While the industry consensus on Boston's farm system is a bit negative and has them projected in the lower third of baseball in 2018, I'm trying to remain optimistic about it. The system is a bit more high variance than I'd prefer, mainly due to the ratio of pitchers to hitters toward the top of our prospect lists but if some of these guys can hit their projections, I can see a few solid major league players here.

The biggest negative thing about our system, to me, is the lack of MLB ready talent. Minus Tzu-Wei Lin and Bobby Poyner (and to be honest, I'm still not really sure what a Bobby Poyner is), I struggle to find anyone in the system who could provide quality innings or at-bats in 2018.

Sure, Sam Travis has major league at-bats but I'm still not a believer in his talent. I don't think his power translates well enough to play in the majors and I don't see him as more than a bench guy. Plus, why don't you wear batting gloves? I don't know why this bothers me so much. Also looking at you, Blake Swihart...

Ty Buttrey might be able to come up and do some Joe Kelley things, but I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing and I'm not entirely sure I want to find out.

Anyway, I'm not going to try to predict team results or player statistics here but I'll give you a couple useless hot takes and you all can laugh at me for it.

Bryan Mata is the best pitcher in the organization right now

This is based more on my feelings about Mata than my feelings about Jay Groome. I think Groome projects well and I think he'll be a solid pitcher in the majors, but I also hate the injuries regardless of how minor they may be. I love Mata's feel for the curve and I think he has advanced command for his age. He can throw the fastball for strikes and while I don't think he's overly deceptive (I don't know, do we have release point data for minor league pitchers?), I think that by the end of 2018 Mata will be the top ranked player in the system.

Josh Ockimey will have more major league success than Sam Travis, Mike Chavis or Bobby Dalbec

I don't want to talk about Chavis' suspension, other than to say that bat speed is ridiculous and there aren't any supplements or steroids that'll give you that kind of ability. I stated my opinions on Travis, and I can see Dalbec becoming a .200/.300/.500 guy, but maybe not much more. Danny Diaz is also a person but I don't have enough to go on, and he's just a baby.

I just like Ockimey's eye and I think his bat control combined with his power let him project as a viable major league guy. The only thing that might hold him back is the defense, but we still have the DH in the American League and I think he can be a guy who hits .260, takes walks and hits 25 HR.

The disappointing thing about Chavis is the loss of developmental time. He's already 22 and losing more than half the year to this suspension really sucks. If I had to pick a guy as a trade chip, it would have been Chavis before the suspension but I don't think they should be looking to sell him at this point.

While there are always improvements to be made to both the MLB roster and the organization as a whole, I don't see Dombrowski making any major moves this year. The front office doesn't seem overly concerned with payroll flexibility but unless they can unload Hanley (which one, I don't think they should and two, I don't think they realistically can), they probably aren't bringing in any major pieces.

I can see them moving some small pieces for bullpen help mid-season, and if the rotation can't stay healthy maybe they move a Tanner Houck, Darwinzon Hernandez, etc. for a mid-rotation piece.

Overall, I think the organization stays relatively intact, the rotation in Salem continues to impress, Portland is somewhere in the middle of the pack in the Eastern League and I definitely make a trip or two to Manchester to see Vlad Jr and Bo Bichette and wish they were Sea Dogs.