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Boston Red Sox Top 20 Prospects

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  1. Hanley Ramirez, SS, A-
  2. Jon Papelbon, RHP, B+
  3. Brandon Moss, OF, B+
  4. Anibal Sanchez, RHP, B
  5. Jon Lester, LHP, B
  6. Dustin Pedroia, SS, B
  7. Christian Lara, SS, B-
  8. Luis Soto, SS, B-
  9. Kelly Shoppach, C, B-
  10. Abe Alvarez, LHP, B-
  11. Ian Bladergroen, 1B, B-
  12. Andrew Dobies, LHP, B-
  13. Manny Delcarmen, RHP, C+
  14. Jeremy West, 1B, C+
  15. Mickey Hall, OF, C+
  16. Cla Meredith, RHP, C+
  17. Tommy Hottovy, LHP, C+
  18. David Pauley, RHP, C+
  19. Mike Rozier, LHP, C+
  20. Kyle Bono, RHP, C+
This system has improved greatly in a short period of time, due to better drafting and the development of a few holdovers from the previous administration. Hanley took a big step forward last year, and while I think he needs another year to consolidate his progress, I'm much more confident in his future than I was a year ago at this time.

Papelbon and Moss also took major steps forward last year, Moss in particular although some are still skeptical about his long-term power potential. Anibal Sanchez and Jon Lester are prototype members of the risky young pitching demographic. I think Sanchez has the higher ceiling. Grade B is a very conservative grade for him. If he stays healthy he'll be at least a B+ at this time next year.

Three sharp middle infielders slot in at 6 through 8. Lara and Soto have better physical tools and projection than Pedroia, but are also riskier. One or both could move ahead of Dustin if they develop their athleticism. As for Pedroia himself, he isn't a super-athlete but he is one hell of a baseball rat. Hitting .336 in the Florida State League a month out of college, while playing errorless ball at shortstop, has to be respected.

Polished college pitchers like Dobies and Alvarez provide some depth for the farm system, even if they project as "useful" rather than "dominant" at the Major League level. Several college pitchers drafted in the middle rounds last year also had successful debuts. I particularly like Wichita State lefty Tommy Hottovy as a sleeper.

Mickey Hall and Mike Rozier are toolsy high school kids with very high physical ceilings. They're both risky, but have massive upside. They also demonstrate that the New Model Red Sox will take chances on high school kids in the draft, mixing raw guys with more polished college players. I think it is a very effective way to build a farm system. Other interesting prospects who slot in the 21-30 range include LHP Randy Beam, Juan Cedeno, and Brian Marshall, RHP Jose Vaquedano and Beau Vaughan.