2014 Minor League Keeper Thoughts: Boston Red Sox

Jim Rogash

The prospect staff at Fake Teams continues their fantasy prospect rankings and system reviews with an in-depth look at the Boston Red Sox.

The prospect staff here at Fake Teams will be taking an in-depth look at each major league organization, including our top 10 fantasy prospects, an overview of the organization's minor league system as a whole and potential opportunities for playing time in 2014. Our goal is to provide you with more information as you prepare for minor league drafts for dynasty and keeper leagues, as well as look at players that could potentially be worth watching during the spring, as they could be in line to potentially help your fantasy team. We will be reviewing two teams per week until we are through all 30 teams, and you can see the schedule of when your favorite team will be reviewed below.

System Schedule

AL East

AL Central

AL West

NL East

NL Central

NL West

Baltimore

Chicago
(10/31)

Houston
(11/18)

Atlanta
(12/5)

Chicago
(12/23)

Arizona
(1/9)

Boston
(10/17)

Cleveland
(11/4)

Los Angeles
(11/21)

Miami
(12/9)

Cincinnati
(12/26)

Colorado
(1/13)

New York
(10/21)

Detroit
(11/7)

Oakland
(11/25)

New York
(12/12)

Milwaukee
(12/30)

Los Angeles
(1/16)

Tampa Bay
(10/24)

Kansas City
(11/11)

Seattle
(11/28)

Philadelphia
(12/16)

Pittsburgh
(1/2)

San Diego
(1/20)

Toronto
(10/28)

Minnesota
(11/14)

Texas
(12/2)

Washington
(12/19)

St. Louis
(1/6)

San Francisco
(1/23)

Organizational Overview
By Jason Hunt (@jasonsbaseball)

The 2013 season may not be over for the Red Sox as of this writing, but we do know that the minor leagues took a step forward during the year. The name at the top of the list remains the same with Xander Bogaerts looking to be the starting shortstop for the team in 2014, but we saw a number of changes as we move down the list. For many of the players in our top 10, it was less about changes to what they could be if everything worked out, and more about performing in such a way that our vision of their floor moved that much closer to their ceiling.

Due to the poor finish in the 2012 season, the Red Sox picked in the top 10 for the first time in nearly 20 years, and took the opportunity to draft an athletic lefty from Indiana in Trey Ball. At this point Ball is a dream, a projectable high school lefty who has only thrown seven innings as a professional, but could move up dramatically next year as the performance starts to give us a better idea of how close he can come to his ceiling. Another name to watch from their draft this year is catching prospect Jon Denney, who fell to the Sox in the 3rd round, as he could be an impact prospect on both sides of the ball.

The organization has set itself up in such a manner that despite a number of their top prospects being in the high minors, they are not necessarily needed in the majors as of now. This gives them not only the depth to weather injuries or ineffectiveness, but also potentially providing them with additional trade chips to acquire any other needs that may happen as the 2014 season progresses. In addition, the overall depth of the system will likely put them as a top 10 system overall, as a number of prospects that fell outside of our top 10 would likely be in the 5-7 range in a number of organizations.

In terms of where the Red Sox find their talent, they have been extremely active in Latin America and specifically the Dominican Republic (28) and Venezuela (40), while also finding diamonds in other countries like Aruba (Bogaerts) as well. The graphic below maps the birthplaces of all players rostered by a Boston minor league affiliate in 2013 (data courtesy of Baseball Reference).

Bos_map_medium

2013 Graduates

The following players have surpassed their rookie maximums of 130 AB, 50 IP, or 45 days of service time prior to September 1st of this year.

Jose Iglesias (traded to Tigers), Brandon Workman (service time), Alex Wilson (service time), Drake Britton (service time)

Major League Opportunities in 2014

By Jason Hunt (@jasonsbaseball)

The team has a few positions where there is an outgoing player to replace, but honestly the team is pretty well set at most positions. There aren't likely to be any openings in the starting rotation for at least the 2014 season unless a trade is made, as there are actually 6 pitchers who could fill the five spots there. The team locked up Dustin Pedroia to a long-term contract extension this year, filling second base through the 2021 season.

