Five minor league prospects from the Boston Red Sox farm system appear on the latest edition of Baseball Prospectus’ top 101 list.
The Boston Red Sox made several splashy moves to improve their major league roster this offseason, but what they have in the pipeline may be equally impressive.
Baseball Prospectus published their Top 101 Prospects of 2016 list on Friday, which included five players from the Red Sox minor league system. Leading the way is Yoan Moncada, who ranks as the No. 7 prospect in baseball according to this list. The 20-year old from Cuba got his first taste of professional baseball in this country last season, spending 81 games with Class A Greenville.
Joining Moncada on the list are third baseman Rafael Devers (No. 35), outfielder Andrew Benintendi (No. 46), right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinosa (No. 73) and right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech (No. 98).
The Red Sox don’t have a clear opening at the moment for any of these prospects, which is fine considering they each need more seasoning in the minor leagues. Moncada and Devers are bursting with so much talent that they may eventually force their way onto the roster regardless of if the team clears a path for them. It likely won’t be this year, but the Red Sox will need to be creative in order to make room for them down the line with Dustin Pedroia and Pablo Sandoval blocking them at their natural positions for the foreseeable future. Boston’s crowded outfield may need to make room for Benintendi, the team’s first-round pick in 2015, who is already knocking on the door to Fenway.
Boston’s farm system remains deep despite recently trading away a pair of prospects from this list, Manual Margot (No. 14) and Javier Guerra (No. 56), to acquire Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. A number of other highly touted prospects also graduated to the big leagues last year, including Blake Swihart, Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez. The year before that it was Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts shedding their prospect status.
While the Red Sox have struggled the past two seasons, they have also infused their roster with quality young talent. The fact that they are able to promote so many prospects that are now key members of their major league team, while retaining one of the top ranked farm systems, is a credit to their ability to draft quality talent and their top-notch scouting of the International market.
The Red Sox are poised to become a contender again in 2016, while their promising farm system will ensure they stay at that level for years to come.