For some teams, there's a lot more to be said for proximity and certainty than others. A Triple-A outfielder who's very, very likely to produce, say, 2.5 wins a year is a big deal for a team with a severely restricted payroll. To others, however, that 2.5 win player is not terribly hard to find in free agency, and keeping that sort of player under cost control, while helpful, is not all that important.
What is important for a team with money to spend is finding stars. It's hard to find a star in free agency these days, and when a team does, they can be sure that the contract they have to offer up is the sort that threatens to cripple a team should it go wrong. We've seen this all-too-recently with the Red Sox and Carl Crawford.
For that sort of team, then, it's the prospects who have a chance, however small, to come out of the farm system and join the ranks of the game's best. For the Red Sox, ceiling is king. That is how we come to the seventh prospect on our list of 20: Henry Owens.
He did not have the best intro to professional baseball. A 4.87 ERA in 101 innings at Greenville is not something that great careers usually begin with. But for Owens, there are so many reasons to dream big. At 6'7", the lefty has the right build to take the mound. His velocity already sits in the low 90s and is expected to tick up as time progresses. His curve is mean enough to play in the majors, and Baseball America rated his changeup as the system's best.
Still, Owens has a ways to go. And that's where the debate comes in. If he never manages to get his fastball under control, then it's hard to see Owens going too far. He could end up being a total bust. But if he manages to put it all together, and reach that cieling of his, he can help fill the front of the rotation for a decade. That is what we dream on.
Alright, seven down now:
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Jackie Bradley, OF
- Matt Barnes, RHP
- Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
- Allen Webster, RHP
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
- Henry Owens, LHP
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.