June 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM
It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the halfway point of the 2013 minor league season. Now that Jose Iglesias has graduated from prospect status and Boston has officially signed 11 of its 2013 draft picks, it’s about time to take a fresh look at the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox system. The top levels of the system look stronger than they have since early 2007, when the farm included the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie, David Murphy, George Kottaras and Brandon Moss. However, the lower levels of the system are a bit more thin than in recent years, likely due to the new draft and international signing bonus caps.
Here's a look at the top 10 prospects in the system at mid-season as ranked by SoxProspects.com:
1. Xander Bogaerts (20)
SS, Triple-A Pawtucket
How acquired: Signed as an international free agent out of Aruba in August 2009. $410,000 bonus.
2013 Stats: .302/.396/.488 with 7 home runs and 6 stolen bases for Pawtucket and Double-A Portland
Scouting Report: Bogaerts is now considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Despite the fact that he’s generally been playing against competition three to four years his senior in Double-A and Triple-A, the Aruban shortstop has shown an improved plate approach while maintaining decent power production. Bogaerts has an athletic frame with a lean body type, and couples those attributes with a high baseball IQ and maturity beyond his years. On offense, his smooth, fluid swing generates a lot of lift on the ball, and he’s able to hit to all fields. The 20-year-old has strong and explosive hands with good separation during his hitting stride. The ball really just explodes off his bat, leading to projections that he’ll be an above-average-to-better power hitter with high home-run and run-producing potential. Bogaerts has also made strides in the areas of pitch recognition and strike-zone judgment, and is generally about average in those areas at this point. On defense, he has a slightly above-average arm with short action, solid range, and fringe-average footwork. He’s been able to slow down his game at shortstop, and it looks like he may have the ability to stick there for the short term. However, it still seems more likely than not that he may need to move to third base or left field over the long term. It’s been reported that he’ll be worked out at new positions in the second half.
Projection: All-Star third baseman
Ceiling: Franchise player
Floor: Average major league regular
For a look at the rest of the system's updated top 10 prospects, read the article at ESPNBoston.com.