The key free agent for the Red Sox this offseason has to be Jacoby Ellsbury. If the team decides that they do not want to retain their All-Star center fielder, look for Jackie Bradley to get the first chance to win the starting job outright. If the team ends up keeping Ellsbury, they could try either to shift Jonny Gomes to first base (an unlikely scenario) and start Bradley, or more likely shop Bradley to help fill other needs.

Shortstop Stephen Drew is also a free agent this offseason, but the Red Sox have all but said that Xander Bogaerts will be given the opportunity to lose that job in Spring Training. First base is also open, but the team does not really have a prospect ready for that position, and honestly this may be the easiest position of any to fill via free agency, with a number of solid options available that could be had for one year deals.

The bigger issue for the Sox stems from the catcher position, where Jarrod Saltalamacchia has established himself as one of the better options on a relatively weak crop of free agents. The team's top prospect at the position, Blake Swihart, played at High-A this year and isn't likely to be ready for another season at least. Look for the team to try to resign Salty, and if failing that, could look to target a catcher via trade.

Top 10 Fantasy Prospects

By Andrew Ball (@andrew_ball)

Our top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are based upon standard 5x5 fantasy baseball leagues, with a balancing of ceiling and present value. While we are having discussions regarding these lists as a collective group, the top 10 fantasy prospect rankings are finalized by the writer listed above. Players are no longer considered prospects once they exceed either 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days of service time in the Majors prior to September 1st.

20130217_jla_su8_087.0
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

#1 Xander Bogaerts (SS)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.293

79

16

72

8

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

565

.382

.467

12.0%

19.1%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

R/R

On 40 man (3 options)

AA, AAA, MLB

Already considered a top-50 prospect in the game by nearly every outlet entering 2012, Bogaerts crushed Eastern and International League pitching en route to winning USA Today's Minor League Player of the Year and earning a promotion to Boston. He wasn't always the most coveted player in the system, though, signing out of Aruba in 2009 for just $410,000 and failing to make much more than sleeper prospect lists after his professional debut. All of that changed the following year when he blasted 16 home runs in roughly half a season in the South Atlantic League, and he hasn't looked back since.

At the plate, Bogaerts exudes confidence and hits for power without selling out, instead using an easy, fluid swing and plus bat speed to translate his raw power into games. While his recognition skills are still developing, they already are quite strong for a young player and he should be able to keep a 100 point difference between his average and on-base percentage. Bogaerts is a special talent, a potential middle-of-the order force and a perennial All-Star, and he might just do that at shortstop.

Early on, most expected him to outgrow the position, but now it looks increasingly like his footwork and athleticism will allow him to stay there at least for the first few years of his career. Given the impending departure of Stephen Drew and the recent resurgence of Will Middlebrooks, it look as though he will be the Red Sox' opening day shortstop in 2014, making him an immediate favorite for AL Rookie of the Year and a target for owners in most formats next year.

#2 Blake Swihart (C)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

.298

45

2

42

7

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

422

.366

.428

9.7%

14.9%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

S/R

Not on 40 man (Protect after 2015)

DNP

After starring for the U.S. National squad in 2010, Swihart was taken 26th overall by the Red Sox in the 2011 draft and signed him for $2.5 million, a franchise record for a position player. When drafted, he had been catching full-time for just over a year and many were convinced that he was destined for another defensive home. Now, however, not only does it look like he'll be a backstop, but it also looks as though he'll be able to impact the game with the glove, showing at least average receiving skills and a plus arm on throws to second.

As he has learned the nuances of catching, his bat has progressed somewhat slowly, but his long-term outlook remains strong. A switch-hitter, Swihart has a compact, easy stroke from both sides, with good bat speed and control. His swing is naturally geared for line drives and lacks the leverage desired in power hitters, but with the amount of loud, hard contact he makes it's difficult to not envision him sending at least 12-15 balls over fences annually. What really sets him apart, though, is his hit tool. He already handles plus velocity and controls the strike zone well for his age.

