clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Baseball Prospectus releases their top ten Red Sox prospects

Another prospect list!

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

While we wait for actual moves to be made this winter, the good news is that we are entering prospect season and top ten lists will be trickling out over the next few weeks. We got the Baseball America a few weeks ago, and as a refresher you can check that out here. Now, we have the list from Baseball Prospectus, who may be my favorite group of prospect writers on the interwebs. Granted, I’m a little biased since I’ve collected a paycheck from the publication and am friends with some of the scout-y writers over there. Still, they undeniably do good work. Now, most of said work comes behind a paywall so out of respect for that I will not go too in-depth on the scouting reports they give within. I will, however, touch on their list as a whole as well as some other features included within the post. First, here is the top ten:

  1. Jason Groome
  2. Michael Chavis
  3. Bryan Mata
  4. Tanner Houck
  5. Josh Ockimey
  6. Michael Shawaryn
  7. Cole Brannen
  8. Alex Scherff
  9. Lorenzo Cedrola
  10. Sam Travis

So, we’ll start at the top and work our way down. Groome and Chavis are the very, extremely clear one-two punch in this system and I would expect them to be ranked in this order on every list. BP acknowledges that there is a very high ceiling for Groome, but also makes sure to mention the wildly low floor. For Chavis, the questions come on defense and really with every tool besides the power. That being said, they don’t have much difference between his ceiling and likely outcome (role 55 for ceiling, role 50 for likely) and put his ETA at late 2018.

Once you get beyond the top two things start to get interesting in this system. I think Houck and Mata will likely be the three and four prospects on most list, but the order will always be up for grabs. BP prefers Mata, and it makes sense given what he showed in Greenville last year. They don’t see ace upside, but his profile is relatively safe for an 18-year-old who just finished his first pro season. Houck, meanwhile, has the better stuff and better chance of hitting the top of the rotation, but he also has a much better chance of ending up in the bullpen.

After the fourth spot is where things get really interesting on Red Sox lists and can go in any number of directions. I think I like this group more than most national writers, but I also spend a lot more time thinking about these players and trying to come up with best-case scenarios. It’s nice to get some reality checks from experts who know the entire depths of the minor leagues. It seems BP values proximity to the majors a bit here, ranking Ockimey and Shawaryn as five and six despite less-than-glowing reports. Brannen and Scherff are seven and eight, and their upside is higher though they has a lot more to prove as a pro.

Number nine is the most interesting ranking on this list and my opinion, and seeing Lorenzo Cedrola on this list is very exciting for me. If you read my Minor Lines column through the season you may have gotten a hint of my affinity for the young center fielder. I’m really surprised to see him in the top ten and not sure I’d have him in mine, but from a straight aesthetic stand point he is possibly my favorite prospect in the system. I just love speedy players who rely on defense and line drives for their value, and that’s exactly what Cedrola is. It’s fitting that he is followed by Travis, who may be my least favorite prospect in the system.

Beyond the top ten, BP also goes into detail about the next ten prospects in the system, though they list them alphabetically rather than ranking them. Those players were: Trey Ball, Jalen Beeks, Ty Buttrey, C.J. Chatham, Bobby Dalbec, Darwinzon Hernandez, Travis Lakins, Tzu-Wei Lin, Roniel Raudes and Austin Rei. Additionally, they have profiles of Jake Thompson and Brian Johnson.

Finally, they rank the top ten 25-and-under players for every team in their top ten prospects post, and this can often be a better measure of young talent than the simple prospect list. As the authors acknowledge, the Red Sox look a lot better from this 25-and-under standpoint and have one of the biggest differences between their prospect list and 25-and-under list. Here is their top-ten.

  1. Mookie Betts
  2. Xander Bogaerts
  3. Andrew Benintendi
  4. Rafael Devers
  5. Eduardo Rodriguez
  6. Jay Groome
  7. Michael Chavis
  8. Blake Swihart
  9. Marco Hernandez
  10. Bryan Mata

So, with all of that, I figured it would be a good idea to track the various top ten lists around the league. With Sox Prospects, BA and BP out of the way, we are still waiting on Fangraphs, MLB and Minor League Ball. If there is another list I am missing, please let me know. In the meantime, here is a table of all the top-ten lists so far. Note these are only players who make a top-ten, though if a list goes deeper than that I’ll include that rank as well.

Red Sox Top Prospect Roundup

Player Sox Prospects Baseball America Baseball Prospectus Minor League Ball Keith Law MLB Pipeline Fangraphs Average
Player Sox Prospects Baseball America Baseball Prospectus Minor League Ball Keith Law MLB Pipeline Fangraphs Average
Jay Groome 1 1 1 1 1 2 1.00
Michael Chavis 2 2 2 2 2 1 2.00
Bryan Mata 3 4 3 4 4 4 3.60
Tanner Houck 4 3 4 3 3 3 3.40
Sam Travis 5 7 10 6 5 5 6.60
Josh Ockimey 6 N/A 5 13 14 11 9.50
Cole Brannen 7 5 7 12 8 6 7.80
Mike Shawaryn 8 8 6 5 11 9 7.60
Alex Scherff 9 9 8 8 6 8 8.00
Jalen Beeks 10 N/A N/A 7 N/A 15 8.50
Darwinzon Hernandez 14 6 N/A 9 10 7 9.75
Marco Hernandez N/A 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A 10.00
Lorenzo Cedrola 31 N/A 9 N/A N/A N/A 20.00
Jake Thompson 16 N/A N/A 10 7 13 11.00
Travis Lakins 19 N/A N/A N/A 9 16 14.00
C.J. Chatham 12 N/A N/A 15 N/A 10 12.33