6. Will Middlebrooks
The young third baseman entered last season as the Red Sox’s top prospect, and he ended it as a certain cornerstone for the future, albeit one with an injury to overcome. Middlebrooks hit 15 homers in 75 games before his season was ended when he was hit by a pitch and suffered a broken wrist on August 11.
He’ll be ready to go for spring training, and while he has areas that require improvement (he walked just 13 times against 70 strikeouts), it’s reasonable to expect him to be the third baseman and a middle-of-the-order bat for years to come.