A unique player in his own right, Swihart has often been compared to Buster Posey because of his athleticism and hitting prowess. He should be set to start 2014 in Double-A, and it's safe to expect somewhat of a breakout at the plate. Switch-hitting catchers with quality hit tools don't exactly manifest very often, making Swihart a prized asset regardless if the power ever becomes average, with the potential for a top-round talent if it develops.

#3 Henry Owens (LHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

11

0

2.67

1.13

169

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

104.2

0.6

0.89

12.0%

30.4%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

L/L

Not on 40-man Roster (Protect after 2015)

A+, AA

It's fitting that Owens ranks just behind Blake Swihart on our list, considering he was selected just ten picks after him in what is lining up to be a banner 2011 draft class for Boston. Signed for $1.55 million, the California prepster was somewhat limited in his pro debut, throwing just over 100 innings in 2012. During that year he registered a 4.87 ERA, though he pitched much better than that number, racking up well over a strikeout per inning and finishing with a respectable 3.47 FIP. In 2013, Owens built on that performance in a big way, posting a 2.67 ERA and racking up 169 strikeouts in 135 innings across two levels. Owens was one of the most unhittable pitchers in all of the minors this past season, limiting opposing batters to a .177 average. Most impressively, he really flourished upon his promotion to Double-A. In his six starts with Portland, Owens compiled a 1.78 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 46/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 30.1 frames.

On his good days, the lanky 6'7" southpaw pitches at 91-93, touching 95, but he needs to find consistency and hold that velocity deep into his outings. His secondary pitches include a big breaking curveball and a changeup, both of which should turn into at least average pitches. At times, he is able to get whiffs with all three offerings, and there doesn't seem to be much question whether or not he can remain a starter. His placement in a rotation will come down to control and command. Owens has walked over 11% of batters he has faced to this point and he has a habit of leaving pitches up and over the plate. Still, as a lefty with a history of missing bats, Owens likely will mature into a number three starter on a championship caliber club.

20120725_kdl_sm8_266.0
Photo Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

#4 Matt Barnes (RHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

6

0

4.13

1.44

142

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

113.1

0.9

1.12

9.8%

28.5%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

23

R/R

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2014)

AA, AAA

Yet another member of the illustrious 2011 draft class, Barnes was Boston's top pick that season, taken 19th overall out of UConn and signing for $1.5 million right before the deadline. Making his debut in 2012, Barnes made a mockery of the SAL (26.2 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 42 K) before a promotion to Hi-A Salem where the righty was at least tested, finishing the year with a 3.58 ERA over 20 Carolina League starts.

Entering 2013, Barnes ranked as Baseball America's #40 overall prospect and many, myself included, felt that he would have a legitimate shot at reaching Boston before season's end. Alas, Barnes had some ups and downs at Double-A, largely due to a lack of progress with his secondary pitches. Barnes' fastball is already a plus pitch, sitting 94-96 with riding arm-side life, but his curveball and changeup are both somewhat pedestrian by comparison and neither pitch projects to be more than an average offering at this point.

Average or not, if he can command them, he can work in the middle of a rotation, eating innings with his big fastball and his frame. And the downside is a quality reliever because that fastball will play up in shorter spurts. Expect Barnes to start the year in Pawtucket and he should make his first big league start some time in 2014.

More on Barnes: Prospect Profile (May 2012)

20130714_jla_ae5_056.0
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

#5 Garin Cecchini (3B)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

.322

80

7

61

23

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

557

.443

.471

16.8%

15.4%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

22

L/R

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect after 2014)

A+, AA

Like Swihart, Cecchini came to Boston after playing for the U.S. 18U national team, where he lead the unit - that included Bryce Harper - in both slugging (.708) and on-base percentage (.529) during the Pan American Junior Championship. His strong showing in the games may have been enough to push him into the first round of the 2010 draft, but a right knee injury that he suffered that March dropped him to the fourth round where the Sox were more than happy to take him.

