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Red Sox Prospect Notes: New rankings come out

We have a new top 100 list, and a new Red Sox list.

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New York Yankees Vs. Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Tuesday was a rare busy day for Boston Red Sox fans, at least for those who follow prospect rankings around the team’s farm system. We saw two new lists drop that are of interest to Red Sox fans, with Kiley McDaniel over at ESPN ranking his top 100 prospects in baseball, a list which includes three Red Sox prospects. On top of that, over at The Athletic, Keith Law released his list of top Red Sox prospects. We’ll go over both below, and also update the consensus top prospect rankings with Law’s list now included.

Three Red Sox prospects land on Kiley McDaniel’s top 100 list

We’ll start with the top 100 list, which is actually the worst showing we’ve seen on national top 100 lists for Red Sox prospects this winter. Every other list to this point has had four names, although the fourth name hasn’t always been the same player, but McDaniel only ranks three Red Sox prospects. Neither Jarren Duran nor Brayan Bello, who had been the fourth player on these lists, make an appearance.

At the top of the list, we see a continuation of a theme in which Marcelo Mayer has been considered the top Red Sox prospect by just about every national evaluator. McDaniel puts Boston’s 2021 first round pick at number 22 on his list, making the young shortstop the last prospect in the 60 Future Value tier. That’s on the 20-80 scouting scale. Mayer finds himself sandwiched between Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene.

Coming in next is Triston Casas, whose status as a first base only prospect really seems to be moving him a bit lower down these lists than I would have expected coming into the offseason. That, of course, is not to say it’s wrong because there is a whole lot of pressure on his bat to approach maxing out its potentially if he’s going to live up to the lofty expectations. Casas comes in at number 46 on this list, ranked between Tampa Bay Rays infielder Vidal Brujan and some guy named Nick Yorke.

Yorke has been the big mover among Red Sox prospects this winter, becoming a consensus top 100 prospect, and in fact some people have had him ranked ahead of Casas. Here, they are essentially tied, taking up back-to-back spots on the list. McDaniel, if I recall correctly, was the only player last summer to have him in the top 100 conversation, so having the second baseman in the top 50 here isn’t a surprise. Yorke has Casas ahead of him, as we know, and is directly ahead of Houston Astros infielder Jeremy Peña.

So that leaves only three Red Sox prospects on the list, but all three in the top 50 with Mayer at 22, Casas at 46, and Yorke at 47.

Keith Law ranks the top Red Sox prospects

Out of respect for The Athletic’s paywall, we’ll refrain from speaking in too much detail about this list, but we’ll have a few notes below and then the updated consensus top prospects rankings at the bottom of this post.

  • With Law having already released his top 100 list last month, we know the top four prospects and what order they land among Red Sox prospects. That’d be Mayer at one, Yorke two, Casas three, and Bello four. In addition to that, Jeter Downs (5) and Duran (6) each made appearances on Law’s just missed list. It’s a little more down on Duran than I’d be, but the top six is about what we’ve come to expect from most lists, just with the order slightly altered.
  • Law is very much buying into much of the performance we saw last season from left-handed pitcher Brandon Walter, who comes in at number eight on this list. A former 26th round pick, he had a huge breakout year in 2021, pitching to a 2.92 ERA over 122 23 innings with 171 strikeouts and only 28 walks. Law calls his slider plus and gives him a chance to settle in as a number four starter down the road.
  • The most surprising ranking here for me is at number nine with shortstop Matthew Lugo. This is far and away the highest I’ve seen him anywhere. Now, Law has been high on Lugo since the young shortstop was drafted, and in all honesty I was right there with him last season. That said, Lugo struggled in his first taste of full-season ball, hitting .270/.338/.364, a line that looked a lot worse than that for most of the year. He also made a ton of mistakes in the field with a whopping 33 errors. Lugo is only going to be 21 this year and he has the tools to potentially be a solid all-around shortstop, but I need to see a cleaner season before I can consider him even a top 15 prospect in the system.
  • On the other side of that coin, while Law is particularly high on Lugo he is much lower on Connor Seabold compared to other national writers we’ve seen. The right-handed pitcher comes in at number 19 on this list. While I would have Seabold higher, I actually don’t find myself disagreeing to the same extent here. His proximity to the majors bumps him up to a borderline top 10 name for me, but I agree with Law that there is not much of a ceiling here.
  • Just speaking generally about the lists we’ve seen thus far, I think the name that continues to surprise me for not even being mentioned in Miguel Bleis, who to me is an easy top 20 prospect in this system, and probably even top 15 for me. The outfield prospect doesn’t have much professional experience, which is a fair criticism, but what we saw last season and the scouting reports even before he played in a game are enough for me to be enamored with the potential. I think he’ll be one who will be making a big jump on all these lists.

Here is our new consensus ranking:

Red Sox Consensus Prospect Rankings

Prospect Sox Prospects Baseball America Baseball Prospectus Keith Law FanGraphs MLB Pipeline Average Rank
Prospect Sox Prospects Baseball America Baseball Prospectus Keith Law FanGraphs MLB Pipeline Average Rank
Marcelo Mayer 2 1 1 1 2 1 1.3
Triston Casas 1 2 3 3 1 2 2
Nick Yorke 3 3 2 2 3 3 2.7
Jarren Duran 4 4 4 6 - 4 4.4
Brayan Bello 6 5 5 4 8 5 5.5
Jeter Downs 5 6 6 5 11 6 6.5
Bryan Mata 10 8 7 10 12 8 9.2
Blaze Jordan 7 7 10 13 16 7 10.0
Jay Groome 8 10 NR 7 13 12 10.2
Brandon Walter 17 11 NR 8 10 9 11.0
Wilkelman Gonzalez 12 13 NR 17 4 10 11.2
Gilberto Jimenez 9 23 8 12 5 18 12.5
Connor Seabold 11 21 9 19 7 15 13.7
Miguel Bleis 15 20 NR NR 6 17 15.0
Josh Winckowski 13 9 NR NR 27 14 15.8
Matthew Lugo 28 14 NR 9 31 13 17.7
Ronaldo Hernández 23 27 NR 15 9 24 18.2