Keith Law's top-100 prospects list is out, and that's a fun, landmark day each spring. You get to see who he likes and who he doesn't like, read some brief scouting reports on those players, and then realize that hey, spring training is pretty close to happening. You can see things like the Red Sox having four prospects in the top-40, and three in the top-20, and it brightens up your otherwise baseball-less February day.
No need to stop there, though, at least not with the Sox. Boston is pretty well-represented on the list, and their farm system ranks 10th among the 30 teams overall according to Law, but their youth and future promise go beyond just those prospects. Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts are both in the majors, and they are both still young by big-league standards. They are actually still young by minor-league standards, too, if Law's list is any indication.
As you can tell by the headline, they are younger than a bunch of these dudes. How many is a bunch? In this case, it is 13. Of these 100 prospects, most of whom have not seen major-league action, many of whom have not even made it to the high minors yet, 13 are older than Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, who by the way have already combined for 515 major-league games and well over 500 hits.
They've done well in those games and with those hits, too, with Betts a career .291/.348/.471 batter and Bogaerts coming in well above-average both at the plate and on the field at shortstop in 2015, helping make him an above-average player overall so far in his two-plus campaigns. He also helped the Sox win a World Series in 2013, so there's that whole thing, too. Not bad for a couple of guys born in the first week of 1992's October, huh?
We don't want to just give you all the information on these 13 prospects, because Law's work is behind a paywall and all, but we can at least tell you who they are. Three of the top-100 were born in 1991: Steven Matz, Mark Appel, and Kyle Zimmer. These aren't nobodies, as you can likely tell just from seeing their names. Matz ranks number 37 and has already pitched in the majors. Appel was the first-overall pick in 2013, and while his career is at a crossroads, there is still talent there.
Betts and Bogaerts are both younger than Braden Shipley, who ranks 24th on Law's list, as well as Wilson Contreras, Aaron Judge, and Aaron Blair, who all ranked in the top-50. They're also younger than Josh Bell (number 56), 2013 first-round pick Sean Manaea, Jose De Leon, and Marco Gonzales, who debuted with the Cardinals in 2014 but hasn't latched on yet.
And that's not all! They are also younger than Amir Garrett, as well as the seventh-overall pick in the 2011 draft, and still-a-prospect, Archie Bradley. There are your 13 top-100 prospects who are older than the two established major-league Red Sox players we all adore.
Here's your round of bonus fun: while 13 of the top-100 are older than those two, 22 of them are older than Eduardo Rodriguez, who had a 112 ERA+ in 121 major-league innings as a rookie in 2015. 22! Please remember this when considering how much potential Eddie has left, as he's younger than nearly one-fourth of the prospects we're lavishing praise on this spring.
None of them are prospects from the Red Sox own members of the top-100, though. You might have noticed a theme here: the Sox are both super young and super talented. So far, it's working out in their performances, and hopefully soon it will translate to the team as a whole.