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January 28, 2011

Future Shock

Red Sox Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

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Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

System in 20 Words or Less: The system was down a little, but the Adrian Gonzalez trade left it down a lot.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Jose Iglesias, SS
2. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
3. Josh Reddick, OF
4. Drake Britton, LHP
5. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B
6. Brandon Workman, RHP
7. Yamaico Navarro, INF
8. Felix Doubront, LHP
9. Oscar Tejeda, 2B
10. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
11. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Nine More:
12. Garin Cecchini, 3B: This fourth-rounder received a first-round bonus and can hit, but his bat is what will have to carry him.
13. Lars Anderson, 1B: There are still some things to like here, but the actual on-field performance has to return.
14. Bryce Brentz, OF: He packs a lot of power in a smaller package, but his huge swing was exposed as pro.
15. Ryan Lavarnway, C: An offense-oriented catcher, Lavarnway still has work to do behind the plate.
16. Sean Coyle, INF: As a 5-foot-8 second baseman with crazy-good bat speed, the unfair Pedroia comps are inevitable.
17. Kendrick Perkins, OF: This sixth-round pick has excellent athleticism, but he's very, very far from being a baseball player.
18. Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF: Hazelbaker showed power and speed at Low-A, but he was old for the level and had lots of swing-and-miss in his stroke.
19. Luis Exposito, C: He's solid across the board at a position where that's a virtue, but nothing stands out.
20. Che-Hsuan Lin, CF: A crazy-great fielder who can walk, it's easy to imagine his future as a bench outfielder.

1. Jose Iglesias, SS
DOB
: 1/5/90
Height/Weight: 5-11/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2009, Cuba
2010 Stats: .350/.458/.500 at Short-season (13 G); .285/.315/.357 at Double-A (57 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Glove/power

Year in Review: This Cuban shortstop was as good as expected defensively, but Iglesias surprised with the bat as a 20-year-old at Double-A.
The Good: Any discussion concerning Iglesias begins with his glove, as he's the best defensive shortstop in the minors. One scout even said, “Often the highlight of an entire day in Portland was just watching him in fielding drills.” With uncanny instincts, a great first step, range to both sides, liquid-smooth actions and a strong, accurate arm, Iglesias is the rare 80 defender with true Gold Glove potential. An unexpected bonus was that while some worried that he'd be a Rey Ordonez clone offensively, he instead showed solid contacts skills with the occasional ability to drive a ball into the gap last year.
The Bad: While Iglesias will have enough bat to play every day, his offensive ceiling ends at the bottom of a big-league lineup. He'll never hit for much power, and he needs to tone down his aggressiveness and work the count better. He's quick, but not fast, clocking average times from home to first.
Ephemera: Maybe Iglesias should get the nickname “Vampiro,” as he hit just .148/.185/.164 in 17 day games for Double-A Portland, but .338/.365/.431 in 40 games under the lights.
Perfect World Projection: He would be a Gold Glove shortstop with a solid but unspectacular bat.
Fantasy Impact: It will be very little, but he'll be a “1” defender in Strat-o-matic.
Path to the Big Leagues: Iglesias is ready for Triple-A and could get a September look in preparation for the full-time gig in 2012.
ETA: 2012

2. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
DOB
: 9/9/89
Height/Weight: 6-7/225
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Supplemental first round, 2010, LSU
2010 Stats: Did not play
Best/Worst Tool: Curveball/command

