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FanGraphs released Red Sox top prospect list

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They have 33 players ranked

Trison Casas
Kelly O’Connor; https://sittingstill.smugmug.com/

As we wait for the Red Sox to really start to shape their roster for beyond the 2020 season, prospect season continues to roll along. The latest site to enter the fray with their Red Sox farm rankings is Fangraphs, who unveiled their list on Thursday. They do things a little differently than other sites. Rather than picking a number of prospects to rank for every team, Fangraphs ranks as many players they can with a future value of 35+ or higher. For an explanation of future value, you can head here.

There are a couple of reasons to like this method. For one thing, it is a better representation of the depth of any given organization. Some teams could have more high-end minor leaguers, but lack the depth further down. Obviously there are pros and cons to both, but it’s another data point worth considering. Additionally, it makes it easier to put prospects in buckets. Everyone loves rankings, but there is always extra context needed beyond where each player strictly ranks. The gap between prospects is as important — probably moreso — than the order in which they are ranked. With the Fangraphs method, the players are naturally broken up by their future value.

Here is how they ranked the top ten, and you can see the rest of the rankings as well as blurbs on some other prospects outside the top 33 by following the linked post above.

  1. Triston Casas
  2. Bryan Mata
  3. Bobby Dalbec
  4. Noah Song
  5. Gilberto Jimenez
  6. Matthew Lugo
  7. Cameron Cannon
  8. Tanner Houck
  9. Jarren Duran
  10. Thad Ward

A few thoughts on the list.

  • There were a lot of differences here compared to most of the other lists we’ve seen. The first one that jumped out to me early was Lugo and Cannon being so high. It is worth noting, though, that prospects 7-19 are all tagged with a 40 future value. Again, it is valuable being able to see which players are in the same bucket.
  • This list is high on young, international prospects. Jimenez is, of course, the most highly ranked but the FanGraphs prospect staff (Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel, mainly) are clearly either high on the potential of these young players or lower on the potential of the older prospects. As they point out in their wrap-up at the tend, Boston is lacking in high-end prospects but they have a lot of young depth. They point out that 19 of the 33 prospects listed are under 21 years old.
  • One prospect that is particularly low is Jay Groome, who is down at 14. He has easily been in the top ten on every other list thus far. This is even lower than I would have him, but I still agree that the value has fallen quite a bit.
  • C.J. Chatham is also very low at 19. This seems like a ceiling vs. floor debate, and with him being on the verge of the majors and at least capable of serving in a backup role, I’d have him higher in the system. I don’t see his ceiling like some others do, though.
  • The newly-signed Chih-Jung Liu, a pitcher out of Taiwan, is up to number 12 here. He’s someone we aren’t really familiar with yet having just signed this winter, but he received a big $750,000 bonus.
  • Again, for the full rankings and, more importantly, the scouting grades and write-ups, follow the link above.

Here is our updated consensus list. As a reminder, this is everyone who has made a top twenty on at least one list. For the average ranking, any player who is unranked on a particular list is counted as being the number after said ranking’s final spot. For example, players unranked by FanGraphs will be counted as the number 34 prospect in the system.

Red Sox Top Prospects

Player Sox Prospects Baseball Prospectus Baseball America Fangraphs Average
Player Sox Prospects Baseball Prospectus Baseball America Fangraphs Average
Triston Casas 1 1 1 1 1.0
Bobby Dalbec 5 3 2 3 4.3
Bryan Mata 2 7 3 2 4.7
Jarren Duran 6 4 4 9 7.7
Noah Song 8 2 9 4 7.7
Gilberto Jimenez 4 9 8 5 8.7
Jay Groome 3 6 7 14 10.0
Thad Ward 10 5 6 10 10.3
Tanner Houck 7 8 10 8 11.0
Matthew Lugo 13 10 NA 6 13.3
C.J. Chatham 9 12 NA 19 17.0
Cameron Cannon 16 17 NA 7 17.0
Nick Decker 15 15 NA 13 18.0
Antoni Flores 18 14 NA 15 19.3
Ryan Zeferjahn 11 11 NA 26 19.7
Brayan Bello 17 NA NA 11 20.0
Chris Murphy 14 NA NA 20 22.0
Aldo Ramirez 12 20 NA 28 23.7
Brandon Howlett 22 NA NA 18 24.0
Durbin Feltman 24 13 NA 25 24.3
Marcus Wilson 20 NA NA 22 24.7
Ceddanne Rafaela 19 NA NA NA 28.3
Brainer Bonaci 40 NA NA 16 29.3
Bryan Gonzalez 41 NA NA 17 30.0
Yoan Aybar 30 19 NA 31 30.3
Jaxx Groshans 56 16 NA NA 39.0
Dedgar Jimenez NA 18 NA NA 41.3
Chih-Jung Liu* 24** 12
Darwinzon Hernandez* 5

*Darwinzon Herandez and Chih-Jung Liu were not eligible for every list, for different reasons.

**Liu was ranked after the initial offseason rankings for Sox Prospects, which is what was used for this table. That is why there are two #24s in that column.