The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
WEEI » This Just In » Law: No potential aces in Sox system
Sat, 02/09/2013 - 1:25am  

Law: No potential aces in Sox system

In his annual ranking of farm systems, ESPN’s Keith Law recently pegged the Red Sox as having the 17th-ranked farm system among the 30 big league franchise. He suggested that the ranking reflected the fact that, while he views shortstop Xander Bogaerts as a likely future star who ranks among the top handful of prospects in the game, the Sox don’t have a great deal of major league-ready impact players coming up through the system, and that among the organization’s pitching prospects, he views few (if any) as potential top-of-the-rotation candidates. (He did suggest that Rubby De La Rosa has the potential of an ace, but that it remains to be seen how the right-hander rebounds after missing most of 2012 following Tommy John surgery in late-2011.)

“The Red Sox have a decent farm system. I think the last two drafts have helped significantly in a system that was really on the down-swing prior to that. I don’t think they have a lot of impact close to the majors, and I don’t see a lot of high upside pitching,” he said. “I think they have more back-end pitching or quality relief prospects, but not the potential No. 1 and 2 starters that other organizations have. They’re not all going to turn into aces, but at least the possibility exists for that to happen.”

While there are a number of talent evaluators and publications that have suggested that right-hander Matt Barnes projects as no worse than a likely mid-rotation (No. 3 or No. 4) starter with the ceiling of a No. 2, Law suggested that the 2011 first-rounder out of the University of Connecticut lacks the dominant secondary offerings — at least at this point of his career — to suggest a pitcher with that kind of ceiling.

“I don’t think that’s a reasonable evaluation of where Barnes is today. I give him credit for making a lot of progress out of school. His junior year at UConn was a little bit disappointing and allowed the Red Sox to get him where they did. He could have gone top 10, at least 15, going into his spring,” said Law. “The big thing with Barnes, I know the strikeout numbers were great, but he was doing a lot of it just with great fastball command — which is awesome. You love to see that. But it’s not like he has knockout stuff. And I think as he continues to move up the ladder, unless one of those pitches takes a big leap forward, like suddenly the curveball adds a grade or two on the 20-80 scale, he’s probably going to be relying on that fastball command to continue to miss bats, and that’s harder and harder to do as you continue to move up the ladder. …

“That’s not typically how you tend to pitch in the top two spots in the rotation. Most guys who pitch up there have either a clear swing-and-miss pitch or something that generates a ton of ground balls. Barnes, for me, doesn’t have any of that. And I will say also, I downgraded him a little bit because it’s not a great delivery. He’s got the size, and he actually does a great job of repeating the delivery, but it’s not the cleanest you’re going to come across. That does give him, I think, a slightly higher risk of injury than some of the pitchers that I have graded higher than him.”

At the minor league level, Law suggested the Red Sox need to find additional players with the potential to be star-caliber performers, and that the team’s highest draft pick (No. 7 overall) in 20 years will assist in that endeavor. And, at a time when he sees only a few potential impact contributors from the system in 2013, he suggested there was some skepticism about the Sox’ approach to building their big league roster this winter through free agents who fall short of star-level performers.

“There’s a lot of confusion as to why the Red Sox are suddenly playing in the middle tier of free agents, which I think historically is the most dangerous area to play,” said Law. “The premium guys — obviously, the Red Sox have had trouble there — but if you go after the stars, you do fine. And if you go into the bargain bin, you can do well. But if you go into the middle tier . . . The [Shane] Victorino deal to me was the worst free agent contract of the offseason. [Mike] Napoli, obviously they re-did the deal, but there’s no way I’m giving him three years. The guy was a part-time catcher at best and probably just a full-time DH. Those are not the players that I would recommend really any team signing. But it seems their strategy is they’re the class of free agents we want to go after, at least for the next couple of years. . . . I just don’t really understand that as a philosophy because the history of that class of free agents is not that good.”

To listen to the complete interview, click here. For complete Red Sox coverage, visit

Audio On Demand

K&C - Tom Brady on the wi…

K&C - Tom Brady on the win over the Steelers and Roger Goodell's handling of domestic violence issues 10-24-16

Tom Brady joined the show to discuss the win over the Steelers and Roger Goodell's handling of domestic violence cases.

The Real Post Game Show, Patriots vs. Steelers, Hour 3, 10-26-16

In the final hour of the show, Glenn and Fred recap some of the big stories in the NFL from this Sunday. They also react to post game comments from Coach Belichick and Rob Gronkowski

The Real Post Game Show, Patriots vs. Steelers, Hour 2, 10-26-16

Ordway and Smerlas break down the Patriots victory on the road in PIttsburgh. In this hour they talk about the Pats success running the ball, and try to figure out what exactly is going wrong with kicker Stephen Gostkowski

Abdel Nader - 7/17

Abdel Nader - 7/17

Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics PG joins OMF, 6-30-16

Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy

Danny Ainge, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball joins OMF, 6-24-16

Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.

Alex Cora on John Farrell…

Alex Cora on John Farrell's managerial decisions and the Red Sox roster

Chris and Rob talk with former MLB Infielder and current ESPN analyst Alex Cora. Alex talks about some of the moves he saw in the Red Sox-Indians ALDS, and talks about the core group of young players the Red Sox have

Manager John Farrell with Dale, Holley and Thornton

We wrap up the Sox season with our final weekly visit with Sox manager John Farrell, on the heels of the news that he will be back as Sox skipper for the 2017 season.

