Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox not only have some of the game's best prospects, but some of them dominate their tools of choice
Baseball Prospectus is currently running a series on the very best tools in the minors, for infielders, outfielders, and catchers. On Wednesday, they released the top gloves, and while the Red Sox didn't get any love behind the plate -- despite the presence of Christian Vazquez in the organization -- they took top honors for both the infield and the outfield. What makes it even better is that it's not someone like Che-Hsuan Lin getting recognition in the outfield this time: it's Jackie Bradley.
Bradley was credited with his ability to consistently shade hitters where he needed to, and for instincts that make catching a ball to center about as much of a guarantee as you can in this game of chance. You need a subscription to read the whole thing, so unless you have one, you'll have to be satisfied with just a taste:
...he can go get it from gap to gap, has little trouble on balls hit over his head, and even excels charging in on balls. Bradley isn't quite elite in the outfield but his plus-plus glove plays up a grade because of the instincts he shows on a daily basis.
It's not the name that people around these parts want to hear, but there was a time -- in his younger, pre-Boston years -- when that description would have fit Mike Cameron, at least defensively. That would be an excellent thing for the Sox, were that to be an apt comparison with the glove.
As for the infielder, you've probably guessed his identity already: Jose Iglesias.
Iglesias does it all in the field; he has uncanny instincts for the position, excellent first-step quickness, and the foot speed to parlay that into plus-plus range. His hands are truly exceptional and his footwork is near flawless, allowing him to remain in balance and make accurate throws. He has the ability to make the routine plays look mundane but can then leave you in awe as he makes the spectacular plays seem far too simple.
Prospectus goes on to rave about how the next-closest infielder, Adeiny Hechavarria, would be tops in an Iglesias-less world, but he not only "lives in a world populated by but one dominated by Jose Iglesias." Say what you will about Iglesias' bat, but that glove is going to make some major-league pitchers very, very happy someday.