It looks like the Red Sox farm system is getting a bad rap these days, as Keith Law of ESPN has them ranked 17th out of 30 teams.
I don’t think Law knows what he is talking about.
I think the talent in Boston’s farm right now is as great as it was in the heyday of 2005.
If you look at the number of players that made it big from 2005, what we have on the farm today is as good as it was back then.
In 2005, I went to Fenway Park to meet with three members of the Red Sox baseball operations team: Jed Hoyer, Josh Byrnes, and Craig Shipley.
They showed me a group picture of all the top Red Sox prospects gathered together. Included were:
When I looked at the photo, I asked which one was Pedroia.
When he was pointed out I said, “Don’t ever trade this guy. He will be the heart and soul of the team. Go ahead and trade Hanley if you want, but don’t ever trade Dustin Pedroia.”
12 players from that prospect list in 2005 went on have a successful MLB career.
Right now in 2013, I think the Red Sox farm system is as good as it was back in 2005. Here are the top 20 prospects now.
The top 10 are all going to be Big League players.
In five years we will look back at the great Red Sox farm system of 2013, with 16 players all in the Big Leagues. From that list Xander Bogaerts is the one closest to Pedroia in 2005.
Just think if Boston kept all those homegrown guys from 2005, and added in Kevin Youkilis, Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson, Anthony Rizzo, Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Lavarnway, Josh Reddick, Junichi Tazawa, and Felix Doubront.
Do you think that team made up from homegrown talent would be better than what Ben and Theo have left us with today?
Look at the team we could have now:
A rotation of Lester, Buchholz, Sanchez, Doubront, and Masterson. A pen of Tazawa, Bard and Papelbon.
A bench with Youkilis, Lowrie, Moss and Shoppach.
The only outsider I need to add to this group would be David Ortiz, and he was picked up after being released.
Let’s hope the Red Sox learned the lessons of the past, and all of the 2013 prospects go on to have long careers in Fenway.