Red Sox vs the AL East: farm systems

5 of 5

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

1. Boston Red Sox

Notable Prospects: Blake Swihart, Yoan Moncada, Rusney Castillo, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez, Manuel Margot, Rafael Devers, Brian Johnson, Garin Cecchini

Whether one judges the strength of a farm system off elite talent, depth, or both, the Red Sox have one of the top systems in the majors and certainly the top group in the AL East.

The Red Sox have no shortage of elite prospects between recent Cuban signees Rusney Castillo (who hit .333/.400/.528 in a 10-game sample in Boston last season) and Yoan Moncada, catcher Blake Swihart (ranked by many as the top catching prospect in baseball after a .293/.341/.469 season between Double-A and Triple-A), plus lefties Henry Owens (2.94 ERA, 9.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 in Double-A and Triple-A) and Eduardo Rodriguez (3.60 ERA in Double-A last season, but that ERA dropped to 0.96 in six starts after a midseason trade). And while they may not be ranked as top prospects just yet, players like Manuel Margot (.293/.356/.462 with 42 stolen bases between Class-A and High-A) and Rafael Devers (.322/.402/.506 between the DSL and GCL) have a good chance to break out in 2015.

However, in addition to the elite talent, the Red Sox’ farm system also has plenty of depth with future role players such as third baseman Garin Cecchini (.263/.341/.371 in Triple-A), lefty Brian Johnson (2.13 ERA between High-A and Double-A), shortstop Deven Marrero (.258/.327/.372 between Double-A and Triple-A), and right-hander Matt Barnes (3.95 ERA in Triple-A). There’s no doubt that the Red Sox are the top organization in this division and, frankly, it’s not really even close.