Like his farm system rankings, this is ESPN Insider content. Hence I'll only be posting relevant snippets.
First, he has 4 Red Sox players on the list:
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
40. Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
63. Allen Webster, RHSP
79. Matt Barnes, RHSP
In addition, LHSP Henry Owens tops his 10 Prospects Who Just Missed list.
Before reading the blurbs, I was surprised but gratified to see the lofty rating for Bogaerts. Similarly, I was confused and dismayed by his seemingly pessimistic take on Barnes. On to the blurbs, which are quite illuminating:
5. Xander Bogaerts"a year of full-season ball at shortstop with continued work on maintaining his conditioning has his odds of remaining in the middle of the field up over even money. And a shortstop who can hit like this is a pretty special commodity.""a very easy, picturesque right-handed swing, with great hand acceleration that leads to surprisingly hard contact ... He gets his front leg down a little late, which could lead to timing issues but hasn't so far.""not likely to become a plus defender at short, but even fringe-average defense there would make him a five-win player or more given his bat ... I like his chances to do just that."
40. Jackie Bradley Jr."a potential Gold Glove defender in center ... who should hit for average and get on base as long as he doesn't overextend himself and try to hit for power.""just an average runner but his reads on balls in center rival those of the other elite defensive center fielders in the minors, even ahead of guys like Albert Almora and Mason Williams.""His lower half can be a little noisy at the plate, getting his front foot down late, gliding over his front side and sometimes even drifting back mid-swing. But when he keeps his swing short and simple he generates hard line-drive contact from foul line to foul line, with doubles power that might max out around 10-12 homers a year. When he over-rotates to try to hit the ball out, he doesn't make enough contact and the result of the tradeoff is a net negative.""best attribute as a hitter has been his plate discipline, producing high walk rates in the minors with good pitch recognition"
63. Allen Webster"three plus pitches and looks like he should be at or near the top of someone's rotation, but as a converted position player, he has struggled to develop enough fastball command to translate the raw stuff into on-field success.""will sit at 94 mph with his fastball and can reach 97 with plus sink that led to a 2:1 groundout-to-fly out ratio in AA ... with a swing-and-miss changeup with good action and a slider that will flash plus but isn't as consistent as the other two pitches.""a former shortstop, he is athletic and can repeat his delivery well, but he lacks the feel for pitching that he'll need to succeed as a starter even at Triple-A, both in terms of just throwing strikes and in using and mixing his pitches more effectively.""The Red Sox ... view Webster as a potential No. 2 starter. I see that ceiling, but a lot of work between here and there."
79. Matt Barnes"Barnes shocked a lot of scouts this year with the leap forward in his fastball command, working with it up and down, side to side, so even though he wasn't consistently 93-97 as he was in college he could still get outs and set up his off-speed stuff.""He's ditched the below-average slider that screwed him up in his junior year at UConn and pitched most of the season with an above-average downer curveball that he could throw for strikes. His changeup gradually improved over the year as the Red Sox forced him to throw it a number of times each game, but even in Salem he was still getting hitters on both sides of the plate out with the fastball.""Barnes was a little experienced to spend the whole year in A-ball, so his stat line overstates how advanced he is, but he looks like a solid mid-rotation guy who'll be at least league-average, with a chance to profile better than that because of how well he locates the fastball."
101. Henry Owens"Owens works at just 88-92 mph with a big, slow curveball and some feel for a change, but has posted high strikeout totals in the low minors because he hides the ball so well behind his 6-foot-6 frame that hitters don't pick it up, swinging through 88 mph like it's 94 mph. That can work for guys in the big leagues, but I'd like to see Owens, who doesn't have a ton of projection for future velocity gains, do it against a higher caliber of hitter before buying in fully."
I'll give Law credit -- he explains the pros and cons of each guy very thoroughly and covers all key aspects and traits. He's a trained scout who knows what he's talking about. But I still don't see anything substantive in his blurb on Barnes to make me think he's unworthy of being ranked in the top half of the list. An over-reliance on the fastball? Really? Too experienced to spend the entire year in A-ball? In his first year as a pro? Sorry, Keith. I don't get it.