With Adrian Gonzales on the trading block, we can look at the prospects for one of the teams that would be interested in making a deal for the first baseman. The Boston Red Sox have lots of interest in the first baseman and here are some possible prospects that we could look after.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury – Amazing athlete with a great work ethic. Ellsbury has consistently won awards for his defensive play in center field. He is extremely fast and knows how to run the bases. Demonstrated great on base ability in the minors, but has struggled maintaining that early in his big league career. Gap power with the ability to leg singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Not much home run power, doesn’t project to add a lot either. Projects well as a major league lead-off hitter. Doesn’t slump too often because you can’t turn off his blazing speed. Lettered and excelled in five sports in high school, including football, where he could have played at a very high collegiate level as a kickoff returner. However, he enjoys baseball the most. Could stand to bulk up a little bit. Arm strength is below average.
1B Anthony Rizzo – Tough-as-nails first baseman with an excellent build. Solid overall approach at the plate, good eye, quick bat speed, impressive timing. Could stand to improve protecting the plate deeper in counts. Plus gap power to all fields. Has had some trouble with advanced breaking stuff. An excellent defender with a solid arm and surprising lateral quickness for his size. Outstanding instincts and fundamentals. Said to be a leader by example and a great teammate. Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May 2008. After receiving chemo-therapy during 2008, he was declared cancer-free in November 2008.
P Casey Kelly – Athletic frame with smooth agility and a tremendous feel for pitching. Kelly was a two-way player in high school, excelling at both shortstop and as a pitcher. He was also a highly-touted quarterback recruit for Tennessee before signing with the Sox. Kelly split his first pro year in 2009 between pitching and hitting, showing elite pitching tools and mediocre offensive skills. In December 2009, Kelly made the decision to continue his career on the mound. Kelly’s pitching skills are quite advanced for his age, mixing in three plus pitches: a low 90s fastball, a hard 12-6 curveball, and a nice change. Early in his career, he demonstrated outstanding command, and control, but as his velocity has increased he has lost some touch on his fastball. Sound, smooth mechanics. Fastball has excellent downward movement, and generally sits between 90 and 93 mph, getting up to 96 mph on occasion. Many scouts project that he’ll sit in the 92-95 mph range after he fills out. Curveball has the potential to become a plus-plus wipeout pitch. It sits around 76-79 mph, but he tends to show it a little too much at times. Kelly’s changeup sits around 84 mph with a lot of sink. For the most part, he keeps the ball low in the zone, but he’s hittable when he leaves it up. He can also overuse his fastball. Very good mound presence. Kelly had the makings of an elite defensive shortstop before converting to pitching full time, so he should be an excellent pitcher defensively.
SS Jed Lowrie – Intelligent shortstop with a decent glove and average range. Arm is strong but could use work on throwing accuracy. Initially slated for a possible move back to second base (where he played in college) because of sub-par defensive projections. However, his defense has really improved during his time in the Sox system, and he has proven to have the ability to play adequately at shortstop and third base in the Major Leagues. Average speed on the basepaths. Demonstrated plus power for a middle infielder in college, but now looks to have gap power and not a lot of home-run pop. Hits for average very well, and equally from both sides of the plate. Outstanding plate discipline; in true Red Sox form, his best attribute may be his ability to work pitchers for good at-bats. Injury prone, particularly his wrist.
SS Jose Iglesias – Plus plus glovework – superbly quick hands and reactions. Plus arm. Range is above average. Excellent instincts and hand-eye coordination. Has the makings of a Gold Glove shortstop. Also able to play second and third base. Extremely fast bat speed, quick wrists. Compact swing. Impatient approach – a free swinger. He is able to bring his hands through the zone well. Although he is slight of build, there is some potential for him to have a little bit of pop. Minimal present power, but he has the ability to put a charge into the ball. The key offensively will be to sharpen his approach and try to hit to all fields. Right now he projects to end up as a #8 or #9 hitter in an offensive-minded lineup. Average-to-sightly-above-average speed.
I would love to have a player like Ellsbury patrolling the outfield for the Padres. He has amazing speed and would be a great leadoff hitter for us. BUT that is not the only thing that comes into play, when trying to obtain Ellsbury onto the squad, he will be eligible for arbitration and has one of the toughest agents in the league. He will be demanding top dollar and we would be stuck in the same situation that we are in with Gonzales. If we are able to pick up a couple of these high level prospects from the Sox, then we should pull the trigger.
Scouting Reports provided by soxprospects.com