Boston Red Sox Pre-Season Top 20 in Review
This list was originally published December 1st, 2008. This is a REVIEW of the PRE-SEASON list for 2009, not a revision of that list. This is a REVIEW of the old list. The grade listed is the OLD GRADE. With a few exceptions, I'm not doing new grades or new lists until I start writing the 2010 book.
1) Lars Anderson, 1B, Grade A-: WTF?? .242/.335/.361 in Double-A, still drawing walks but power has vanished, hitting .054 in the last 10 games. He tore up this level last year at this time. Now out with a hamstring injury. If anyone has seen him recently I'd love to get some input on this one. He's too young to write off given his past, but something went wrong here.
2) Michael Bowden, RHP, Grade B+: 3.23 ERA with 78/41 K/BB in 109 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket, 89 hits. Not really a lot left to prove here. Ratios have slipped this year but it hasn't hurt the bottom line much.
3) Daniel Bard, RHP, Grade B: 2.88 ERA with 44/14 K/BB in 34 innings, 25 hits. Always had the terrific stuff. Just needed to improve his command.
4) Josh Reddick, OF, Grade B: .277/.352/.520 in Double-A, has shown some pop in the majors so far, but plate discipline looks like an issue he needs to address.
5) Ryan Westmoreland, OF, Grade B: Hitting .294/.399/.469 with 16 steals in 16 attempts in the New York-Penn League. Awesome tools, looks polished for his age. Stock rising quickly.
6) Michael Almanzar, 3B, Grade B-: Combined .214/.270/.280 in rookie and short-season ball. Good tools but very unrefined, grade looks too high right now.
7) Ryan Kalish, OF, Grade B-: .266/330/.403 with 12 steals since promotion to Double-A, including .311/.388/.547 in his last 27 games. Looks good.
8) Nick Hagadone, LHP, Grade B-: Traded to Indians in V-Mart deal. Small sample size but recovery from Tommy John appears to be on track, 2.93 ERA in 31 innings, 40/16 K/BB. High ceiling, needs to throw strikes.
9) Yamaico Navarro, SS, Grade B-: 45 games at three levels, hitting combined .250/.310/.417 but just .154/.222/.277 in 17 games in Double-A. Sample size problems preclude a broad judgment here.
10) Oscar Tejeda, SS, Grade B-: .245/.303/.328 in 84 games in the Sally League. Not showing any skill growth, stock is dropping.
11) Casey Kelly, SS-RHP, Grade B-: As a pitcher, a Grade B+/A- prospect. As a hitter, a guy with great tools but poor skills, a standard high ceiling/high risk Grade C. When I made the list no one was sure which way he would end up, so I compromised. My guess is that he's never going to be an adequate hitter, but he needs to figure that out himself.
12) Bryan Price, RHP Grade B-: Traded to Indians. Pitched great in the Sally League before the trade, lousy in the Carolina League, has performed well in two starts since switching from Salem to Kinston. I'd say C+ now.
13) Kyle Weiland, RHP, Grade B-: 3.77 ERA with 88/49 K/BB in 107 innings for Salem. Good ground ball rate, other marks so-so, will be interesting to see him in Double-A next year.
14) Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Grade C+: 3.25 ERA with 91/21 K/BB in 100 innings for Greenville, 110 hits. Love the
strike-throwing, but hittable.
15) Stephen Fife, RHP, Grade C+: 2.98 ERA with 59/8 K/BB in 63 innings combined between Greenville and Salem. Another guy who throws strikes and gets grounders. I like him.
16) Argenis Diaz, SS, Grade C+: Traded to Pirates in LaRoche deal. Hitting .243/.304/.291 between Double-A and Triple-A. Bat looks very weak, stock has dropped as a result.
17) Che-Hsuan Lin, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .263/.356/.373 with 21 steals in 29 attempts for Salem. Draws walks, steals bases, will knock an occasional extra-base hit but not sure his bat will be good enough overall. Young at age 20, has time.
18) Luis Exposito, C, Grade C+: Hit .271/.329/.424 for Salem, just promoted to Eastern League and is hot early, .412 in his first eight games though that won't last. Can't say I'm super impressed at this point.
19) Zach Daeges, OF, Grade C+: Hit .172 nine games in April for Pawtucket, out since then with ankle injury.
20) Richard Lentz, RHP, Grade C+: Command collapse in Double-A, 9.12 ERA for Portland with 32/27 K/BB in 25 innings.
The toolsy Latin American infielders aren't developing well with the bat, and Lars Anderson's 2010 reservation in the majors has vanished in a puff of smoke, though it is too early to give up on him long-term. On the positive side, Bard has been great in the pen, and some of the other arms look promising too. Kelly is obviously a pitcher but they have to get him to buy into it. Reddick needs more minor league time in my opinion but has made progress overall. Watch out for Westmoreland next year.