Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.
Jim Callis will answer your Red Sox questions beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Francis (Boston): As we await the 2013 Handbook, can you clue us in on what BA Grade you'd give Bogaerts?
That I can do. We're still tweaking the
grades, but I see Bogaerts as a 65/High. Could you argue 65/Medium or
70/High? Sure. I'll also throw in a link in case you want to start your
holiday shopping early: 2013 Prospect Handbook
Ben (Leland Grove): How many of these guys are likely to make BA's top 100?
None of us have started putting together
lists yet, but Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes and Webster should make it.
Owens has a chance, but it might be a year too early for him.
Ryan (Norfolk VA): Which of the Cecchini brothers do you believe has more upside?
Garin (the Red Sox brother) because I like
his bat more than Gavin's (the 12th overall pick of the Mets in June).
Gavin can stay at shortstop but doesn't necessarily have a standout
tool, while I see Garin's bat as a potential difference-maker.
@Jaypers413 (IL): It seems as though Brandon
Workman's season gets overlooked by many. Is he just not as good as his
numbers indicate? Did he reach your 11-20 range?
He's good, just not quite good enough to crack that Top 10. As Alex Speier pointed out to me when I did a WEEI.com podcast
with him, there were a lot of outstanding performances on the Top 10. I
hadn't looked at it that way, I just chose the guys I thought were the
best long-term values, but many of them have strong performances to go
with strong tools. I could see Workman becoming a No. 3 starter. He
doesn't have the stuff of the pitchers ahead of him on that list, but he
throws in the low 90s and throws strikes with three pitches. He just
missed the Top 10 and I agree, he does get overlooked.
Frank (Chicago IL): Your thoughts on Britton's rebound season? Is his future still likely to be in the pen?
Gun to my head, I think he winds up in the
bullpen, because he just hasn't been consistent for long stretches very
often. That said, he finished the 2012 season strong. He doesn't have a
plus secondary pitch, but there aren't many lefthanders who can throw in
the mid-90s. Another near-miss for the Top 10.
Sean (Boston): How far did Ranaudo's injury push him down your top 30?
He's such a hard guy to rank. He has been
fully healthy for just two of the last five years. At the same time, he
looked very good at LSU in 2009, in the Cape Cod League in 2010 and
early in 2011. Even this spring training, he was throwing 93-96 mph and
showing a quality breaking ball before going down with a groin strain.
If he can stay healthy, he's in the same class as Matt Barnes and Allen
Webster. The problem is, he hasn't shown he can stay healthy. So he's in
the middle of the second 10 on this list for me.
Brad (Beantown): Where do you stand on Pat Light? He put together an impressive debut. Future #3-4 SP?
Yes, I could see him as a No. 3 or 4. The
Red Sox love his fastball for its combo of velocity (92-94, touching 97)
and heavy life. His breaking ball has shown improvement since he turned
pro, too. Even if his secondary pitches don't develop as much as hoped,
that fastball alone could make him an effective late-inning reliever.
Grant (NYC): Madison Younginer - prospect or suspect?
Both, really. Still has a great arm, still a long way from figuring out how to use it. He didn't make the Top 30.
Kyle (Tampa): Did Brandon Jacobs' stock fall a lot this year, in your opinion? Thoughts on his athleticism?
It dipped a little, but I wouldn't say a
lot. The bat didn't look as exciting, though some of that may have been
the difference between Greenville and Salem. He's a solid athlete, still
somewhat raw, still figuring out how to make adjustments. He'll be in
the second 10 when the Handbook comes out.
Harry (Portland, OR): Had he remained with Boston's system, about where would Miles Head have ranked? How much did his stock improve with the trade?
I respect what he has done in the minors
but I don't love him as a prospect. The trade itself didn't affect his
stock. I had him at No. 13 on the Red Sox Top 30 last year, and he would
have fallen this year. If he had stayed in the Boston system, he
wouldn't have benefitted from a Cal League boost to his numbers. Head
can hit, but his profile isn't great. I don't see him playing third base
in the big leagues, and he's a short, right-right first baseman who
might not have more than average power. You don't see many of those in
Grant (NYC): Barnes seemed to fizzle out during his last few starts. Simple fatigue, or something else?
That's typical of pitchers in their first full professional season. There were no physical issues, just a little fatigue.
Sammy (Boston): Is Stolmy Pimentel still on your prospect radar?