Year in Review: After entering the year as the best college pitcher in the country, Ranaudo struggled with elbow problems in the spring and fell out of the first round. A fantastic showing in the Cape Cod League after the selection convinced the Red Sox that he was back, and he signed for just over $2.5 million.
The Good: When he's on, Ranaudo shows three average to plus-grade pitches. His fastball was 91-94 mph in the Cape, and was clocked as high as 97 as a sophomore. His curveball is a true plus offering with plenty of tumble and bite, and he gets good deception on a solid changeup. His height and long arms add a deceptive angle to all of his pitches, and he's a good athlete with strong makeup.
The Bad: Between the injury issue and some mechanical troubles, Ranaudo was a mess for much of the spring, with the quality of all of his pitches and his command varying wildly. He had starts where he failed to get out of the 80s in terms of velocity, and his ability to throw strikes completely abandoned him. However, his summer showing in the Cape was without any such incidents.
Ephemera: Ranaudo proved himself healthy before signing with a 0.00 ERA over 29 2/3 Cape Cod innings, in which he allowed 10 hits, eight walks, and struck out 31.
Perfect World Projection: If he's healthy and the player he was coming into the 2010 season, he has All-Star potential.
Fantasy Impact: He will be a very good starting pitcher.
Path to the Big Leagues: Ranaudo will be one of the most-watched prospects in the game in 2011, and has equal shots of flying up the Top 101 list or disappearing. He'll likely begin the year at High-A Salem.
ETA: 2013

3. Josh Reddick, OF
DOB
: 2/17/87
Height/Weight: 6-2/180
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: 17th round, 2006, Middle Georgia Junior College
2010 Stats: .266/.301/.466 at Triple-A (114 G); .194/.206/.323 at MLB (29 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Arm/speed

Year in Review: Reddick began to press at Triple-A when Ryan Kalish passed him on the depth chart, but he rebounded with a strong second half.
The Good: He certainly impresses on a tools level. With plenty of bat speed and strong wrists, he has plus power to all fields and a good feel for contact. He's a good enough defensive outfielder to play center in a pinch, and his arm is the best in the system, rating as a 70-plus weapon on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.
The Bad: Reddick does himself in with an exceedingly poor approach at the plate; he has a tendency to rush at-bats and swing at far too many bad pitches to be consistent offensively. He's a 45-50 runner who is not a threat on the basepaths.
Ephemera: As far as showing off a gun, Reddick has accumulated 59 outfield assists in 403 minor-league games in the outfield, a rate of nearly 22 per 150 games.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a solid everyday corner outfielder with power and a bit of batting average.
Fantasy Impact: He won't be an early pick, but he will certainly be of value.
Path to the Big Leagues: The signing of Carl Crawford leaves Reddick blocked, but he still needs to prove himself at Triple-A anyway. He'll return to Pawtucket in 2011, and he might need a trade to get his shot.
ETA: 2011

4. Drake Britton, LHP
DOB
: 5/22/89
Height/Weight: 6-2/200
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 23rd round, 2007, Tomball HS (TX)
2010 Stats: 2.97 ERA (75.2-69-23-78) at Low-A (21 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/changeup

Year in Review: This 23rd-round pick who signed for $700,000 made an impressive return from Tommy John surgery.
The Good: Britton has a power arsenal that is made all the more valuable by his left-handedness. Broad-shouldered and country strong, he parks his heavy fastball at 93 mph and touches 95 nearly every time out. He gets tight spin on a power breaking ball, and scouts were impressed by his competitive nature.
The Bad: Britton has made significant progress with his changeup, but it still lags well behind his other two offerings. He was used very sparingly due to his surgery, and he still needs to prove he can handle a bigger workload and carry his stuff deep into games.
Ephemera: No players drafted 714th overall have ever pitched in a major-league game.
Perfect World Projection: He would be an above-average starter.
Fantasy Impact: He should provide good numbers in every category.
Path to the Big Leagues: After a year of being very cautious with him--he never went more than five innings and averaged less than four--the Red Sox will take Britton's training wheels off when he heads to High-A in 2011.
ETA: 2014

5. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B
DOB
: 4/1/89
Height/Weight: 6-2/195
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010, Ball State University
2010 Stats: .270/.360/.422 at Short-season (56 G); .275/.383/.400 at Low-A (12 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Bat/glove

