The Boston Red Sox received another reminder this week that their farm system is littered with talent.
Baseball America released a portion of its annual “Best Tools” list, which ranks the top players in several categories based on physical attributes. The Red Sox are well-represented in the Triple-A and Double-A portions of the 2014 list.
Christian Vazquez, now with the major league club, was selected as the International League’s Best Defensive Catcher, as voted by Triple-A managers. Allen Webster, also now with Boston, was voted as having the Best Changeup in the International League.
Henry Owens, considered the Red Sox’s top pitching prospect, earned three different distinctions among Double-A managers. Owens was voted as the Eastern League’s Best Pitching Prospect. He also was voted as having the Best Changeup and the Best Breaking Pitch, both of which have been on display throughout the left-hander’s 2014 dominance.
Mookie Betts, who was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, was selected as the Eastern League’s Best Defensive Second Baseman. Betts, of course, has been learning the outfield of late, which makes the selection somewhat interesting.
The Red Sox popped up regarding a few major league honors, too. Dustin Pedroia was voted the American League’s Best Defensive Second Baseman, and Yoenis Cespedes was voted as having the AL’s Best Outfield Arm. Koji Uehara and Jon Lester (now with the Oakland Athletics) ranked third in terms of the AL’s Best Reliever and Best Pitcher, respectively.
Clearly, there’s talent in the Red Sox organization despite the club being in last place. That certainly suggests there are brighter days ahead.