Down on the Farm: Red Sox Top Prospects on the Move


The Boston Red Sox were by far the most active team at the trade deadline, trading away star pitchers like Jon Lester and John Lackey, as well as pieces such as reliever Andrew Miller and shortstop Stephen Drew.

With the flurry of moves that the front office made, it was clear that the last-place Red Sox were looking towards the future, and the path was cleared for top prospects to move up, and even crack the MLB roster.

Ever since July 31, many of the top prospects in the Boston farm system have been on the move.

The future is now

Aug 1, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

Anthony Ranaudo

(63) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox new generation began this past Friday, as right-hander Anthony Ranaudo, considered the 13th best prospect by, started against the arch-rival New York Yankees. Ranaudo picked up the win in his debut, showcasing his talent by giving up four hits and two earned runs over six innings.

Before his major league debut, Ranaudo had been dominating Triple-A, holding a 12-4 record with a 2.41 ERA in 21 starts in 2014.

Ranaudo joins rookie Rubby De La Rosa in the Major League rotation. The right-hander, who was acquired in 2012 in the blockbuster trade that saw Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett go to the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been in the majors since May 31.

His 2014 stay on the Red Sox roster has been highlighted with many stellar performances, including a seven-inning, one-hit performance against Minnesota on June 16.

Heading forward into 2015 and beyond, Ranaudo and De La Rosa figure to be a major parts in the future Red Sox rotation.

Also of note, the Red Sox called up right-handed pitcher Heath Hembree, 25, who was acquired from San Francisco for Jake Peavy, and in nine games of major league experience, has yet to allow a run, and has 12 strikeouts.

At the beginning of 2014, Hembree was ranked the seventh-best prospect in the Giants organization, and the fifth-best pitcher.

One Step Away

Feb 21, 2014; Ft Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

Henry Owens

(76) throws during spring training at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Another one of the many moves that the Red Sox included left-hander Henry Owens, the second-best prospect in the Boston organization, was called up to triple-A Pawtucket.

Owens has absolutely torn up double-A. Since being called up in 2013, Owens has a 17-5 record in 26 starts. In those starts, Owens has only allowed 35 runs and has 126 strikeouts in 151.1 total innings.

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound 2011 draft prospect started at the MLB All-Star Futures Game for the U.S in Minnesota this past July, throwing a scoreless inning.

This season, Owens set the record for wins in the Portland Sea Dogs franchise history, recording his 14th on July 29.

He will join Garin Cecchini, the Red Sox’ fourth-best prospect according to, in triple-A Pawtucket, only one step away from the big leagues.

Cecchini had a brief appearance in Boston this year, hitting an RBI double in one of his two at-bats on June 1 againt the Tampa Bay Rays.

In Pawtucket this year, Cecchini has struggled at the plate, holding a .238 batting average with five home runs, 35 RBI, and 79 strikeouts. Despite his stuggles, if Will Middlebrooks continues to disappoint, Cecchini might get the call.

With four-fifths of the starting rotation dealt away, and a youth revolution in full effect, a lot of Boston’s top prospects might get their time to shine at the Major league level.