Year in Review: The Mid-American Conference Player of the Year earned widely varying scouting reports, but he still landed in the bottom of the first round.
The Good: Vitek's bat is what put him in the first round. He has an excellent approach and a smooth swing, with excellent weight transfer that projects for average power. He is a tick above-average as a baserunner, and a good athlete with an excellent arm at third base.
The Bad: Many scouts wonder what Vitek's defensive home will be. He played second and third base in college, but he is a sloppy defender with poor footwork who might work best in an outfield slot. He showed far more swing-and-miss than expected in his pro debut, and he also had trouble with breaking stuff.
Ephemera: Vitek led Ball State with a 3.28 ERA in the spring as a weekend starter, showing plus command of a 90-93 mph fastball.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an average everyday player in the outfield, but he'll be more than that if he can stick at third base.
Fantasy Impact: He could bring 15-20 home runs and stolen bases annually, but that has less value if he is an outfielder.
Path to the Big Leagues: The Red Sox will use spring training to determine if Vitek should begin the year in Low- or High-A.
ETA: 2013

6. Brandon Workman, RHP
DOB
: 8/13/88
Height/Weight: 6-4/195
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2010, University of Texas
2010 Stats: Did not play
Best/Worst Tool: Curveball/change

Year in Review: One of the top college pitchers in the draft unexpectedly fell to the 57th overall pick, where Boston signed him at the deadline for $800,000.
The Good: Workman has two plus pitches; he pounds the strike zone with a low-90s fastball than can touch 94-95, and added a devastating overhand curveball that is a true out pitch. He's long and lean and might still have some projection. He's an intense competitor.
The Bad: Workman's changeup is still average at best, and he lacks consistency with it. While it doesn't seem to affect his stuff or command, he's mechanically complicated and could have trouble repeating his delivery.
Ephemera: A whopping 33 players drafted out of the University of Texas have pitched in the major leagues, combining to appear in more than 6,000 games.
Perfect World Projection: He would be a fourth starter.
Fantasy Impact: He will be more of a solid performer than a star.
Path to the Big Leagues: Workman is polished enough to begin his career at High-A, and while he lacks a big upside, he could move quickly.
ETA: 2013

7. Yamaico Navarro, INF
DOB: 10/31/87
Height/Weight: 5-11/170
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2005, Dominican Republic
2010 Stats: .274/.358/.422 at Double-A (88 G); .283/.339/.528 at Triple-A (16 G); .143/.174/.143 at MLB (20 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Bat/power

Year in Review: Navarro showed a much more mature game in 2010, and even earned a brief big-league call-up.
The Good: Navarro has few weaknesses in his game. His bat took a huge step forward in 2010 thanks to a much more patient approach. He has almost shocking power for his size, projecting to hit 10-15 home runs annually. He's an average shortstop with very good fundamentals and a solid arm, and his speed also rates as average.
The Bad: While he lacks any true dings in evaluations of his game, there isn't a ton to get excited about. Navarro is merely an average hitter with a looping swing that often generates poor contact. He's a better defender at second or third base; his range at short is merely acceptable.
Ephemera: Between his two minor-league stops and a stint in the majors, Navarro started at least one game at all nine lineup slots.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a second-division starter or an excellent utility player.
Fantasy Impact: Positional flexibility and some power should help in the end game.
Path to the Big Leagues: While Navarro could help now as a 25th-man type, he'll likely begin 2011 at Triple-A to get consistent playing time.
ETA: 2011

8. Felix Doubront, LHP
DOB
: 10/23/87
Height/Weight: 6-2/165
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 2004, Venezuela
2010 Stats: 2.51 ERA (43.0-39-17-38) at Double-A (8 G); 3.16 ERA (37.0-36-16-34) at Triple-A (9 G); 4.32 ERA (25.0-27-10-23) at MLB (12 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/control

