Boston Red Sox have MLB’s No. 2 ranked farm system


While the Boston Red Sox major league roster is already loaded with talent, their collection of prospects in the minor leagues may be even more impressive. The Red Sox have the second best farm system in Major League Baseball, according to rankings released by Baseball America this week.

Baseball America also ranked the Red Sox No. 2 last year, and they have retained their spot near the top of the list despite Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts graduating from prospect status. Players must not have exceeded 130 at-bats, 50 innings or 30 relief appearances in order to be considered a prospect.

Boston has been able to replenish their farm system by being aggressive in the Cuban market, spending over $130 million on Yoan Moncada and Rusney Castillo. The 19-year old Moncada didn’t qualify for the publication’s top 100 prospects list because he was still an international free agent at the time the list was released, but Baseball America already considers him the best prospect in the Red Sox organization.

Cuba isn’t the only international market the Red Sox have had success with, as they have also signed Rafael Devers and Manuel Margot out of the Dominican Republic in recent years. One of the primary reasons that Boston has been able to build a strong farm system while their major league team remains strong is because of the scouting they have done on international players and their willingness to spend aggressively in that market.

If we count Moncada on Baseball America’s list, Boston would have 8 of the top 100 prospects in baseball – more than any other franchise. They would also have 4 of the top 50 prospects, with only the Chicago Cubs having more than that.

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Castillo is the most likely rookie-eligible player from the Red Sox system to make an impact in 2015, if the team can find room for him in their crowded outfield. Even if he does have to start the season in Triple-A Pawtucket, the club won’t want to keep their $72.5 million man off the major league roster for long. Matt Barnes could also carve out a role in the bullpen this season.

Blake Swihart is rated as Boston’s second best prospect, coming in at No. 17 overall. The highest rated catcher on Baseball America’s prospects list is on the verge of making his way to the majors, but the Red Sox are wisely being patient with the 22-year old. We could see him in Boston later this season, but they won’t rush him.

Boston’s trio of left-handed starters all have a chance to pitch their way to Boston at some point this season. Henry Owens is ranked the highest of the group, but Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson have also been impressive. The one that thrives the most in Pawtucket this year could be the pitcher the Red Sox call on if their rotation needs reinforcements mid-season.

Baseball America also made note of 2014 draft pick Michael Kopech as a high-ceiling sleeper. They described the right-handed pitcher as having one of the fastest and liveliest arms of anyone from his draft class. He will take time to develop, but as he gains experience and other prospects ahead of him graduate to the big leagues, Kopech could soon force his way onto this list. also recently rated the Red Sox as having the No. 2 farm system in baseball. Their list pegged Moncada as the No. 9 prospect before the infielder had ever played a game on American soil. gave similar high praise to many of the same top prospects in the Red Sox organization ranked by Baseball America.

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