Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pawtucket and Greenville Stocked with Talent

Keith Law ranked the best rosters in minor league baseball and not surprising the Boston Red Sox have two minor league teams on the list.

The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Greenville Drive are loaded with future Red Sox stars and both made Keith Law's list of the most talented minor league teams this year. Here is what Keith Law had to say about both of them.

Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A)

Six of my top 10 Red Sox prospects from late January (before Yoan Moncada signed) will start the season with the Pawsox, including three of the team's five starters in Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez and Matt Barnes, as well as their top overall prospect, catcher Blake Swihart. Fourth starter Brian Johnson is no slouch himself and might have the highest floor of any of their pitchers; he's a four-pitch guy with command who doesn't have a huge fastball or single dominant pitch. The Pawsox can play an all-prospect infield, with Garin Cecchini and Deven Marrero both potential average regulars, and Sean Coyle and Travis Shaw at least likely to get some big league time as emergency call-ups or bench players. The outfield has Jackie Bradley Jr., who has exhausted his rookie eligibility (meaning he's ineligible for my prospect lists) but whom I still project to end up someone's every-day centerfielder, as well as 27-year-old Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, too old for my rankings but technically a rookie and likely to spend most of this year in the Red Sox's outfield.

Greenville Drive (Class A)

The Drive will have a good problem in a few weeks once Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada arrives from extended spring training; they'll have him, third basemen Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis, and shortstop Javier Guerra all fighting for playing time at three infield spots. Moncada was a shortstop as well, but won't play there in the long term, likely moving to second or third base, but the logjam probably means we'll see all four players switch positions frequently and get some time at DH too. Outfielder Nick Longhi has real power potential from the right side, signing with the Red Sox for an over-slot bonus of $440,000 in the 30th round in 2013. The rotation has their second pick from last year, right-hander Michael Kopech; 2012 fourth-rounder Ty Buttrey, who received a first-round bonus but has yet to deliver on his promise; and lefty Williams Jerez, signed as an outfielder in 2011 but converted to the mound after 2013, showing immediate arm strength and surprising control out of the chute.

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