Five months later, and it still defies reason: how did the Red Sox not only manage to dump millions of dollars in bad contracts, but also pick up some legitimate prospects in the process? Jerry Sands may be gone now, and Ivan De Jesus with him, but the real cream of the crop remains in Allen Webster, and our fourth place finisher Rubby De La Rosa, who enjoyed a Bogaerts-like blowout in the voting.
While fourth place in the system would've been a less-than-impressive feat not that long ago, coming in behind The Three Bs is hardly a black mark on anyone's record. What type of player fills that role now? A right-handed pitcher who can hit 100 with his fastball. One who learned his excellent changeup from Pedro Martinez himself. Yeah, Rubby De La Rosa is a pretty interesting guy.
The question is: can he start? This isn't a Daniel Bard thing--he's been starting in the minors with a great deal of success for a while now, and even put up a 3.71 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) with the Dodgers in 2011. That being said, his slider isn't a dependable enough offering just yet to get him three times through a major league lineup with regularity. Add in Tommy John Surgery in late 2011, and the future isn't completely clear for Rubby.
Still, with the sheer stuff he's got, Rubby provides a lot of reason for Red Sox fans to be excited. Chances are he's going to be eased in at Triple-A, allowing the Red Sox to gauge where he is on the recovery path from his surgery. But as soon as he shows himself to be at full strength again, chances are Rubby will be one of the first lines of defense against injuries to the rotation. Which is a lot better than having Aaron Cook there.
Here's our list so far:
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Jackie Bradley, CF
- Matt Barnes, RHP
- Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
Let's round out the top five now. Voting remains the same as always:
I'll name candidates in the comments below, and you rec the comment of the player you want to vote for. For those unfamiliar with how to go about that, just click "actions" underneath the comment and then "rec." Nice and easy, though you do have to be a member to join in.
On the off chance I forget or otherwise leave someone out, you are free to start your own voting thread for that player. I'll even give it a rec of my own to make up for your vote.