Year in Review: This Venezuelan lefty had solid showings at Double- and Triple-A and held his own in a brief big-league stint.
The Good: Doubront is a loose-armed southpaw with a plus fastball that sits in the low 90s and has late downward bite. He has a deep arsenal beyond the heater, with a solid curveball and changeup, as well as a mid-80s cut/split fastball with good boring action.
The Bad: Doubront needs all of his arsenal to be effective, as he lacks that one go-to pitch that most top pitchers possess. His command and control comes and goes, and his tendency to overthrow was especially apparent during his time in Boston.
Ephemera: While Venezuela is a baseball hotbed, Johan Santana (133) and Wilson Alvarez (102) are the only southpaws from the country to reach triple digits in wins.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a back-end starter or a middle-inning reliever.
Fantasy Impact: It's limited.
Path to the Big Leagues: It will be tough for Doubront to win a big-league job this spring, but he should be among the first to receive a call-up from Triple-A when the need arrives in either the rotation or the bullpen.
ETA: 2011

9. Oscar Tejeda, 2B
DOB
: 12/26/89
Height/Weight: 6-1/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2006, Dominican Republic
2010 Stats: .307/.344/.455 at High-A (126 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Bat/glove.

Year in Review: Tejeda was formerly a highly-regarded prospect, and almost fell off the radar after two nondescript years at Low-A, but he rebounded in the Carolina League with a position switch from shortstop to second base.
The Good: He has an impressive bat, and makes consistent, hard contact. He uses all fields and showed much more power in 2010, driving balls into the gaps with aplomb. He projects for 10-15 home runs annually. He's an average runner and a tick above that from first to third.
The Bad: There are still concerns about Tejeda's defense. While his lack of range and instincts didn't hurt him as much at second base, he remained a sloppy defender who committed 24 errors in 2010. He's an aggressive hitter who needs to develop a more patient approach to be able to fit toward the top of a lineup.
Ephemera: Of Tejeda's 11 home runs for High-A Salem, six of them came in the fourth innings of games, in just 60 at-bats. He hit five in 448 at-bats counting all other frames.
Perfect World Projection: He would be a second baseman with average and a bit of power.
Fantasy Impact: Tejeda could have more fantasy than real-life value, with his ability to put up double-digits in both home runs and stolen bases.
Path to the Big Leagues: Double-A will give everyone a much better idea of just how good Tejeda can be.
ETA: 2013

10. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
DOB
: 2/1/90
Height/Weight: 6-3/186
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2006, Dominican Republic
2010 Stats: 4.06 ERA (128.2-120-42-102) at High-A (26 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/curve

Year in Review: This highly-regarded right-hander was awesome at times in High-A, but then again, he was pedestrian in others.
The Good: Pimentel certainly looks the part of a pure power pitcher, as he has filled out to significantly larger than his listed size. His low-90s fastball touches 94 mph consistently, and his changeup is among the best in the system, featuring outstanding arm action and plenty of depth. He'll flash a decent curveball at times, and he tends to get ahead of hitters.
The Bad: He frustrates scouts, as he is rarely as good as his stuff would suggest. The quality of his stuff and his command vary from start to start, and he needs to improve his secondary stuff to be more effective against left-handed batters, who hit .290 against him last year.
Ephemera: Pimentel was born in the southern coastal town of San Cristobal, whose current mayor is former big-league outfielder Raul Mondesi.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a fourth starter.
Fantasy Impact: It's nothing horrible, but it's nothing great, either.
Path to the Big Leagues: Pimentel was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, and will begin the year at Double-A Portland.
ETA: 2013

11. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
DOB
: 9/9/88
Height/Weight: 6-4/200
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Fifth round, 2007, Liberty Eylau HS (TX)
2010 Stats: .276/.331/.439 at High-A (114 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Glove/speed

