EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 31, 2013

5 prospects who should contribute this season

Christopher Smith
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — 1. Jackie Bradley Jr.: The 22-year-old center fielder, who will play some left field this year, has it all: speed, eventual Gold Glove skill, some power and the ability to get on base. He batted .315 with a sensational .430 on-base percentage last year during his first full professional season split between Single and Double-A. He’s been brilliant in spring training.

2. Jose Iglesias: The 23-year-old is ranked 96th on MLB.com’s Top 100 prospect list. It’s his time to prove himself with Stephen Drew (concussion) sidelined. He already has shown he can be a Gold Glove caliber shortstop. He needs to show he can hit before top Red Sox prospect, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, overtakes him. If Iglesias can prove himself with the bat, the Sox likely would move Bogaerts to third or a corner outfield position.

3. Bryce Brentz: The 24-year-old, who was a first-round pick in 2010, will start the year in Pawtucket but don’t rule out a big league stint at some point in ‘13. Some have compared his power to Will Middlebrooks.

He stroked 30 homers in Single-A during 2011 and 17 homers in Double-A last year before a late-season promotion to Triple-A.

4. Allen Webster: The Red Sox received this 23-year-old right-handed pitcher in their mega-deal with the Dodgers.

He’s on the 40-man roster and could make his big league debut this year if injuries or inconsistency arise.

He pitched 11.0 innings in big league games this spring, allowing just two earned runs, striking out 14 and walking one.

He’ll start the year with the PawSox.

5. Rubby De La Rosa: The 24-year-old is another right-hander who the Sox received in the Dodgers deal.

He’ll start with the PawSox but could receive big league innings within the first two months if there are injuries or a lack of production in Boston.

He already has 61.1 innings of big league service.

His fastball averaged 96.0 mph in 13 outings, 10 starts, for the Dodgers in 2011.

He also features a change-up and slider.