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2013 Red Sox Top Prospect Voting #17: The Fall Of Brandon Jacobs

Brandon Jacobs was once one of Boston's most interesting prospects. One bad year later, and he's on the fringes.


On February 14, 2012, Kevin Goldstein published his top 11 prospects list for the Red Sox. Goldstein didn't exactly make any waves by picking Xander Bogaerts as the cream of the crop. Putting Brandon Jacobs second and labeling him a four-star prospect, however, was another story entirely.

We may not have been quite so optimistic about Jacobs here at Over The Monster, but he still earned a top-10 finish in our rankings, coming in ahead of players like Bryce Brentz, Brandon Workman, Junichi Tazawa, and Jackie Bradley. Now things are not looking quite so bright for Jacobs. Part of his fall in the rankings comes from the rise of other players in the system, but more than anything else it's about an unimpressive 2012 campaign, simple as that.

After hitting .303/.376/.505 in Greenville over the course of 2011, Jacobs fell off in every category, managing just .252/.322/.410 in his 2012 campaign with Salem. Interestingly, outside of a small dip in homers from 17 to 13, most of what he lost came in the form of BABIP. His walk and strikeout rates were mostly unchanged, but when he put the ball in play it found a glove more often than in 2011.

Typically that sort of thing would make us assume that Jacobs simply got unlucky this time around, but it's hard to say that given his .327 BABIP on the year. Instead, it seems more likely that it was 2011 that was a misrepresentation of his actual ability. The sample sizes in Jacobs' career are too small to say for sure either way, particularly with minor league BABIP being what it is. Still, given Jacobs' high strikeout rates, he does profile as a guy who needs to hit for power if he's going to make it work.

Alright, doom-and-gloom aside, though, what makes Brandon Jacobs a top-20 prospect? A boat load of tools, his 2011 performance, and the hamate issue that can help to explain away Jacobs' difficult 2012. As such, Jacobs falls into that nebulous group of prospects who could see themselves rise up again in a hurry, but for now are not part of the larger plan. The good news is that he does, perhaps, have a better chance of making it back than players whose poor performances are not explained away easily by injury, or whose injuries are one of their major concerns. But he's still going to have to prove that he's that four-star prospect Kevin Goldstein thought he was after 2011.

Here's the list as it stands:

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  2. Jackie Bradley, OF
  3. Matt Barnes, RHP
  4. Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
  5. Allen Webster, RHP
  6. Garin Cecchini, 3B
  7. Henry Owens, LHP
  8. Bryce "Metal Leg" Brentz
  9. Blake Swihart, C
  10. Brandon Workman, RHP
  11. Jose Iglesias, SS
  12. Deven Marrero, SS
  13. Brian Johnson, LHP
  14. Jose Vinicio, SS
  15. Drake Britton, LHP
  16. Brandon Jacobs, OF

Y'all know the rules, I'd hope.

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.

Vote away!