Baseball America releases list of top ten Red Sox prospects


The Red Sox have been long removed from the 2014 season, missing the postseason with a 71-91 regular season record, but with the release of Baseball America’s top ten Red Sox prospects for 2015, we at least receive some Red Sox news on the final day of the baseball season.

This list from Baseball America, generally regarded as one of the most prominent ranking sites for prospects and amateurs, goes as follows.

  1. Blake Swihart
  2. Henry Owens
  3. Rusney Castillo
  4. Eduardo Rodriguez
  5. Brian Johnson
  6. Rafael Devers
  7. Manuel Margot
  8. Matt Barnes
  9. Deven Marrero
  10. Garin Cecchini

The top three on the list are no surprise, as Swihart, Owens, and Castillo– who still has rookie status for 2015 despite being 27 years old and receiving a cup of coffee– are clearly the three best prospects in the system. If anything, it’s surprising to see that Castillo, the speedy Cuban outfielder whom the Red Sox signed to a 7 year/$72M contract this August, doesn’t rank first given the commitment that the Red Sox made to him. However, it’s hard to argue with Swihart’s ceiling as an athletic catcher that should excel both at the plate and behind it or with Owens’ projectability as a 6’7″ left-hander and success through the Minor Leagues.

There are a few surprises after the top three, though. It’s mildly surprising to see Rodriguez and Johnson, a pair of strike-throwing lefties who project as back-end starters by most experts, rank fourth and fifth in the system, though both had incredible showings at Double-A Portland. Similarly, it’s a shock to see Devers and Margot, who have huge ceilings but are still relatively raw, rank at just sixth and seventh, respectively, but clearly Red Sox beat writer Alex Speier– who authored this list– values high floors over high ceilings, at least in this case.

From then on, there are no surprises. Anthony Ranaudo was miserable in a six-start stint with the Red Sox so it’s reasonable to see that he missed the top ten, while Barnes was solid in a few appearances out of the Red Sox bullpen. Marrero and Cecchini both have questions over their future as big league starters but each should be a contributing bench player at the very least.

It’s encouraging to see that, even with elite prospects like Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. graduating from rookie status this season, the Red Sox still have good depth in their organization. And even more exciting than that is the fact that every player on this list except Devers and Margot will likely see some Major League action next season as this system continues to churn out young talent. The organization no longer has the star power that it had a year ago but there’s still plenty of depth and this top ten prospect list paints an optimistic picture for the future of the Red Sox.