Year in Review: This big bonus baby from 2007 finally began to fill up the stat sheet at High-A.
The Good: Middlebrooks has all the tools to be a big-league regular. His above-average raw power began to show up in games during the 2010 season, and scouts think plenty of his doubles will turn into home runs down the road. He's a very good defensive third baseman with good reactions, soft hands, and a strong, accurate arm.
The Bad: Unfortunately, Middlebrooks still swings at too many bad pitches, and has a bad habit of expanding his strike zone when behind in the count. His swing can get a bit long, and he needs to let his natural strength work for him, as opposed to muscling up his swing. He's a slightly below-average runner.
Ephemera: He hit nearly 60 points lower (.235 vs. 294) against lefties, yet his slugging percentage was 11 points higher against them.
Perfect World Projection: Middlebrooks could be a solid everyday third baseman with plus defense.
Fantasy Impact: He won't be an early pick, but he will be decent.
Path to the Big Leagues: Middlebrooks will face the big test at Double-A this year, but some scouts wonder if he's similar to Reddick in the sense that he's good, but not good enough to start in Boston.
ETA: 2013

The Sleeper: A big, athletic player from Aruba, Xander Bogaerts earned raves for his bat in the Dominican Summer League, but he will likely outgrow his current position of shortstop.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/85 or later)

1. Daniel Bard, RHP
2. Jose Iglesias, SS
3. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
4. Ryan Kalish, OF
5. Josh Reddick, OF
6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
7. Drake Britton, LHP
8. Kolbin Vitek, 3B
9. Brandon Workman, RHP
10. Yamaico Navarro, INF

On plenty of other teams, Bard would be a closer, and one could easily make the argument that he should be in Boston as well. Kalish is good, but he's a good fourth outfielder in Boston, especially after the Crawford signing. Saltalamacchia is a dart throw; the talent still seems to be there, but it hasn't been visible in the stat line for years. PECOTA thinks he can still be OK, projecting him for a low OBP but a slugging percentage near .400. In today's environment, that's enough for the position.

Summary: The Red Sox system is down significantly, but this is the same system that created enough talent to pry Adrian Gonzalez away from the Padres. With their willingness to spend heavily in the draft and in the international markets, a rebound is anticipated.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

57 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

DGBL

A little disappointing that Younginer didn't crack the list, but unfortunately, it's not hard to see why. He's still interesting, though.

Jan 28, 2011 00:50 AM
rating: 0
 
azynkewl

I hear pedroia is actually a few inches shorter than his listed height. Is this the same with coyle too?

Jan 28, 2011 01:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Pedroia is NOT 5-9, but I'm told Coyle really is 5-8.

Jan 28, 2011 08:40 AM
 
mrdannyg

Not even a mention for Westmoreland :(

Jan 28, 2011 02:55 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Obviously, that's about as difficult a one as I've had to figure out. I almost made him the sleeper, at least.

Jan 28, 2011 04:50 AM
 
mrdannyg

Was hoping you would! But I think you made the right choice, as we've all heard of him, and any kind of prediction/scouting in his case is best left to people with expertise in neurology, not baseball.

Jan 28, 2011 05:28 AM
rating: 6
 
Matt Kory

Think we just have to be happy that Westmoreland is alive and seemingly has no long term complications (that I've heard of) from his condition and subsequent surgery.

Jan 28, 2011 10:26 AM
rating: 9
 
Mtn Jam

Strongly agree.

Jan 28, 2011 10:50 AM
rating: 0
 
DanChaparian

Any thoughts on Chris Balcom-Miller?

Jan 28, 2011 17:15 PM
rating: 1
 
RussPR

I would like to know this as well. How close is he to the top 20?

Jan 28, 2011 20:17 PM
rating: 1
 
pcanderson

I've seen most of these guys multiple times -- and I have to compliment you on a job excellently done, KG. I think you're a little bullish on Vitek and a tad bearish (though I see why) on Middlebrooks, which I mention because (for now) they occupy the same position a level apart.

One other piece of makeup ephemera on Britton: if you youtube the (in)famous Lakewood-Greenville brawl game from last year's Sally League playoffs, you'll see some of it. There he is -- all Tomball, Texas of him -- in the dogpile. For a guy coming off the injury he was coming off of . . . well, there it is.

Jan 28, 2011 05:18 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's interesting to hear your perception on Vitek, as I don't even think I'm that high on him. I do think you could run the 5-10 guys in nearly any combination and not generate a big argument from me.

