So I have updated my first projected rosters page, and that is of my favorite team the Boston Red Sox.
Let me start with a disclaimer, these are purely my predictions as to what the rosters will be, based on past production and level, a little bit of research, and my background knowledge of how minor league baseball works. By NO means are these completely accurate (especially batting orders), and are probably completely wrong in some ways. But at least you can get the gist of where some of the key players may be, before rosters are locked in at the end of spring training.
Here are some questions/comments I had with the Sox:
1. I would assume the Red Sox will use the next couple weeks to find a few left handed arms to provide depth in Pawtucket's bullpen. I would think Franklin Morales will either be traded or allowed to start in Pawtucket, if he doesn't make the cut for the big league squad, and that would leave the AAA team with no left handed relievers. This would make some of their righty bullpen arms, like Clay Mortenson, Graham Godfrey, Pedro Beato and Brock Huntzinger, expendable.
2. There's a good chance the Sox will try and deal one of their relief pitchers, as they have eight guys who really should be at the big league level (nine, if you count Bard). Franklin Morales and Alfredo Aceves will probably be shopped the hardest.
3. Jackie Bradley Jr. attended PawSox fan fest and all signs pointed to him starting the season there, but I'm still not convinced that getting him out of Portland that quick, with Alex Hassan and Jeremy Hazelbaker avaiable at the AA level, is necessarily the best thing for his development.
4. I love Portland's starting rotation, especially if Ranaudo finally starts to pitch well. Five guys who have a legitimate shot at helping the big league team very soon, led by Matt Barnes, a top 50 prospect in baseball.
5. I'd like to see Keury de la Cruz in Portland sooner rather than later, but he won't start there. Someone like Ronald Bermudez or Shannon Wilkerson can fill the role for the time being.
6. The Red Sox had to spend a lot to get Ty Buttrey (4th round pick, 2012) to sign, so it will be interesting to see if they assign the 19 year old to full season ball right away. My guess is no.
7. Utility guys Jon Hee, Zach Gentile and Nick Natoli are good guys to have in an organization. But right now I don't see any room for them. That could change though, as injuries start piling up in spring training.
Overall Farm System Grade: B+
Top 10 Prospects for the Red Sox (according to me):
1. Xander Bogaerts, Portland
2. Jackie Bradley Jr., Pawtucket
3. Matt Barnes, Portland
4. Garin Cecchini, Salem
5. Allen Webster, Pawtucket
6. Bryce Brentz, Pawtucket
7. Henry Owens, Salem
8. Rubby de la Rosa, Pawtucket
9. Blake Swihart, Salem
10. Keury de la Cruz Salem
HM: Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, Ty Buttrey, Deven Marrero, Brian Johnson, Pat Light
That's a wrap for now. I'll be back with the Yankees (and maybe Orioles), tomorrow.