Deven Marrero is the highest ranked minor league shortstop — spoiler alert, Xander Bogaerts will be later in the countdown — on my Boston Red Sox prospect list at No. 18. The Red Sox have had some success in the middle infield when drafting guys out of Arizona State in the past — Dustin Pedroia — and they may have found a gem again.
Marrero was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, and in his first year of full season ball he reached AA. He will never be a power bat, and even his ability to hit for average may be a question. He did hit near .300 early in the year, but a late season slump dropped his High A average to .256 and after being promoted to AA he hit just .236.
His defense is already well above average, and he has a knack for stealing bags. In 104 games in 2013, he stole 27 bags while getting caught just twice. He did get an invite to big league camp in 2013, a rarity for a player yet to appear in full season ball, but they clearly have high hopes for him.
Marrero will likely kick off the 2014 campaign at AA Portland but has a good chance to spend the second half of the season in AAA Pawtucket so long as he hits closer to .275 than .225. He probably won’t make the big league roster or even end up on the 40 man roster until 2015. He doesn’t even project as an everyday guy because of his bat, but he could provide great depth, defensive help, and a quality pinch runner off the bench.