By Pat O'Rourke @patorourke_29 on August 15, 2014
For a couple of years now, the Boston Red Sox minor league system has been regarded as one of the best, if not the best, system in the majors. With multiple major leaguers already produced, here's the stock update on the five best Sox prospects who have yet to see time with the big club.
Deven Marrero is the best shortstop in the Red Sox organization. Yes, even better than Xander Bogaerts, if that's hard to believe. It looked like there was a chance we could see the 23-year-old, who the Sox took with their first pick in the 2012 draft, at some point late in 2014, but that seems unlikely. Since being promoted to Pawtucket, Marrero has hit .242 with a .622 OPS, one home run and 18 RBIs. He'll likely finish the year in the minors.
It's been another up-and-down year for Matt Barnes in Pawtucket, but his last five starts have been phenomenal. Over a combined 32.1 innings, he's allowed just seven earned runs on 18 hits and 10 walks to 25 strikeouts. He went eight strong in his latest outing on Thursday against the Gwinnett Braves, allowing one run on seven hits while striking out three. There's a good chance we'll see him in Boston sometime in September.
He's only 17 years old -- not celebrating his 18th birthday until the end of October -- but early projections indicate this kid could be the best of this wave of prospects when it's all said and done. Playing 60 games between two rookie leagues in 2014, Devers is hitting .323 with a .928 OPS, 15 extra-base hits, seven home runs and 52 RBIs. A third baseman with plus-power from the right side, he's been compared to Robinson Cano offensively.
Blake Swihart is widely considered the top catching prospect in baseball and one of the best overall. He's a rare combo of being a plus-bat and a plus-defensive catcher who could be mentioned in same breath of Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy. With Christian Vazquez impressing at the major league level, it's not known what Swihart's future is in the Red Sox organization, but he certainly has a bright future in the game of baseball.
Henry Owens has made two starts with Pawtucket since being freed from the Double A level. In those two outings, he's allowed four runs over 11.2 innings while striking out 14. He's the consensus top pitching prospect in the organization and is believed by some to be Jon Lester's replacement as the big lefty atop the rotation.
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