|Casey Kelly named top Red Sox prospect||11.03.10 at 12:10 pm ET|
Baseball America, in its Top 10 ranking of the Red Sox farm system, named pitcher Casey Kelly as the organization’s top prospect.
Kelly just concluded his Arizona Fall League season, and between Double-A Portland and the AFL, he threw 111 innings, going 4-5 with a 5.51 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 39 walks.
Kelly, who was ranked No. 2 in the system behind Ryan Westmoreland after the 2009 season, showed the potential for three plus-pitches, with a mid-90s fastball that sat at 90-94 and a swing-and-miss change and curve. His command, which had been exceptional with his fastball and changeup in 2009, faltered, a byproduct, the Sox believe, of his still-growing frame.
But the Sox still see a potential front-of-the-rotation pitcher, and Baseball America concurs that the 2008 first-rounder has a big ceiling:
“It’s easy to forget that 2010 was Kelly’s first full year as a pitcher, after he split time between hitting and pitching in 2009, and his learning curve against Double-A hitters was steep. The Red Sox aren’t worried about his less-than-gaudy statistics, still envisioning him becoming a frontline starter with three possible plus pitches and above-average command. He should reach Triple-A Pawtucket at some point in 2011, perhaps even to start the season, and his big league ETA is 2012.”
Kelly was followed in the system by shortstop Jose Iglesias (just named to the Rising Stars team in the Arizona Fall League), first baseman Anthony Rizzo, 2010 draftee Anthony Ranaudo (who has yet to play in a professional game, but did dominate in the Cape League after being drafted) and left-hander Drake Britton, a power lefty who bounced back from Tommy John surgery to strike out 78 in 76 innings with Single-A Greenville.
There was a fairly stunning omission from the Top 10. First baseman Lars Anderson, who made his major league debut in 2010, was not on the list. Before the 2009 season, he was rated by Baseball America as the No. 17 prospect in all of baseball.
Here is Baseball America’s full Top 10, with related content from WEEI.com for each:
1. Kelly, RHP
2. Iglesias, SS
3. Rizzo, 1B
4. Ranaudo, RHP
5. Britton, LHP
6. Reymond Fuentes, OF
7. Josh Reddick, OF
8. Felix Doubront, LHP
9. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
10. Garin Cecchini, 3B
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