These days around the interwebs, there are two major prospect seasons. The first and biggest is, of course, after the New Year before the season starts. This is when sites release their big individual team lists as well as their top 100 (or whatever number they use) for the entire league. The second is right around now. This has turned into the most logical time for sites to update their top prospect lists given that teams are talking trades with all kinds of prospects right now. Plus, the draft is in the rearview and July 2 has signed, so most of the infusion of new talent from the amateur level has already happened. Baseball America is among the sites updating their prospect lists, and that includes the Red Sox’ top ten list. Below is the new top ten Red Sox prospect list according to Alex Speier and Baseball America. You can see the list in full here.
- Jason Groome
- Triston Casas
- Michael Chavis
- Bryan Mata
- Tanner Houck
- Jalen Beeks
- Mike Shawaryn
- C.J. Chatham
- Bobby Dalbec
- Darwinzon Hernandez
So, there aren’t really many surprises here, though there is a clear lack of top-shelf talent in the organization right now. What that means is that you can really order most of this group however you want and you won’t see much of a difference. BA is behind a paywall so I don’t want to give too much away, particularly with respect to their analysis, but I do have a few thoughts on the list.
- Groome in the top spot is not a surprise nor is it something I disagree with, but it does say a lot about the organization that its top prospect is injured and unlikely to pitch again until late 2019.
- Casas slotting in at number two was surprising. I won’t pretend to know enough about the 2018 first round pick to say it’s right or wrong, but I have heard enough positive chatter that it’s encouraging. I expected him to be ranked somewhere in the 3-5 range, but to see him above Chavis already sure is something. You have to wonder if a strong close to the year for Chavis will flip these two.
- The top four seems to be pretty clear right now, and Houck is sort of the bridge between the “premium” (for lack of a better word) and “good” prospects in the system. The 2017 first round pick can still go in either direction, and the team is letting him get back to his old delivery, but there are some real questions here.
- I was surprised that Dalbec and Hernandez didn’t rank higher, though I’m not sure I could justify either above Beeks or Shawaryn. I probably would have had Hernandez, Dalbec, Chatham as my 8, 9, 10, but like I said above the ordering isn’t hugely important here. All three should be in Double-A by the start of 2019 at the very latest.
- It’s strange but somewhat liberating to see a top ten list without Sam Travis. Now we can finally talk about him as a potential bit piece, which is fine and more likely what he is, than discussing him like he has a legitimate chance of being the First Baseman Of The Future. He and 2017 second round pick Cole Brannen were discussed among the “fallers”.
- Speaking of First Basemen Of The Future, I was a bit surprised that Josh Ockimey wasn’t in the top ten, though I’m not sure I’d have him there either. I do like Ockimey more than Travis, but as Speier mentions in this writeup — Ockimey is mentioned in the “risers” section along with Antoni Flores and Travis Lakins — he’s likely a platoon bat in the Adam Lind mold. I think I’d have him tenth over Chatham, but again the differences here are not large.
What do you think of the list?