Baseball Prospectus is finishing up their preseason prospect coverage, and on Thursday they released their farm system rankings of baseball. We’ve already seen a couple of these, as Baseball America ranked Boston’s minor-league system 14th in baseball while Keith Law placed them 16th. BP deviated from that pack a bit, placing Boston 21st on the list.
Now, it’s not entirely shocking that they would have the Red Sox lower than other places, as they were the one prospect team that did not rank Andrew Benintendi as the top prospect in baseball. That alone knocks them down a few pegs. Besides that, however, it’s a little surprising to see them quite so low. BP, after all, still had Benintendi at number three (and that was before the injury to Alex Reyes), Rafael Devers at 13 and Jason Groome at 29. One would think three top-30 prospects would at least be good enough for the middle of the pack.
However, it’s clear that they value depth in a farm system. The Red Sox are in a tier with Minnesota, Washington and Cleveland. The last two in particular are in a similar situation to the Red Sox are all three teams have lost some talent over the last year or so and are left with just a few big names up top and not much behind them.
This is a bit of a disappointing ranking, but as I and others have said numerous times it’s not the end of the world. Farm system rankings are merely one measure of young talent, and probably not the best one. The Red Sox have one of the best young players in baseball in Mookie Betts along with a plethora of other young major-league contributors. That they aren’t prospect eligible hurts them in these rankings but not in the real world. A strong draft will be needed this year, as will a presence in the new-look international market later this summer, but Boston is still in position to compete for a long time.