Top Five Prospects: Boston Red Sox
When making a top prospect list, it’s all about upside. Bogaerts has that in spades. A power hitting shortstop, although his future is probably at 3B, with the ability to hit 30+ home runs is always an intriguing prospect. Bogaerts spent last year in Low-A posting a .260/.324/.509 slash line while hitting 16 HR in 265 at-bats. Impressive power numbers for an 18 year old in just his second year of pro ball, although he will need to improve on his 24% strikeout rate. Look for him to spend most of next year in high-A. MLB ETA – 2014
Drafted during the 4 th round in 2010 out of Barbe High School in Louisiana, Cecchini was a projected first round pick prior to missing most of his 2010 high-school season with an ACL injury. Cecchini displayed an approach of a much more seasoned player in his debut season; taking walks and striking out at similar rates (12.8 and 14.3% respectively). Playing in the short season low-A New York Penn league, Cecchini hit .298 and flashed a little bit of power with 12 doubles and 3 home runs in 109 at-bats. Defensively, he has a good arm and above-average range as he played short-stop in high school. With no need to rush him due to Kevin Youkilis in the bigs and Will Middlebrooks in AAA, look for Cecchini to spend most, if not all, of the year in low-A. MLB ETA – 2015
I know, I know, three third-basemen as the top three prospects, but that is exactly what Boston is looking at with their youth-heavy system. Middlebrooks is without a doubt the most MLB ready of all Red Sox prospects. He spent most of 2011 in AA hitting .302 to go along with 18 home runs in 371 at bats. He plays a solid third base, with a fine arm and decent range. Middlebrooks projects as a respectable everyday third baseman with All-Star upside if he can cut down the strikeouts and continue to develop his power. MLB ETA – 2013, possible 2012 depending on the health of Kevin Youkilis.
Ranaudo has the frame of a top of the rotation 200+ inning pitcher at 6’7 230. He has a plus fastball that sits between 90-93, and can run it up to 95 at times. His best pitch, his curveball, sits in the high 70’s with great rotation and has the potential to develop into his “out-pitch.” Ranaudo also offers a straight changeup, and he is still working to develop feel for it, which will help him against tough lefties. He pitched fairly well in his first professional year notching a 3.97 era across two levels (low-A and high A), while striking out around eight batters per nine. Look for him to spend this season in AA developing consistent command. Ranaudo’s upside is that of a number 2 starter, although I see him more as a middle of the rotation type of pitcher. MLB ETA – 2013 September call up.
Barnes was Boston’s first round pick of 2011, and did not pitch after signing. He throws a bit harder than Ranaudo, normally ranging from 93-95 and touching 97 at times. He delivers a plus curveball, and a middling changeup. Barnes has really good mechanics and creates velocity with very little effort, which will help him avoid injuries down the line. The only reason I rank him behind Ranaudo at this point is due to his lack of professional experience. I expect Barnes to start 2012 in high-A due to his skill set. MLB ETA – 2014
Just missed: Blake Swihart C, Henry Owens LHP, Jackie Bradley OF, and Brandon Jacobs OF
By: Scott Cooper
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