Jan 28, 2011 08:41 AM
 
Marc Normandin

Of course Kendrick Perkins is far from being a baseball player, he's busy playing for the Celtics.

Jan 28, 2011 05:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BillJohnson

.285/.315/.357 is "surprising" for Iglesias at AA? Under most conditions, one would think a .672 OPS would only constitute a "surprise" if the adjective "unpleasant" was stuck in front of it.

Jan 28, 2011 06:02 AM
rating: -1
 
jlefty

But a 20 year old SS defensive whiz at Double A doesn't fit your "most conditions" stipulation.

Jan 28, 2011 07:20 AM
rating: 5
 
BillJohnson

Agreed, and I don't think that line for a 20YO at AA constitutes failure, not by any means. It's still hard for me to consider it a positive surprise. It basically means that he got lots of singles and drew very few walks. A BABIP of close to .370 is required for such a line, and that is neither sustainable nor diagnostic of a potential major-league bat, IMO. Age is definitely on his side, as you point out. Regression to the mean as regards BABIP is not.

Jan 28, 2011 08:25 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

Bill - two things

1. Age is in fact on his side. A 20 year old in AA is young for the level.

2. I'm not sure BABIP works the same way in the minors as it does in the majors. It doesn't just revert to the mean because the talent level in the minors is (and KG or anyone please correct me if I'm wrong here) much more uneven and unpredictable. Therefore I don't think the same rules apply. To be clear, I'm not saying he'll have a .370 BABIP again next year in AA or that he'll be able to maintain such a thing in the majors.

Jan 28, 2011 10:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He was just 20, and based on the scouting reports on his hitting, many thought he'd even struggle in Low A. So to do that at Double-A was very much a pleasant surprise.

Jan 28, 2011 08:42 AM
 
atirrell

I'm curious where you'd place Buchholz and Lowrie on the Top 10 Under 25 list if they qualified, as each are within a year of the age cut-off. I assume that Buchholz would be at the top, but would Lowrie make the list?

Jan 28, 2011 06:32 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Buchholz surely No. 1, but Lowrie would definitely make it, probably at 4 or 5.

Jan 28, 2011 08:45 AM
 
Aaron/YYZ

KG, I'd be curious as to your take on Kalish were he on a team other than Boston and its deep major league outfield.

Jan 28, 2011 07:56 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think he'd be ready for a shot at a full time job with an average or second-division team. He's one of those tough prospects where he's good, but just not good enough to start in Boston.

Jan 28, 2011 08:46 AM
 
Mtn Jam

I think he's their right fielder in 2012, don't you?

Jan 28, 2011 10:05 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

I think that's the consensus, at least as far as I've heard and read. Kalish will likely take over in right next season. Of course, there's a whole year of baseball to be played between now and then, so that is always subject to change, but considering the paucity of free agent targets it makes sense.

Jan 28, 2011 10:24 AM
rating: 0
 
irussma

It seems like the Red Sox are rather lacking in top prospects (trading Kelly and Rizzo will do that) but still have a fair amount of depth in the system. How deep into the top 20 do the three-star prospects go?

Jan 28, 2011 08:01 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Really, only through 12 (Cecchini), I'd two-star Lars.

Jan 28, 2011 08:46 AM
 
leites

So you're that pessimistic that Lavarnway can learn to catch? Or is his bat not special enough to care?

Jan 28, 2011 08:55 AM
rating: 2
 
cpaddock

Wondering about your rating of Anderson. I know you base these on discussions with talent evaluators, as do Callis and Law do as well, and that they are still seem high on him. I'm guessing you all talk to similar folks, and each other. All three judgments seem fair, but seem far apart. Where do you think the differences come from?

Jan 31, 2011 10:37 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Hi folks, keep the comments coming, but I can't respond to any until tonight, as I'm off for NYC for SABR day.

Jan 28, 2011 08:47 AM
 
dianagram

safe flight!

