt Swihart like 19? 19 at A ball is age advanced in my opinion.  Most guys are in college.  He's already graduated from the rookie league and the gulf coast league. Im not saying it makes him a cant miss stud.  In fact, Id go as far as to say it may make him a bit overrated.   My only point is that when someone is playing with guys older than them, BA seems to think they are the second coming. I agree with you though.  Id much rather have Lavernaway.
    Posted by Drewski5[/QUOTE]

    And all I'm saying is that I'm not convinced he would have been in A ball, if the GCL season wasn't over by the time he signed (august 15th).  If he starts 2012 in A ball, then that's anything story entirely.
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    JB-3....I actually think Lavarnway is the better prospect overall because he at least has succeeded at every level and only appears to be getting better as he climbs the ladder. The numbers he put up last year in difficult leagues were tremendous. The guy is a run producing machine. 

    And as I mentioned, Swihart played a lot of games in New Mexico where not a lot of people saw him and against questionable competition and only 17 games with the national team if I remember correctly. And he has very little experience as a catcher also. There is no doubt that he is highly regarded though and a blue chip prospect. Conventional wisdom ( scouts ) think Swihart is the better prospect but I'm not sure they are the best statisticians in the world either. Can they do the math in regards to what Swihart's chances are of even making it to the point where Lavarnway is now? 

    It's kind of a wash to me. They are about equal. But I give the edge to Lavarnway. Scouts say Lavarnway will not do as well in the show, due to holes in his swing which will be exploited more in the majors but almost every player has holes in his swing for several years even when they come up. They used to be able to bust Ellsbury inside a lot until last year and look how that changed once he developed the ability to hit inside fastballs better. Even a guy like Papi struggles with inside pitches sometimes. Lots of slugger types have that problem. If there is one thing strong about Lavarnway though, it's his ability to adjust. He adjusted to every level like clockwork. Quickly. College and every level of the pros. From being horrible defensively to potentially acceptable now. 

    Don't get me wrong. I love players from the national high school team. Swihart, Cechinni, Coyle. Those are tremendous prospects. And Swihart might well be our next super stud.
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list : Swihart is age advanced.  BA gives him a ton of pts for that.  
    Posted by Drewski5[/QUOTE]


    Drewski! Welcome back. Where have u been hiding?
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]Swihart hit something like .570 on the national team in HS. Best on the team but it was also something like 17 games. Absolute king of SSS ( small sample size ). He could be a top 20 guy at the end of next year or not on anyone's list. Let's hope he's Mike Trout redux! Hey Drewski!
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom[/QUOTE]

    What up, Boom?
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list : And all I'm saying is that I'm not convinced he would have been in A ball, if the GCL season wasn't over by the time he signed (august 15th).  If he starts 2012 in A ball, then that's anything story entirely.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    I agree with you completely.  My only point is that BA doesnt realize this and its why they overrate him.
     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]JB-3....I actually think Lavarnway is the better prospect overall because he at least has succeeded at every level and only appears to be getting better as he climbs the ladder. The numbers he put up last year in difficult leagues were tremendous. The guy is a run producing machine.  And as I mentioned, Swihart played a lot of games in New Mexico where not a lot of people saw him and against questionable competition and only 17 games with the national team if I remember correctly. And he has very little experience as a catcher also. There is no doubt that he is highly regarded though and a blue chip prospect. Conventional wisdom ( scouts ) think Swihart is the better prospect but I'm not sure they are the best statisticians in the world either. Can they do the math in regards to what Swihart's chances are of even making it to the point where Lavarnway is now?  It's kind of a wash to me. They are about equal. But I give the edge to Lavarnway. Scouts say Lavarnway will not do as well in the show, due to holes in his swing which will be exploited more in the majors but almost every player has holes in his swing for several years even when they come up. They used to be able to bust Ellsbury inside a lot until last year and look how that changed once he developed the ability to hit inside fastballs better. Even a guy like Papi struggles with inside pitches sometimes. Lots of slugger types have that problem. If there is one thing strong about Lavarnway though, it's his ability to adjust. He adjusted to every level like clockwork. Quickly. College and every level of the pros. From being horrible defensively to potentially acceptable now.  Don't get me wrong. I love players from the national high school team. Swihart, Cechinni, Coyle. Those are tremendous prospects. And Swihart might well be our next super stud.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom[/QUOTE]

    Good post Boom.  Another thing to consider about Lavarnaway is that he's farther along, which is something that cant be discounted.

    For every 100 guys who look good in A ball, only 50 lcan hit in AA.  Of those 50, only 25 can hit in AAA.  Of those 25 only 5 can hit in the majors.

    Swihart may never be able to adjust in AA.  And if he gets over that hurdle, he may never be able to adjust to AAA.  Lava has already proven he can hit in AAA.

     
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    Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list

    In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 3 Red Sox prospects land on BA list : It's even worse than that JB - look at how they rated guys like Montero and Wil Myers, both of whome they acknowledge were unlikely to stick at C, with Myers already moving to the OF.  BA never recognized Lavarnway's talent, and now he's 24 and they can't admit their mistake.  It's pathetic really - last year they put Andrew Brackman on their list, and he was a year older than Lavarnway is now, crushed in AAA and DFA'd after the season.  Some of these picks are more about saving face than the reality of who is going to be a contributor in the major leagues.
    Posted by slomag[/QUOTE]

    Regarding Lavarnway vs. Swihart, you have to factor in the process these organizations follow to reach their opinions. They look at production AND scouting, and attempt to project a player's physical upside and ability to adjust at future levels.

    Lavarnway is viewed in a VERY similar vein as a former Red Sox prospect: Kevin Youkilis. If you look at Youk's minor league numbers (and you should, they're tremendous), you'll wonder how anyone EVER doubted that he would be a future All-Star (he never made a BA Top 100 Prospect list). But there were numerous knocks on him at the time, including a bad body, questionable ability to contribute defensively, a lack of power and power projection, and a swing/stance that might also lack future power AND might not produce the same on base results in the majors that it did in the minors.

    Keep in mind that Youkilis's success does NOT mean the evaluators were wrong to think this way...there have been countless players with this profile (excellent minor league production, numerous qualitative negatives) who ended up as "AAAA players" (i.e. great in the minors, but never good enough for the majors) and others who washed out completely. It's a testimate to Youkilis that he molded himself into a very useful and versatile defender, that he worked to evolve on his plate approach and swing to find a balance between OBP and power, and that he has, until recently, kept his "bad body" from being a problem.

    Lavarnway is viewed the same way. Many scouts are not sold that his bat will translate to the MLB level, his physical upside is limited, and his future defensive contributions are very questionable. That doesn't mean the scouts think or assume he will fail...but the odds are stacked better for other players. It's not an insult, and I'm sure ever scout who doubts Lavarnway hopes he/she will be proven wrong.

    As for Swihart, his ranking goes to show how much upside everyone sees in him, and why it was viewed as a risky but eventually worthwhile coup for the Sox that they were able to convince him to pass on college. Whether his minor league hitting production is like Lavarnway's or not, that doesn't mean their hitting upside will be directly compared (the scouts like his swing and projected development more)...they're quite different. And Swihart actually projects as a future catcher...the assumption is that the Sox could move him to a different position, which would allow him to become a plus fielder there AND speed up his hitting production, or they could pace him at catcher, which limits his production upside but could produce an MLB catcher, which is always very hard to do.
     
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