Roughly two months into the season, Baseball America has released an updated ranking of their top 100 prospects. The biggest change on this list, of course, is that it reflects players that have graduated from their prospect status. Most notably among those are Andrew Benintendi. If you recall, Benintendi was ranked number one in their preseason top 100. Although he’s no longer on the prospect list, he’s done nothing to make Baseball America look stupid for that ranking.
His graduation leaves the Red Sox with just two players on the updated list. The first is Rafael Devers, who unsurprisingly becomes the organization’s number one prospect with Benintendi being a full-fledged veteran (or something). After taking the number 18 spot on BA’s preseason list, he has moved up to number 14 in this update. A big reason for the jump, of course, is because of the graduates.
Don’t let that undersell what Devers has done in his jump to Double-A, though. As a 20-year-old making arguably the hardest move up the ladder in the minor leagues, he’s hitting .305/.371/.547 against Eastern League pitching. Moreover, he is continuing to fight against the perception he won’t be able to stick at the hot corner and is making adjustments at the plate, too. While he’s made solid contact all year, the approach at the plate was a bit of a question in April. He’s turned that on its head in May with eight walks and seven strikeouts this month.
The other top prospect is Jason Groome. Don’t feel bad if you have forgotten about him, since he’s missed essentially the entire season to this point. Last year’s first round pick is ranked 41 on this update after coming in as the number 43 prospect in the game heading into the season. The lefty was removed early from his first start of the year and has yet to appear in a game since then due to a lat injury.
Although it doesn’t seem like a major injury, the Red Sox are understandably taking it slow with their young starter. As far as I can tell, he still hasn’t graduated from throwing off flat ground and has been working both with the staff in Greenville and the one in extended spring training. There is no timetable for his return at this point.