The highly regarded Baseball Prospectus just came out with its top 10 Red Sox Prospects list, and there are no real surprises. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and third baseman Garin Cecchini rank as the top three, with two pitchers -- right-hander Matt Barnes and left-hander Henry Owens -- following in the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.
While Bogaerts was labeled a future All-Star and Bradley projected as a more-than-adequate replacement for Jacoby Ellsbury, BP reserved some of its highest praise for first-year pitcher Trey Ball, the 19-year-old left-hander who was the team's No. pick in 2013 and ranked 10th on the list.
Here was the summation on Ball:
"Ball has the type of physical projection to dream on, with a plus potential arsenal from an ultra-athletic and easy delivery and release. In his first full season, you will see a heavy dose of fastball action to build up arm strength and establish command, so the results might not match the hype, at least initially. But once the full arsenal comes together, which already includes a very good changeup, Ball will start to miss more bats and start to blossom as a pitching prospect.''
BP also identified three young Dominican players as prospects on the rise: center fielder Manuel Margot, infielder Rafael Devers, and second baseman Wendell Rijo.
BP gave very high marks to the Red Sox system overall: "This is a very strong system, with an elite player up top, a hearty collection of depth with realistic major-league realities, and a lower tier of high-ceiling talent waiting in the wings for their chance to step up.''
Here's the full list:
1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
2. Jackie Bradley, Jr., CF
3. Garin Cecchini, 3B
4. Matt Barnes, RHP
5. Henry Owens, LHP
6. Blake Swihart, C
7. Allen Webster, RHP
8. Mookie Betts, 2B
9. Christian Vazquez, C
10. Trey Ball, LHP