Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

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    Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    QUICK PRIMER ON GRADE MEANINGS:

    Grade A prospects are the elite. They have a reasonable chance of becoming stars or superstars. In theory, most Grade A prospects develop into major league regulars, if injuries or unanticipated problems don't intervene. Note that is a major "if" in some cases.


    Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role.


    Grade C prospects are the most common type. These are guys who have something positive going for them, but who may have a question mark or three, or who are just too far away from the majors to get an accurate feel for. A few Grade C guys, especially at the lower levels, do develop into stars. Some end up as role players or bench guys. Many don't make it at all.


    Also note that there is diversity within each category. I'm a tough grader; Grade C+ is actually good praise, and some C+ prospects (especially at lower levels) turn out very well indeed.

    Finally, keep in mind that all grades are shorthand. You have to read the full comment in the book for my full opinion about a player, the letter grade only tells you so much. A Grade C prospect in rookie ball could end up being very impressive, while a Grade C prospect in Triple-A is likely just a future role player.

    1) Xander Bogaerts, SS-3B, Grade A: A Grade A prospect who should do everything well except steal bases. Power should steadily increase. Not hype, he is for real.

    2) Jackie Bradley, OF, Grade B+: Although I wouldn’t expect him to be a .300 type hitter, his broad secondary skills and impressive defense should make him a long-term regular. 

    3) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Grade B+: I won’t be talked out of the B+ grade like I was last year. Absolutely love this bat and superior on-base skills. Have to see where he fits defensively. I’ve gone back-and-forth with Bradley at 2 and this could flip depending on how I want to slot them in the Top 50, but I will worry about that next month.

    4) Henry Owens, LHP, Grade B+: Walk rate in Double-A was the only negative here, but the overall package looks like a sound number three starter to me, perhaps more.

    5) Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. I’d have him as a B+ if not for the history of health problems. When he’s right I think he has the best combination of stuff and command among the Bosox RHP prospect corps.

    6) Mookie Betts, 2B, Grade B: 
    Borderline B+. I think you can make a B+ case for him although I guess I hold back for wanting a longer track record. Sudden burst of power is intriguing, also love combination of on-base ability and useful speed. Not sure where he will fit defensively.

    7) Blake Swihart, C, Grade B: 
    Only thing he hasn’t done yet is hit for power, but scouts seem to think that will come. Impressive glove, makes contact, controls zone well. Even without big power he can still be a regular.

    8) Allen Webster, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. I may go with a straight B here but am undecided. Have to love the arm strength but command is still a significant concern. Perhaps he winds up in the bullpen.

    9) Brandon Workman, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. Better pitchability than Webster but not as much pure stuff. 

    10) Matt Barnes, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. Another guy right on the edge area between two grades. Webster, Workman, and Barnes could be ranked in any order you like with completely sound logic behind the decision. All could be mid-rotation starters if they fully pan out, or very useful relievers.

    11) Trey Ball, LHP, Grade B-: Combination of athleticism and arm strength is notable and I am generally a fan of cold-weather high school pitchers, especially guys with two-way backgrounds. Conservative rating however until we get more than a handful of objective innings to study. Could certainly shoot to the top of the list next year.

    12) Drake Britton, LHP, Grade C+: Seems like he’ll make a fine bullpen lefty and ready now.

    13) Simon Mercedes, RHP, Grade C+: From this point on, you can rank the C+ guys however you like with solid reasoning behind it. Mercedes seems like a guy who can really take off next year, if reports from NY-P are any indication. Role is uncertain but arm strength is not.

    14) Christian Vazquez, C, Grade C+: Good glove profiles him as a backup at least, and he has significantly improved contact hitting skills. Might he show more power someday? 

    15) Deven Marrero, SS, Grade C+: Defense-first guy, although he also uses his speed very well. Fits the contact-hitting-infielder- who-might-surprise-with-the-bat-someday profile.

    16) Bryce Brentz, OF, Grade C+: Power is obviously genuine but problems with contact remain evident. Still has a shot at turning into a Ryan Ludwick type at some point.

    17) Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, Grade C+: Second round pick from 2013 who can develop into a mid-rotation starter if all goes well; could be where Workman and Barnes are within two years.