Jan 28, 2011 09:00 AM
rating: 1
 
glover6ss

What are your thoughts on Alex Wilson? It seems like he has a good chance to at least be an average reliever.

Jan 28, 2011 09:30 AM
rating: 0
 
jdtk99

Kevin, where do the 3 star prospects end and 2 star prospects start?

Jan 28, 2011 11:23 AM
rating: -2
 
SC

Kevin Goldstein
BP staff
(27460)

Really, only through 12 (Cecchini), I'd two-star Lars.

Jan 28, 2011 11:41 AM
rating: 4
 
Nater1177

The system was bound to take a hit with the Gonzales trade, Kalish and Bowden losing eligibility and Westmoreland's unfortunate diagnosis (but fortunate recovery). They lost #'s 1,2,4,5,8 and 10 off last years list. System seems to lack sizzle at the moment, but a number of them seem capable of making leaps forward this year. Ranaudo, Vitek and Workman (and the other 2010 draftees listed in 12-17 range) as they get their first full year of pro ball. Britton with a full post TJ workload. Lavarnway if he shows addtional progress behind the dish (he is a havard grad after all, seems like he'd be the studious type). Even Jose could improve his stock if his bat shows some growth. Not to mention the wildcard (for lack of a better word) of Westmoreland regaining some of his former talent level. Sox system could look significantly better this time next year. With the draft bounty of all 2011 draft picks, they should at last be a little better off next year and could be a lot better.

*removes rose colored glasses*

Jan 28, 2011 11:54 AM
rating: 3
 
Matt Kory

Sorry to nitpick, but Lavarnway went to Yale, not Harvard.

Jan 28, 2011 13:01 PM
rating: 2
 
Drew Miller

I'm a little confused by some of the conclusions. For example, if Doubront has a low-90s fastball, four solid offerings total, and is a lefty, how does that translate to "back-end starter"?

Jan 28, 2011 11:56 AM
rating: 1
 
Nater1177

Correction Yale not Harvard for Lavarnway, the point of course remains the same, but I'm sure if I were a Yale grad I'd be pissed about being referred to as a Harvard-er.

Jan 28, 2011 11:56 AM
rating: 0
 
philly

Most opinions about the Sox farm system are that while it's devoid of elite upper level prospects, there is a ton of depth in the lower minors and much of that depth is high ceiling players.

This report is quite different with only twelve 3 star or better prospects and very muted ceilings for players within the top 11, never mind those who couldn't make it.

Just look at the Perfect World Projections below Renaudo

Reddick: He could be a solid everyday corner outfielder with power and a bit of batting average.

Britton: He would be an above-average starter.

Vitek: He could be an average everyday player in the outfield, but he'll be more than that if he can stick at third base.

Workman: He would be a fourth starter.

Navarro: He could be a second-division starter or an excellent utility player.

Doubront: He could be a back-end starter or a middle-inning reliever.

Tejeda: He would be a second baseman with average and a bit of power.

Pimental: He could be a fourth starter.

Middlebrooks: Middlebrooks could be a solid everyday third baseman with plus defense.

That's a lot of "solids", "averages", "second division starters" and "4th starers".

Those are pretty discouraging "perfect world projections" for the 3 star prospects.

Kevin, are you unimpressed with the ceiling of the Sox low level prospects or have I read too much into some of these comments?


Jan 28, 2011 11:57 AM
rating: 2
 
timelesselegance

Hard to argue with this list. My only question comes with Lavarnway. Is his catching really that bad? I saw many at bats last year and he was man-among-boys good at times. What was I missing when he was behind the plate?

Jan 28, 2011 12:02 PM
rating: 1
 
Matt Kory

"The signing of Carl Crawford leaves Reddick blocked"

KG - It sounds with Reddick's arm and range that he would be a right fielder if he was ever to be a regular in Boston. Crawford is a left fielder, so how does signing Crawford block Reddick? With Drew's contract up at the end of the year I would think there would be a spot open for Reddick if he earns it.

Jan 28, 2011 13:15 PM
rating: -1
 
Drew Miller

Kalish.

