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September 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM

SoxProspects.com 2013 season-end award winners


The 2013 minor league season, not quite over for a pair of Red Sox farm teams, had no shortage of memorable storylines and impressive performances. In keeping with tradition, here are the athletes voted on by the SoxProspects.com community as the best of the year.


Offensive Player of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year: Mookie Betts

No Red Sox prospect shot up the rankings this season quite like Betts did. He started off by tearing apart South Atlantic League pitching to the tune of a .296 average while getting on base at a .418 clip and slugging .477 in 76 games for Low A Greenville. After an early July promotion to High A Salem, the 20-year-old second baseman got even better. He put together a .341/.414/.551 slash line in 51 games while walking 20 times and striking out on 17 occasions. While Betts showed good speed, stealing 38 bases in 42 attempts between the two levels, what was even more surprising was his sudden power. Betts, who is listed at just 5-foot-9 and 156 pound, had nine extra-base hits with Lowell — eight doubles, one triple — last year but totaled 55, including 15 homers, in 2013. He moved up from 53rd to 12th in the SoxProspects.com rankings.


Pitcher of the Year: Henry Owens 

In a season that started with a quartet of heralded pitching prospects opening in Double-A Portland’s rotation, it was the one who ended it there that stood out the most. Owens — a 6-foot-6, 205-pound lefty who turned 21 in July — made a name for himself in his second professional season and moved up to the No. 3 spot in the SoxProspects.com rankings in the process. In 20 starts with Salem, Owens owned a 2.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while striking out 10.6 batters per nine innings — more than enough to justify a promotion to Portland, particularly after he was literally unhittable toward the end of his time with Salem. Eastern League batters’ efforts proved just as futile in Owens’ six starts. They hit .167 and struck out 46 times in 30 1/3 innings while Owens posted a 1.78 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.


Comeback Player of the Year: Anthony Ranaudo 

An injury-plagued 2012 campaign limited Ranaudo to nine games and ugly numbers, but he more than made up for lost time this year. Before an early August promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, the right-hander tallied a 2.95 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out 106 batters in his 109 2/3 innings. In addition to his two SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month and three Pitcher of the Week honors, he played in both the Futures Game and the Eastern League All-Star Game, then was named an EL Post-Season All-Star. At an imposing 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Ranaudo also fared well (2.97 ERA, 3.00 K/BB) during a six-game stint with the PawSox. Ranaudo is slotted sixth in the SoxProspects.com rankings.


Rookie of the Year: Daniel McGrath

That this award goes to an international signee likely comes as little surprise. That it is goes to an Aussie, though, may be a different story. McGrath, a southpaw from Melbourne, Australia, had an impressive professional debut as a 19-year-old with Short-Season A Lowell: a 4.86 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. When his four-game stint with the GCL Red Sox is included, McGrath struck out nearly 3.5 batters for every one he walked. McGrath, who is a projectable 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, signed with the Sox as a 17-year-old in February 2012, then returned to Australia to finish high school before coming stateside and beginning his pro career. He worked his way up to the No. 37 slot in the SoxProspects.com rankings after not being listed at the start of the season.


DSL Players of the Year: Victor Acosta and Daniel Gonzalez

Although the 17-year-olds’ numbers are hard to compare — No. 59 Acosta is a right-handed power-hitting third baseman and No. 60 Gonzalez is a right-handed hurler — they split the vote for the organization’s best player out the Dominican this summer. Acosta led the team in average (.256), slugging percentage (.415) and RBI (39). His finished with eight homers, one more than the rest of his teammates had combined. The 6-foot-5 and 180-pound Gonzalez, meanwhile, had a 0.97 ERA and 0.58 WHIP in 14 games (two starts). He struck out 42 batters and walked three in 46 1/3 innings.


Photo credit: Mookie Betts, Henry Owens and Anthony Ranaudo by Kelly O’Connor. Daniel McGrath by SoxProspects, LLC.

Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.

 
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