Baseball America has been ranking the prospects for each individual level and league, and they've finally come to the International League, where Boston's Pawtucket Red Sox reside. While the International League is thin on prospects overall -- it's Double-A where the real major talents tend to reside for many a club -- there are still a couple of Boston farmhands who make an appearance.
Both of these players finished the season with the Red Sox, but they spent enough time at Pawtucket to qualify. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway ranks sixth in the International League, while shortstop Jose Iglesias comes in at #11. Be excited only momentarily, as Baseball America has a bucket of cold water to dump all over your hopes and dreams:
Difference-making position players were even scarcer, as most of the hitters on this list profile as complementary regulars or even reserves. That's a stark contract to the previous two seasons, when the likes of Pedro Alvarez, Todd Frazier, Freddie Freeman, Jason Kipnis, Josh Reddick and Carlos Santana terrorized IL pitchers.
Lavarnway might have escaped that "complementary regulars or even reserves" tier, as he's sixth on the list, and Iglesias... well, you know the Iglesias issue, and it's his bat. That will determine just who he is and what his role is going forward. But at the same time, this likely also means that players like Lavarnway and Iglesias wouldn't normally be ranked this high, if the International League were stocked up in one of its more bountiful years.
Both players struggled in their September and then some call-ups this year, but both might be part of the 2013 squad in Boston. Given time, things could look better for these two, but right now, it's understandable that Baseball America is simply ranking them without much in the way of effusive descriptions.