It's a bit of a low (or, rather, high) ranking for a first round pick, but Deven Marrero has finally landed in the 12 spot.
In an unusually strong Red Sox farm system (well, unless you ask Mr. Law), though, it's not all that surprising to see Boston's best man from the 2012 draft coming in this late. He didn't enter with the hype of Matt Barnes, after all, and does not have the potential ceiling of Blake Swihart. Really, anytime you bring in a position player with a first-round pick with a bat that does not project to be well above average, fans are underwhelmed.
That being said, Marrero has a lot going for him, and it's easiest to see that by comparing him to the man who made it on the list right before him: Jose Iglesias. At this point in Iglesias' career, the only real hope Sox fans have for him is an average shortstop bat--something in the range of a .700 OPS. And even that is something of a long shot. The glove is something special, but at some point he's going to come up to bat.
Think of Marrero as a healthy compromise between Iglesias' glove and a need to actually have some ability at the plate. No, he's not going to sell tickets by flashing the leather alone, but the expectation is that Marrero will not only stick at shortstop, but excel there. And with it, he has the very real chance to hit. No, he's not Xander Bogaerts or anything like that. He's got little chance to provide any sort of power, and as with any other player who hasn't appeared in full-season ball, he's going to have to show he can deal with advanced off-speed stuff.
Still, the potential is there for a guy who can get on base with enough regularity for it to be considered a skill, and when you put that behind a big glove at shortstop, you've got the sort of player you kind of hope the Sox lock up until they can't play the position anymore.
It's been nearly a decade now since the Sox have had any sort of consistency at the shortstop position. Jose Iglesias' chances of ending that drought seem to be headed in the wrong direction at the moment, and while we all love Xander Bogaerts, it's possible he'll have to move off to the outfield or third sometime in the future. If you're looking for an honest-to-God answer, then Marrero might be the best bet.
Our list now stands at:
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Jackie Bradley, OF
- Matt Barnes, RHP
- Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
- Allen Webster, RHP
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
- Henry Owens, LHP
- Bryce Brentz, RF
- Blake Swihart, C
- Brandon Workman, RHP
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Deven Marrero, SS
For those uninitiated in our ways:
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.