Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Westmoreland tops Kelly on BA list

Casey Kelly and Ryan Westmoreland ranked first and second on Baseball America's Top 10 prospects list for the Red Sox released today. No surprise there.

The surprise, though, might be the order in which they were listed. Kelly's sensational first season on the mound garnered him most of the hype -- but the experts at Baseball America like Westmoreland just a little bit better.

"He's a potential 30-30 player who one day could bat third in the Boston lineup," Jim Callis wrote.

Without doing too much copy-and-paste from the Baseball America scouting reports, here's a little bit of what Callis had to say about some of the big names down on the farm:

* Kelly, the No. 2 prospect on the list, has the best fastball, the best curveball, the best changeup and the best control in the organization, and he "may not need more than another year in the minors."

* Josh Reddick vaulted Lars Anderson for the No. 3 spot on the list thanks to his raw power, his speed and the "unbelievable release and accuracy" of his throwing arm in the outfield. His patience at the plate, an issue a year ago, improved in the minor leagues but regressed upon his promotion to the major leagues.

* Anderson, the No. 1 prospect a year ago, fell to No. 4 thanks to a disappointing season at Double-A Portland a year ago. "With the loft in his swing and the leverage in his big frame, Anderson is still the system's best power-hitting prospect," Callis wrote. It's certainly far too early to write off a young slugger who didn't turn 22 until after the minor-league season ended. He'll probably start next season back at Portland.

* It's not hard to see why the Red Sox like Ryan Kalish, the No. 5 prospect on the list. Not only did he hit 24 doubles and 18 home runs last season, but "He manages his at-bats as well as anyone in the system, waiting for pitches he can drive and taking walks if they don't come," Callis wrote. Baseball America expects Kalish to open the season playing with Reddick at Triple-A Pawtucket.

* Most of the players on the list -- Junichi Tazawa, Jose Iglesias, etc. -- are household names by now among Red Sox fans. Derrik Gibson, though, isn't yet one of them. The 20-year-old middle infielder came in at No. 10 on the list after stealing 28 bases in 33 tries a year ago and scoring 54 runs in just 255 at-bats. "Gibson is poised for a breakout 2010 season at (Single-A) Greenville," Callis wrote.

1 comment:

floydiansea said...

Merry Christmas, Brian. Thanks for the informative and interesting blog.