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2015 Red Sox top prospect voting #12: Trey Ball by a hair

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Trey Ball wins...by one vote.

Gail Oskin/Getty Images

There are close votes, and then there's this:

Voting

The voters have spoken, but only just barely: The Trey Ball Project comes in at #11.

At this point, that's kind of what we have to call him whenever he comes up, because nobody is voting for Trey Ball. Nobody particularly wants to talk about Trey Ball, either. At least not as is, because at the moment Ball is a first-round draft pick who couldn't really cut it in Greenville in his first full year of professional baseball. 100 innings on the dot, 52 earned runs, and a 68:39 K:BB is just not impressive.

That's what we were warned about, though, when Ball was first drafted. He's a great athlete who has all the right physical tools and just needs to be molded into the pitcher deserving of the team's earliest pick since Trot Nixon in 1993. And, to the credit of The Trey Ball Project, there's reason to believe that some very real progress was made.

First half Trey Ball: 35.2 IP, 7.07 ERA, 23 K, 15 BB, 0.61 GO:AO

Second half Trey Ball: 64.1 IP, 3.36 ERA, 45 K, 24 BB, 0.84 GO/AO

The dip in ERA is obviously massive. Looking at that you might even say "Well, project complete!" Obviously there's more to it than that. The peripherals were up, but still unimpressive. If his .353 average against was probably artificially high in the first half, the .234 mark against him in the second half was probably artificially low. Minor league BABIP is a tricky thing, mind, and it would be a disservice to The Trey Ball Project to suggest his transformation was entirely luck based. There's a lot to be said for a kid who got by on fastballs in high school learning how to use an off-speed pitch.

What 2015 holds for Ball remains to be seen. While his season as a whole would suggest another stay in Greenville might be in order, the Red Sox are loathe to have top prospects repeat levels. At 20 years old, a delay wouldn't exactly leave Ball behind the curve, but given how well the second half went, it seems more likely they'll challenge him with Salem. If he manages to maintain his momentum from the second half then he, like Chavis, has some of the best potential to rise up the rankings at a rapid pace.

  1. Blake Swihart, C
  2. Henry Owens, LHP
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
  4. Rafael Devers, 3B
  5. Manuel Margot, OF
  6. Brian Johnson, LHP
  7. Garin Cecchini, 3B
  8. Matt Barnes, RHP
  9. Deven Marrero, SS
  10. Michael Chavis, SS
  11. Trey Ball, LHP

Not gonna lie, this one seems likely to go to Sean Coyle given the last round of voting. But maybe all the Ball voters go to one player because you're a strange hive mind I don't know what you do behind closed doors and I don't particularly want to but when the uprising begins please remember I was inclusive of hive minds and didn't just give it to Coyle in fact some of my best friends are hiv But for the sake of propriety...