Ask anyone who the sixth best prospect in Boston's farm system is, and you can expect plenty of different answers. Ask five people their top-5, and you might get as many as 10 different names.
But ask for a bunch of top-12 lists and you'll probably get the same 12 names you've voted in so far. There seems to be a pretty clear line drawn between the top-12 and the rest, much in the same way there's a line separating Xander Bogaerts at #1 from the rest. Christian Vazquez was the last obvious choice.
With those 12 out of the way, then, you voters seem to have turned to upside for #13. Manuel Margot is all of 19 years old. He's not even seen 500 professional at bats. And at least at the moment, he falls firmly in the "never heard of him" category for most Red Sox fans.
So what's the upside that's earned him this spot? It's all starts with his speed. Margot has the legs to burn up the basepaths and cover all the ground he'll need to in center field. Those talents alone are usually enough to lead to some kind of major league career, but with Margot there's the promise to at least be average in most other areas of the game. He's never going to be a true monster with the bat, but he'll hit some, and has all the promise of any 19 year old with limited experience.
It's that sort of promise that makes a line of .270/.346/.351 in Lowell intriguing rather than disappointing. When he was playing players closer to his age (see: not fresh out of college, as many short-season pitchers are), Margot put up a .382 OBP in the DSL, drawing 36 walks and striking out just 25 times in 260 at bats. The drop off in 2013 was steep, but not surprising. If he can continue to refine his approach at the plate, and if he develops as well physically as he might be expected to, then suddenly you've put an all-around solid offensive player around an exceptional set of wheels.
Could it all go wrong? Sure, but that's why Margot is #13 instead of #2.
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
- Henry Owens, LHP
- Matt Barnes, RHP
- Blake Swihart, C
- Allen Webster, RHP
- Brandon Workman, RHP
- Mookie Betts, 2B
- Trey Ball, LHP
- Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
- Christian Vazquez, C
- Manuel Margot, CF
By now you all know how this works: 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. As for rules, please stick to just the one vote. That's about it.