Re: Strong Red Sox farm just got stronger.
posted at 7/8/2013 4:46 PM EDT
As others have noted above, it's not just the top players that define the system, but also some real system-wide depth, particularly in terms of pitching. Of course not all of these guys will turn out to be even decent MLB players, but percentage-wise you're probably looking at at least a couple of quality starting pitchers and a handful of starting every day players. Any better than that would be outstanding (though this farm system certainly has the potential to turn out more than that). And whether they do it here or become chips to land players in trades in the future, they are assets that can be used to make the team better.
If you look around the system you have to like the potential of having so many players who are age 24 and under who either have some major league experience and/or have perfromed at a high level in the minor league system. It's likely that most if not all of these guys will be at double A or higher by next year. While it's true that some of these players likely won't be ready for a few years, a number of them are either already major league ready or knocking on the door to being so.
p: webster, de la rossa, ranaudo, owens, ball, barnes, workman, britton, stankiewicz
c: swihart; vasquez,
ss iglesias; bogaerts; marrero
3b/1b middlebrooks; cecchini; almanzar
of: bradley, brentz, kalish
there are also some guys who are slightly older (26, 27) who are either enjoying success at the major league level or still have some potential value in the future like doubront, carp, diaz, lavarnway, wilson, morales, beato, tazawa, butler, holt, snyder
and, guys like ellsbury (though he'll likley be gone), bucholtz, pedroia, lester, miller, mortensen, salty all still under 30
while he is not thought of as being a high level prospect, personally think jeremy hazelbaker could potentially be a decent major leaguer also
again, as other have noted, don't know that it's profitable to get too worked up about where guys play. if you're biggest problem is figuring out how to work top young players into your line-up than you're doing okay. if iggy, middlebrooks, bradley, bogaerts, cecchini etc, all happen to be ready and playing well at the major league level at some point it'll all get sorted out. More often guys get hurt, go through slumps, fail to live up to potential etc. and timing is such a big part of all of this. I think you let the guys move through the system, get their at bats or starts or innings in or whatever and eventually they kind of demand promotion. ultimately it's about producing.
understand there are often worries about letting guys go stale in the minors (and retarding their progress) or ruining their confidence by bringing them up too soon, and those are legit concerns, but mostly things become evident. e.g. it was fine that jbj made the club, and was okay when he slumped and went back to AAA; it was okay that the sox acquired drew as iglesias hadn't hit consistently at any level, and it was also okay that he came back and filled in at 3b when needed and whether he moves back to 3b or stays at short, etc. this season, he will be the ss by next year and drew will go somewhere else.
the only kink in the future outlook is the ellsbury situation. bradley is potentially a nice player, but as a leadoff hitter and catalyst ellsbury is very hard to replace in the line-up.