Cecchini is a dangerous type of prospect, because so much of his value hinges on his hit tool, but to this point it looks like the tool can carry that responsibility. Through 279 professional games, he holds a .312 batting average, including a .296 mark in Double-A to round out 2013. What separates him from most young hitters is his approach. Each at bat is a meticulous battle with Cecchini picking his spots and jumping on mistakes when he gets them. That very approach is responsible for his near 1:1 strikeout to walk rate and his outstanding .417 on-base percentage.

He should be able to carry both the hitting ability and the on-base skills on to the next level, but the real question is how much power will he have? Cecchini does have 109 extra-base hits in his career, though only 14 of those have actually cleared a fence on the fly and the general consensus says he won't ever be a big home run threat. Also, you can somewhat ignore the big steal totals he's posted because that likely won't translate. Cecchini has stolen bases in the minors on instincts and smarts, he is not a good runner, nor does he project to swipe bases. Blocked by Will Middlebrooks, Cecchini will be ticketed for Portland to continue his development as a regular at the hot corner in Boston, or elsewhere in a trade.

#6 Mookie Betts (2B)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

0.314

93

15

65

38

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

551

.417

.506

14.7%

10.3%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

21

R/R

Not on 40-man Roster (Protect After 2015)

A, A+

With all the talent in Boston's farm system, it's somewhat easy to overlook a diminutive second baseman like Mookie Betts, a possible reason he couldn't even crack the team's top-30 prospects a year ago according to Baseball America. Now, though, I think we can safely assume that the 5'9" middle infielder will crack the list after a banner 2013 season that earned him Boston's Minor League Offensive Player of the Year award.

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Betts signed for $750,000 and turned down a commitment to the University of Tennessee to enter the Red Sox system. Back then, Betts was known for the premium athleticism that made him an all-state basketball player as well as the Tennessee state boys' bowler of the year in 2010, more than he was his actual baseball skills. Upon entering the system, Betts briefly played shortstop before switching full-time to second base where he looks much more at home.

At the plate, he's short to the ball with pop, just not the over-the-monster type. If he continues his progression, he can be a .280, 12 homer stick, which is above average at the position these days. Not a true burner, Betts still has enough speed and instincts to swipe 30+ bases a year.

I worry some about the helium he's gained from last season, but that's not to say he's not a quality player. He'll see regular at bats in Double-A next year as a 21-year-old, and Boston can afford to take it slow with him considering Dustin Pedroia's new extension means he'll be manning the position for the foreseeable future regardless of Betts' development.

#7 Trey Ball (LHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

0

0

6.43

2.29

5

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

7

1.3

0.67

13.9%

16.7%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

19

L/L

Not on 40 Man Roster (Protect After 2017)

R

Thanks to 2012's 69-win club, Boston was granted the seventh pick in the 2013 draft, the first time the team has had a top-10 selection since 1993. With the pick, the Red Sox drafted Ball, an uber-athletic, high school lefty from Indiana. Prior to his senior season, clubs were somewhat divided on whether his future was brighter as a position player or a pitcher, but after an excellent season on the mound the question somewhat evaporated. Early on in the year, Ball solidified himself as the top southpaw available, sitting 91-94 with his fastball, though he did wear down a bit late in the season, leading to his ugly numbers in the Gulf Coast League.

Despite a 6-foot-6 frame, Ball has plenty of room to fill out physically at just 180 pounds and as he does he should add velocity and be better equipped to hold up for full seasons. For a tall pitcher he already controls and repeats his delivery exceptionally well, a trait that will help him with future command. We can credit that to the same athleticism that made him a top-five round talent as an outfielder.

Another plus is that unlike most amateur hurlers, Ball already has a quality changeup because his father would not let him throw a breaking pitch until his senior year. He's comfortable with the cambio, throwing it with good arm speed and fade. The curveball is farther behind, but he has some feel for spinning it and it should be at least an average pitch. Once signed, Over the Monster asked BP's Jason Parks, BA's Connor Glassey, ESPN's Chris Crawford, and BPN's Mark Anderson where he fit among Sox prospects, and the consensus was somewhere in the middle of the top-10, but they all somewhat agree that he has the highest ceiling of Boston's pitching prospects. While he's a long ways away from finished (hence the ranking), Ball has the makeup, athleticism, and quality last name to become a number two starter at maturation.

