The Boston Red Sox are coming off a definitively successful season at the major-league level, making it all the way to the ALCS. But in addition to the run at the highest level, they continued the building up of their farm system and making it perhaps the most improved in all of baseball. Last season at this time, Boston had a pair of prospects in the middle portion of top 100 lists (Triston Casas and Jeter Downs) and a couple more who were borderline cases (Bobby Dalbec and Jarren Duran).
Well, Baseball America has released their top 100 list, which is always the most prestigious of the various top 100 lists around the interwebs, on Wednesday, and we can see much of the team’s improvement here. To be fair, a lot of that push forward on the farm has come in terms of depth, but the high-end talent is on another level now than we’ve seen since the system’s hey day in the mid-2010s. Boston had four players on the top 100, with two in the 10-20 range, one in the 30-40 range, and another in the 90-100 range. As always, we encourage you to check out the full list and the scouting reports accompanying the player’s placement on the list, but here’s a quick rundown of who placed where and an instant reaction to the ranking.
Coming out on top among Red Sox prospects is the 2021 first round pick Marcelo Mayer. The young shortstop fell to four despite many seeing him as the top prospect in the class, and Boston jumped at the chance to add him to the organization. Mayer ranks 15 on this list, right between Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Oneil Cruz and Chicago Cubs outfielder Brennan Davis. He is the most highly ranked prospect from last summer’s draft.
Only a few spots behind him is Triston Casas, who many rankers do and will have ahead of Mayer. Baseball America is opting for the younger middle infield in these rankings, though, with Casas four places back at number 19. As a first baseman the defensive value drags him down a bit, but the middle-of-the-order upside offensively and the fact that he should be on track to debut this coming season is enough to keep him in the top 20. Casas ranks between Seattle Mariners Noelvi Marte and and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll.
The biggest surprise to me on this list was Nick Yorke, who was not only Boston’s most improved prospect but among the biggest jumpers in the game. The 2020 surprise first round pick had a huge 2021 splitting time between A-Ball and High-A, showing off a big-time hit tool and enough power to be a starter at the highest level. Yorke comes in at number 31, and while I expected him to be on most top 100 lists I figured he’d be in the back half. Instead, he’s between San Diego Padres outfielder Robert Hassell III and Diamondbacks outfielder Alek Thomas.
Finally, Jarren Duran sneaks in a little bit lower than I expected, but not in an unreasonable spot at 91. Duran finally got to show off some swing adjustments to add more power and dominated at Triple-A for most of the season. However, after a promotion to the majors in the second half some holes in his swing were exposed and he’ll have to show he can make more contact before he can be viewed more highly than this. Duran is ranked between Minnesota Twins infielder Jose Miranda and New York Mets infielder Ronny Mauricio.