BNS - Boston Red Sox: Top Prospects for 2013


1. Xander Bogaerts, SS

Currently a defensively proficient shortstop, there is debate whether Bogaerts will remain at the position for the long term or transition to third base or left field as his body grows bigger and stronger. Regardless, the right-handed hitter has a high offensive ceiling. At 19, he opened the 2012 season in the advanced Single-A Carolina League and batted .302 with a .883 OPS to accompany 15 home runs and 64 RBI in 435 plate appearances. As one of the youngest players in the Eastern League when he received a promotion to Double-A Portland, Bogaerts hit .326 with a .948 OPS in 97 plate appearances. If he is moved to left field, Bogaerts could form a prominent outfield with fellow top prospects Jackie Bradley and Bryce Brentz.

2. Matt Barnes, RHP

A first round pick (19th overall) out of the University of Connecticut in 2011, Barnes projects as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter at the Major League level and features a fast ball that ranges from 93-98 along with a an above-average curve ball and a developing change-up. In his first year of professional baseball last season, he logged a 2.86 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 119.2 innings between Single-A Greenville and advanced Single-A Salem (Va.).

3. Jackie Bradley, CF

Likely, if they do not trade him beforehand, the Red Sox will extend Jacoby Ellsbury a qualifying offer next offseason, watch him decline it and get draft pick compensation when he signs elsewhere as a free agent. Boston can afford to let Ellsbury depart because of Bradley, who is considered even better than the veteran as a center fielder and can hit for average. A supplemental first rounder in 2011 out of the University of South Carolina, the 22-year-old Bradley has a .311 average and a .896 OPS in two minor league seasons.

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