The Red Sox have added Garin Cecchini, Anthony Ranaudo, and Bryce Brentz to their 40-man roster ahead of the deadline to protect their players from being eligible for the Rule 5 draft.
#RedSox have selected OF Bryce Brentz, 3B Garin Cecchini, & RHP Anthony Ranaudo to the Major League roster. Boston’s 40-man is now at 39.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) November 20, 2013
The real news here is Bryce Brentz. There was never any question that Anthony Ranaudo and Garin Cecchini would make the cut. Cecchini is one of Boston's best position prospects, showing extraordinary plate discipline to go with a good contact bat and enough power to get by. Ranaudo is amongst the top arms in the system, having rebounded from an injury-riddled disappointment of a year to breeze through 140 innings of sub-3.00 ERA ball between Portland and Pawtucket. Both players are likely to make the rounds in top prospect lists in the months to come.
Then there's Brentz. Not all that long ago, Brentz was one of the few noteworthy names in a largely barren system. Since then, however, the Red Sox have seen the minors flourish, while Brentz has shot himself in the leg--quite literally--and produced decent-but-unexciting numbers in Pawtucket, thus making the decision to protect him not quite as obvious as we might have expected in years past.
Still, Brentz has something that is hard to find these days: power. He has hit 73 homers in his four years in Boston's system, and if that's not spectacular at the majors, it's a pretty strong figure in the minors, particularly when you consider how many games he's actually seen. Even this year, while his average and on-base numbers plummeted, Brentzz managed a .211 isolated power figure. That's the sort of thing some team is very likely to take a flier on, leaving the Red Sox with no choice but to protect him for now, even if he ends up going somewhere else in a trade somewhere down the line.