Minor League Roundup 6/23

Updates on the top Red Sox prospects.

The youth movement has begun. Well, kind of. Will Middlebrooks has seemingly won the third base job for the forseeable future after a dramatic home run on Thursday night. Ryan Kalish will be starting in the outfield almost every day until Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford get healthy. Daniel Nava, while at 29 he’s not so young, we’re still counting him, has only hit .339 since being recalled on May 10th. Honestly, with the way these guys are contributing, it’s hard to believe that there’s even more talent that could be on the way in the minor leagues. Let’s take a look at some of the top performers:

Bryce Brentz- After jacking 30 home runs in 2011, Brentz is putting up very solid numbers in Portland. He’s hitting .287, with nine home runs, a .340 OBP, and 16 doubles in 244 at bats. While he still needs to improve his plate discipline, Brentz is not that far off. A former pitcher, he has a nice arm to go along with a power bat for a corner outfield spot.

Xander Bogaets- It won’t be long until he moves up another level. Currently playing shortstop for Salem, there are reports that Bogaerts will move eventually move to third base because of his size. He’s hitting .287 with 9 homers, 15 doubles, and A .366 OBP in 247 at bats. His 60 strikeouts are a little concerning, but he’s still a raw hitter. He’ll get even better as he continues to learn the strike zone, and it’s not out of the question that he’ll eventually develop into a Troy Tulowitzki type player. A scary thought indeed.

Matt Barnes- At this point, it’s hard to believe that the Red Sox drafted him 19th overall. The way he’s pitching, he should have been a top 5 pick easily. Since he got moved up a level to Salem, all he’s done is post a 1.37 ERA, strike out 53 batters in 46 innings pitched, and held hitters to a .201 average. Recently named to the Futures game, there’s little question that Barnes is the Red Sox’ most valuable prospect at the moment. Now, the question becomes, do you trade him as the lynch pin in a blockbuster deal? I doubt it happens, but if the Red Sox are looking to acquire a front line starter at the deadline, there’s little doubt that Barnes would be involved in the deal.

Ryan Lavarnway- He’s certainly not displaying the power numbers that he did last year, but he’s at least making the catching situation interesting. With a .308 average, seven home runs, and a .399 OBP, it’s hard not to argue for the fact that he should be starting at the major league level. That being said, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in the midst of what is undoubtedly the best season of his career, and Kelly Shoppach has been more than serviceable. Lavarnway’s time will come, but I doubt that he sees much time, if any at all, this year in the majors, barring injuries.

Jose Iglesias- Quite the turnaround for a player who was having trouble hitting .200 for the better part of the beginning of the season. Iglesias is up to .269 at Pawtucket, drawing 12 walks in 167 at bats, along with eight stolen bases. Iglesias was shut down with a back injury for a bit, but he returned last night. He still only has a .634 OPS, but at this point, we kind of know what to expect from the defensive wizard. It really won’t seem long before Xander Bogaerts is the highest regarded shortstop in the system, not Iglesias.

Anthony Ranaudo- He’s finally started pitching in minor league games after an extended spring training stint in Fort Meyers. He’s had mixed results so far, posting a 6.51 ERA in only 27.2 innings pitched. He’ll be in Portland for a while if he continues to pitch like that. The most important thing is that he seems to be completely healthy after battling elbow injuries throughout his junior year in college and beyond.



Categories: Anthony Ranaudo Bryce Brentz Jose Iglesias Matt Barnes Ryan Lavarnway Xander Bogearts

Alex Convery is a student at the University of Southern California where he studies screenwriting. He spends his time procrastinating. Follow him on twitter here: www.twitter.com/alexconvery

6 Responses to “Minor League Roundup 6/23” Subscribe

  1. Brian June 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM #

    No Bradley jr.?

  2. Danny June 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

    Can't wait for Brentz, Bogaerts, and Barnes. Hope we don't ship them off in some idiotic megadeal.

    • Shane Andarowski June 30, 2012 at 2:29 PM #

      They are prospects. There is no such thing as a can't miss prospect. If we can get a true front line starter for 2-3 years I would trade any prospect we have including Middlebrooks. Erik Hinske won rookie of the year in 2002. He was untouchable for Toronto and they missed out on several deals that year. Well Hinske became quite the utility player. The Yankees shipped Montero, who was suppose to be the second coming of many great hitting comparisons). Not exactly tearing it up. Pinero is also on the 60 day DL with arm issues after a stellar rookie season who many claimed to be better than Felix my god man. Give me a proven durable top line pitcher like Felix or Lee and you can have all my prospect.

  3. topherdd June 24, 2012 at 9:41 AM #

    Jackie Bradley Jr.,certainly has climbed the Sox-prospect ladder quickly,with his 5 tool production.I would have to consider parting with a package of high level prospects for pending free agent lefty ACE, Cole Hamels.As long as there was a pre- trade contract in place.

  4. Joe June 25, 2012 at 11:38 PM #

    I say we shop Iglesias if this bogaerts is tI the real deal… the last thing we need to do is get rid of Matt Barnes… serioulsy please don't do it Cherrington… please get rid of bard that dude has so much talent and can't step up I think he is a big pansy! He needs to look himself in the mirror and man up and either step up or get shipped out of Boston. I don't see Saltilimachia really going anywhere he looks solid. We might need to think about calling up Lacernway and trading Shopach even though Shopach has been solid. Lavernway and Salty let them compete for the starting job and trade the man who doesn't win it. We really need to start thinking about the future of our pitchers our staff isn't the oldest staff in baseball biut they aren't getting any younger. Lester and Buchholz have another 4-5 years in them but beckett maybe has 2-3, I have no idea whats up with Dice K he's not horrible but he's not what we payed for. I just can't believe we traded Kevin Youkilis for nothing what a joke we should have just held onto him and moved him to the outfield or first that was just stupid.

    • Shane Andarowski June 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM #

      Last year you would have said please keep Bard mr. Cherington. Trade that rookie guy Barnes instead. We have enough major league ready players and minor leaguers 2-3 years out to make a deal for a Garza type. I think Seattle is going to have to listen to Felix suitors sooner than later. If they want Barnes for Felix they can Have him. FYI. Bard will be fine. He s young and disappointed his starting gig did not work out. He will get it together. I would love to see Miller and Bard get a shot next season at the back endof our rotation. Miller has proven he can cut down on the walks and Bard has something to improve and the need to add a change up. Those two arms would shread the league if they pound the zone while changing speeds from 83-97mph. Great stuff.