Garin Cecchini is a name to remember, to say the least. Cecchini was the Red Sox 4th round draft pick in 2010 out of Barbe High School in Louisiana. He ended up getting a $1,310,000 signing bonus and started off 2011 in Lowell, the Red Sox short season A ball team. He did nothing but impress for them, hitting .298/.398/.500 with 3 HR, 12 doubles, and a triple in 32 games for the Spinners. His season was cut short when he fractured his wrist after getting hit by a pitch, his second big injury in the last 3 years. He was expected to be a first round draft pick out of high school before tearing his ACL during his senior year. Needless to say, the Red Sox have to be thrilled that a talent like Cecchini was available in the 4th round and they were glad to take a gamble on him.

Cecchini got off to a rough start this year, going 3/27 before picking things up pretty quickly. Most notably, last night he hit a walk off double that plated two runs with two outs in the inning. Right now he’s hitting .301/.367/.434, good for a .800 OPS. He has one home run, 13 doubles, and a triple in 34 games for the Greenville Drive. The power isn’t there quite yet, but he’s expected to start hitting for more power once he bulks up a bit and works on getting around on balls more consistently.

Garin Cecchini

Photo credit Kelly O'Connor

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Kolbrin Vitek was the Red Sox first round draft pick in the 2010 draft. The Red Sox had very high hopes for Vitek coming out of the draft, and for good reason. At Ball State he hit .361/.445/.691 with 17 home runs, 20 doubles, and 3 triples. He was known to have very good power potential and was projected to be a solid third baseman. He played pretty well in his first stint in the minors coming out of the draft, hitting .270/.360/.422 for the Lowell Spinners in 204 at bats. The power was lacking though; Vitek only had 4 homers which isn’t that bad as he had 13 doubles, but it wasn’t what was expected out of Vitek. Vitek went into 2011 with high hopes, but he ended up having a tough season for the Salem Red Sox.

Kolbrin Vitek

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Drake Britton was the Red Sox 23rd round draft pick in 2007 and he ended up signing for $700,000. He flew under the radar for a few years before having a breakout season in 2010. He went 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He had a stellar 3.39 K/BB ratio and struck out 9.3 batters in 9 innings. Needless to say the Red Sox had high hopes for Britton going in the 2011 season. They started him off at High A Salem but Britton’s 2011 season ended up being a season to forget.

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Jackie Bradley, Jr., an outfielder out of the University of South Carolina, was drafted by the Red Sox in the supplemental first round in 2011. Bradley was widely regarded as a first round pick until he fell into the supplemental round after a rough 2011 season in which he struggled at the plate and suffered a tendon injury to his left wrist which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Although Bradley Jr.’s stock has fallen over the past year and a half, one must remember the player he was before the injury, a first round talent who has future major league outfielder written all over him.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

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Stolmy Pimentel has been an a very interesting prospect to follow throughout his minor league career. Before last year he had no trouble advancing through the minors. He had been able to keep up his production regardless of what level he was promoted to. But in 2012 he hit a wall. All is not lost though, as he still has a lot of potential and the book isn’t closed on him yet.

Stolmy Pimentel

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Now we turn our eyes to the 19th ranked prospect in the Red Sox system, starting pitcher Henry Owens out of Edison High School in California. The Red Sox selected him in the supplementary round in the 2011 draft. He was the 36th pick of the draft. He ended up signing for a solid bonus of $1,550,000 although he did not throw a professional pitch in 2011.

Henry Owens

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In the next 20 days I’ll be doing a capsule for each of the top 20 Red Sox prospects. Let’s start it off with Oscar Tejeda, 22 year old second baseman who is my 20th ranked prospect in the Red Sox system.

