Apr 1, 2012; Goodyear, AZ, USA; A general view of a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
With the minor-league regular season over, it's time to look back at what the farm has accomplished in 2012. The plan is go to team-by-team, as we did for our daily prospect updates, but this time around, we'll review by position, so you get a sense of where the Red Sox are strong and where they are lacking depth.
Derrik Gibson, SS
Portland was teeming with prospects by year's end, but for much of the 2012 season, they were universally recognized as the weakest of the four full-season clubs. While this was eventually rectified with the arrival of Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, and the like, the before time, in the long long ago, resulted in 115 games of Derrik Gibson.
Gibson is 22, so it's not as if he's old for the level, but he's unexciting. He was drafted back in 2008, and this is his fifth year with the Red Sox . He has surpassed an 800 OPS just once, in his initial stint in the Gulf Coast League, and his defensive skills translate better to second than short, given his arm isn't strong enough for those longer throws. Gibson is kind of a fringe prospect, if he's even that, as his future is as a utility type sans power. It's going to take better seasons than this one for him to stay on that track. A player with an Isolated Power around .050 cannot be striking out over 20 percent of the time. He doesn't have the power to justify that.
Ryan Dent, 2B
Dent was moved to second base for Gibson, and then to Triple-A before year's end. Dent has been in the system a year longer than Gibson, as he was drafted out of high school in the 2007 draft, as the #62 pick overall. Like Gibson, Dent's greatest showing came in Rookie ball, when he hit .371/.463/.600 in the GCL. Since then, though, it's been a bit ugly, with his top offensive showing coming at Greenville in 2009, when he hit .252/.350/.391 in 99 games.
He can field, but the approach at the plate just hasn't come along yet. He's in Triple-A, but not exactly because his performance earned him a promotion there. He's still all of 23, but when he has over 1,700 plate appearances in the pros, and is slugging .293 at a repeat of Double-A, it's hard to be optimistic about his future.