Red Sox 2016 Prospects Lists Up For Debate


The Boston Red Sox top 10 prospects lists have a couple of variations that seem pretty interesting to how the team may shape up in the next couple of years.

Baseball America  announced their list of the top 10 prospects for the Boston Red Sox, yesterday. The list is pretty interesting, especially when it comes to the new up-and-comers:

  1. Yoan Moncada, 2B
  2. Rafael Devers, 3B
  3. Andrew Benintendi, OF
  4. Anderson Espinoza, RHP
  5. Michael Kopech, RHP
  6. Brian Johnson, LHP
  7. Sam Travis, 1B
  8. Deven Marrero, SS
  9. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
  10. Michael Chavis, 3B

However, has a slightly different list, as of today:

  1. Moncada
  2. Devers
  3. Johnson
  4. Benintendi
  5. Kopech
  6. Espinoza
  7. Marrero
  8. Chavis
  9. Travis
  10. Trey Ball, LHP

The differences in the lists can be simply a matter of timing, as Major League Baseball may not have updated their information just yet. However, even if that were true, it shows the shifting of attitudes that the organization will be going through in the next few years.

Moncada is the future, whether in Dustin Pedroia‘s time with Boston or not.

However, the drop for Johnson has a number of factors involved. His debut against the Houston Astros was not as stellar as Eduardo Rodriguez in 2015. He wasn’t brutal, but at a time when the starting rotation was in disarray (if it isn’t still that way), Johnson had an opportunity to solidify his status with the team with a good showing. Now, with a slip down the ranks and pitching additions like David Price and Craig Kimbrel to the big club, the Red Sox may not feel the need to worry about Johnson’s status as anything more than an asset for a further trade to be made later.

Benintendi and Espinoza seem to be rising as fast as Moncada, blowing away the competition in the minors by looking more like major leaguers. Even Price asked about Benintendi’s evolution with the team, which helped him decide on signing as a free agent with Boston.

It’s also interesting that the outfielders are clearly outnumbered. That’s not surprising since the Red Sox have four possible starting outfielders on the team that are youthful faces, three of them with only a year or two of MLB experience.

The movement is clearly with infielders, which just so happens to be the sore spot for the Red Sox. With a lack of confidence in Pablo Sandoval at third, a shift to first base for the often-injured Hanley Ramirez, and the aging Pedroia showing his years with some injuries of his own, players like Brock Holt and Travis Shaw have had to pick up the slack. Having an influx of top prospects being infielders at all of those positions seems to suggest that they will not be traded any time soon, unless for a juicy trade down the line.

Expect the youth movement to continue for the next couple of seasons, but not like the traditional re-building stages. The young players will be expected to be the next Mookie Betts: coming in as starters with the potential for All-Star status. With Xander Bogaerts shining at shortstop, Blake Swihart looking more and more like the starting catcher, and the outfield looking very young all over, all that’s left are the aging positions which may have big contracts but that doesn’t mean big performances. If the Red Sox want to win, most of these prospects will be needed to fill the competency void.