We are just a day away from the first day of this year’s draft, putting everyone’s focus on the prospects who are not yet in the Red Sox system, or any system for that matter. And the next few days are going to be focused almost entirely on the new players picked up in the draft, so today we figured it was a good day to catch up on a few non-draft prospect-related items. On Friday, FanGraphs released their farm system rankings while Baseball Prospectus released their midseason top 50 prospect list.
FanGraphs Farm System Rankings
These are surely going to change after the draft, but this is a handy little guide as to where teams stand relative to each other before the three-day event, at least in one staff’s eyes. And in the eyes of FanGraphs, the Red Sox rank right in the middle of the pack at number 15. Considering where this group was just a couple of years ago as one of the clear bottom-tier farms in the league, jumping as high as 15 is a legitimate leap forward.
The way FanGraphs does their rankings is by assigning a dollar value to different tiers of Future Values — here’s a guide on Future Value, which will be referred to as FV going forward — and then simply adding up the dollar values. There’s no perfect way to do this, but this does give an interesting look at how teams get to their respective rankings. For example, the Red Sox are valued at $198 million, but their average prospect value is $4 million, which is the 10th lowest in the game. In other words, the Red Sox are doing it with quantity more so than quality.
The Red Sox 50 players of at least 35+ FV, the cutoff to get a dollar valuation, the fourth-highest total in the league. However, they have no player with a FV higher than 55, and only five players with an FV of at least 45+. So to sum it up, the Red Sox have a ton of mid-range talent, which is no small thing, but their relative lack of top-end talent is holding them back from an even higher ranking.
The good news for the Red Sox and people who want to see this ranking higher? They’re picking fourth in the draft on Sunday, giving them a big chance at a real impact talent. It’s this reason why I’m mostly against going underslot. The way the Red Sox system is set up right now, they need top-end talent more than they need to add depth to the farm. If they take advantage, I could see this ranking bumping up to the top 10 by the start of next year.
BP’s Midseason Top 50
In addition to those farm system rankings, we got another national publication releasing a big ranking with Baseball Prospectus unveiling their midseason top 50 prospects in baseball. We won’t spend too much time on this one as it is behind a paywall and we don’t want to give too much away, but we will say there was one Red Sox prospect on the list with Jarren Duran coming in at number 32. It’s not surprising to see him here, though it is a bit surprising to see Triston Casas omitted. The first base prospect has been scuffling a bit of late, but the overall numbers are still solid and scouts I’ve spoken to don’t appear worried. Casas is still the best prospect in the system in my mind.