Boston Red Sox (97-65, First Place, AL East)
Jackie Bradley, OF: Drafted in the supplemental first round in 2011 from the University of South Carolina, Bradley is a 23 year old outfielder renowned for his defensive ability. He showed some power and on-base skill in Triple-A (.275/.374/.469 for Pawtucket), but was less effective in a couple of big league stints, hitting .189/.280/.337 in 37 games, 95 at-bats. He will get more opportunities and still projects as a regular outfielder who contributes in multiple ways.
Brock Holt, INF: Drafted in the ninth round by the Pirates out of Rice in 2009, Holt is a line drive hitter but didn’t show much pop this year, hitting .258/.327/.309 in 83 games in Triple-A and .203/.275/.237 in 26 games in the majors. He was much more effective in 2012, hitting .344 between Double-A and Triple-A. His true level of ability likely lies in between those two extremes, making the 25 year old a potential bench asset.
Xander Bogaerts, INF: Bogaerts turned 21 this week. Signed out of Aruba in 2009, he hit .297/.388/.477 with 15 homers and 63 walks in the high minors this year, then hit .250/.320/.364 in 44 at-bats for the Red Sox. He’s expected to hit for both power and average as he matures, and he’s solid defensively at both shortstop and third base. Bogaerts is also well-known for excellent makeup and has shown the ability to make adjustments as needed against better competition. I currently rank him as the Number Two prospect in baseball.
Jonathan Diaz, INF: Originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the 12th round in 2006, Diaz is a 28 year old minor league vet who got a brief cup of coffee this year, going 0-for-4 in five games. He hit .253/.358/.316 with 10 steals this year in Triple-A. He is a solid defensive player but won’t contribute much with the bat.
Brandon Workman, RHP: Age 25, Workman was drafted in the second round in 2010 from the University of Texas. Used as a starter in the minors (and a solid one), he was utilized primarily in relief after being promoted to the majors this summer, posting a 4.97 ERA with a 47/15 K/BB ratio in 42 innings. Workman has a starter’s repertoire with a low-90s fastball, curve, changeup, and occasional cutter. His command is generally solid and he projects as an inning-soaking workhorse who would be in the rotation for many teams.
Alex Wilson, RHP: A second round pick in 2009 from Texas A&M, Wilson posted a 4.88 ERA in 28 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen, with a 22/14 K/BB, but was hampered by a thumb injury in the second half and was not on the active roster in September. When healthy, he has a low-90s fastball with a slider and occasional changeup. He was primarily a starter in the minors but scouts generally view him as a middle man. He is 26.
Allen Webster, RHP: Drafted by the Dodgers in the 18th round in 2008 from high school in North Carolina, Webster came to Boston in the big Adrian Gonzalez trade. He had a fine season at Pawtucket (3.60 ERA, 116/43 K/BB in 105 innings, just 71 hits) but struggled with his command in seven major league starts, posting an 8.60 ERA with a 23/18 K/BB in 30 innings. At age 23 he needs more polish, but the stuff for success (mid-90s fastball, slider, changeup) is here and he could be a number three starter if it all comes together. Relief is another possibility.
Drake Britton, LHP: Drafted in the 23rd round in 2007 from high school in Texas, Britton was an erratic but promising starter in the minor leagues but moved to the bullpen after being promoted to Boston in July. Using frequent sliders/cutters and a low 90s fastball, he posted a 3.86 ERA with a 17/7 K/BB in 21 innings of work for Boston. Age 24, he should have a long career as a power bullpen lefty.
Steven Wright, RHP: Drafted by the Indians in the second round in 2006 from the University of Hawaii, 29 year old Wright’s career stalled out in the high minors until he began using a knuckleball a couple of years ago. He posted a 3.46 ERA with a 99/65 K/BB in 135 innings in Triple-A this year, then a 5.40 ERA in 13.1 big league innings. He still has a mid-80s fastball and an occasional curve at his disposal. Wright has made a lot of progress with the knuckler and could be useful as a fifth starter under the right circumstances.