McAdam: Five prospects on the horizon
Five prospects on the horizon
On paper, the Red Sox' plan to begin to integrate the organization's best prospects is scheduled to begin in 2014. Most of the better prospects have yet to reach Triple A, much less the big leagues, and while few of the elite young players will need a full season at Pawtucket before arriving at Fenway, they'll need at least some additional seasoning at Pawtucket before matriculating. Here's a look at five players who will be introduced in spring training, and are on the horizon.
Ruby de la Rossa
De La Rosa, one of two promising pitchers obtained in the team's landmark salary dump with the Los Angeles Dodgers last August, probably won't make the Opening Day roster as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery. But de La Rosa already has some brief major league experience with L.A. and doesn't need much more development time.
Wilson was once projected as a potential front-line starter, but he stalled in that quest and 2012 saw him pitching out of the bullpen for the entire season. The Boston bullpen is even deeper than the rotation and for now, there's no roster spot for Wilson. But if he pitches as well he did in the second half, when he seemed to turn a corner, he'll be one of the first options if the Sox need relief help, either because of injury or performance.
Webster came over with De La Rosa in the mammoth trade with the Dodgers, and though he's yet to pitch above Double A, he might not need much finishing work at Pawtucket before he can contribute in the big leagues. Webster features a heavy sinking fastball that induces plenty of ground balls, but needs work on some of his secondary pitches and could improve his command.
Brentz may not have the ceiling that fellow outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. has, but he's already played at Triple A and is closer to helping out if the Sox need reinforcements in the outfield. He profiles as a corner outfielder, has a strong arm and a powerful stroke.
Bogaerts is just 20 and the last thing the Red Sox want to do is rush their best prospect of the last decade. But he's shown great maturity, make a quick adjustment when he arrived at Double A Portland last year and has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm that the organization has for him.