A Look at Red Sox Farm System in 2007 – and What It Tells Us about Today’s Sox Prospects
After losing 93 games and a last place finish, the Red Sox are in building mode.
This off-season, Boston GM Ben Cherington has taken a creative approach – primarily using free agency to restock the roster in an effort to return to contention, while hoarding the organization’s best prospects for the future.
If the Red Sox can pull this off it will be a masterstroke in team development – simultaneously building for the short and long term.
Red Sox Farm System
Let’s look at the farm system part of this equation. Prospects are like Spring Training – hope springs eternal.
We are approaching one of my favorite times of the year – Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook will be coming out soon. Giving us a glimpse into both the how deep is the Red Sox farm system and how it stacks up in comparison to other organizations.
And, John Sickels is working his way through each team’s prospects – with the Red Sox still to come.
As we are getting ready for these perspectives, thought it would be a good time to look back to where the Red Sox farm system stood six seasons ago (plenty of time for player to make it to The Show) – with the idea of seeing how we should examine the upcoming prospect reviews.
Sox Prospects in 2007
The Red Sox had a stacked farm system in 2007 – one deep with prospects, much like today. Some takeaways:
- Figure if the Sox are really successful about half make the majors. In 2007, Baseball America pegged Boston as the number nine farm system – and so far, 17 of the 30 players listed have made the big leagues. Check out Minnesota (#8) – 15 players and Cleveland (#10) – 11 players. And of those making the majors just a handful will most likely develop into long-term, big difference makers – Jacoby Ellsbury (#2 in the Red Sox team rankings), Clay Buchholz (#3) and Dustin Pedroia (#7).
- Don’t get hung up on the individual rank positions. Daisuke Matuszaka (#1) was ahead of Ellsbury and Buchholz. Michael Bowden (#4) and Lars Anderson (#6) outranked Dustin Pedroia (#7). Jason Place (#11) was positioned above Brandon Moss (#14) and David Murphy (#15). And the imprecision extended to the overall prospect rankings. Matuszaka (#1) outscored Ryan Braun (#23 – he hit 34 HRs in 113 MLB games in 2007) and Clayton Kershaw (#28). Ellsbury (#40 among MLB prospects) was behind Delmon Young (#3) and Brandon Wood (#4).
- Remember this is just a snapshot in time. Prospects move up and down the list each year. In particular, keep an eye on the younger prospects down near the bottom of the list – to see how (and if) they move up. Example: a pair of 19 year olds during the 2007 season – Ryan Kalish (#17) and Felix Doubront (#18). And don’t forget to look at the prospects who miss out on the top 30 list (in 2007 – Josh Reddick who produced big power in 2012).
Where do you think Red Sox prospects like Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr. will stack up in the overall prospect rankings from Baseball America?