Today’s Chowda this morning is to highlight the new articles, regarding the Boston Red Sox minor league prospects, coming out each day this month. BSI’s own Connor Duffy started the ball rolling last night, giving his take on whether Henry Owens or Eduardo Rodriguez is the top pitching prospect for the Red Sox. This series of articles will be coming out each night at 7 p.m. to give Red Sox Nation a chance to read and express their opinions about how much of an impact these players will be in the 2015 season and beyond.
For every Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez, there is a Xander Bogaerts and a Will Middlebrooks. Baseball America’s Alex Speier reported, in his top Red Sox prospects synopsis, that Bogaerts and Middlebrooks “endured lengthy periods in which they appeared overmatched. Middlebrooks struggled with both health and performance and never hit for power…Bogaerts, after a breathtaking start, endured a two and a half month slump that, coincidentally or not, coincided with a temporary move from short to third.” With the signing of the panda himself, Pablo Sandoval, Middlebrooks and Bogaerts would be hard-pressed to make the start at third base. Unless rumors of Sandoval playing first base are true. Whatever the case, both of the recent prospects’ play in 2014 leaves some Beantown fanatics wondering about the significance of young talent.
Look no further than other franchises and their successes or failures with prospects. Ricky Romero was a huge issue, positively and negatively, for the Toronto Blue Jays in recent years. Young talent is always a gamble. Look at Boston’s other prospects last season. Who knew that Betts would make incredible strides in the outfield, when he played the infield most of his life? Who knew that Vazquez would be an incredible catcher, defensively, to give stability to a position that was lacking that leadership since Jason Varitek? The possibilities of these young men are endless, if scouted correctly and risks are taken.
Speier has ranked the top five prospects for this upcoming season for the Red Sox as: 1) Blake Swihart, 2) Henry Owens, 3) Rusney Castillo, 4) Eduardo Rodriguez, and 5) Brian Johnson. Is that how you see these prospects shaping for the Red Sox? Which one do you think will first see time in The Show next season? Is it for sure that Rusney Castillo will make the roster, as so many experts expect? Will Swihart’s better bat and improving defense be enough to take Vazquez’s job? Will Clay Buchholz go from looking like the greatest pitcher for the Red Sox two years ago to being off the starting rotation by a prospect?
All of these are possibilities, but we want you to have your say.
Chew on these ideas and read the articles to follow to get a firm grasp of the minor league system of the Red Sox. Be ready to give your thoughts and ideas. Are any of these prospects ready for the big time? Should some players be handled differently in the farm system? Or do the recent signings and trades for other men make these boys irrelevant?