Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus had already weighed in, and now ESPN's Keith Law has completed the major trio by unveiling his midseason top 50 prospects. Like with both BA and BP, no one who is in the majors right now qualifies, even if they just showed up there prior to the list's publication, but that's okay. The Red Sox are still well represented even without Mookie Betts' inclusion.
Lefty Henry Owens and his battery mate Blake Swihart rank number 23 and 27, respectively, in Law's top 50. Law is the only one of the three to put Owens ahead of Swihart, but there's some comfort to that, too, as he has plenty of positive things to say about both.
With Owens, Law makes mention that the ceiling for a number two starter is still there -- not everyone agrees, most notably our friends at Baseball Prospectus. Neither side is wrong, though: as we've discussed before, he has questions he still needs to answer before we know just how productive he'll ultimately be. Law believes his curve has promise left to it, stating it could be "solid-average" if he adds some velocity and tightens it up, while also saying that improved fastball command could be the path to becoming a two. Owens has shown off improved command at Double-A, but he has to show it's a thing at both Triple-A and in the majors still.
As for Swihart, Law declares him Boston's "catcher of the future" and throws out that he might be in that role by this time in 2015. He compliments his receiving, which "continues to improve", and gives the Sox credit for betting on someone with Swihart's raw tools back in the 2011 draft, when he was selected 26th overall with Boston's second first-round pick.
Swihart has recently broken out at Double-A, and could see a promotion by year's end in the same way Christian Vazquez did last year, if not sooner than that. Owens is just waiting for a spot to open up in Triple-A: whether that spot opens up when Jake Peavy is traded and Brandon Workman is permanently promoted, or when the Sox do something like deal from their minor-league pitching depth in the next couple of weeks, is unknown. The next open spot is his, though, and that's a good thing, as he looks like he could use a challenge once again.
Curious where Mookie Betts would have ranked were he eligible? Law was kind enough to share that with us, telling us on Twitter that Betts would probably have ranked "in the late teens." Like with Prospectus and Baseball America, Betts would have been tops among this trio -- 2014 isn't looking great for the Sox, but the future has promise.