    18) Jamie Callahan, RHP, Grade C+: Like Stankiewicz, he has the physical attributes of a solid starting pitcher but needs to prove himself in full-season ball.

    19) Brian Johnson, LHP, Grade C+: More polished than Stankiewicz and Callahan but not the same physical talent. Could rank as high as 13 or 14 if you want someone closer to the majors. Potential fourth/fifth starter.

    20) Ty Buttrey, RHP, Grade C+: Here’s another guy who could become a mid-rotation arm; needs work with his secondary pitches. 

    OTHER GRADE C+: Jon Denney, C; Manuel Margot, OF; Dan McGrath, LHP.

    OTHERS: Dan Butler, C; Sean Coyle, 2B; Rafael Devers, 3B; Luis Diaz, RHP; Sergio Gomez, RHP; Joe Gunkel, RHP; Alex Hassan, OF; Dalier Hinojosa, RHP; Cody Kukuk, LHP; Corey Littrell, LHP; Henry Ramos, OF; Wendell Rijo, 2B; Myles Smith, RHP

    SUMMARY:

    Obviously this is a very deep system, with at least four B+ or better prospects. You have a future All-Star in Bogaerts, and at least four guys who can be major league regulars. There are high-ceiling tools players, and high floor skill players. There’s depth at all levels, with several prospects near the majors but plenty following at the lower levels. There are guys who can hit and guys who can field. There’s everything basically.

    If you are looking for a flaw, there are no certain top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers, nobody who looks like a Grade A pitching prospect for certain. But you can say that about a lot of teams. Most organizations don’t have a future number one starter. That said, the Red Sox have more pitching depth than most systems, with at least four plausible mid-rotation arms and a bevy of bullpen possibilities. As with the hitters, there’s a good mixture of pitchers ready or almost ready for the majors, but plenty of depth behind them.

    I keep using the word depth, but it fits.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/1/1/5264914/boston-red-sox-top-20-prospects-for-2014

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    Nice post.

    Diaz and Rijo may move up a grade by next year.

    Devers is a long way away, but could rise as well.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from donrichard. Show donrichard's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    Enjoyed the primary post and comment.  Good work.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I think some of our pitching prospects do have top of rotation potential.

    My guess is one of these will become an ace type SP someday: Owens, Webster, Ranaudo and Barnes

    Maybe farther away: Diaz, T Ball, B Johnson and Stankiewicz

    I like our chances with 8 strong starters.

    Then, we have some other pitchers that could become good middle rotation or bottom rotation pitchers: Workman, Britton, de la Rosa (closer?), Callahan, Buttrey, Kukuk, Hinojosa, and Mercedes.

    Long shots: Wright, Light, Gomez, McGrath, Smith & Littrell

    RP'ers: A Wilson, Noe Ramirez, Chris Hernandez (Not young: John Ely, Tommy Layne, Watanabe)

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I might go like this:

    Bogaerts A+

    Owens A-

    Cecchini A-

    JBJ B+

    Ranuado B+

    Betts B+

    Barnes B

    Swhihart B

    T Ball  B-

    Webster B-

    Workman B-

    Vazquez B-

    Britton B-

    Marrero C+

    Rijo C+

    L Diaz C+

    B Johnson C+

    Stankiewicz C+

    Mercedes C

    Callahan C

    Denny C

    Margot C

    McGrath C-

    Hassan C-

    Brentz C-

    Butler D+

    Coyle D+

    Buttrey D+

    Devers Inc

     

     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I actually like that top 10 but would move Ranaudo down some and Workman and Swihart up a little. After the top 10 it goes into strange territory. But the top 10 is solid.

    Is McGrath even with us any more? I vaguely remember he is gone now but maybe I'm wrong.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I actually like that top 10 but would move Ranaudo down some and Workman and Swihart up a little. After the top 10 it goes into strange territory. But the top 10 is solid.

    Is McGrath even with us any more? I vaguely remember he is gone now but maybe I'm wrong.

    [/QUOTE]


    McGrath is listed on soxprospects.com as the #1 starter for the Lowell Spinners.

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from garyhow. Show garyhow's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    Enjoyed this post very much. Only couple of thing IMO I would change.

