We’re already a week into the regular season and the minor-league season is slated to start in a little over 24 hours, but Fangraphs is still churning out their team top prospect lists. We’ll give them a pass, though, because Eric Longenhagen and company have one of the best and most thorough evaluation of team lists. Fangraphs does not have a set number of players they rank, instead ranking everyone they believe has at least a 40 Future Value rating on the 20-80 scouting scale. The Red Sox had 19 players on their list, which was released Wednesday and can be seen in full here. Here’s how they ranked.
- Michael Chavis
- Jay Groome
- Tanner Houck
- Sam Travis
- Bryan Mata
- Jalen Beeks
- Darwinzon Hernandez
- Danny Diaz
- Mike Shawaryn
- Cole Brannen
- Bobby Dalbec
- Josh Ockimey
- C.J. Chatham
- Ty Buttrey
- Alex Scherff
- Tzu-Wei Lin
- Joan Martinez
- Roniel Raudes
- Bobby Poyner
I won’t go too deep into their commentary because, well, you can click the link and read it for yourselves. It’s well worth the read. I will touch on a few interesting tidbits from the write-ups, though.
- Before we get to the write-ups, a few things that stood out with the ranking themselves. For one, Chavis ranked ahead of Groome, something that seemed impossible at the start of the ranking season but has become a more popular opinion as the year has gone on. Additionally, this is the first time we’ve seen someone other than Houck/Mata in the 3/4 spots. Instead, Travis ranked ahead of Mata. Gotta say, I can’t agree with that one. Fangraphs also put an aggressive ranking on Diaz, which probably says more about the system than anything else but is exciting nonetheless.
- In the Chavis write-up, Longenhagen (the lead prospect writer for Fangraphs) essentially writes off the possibility of Chavis at third base. I agree that’s the case with the Red Sox, though there are some who believe he can stick there for a little while at least. Obviously, it will all come down to the bat for Chavis, though.
- Longenhagen seems high on Houck, whose write-up includes some talk about the 2017 first rounder’s adjusted mechanics. The belief here is that it’s a positive change and Longenhagen identifies Houck as a potential breakout in 2018.
- I’ve heard some who believe that Shawaryn will eventually transition to a bullpen role, so it was nice to see Longenhagen say he believes the righty can make a fine back-end starter.
- The write-up on Scherff isn’t as encouraging as we’ve seen in other places, though there is a mention of a strong work ethic which is always a nice thing to hear about a high school draft pick who is something of a project.
- Below the rankings, Longenhagen writes up some other prospects. In that section, he mentioned Jake Thompson, who he calls a “stone-cold middle relief prospect.” We’ve certainly heard of relief potential for Thompson, though I’m not sure I’ve heard it put as bluntly as this.
- Carson Csistulli is featured here, and if you’re not familiar he is a Fangraphs staff member who spends the year highlighting some lesser-known prospects. Corey Kluber is probably his most well-known success story. He picks a favorite prospect not ranked by Longenhagen for every team, and here he picked Tyler Hill based on the outfielders running numbers in 2017.
Go read the entire write-up yourself and let me know what stood out to you.