January 9, 2007

THEO-LOGY:

Future Shock: Boston Red Sox Top Ten Prospects (Kevin Goldstein, 1/09/07, Baseball Prospectus)

Excellent Prospects
1. Clay Buchholz, rhp

Very Good Prospects
2. Jacoby Ellsbury, cf
3. Michael Bowden, rhp

Good Prospects
4. Jason Place, cf
5. Daniel Bard, rhp
6. Bryce Cox, rhp

Average Prospects
7. Dustin Pedroia, 2b
8. Craig Hansen, rhp
9. Kris Johnson, lhp
10. Justin Masterson, rhp

1. Clay Buchholz, rhp

DOB: 8/14/84
Height/Weight: 6-3/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted: 1st round, 2005, Angelina (Texas) JUCO
What he did in 2006: 2.62 ERA at Low A (103-78-29-117); 1.13 ERA at High A (16-11-4-23)

The Good: Every part of game took a step forward in 2006. Fastball bumped up from low-to-mid 90s, curveball moved into plus status, changeup remained outstanding as ever and control got better. Added all up, this is a tremendous leap.

The Bad: The biggest concerns are just one of a regression. By the end of 2006, he had no major issues - throwing three-plus pitches for strikes with clean mechanics. He's yet to really be tested, and some would like to see him put a few pounds on to help his stamina.

The Irrelevant: While Buchholz set new single-season records for ERA (1.05) and strikeouts (129) during his one year at Angelina, he has a long way to go to become the most famous alumni. That honor goes to Mark Calaway, better known as professional wrestling's "The Undertaker."

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: An early-rotation starter.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Average - During trade talks in the offseason, most teams were asking about Buchholz over anyone else, and he seems to be unavailable on any level. The Red Sox might skip him to Double-A to avoid the California League.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, cf

DOB: 9/11/83
Height/Weight: 6-1/185
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted: 1st round, 2005, Oregon State

What he did in 2006: .299/.379/.418 at Low A (281 PA); .308/.387/.434 at AA (225 PA)

The Good: Prototypical leadoff hitter/centerfielder. Excellent bat speed and good pitch recognition allows him to lace line drives all over the field. He's a 70 runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale), and knows how to use it - excellent base stealer and outstanding range in the outfield.

The Bad: Power ceiling is limited. Hit for a good average and draws a good numbers of walks, but neither skill is overwhelming enough to project as a real impact player, as opposed to simply good. Below-average arm.

The Irrelevant: While this has probably changed since he received his $1.4 million signing bonus, Ellsbury listed his favorite restaurant on his college media guide bio as The Olive Garden. Live it up a little, Jacoby.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: An every day leadoff man/centerfielder. Wait, I already said that.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low - Ellsbury is moving quickly, as there is a need for a player like him in Boston. Depending on roster shenanigans, he'll start the year at Double- or Triple-A and should be up before the season is out.


That Daniel Bard, the steal of last year's draft along with the Yanks' Joba Chamberlain, is not only just their #5 prospect but stands to be only their 6th starter two years from now -- behind Beckett, Papelbon, Dice-K, Lester, & Buchholz -- suggests how far the farm system has come.

MORE:
Boston Red Sox Top 10 Prospects (Jim Callis, November 10, 2006, Baseball America)

The majority of the system's most attractive prospects are now products of Jason McLeod's two drafts as scouting director.

The first three players on this Top 10 list--outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and righthanders Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden--were first-round or supplemental first-round choices in 2005, as was righty Craig Hansen. BA appraised that draft as the second-best in baseball four months later, and it may be topped by Boston's 2006 effort, which rated No. 1. The Red Sox spent roughly $9 million on draft picks in 2006, with righthander Daniel Bard (first round), first baseman Lars Anderson (18th), righty Bryce Cox (third), lefty Kris Johnson (supplemental first) and outfielder Jason Place (first) all cracking the Top 10. [...]

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, of
2. Clay Buchholz, rhp
3. Michael Bowden, rhp
4. Daniel Bard, rhp
5. Lars Anderson, 1b
6. Dustin Pedroia, ss
7. Bryce Cox, rhp
8. Craig Hansen, rhp
9. Kris Johnson, lhp
10. Jason Place, of

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 9, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

You've got a dynasty acomin'

See you in October '07-12 -- in Detroit

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 9, 2007 4:16 PM
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