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MLB's top-100 prospects list features 4 Red Sox in the top-40

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The Sox "only" have four prospects listed, but they are ranked early and often.

Kelly O'Connor

MLB's top-100 prospect list "only" features four Red Sox players, but they all rank within the first 40 players. Also, "only" four in the case of MLB's analysis is pretty good, especially in conjunction with where these prospects ranked on the list -- it just happens to be one fewer than the Sox had in Baseball Prospectus' 101 list.

You can probably guess who these players are -- Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, and Anderson Espinoza. Where they rank is more the question, but we can share that with you now:

7. Yoan Moncada

17. Rafael Devers

25. Andrew Benintendi

39. Anderson Espinoza

It should be pointed out that I'm not convinced MLB's Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis actually like Devers, Benintendi, and Espinoza more than, say, Baseball Prospectus' group effort does. Espinoza, as BP's prospect lead Christopher Crawford told us last week, could jump from number 73 into the top-50 next year -- MLB just seems to be betting on that with a number right now instead of waiting for his first year of full-season ball. The same goes with Devers, who BP sees as even having the bat for first base in the future, and Benintendi, who will likely jump up BP's rankings after, like Espinoza, a full campaign of full-season baseball.

When you're dealing with a bunch of analysts who know what they're talking about, much of where the players rank comes down to hedging like this. There are players some analysts would rather place their bets on, and sometimes early -- those players just seem to differ for BP and MLB, and neither is necessarily "wrong" about their choices. MLB might look more prescient in a year, but they could just as easily look like they jumped the gun and overhyped some youths with a longer path to the bigs than expected. We'll just have to wait and see to know whose educated guess looks better by this time next year.

Before releasing their top-100, MLB revealed positional lists that included quite a few Red Sox prospects. Moncada was the top second base prospect in the game, while Devers came in as the number two at third base. Andrew Benintendi ranked fifth among all outfielders, while Espinoza latched on 10th among right-handed pitchers. There was also first base prospect Sam Travis, who, while not a top-100 prospect, did manage to come in at 10th at his position.

All that's left at this point is the organizational lists, and those are coming later on in February. Everyone seems to love the first four (and sometimes five!) prospects in Boston's system, so seeing how they feel about its depth is the question of the month.