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SoxProspects News

September 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

2011 Staff Season Wrap-Up, Part 2

Today, we continue our look back at the 2011 season by asking our staff their personal thoughts on a number of questions. In Part 2 of our staff wrap-up, we ask everyone about specific players and developments in the system this season.

Fill in the blank: The most interesting development in the Red Sox farm system in 2011 was _____.

Brandon Jacobs
The number of offensive breakouts. I can't remember this many guys who "could" break out turning into guys who "did" break out, speaking of Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Lavarnway, Xander Bogaerts, Bryce Brentz, Brandon Jacobs, Miles Head, Sean Coyle, Garin Cecchini, and to a lesser degree, guys like Alex Hassan and Christian Vazquez. – Chris Hatfield, Senior Editor & Columnist

Offensive development by so many prospects with young hitters such as Brandon Jacobs and Xander Bogaerts establishing themselves as front line prospects with high ceilings and the impressive power development by players like Bryce Brentz, Ryan Lavarnway and Will Middlebrooks. – Ian Cundall, Northeast Scout

Xander Bogaerts skipping to Low-A Greenville and showing remarkable present power at 18 – Mike Andrews, Executive Editor

The amount of depth the system has and the development of some prospects toward the upper tier in baseball. The development of Bryce Brentz, Xander Bogaerts, Miles Head, Garin Cecchini, Brandon Jacobs, just to name a few. – John Gray, Staff Writer

All of the A-ball position players the burst onto the scene with great offensive seasons. – Josh, Moderator (chavopepe2)

The amount of power that is in the system – Jonathan Singer, Affiliate Correspondent

The glaring hole of pitchers that project as future major league starters, which was thin to begin the season. I also believe it speaks volumes towards the patience and time it takes for young arms to develop. – Chris Mellen, Director of Scouting

The backwards steps taken by a "developmental" organization in the development of its pitchers. The organization coddles pitchers instead of challenging them, with negative consequences this year – Adam, Moderator (amfox1)

The steps back by Drake Britton and Stolmy Pimentel. The Red Sox have had a lot of success developing pitching, and those two were arguably the highest pitching prospects in terms of ceilings and likelihood of reaching them outside of Anthony Ranaudo entering the year. Pimentel is less surprising considering he made the jump up to Double-A, but, externally and internally, in spring training people were raving about the shape he was in and his fastball velocity. I think his continued struggles when he was demoted back to High-A prove that it was a mental issue though (or at least that he's been a better pitcher in the past than demonstrated for most of this season), since he was successful there overall last year. Britton was expected to take off this year as the reigns were loosened following last season's controlled return from Tommy John. I look for bounce-back seasons from both of them next season, at which point their true prospect statuses will be a lot more clear. – Matt Huegel, Staff Editor & Writer

What player's performance surprised you the most?

Miles Head
Miles Head: on nobody’s radar coming into the year to put up really impressive numbers. – Cundall

Miles Head – Andrews

Miles Head – Josh

Miles Head & Brandon Jacobs – Singer

Chih-Hsien Chiang. His breakout came out of nowhere, and now his horrible slump in Jackson since the trade was equally puzzling. Was it as simple as getting his diabetes under control? – Hatfield

Chih-Hsien Chiang. I never thought he would produce offensively as he did. It was Brandon Moss-like. – Adam

Xander Bogaerts. I thought he was ticketed for Lowell and wasn't sure how he would respond to being aggressively placed. Obviously stellar results. – Gray

Xander Bogaerts. The tools are there for him to be a great player, but it is rare for those tools to translate to performance at such a young age in a full season league. With three-to-four more seasons in the minors to work on his plate approach and find a defensive home, he can turn into the blue-chip prospect the system has been lacking recently. – Jim Crowell, Project Administrator

Christian Vazquez – Mellen

What player's performance disappointed you the most?

Drake Britton

Drake Britton. Has all the tools to really be a top flight left-handed starter but seemed to get off track this season when he could have really taken a big step forward. – Gray

Drake Britton. While the strikeouts were there, there was no command at all and he got hit like a piƱata most of the year. At least Pimentel stemmed the bleeding at the end of the year. – Adam

Drake Britton – Andrews

Drake Britton – Josh

Stolmy Pimentel. I saw Stolmy pitch twice this season in Double-A, and both times it was hard to watch. He had no command or control, and he lost his composure far too easily. It seemed like he was lacking the maturity to deal with the failure he was encountering. The late season success he had in Salem is a good sign that he was figuring things out not only mechanically, but mentally as well. – Crowell

Stolmy Pimentel – Mellen

Anthony Ranaudo. I expected more considering the hype. – Cundall

Anthony Ranaudo. I expected more strikeouts and maybe for him to dominate the lower levels of the minors. Others include Stolmy Pimentel and Drake Britton – Singer

Felix Doubront. Drake Britton and Stolmy Pimentel are obvious here, so I'll go with Doubront, who I really thought could help Boston this year. I can't help but wonder what kind of shape he showed up in this year, as many of his injuries seemed to be of the tweak and pull variety. – Hatfield

Ryan Kalish. It was just a lost year in which he could have taken a hold of the right field job in Boston for the foreseeable future had he stayed healthy. – Huegel

What player's stock rose most, in your opinion?

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts – Andrews

Xander Bogaerts – Singer

Xander Bogaerts – Josh

Xander Bogaerts – 18 year old ticketed for Lowell, instead jumps to Low-A and puts up impressive numbers that are backed up by scouting reports that include mentions of 70 tools. – Cundall

Xander Bogaerts. His year was historic on a number of levels - age relative to level, with his power, is extremely rare. – Adam

Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Jacobs – Gray

Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Lavarnway, and Bryce Brentz look like they can all slot in a starting major league lineup in the future. They need to work to become true middle-of-the order bats, but they all have the potential to become that kind of player. – Crowell

Bryce Brentz – Mellen

Outside of Xander Bogaerts, Bryce Brentz. He had a terrible first half-season in Lowell last year, and there were some rumors of off-field concerns coming into the season. I thought he might just never hit for enough average to allow his power to play up. It will be interesting to see whether he can keep that average up as he moves to the upper minors next season. – Huegel

Miles Head. I could have guessed Brentz and Jacobs breaking out like that, but not him. He struggled some at Salem, but was one of the youngest players in the Carolina League. – Hatfield

What player's stock fell most, in your opinion?

Stolmy Pimentel

Stolmy Pimentel – Josh

Stolmy Pimentel – Gray

Stolmy Pimentel. Only because he was higher ranked than Britton and fell further. – Adam

Stolmy Pimentel. I think Drake Britton will be successful as a reliever if that move is deemed necessary, I’m not so sure about Pimentel. It seems like he will either get the mental side of the game and be relatively successful as a starter, or bust. – Huegel

Stolmy Pimentel/Drake Britton – Singer

Drake Britton – The stuff is still there, but command is poor and nothing seemed to work this year. Went from a potential top end starter to some teams now view him as a reliever. – Cundall

Drake Britton, Stolmy Pimentel, Che-Hsuan Lin. The struggles of Britton and Pimentel have been well documented, but Lin has been frustrating as well. While he has maintained his gold-glove caliber defense, it is becoming increasingly likely that he is no more than a fifth outfielder due to his lack of power. – Crowell

Oscar Tejeda – Andrews

Oscar Tejeda – Mellen

David Renfroe. Not that his stock was that high, but I'm now afraid that he's not going to figure it out, unlike, say, a Will Middlebrooks. – Hatfield