Oscar Tejeda

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Even most casual Sox fans have heard Iglesias’ name thrown around when discussing the team’s future, of which Iglesias may be a huge piece. He came to the Red Sox by way of Cuba in the fall of 2009, signing a major-league deal with a $6,000,000 signing bonus, which is still the highest figure given out by the organization to date. He immediately starting hitting his way through the Arizona Fall League that year, including his first two home runs as a member of the Sox’ organization. However, Iglesias’ trademark has always been his glove, for which he’s drawn rave reviews from scouts like Keith Law as well as major leaguers like Alex Rodriguez, and that tool in itself is likely to land Iglesias on a major league roster in the future. He’s received acclaim as a top prospect in the major leagues; MLB.com listed him at #42 on their preseason top 50 prospects, and Law had Iglesias at #45.

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By: Matt McgrathFelix Doubront

Doubront emerged as a viable major league option for the Sox after closing the season strong with the major league team. However, he got off to a rocky start in 2011 from the Sox’ bullpen and was sent back to Pawtucket to stretch him back out as a starting pitcher. After turning in his longest start of the year on July 6th versus Syracuse (7 innings), he’s definitely put himself back on the map to move back up to the majors, whether with the Sox or with another organization, as his name has been mentioned as the trade deadline approaches.

Doubront is one of the few pitching prospects in the system who has performed consistently as he’s moved up the ladder. Boasting a solid fastball with a plus changeup and curveball, Doubront has the arsenal to move into the starting rotation in the major leagues, but his success at the close of 2010 as a reliever means he may project better there for the Sox than in the rotation, where the team has a number of expensive and viable candidates. The lack of a consistent left-handed arm out of the pen since Rich Hill was lost for the season to Tommy John has led to some questions why Doubront hasn’t gotten the call, but it appears the team believes it may be in Doubront’s best interest to refine his approach as a starting pitcher with Pawtucket rather than exposing him to major league hitters already. His performance for Pawtucket this year has been strong; he’s posted his usual strikeout rates, and continues to scatter hits sparingly, but his trademark control hasn’t been consistent, and this is likely one of his major hurdles the team is looking for him to clear before any promotion. Already on the 40-man rotation, Doubront is a candidate to see time with the Sox at some point this season, whether that’s before or after the September 1st roster expansion, or he could very well find himself pitching elsewhere in a deadline deal for a star player.

By: Wessel Brocken

Will Middlebrooks is a high school draftee out of Texas, drafted in the 5th round by the Red Sox and a signed an overslot deal subsequently. He hit .555 (61-for-110) with 22 doubles, five homers, 48 RBIs and 22 steals in 38 games as a senior in 2007. Will was highly regarded joining the organization but unpolished at the same time. Middlbebrooks was playing shortstop back then, the Sox decided to move him to 3rd base, because he filled out his frame. Since making his debut in 2008, his production at the plate has improved every season, leading to a Carolina League All Star selection in 2010. Will’s 2011 campaign is a successful one so far: hitting .316/.361/.530 midway through the season, while being more than a full year younger than the competition. Middlebrooks slumped in May, but he slugged the baseball in every other month. He made the USA team for the Futures Game in Arizona and he just played in the Eastern League All Star game, going 1 for 2 in both games. Middlebrooks’ splits versus RHP/LHP are virtually the same and that bodes well for the future. Middlebrooks is a good hitter with a beautiful swing who hits the ball to all fields with authority. But he’s too aggressive at the plate, leading to many  strike outs. Will is a good defender with solid footwork, decent range and a plus plus arm.

All things considered I expect Middlebrooks to be the opening day 3rd baseman for the Red Sox in 2013. He still has to work on his plate discipline, taking more walks like the Red Sox want, but his overall game is pretty polished and he should be an above average Major League 3rd baseman. This is some footage from last month: Will Middlebrooks

Keith Law from ESPN just updated his top 50 prospect list an he has Middlebrooks as prospect #42 in all of baseball with this motivation: He (WMB) still has to work on recognizing off-speed and working the count. Otherwise he should be a plus defender at third who hits for 25-plus homers.

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