Sox Prospects releases updated top Red Sox prospect list

Jim Rogash

The Red Sox have enough prospects that a top-40 is more interesting than you might normally think.

The minor-league season is over, as is the regular season in the majors. While the Red Sox are still active, facing off against the Rays in the American League Division Series, the majority of the players in the organization are all done with 2013, and can be evaluated with thoughts of 2014 in mind. Sox Prospects, the Sox-centric prospect and scouting site, has recently released their updated top-40 list, if you were looking for evidence of the above.

The list is solid, but given how many talented Sox prospects there are on the farm right now, it's completely understandable if you have quibbles with the order. About the only thing that's for sure is that the Red Sox have enviable prospect depth.

We won't publish the full list here, but we'll give you the first half of things just to get the conversation going.

Rank Player Position
1 Xander Bogaerts SS
2 Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
3 Garin Cecchini 3B
4 Henry Owens LHP
5 Matt Barnes RHP
6 Anthony Ranaudo RHP
7 Allen Webster RHP
8 Blake Swihart C
9 Trey Ball LHP
10 Mookie Betts 2B

Bogaerts is undoubtedly the top prospect, and Bradley has a very strong case -- though, arguably, not quite as strong -- for the second slot. (This all depends on your level of love for 20-year-old left-handed pitching prospects that look like they'll be in Triple-A by next summer.) After that, you can begin to dissect things a bit. As of right now, I might prefer Owens to Cecchini, but Cecchini's ceiling is such that this ranking is fine where it is. Barnes, Ranaudo, and Webster all seem like they can be flipped hither and thither without much scrutiny.

20130629_ter_ax5_102Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Swihart, as a switch-hitting catcher, could arguably be top-five, depending on your thoughts on that sort of thing. Ball might actually end up being the best pitcher in the group, but he's also a teenager with little pro experience, so his being towards the back makes sense. Betts, well, we're just happy to see 2013's top breakout season on the Boston farm getting the recognition it deserves.

Rank Player Position
11 Brandon Workman RHP
12 Drake Britton LHP
13 Christian Vazquez C
14 Manuel Margot CF
15 Brian Johnson LHP
16 Teddy Stankiewicz RHP
17 Deven Marrero SS
18 Bryce Brentz OF
19 Jon Denney C
20 Wendell Rijo 2B

Workman is likely ranked just right, as a guy with back-end rotation potential who might also thrive in relief if it's made his only role. Britton is a little high for me at the 12 spot, since I think of him as a lefty specialist -- useful, sure, and worthy of ranking, but when you consider that right behind him is a catcher I'm super high on, you can understand my thinking here. Margot turned it on at short-season Lowell at various points, and his glove should make him a major-league player if nothing else. Johnson has been slowed by injuries a bit, but when he's been on the mound, he's been great. If not for the injuries, I think you might see him alongside Workman, since they're in the same vein in many ways.

Stankiewicz is another arm who has mid-rotation/back-end potential, but, like Johnson and even Workman to a degree, could get lost in the conversation considering the pitching prospects in front of him. Marrero's glove will make him a major-league shortstop, even if it takes some time for his bat to catch up -- this is a good place for him. Bryce Brentz's bat didn't explode at Pawtucket, but if he can mash lefties with authority, he should find a home on a big-league bench if nothing else. Denney wraps up the 2013 draft picks in the top-20 -- like Stanky and Ball, there's a lot of potential here, but he hasn't had much time to show it off yet. Wendell Rijo is 17 years old and hit well enough in the GCL to finish up his season in Lowell. He's one to watch, even if he's very young and very raw.

*****

Sox Prospects is also reviewing these players individually, counting backwards. They've started with 2013 draftees Nick Longhi and Corey Littrell, two prospects I'm intrigued by despite coming in on the list where they have.

Read more Red Sox:

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