SoxProspects News

September 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM

2011 Staff Season Wrap-Up, Part 3

OK, so the past couple days have sucked. Same for us, trust me. (Director of Scouting Chris Mellen, presently in Fort Myers for the Fall Instructional League, perhaps excepted. Follow his observations from the Fort on Twitter and here at SoxProspects News!) But what better way to get past it by getting your thoughts off of Wednesday night by switching your focus back to the farm system? 

Today, we conclude our three-part staff wrap-up by looking to the future, as we list our sleepers, the 2011 draft picks we're most excited to watch, and some bold predictions and thoughts on what's to come for the Red Sox farm system.

We would also like to thank all of our readers for a successful season! Our fall and winter league coverage will be starting up soon, so don't go away!

My prospect sleeper is:

Heiker Meneses
Heiker Meneses. He could be the next Yamaico Navarro. – Andrews 

Heiker Meneses – Cundall 

Sergio Gomez. He was under the radar a bit this year behind Raul Alcantara, but put up numbers that weren't too far behind and at a younger age. – Hatfield 

Alex Hassan and Justin Erasmus – Gray 

Cody Koback and Miguel Pena – Crowell 

Henry Ramos – Mellen 

Travis Shaw – Singer 

Christian Vazquez (hitter), Keith Couch (pitcher) – Adam 

Keith Couch – Huegel

Jose Vinicio – Josh

2011 draft pick who you're most excited about:

Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes, with Cody Kukuk not far behind – Mike Andrews, Executive Editor

Matt Barnes – Josh, Moderator (chavopepe2)

Matt Barnes – Chris Mellen, Director of Scouting

The UConn homer in me wants to say Matt Barnes, but in reality it is Blake Swihart. He is the best high school talent the Sox have drafted since Ryan Westmoreland. – Jim Crowell, Project Administrator

Blake Swihart and Cody Kukuk – Matt Huegel, Staff Editor & Writer

Blake Swihart. I think he'll be developed slowly, but I also think he might force the club to move him quickly given his bat. – Chris Hatfield, Senior Editor & Columnist

Blake Swihart – Jonathan Singer, Affiliate Correspondent

Blake Swihart – John Gray, Staff Writer

Henry Owens. I thought he would have been a solid pick at 19. I expect him to exceed expectations as an advanced high school pitcher. – Adam, Moderator (amfox1)

Henry Owens and Cody Kukuk. You can never have enough projectable left-handers in your system. – Ian Cundall, Northeast Scout

A crazy idea that readers may not be considering: 

Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins had a better season than the numbers show. He has excellent present strength, and the fact that he focused on plate discipline (.105 ISOD) and didn't swing for the fences every at-bat shows me that he's buying into the Red Sox approach. I'd like to see him continue the trend of not worrying about power while cutting down on the strikeouts next year with Lowell. – Andrews 

Some of the best development strides prospects make are during times of struggle or failure. After level of talent, one of the big keys is how well a player learns to adjust and push their game to the next level. Some never get to that level, but the ones that do are better because of the struggles and their future success is the by-product of them. – Mellen 

Did the Sox sell high on Casey Kelly? He repeated Double-A and put up OK numbers in San Antonio, but I wonder if the production will ever match his tools on the mound, given how little experience he has there. What will San Diego do with him next year? Have him repeat AA again? Send him to Tucson, which was a launching pad this year? I honestly don't know if he'd be in my top 5 Sox prospects right now, and he almost certainly wouldn't if Anthony Rizzo were still here as well. – Hatfield 

I would promote Oscar Tejeda to AAA and groom him as the next Yamaico Navarro-like utility man. He'll do better in AAA than AA, as he'll perceive that he's closer to the majors and not stuck behind Dustin Pedroia. – Adam 

People were talking about J.C. Linares as a possibility to make the major league roster coming into this season. Could he be in the competition to be the everyday right fielder next year? Probably not right out of the gates, but if he can get healthy and consolidate gains from this season, he could have a major impact off the bench with so many left-handed bats in the outfield, including Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish. – Huegel 

My bold prediction(s) for 2012:

Jose Iglesias
The Red Sox open the door to the shortstop position for Jose Iglesias by mid-season – Mellen 

The Red Sox will try to switch High-A affiliates with the Twins, selling the Salem franchise and moving their affiliate to Fort Myers allowing them to consolidate five of their six affiliates into two geographical areas. Drake Britton will be moved to the bullpen by midseason. Will Middlebrooks will see significant time in Boston during a Kevin Youkilis DL stint. Jose Iglesias will be in Boston to stay by August 1. (Full disclosure – I also said, “Lars Anderson will be traded to Oakland and will be their starting first baseman by August 1,” but the A’s recent acquisition of Kila Ka’aihue ends that theory, in my opinion.) – Hatfield 

Dan Butler will catch more games in the big leagues than Ryan Lavarnway. Drake Britton will pitch more games in relief than as a starter. – Cundall 

Frank Montas will be next year's Raul Alcantara. Kolbrin Vitek will put up excellent numbers in the Eastern League. Not all that bold, but Sean Coyle will post eerily similar numbers in the Carolina League as he did in the SAL (mediocre batting average, high OBP, high SLG). His batting average will come around in Double-A. I'm a big Sean Coyle fan. – Andrews 

Kolbrin Vitek reemerges as a top-10 prospect. Junichi Tazawa has a significant impact on the 2012 major league team. – Huegel

Xander Bogaerts finishes the season in Portland – Singer 

Xander Bogaerts attains #1 prospect status in the Red Sox system – Gray 

Xander Bogaerts makes the Baseball America top 20 after a big 2012. – Josh

Brandon Jacobs makes the leap to elite (read: top 50 overall) prospect by the end of 2012 (but he still won't be the #1-ranked Red Sox prospect). – Adam 

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