The Red Sox have so much young talent right now. Some of it is in the majors, thanks to the many major promotions the team has made since 2013, and some of it is still in the minors, largely in part due to the international signings Ben Cherington made during that same stretch.
We've talked about this in the past, discussing how it's amazing that the Sox still have the farm system they do after all those promotions, but also in terms of just how young and talented the Sox are overall. Age 25-and-under, they're as good as anyone, if not better. Baseball Prospectus has done us the favor of confirming we're not out of our minds for thinking so, too, as they created a list of the top-175 players 25-and-under in baseball, and the Sox have 10 representatives.
They're a bit spread out on the list to a degree, but at least early on, they're pretty stacked up. Mookie Betts is the first name to appear, at number nine. Xander Bogaerts follows at 11, and then Yoan Moncada, who will likely spend this summer at High- and Double-A, shows up at 26. That's two of the top-11 and three of the top-26, and it just keeps going from there. BP split the players up into tiers instead of just straight rankings, too, so this is how we find that Betts and Bogaerts are in the same tier -- four -- while Moncada is in the fifth.
Eduardo Rodriguez comes in at 76, in tier 11. That's toward the back of that tier, as Blake Swihart comes next at 78 in tier 12. The Sox have one more top-100 player on the list, and that's Rafael Devers, who unlike Rodriguez and Swihart, both of whom have big-league jobs already, won't be on the Sox for a bit. Devers ranks at number 93 in tier 14, and at just age 19, he's got plenty of room to jump up this list in the future.
The last tier is 15, simply labeled "The Rest." Boston has four more players there, with 2015 first-round pick Andrew Benintendi the highest-ranking of the bunch at 110. Jackie Bradley Jr. -- who is 25 for just five more days -- sits at 137 after showing signs of life at the plate in 2015. Teenage righty Anderson Espinoza is on the list already, at 149, but like with Devers, he could fly up it in the future as he moves closer to the majors. Last, we've got Henry Owens, who is in Triple-A and is still trying to figure out if he's a mid-rotation or back-end arm. Owens just sneaks onto the list at 174.
There are former Sox prospects and players on the list, too. Manuel Margot ranks the highest of the bunch, at 47 in tier 8. Javier Guerra, who went with Margot to the Padres in the Craig Kimbrel trade, is in with the rest at 124. Frankie Montas, a reliever who was part of the three-team swap that brought Jake Peavy and another World Series championship to Boston, is the last of the bunch at 146. It's especially nice to see Montas make the cut, as he was a long shot to turn into something other than an arm with potential back when he was dealt.
Those are the kinds of risks you have to take when you have the chance to win in the present, though, and it's paid off for the Sox. It might have paid off for the White Sox, too, as they turned around to swap Montas out for Todd Frazier and his 30-homer power this winter.
There are some minor quibbles you could make with the order of Boston's prospects. Bradley doesn't even qualify for all of the next week, so swapping him out of it and ranking Michael Kopech last in Boston's top-10 would make sense. However, Kopech might not make the overall list, so doing so might just cut the Sox down to nine of 175, anyway. Plus, if Bradley manages to both hit and field for the bulk of 2016, no one is going to care if he's 26 or 36, just that he's performing when the Sox need it. You might like Andrew Benintendi more than Baseball Prospectus does, too, or be a bit more aggressive with Espinoza, but as said: these are minor quibbles.
The 2016 Red Sox look like they could be pretty good, but this list serves as a reminder that future Sox teams should also look pretty good, if not better. We're a ways away from finding out, but at least Boston has something to dream on while they wait.