It's been a busy week for ESPN's Keith Law on the prospect side, as he released his organization rankings (the Red Sox were fifth), his top-100 (the Sox had five prospects on it), and now to finish things off he's unveiled his top-10 for each of the 30 teams. It's mostly an opportunity to see who prospects number six through 10 are for the Sox, given we already have seen those first five.
Just to recap, catcher Blake Swihart, starting pitchers Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez, and low-level prospects Rafael Devers and Manuel Margot made up the first five. They're followed by third baseman Garin Cecchini, right-hander Matt Barnes, lefty Brian Johnson, shortstop Deven Marrero, and 2014 first-round pick and third baseman Michael Chavis. Even though the list only goes to 10, Law also mentioned who ranks 11th: 2014 trade acquisition and southpaw Edwin Escobar, who should be Pawtucket's fifth starter this year.
While Cecchini's stock has fallen -- Law has ranked him among the top-50 prospects in the game on previous occasions -- he still believes the 24-year-old could start for a number of teams right now. He might have to, at some point, given that Boston's offseason acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval block him at the two positions he could have played. The same goes for Matt Barnes, who is going to be in Pawtucket for 2015 barring an injury or two at the big-league level. Law feels the same way about Brian Johnson that we all should: there is promise here for a back-end starter, and a good one, but his floor is the highest of all the pitchers in the system and that matters for ranking purposes. Don't get overly excited about him, but don't sell him short on his potential as a viable big-league arm, either.
We're not going to spoil everything Law says here -- his rankings are behind a paywall, after all -- but it is worth sharing with the class that he thinks highly of 2014 second-round selection Sam Travis. Law thinks the first baseman could start with Double-A Portland after just 289 plate appearances in short-season ball and Low-A, with a chance to make the top-100 next year should he show off the power Law believes is there. Given the Red Sox have no real first base prospects in the system -- Travis Shaw still has decision-making problems at the plate and a bat that's maybe too slow for the majors -- that would be a significant change for Boston.
What's most comforting about this list from Law is that he discusses these 10 prospects, but then goes to talk about another 10 prospects in the system who could have productive futures. As has been the case with Ben Cherington's Red Sox, there is just so much depth in this system, and it gives Boston options in every facet of player acquisition.