It’s officially prospect season. With the offseason now a few weeks deep, outlets around the interwebs have started to release their individual team prospect lists, and Baseball America is among them. The biggest name in prospect coverage on this here internet, they once again turned to Alex Speier to put together their top 10 list for the Red Sox, which can be found here. We highly encourage a subscription to Baseball America if you have any interest in what’s going on in the minors (and in amateur ball) around the league and the country. We’ll leave out what they say in the scouting sections of these posts, which you can find in the linked post above.
But here is the top 10 list:
- Marcelo Mayer, SS
- Triston Casas, 1B
- Nick Yorke, 2B
- Jarren Duran, OF
- Brayan Bello, RHP
- Jeter Downs, INF
- Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B
- Bryan Mata, RHP
- Josh Winckowski, RHP
- Jay Groome, LHP
This is an interesting list, and there are a few points I want to hit.
- We might as well start right at the top, where I have some disagreement. I put out my own personal top 10 earlier this month, and had Marcelo and Casas flipped on my list. I talked about it a bit in that post, but for me the upside of Casas’ bat as well as his proximity to the majors — he could debut in 2022 — puts him a bit ahead of Mayer. That said, the latter plays a more premium position and the 2021 first rounder has a real chance to be a special player. I think it’s close either way and my suspicion is that we’ll see a near even split of who tops various lists this winter.
- My biggest disagreement is with Jordan, who I was surprised to see as high as he was. There is certainly plenty of upside here from the 2020 draftee, and he has some of the best power potential in the system. When he did get a chance to play this past summer, it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. For me, though, the sample just wasn’t big enough for me to put him in my top 10. A big part of that, to be fair, is that I’m generally lower on players with as much swing and miss concern as Jordan has. If he comes out of the gates hot in 2022, I’ll quickly move him up my board. I just want to see it over a larger sample.
- I was also surprised to see Mata in this top 10. He’s another guy I think I was a bit lower on even before the injury, so in that sense it makes sense to see some difference in opinion here. But injury was a big reason I was lower on him, as I’m just not sure his body can keep up over a starter’s workload. I think he can be a really good reliever, and am excited to see what he looks like coming back from Tommy John surgery next summer, but that’s enough to put him in the top 10 for me.
- The biggest disagreement in the other direction was probably Groome, who I had as my top pitching prospect in the organization. But for me, this is more about the limitations of just straight rankings rather than doing tiers. I’d have Groome as the top pitcher, but he’s in the same tier as many of the other pitchers listed here. I had Connor Seabold and Wilkelman Gonzalez in as well, with Winckowski and Mata out, but I group them all similarly. I think Groome and Gonzalez have more upside than Mata does, and I think Seabold and Winckowski have similar upside with the former a little bit further along in his development. That’s my thinking behind the ordering, but again I think they’re all roughly in the same tier.
- My last surprise was that Gilberto Jimenez was not on the list. He is coming off something of an underwhelming year in his first taste of full-season ball. The outfielder was a little banged up as the year went on, and when he was playing he was just average at the plate. Even so, the athleticism is still there and he’s still only coming off his age-20 season. In a debate between him and Jordan, I suppose it comes down to what kind of player you prefer. Jordan has huge potential at the plate and game-changing power, but I’ll lean towards the athlete who plays up the middle.