MLB released their annual prospect list this past week, containing the best 100 players throughout the minor league systems. The San Diego Padres have a fair share of young players from Boston (see: Kimbrel and Pomeranz trades). They also lead the way with an unprecedented ten players in the top 100 and seven in the top 50.
On the other end of the spectrum, is Boston. They have just one, single prospect in the top 100. This isn’t something new for the Red Sox. They haven’t had a deep farm system since pre-2015, and only had one player on this same list going into 2018.
Michael Chavis was placed appropriately at 69th in the pre-2018 rankings. After a tumultuous 2018 in which he was caught up in a PED suspension, and faced uncertainty on which position he would playing going forward, the Sox top prospect placed 79th this year.
Chavis is the prospect with the highest ceiling in the system, and he’s also the most likely to crack the roster at some point this year. However, only having one name in the top 100 isn’t the end-all-be-all. There are plenty of prospects the Sox have, that would fall in the 101-200 range of young players. A lot of these guys have real chances to impact this team for a long time.
Help Coming Soon (2019-2020)
Durbin Feltman is flying through the ranks after being a third rounder just a year ago. He might get a chance to feature in Boston in 2019, but moving forward I would love to see if this kid has what it takes to be a long-term closer in the pros. Feltman was the best stopper in the entire NCAA last year with TCU. He could really be a huge asset for this bullpen in coming years.
Darwinzon Hernandez, a highly admired prospect of general manager Dave Dombrowski. After 23 solid starts in high-A in 2018, Hernandez made some good relief outings in double-A Portland. If he keeps progressing the way he has since he joined the system in 2014, he could be a key bullpen member in 2020.
Bobby Dalbec and Josh Ockimey sit in triple-A Pawtucket alongside Chavis, awaiting a major league call in 2018. Both of those aforementioned guys have big bats, and both can fill a potential void at first base if the veteran options don’t work out.
A Slightly More Distant Future (2021+)
Bryan Mata, he’s only 19 years old and has already put up solid numbers in high-A ball. Mata will move up to Portland this season and has a chance to contend for a rotation spot in 2021 if he keeps trending upwards. Mata is criminally underrated by people rankings prospects outside the organization. He has the chance to be a legit starter in the MLB.
Jay Groome underwent Tommy John surgery and missed 2018, causing a lot of people to forget how good he was. The Sox took him in the first round for a reason. He had a 1.64 era in low-A ball in 2017. This proves he can do it at an elevated minor league level, he just needs to stay healthy. He worked out with Chris Sale last year, and hopefully that benefits the career trend of Groome. We could see him in Boston by 2021.
Triston Casas was the Sox’ first rounder in 2018. He barely got to get going in the Gulf Coast League. A thumb injury ended his season after just five at-bats. He only turned 19 two weeks ago. If he is able to get healthy and get good ABs in 2019, he’ll start progressing through the minors. I truly believe this kid has star potential even based off of his high school tapes. Watching him in 2019 will be an important step in his development.
See, the Sox farm system isn’t facing nearly as much peril as you thought it would be, right?