We are another day closer to spring training, and we are another top 100 prospects list closer as well. On Saturday night, MLB Pipeline unveiled their top 100 prospects for the 2018 season, and as always their list varied a bit from some of the other major lists. That’s not to say they are any better or worse than other experts out there — they are certainly a lot better at this than me, and probably you too — but the most....interesting rankings always come from this outlet. That was the case in a few spots on this list, but of course we are going to focus on the Red Sox side of things because that’s all we really care about. Boston got two prospects on the list, which is not at all unexpected. Michael Chavis and Jason Groome have been on every list published so far, and that continued to be the case here. What differed, however, was the order. Chavis was the highest ranking Red Sox prospect this time around, coming in at number 79 on MLB Pipeline’s list. Groome was right behind him at number 85.
We’ll start with Chavis because, well, he was first in the rankings. The Red Sox infielder was ranked between a couple of Twins (as in the team, not identical siblings) in pitcher Stephan Gonsalves and infielder Nick Gordon. As other outlets have done, MLB Pipeline points to Chavis’ refined approach as the reason for his 2017 breakout and they largely believe in the bat. They do have questions about the defense, as do most, but they also point out the possibility of him playing some second base a la Jedd Gyorko of the Cardinals. I wouldn’t bet on that, but the Red Sox will have to figure something out if they plan on keeping both him and Rafael Devers. This general range has been where all three of the lists have had Chavis, with Keith Law ranking him 76th and Baseball America ranking him 85th. That gives him an average ranking of 80. #Math
As I mentioned in the writeup of Keith Law’s aggressively high ranking of Groome, it’s fair to expect a wide range of rankings for the young lefty. Given his relative lack of professional experience and the inconsistent nature of his performance when he has been able to pitch, there’s even more projection required here than with your typical prospect. Some will still drool over the potential Groome showed in his draft year, but some have soured a bit over the last couple years. Still, the lefty is only entering his age-19 season and has plenty of time to put it all together. He was sandwiched between Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle and Phillies pitcher Adonis Medina. Groome was also ranked 85th on Baseball America’s list while he came in at number 30 on Law’s list. That gives him an average ranking of about 67, though that’s obviously a little misleading.