Yes, but he's just barely hanging on to Top
30 status. He has a live arm, his secondary pitches bounced back in
2012 but he's still inconsistent and doesn't miss a lot of bats. I think
he's a reliever if he's a big leaguer.
Carlos (New York): Among the Sox's numerous SS prospects, where does Jose Vinicio fit in?
The Red Sox do have a lot of shortstop
prospects. I stack them up like this: Xander Bogaerts (No. 1 on the Top
10), Jose Iglesias (No. 9), Deven Marrero (No. 10), Tzu-Wei Lin and
Vinicio neck and neck in the teens and Cleuluis Rondon as a sleeper.
Harold (London): Good day, Jim. What are your
thoughts on first base prospect Travis Shaw? What attributes does he
bring to the table, and is he likely to make your top 30?
He did make the Top 30, toward the top of
the 20s, and I've had some people tell me that's too low. Shaw can hit
and he has power potential and strike-zone discipline as well. He's
probably limited to first base, though he moves well and has played some
Paul (Georgetown, MD): How bullish are you on Austin Maddox? Does he have a true closer's profile?
I like the arm strength but don't see the plus secondary pitch or command to make him a big league closer.
Jack (Lancaster, PA): What is your take on Sean
Coyle? Is he a non-prospect or does he have a chance to play in the
big leagues? Seems like there are some tools there but the numbers
haven't been great (even though he has always been young for his
league). Thank you for the chat.
Definite chance to make the big leagues and
be an everyday player. He can hit, has surprising pop, good instincts
on the bases and in the field. He has been pushed very quickly and just
needs to regain his command of the strike zone. He's in the 20s on the
Ryan (Portland): Any update to Ryan Westmoreland? Any chance he will be able to play again?
His second brain surgery may make that difficult. But it's heartening to hear that he should be able to live a normal life.
Mike (Chicago): Given Brentz's performance in
AA and Owens ranking relative to his, does this speak more about
limitations on Bryce, or the potential upside on Owens?
More the potential upside of Owens. Sources
inside and outside the organization told me he could be the top pitcher
on this list a year from now. Brentz can become a solid big league
regular, Owens can be better than that.
Jake (Chicago, IL): Hi Jim, so excited to be
chatting Red Sox prospects! I asked Matt this question Monday in the
Orioles chat, and he suggested I ask you as well: Who do your prefer
long-term, Kevin Gausman or Matt Barnes? Does Gausman's plus-plus
changeup give him the higher ceiling between the two? Thanks for the
That's a good question. I'd give Gausman the nod, but I bet I have those two guys closer than most people would.
bk (Hong Kong): Hi Jim, thanks for hosting. who
is your favorite sleeper in the system (non top 20 player) who you
think has the best chance to jump into the Red Sox top 10 next year?
My favorite non-Top 20 sleeper might just
be Frank Montas for sheer upside. He touched 100 mph repeatedly in the
Gulf Coast League but is still quite raw. The guy with the highest floor
in that group might be Shaw, whom I discussed early. If we go all the
way the Top 30, I'll take Mookie Betts.
Tom T. (Houston): Is the expectation now that
Bogaerts really play short at the major-league level? I had always
heard before that that was a pipe dream.
Not sure it was ever a pipe dream, more
that everyone looked at a 6-foot-3 kid and figured he'd outgrow the
position. He has a real shot, though I don't think the expectation is
that he'll be a shortstop for 15 years. He could be an average to solid
defender for a while though. He's very athletic for his size and has
good actions. My guess is that Iglesias gets first crack, and if his bat
is too lacking, Bogaerts will be the next in line. If Marrero hits,
he'd eventually push Bogaerts to right field (assuming Will Middlebrooks
is still at third base).
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): LHP
Brian Johnson is mentioned as being a power guy batter in your draftee
report - any chance that he get to play a position or DH this coming
Nope. The Red Sox are looking at him solely as a lefthanded starter and he could move fast in that role.
JH (California): Boston seems to have some
really good depth outside the top 10. Out of Jacobs, Almanzar, Vazquez,
and Workman, who came the closest to cracking the list? Who was the
I like their depth, too. I've already
mentioned that Britton and Workman just missed, and Jacobs, Ranaudo and
Johnson are high in the second group of 10 as well. However, I was
pretty solid with the top 10, though there was a clear line between that
group and the next guys.