#8 Jonathan Denney (C)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

.203

9

0

2

2

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

96

.379

.243

18.8%

30.2%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

19

R/R

Not on 40-Man Roster (Protect After 2017)

R

While not the deepest in recent memory, the 2013 draft was very strong in one area: high school catchers. And although Reese McGuire and Nick Ciuffo were picked earlier, Denney may end up the best of the bunch. His best trait, and the one that lends itself quite well to his fantasy future, is his right-handed power, evidenced by a 431-foot blast he hit during the Area Code Games in 2012.

His power comes from leverage and a short path to the ball more than bat speed, a reason for the large number of swing and misses in his pro debut. That said, he also walked in nearly 18% of his plate appearances and he should hit enough to tap into the power potential. Power like Denney's would play at almost any position on the diamond, but encouragingly most like him to stay a catcher long-term. The Red Sox' development staff will be able to work with him on softening his hands and wrists, receiving, and getting his feet in better position to throw, given that he has the physical tools to make those adjustments.

Minor League Ball's Matt Garrioch profiled Denney in March, raving about his star potential and a swing that Garrioch feels is better than Wil Myers at the same stage. If the bat does turn out to be that special, he may be moved off of the position to speed up his time to the majors. But if he can catch, and develop into an offensive weapon as hoped, Denney will have extreme value to the Red Sox and fantasy owners.

20130217_jla_su8_088.0
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

#9 Jackie Bradley (OF)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

.255

75

13

45

9

SECONDARY STATISTICS

PA

OBP%

SLG%

BB%

K%

481

.353

.439

10.6%

22.0%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

23

L/R

On 40 man (2 options)

AAA, MLB

After making the Red Sox' 2013 Opening Day Roster, it certainly felt as though Bradley would not qualify for this list heading into 2014, but injuries and the strong play of Daniel Nava negated the need for JBJ to spend the entire year in Boston. That may change in 2014, however, because Scott Boras client Jacoby Ellsbury may not be back in Beantown next year, opening an everyday role for Bradley. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the former South Carolina star is much more suited to help the Sox than any fantasy squad.

He is an outstanding centerfielder with great instincts, quickness, and a plus arm to top it off. That's great for Boston, and for their pitching staff, but it's not relevant to any scoring categories. Also, while he should be a quality hitter (~.270 average, ~.340 OBP), Bradley won't hit for a ton of power, nor will he come anywhere close to replacing Ellsbury on the bases. In his best years, Bradley is a probably a 15/15 candidate, basically making him a statistical copy of Denard Span. He certainly won't be worthless to owners, and his floor is higher than many on this list, but Bradley ultimately lacks the elite offensive upside preferred in fantasy prospects.

21233493/20130217_jla_su8_267.0
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

#10 Allen Webster (RHP)

FANTASY STATISTICS (ALL LEVELS)

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

K

9

0

4.73

1.15

139

SECONDARY STATISTICS

IP

HR/9

GO/AO

BB%

K%

135.1

1.06

1.24

9.6%

27.86%

OTHER INFORMATION

AGE ON 1/1/2014

B/T

ROSTER STATUS

LEVELS

23

R/R

On 40 man (2 options)

AAA, MLB

Allen Webster came over from the Dodgers last season as part of the Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford mega-deal, making him the only player on this list that wasn't initially signed by the Red Sox. Mainly a shortstop in high school, a Dodgers' scout happened to see him on the mound late in the year, and after hitting 92 mph on the gun a few times, Los Angeles took him in the 18th round and signed him for a paltry $20,000. Since, he's made a steady rise through the minors, posting an ERA over 4.00 just twice among his nine stops, while averaging close to a punchout per inning. In 2013, he pitched very well in Triple-A (105.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 71 H, 43 BB, 116 K) before a rough 30-inning big league debut to close out the year.

