Red Sox Farm System Ranked Fifth Overall


You wouldn’t know it from all of the signings and trades the Boston Red Sox brass made in this off-season, but youth abounds in their system. So many prospects are getting so much attention, that the Red Sox may have to pass out towels for other teams’ general managers to wipe up the drool.

ESPN released their rankings for the minor league systems of Major League Baseball clubs, on Wednesday. The results were not surprising, considering the amount of media attention Boston has gotten over the last few months. The Red Sox ranked fifth overall on the list. The Chicago Cubs topped the list, followed by the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, and the New York Mets as the only teams ranked higher.

Mar 3, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (80) works out prior to the game at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Mastrodonato reported that general manager “[Ben] Cherington said it’s been the Red Sox’s decision not to trade any of their top young prospects and had nothing to do with potential under-valuation by competing clubs” ( Cherington alluded to calls made by other clubs, inquiring about Boston’s top prospects, but no deals made sense, as of yet. Considering five Red Sox prospects made ESPN’s top-100 prospects list, that is not surprising. Rising catcher Blake Swihart ranked 10th and left-handed pitcher Henry Owens ranked 20th, while Eduardo Rodriguez, Rafael Devers, and Manuel Margot made up the rest of the list. It will take another team giving up a great and powerful asset to pry any of them away from Boston. That also could be said for the still-young utility player Brock Holt, starting catcher Christian Vazquez, and recent rookie sensations Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo.

Last season, the Red Sox depended on their youth to take over for many of their veterans getting hurt, including 2013 postseason hero Shane Victorino and former American League MVP Dustin Pedroia. And they didn’t disappoint. From highlight-reel catches in the outfield, to incredible defensive infield plays, to production at the plate, the young players found a way to plug the holes that the Red Sox found leaking from their ship.

Each one of these prospects are the future of the Red Sox organization, whether with the big club or traded for another strong, veteran asset. As each of them are spread in a variety of positions in the outfield, infield, and the battery, there is no real need for Cherington to trade any of them. Their minor league success may just breed major league championships, one day. With many of the new signings being older and for only one-year deals, the future may be sooner than Red Sox Nation thinks.

The worry on social media has been the fact that Cherington has bought many pitchers who have no signs of being the ace of the club. Names like Cole Hamels and Stephen Strasburg have been dropped like dreams, raining down from the Beantown faithful. Those names at the moment are merely that: dreams. Depending on the contracts they would have to sign, or the future free agent ones like David Price in 2016, Boston’s dreams could become nightmare deals, bleeding money from the team. In terms of sheer economics, it does not make sense to let go of pitchers or position players, who would be cheaper for longer and have the potential for greatness, to pick up elderly players who could win one World Series and destroy the team’s finances for another decade.

Be proud of this minor league ranking, Red Sox fans, because it could be the sign of a dynasty cometh the dawn.

* For more information on the Boston Red Sox prospects, check out our ‘Minor League’ section, where you will find an article on each of the top prospects in the organization.

** For more information on the ESPN baseball farm system rankings, click the following: