Organizational Rankings: Future Talent – Boston

Boston is an organization that has a lot of money but it is also a very smart organization; it’s run by people that could probably turn a team with a $40-million budget into a World Champion.

Much like the Tampa Bay Rays, whom we looked at yesterday, the organization is led by a young, aggressive general manager: Theo Epstein. Although a lot of the organization’s front office talent has been picked through over the past few years – including Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod – the club still has some very smart men overseeing the club’s future stars. Mike Hazen continues on in his role as director of player development, while the scouting department will have a new leader in 2010 with the loss of McLeod to the San Diego Padres organization.

The club on the field consists mostly of veteran players. Younger, home-grown talent includes outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Jon Lester has developed into a legitimate No. 2 starter in the rotation, and Clay Buchholz also has promise and has been coveted by a number of teams in trade talks. Closer Jonathan Papelbon, another home-grown talent, is no longer a “young player” but his eventual replacement – Daniel Bard – is.

The organization has done a nice job of developing both top tiered amateur talent (Casey Kelly, Derrick Gibson) and lower round selections (Josh Reddick). With money to burn, the club has used its monetary advantage to sign some high-risk, over-slot player such as Ryan Westmoreland, Lars Anderson, Ryan Kalish, and Anthony Rizzo. Over the past three seasons, the club has handed out more over-slot deals (outside of the first three rounds) than any other team in baseball: 16. Along with the amateur draft, the club is a major player in the international market with the signing of players such as Junichi Tazawa, Stolmy Pimentel, and Jose Iglesias.

The club is not afraid to use its young players as bargaining chips in trades for proven talent, such as catcher Victor Martinez. The organization sent young pitchers Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Price to Cleveland. One player that Boston would like to have back is shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was part of the loot sent to Florida for pitcher Josh Beckett in 2005.

This club may technically be a veteran team, but the organization knows how to acquire, develop and utilize young talent to its fullest.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.



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John P.
Guest
John P.

“Jon Lester has developed into a legitimate No. 2 starter.”

I’d suggest scrapping that sentence in favor of something like this: “Jon Lester has developed into one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball.”

CC
Member
CC

Well maybe not top 10 quite yet. Still, he’s more of “a legitimate staff ace.”

suicide squeeze
Member
Member
suicide squeeze

If he can keep striking out more than a batter per inning like last season, then yes, he is a top 10 pitcher.

descender
Member
descender

He’s not better than any of the top 10 pitchers in baseball… or the top 12 actually, so how can he be on that list? Don’t underestimate the other pitchers in the league because you like Lester.

TsB
Guest
TsB

He’s in the top 10 among starting pitchers for FIP and xFIP over the past 2 years whilst playing in the AL east. One more year like last year and he is certainly top 10. Being objective, I can’t think of 10 guys who I can say 100% I would rather have pitching for me.

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