Tuesday, February 3, 2015

FenwayNation's Top Ten Red Sox Prospects

Pretty much everyone with a keyboard seems to be rating MLB prospects these days, so we figured: 'Why not us'? So, herewith, is our own ranking of the Top Ten 2015 Prospects in the Red Sox organization:

1. Blake Swihart, C. The soon-to-be 23-year old Swihart (April) is universally regarded as the best overall prospect in the Boston organization—and the best catching prospect in all of baseball. If not traded, he will become the 'next man up' behind the plate if injuries or poor performance hit either Christian Vazquez or Ryan Hanigan;

2. Rusney Castillo, OF. Castillo had a cup of latte with The Carmine Hose last season and showed enough to excite the fan base for 2015 (.333, 2 HRs in 10 games). He will likely be the starting CF for Boston this season, and be somewhere in the meat of the batting order;

3. Henry Owens, LHP. Owens may be the most sought-after prospect in the organization—a 6'6", 205-pound power lefty with a killer change-up. Again, if not traded, Owens may be one of the first call-up options if one of the five starters (AKA 'The Mediocre Mound Men') falters;

4. Deven Marrero, SS. Marrero lost a little luster among some pundits when his average dropped in the 2014 transition from AA to AAA (.291 to .210). Make no mistake, however, this is the slickest defensive shortstop the organization has produced since some guy named Jose Iglesias. Down the road, he is either trade bait or a solution when Papi retires, The Panda moves to DH and Xander Bogaerts moves to third;

5. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP. This guy is the hidden gem who came over in the Andrew Miller trade with Baltimore. He turns 22 in April, and was 'lights out' in his short 2014 stint at AA Portland (0.96 in six starts for the Seas Dogs);

6. Brian Johnson, LHP. Yet another big lefty in the organization, Johnson (6'3", 225) could be the sleeper arm that progresses very quickly to The Show. The 23-year old made 20 starts for AA Portland—going an astounding 10-2 with a 1.75 ERA. In 118 innings pitched, he gave up just 78 hits;

7. Matt Barnes, RHP. The big righty has a plus curveball and fastball and had an espresso with the big club in 2014 (9 innings, 4.00 ERA). In AAA last year, he was solid—making 22 starts with a 3.95 ERA and striking out more than seven batters per nine innings pitched;

8. Rafael Devers, 3B. The 18-year old Devers—from the Dominican Republic—has shot ahead of Cecchini on the organization's 3B depth chart after hitting a combined .322 at two different Rookie League levels in 2014. His .404 OBP also opened a lot of eyes among the 'wonky class' on Yawkey Way;

9. Garin Cecchini, 3B. Cecchini is still highly regarded enough that he factors into the team's long-term planning at 3B. But he may also be trade bait before or during the season. He was good at AAA, and actually performed well with the big club in eleven 2014 games (.258, 1 HR), but may be the victim of depth at the position;

10. Manuel Margot, OF. Margot has recently shot up in the rankings, after hitting .286 at "Low A" and .340 at "High A" last year. He has some pop—clouting 10 HRs in 99 games at Greenville.