@ProspectD2J (Toronto): Hey Jim, thanks for the
chat as always. Love the Henry Owens ranking. He really didn't receive
much attention during the season but was outstanding from the get go. In
retrospect, does his #18 ranking last year seem a bit low now? He was
behind guys like Alex Wilson and Drake Britton. Thanks!
I'm not second-guessing that ranking (and I
do second-guess some of them). He was a high school lefthander who had
yet to pitch in pro ball, and at the time he was known for working at
88-91 mph. Could have moved him up a spot or two, but I'm usually overly
aggressive with the recent signees.
@ProspectD2J (Toronto): Hey Jim, what's your
take on the whole Shaq-Green Thompson thing? For those who don't know
what I mean, please see his (baseball) stats this year. I know he was a
top football recruit. Are Thompson's days on the baseball field over or
will the Red Sox actually bring him back for another go around in 2013?
He may come back during that summer.
Drafting him in the 18th round and paying him $100,000 was just a matter
of taking a flier on a raw athlete. Nothing wrong with that.
Dave (Cape Cod): I'm 81 and a lifelong baseball fan with basic training
as an Indians fan and seasoning as a Red Sox fan. I
closely follow the various Sox minor league players and
wonder why Jerry Sands seems to "get no respect" or
even mention as a potential first baseman/left fielder
for the Sox. Wasn't his AAA/PCL performance in the Dodger
organization indicative of some potential at both those positions?
Hey, he's the first baseman in my 2016 Red
Sox lineup. I like Sands some, but he no longer qualifies as a prospect
and that's why he's not on the list. If he did qualify, I would have put
him in the teens somewhere.
Nick V. (Washington DC): Hi Jim - thanks for the writeup. Where you Bogaerts' hit and power tools fall on the 20-80 scale?
Projected 60 bat and 70 power.
Mike (Ithaca, NY): Is Keury de la Cruz athletic enough to stick at a corner and if so what is his ultimate ceiling?
He's probably a left fielder. Though he had
a 20-20 season, he's not as athletic as those numbers might suggest.
His bat is his best tool, and the rest of his tools are decent to
average but not plus. Ceiling is an everyday left fielder, but he's
really going to have to hit and put effort into other parts of his game
to get there.
Mike (Ithaca, NY): Jose Vinicio put up decent numbers this year in Low-A as a teenager. If he fills out physically, what is his ultimate ceiling?
He's so skinny, but if he does get
stronger, I could see him as a quality defender with a decent to solid
bat. Not in the same defensive class as Iglesias, but a better hitter.
Bobby (Cape Cod): Is Xander Bogaerts a top 15 prospect overall for you? Top 10?
I really haven't put any kind of list together, but off the top of my head, I'll guess he fits in the 21-30 range.
PT (IBC): Sox list looks pretty deep. Did
Latin Player of the Year Manuel Margot make the top 30? I heard he
looked pretty good in instructs.
He did—I put him in the teens, which is
more aggressive than I usually get with DSL guys. Margot has the
potential to be a plus hitter/runner/CF defender with average power,
though he is a long ways away. There is a lot of buzz about him in Red
Paul (San Francisco): Pretending he still qualified for prospect status, where would Rubby De La Rosa rank on this list? What is his outlook?
I would have had him in the 3-4-5 mix with
Barnes and Webster. De la Rosa has the arm to be either a No. 3 starter
or a closer, depends on how the Red Sox decide to deploy him.
Ben (Leland Grove): How far off the top 10 was Ty Buttrey? Thoughts on his velo drop this spring? What does he project as?
A lot of high school pitchers see their
velocity fluctuate in the spring, so that's not a concern. He wasn't
really close to the Top 10 but he's definitely on the Top 30. His
fastball has reached 96 and his curveball can be tough on hitters. Like a
lot of young pitchers, he needs polish. If everything comes together,
he could be a No. 3 starter. You could really dream and hope for a No.
2, I suppose.
David (NY): Hi Jim, thanks for the chat. I
wanted to get your view of Keith Couch, a local kid who was effective in
Salem this year after a similar year in Greenville last year. The Sox
are a deep team, is he knocking on the top 30?
He has some of the best command in the
system, but the stuff is short. No true plus pitch, fastball is solid,
the rest is fringy.
Thanks for all the questions, and I hope
everyone in the Northeast has managed to stay safe in the wake of Sandy.
We'll be back next week with Top 10 chats for the Blue Jays, Rays and