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MLB Pipeline releases top 30 Red Sox prospect list

There’s a few surprises.

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Boston Red Sox Photo Day Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

We are now just 16 days away from the start of the regular season, with spring training in full swing already. That puts us right at the end of prospect season, and it seems that this year MLB Pipeline will be the site closing out the ranking times. They unveiled their top 100 prospects list last week, and then this week they’re releasing their individual teams list. Boston had theirs unveiled on Monday, with some interesting rankings. I’ll post the top 10 below and provide thoughts on a few of the interesting rankings from the whole list under that, but as always we encourage you to head over to that link and check out their full rankings and the scouting reports.

  1. Marcelo Mayer, SS
  2. Triston Casas, 1B
  3. Nick Yorke, 2B
  4. Jarren Duran, OF
  5. Brayan Bello, RHP
  6. Jeter Downs, 2B/SS
  7. Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B
  8. Bryan Mata, RHP
  9. Brandon Walter, LHP
  10. Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP
  • For the most part, the top 10 is not a surprise, and particularly the top five. There have been some variations of who has appeared in this top five across the lists, but this does seem to be the core group, at least if you count Duran as a prospect. (Most sites do, for what it’s worth.) We’ve covered a lot of this throughout the offseason, so there’s really not much to add here.
  • Really, the only surprise to me in this top 10 is Walter making an appearance, only the second time he’s done that. The southpaw was number eight on Keith Law’s list. Walter is a fascinating prospect, and while I probably wouldn’t put him quite this high I also understand the logic. The lefty was electric last season in the first real chance we got to see him in game action. He was older than the top competition he was facing pretty much all season, which is a significant factor in player evaluation, but he could only face the competition in front of him, and he passed that test nearly every time. I’m at a point where I’m willing to move him up my personal list early and quickly if he comes out of the gate hot, but I need to see it against high-minors competition before considering him for a top 10 spot.
  • The middle section of this list, specifically from 14-16, is an underrated part of the Red Sox system. It’s Josh Winckowski, Connor Seabold, and Thaddeus Ward, all three of whom are relatively close to the majors and can give the Red Sox homegrown back-end starters in the near future. It’s exactly what the Red Sox have been lacking in recent years, and while there are a few pitchers ahead of them on this list with more upside, these are the kinds of pitchers that can help a contending team get through a marathon season. (Though for Ward, coming off Tommy John, that’s more likely in 2023 than this year.)
  • The 17 and 18 spots stand out to me as well, with a pair of young outfielders in Miguel Bleis at 17 and Gilberto Jimenez at 18. This honestly feels a little bit too low for each. With Bleis, it’s all betting on upside and scouting. We’ve seen him as high as six on these lists, but I’d probably settle more in the 11-15 range. With Jimenez, it really feels like we’re flying too far in the other direction. He needs to hit the ball harder, and the ceiling may not be quite as high as we’d hoped at this time last year, but it wasn’t a disaster of a 2021. I think he’ll rebound and be back on top 10 lists next year.
  • The most surprising name on the entire list is probably infielder Eddinson Paulino, who comes in at number 20. I don’t think I’ve seen him on any list this year. That’s not to say it’s a bad ranking, though. He’s a player I probably should have paid a bit more attention to as an infielder who can put the ball in play and is something of a sum-of-the-parts player. Those are usually the guys I gravitate towards, so this puts him on my radar a bit more than perhaps he was 24 hours ago.
  • Coming in at the last spot is Chih-Jung Liu, who was a relatively big addition shortly after the 2019 season, but obviously COVID cancelled his first minor-league season and he fell a bit off the radar. He did pitch a bit last year, and while he certainly is still rough around the edges there’s enough to like with the stuff that I’m glad he’s getting a little recognition, even if it’s down at number 30.

Here is our consensus top prospects list, taking top 10 rankings from every major list around the web. As a reminder, this is not meant to be a perfect ranking but a general feel for how the industry feels about the system. For players who are not ranked on a list, for the purposes of our average ranking calculation we count them as if they are the top unranked prospect on the list. As an example, if someone is not ranked on this MLB Pipeline list they will be counted as the number 31 prospect.

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