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January 6, 2014
by Jason Parks
Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Red Sox list
The Top Ten
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41 comments have been left for this article.
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Obligatory inquiry about Bogaerts' ability to stay at SS. I guess the question is: how long do the instincts and first step keep him up the middle before the speed/range dictates a move to the hot corner?
I still have doubts that he is a long-term shortstop; long-term being the next ten years. But he has proven to be better than I expected, and if he can maintain his athleticism, he should be able to stick around for a while. I get spoiled watching the likes of Lindor and Mondesi, so I often expect too much flash from a shortstop when solid will suffice.
More career value: Bogaerts or Puig?
That photo is of the Blue Jays' shortstop prospect Christian Vazquez rather than the Red Sox prospect, I'm pretty sure that's a Vancouver Canadiens' hat that he's wearing
Cecchini has no impact in fantasy leagues? He sure as heck does if you play in an OBP league! :)
Indeed. As the article says, "the average/on-base skill driven value his most recent stat line hinted at is a more realistic outcome"
That comment was not referring to his fantasy usefulness--Cecchini certainly can be plenty useful--it was refering to his lack of impact. I like him to be a solid all-around contributor, but don't see him as a fantasy star.
I was interested to see Middlebrooks ahead of Cecchini Which do you think stays long term in Boston, if either ?
Would Devers crack the top 10 of a lesser system (Angels? Brewers?) despite his lack of professional experience? Is it too soon to put an Overall Future Potential grade on him?
I'd want to see him in more game action against professional competition before putting an OFP on him. I only watched a few days of workouts and games before he signed, and I really liked it. The swing is pretty; great hands and fluid, easy mechanics. But I would want to see a larger sample before assigning grades that I felt comfortable standing behind.
What position is he? Hot corner?
It wasn't pretty at second; third should work, but again, my sample with the player is small. He's already grown [physically] since he signed, and with professional instruction, he should find some level of fielding refinement. It's too early to say, but I highly doubt second base is a realistic future home.
Just how impressive is the bat speed in regards to Devers? Are we talking Frazier or Baez level?
For those that haven't seen it, we posted a video at the BPProspectTeam YouTube page of a 16-pitch Devers at bat from a showcase I attended last January:
Was Jon Denney considered for the prospects on the rise section? Seemed like a steal for the Sox in the 3rd round. Interested to know if you think his bat could force a move off catcher down the line.
Was absolutely in the running. I'm high on him.
Group! Issue two: Travis Shaw. Player? Not a player? Discuss.
Thanks for the list, this is great. I have a couple questions if you don't mind.
Is Garin Cecchini perhaps being a tad underrated because one of his best skills (plate discipline) isn't a traditional scouting tool? There appears to be a large focus on his lack of power for a third baseman. And is Middlebrooks perhaps a tad overrated for the same reason?
Has anyone seen Luis Diaz at all (perhaps when scouting Betts?). He put up some very impressive numbers last year, mostly pitching in the Sally League, but there is very little information on him and the information available is often conflicting. Was wondering if he's interesting at all.
And last but not least, any thoughts on Dalier Hinojosa? Or is there just not enough information out there?
Thanks again, enjoy the new year!
Plate discipline is observed/acknowledged when scouting a player, despite the fact its not one of the five tools. Approach is multi-faceted, with components such as tracking and recognizing pitches and knowing the strikezone and controlling it. A good approach can elevate the utility of the hit/power tools, and plays a role when evaluating those elements both in the present and future.
Personally, I think Cecchini gets overrated at times because of his minor league numbers, namely his on-base percentage. While I think its a positive skill to possess and one that can not only help put him in friendly offensive situations at the plate but offer another dimension to his overall offensive game, I think it can disguise some of the present limitations in his game, like playable power, which does affect his value as a prospect and his projection as a major league player. Some people see his OBP and get weak in the knees over his value, but his lack of power and average at best defensive profile at third base stand out for me and drop his stock as a result.
Understandable. Thank you for the response.
Agree with Jason's overall assessment above.
One thing to note, and put aside the underrated or overrated discussion, is that Garin Cecchini's placement as the no.3 prospect in this system is a very strong vote of confidence. He's behind two prospects, in Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, that are Top 25 prospects in the game, and ahead another group of players in Matt Barnes, Henry Owens, Blake Swihart, and Allen Webster that have strong big league potential in some capacity or another.
Thank you for your response as well Chris. I appreciate you guys taking the time to address the question.
