Even with the graduation of the franchise’s top prospect, Xander Bogaerts, and center field defensive wizard Jackie Bradley, whose offense has left much to be desired so far in the big leagues, the Red Sox still boast of the top farm systems around.
Second baseman/center fielder Mookie Betts continues to vault his way through the minor leagues. Henry Owens, the top southpaw pitching prospect in all of baseball, has taken some noticeable strides in reducing his walk rate. And sleeper prospect Sean Coyle is hitting a scorching hot .349/.406/.540 in Class AA.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE.
1. Mookie Betts, 2B, Age: 21
Betts, who hit a combined .314/.417/.506 between Greenville and Salem last year, continued his torrid stretch this season, hitting .355/.443/551 in Class AA before a recent promotion to the International League. The 5-foot-9 second baseman/center fielder packs more wallop than his frame would suggest.
2. Henry Owens, LHP, Age: 21
The top left-handed pitching prospect in the minor leaues, Owens has shown improved control through his first 12 starts this year, averaging a smidgeon under four walks per nine innings. Six-foot-6 with an above-average or better ability to miss bats.
3. Garin Cecchini, 3B, Age: 23
The lefty-swinging third baseman’s bat has finally slowed a bit this season, posting a below league average production line of .267/.349/.337 with just 10 extra-base hits. Cecchini hasn’t shown solid pop since the first half of 2013.
4. Allen Webster, RHP, Age: 24
Knocking on the big league door for what seems like the last couple of seasons, Webster has posted the lowest strikeout rate, 7.0 K/9, since his debut with the Dodgers’ rookie ball team in 2008. Could be trade bait if the team swings a deal at the deadline.
5. Matt Barnes, RHP, Age: 24
Like Webster, Barnes has missed the fewest amount of bats, 7.5 K/9, in his entire professional career, though he’s showing vastly improved control. Solid mid-rotation ceiling.
6. Trey Ball, LHP, Age: 20
The first southpaw taken in the 2013 draft, Ball has really struggled in his first foray into full season ball this year: 30.1 IP, 19 K, 14 BB, and a 5.70 FIP.
7. Blake Swihart, C, Age: 22
Showing a solid hit tool and matching pop – though very little patience at the plate – in Class AA this year, Swihart has topped the league average production by 10%, a nice showing for a 22-year-old backstop at that level.
8. Michael Chavis, IF, Age: 18
Generally viewed as a player with solid-average tools across the board without a true standout, the Red Sox are no stranger to getting the maximum out of a player’s potential so Chavis could be an interesting prospect to watch in the coming years. The 26th overall pick this year.
9. Sean Coyle, 2B, Age: 22
A huge sleeper prospect entering the year, Coyle, whom I ranked as the Sox’s #10 prospect in my book The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual, has exploded: .349/.406/.540 while topping the league average production by 62%. Twenty-HR power potential.
10. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Age: 24
The former 2010 supplemental first rounder pick has missed some bats (8.11 K/9) and walked a few too many (4.56 BB/9). Another guy that could be dealt in the coming weeks. If not, he’s likely to slide into a late-inning role with the big league club at some point.
Photo Courtesy of Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer via pressherald.com.