Jan 28, 2011 20:11 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

I'm not sure what "Kalish" on its own means. If you mean Kalish will take the spot instead of Reddick, well, that's the way things are trending, and that's why I wrote "there would be a spot open for Reddick if he earns it".

Jan 29, 2011 16:40 PM
rating: -2
 
Ben Solow

"If he earns it" is kind of a catch-all cop out, isn't it? If Crawford tanks and Reddick hits .350/.450/.700 in AAA next year, he could also conceivably take over in left. The point is that he is almost certainly blocked because there will be 1 open spot in the outfield, and at this point, it's very likely that it's going to go to Kalish. There's always a spot open for any player "if he earns it."

Jan 30, 2011 08:27 AM
rating: 3
 
rscully
(130)

I don't know why I'm reading these comments six months later (came to look at Lavarnway's writeup), but I gotta say, it looks like mattymatty wins this round.

Jul 24, 2011 16:51 PM
rating: 0
 
Nick Smith

Two years ago Bowden was a 5 star prospect, while Ranaudo today is 4 stars. Is that reflective of Ranaduo being behind where Bowden was then, or a change in the ranking system?

Jan 28, 2011 13:26 PM
rating: 1
 
omarwhite

On Westmoreland, while it makes sense not to rank him, not referencing him makes the article feel incomplete. While he may never go back to being a top flight prospect (or even play organized baseball), it is already an inspiring story that he is working out with the Sox in Fort Meyers. From a baseball perspective, while it might be a small chance, his "perfect world" projection may still be the highest in the system.

Jan 28, 2011 13:41 PM
rating: 3
 
mafrth77

Dubront beats out dice-k for a rotation spot by June. Garuanteed.

Jan 28, 2011 15:07 PM
rating: -3
 
Mtn Jam

Not a chance. Dice-K isn't the Ace he was billed as, but they don't need him to be. They need him to be a #5 and they really don't have any arms who'll do any better than him. Maybe Doubront (or somebody else), gives Dice-K competition at #5 next offseason and they make a move but I can't see it happening before next winter.

Jan 28, 2011 18:37 PM
rating: 0
 
mafrth77

Dubront has passed Dice-k from both a stuff and performance standpoint already. Dice can't stay healthy and has been completely unacceptable even as a fifth starter for two years.



Jan 30, 2011 16:05 PM
rating: -1
 
John Carter

matty2000: because Kalish is ahead of Reddick.

Jan 28, 2011 18:43 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

I know. That's why I wrote... dah, never mind. Just read the whole comment next time please.

Jan 29, 2011 16:41 PM
rating: -3
 
hornets57

Kevin, great stuff as always. The biggest surprise for me is Doubront. If you would have had him 3rd I would have been less surprised. Can you offer any more color on your views? No question that Theo and company have over-hyped him a bit, but I thought the widely held view was that he was a middle of the rotation guy. Wishful thinking??

Jan 28, 2011 20:54 PM
rating: 0
 
hornets57

One other question Kevin, how many minutes did you spend thinking about Andrew Miller for the 25 and under list? I'm putting the over/under at 2.

Jan 28, 2011 21:08 PM
rating: 2
 
bcollins3

If Iglesias is the best SS in the minors, why would team Cuba play Hechavarria at short and force Iglesias to 2B?? Well.. Aha! Aha!

Jan 29, 2011 06:34 AM
rating: -1
 
smallflowers

Maybe because everyone in Cuba is a godless left-hander?

Jan 30, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: -1
 
gilgamesh

Impossible question: If Ranaudo could be top 101 material or disappear into the comparative wasteland of the Boston Red Sox low minor leagues .... which 'feels' more likely.

I really hope he makes it, if only because I'm already confused by Anthony Ranaudo and Anthony Rendon.

Jan 31, 2011 07:23 AM
rating: 0
 
ramtax

Anything on Juan Carlos Linares?

Feb 16, 2011 09:50 AM
rating: 0
 
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