By Jeff Louderback
Anthony Ranaudo has re-emerged as one of the top starting pitching prospects in the Red Sox system this season. Xander Bogaerts is widely considered one of the top 10 prospects in baseball. Both will represent the organization in the Futures Game on July 14 – Ranaudo for the USA squad and Bogaerts for the World team.
A 23-year-old right-hander who was a supplemental first round pick out of LSU in 2010, Ranaudo is 7-2 with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 14 starts at Double-A Portland. He has 86 strikeouts and just 27 walks in 79 innings while allowing 50 hits.
At some point this summer, Ranaudo is expected to join Bogaerts at Triple-A Pawtucket. The 20-year-old Bogaerts, who is from Aruba, hit .311 with a .909 OPS, six home runs and 35 RBI in 259 plate appearances at Portland this season before earning a promotion to Pawtucket. After a sluggish start, the right-handed hitting shortstop has five hits in his last three games, including two home runs and five RBI. Bogaerts has four home runs in 48 Triple-A at-bats.
A third Red Sox prospect could participate in the Futures Game with the assistance of fans. Garin Cecchini, a 22-year-old third baseman who was recently promoted from advanced Single-A Salem (Va.) to Portland, is one of five finalists for the final USA roster spot.
Cecchini batted .350 with a 1.016 OPS, five home runs, four triples, 33 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 262 plate appearances at Salem. He is 5-for-16 (.313) in four games with the Sea Dogs.
On Baseball Prospectus recently released list of baseball’s top 50 prospects, Bogaerts is No. 3 and Cecchini is No. 39.