So ... this makes him the third-best prospect of a "very loaded system?" Ouch.
I'm also curious about Luis Diaz. He had the best numbers in the system over the second half of the season. Is he considered a prospect to watch or are the numbers better than the projection?
He's a prospect in the sense that he has a major league projection; although most likely as a middle-reliever or perhaps a back-end starter if he maxes out. Lacks crazy impact stuff, but has good pitchability. Probably not going to be a big bat-misser against more advanced competition; relies on low-90s fastball that can touch higher; shows slider average and fringe change as well.
Care to put a grade on Bradley's speed or baserunning?
Average speed; can play up in the outfield (range) because of his quick reactions and quality reads. Bradley is a heady player, so I think his base running will improve with more experience; should be at least average in that regard, if not better.
Any of the other young, upside arms stand out more than others, or just sort intrigued you or Mellen? Thinking of guys like Stankiewicz, Buttrey, Callahan, Mercedes, Romero, McGrath, Kukuk, Amonte . . .
Ty Buttrey and Jamie Callahan stand out a little bit more to me out of those names you listed. Both are raw and have a ways to go in terms of development, but if you let it marinade you can see it down the road.
Callahan's fastball is just ok - nothing special though. The fact that it straightens out in the low-90s when above the middle of the thighs is a little tough for me. He's young and has physical growth in front of him, but it comes down to how much better the fastball can get. He's one of those arms that can look a lot different at 22-23 years-old.
Buttrey was hit or miss in terms of scouting all year. Really depended on when you saw him. He has the frame/body and feel, but the stamina needs a lot of work and there isn't much consistency with his finish. Put it in perspective: He's less than a year younger than Henry Owens and three levels below him. Owens was crude his first year as a pro and has made good progress in a relatively short amount of time, but the stuff had a certain look out of his hand. Buttrey is also crude and has the potential for stronger gains with the consistent throwing in a structured program, but the stuff was bland coming out of his hand when I saw him.
Great stuff. Thanks for the reply, Chris.
Not sure if JP and CM are still monitoring, but was wondering if Owens motion was that of a 'long strider' so to speak. It seems is velocity plays up more than the gun indicates. And I was thinking if it were possible that on top of his substantial height he was striding closer to the plate than 'normal' and as such a 91FB might play closer to 93 in terms of the reaction time a hitter had?
In my viewing of Owens last summer, I wasn't overly impressed with his stride, especially given his length. Luke Jackson (pitching for Myrtle Beach) had a longer stride on the night (based on mound divots), despite being at least four inches shorter. Owens' FB was pedestrian that night, working 89-92 most of the night, and the ball didn't appear to have much late jump to it. Because of his length and extension potential, the FB has a chance to play up, but blowing a 90 mph FB (that looks 92-93 MPH) by a High-A hitter is an easier task than blowing the same pitch by a major league hitter.
Owens' fastball velocity tends to yo-yo. Like Jason, I have had him in the 89-92 range for an outing and then seen him again when it is a lot of 92s and 93s, with a 94 top. I think it comes down to the consistent execution of his delivery to live in the latter range.
Owens also tends to hide the ball well where it isn't an overly long look at his pitches like say Anthony Ranaudo as an example. Whether that holds in the bigs remains to be seen as they figure things out quickly, but right now it works in his favor.
In terms of stages of development, he reminds me of Felix Doubront at this point. Both had fastballs that tended to yo-yo for velocity, solid feel for a changeup, and curves that tended to get loopy. Doubront's body composition was different though and I don't think Owens will quite physically mature like him. Doubront's curve grew a lot from Double-A to now, and I think Owens' can do the same. Don't take the comparison for ceilings, career paths, etc, but for similar characteristics at the same stage.
Is McGrath worth a follow or is he an NP?
Is it me or does it seem pretty incredible that the only high risk player in a system this stacked was a 2013 pick and has barely played? Unless I'm overrating the 'moderate risk' label.
Good observation. Most top tens feature numerous high risk (and possible high reward) types. The Red Sox top ten doesn't have nearly the risk of most farms without losing any of the impact reward. Pretty impressive and something to factor in when ranking the farm system.
In your opinion, who's a better stash in a 30 team Dynasty league? Manuel Margot or Francisco Mejia (Indians)...?
I think the Red Sox will be a very happy organization if Anthony Ranaudo keeps contributing at the age of 115. At the very least it gives all of us hope.
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