Boston Red Sox: Top 10 Prospects

Boston Red Sox

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, 2009.

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1. Lars Anderson, 1b

2. Michael Bowden, rhp

3. Nick Hagadone, lhp

4. Daniel Bard, rhp

5. Josh Reddick, of

6. Casey Kelly, rhp/ss

7. Ryan Westmoreland, of

8. Michael Almanzar, 3b

9. Yamaico Navarro, inf

10. Stolmy Pimentel, rhp

Best Hitter for Average Lars Anderson
Best Power Hitter Lars Anderson
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Zach Daeges
Fastest Baserunner Derrik Gibson
Best Athlete Ryan Westmoreland
Best Fastball Daniel Bard
Best Curveball Casey Kelly
Best Slider Nick Hagadone
Best Changeup Stolmy Pimentel
Best Control Michael Bowden
Best Defensive Catcher Mark Wagner
Best Defensive Infielder Argenis Diaz
Best Infield Arm Will Middlebrooks
Best Defensive Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin
Best Outfield Arm Josh Reddick
Catcher Luis Exposito
First Base Lars Anderson
Second Base Dustin Pedroia
Third Base Kevin Youkilis
Shortstop Jed Lowrie
Left Field Jason Bay
Center Field Jacoby Ellsbury
Right Field Josh Reddick
Designated Hitter David Ortiz
No. 1 Starter Jon Lester
No. 2 Starter Josh Beckett
No. 3 Starter Clay Buchholz
No. 4 Starter Daisuke Matsuzaka
No. 5 Starter Michael Bowden
Closer Jonathan Papelbon
Year Player, Position 2008
1999 Dernell Stenson, of
2000 Steve Lomasney, c
Out of baseball
2001 Dernell Stenson, of
2002 Seung Song, rhp
Lotte (Korea)
2003 Hanley Ramirez, ss
2004 Hanley Ramirez, ss
2005 Hanley Ramirez, ss
2006 Andy Marte, 3b
2007 Daisuke Matsuzaka, rhp
Red Sox
2008 Clay Buchholz, rhp
Red Sox
Year Player, Position 2008
1999 Rick Asadoorian, of
Somerset (Atlantic)
2000 Phil Dumatrait, lhp
2001 Kelly Shoppach, c (2nd round)
2002 Jon Lester, lhp (2nd round)
Red Sox
2003 David Murphy, of
2004 Dustin Pedroia, ss (2nd round)
Red Sox
2005 Jacoby Ellsbury, of
Red Sox
2006 Jason Place, of
Red Sox
2007 Nick Hagadone, lhp (1st supp.)
Red Sox
2008 Casey Kelly, rhp/ss
Red Sox
Casey Kelly, 2008
Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2006
Ryan Westmoreland, 2008
Rick Asadoorian, 1999
Adam Everett, 1998
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Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox weren't able to repeat as World Series champions, but that's about the only way in which their 2008 season couldn't be described as a success.

At the major league level, Boston won 95 games and went to the playoffs for the fifth time in six years in spite of significant injuries and the Manny Ramirez soap opera. The Red Sox nearly pulled off their third huge comeback in the last five American League Championship Series before falling to the Rays 3-1 in Game Seven.

The core of the big league club is homegrown. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis emerged as bona fide MVP candidates, Jon Lester tossed a no-hitter and blossomed into one of the game's top starters and Jonathan Papelbon maintained his status as an elite closer. Youngsters Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson all experienced growing pains, but also showed why they'll be a major part of the Red Sox's future.

Down on the farm, all six of Boston's U.S.-based affiliates finished with winning records and four advanced to the playoffs. The six clubs combined for a .541 winning percentage, the system's best in 32 years. More important, quality prospects drove that success.

Despite graduating four of their top five prospects from a year ago to the majors, the Red Sox have more talent on the way. First baseman Lars Anderson tore up Double-A at age 20 and could force his way into the big league lineup in short order. Righthander Michael Bowden, who's just a year older, has little left to prove in the minors and won his first major league start in August. Hard-throwing righty Daniel Bard found his niche as a reliever and could push for a bullpen spot by mid-2009.

Further down in the system, Boston has an enviable group of high-ceiling players, particularly at shortstop (starting with Yamaico Navarro) and in the outfield (led by Josh Reddick). The Red Sox continue to be aggressive in player acquisition, spending $10.5 million on draft bonuses in 2008—the second-highest figure in baseball history. Their haul included a mix of high school athletes (righthander/shortstop Casey Kelly, outfielders Ryan Westmoreland and Pete Hissey, infielder Derrik Gibson) and college arms who could move quickly (Bryan Price, Kyle Weiland, Stephen Fife).

One of the few negatives for the Red Sox came in August, when they fired Dominican Republic scouting supervisor Pablo Lantigua after he was implicated in baseball's bonus-skimming scandal. Lantigua's signees included third baseman Michael Almanzar, who made an impressive pro debut after signing for $1.5 million in 2007, and Navarro, a bargain at $20,000.

Boston's recent international scouting has mirrored its domestic production. Their Dominican finds also include righthander Stolmy Pimentel and shortstop Oscar Tejeda. Argenis Diaz (Venezuela) is the system's slickest-fielding shortstop prospect in years. In the Far East, they've found outfielders Che-Hsuan Lin (Taiwan), the 2008 Futures Game MVP, and Mitch Dening (Australia), not to mention Japanese big leaguers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

The Red Sox are hitting on all cylinders. They may not have won another World Series in 2008, but they'll continue to contend for championships on an annual basis.

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