Originally Posted by TheVulture
Interesting he ranks Eaton below Anderson, Davidson, Reinzo, Semien and M. Johnson, among others, on his 25 and younger list.
BTW, never heard of Jacob May. Anyone got anything to say about him? I was surprised to see three OFers on the top ten list, I thought that was the system weak point.
I have to say pitching depth is starting to look like a concern to me. Sure, pitching was the Sox strong point last year, but only because of the top several pitchers not because of system depth (as far as I can tell anyway). A few of them are gone and I don't see them being replaced. Johnson is there, but he was going to be filling out the bottom of the rotation even before the trades.
Jacob May was a 3rd round draft pick this past June from Coastal Carolina University. He is the nephew (I think) of Carlos May (he's related to him somehow). He is a CF and played at two levels for the Sox in 2013; he played well at Rookie Ball and Low-A ball last year, hitting a combined .303/.372/.458 with a nice blend of power and speed (8 HR and 24 SB in 66 games). Good defense in CF from what I read, too. Downside is that while it's nice to see him adjust to pro ball so quickly, a 21-year-old seasoned college player, Rookie Ball and Low-A is not the most challenging assignment. Actually, of all the positions for the Sox, OF is probably the deepest. Thompson is likely one of the most MLB-ready players in the system, Hawkins was the #1 overall prospect last year before he bombed, and Jared Mitchell is kind of sitting out there in No Man's Land right now, though he did have a great AFL year which probably helped convince the Sox to keep him around.
I like May but let's see how he does in a full season with hopefully a more challenging assignment. But he's the kind of middle of the road player this system needs, to be the grease on trades so you don't have to flip your best prospects, kind of how the Sox used Brandon Jacobs to end up with Matt Davidson.
As for pitching, the Sox promoted two of their top pitching prospects to the MLB last year; Reinzo and Johnson, so that will take it's toll on any system. I like Chris Beck... A lot. He had some command and mechanics issues when he was drafted that caused him to fall a round or two to us, but I am still really, really high on him being a potential mid-rotation starter. The Sox also claimed Erik Surkamp off the Giants, which I think is going to be a nice move.
After him, Chris Bassit had a really interesting year between High-A and AA last year and I think he actually beat the Diamondbacks' stud prospect Archie Bradley in one game of the Southern League Championship Series the Barons won over Mobile. If you look back, there's a nice write-up on him from Fangraphs posted somewhere on this board. I don't know how high his ceiling is, but he's a guy to keep an eye on, as well.
After that, there's a few names to remember in the lower levels... Jefferson Olacio and Braulio Ortiz... Couple of live arm, young Latin American kids still in the very low levels of the system that had nice years in 2013... Not sure if they project as starters (especially Ortiz) in the Majors, but if they can work out the kinks in their mechanics they are kids to watch. A couple of draft picks from 2013: Andrew Mitchell and Thad Lowry, still years away (especially Lowry who was drafted out of HS) but they're worth keeping tabs on, and of course, Tyler Danish, 2nd round pick in 2013 who a lot of people don't project as a starter because of his funky motion, but was a very high draft pick of the Sox and had some insane peripherals in his first pro year so he's definitely one to keep an eye on.