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November 4, 2013

Young, talented help is on the way

Ranking the top 10 players in Red Sox farm system

Boston Red Sox Top 10 Prospects

When Red Sox GM Ben Cherington discussed building the next great Red Sox team last season, he stressed the importance he and his staff would place on drafting and developing and building the team from within.

Several Boston prospects had successful seasons.

Eagle-Tribune baseball writer Christopher Smith ranks the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox organization:

1. Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B

Stats: .297 batting average, .388 on-base percentage, 15 homers, 23 doubles, 6 triples in 116 games between Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket this year.

Skinny: Some might no longer consider this 21-year-old a prospect since he started at third base for the Boston Red Sox throughout the World Series. He will be Boston's shortstop or third baseman next year. He's incredibly exciting to watch.

2. Garin Cecchini, 3B

Stats: .322 batting average, .443 on-base percentage, .471 slugging percentage, .915 OPS, 33 doubles, 47 extra-base hits in 129 games between Single A Salem and Double A Portland.

Skinny: The 22-year-old is an on-base machine who will take his walk and steal bases. He bats left-handed and could start next year at Triple-A Pawtucket.

3. Henry Owens, LHP

Stats: 11-6 record, 2.67 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 26 starts between High-A Salem and Double A-Portland.

Skinny: He's a lanky 21-year-old left-hander with a nasty changeup that he has used to strike out 11.4 batters per nine innings in his 236.2 minor league innings.

4. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Stats: .275 batting average, .374 on-base percentage, 10 homers, 26 doubles, 3 triples in 80 games for Triple-A Pawtucket.

Skinny: The 23-year-old center fielder gets great jumps and takes great routes to fly balls. He will be in Boston's 2014 Opening Day lineup if Jacoby Ellsbury leaves via free agency.

5. Matt Barnes, RHP

Stats: 6-10 record, 4.13 ERA combined between 24 starts at Double A Portland and one start at Triple A Pawtucket.

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