We already knew who the first seven Red Sox on Keith Law's top-10 list for Boston were, thanks to the top-100, league-wide list that featured that many Sox farmhands. Now, though, Law has released the full top-10, as well as some commentary on a few additional Boston prospects, at ESPN.
Those seven, in case you've forgotten:
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Henry Owens, LHP
- Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
- Blake Swihart, C
- Mookie Betts, 2B
- Matt Barnes, RHP
Following those, Law ranks three more pitchers.
8. Allen Webster, RHP
Law doesn't say much about Webster, simply that he needs to work on commanding his fastball, something anyone who watched him when he was at his worst in 2013 is well aware of. The stuff is absolutely there, though, and might very well be the filthiest of anyone in the entire Red Sox system. If he can work a little more aggressively and accurately with it, he'll be a very successful major-league arm.
9. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
Ranaudo is another arm where consistency is the main question at the moment, though, with Ranaudo, there is also the concern about whether or not he stays healthy. Law says Ranaudo needs to "iron out some timing issues around his landing" -- if he does that, maybe those occasional awful starts that inflate his ERA a bit will vanish. Ranaudo might be one of the pitchers who shows up in the majors to make starts in 2014, per Law, but it's worth pointing out he might be saying so in part because he believes Brandon Workman is a reliever.
10. Trey Ball, LHP
Law describes Ball as a "project," which, given he'll be all of 19 years old in 2014 with seven professional innings under his belt, we already knew. He's 6-foot-6, though, with an advanced three-pitch repertoire that's surprising for someone with his lack of experience, so this project has as high a ceiling as any arm in the system, if not the highest.
In addition, Law mentions that shortstop Deven Marrero's stock has fallen a bit after slugging .317 across two levels in 2013. The defense is there, but Law wonders if he'll be stuck in the back of a big-league lineup, helpless against elite offerings.
You won't be surprised by his choice of sleeper, as it's center fielder Manuel Margot. Margot played for the short-season Spinners last year, and performed well both offensively and defensively despite his youth (18) and general rawness. Law says he could "take the leap" while playing with Low-A Greenville, which would be lovely, as it would mean three-straight years with a position player doing just that, with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Garin Cecchini the others.