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2016 Red Sox season

Red Sox Hall of Famer Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2016 Boston Red Sox season

ESPN hockey writer Joe Mc…

ESPN hockey writer Joe McDonald joins Ken Laird to talk #Bruins free agency 7-2-16

Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- A look toward the future for the Bruins -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.

SUNDAY SKATE with WEEI's DJ Bean and Uproxx's Pete Blackburn -- They got what they wanted...Claude Julien is staying in Boston -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.

K&C - Callers react to Ma…

K&C - Callers react to Mad Dog; Nate Burleson and Heath Evans need more info on Josh Brown 10-25-16

Callers weighed in on the Josh Brown disaster and Heath Evans still needs more info on Josh Brown.

K&C - Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo defends his comments on Josh Brown and John Mara 10-25-16

Chris Russo called in to defend himself on comments he made regarding John Mara's handling of the Josh Brown domestic violence case.

K&C - Nate Burelson is waiting for more information on Josh Brown; Headlines with Kirk 10-25-16

Nate Burelson said he still needs more information on Josh Brown and headlines with Kirk.

Josh Brown contradicts hi…

Josh Brown contradicts himself with his statement today 10-25-16

Josh Brown, who is the center of a domestic violence scandal, put out a statement saying some contradictory things that we already know about the Giants kicker. Glenn, Lou and Christian call out Brown and talk about his phony statement.

The Red Sox keep losing their baseball operations staff 10-25-16

Yet another member of the Red Sox baseball operations staff is leaving and joining Mike Hazen in Arizona. When the should the Red Sox be concerned? Also, Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about a surprise twist with the vacant Red Sox GM job.

Can any team realistically challenge the Patriots in the AFC? 10-25-16

The Pats look like their the best team in the AFC (again), but after Denver's win on Monday Night Football, can they contend? Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about who the biggest threat will be.

ESPN's Trent Dilfer - Bra…

ESPN's Trent Dilfer - Brady is a leading candidate for NFL MVP

We check in with super bowl champion and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer for his take on Pats-Steelers, Pats-Bills, Tom Brady, and the rest of the NFL.

NY Giants finally do the right thing and cut kicker Josh Brown

Took them awhile to get there, but the G-Men did the right thing today and we discuss it.

World Series full of Red Sox ties begins tonight

We talk a bit about the World Series and Tito vs Theo.

Ep. 37: Charlie Engle Aut…

Ep. 37: Charlie Engle Author of "Running Man: A Memoir

Kirk Minihane, avid runner, talks to Charlie Engle about the passion of running, how running became an addiction that replaced drug related addictions, and Charlie's time in jail. Kirk and Charlie have had similar paths through life and they discuss how a passion for running changed their lives.

Ep. 36: Kirk Talks To The Producers

Kirk was scheduled to interview Jeff Pearlman but the connection sucked and we called a late audible and interrupted the K&C Post Show podcast. Kirk takes over the K&C podcast and turns into Enough About Me and an epic bitchfest ensues.

Ep. 35: Mo Vaughn

Kirk Minihane sits down with Red Sox legend Mo Vaughn to talk to Mo about his playing days here in Boston, why the Sox couldn't have won a World Series in the 90's, and what life has been like since his playing day's have ended.

K&C Recap Show - Kirk mim…

K&C Recap Show - Kirk mimics Tanguay, media ducks Josh Brown topic 10-25-16

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis rundown the highs and lows of Tuesday's K&C Show with Jon Meterparel on the Dino Casting Couch

K&C Recap Show - Simms, Mut, Brady, Hasselbeck, & Livin' With Laird 10-24-16

Monday's show was a scattered affair w/ Mut joining Kirk & Gerry; producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the Tom Brady interview among other show tidbits.

Eagle Talk Episode 8

Thomas returns from hiatus to join Conor in discussing the latest BC football disappointment. They review BC-Cuse and preview the rest of the season.

K&C - Tom Brady on the wi…

K&C - Tom Brady on the win over the Steelers and Roger Goodell's handling of domestic violence issues 10-24-16

Tom Brady joined the show to discuss the win over the Steelers and Roger Goodell's handling of domestic violence cases.

More from this show

K&C - A rough afternoon f…

K&C - A rough afternoon for Phil Simms; 'Mad Dog' doubles down on Josh Brown 10-24-16

Gerry, Kirk and Mut talked about Phil Simms and the Pats win in Pittsburgh and heard from a crazed Mad Dog.

More from this show

K&C - More fallout from t…

K&C - More fallout from the NFL's handling of Josh Brown and Tom Brady on the win in Pittsburgh 10-24-16

The guys talked about the fallout from Roger Goodell's handling of Josh Brown's domestic violence problems.

More from this show

K&C - Chris 'Mad Dog' Rus…

K&C - Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo defends his comments on Josh Brown and John Mara 10-25-16

Chris Russo called in to defend himself on comments he made regarding John Mara's handling of the Josh Brown domestic violence case.

More from this show

K&C - Tom Brady gets heat…

K&C - Tom Brady gets heat for not speaking out against domestic violence; Rashad Jennings supports Josh Brown 10-25-16

Gerry, Kirk and Meter talked about Tom Brady's comments regarding domestic abuse and reacted to Rashad Jennings continued support of Josh Brown.

More from this show

News & Analysis