    Owens- based on what he has done in minors looks to project higher than a #3. This would be as low as I would project him. Chance to be a #1, #2 more likely.

    Raunado- everyone seems to be putting him ahead of Barnes, not sure why. He had a good yr last yr, but has been very up and down. Barnes coming off a down [finished strong], still had a better first 2 yrs than Raunado, reached AAA same yr even though he is younger and drafted yr later. Barnes 19th Raunado 39th picks. While I like both based on yr 1-2 in minors Barnes should be higher or at least equal grades. But this is just nit picking.

    Ball /Mercedes- good grades here and both could be top 10 by end of yr

    Swihart- would probably rate a little higher, more because of position and the athletism he brings to position. Understand projecting can be difficult but was high draft pick and so far has not disappointed. IMO B-B+ would be more appropriate.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to garyhow's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Enjoyed this post very much. Only couple of thing IMO I would change.

    Owens- based on what he has done in minors looks to project higher than a #3. This would be as low as I would project him. Chance to be a #1, #2 more likely.

    Raunado- everyone seems to be putting him ahead of Barnes, not sure why. He had a good yr last yr, but has been very up and down. Barnes coming off a down [finished strong], still had a better first 2 yrs than Raunado, reached AAA same yr even though he is younger and drafted yr later. Barnes 19th Raunado 39th picks. While I like both based on yr 1-2 in minors Barnes should be higher or at least equal grades. But this is just nit picking.

    Ball /Mercedes- good grades here and both could be top 10 by end of yr

    Swihart- would probably rate a little higher, more because of position and the athletism he brings to position. Understand projecting can be difficult but was high draft pick and so far has not disappointed. IMO B-B+ would be more appropriate.

    [/QUOTE]

    I hear you on Barnes/Ranaudo and I guess what players did most recently seems to sway opinion.

    I think it might also have to do with past rankings. While Barnes was ranked #3 last April by soxprospects.com, Ranaudo was ranked as high and higher for a longer period before his injuries.

    #2 in 4/2012

    #3 in 9/2011

    #2 in 6/2011

    #3 in 4/2011

    That's 4 straight ranking periods at #2 or #3.

     

    Barnes has been ranked:

    #3 in 4/2012

    #5 in 6/2013

    #5 in 9/2013

    #2 in 9/2012

    #2 in 6/2012

    #7 in 4/2012

    No more than 2 straight rankings at #2 or 3.

    Maybe that's part of it.

     

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

     

     

    *I'm not going to re-rank all these, but here are my simple... A = above average MLB player, B= will contribute on a major league club at least replacement level with upside, C= I need to see more or I never see them contributing in the majors at all

    1) Xander Bogaerts, SS-3B, Grade A: 

    2) Jackie Bradley, OF, Grade A

    3) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Grade A

    4) Henry Owens, LHP, Grade B

    5) Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Grade B

    6) Mookie Betts, 2B, Grade A


    7) Blake Swihart, C, Grade B

    *Edit* Insert Dalier Hinojosa, RHP B

    8) Allen Webster, RHP, Grade C

    9) Brandon Workman, RHP, Grade B

    10) Matt Barnes, RHP, Grade A

    11) Trey Ball, LHP, Grade C

    12) Drake Britton, LHP, Grade B

    13) Simon Mercedes, RHP, Grade C

    14) Christian Vazquez, C, Grade A

    15) Deven Marrero, SS, Grade C

    16) Bryce Brentz, OF, Grade C

    17) Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, Grade B

    18) Jamie Callahan, RHP, Grade C

    19) Brian Johnson, LHP, Grade C

    20) Ty Buttrey, RHP, Grade C

    OTHER GRADE C: Jon Denney, C; Manuel Margot, OF; Dan McGrath, LHP.

