Happy Thanksgiving to all readers of BoSox Injection out there! The Red Sox front office never takes a day off though, and like them, I must continue my analysis of the top Red Sox prospects at every position. Today’s outpost will be right field, a position where (like center field, third base, and catcher), they are top heavy. That solo high-ranking prospect is Bryce Brentz (#6 on SoxProspects), and beyond him they have a mix of players who could play right, but haven’t done so much. Luckily, Brentz’s major league debut is likely right around the corner and hopefully we won’t have to worry about the rest.
1. Bryce Brentz- Brentz is one of those guys that about half of Red Sox fans love and the other half has more of a “meh” reaction. I’m not firmly in either category, but I do really love Brentz’s raw right-handed power, a trait which plays nicely into Fenway Park. In 2012, he batted .290/.349/.465 with 17 home runs between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. Although he is a bit too aggressive at the plate right now, he should be able to work on that with more practice. I think that Brentz should be a solid starting right fielder for the Red Sox sooner rather than later.
2. J.C. Linares- I was a bit surprised that Linares did not make his major league debut last September. He’s on the 40-man roster, and hit fairly well between Portland and Pawtucket (.316/.364/.510, 16 home runs, 62 RBIs). Linares is no longer a true prospect at 28 and I would’ve expected the Red Sox to give him a cup of coffee, much as they did with Mauro Gomez, who is also 28. Maybe we’ll see him next year, but it looks like his days in the Red Sox organization may be numbered.
3. Henry Ramos- Ramos fits the stereotype of the high-ceiling, low-floor, very young Caribbean prospect. The Puerto Rican native signed with the Red Sox at the age of 18, and now 20, spent the year with Single-A Greenville. He put together a decent year there, at .254/.327/.408 with 8 home runs and 12 steals. He has potential to hit for solid average and speed, but that may be many years away at this rate.
Brentz is the only one of these prospects who I expect to really make a large impact at the major league level. If he continues his progression well, he could easily be up mid-season (especially with the injury problems the Red Sox have had in recent seasons). I could see either J.C. Linares or Henry Ramos being a throw-in in a trade for an outfielder or pitcher this offseason and maybe never see Fenway Park in person. Hopefully at least Brentz stays for a while though.