As we continue plodding along prospect season immensely thankful for its presence given the lack of anything else in baseball right now, the big theme for the Boston Red Sox has been resurgence. Boston’s farm system is not among the elites in the game right now, but it is undoubtedly taking steps forward. That was never more on display than with the recent Baseball America ranking of all farm systems around baseball, a list on which Boston came in at number 11. Keith Law has done the same on Monday, and his ranking may serve to knock Red Sox fans down a peg or two.
Boston comes in at number 20 on this list, and while we’ll keep most of what he said off this page out of respect for The Athletic’s paywall, it is implied that any gains that may have been made on the farm were outweighed by some disappointing performances. And sure enough, Boston actually finds itself in the same exact position they did last season by Law’s rankings. They are fourth among AL East teams, ahead of the Yankees with the other three clubs all in the top 10.
Now, I’ll say off the top that I disagree with the premise that there has been no improvement on the system, but I’ll mention a couple of key points first. One is that I don’t have nearly the kind of national prospect knowledge to really pick nits about specific rankings. I’m focused more on how much the system has improved from last season, and based on this ranking it really hasn’t at all. There’s also the obvious point of bias. There are players I want to succeed, and whether I care to admit it or not it can cloud judgement.
All of that being said, I’m not really sure how you can keep the Red Sox at the same ranking they were last season at this time. Again, whether you want them at 20 or 15 or 11 or five is really not something I’m qualified to say. But they’ve clearly improved from last season. For me, I think this ranking is putting too much stock in Jarren Duran’s big-league struggles last season. I think it’s probably also fair to say I see Triston Casas as a better prospect than Law does, as Casas was in the back 50 of Law’s top 100.
Of course, time will tell which of us is right on that point specifically and the system as a whole. Based on track records I would say Law is probably (read: definitely) a better bet in prospect evaluation, and while I don’t agree with this ranking specifically it is making me take a step back and maybe consider that I’ve perhaps been a tad too high on this group as a whole.