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2012 Red Sox Top Prospect Voting #4: Xander Bogaerts Coasts Into Third

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The third spot on the list was always the one that was going to be obvious. At least here on Over The Monster, the community clearly held that there was a top tier of prospects formed by three men: Xander Bogaerts, Ryan Lavarnway, and Will Middlebrooks. With Lavarnway and Middlebrooks having taken first and second, Bogaerts was pretty much a lock for third.

Of course, that's actually a bit of a hit for Bogaerts, who has made his way to the top of many a prospector's list. And it's not hard to see why, either. As one of the youngest players at his level, Bogaerts tore the cover off the ball with Single-A Greenville. Even though he had some discipline struggles at the plate (hardly surprising at his age), he managed to hit 16 home runs in just 265 at bats en route to a .249 ISO. While he doesn't necessarily project to stay at shortstop long term, the added mass that will cause the shift could well add even more power.

With his breakout year having been predated by Jim Callis calling him our most exciting player to come from the DSL since Hanley Ramirez, it's just hard not to get hyped up about him.

  1. Ryan Lavarnway, C/DH
  2. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
Here's where things get interesting. With the top tier out of the way, the Sox actually have something of a wealth of second-tier prospects. In past years, this has been where the system has sort of fallen short. While the top dogs were always somewhat exciting, and there were some good names to be found up through about number six or seven, this year it seems likely to stay fairly strong into the double digits. While the real meat of the system was once buried in Lowell and Greenville, now they're making their way up to Salem and Portland.

So who will be the first man off the board? Rec away below.