It’s hard to argue against the fact that the farm system for the Boston Red Sox has been improving for the last few years and where they stand now in that specific area is markedly better than even just three or four seasons ago. Granted, the goal of an organization is not to build the best minor-league system but rather the major-league team that wins the most games possible, but that second part becomes easier with the first alongside it.
On that subject, after last month releasing their top 100 prospects list, Baseball America on Wednesday released their annual organizational rankings for the best farm systems in all of baseball. For this year’s list, the Red Sox come in at number eleven, right between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cleveland Guardians. In terms of the division, Boston finds itself right in the middle among AL East clubs, behind both the Tampa Bay Rays (2) and Baltimore Orioles (4), but ahead of the New York Yankees (13) and Toronto Blue Jays (19).
As we said above, the system is undoubtedly improving and that certainly stands out when you compare to where the team sat prior to last season, coming in at number 20 on this same rankings. That said, they are actually down slightly from the mid-season re-rankings last summer when BA had Boston ranked as the ninth best system. It seems at a glance the big difference seems to be with Jarren Duran, who was in their top 25 prospects in the game mid-year last season, but has dropped down to 91 at this point.
Even so, with the emergence of Nick Yorke, which had started by midseason last year but really went into hyper drive in the second half of the season, I have a hard time being anything but positive about the top tier of Boston’s system. The concerns around Duran are valid even if they’re a bit over-exaggerated at times, but Triston Casas continues to mash, Marcelo Mayer did as much as he could in his short first foray into pro ball, and the aforementioned Yorke surge gives Boston at least three top tier prospects. And that’s without even mentioning the non-BA top 100 names like Brayan Bello and Blaze Jordan who could be on nearly all top 100 lists by midseason.
Like we said at the top, the goal should not be to have the best farm system. They don’t give rings for that. But in today’s game with talent skewing younger than it did even 15 years ago, having this kind of pipeline of talent is essential, and this is yet another sign the Red Sox are trending in the right direction.