    OTHERS: Dan Butler, C; Sean Coyle, 2B; Rafael Devers, 3B; Luis Diaz, RHP; Sergio Gomez, RHP; Joe Gunkel, RHP; Alex Hassan, OF (he is very close to a B with me, he is the next Nava IMO); ; Cody Kukuk, LHP; Corey Littrell, LHP; Henry Ramos, OF; Wendell Rijo, 2B; Myles Smith, RHP

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/1/1/5264914/boston-red-sox-top-20-prospects-for-2014

    [/QUOTE]


     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to garyhow's comment:

     

    Raunado- everyone seems to be putting him ahead of Barnes, not sure why. He had a good yr last yr, but has been very up and down. Barnes coming off a down [finished strong], still had a better first 2 yrs than Raunado, reached AAA same yr even though he is younger and drafted yr later. Barnes 19th Raunado 39th picks. While I like both based on yr 1-2 in minors Barnes should be higher or at least equal grades. But this is just nit picking.

     

     



    I agree... even though Barnes has some learning to do, I think that he could come in during the year and at least be a league average starter right now.  Raunado, I feel is destined for the bullpen with his duribility concerns. 

     

     

    This is why Raunado is rated up with Barnes when he is a far better prospect and pitcher in my mind

    http://soxprospects.com/players/ranaudo-anthony.htm

    , "Scouting Report: Was considered the top pitcher in the entire draft class and the second-best overall draft prospect heading into the 2010 season "

    78-82 mph hammer curveball grades as plus. Tight rotation and excellent depth through the strike zone. Able to bury out of the strike zone or drop it in for a strike.

    Outstanding feel for his curveball. Future swing-and-miss pitch at major league level.    

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then you read the writeup on Barns and it is all critique and hardly anything really pumping up the prospect to get excited about

    http://soxprospects.com/players/barnes-matt.htm

    Shows excellent downward finish in lower tier of strike zone, but tends to flatten out when elevated.

     Can hold onto ball too long when throwing curve and also wrap wrist to lose ability to stay on top of it. Currently grades as an average pitch with plus potential. Needs to finish more centered with body for consistent command of offering and crispness. Average command of curve.

    83-85 mph changeup presently grades as fringe-average-to-average. Shows arm-side fade, but needs to create more deception and consistency when throwing it. Arm speed varies at times from fastball. Like curve, can hold on to the offering for too long. Potential to become a solid-average-to-better offering and induce weak contact

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I love Sickles summary on his article on our system... the future is bright for Red Sox fans

     


    SUMMARY:

    Obviously this is a very deep system, with at least four B+ or better prospects. You have a future All-Star in Bogaerts, and at least four guys who can be major league regulars. There are high-ceiling tools players, and high floor skill players. There’s depth at all levels, with several prospects near the majors but plenty following at the lower levels. There are guys who can hit and guys who can field. There’s everything basically.

    If you are looking for a flaw, there are no certain top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers, nobody who looks like a Grade A pitching prospect for certain. But you can say that about a lot of teams. Most organizations don’t have a future number one starter. That said, the Red Sox have more pitching depth than most systems, with at least four plausible mid-rotation arms and a bevy of bullpen possibilities. As with the hitters, there’s a good mixture of pitchers ready or almost ready for the majors, but plenty of depth behind them.

    I keep using the word depth, but it fits.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ctredsoxfanhugh. Show ctredsoxfanhugh's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to moonslav59's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to garyhow's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Enjoyed this post very much. Only couple of thing IMO I would change.

    Owens- based on what he has done in minors looks to project higher than a #3. This would be as low as I would project him. Chance to be a #1, #2 more likely.

    Raunado- everyone seems to be putting him ahead of Barnes, not sure why. He had a good yr last yr, but has been very up and down. Barnes coming off a down [finished strong], still had a better first 2 yrs than Raunado, reached AAA same yr even though he is younger and drafted yr later. Barnes 19th Raunado 39th picks. While I like both based on yr 1-2 in minors Barnes should be higher or at least equal grades. But this is just nit picking.

    Ball /Mercedes- good grades here and both could be top 10 by end of yr

    Swihart- would probably rate a little higher, more because of position and the athletism he brings to position. Understand projecting can be difficult but was high draft pick and so far has not disappointed. IMO B-B+ would be more appropriate.

    [/QUOTE]

    I hear you on Barnes/Ranaudo and I guess what players did most recently seems to sway opinion.

    I think it might also have to do with past rankings. While Barnes was ranked #3 last April by soxprospects.com, Ranaudo was ranked as high and higher for a longer period before his injuries.

