Over 100 votes have decided who OTM.com's No. 1 prospect should be: Jacoby Ellsbury. It was a landslide, really. Ellsbury earned 82 votes, 70% of the total to take the top spot. [Editor's Note: I voted for Ellsbury. Allen's a chump and voted for Clay Buchholz]
Now it's a little harder, though. Who should slide in behind Buchholz at the No. 3 spot? There's about four prospects that could earn that honor:
MIF Jed Lowrie (SoxProspects.com Player Profile)
RHP Justin Masterson (SoxProspects.com Player Profile)
RHP Michael Bowden (SoxProspects.com Player Profile)
1B Lars Anderson (SoxProspects.com Player Profile)
In my personal opinion, Anderson isn't quite in the No. 3 league yet, but, like a lot of these guys, his ceiling is really high. That really doesn't say anything though because this is a prospects list; everything is factored in (potential, current ability, etc.).
I really like Bowden, but I think he lost some ground last season. After his promotion to Portland he began to struggle. I still think he can turn it around and be a great pitcher, though. I expect him to head back to Portland at the start of the season and be quickly promoted to Pawtucket.
Masterson has a lot of talent, but hasn't really dominated any league that he's pitched in outside of Lowell. His Lancaster ERA was 4.33 in 95.2 innings. His Portland ERA was almost the same thing, 4.34 in only 58.0 innings. However, his jump to Portland proved to be better because his strikeouts rose while his hits decreased. Masterson should join the Sea Dogs at the start of the '08 season.
Lowrie, a very similiar player to our own Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia, had his stock rise in 2007. After hitting .262 in Wilmington in 2006, Lowrie was promoted to Pawtucket in '07 after batting .297 in Portland. At the AAA level, Lowrie's home runs rose (5 HR in 160 ABs vs. 8 HR in 337 ABs) but his walks dropped (.356 OBP). Lowrie will be an interesting player to watch this season as he returns to Pawtucket and tries to find a spot in the Boston lineup.
To vote in the poll, click "Entry Link" at the bottom. If you choose "Other," please leave a comment saying who.