Four Red Sox prospects on Baseball America's mid-season top 50

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Boston sees four players improve on their pre-season rankings and land in the top 50.

The Red Sox were well represented on Baseball America's pre-season top-100 prospect list, and that hasn't changed at all with their updated mid-season edition that covers the top-50. The main difference is that, this time, a couple of the names have been switched, but all the ranks are more impressive than they once were. In all, four Red Sox populate the top-50, and it might have even been more than that if not for eligibility rules.

#4: Xander Bogaerts, SS (Previous - #8)

Bogaerts jumped up the list a bit, in part because some of the prospects in front of him were promoted or injured, but also because he crushed Double-A and is now playing well in his first trip to the minors' highest level. It wasn't a question that Bogaerts would rank in a lofty spot -- how lofty was the only thing to ask, and he's found himself in the top-five.

#21: Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (Previous - #31)

Bradley might have struggled in his brief time in the majors, but all that proved is that the 23-year-old likely needed to play in Triple-A for the first time in his career. He's done fantastically there, hitting .297/.393/.530 with seven homers and 27 extra-base hits overall, to go along with the excellent plate patience and plus defense in center. He'll get his chance again in the Boston outfield soon enough, and by the looks of things, he'll be ready.

#37: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP (Previous: N/A)

Ranaudo ranked #67 in Baseball America's top-100 heading into 2011, but after a good-not-great debut campaign as a pro, followed by an injury-plagued disaster in 2012, he fell off the map. Now, though, healthy and finally flashing the fastball and secondary stuff that made him so intriguing to begin with, he's in his rightful place in the top-50, and is considered Boston's best pitching prospect in a system loaded with quality arms -- Baseball America even goes so far as to say that, were it not for Ranaudo's aforementioned issues, he'd have come in with an even better ranking.

#41: Garin Cecchini, 3B (Previous: N/A)

Cecchini didn't make the top-100, either, but he was in that nebulous "honorary mention" territory on the fringe. He's made more than made it in with his 2013 performance, leapfrogging dozens of others en route to the #41 spot. Cecchini was the lone player in the Carolina League with an OPS over 1000 at the time of his promotion, and he's now hit .418/.522/.600 with a homer and seven doubles for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs in his first 15 games at that level.

*****

This doesn't include Allen Webster, who rated #49 on Baseball America's pre-season list before striking out nearly 10 batters per nine with a 2.98 ERA in his first stint at Triple-A, as Webster was on the big-league roster at as of July 1, filling in for the injured Clay Buchholz. Boston's first pick from the 2013 draft, Trey Ball, also isn't eligible, as players remained unsigned past the July 1 deadline implemented by BA. It also doesn't include Matt Barnes, who ranked #40 in the pre-season, but that's for a different reason: while Barnes is still developing, he's taken some abuse in his first taste of Double-A, enough to bump him back in the eyes of some analysts. Who we don't know the status of at all is Henry Owens, who ranked #91 on the pre-season list, and has been great for High-A Salem despite being all of 20 years old. It's safe to believe he's seen his stock rise, though, just not top-50 rise.

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