2013 Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects

11/15/2012

Not quite as much top-end talent as we have seen in years past. Nonetheless, there are a lot of interesting guys at the top here, along with a solid depth throughout the top 20. A number of recent draft picks (from the past 2 years or so) and trade acquisitions fill out the list here. Barnes and Cecchini have both been making a march towards the top of the list with strong 2011s, while others like De La Cruz and Kurcz are moving through the ranks as well. Boston should definitely be able to make another strong addition to the list with the 7th overall pick this June (one of the top college arms may fall?).

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS: At shortstop, Manny Machado gets a lot of attention, but Bogaerts has been just as good at the plate. Impressive power and improving plate discipline for the 19 year old. Just needs to square up off-speed stuff better.
  2. Jackie Bradley, OF: I’m a little surprised the patience we saw at South Carolina translated to the pro game. On top of that, he’s become a more efficient base stealer, while lacing doubles all over the field. He should have a well above-average bat in CF.
  3. Matt Barnes, RHP: Slowly-but-surely the UConn righty moved up draft charts back in 2011. He’s only continued to back up that rising stock as a pro with great performances in both Low (0.61 FIP) and High A (3.15 FIP) ball.
  4. Allen Webster, RHP: More of the same from the former Dodgers farmhand.  The ground ball artist upped his K rate in his first full year at Double-A, although he needs to keep an eye on the walks. Nevertheless, a 3.21 FIP and 2:1 ground ball to flyball rate through 121 IP is a strong display for the 22 year old.
  5. Garin Cecchini, 3rd: Not quite the traditional skill set for a third baseman, but I still think he ends up being worth a lot. With a strong eye at the plate (60 bb against 91 K), an abundance of doubles, and some serious thievery on the bases (51 sb against 6 cs), I’m hoping he makes it up to Double-A in ’13. We’ll see if he can hit for enough power to be a regular corner player.
  6. Ty Buttrey, RHP: The overslot righty provides tons of upside after being selected #151 overall this past June. Sure, they paid for the privilege, but he boasted one of the best fastball/curve combos on the prep side this year.
  7. Bryce Brentz, OF: As was the case last year, the K rate is still too high. Good to see that the power is still there (to a degree), and that he could maintain around a 7% walk rate at the next level in Double-A ball.
  8. Deven Marrero, SS: Even though there were (and still are) concerns about the overall ceiling in his bat following the draft, he does a number of things well. Just maybe not above-average.
  9. Pat Light, RHP: A great pick at 37 overall this past June. Light has flashed strong velocity when he needs it, and has no trouble working in and around the plate, with a 102-16 K-bb ratio in his junior year.
  10. Blake Swihart, C: Not really the pro debut most were hoping for. His best tools are seen as a defender, but even so, I think better numbers were expected at the plate.
  11. Brandon Jacobs, OF: The tools are there, and so are the strikeouts unfortunately. 2012 saw a much less successful run at the plate and on the bases. His base-stealing abilities were limited in his first taste of High-A, a level he will repeat in 2013.
  12. Keury De La Cruz, OF: A fine mix of power and speed at Low-A, but it won’t last with his approach. His aggressiveness will likely continue to limit him unless he begins to adjust (with a BABIP over .350 and a line drive rate barely over 10%).
  13. Travis Shaw, 1B: A nice mix of plate discipline and power in his first full pro year at age 22. Not the strongest LD rate at High-A, and can’t be sure he’ll hit for enough power to be a regular.
  14. Jose Iglesias, SS: Though he will always derive most of is value from what he does as a defender, there were certainly some improvements seen in his repeat of AAA. He is striking out less and walking more, but not hitting the ball as consistently (lower LD rate), so take from that what you will.
  15. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP: Well that was ugly. Seemed as if though Cherington was hoping to promote him quickly; an idea that faded fast. Remains to be seen if he can be as good as he was with LSU.
  16. Brian Johnson, LHP: Though he may not light up radar guns, his all-around solid repertoire of pitches and command should make him one to watch next year. It should be noted that he did generally underwhelm before being drafted his junior year.
  17. Aaron Kurcz, RHP: A nice pickup that came from the Theo compensation negotiations. The Vegas native was moved full-time to the bullpen, where his stuff played up a ton at Double-A. He needs to watch the walks though.
  18. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B: An injury-plague 2012 hasn’t helped to clear up his prospect stock any. Still plenty of questions about his bat, and many are not sure about where that bat can even play (maybe an OF corner?)
  19. Drake Britton, LHP: At one point, he very logically projected to be a solid rotation arm. Between inconsistent stuff, injuries, and a lack of command, he’s become much more of a relief-type. His stuff may play up in late innings work.
  20. Juan Carlos Linares, OF: A strong defender in center, with the range and arm to be a consistent value there, if his bat can get him to a starting role. Was solid in his first full pro season between AA and AAA, but needs to be much less aggressive at the plate.