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Baseball Prospectus says Red Sox have 3 of the top-15 prospects in baseball

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Even with Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez in the majors full-time, Boston's farm system remains stacked.

Greenville Drive

Thanks to injuries to Christian Vazquez and Ryan Hanigan, Boston's pre-season top prospect Blake Swihart reached the majors and officially graduated from the minors. Thanks to an uneven rotation, Eduardo Rodriguez did the same. In spite of those two promotions, the Red Sox have three of the top-15 prospects in baseball right now, according to Baseball Prospectus' midseason top-50 list. It'll be some time before those three make it to the majors themselves, but the important thing is what it's expected they'll be when they do get there.

There are a few things to keep in mind here: a few big-time prospects are missing thanks to injuries (Dylan Bundy and Jameson Taillon), and the list is heavily populated by low-level players thanks to the sheer volume of promotions across the league this season. So, this is all relative, and these players jumped up the rankings through their own merits as well, but a not insignificant part of the improved rankings comes from so much of the list disappearing through the season's first three months.

With all that being said, you should still be excited about Yoan Moncada (ranked 11th), Manuel Margot (14th), and Rafael Devers (15th). Moncada and Devers are teammates on Low-A Greenville, with both players getting their first taste of full-season ball this season. Moncada's ranking mostly comes from his five tools and their potential rather than this current performance, but he's also begun to hit over his last 10 games, batting .342/.409/.474 in that stretch. He won't be a second baseman forever most likely, but as BP notes, his bad will be good enough that it barely matters where he ends up defensively.

Margot
Photo credit: MLB.com

As for Devers, he's 18 and hitting .288/.318/.432 against pitcher who are nearly four years older than he is -- he's yet to face a single pitcher who is younger than him, with all 287 of his plate appearances coming against older arms. He still has a whole lot to learn, but he's also far ahead of anyone his age in the minors, and he's nowhere near unleashing his full potential at the plate. It'll take time for him to get the rest of the way through the organizational ladder, but he's 18: he's got the time.

Margot is the furthest along of the trio, as he recently was promoted to Double-A Portland even though he's all of 20 years old. He's found success over his first 14 games at the level, too, batting .296/.356/.463 while striking out just 17 percent of the time. Like with his run at High-A, he's sure to hit a wall and then have to adjust to compensate eventually, but his precocious start to his high-minors run is encouraging all the same. Margot is set to be a well-rounded player who can help with his glove, legs, and bat, and you can see plenty of that potential on display right now even with his youth.

Baseball Prospectus also released a separate article just for the "just missed" prospects on the top-50, with Henry Owens coming in on the section of those who fell out of the top-50, and Michael Kopech as a prospect who just missed inclusion for happier reasons. You likely know the deal with Owens already, though, BP doesn't seem to have mentioned it: they're concerned about the lack of strikeouts and the fact he hasn't been called up yet, which ignores that Eduardo Rodriguez has been called up, Brian Johnson -- who is older and is and was expected to be ready before Owens -- hasn't, and also that Owens has been focusing on working his curveball more often at the expense of his best pitch, his change-up.

This intentional change of plan was meant to better prepare Owens for the reality of the majors, where three pitches are necessary, but in the short-term, it caused him problems with control and his strikeouts to begin the year. On a list with so many low-level guys getting the benefit of the doubt years from the bigs, grading Owens so harshly based on basically half-a-season of planned deviation in approach seems overly harsh.

Let's not end this on an annoyed note, though. Let's talk about Kopech, who nearly made the list despite a very limited track record. He's been limited in his innings and pitch count as he's just 19 and in his first year of full-season ball, but he's also sporting a 2.89 ERA and 3.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the workload he's been allowed. We'll get a better sense of where he belongs on a list like this next season, when the leash loosens a bit, but for now, be happy with another Boston prospect working their way up to national attention.