2006 Boston Red Sox Top 10 Prospects

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. Ages are as of April 1, 2006.

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects (Subscribers only) — Click Here to Subscribe

Chat Wrap: Jim Callis took
your Red Sox questions
Pre-Order the 2006 Prospect Handbook
for 30 scouting reports on every team

1. Andy Marte, 3b
2. Jon Lester, lhp
3. Jonathan Papelbon, rhp
4. Craig Hansen, rhp
5. Dustin Pedroia, 2b/ss
6. Jacoby Ellsbury, of
7. Kelly Shoppach, c
8. Manny Delcarmen, rhp
9. Jed Lowrie, ss/2b
10. Clay Buchholz, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Dustin Pedroia
Best Power Hitter Andy Marte
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Dustin Pedroia
Fastest Baserunner Jacoby Ellsbury
Best Athlete Jacoby Ellsbury
Best Fastball Craig Hansen
Best Curveball Manny Delcarmen
Best Slider Craig Hansen
Best Changeup Randy Beam
Best Control Abe Alvarez
Best Defensive Catcher Kelly Shoppach
Best Defensive Infielder Dustin Pedroia
Best Infield Arm Andrew Pinckney
Best Defensive Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury
Best Outfield Arm Willy Mota
Team Player, Pos. 2005 Org
1996 Donny Sadler, ss Out of baseball
1997 Nomar Garciaparra, ss Cubs
1998 Brian Rose, rhp Reds
1999 Dernell Stenson, of Deceased
2000 Steve Lomasney, c Reds
2001 Dernell Stenson, of/1b Deceased
2002 Seung Song, rhp Giants
2003 Hanley Ramirez, ss Red Sox
2004 Hanley Ramirez, ss Red Sox
2005 Hanley Ramirez, ss Red Sox
Team Player, Pos. 2005 Org
1996 John Garrett, rhp Out of baseball
1997 John Curtice, lhp Out of baseball
1998 Adam Everett, ss Astros
1999 Rick Asadoorian, of Reds
2000 Phil Dumatrait, lhp Reds
2001 Kelly Shoppach, c (2nd round) Red Sox
2002 Jon Lester, lhp (2nd round) Red Sox
2003 David Murphy, of Red Sox
2004 Dustin Pedroia, ss (2nd round) Red Sox
2005 Jacoby Ellsbury, of Red Sox
Rick Asadoorian, 1999 $1,725,000
Adam Everett, 1998 $1,725,000
Mike Rozier, 20004 $1,575,000
David Murphy, 2003 $1,525,000
Jacoby Ellsbury, 2005 $1,400,000

Perhaps the Red Sox' New Year's resolution should be to achieve resolution. As 2005 drew to a close, outfielder Manny Ramirez, who demanded a trade Oct. 29 and threatened to not report to spring training otherwise, remained Boston property.

But the burning question in Red Sox Nation is whether former general manager Theo Epstein will be in the club's employ in 2006. Talks on a contact extension with team president Larry Lucchino broke down after they agreed on a three-year, $4.5 million deal, and Epstein stepped down on Oct. 31 without detailing the reasons behind his decision.

Yet rumors that Epstein, the architect of the 2004 championship team and the first three-year streak of postseason appearances in Boston history, will return in some capacity have persisted since he left. When the Red Sox officially replaced him with former Epstein lieutenants Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer on Dec. 12, Lucchino said at the press conference that Epstein was welcome to come back.

Cherington, 31, joined the Red Sox in 1999 as an area scout and was promoted to farm director in December 2002. Hoyer, 32, was hired by Cherington in 2002 and was an assistant to Epstein for the last two years.

Even if Epstein stays away, the in-house promotions mean that Boston will keep a good chunk of its braintrust. Assistant GM Josh Byrnes took the Diamondbacks' GM job before Epstein resigned, and Byrnes brought director of baseball operations Peter Woodfork with him. But Cherington and Hoyer are obviously sticking around, as is scouting director Jason McLeod. The Red Sox also would like to retain special assistants Bill Lajoie and Craig Shipley, though Lajoie, 71, has health issues, and Shipley may join Byrnes and Woodfork in Arizona.

All the front-office machinations and the sudden loss of Johnny Damon have helped obscure the fact that the Red Sox system is percolating with its most talent in years. Jonathan Papelbon came up at midseason and quickly asserted himself as the top set-up man in a beleaguered bullpen. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, catcher Kelly Shoppach, righty relievers Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen and lefty starter Jon Lester may be counted on for key contributions in 2006. The Red Sox had the prospect depth to not have to think twice about including shortstop Hanley Ramirez, righthander Anibal Sanchez and two power arms in a November blockbuster that landed them Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota from the Marlins.

Boston also added plenty of talent in 2005. In his first draft as scouting director, McLeod had five picks before the second round. All five of his choices—outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Hansen, righthanders Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden, infielder Jed Lowrie—had very promising debuts. At the Winter Meetings, the Red Sox traded for a blue-chip prospect, getting third baseman Andy Marte from the Braves for Edgar Renteria.


Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects (Subscribers only) — Click Here to Subscribe