Nobody goes deeper during prospect ranking season than Fangraphs. Earlier today, Kiley McDaniel released his top prospect list covering not 50, or 100, but his top 200 prospects.
Naturally with this list going all the way to 200 we can expect plenty of Red Sox prospects to make the list. And, indeed, with 10 making the cut, they're above the average mark. But what's really impressive here is that you don't even need to go past the top 50 to find five Red Sox: Blake Swihart, Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens, Manuel Margot, and Rafael Devers.
It's business as usual for Swihart (9), Rodriguez (23) and Owens (33). We expect this trio to be in the top 50 for most, if not all evaluators, and McDaniel's take on them doesn't provide much in the way of surprises aside from some higher velocity readings ("sitting 93-96 mph") on Rodriguez than we're used to.
For Margot (35) and Devers (48), however, this is about as high as we've seen anyone place either of them. McDaniel has them both as 55 Future Value players--meaning their average-case scenario is an above-average MLB regular. That's saying quite a bit for players as far away from the majors as Margot and especially Devers, as there's so much risk wrapped up in players with so many steps on the ladder left to climb.
For Margot, McDaniel provides an awfully high 50 grade in terms of raw power, perhaps buoyed by his surprising 12-homer season in 2014, while Devers garners praise for having "all the makings" of an elite bat down the line.
While the Red Sox are over-represented in the top 50, it's not until Brian Johnson at 104 that they place another name on the list. McDaniel doesn't seem to think there are any surprises coming from Johnson, who should be a serviceable back-end starter and little more.
Past 142, McDaniel doesn't bother with specific rankings, instead grouping the 45 FV (players seen as future platoon or utility bats or fringe-rotation arms in their average case scenario) together. There the Red Sox have Garin Cecchini, Matt Barnes, Deven Marrero, and Michael Chavis to round out their group of 10.
On the whole, McDaniel's evaluation of the farm system doesn't seem hugely different from Baseball Prospectus'.They are tied with three other teams for third place behind the Cubs and Braves in terms of overall representation, and if they lack any of the eight players in the two top tiers (Swihart coming in just shy), they make up for it by having as many players expected to be better than league average as any team outside of Minnesota. A good mix of depth and impact talent, even if the top-level isn't quite as high as with some of the other best systems.