    #2 in 4/2012

    #3 in 9/2011

    #2 in 6/2011

    #3 in 4/2011

    That's 4 straight ranking periods at #2 or #3.

     

    Barnes has been ranked:

    #3 in 4/2012

    #5 in 6/2013

    #5 in 9/2013

    #2 in 9/2012

    #2 in 6/2012

    #7 in 4/2012

    No more than 2 straight rankings at #2 or 3.

    Maybe that's part of it.

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I agree, and might I also add that Ranaudo was ranked higher in a weaker system and is currently behind Barnes in the soxprospects and others.  There does seem to be a difference of opinion in the game on who the better prospect is.  Personally I think Barnes might have the best ceiling but it will be interesting to see who breaks into the it's first next year, and what they do.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I hear you on Barnes/Ranaudo and I guess what players did most recently seems to sway opinion.

    I think it might also have to do with past rankings. While Barnes was ranked #3 last April by soxprospects.com, Ranaudo was ranked as high and higher for a longer period before his injuries.

    #2 in 4/2012

    #3 in 9/2011

    #2 in 6/2011

    #3 in 4/2011

    That's 4 straight ranking periods at #2 or #3.

     

    Barnes has been ranked:

    #3 in 4/2012

    #5 in 6/2013

    #5 in 9/2013

    #2 in 9/2012

    #2 in 6/2012

    #7 in 4/2012

    No more than 2 straight rankings at #2 or 3.

    Maybe that's part of it.

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I agree, and might I also add that Ranaudo was ranked higher in a weaker system and is currently behind Barnes in the soxprospects and others.  There does seem to be a difference of opinion in the game on who the better prospect is.  Personally I think Barnes might have the best ceiling but it will be interesting to see who breaks into the it's first next year, and what they do.

     

    I'm no expert on prospects, but something tells me Owens has the highest ceiling of all our SP prospects. Ranaudo and Barnes both have a good shot as well.

    It would be nice to have a couple of can't miss pitching prospects, but we have the next best thing: about 7 guys that should produce at least 2-3 quality MLB starters in the nest few years:

    Owens

    Barnes

    Ranaudo

    Webster

    T Ball

    Workman 

    Britton

    plus these 9 more that could produce another 1-2 or more.

    de la Rosa

    Johnson

    Stankiewicz

    Diaz

    Buttery

    Callahan

    Hinojosa

    Wright

    Mercedes

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazy-world-of-troybrown. Show crazy-world-of-troybrown's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    2012 Ranaudo had a bad year, with an injury. Did better repeating Double AA. Barnes is already in Triple AAA, already faster than Ranaudo. This year will determine more on these 2.
    My bet is on Barnes.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to garyhow's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Enjoyed this post very much. Only couple of thing IMO I would change.

    Owens- based on what he has done in minors looks to project higher than a #3. This would be as low as I would project him. Chance to be a #1, #2 more likely.

    Raunado- everyone seems to be putting him ahead of Barnes, not sure why. He had a good yr last yr, but has been very up and down. Barnes coming off a down [finished strong], still had a better first 2 yrs than Raunado, reached AAA same yr even though he is younger and drafted yr later. Barnes 19th Raunado 39th picks. While I like both based on yr 1-2 in minors Barnes should be higher or at least equal grades. But this is just nit picking.

    Ball /Mercedes- good grades here and both could be top 10 by end of yr

    Swihart- would probably rate a little higher, more because of position and the athletism he brings to position. Understand projecting can be difficult but was high draft pick and so far has not disappointed. IMO B-B+ would be more appropriate.

    [/QUOTE]

    I'm a little surprised at Owens also.  He carried his A+ success over to AA.  It's a SSS, but those were pretty much outstanding numbers for a 21 y.o. in AA.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I'm a little surprised at Owens also.  He carried his A+ success over to AA.  It's a SSS, but those were pretty much outstanding numbers for a 21 y.o. in AA.

    He needs to bring down his 4.4 BB/9 number, but his 11.4 K/9 number is very promising.

    He has a 1.126 WHIP last year at a higher level than his 2012 1.446 WHIP was at.

