clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Presenting your top 20 Red Sox prospects for 2016

The votes are all in, and we've got our top 20.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Ten weeks and twenty votes later, we have our list. Over The Monster, here are your top-20 Red Sox prospects for 2016:

  1. Yoan Moncada
  2. Andrew Benintendi
  3. Rafael Devers
  4. Anderson Espinoza
  5. Michael Kopech
  6. Brian Johnson
  7. Sam Travis
  8. Luis Alexander Basabe
  9. Deven Marrero
  10. Michael Chavis
  11. Pat Light
  12. Nick Longhi
  13. Marco Hernandez
  14. Teddy Stankiewicz
  15. Travis Lakins
  16. Christopher Acosta
  17. Mauricio Dubon
  18. Austin Rei
  19. Williams Jerez
  20. Marc Brakeman

The consensus on this system seems to be that it's one of the better ones in baseball, but carried by the top-end. with the depth falling off quickly. You can put a pretty clear line after the top four, as we've mentioned so often, with Moncada, Benintendi, Devers, and Espinoza all top-50 prospects. There's probably another line to be drawn after the next three. While Kopech, Johnson, and Travis are very different prospects, they do seem like the solid second unit.

It's that second unit, though, which seems to end too early on this list. And after that we run into a lot of players who either lack ceiling, lack experience, or have thus far struggled in their professional performances. It's the result of a largely failed 2013 draft class, a seemingly shallow 2014 class, and a 2015 class that hasn't had much chance to prove itself (or has struggled when it has, Benintendi aside). Also that Craig Kimbrel trade taking two guys that might have bookended that second tier.

Marc Brakeman, our #20, is part of said class, and like many of them, he did very little in 2015. One game, one inning in the GCL. He gave up zero runs, but he could've given up three or four or five and it wouldn't really make that much difference given that we're talking about one game. The hopes for him are built on a live arm with a good change up that earned him top-150 pre-draft rankings. He lives in the land of pitchers who probably have a reliable path to success out of the bullpen, and a riskier-if-more-interesting chance as a starter. But he's so far away and so untested that it's hard to say whether or not that's a risk worth taking.

Brakeman, though, is a good example of why the smart money is on this Red Sox farm system heading even higher before it takes a turn downward.

Looking at the top ranks, there's not much expectation of losing any of those players. Sure, trades may change things, and you can never be sure the good prospects aren't going to falter, but in that top-four, nobody is likely to be hitting the majors in 2016. Of the next three, only Brian Johnson is likely to make the jump, with Travis a bit of a long shot to graduate this year barring a serious emergency situation. Kopech could always self-sabotage some more, but let's hope he moves past that...

The bottom of the list, meanwhile, has some low-cieling, decent-floor utility-type players like Hernandez and Dubon. But it's also got a fair few players who, like Brakeman, have a pretty good shot at establishing themselves this season and jumping into that second tier, if perhaps not the first. The Sox even get to pick twelfth in the upcoming draft, which isn't bad.

This isn't quite the best Red Sox farm system we've ever seen. It's hard to be after graduating three of the top four prospects in the system from last year (Swihart, Owens, and Rodriguez). But it's still quite strong, and likely on the rise.