June 29, 2012 at 6:37 PM
Now that we’re three months into the season, Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Kalish have graduated from prospect status, and Boston has signed its top 12 draft picks of 2012, it’s about time to take a fresh look at the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox system. While the system may not be as strong in terms of depth as it once was, there are several high-caliber prospects in the top 10 -- a few of whom are on the cusp of reaching blue-chip status.
1. Matt Barnes (22)
RHP, High-A Salem
How acquired: Drafted in the 1st round, 2011. $1,500,000 bonus.
2012 Stats: 7-1, 1.86 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 98 strikeouts, 15 walks in 77.1 innings with Salem and Low-A Greenville
Scouting Report: With the 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft -- the club’s highest pick since 2003 -- the Red Sox selected Matt Barnes out of the University of Connecticut. Considered a potential top 10 pick after an excellent summer in 2010 with Team USA, his stock fell due to the impressive pitching depth in the 2011 draft class. A large right-hander with a very projectable body, Barnes features a plus fastball that sits at 93-95 mph and tops out at 98 mph. His command and control, which were identified as developmental areas coming into the season, have been quite solid in 2012. His mid-70s curveball is his best secondary pitch, grading out as solid-average with plus potential. He also mixes in an average mid-80s changeup. His secondary pitches still need refinement, and he may need to re-incorporate a fourth pitch, such as a slider or a cutter, if he wants to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter. That being said, he’s having a phenomenal season and profiling as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter at this point.
Projection: No. 2 or No. 3 starter.
Ceiling: No. 1 or No. 2 starter.
2012 coverage: Barnes on the move