    2.67 ERA in 2013 in 26 starts (135 IP)

    (He even did better in AA than A+, 1.78 to 2.92)

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthomas43. Show mthomas43's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    Am I the only one who is really intrigued by Vasquez?  Besides Bogey he is my favorite prospect.  When is the last time the Sox had a catcher opposing base runners feared?

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from chickenandboose. Show chickenandboose's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to mthomas43's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Am I the only one who is really intrigued by Vasquez?  Besides Bogey he is my favorite prospect.  When is the last time the Sox had a catcher opposing base runners feared?

    [/QUOTE]

    You're not the only one! I was estatic when Salty wasn't brought back! I honestly see Vasquez being our FT catcher starting in 2015.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    I'm no expert on prospects, but something tells me Owens has the highest ceiling of all our SP prospects. Ranaudo and Barnes both have a good shot as well.

    It would be nice to have a couple of can't miss pitching prospects, but we have the next best thing: about 7 guys that should produce at least 2-3 quality MLB starters in the nest few years:

    Owens

    Barnes

    Ranaudo

    Webster

    T Ball

    Workman 

    Britton

    plus these 9 more that could produce another 1-2 or more.

    de la Rosa

    Johnson

    Stankiewicz

    Diaz

    Buttery

    Callahan

    Hinojosa

    Wright

    Mercedes

     

    [/QUOTE]

    The Red Sox looked to one of the smartest teams in baseball with the Rays and emulated the style that kept them relavent amist huge budget teams.  I love this system that is being implemented with BC.  The clear directive in the draft was to take more projectable starting pitchers in the first ten rounds.  We are starting to see that approach start to bloom right in front of our eyes. 

    I don't mind that we don't have a clear cut future ace of the staff right now in the minors.  I would be more than overjoyed to get a Doubront level starter per year and build immense depth.  The cost for pitchers like Dempster is asinine.  If nothing else we can build these supporting roles into the cost model so we can spend big when a quality ace level pitcher worth the money comes around via trade or free agency. 

    Webster has ace stuff, but the consistency of Bard right now.  Owens has great swing and miss stuff, but walks so many dudes that it will hurt him in the bigs.  Barnes has done very well with two and a half pitches and needs that lock down number three big league quality pitch.  Ranaudo had all the pedigree of a pure bred, but hasn't shown results till last year because of injuries. 

    If you take all those four pitchers, the chances of at least one of them solving their biggest problem and becoming an effective pitcher in the big leagues next year is very high IMO.  I bet that the other three are never starters in the league or end up in the bullpen.

    They hedged their bet with Hinojosa who they signed for $4.25 million in case one of those four don't pan out and for depth.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2013/11/red_sox_haves_hopes_for_hinojosa.html

    “He’s a starter and he’ll likely come to camp as a starter,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “If he’s not on the [major league] team, he’ll likely be a starter on the minor league level.

    “Our scouts liked his stuff. It was an opportunity to acquire someone out without a big-league contract, a guy that we can control who we think is close to major-league ready. If he is what our scouts think he is, he’s an affordable pitching option for the next several years.”

    Workman and Britton were guys that nobody was talking about or expecting a contribution from in the bigs, but here they are and they did pretty well with their time.  There will be other suprise moves this team will make... who saw Nava coming out of nowhere?  They aren't scared anymore to make moves to improve the club without the glammer and the glitz like the A's and Tampa.  The difference is that they will also spend on free agents like the A's and Tampa can't or won't do.

    I love this method of stock piling quality arms that have middle rotation upsides.  Most won't make it... but every once and a while you will get one to hit.  That is a huge value to a team as we have seen from Lester, Clay and Doubront. 

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to chickenandboose's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to mthomas43's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Am I the only one who is really intrigued by Vasquez?  Besides Bogey he is my favorite prospect.  When is the last time the Sox had a catcher opposing base runners feared?

    [/QUOTE]

    You're not the only one! I was estatic when Salty wasn't brought back! I honestly see Vasquez being our FT catcher starting in 2015.

    [/QUOTE]

    You are not alone at all my friend.  I see the Sox changing catching philosophies back towards defense first.  I think they saw the value that Tek brought to a pitching staff and is why they have two vets in there now.  They know one will break down and they will have a chance to break the kid into the show.  I hope he gets a chance to show off his Pudge like throwing defense to keep teams from running wild on us. 