His arsenal is that of a front of the rotation starter; a four-seamer that touches 97 with heavy, heavy sink, an extremely deceptive changeup with plus fade and depth, and an above average slider that he uses with two strikes. The slider is a nightmare when he is locating his fastball down in the zone, an 85-88 late biting pitch that looks like the heater until the very last moment. At times his stuff is so good, with so much movement, that Webster has trouble harnessing it, which has caused some spurts of wildness in the past.

What really hurt him in the big leagues, though, was a propensity for giving up the long ball. Webster allowed seven home runs in his 30 innings, an extremely high rate, especially considering that he allowed just 28 big flys in nearly 600 minor league innings. Assuming that corrects itself, Webster should contribute to Boston's rotation next year. He won't be an elite starter, but Webster still has all the makings of a solid number three with strikeout potential.

Other Interesting Prospects

By Andrew Ball (@andrew_ball)

These prospects fell outside of our top 10 for the organization, but think they are worth a mention as they could be interesting for fantasy owners. This section may not be completed for every team, as some teams simply don't have more than 10 really interesting fantasy prospects.

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP - After his finest season as a pro in 2013 (2.96 ERA, 8.2 K/9), Ranaudo is back on track to contribute as a big league arm. Unfortunately, a lack of any plus offering and fringy command give him the outlook of a back of the rotation starter or a bullpen arm.

Rafael Devers, 3B - One of the top players available in the July 2 international signing period, Devers has a big ceiling thanks to his advanced feel for hitting and power potential. With that ceiling comes a lot of risk considering that Devers is a 16-year-old with a good amount of doubt that he can stick at third base.

Ty Buttrey, RHP - Buttrey was considered a first round talent in the 2012 draft, but a high price tag and a strong commitment to Arkansas dropped him to the Red Sox in the fourth round, where Boston signed him for $1.3 million. Buttrey is a 6-foot-6, 230 pound horse that has delivered a 2.18 ERA in his first 66 professional innings, but he also has just 40 strikeouts, 22 walks, and he's yet to pitch in a full season league. 2014 will be a big year for his development if he wants to come close to his ceiling of a number two starter.

Manuel Margot, OF - Despite being the youngest player in the New York-Penn League this year, Margot more than held his own hitting .270/.346/.351 with 18 steals in 185 at bats. He needs to add strength to his frame, which in turn may allow him to grow into average power, but he already flashes five-tool potential and he has the potential of another Jacoby Ellsbury.

Brandon Workman, RHP - While not eligible for the list due to his service time this year (and also the oldest player we discussed at 24-years-old), Workman has the highest floor considering he proved to be effective enough this year in relief (47 strikeouts in 41.2 innings) that Boston is carrying him on their ALCS roster. I think he stays in the pen, but there is a chance he shifts back to the rotation and becomes a number three or four starter.

Bryce Brentz, OF - Brentz doesn't approach the ceiling of many on our list, but will be ready to contribute possibly as soon as 2014. Brentz has one carrying tool - his right-handed power - though it remains to be seen if he'll ever make enough contact to really tap into it. He owns a career .209 ISO in the minor leagues, but his lack of bat to ball skills may limit him to a second division regular or a platoon option at best.

Jamie Callahan, RHP -One of the youngest players in his draft class, Callahan should make his full-season debut in 2014 as a 19-year-old. He throws four pitches, a four seamer that touches 94, a 12-6 curveball, a slider, and a changeup, all showing the potential to at least become average pitches. Due to his age and inexperience, we couldn't rank Callahan in the top-10 in a system this talented, but in deeper dynasty and keeper formats, he is definitely a name to keep on your radar.

For more on the Red Sox, be sure to check out SBNation's Over the Monster. For more on the minor leagues and prospects in general, check out SBNation's Minor League Ball.

About the Authors

Jason Hunt is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in the minor leagues and prospects.
Follow him on Twitter

Andrew Ball is a contributing writer for Beyond the Box Score and Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Brian Creagh is a contributing writer for Fake Teams, specializing in fantasy baseball and the minor leagues.
Follow him on Twitter

Sources

Baseball America
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Reference
Fangraphs
Over the Monster
SoxProspects
Vimeo
Youtube

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