It is the best day of the Hot Stove seasonthe day you slog out to the mailbox, brush the snow off the top, open the front door and discover a highly-anticipated package from Baseball America.

It is the day BA’s annual “Prospect Handbook” arrives at your home.

It’s the day joy and wonder conspire to make spring seem that much closer to our doorstep! (I mean, seriously, it is truly wondrous that these books were in Carolina yesterday morning and in my mailbox this afternoon. Ah, the wonder of the US Postal Service!)

This year more than most, I think those of us who are snow-bound or snowed-in across the northeast and the mid-Atlantic states needed a jump start on contemplating the warmth of spring. The Prospect Handbook immediately transports the reader (mentally) to Florida (or Arizona)in my case, to City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, FLthe home of my beloved Red Sox.

Many thanks to Jim Callis and Will Lingo and the entire team at BA for bringing a large dose of sunshine and warmth into our cold and snowy existence today! We REALLY needed it…

Here are the Baseball America rankings for the Top 30 Red Sox prospects:

1. SS Jose Iglesias (International FA, signed September 2009)
2. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (2010, supplemental, #39 overall)
3. LHP Drake Britton (2007, 23rd rd, #714 overall)
4. OF Josh Reddick (2006, 17th rd, #523 overall)
5. LHP Felix Doubront (International FA, signed July 2004)
6. RHP Stolmy Pimentel (International FA, signed July 2006)
7. 3B Garin Cecchini (2010, 4th rd, #143 overall)
8. 1B Lars Anderson (2006, 18th rd, #553 overall)
9. 3B Kolbrin Vitek (2010, 1st rd, #20 overall)
10. 2B Oscar Tejada (International FA, signed July 2006)

11. 3B Will Middlebrooks (2007, 5th rd, #174 overall)
12. INF Yamaico Navarro (International FA, signed September 2005)
13. 2B Sean Coyle (2010, 3rd rd, #110 overall)
14. SS Xander Bogaerts (International FA, signed August 2009)
15. SS Derrik Gibson (2008, 2nd rd, #77 overall)
16. C Ryan Lavarnway (2008, 6th rd, #202 overall)
17. OF Bryce Brentz (2010, supplemental, #36 overall)
18. RHP Brandon Workman (2010, 2nd rd, #57 overall)
19. RHP Alex Wilson (2009, 2nd rd, #77 overall)
20. RHP Kyle Weiland (2008 draft, 3rd rd, #108 overall)

21. C Tim Federowicz (2008, 7th rd, #232 overall)
22. OF Jeremy Hazelbaker (2009, 4th rd, #138 overall)
23. RHP Junichi Tazawa (International FA, signed December 2008)
24. RHP Madison Younginger (2009, 7th rd, #228 overall)
25. OF Che-Hsuan Lin (International FA, signed June 2007)
26. RHP Chris Balcom-Miller (acquired in Delcarmen trade, August 2010)
27. OF Brandon Jacobs (2009, 10th rd, #318 overall)
28. OF Juan Carlos Linares (International FA, signed July 2010)
29. RHP Miguel Celestino (acquired as PTBNL in Kotchman trade in March 2010)
30. OF Ryan Westmoreland (2008, 5th rd, #172 overall)



Eight were selected in the first three rounds of the annual June draft (including the supplemental round between Rounds 1 and 2).

Eleven were selected in Round 4 of the draft or later.

Nine were signed as International Free Agents.

Two were acquired in trades (with Colorado and Seattle).

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