    I think next year is a huge test for Vasquez to see if he can continue to progress or at least hold onto the gains he made last year at the plate.  If he can do this, I see him getting a chance to at least be the backup in 2015.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    The Red Sox looked to one of the smartest teams in baseball with the Rays and emulated the style that kept them relavent amist huge budget teams.  I love this system that is being implemented with BC.  The clear directive in the draft was to take more projectable starting pitchers in the first ten rounds.  We are starting to see that approach start to bloom right in front of our eyes. 

    The Rays stockpiled many draft picks recently, but not many recent picks have shown great promise.

    Their success has come more from trading top players before they bolt or decline for young players that help them almost immediately. They also have very good luck signing low and moderate free agents.

    With all due respect, we have not really followed the Rays' model. If we had, we'd have traded Salty & Ellsbury last winter or earlier.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    The Red Sox looked to one of the smartest teams in baseball with the Rays and emulated the style that kept them relavent amist huge budget teams.  I love this system that is being implemented with BC.  The clear directive in the draft was to take more projectable starting pitchers in the first ten rounds.  We are starting to see that approach start to bloom right in front of our eyes. 

    RedSoxDOrtiz,

    I'm not sure that the Sox have emulated the Rays model? Cherington is simply following the game plan laid out by the ownership group led by Lucchino after buying the team. Placing a greater premium on pitching and embracing the new age concepts like OBP=runs scored, building lineups 1-9 with professional hitters, which has resulted in them winning three WS titles. Opposed to the Yawkey/Sullivan years where they placed a greater emphasis on power hitting righthanded bats and devalued pitching due to playing in Fenway. 

    I do agree that the Sox draft strategy under Cherington, more so than Epstein has been to stockpile arms which serves two very important needs, chief among them is having the organizational depth to address injuries during the marathon of a 162 game season without having to trade valuable assets.(Workman, Britton, Webter and RDR are testements to that). A lesson learned the hard way under Epstien. Secondly, having a "surplus of" projectable big league pitchers in your system allows the GM to engage the smaller market clubs in trade discussions to address needs at the big league level...

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Soph. Show Soph's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    We had the 3rd highest payroll in majors last year but hey don't let the facts get in your way.

    We are very fortunate in that we can simply pissss away money as we do every year and still be able to compete. How conveniently we ignore the money wasted on our top two relievers just last season. Thank goodness for Koji. Rays can not afford to make that mistake.

    We are a big market team and we should use all of our resources. If I owned the club the luxury tax threshold would be my annual budget. You focus on player development and supplement that with free agent acquisitions. You will need some cost controlled players in the starting lineup. Otherwise you become the Yankees. Starting lineup has to churn and evolve every year. Days of 1970s Big Red Machine is gone forever.

    We are ahead of many teams going into 2014 because of our pitching. We can't add Drew without letting go Dempster or Peavy. We could have extended Jacoby but then Napoli had to go and probably no AJ P behind the plate.

    Singning Tanaka was not going to happen with looming free agency for Lester (I'm assumingg we will give him 5/$100M, no more than that). No way we pay two pitchers $20M per year and stay under luxury tax.

    My guess is team would rather have 2 vey good baseball players at $10M apiece ascopposed to one making $20M. That works as long as you don't bomb at ones making $10M. You can't overpay an average player $10M. That too will catch up to you.

    Big question is do we have enough as we stand right now to compete for the East title? I like our chances in the playoffs with our starting pitching.

     

     

     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects for 2014

    In response to mthomas43's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Am I the only one who is really intrigued by Vasquez?  Besides Bogey he is my favorite prospect.  When is the last time the Sox had a catcher opposing base runners feared?

    [/QUOTE]

    I'm quite impressed as well.  I don't get to see these guys play, so my approach is pretty simplistic, but he has solid number at A+ and AA, at an age-appropriate level.  He had a 70/40 K/W in A+ at age 21, and .771 with a 44/47 K/W at age 22.  without seeing his swing, I can't tell for sure, but wouldn't that suggest a .700+ MLB OPS?

     
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