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Keith Law ranks 5 Red Sox prospects in midseason top-50

Law has most of the usual suspects and one huge surprise in his midseason top-50.

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Keith Law already released a midseason top-25 list earlier in the summer, but now he's expanded that and dropped a top-50 midseason list at ESPN. The Red Sox are well-represented, even after seeing both Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez graduate to the majors (as well as Brian Johnson, but who knows if Law would have had him in the top-50 anyway): they have five prospects in the top-50, and three in the top-15.

Those prospects are ones you already know quite a bit about, both from previous midseason lists and our own constant coverage: Rafael Devers comes in at number eight, Yoan Moncada at 11, Manuel Margot at 15, then Henry Owens is at 37 and surprise newcomer to these lists, Javier Guerra, finishes things off for the Sox at 48.

Law points out that Devers is younger than seven of the 12 first-round high schoolers taken in last month's draft, and also that he has a plus arm at third base. For Moncada, he believes his recent (wonderful) play is more in line with the expectations the scouting world had for him, and that he could be an above-average second baseman defensively in the long run, even if things are a bit rough now. Margot gets the usual love for his potential plus glove in center as well as his precocious successes at the plate.

As for Owens and Guerra, though, they deserve a little more attention for their rankings. Law seems to be the only major prospect analyst who hasn't somewhat bailed on Owens, as he still has him ranked 37th on a list that includes recently drafted players. He also mentions his recent return to form -- a key for Owens considering his early season downfall had a lot to do with working his previously underutilized curveball into the mix far more often. He'll need to avoid the kind of control issues he had to begin the season from here on out, especially in the majors where hitters are more likely to punish him for his mistakes, but if that focus on his breaking ball did what it was supposed to, then he'll have a better handle on it now than he did, anyway.

Guerra's placement on this list seems like a mistake in a lot of ways. That's not to say Law made one, not by any means -- it's just that Guerra was thought of as a defense-first shortstop who has somehow turned into an offensive force in Low-A at age 18, so seeing him on a midseason list like this is surreal.

As Law points out (and we've also mentioned), lefties are killing him, but he's crushing righties and is so young that it's hard to punish him too much for any of his current flaws. Law states that Guerra has "more potential with the bat than I think even the Red Sox realized", which is probably true considering his previous scouting reports. There is still a whole lot of room for failure for Guerra, who could see his numbers dwindle as he moves up the ranks, but there is also reason to believe that he could further grow as a hitter and be much more than just a glove at short.