Continuing along with the Keith Law rankings as we catchup on the site comes his top 10 prospects for the Boston Red Sox in 2013.
|1. Xander Bogaerts, SS (5)|
|2. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (40)|
|3. Allen Webster, RHP (63)|
|4. Matt Barnes, RHP (79)|
|5. Henry Owens, LHP|
|6. Deven Marrero, SS|
|7. Blake Swihart, C|
|8. Garin Cecchini, 3B|
|9. Drake Britton, LHP|
|10. Brian Johnson, LHP|
Here's what Law had to say about the overall Red Sox farm system:
Farm system overview
A lot went right on the farm for Boston this year, with top prospect Xander Bogaerts making major strides on defense at shortstop, Jackie Bradley Jr., lighting everyone up with his plate discipline, and Matt Barnes and Henry Owens posting very strong full-season debuts. The system's real shortage is in big-league ready talent, with right-hander Allen Webster probably the closest, followed by Bradley, with anyone else who might debut this year a potential reserve or reliever at best.
Two of their biggest bonus signs from the last two drafts, Blake Swihart and Garin Cecchini, both bounced back after slow starts; I'd bet on at least one of the two making "the leap" in 2013, with Swihart the more likely of the two. Their system also has some intriguing second-tier prospects outside their top 10, like power-hitting first baseman Travis Shaw and the undersized defensive whiz Jose Vinicio, who makes hard line-drive contact now but will be challenged by better velocity unless he gets stronger.
Webster could help the team in the 'pen right now or as a mid-year rotation option if he can throw more strikes. Bradley is probably Jacoby Ellsbury's long-term replacement in center and could get a call-up this year, especially if Ellsbury is dealt. Lefty Drake Britton is the dark horse here, working at 94-97 at year-end with a four-pitch arsenal, and he could also break in as a reliever while he works on fastball command.
For future top-100 potential, pitcher Cody Kukuk and center fielder Manuel Margot are the best sleepers in the system. Kukuk missed much of the year after he was charged with driving under the influence, which was eventually dropped on a technicality; he's a big, physical lefty who sits in the low 90s with a possible out-pitch curveball. Margot can run and should be a plus defender in center, showing an unusually good approach for a prospect his age without any U.S. experience. Their 2012 fifth-round pick, Mike Augliera, works at 90-93 with plus sink and even better control, touching 95 in shorter outings but losing sink at the same time; he's most likely a reliever (and thus not a future top-100 guy) but could move quickly in that role.
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