Red Sox have three of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects
By Sean Penney
Former Red Sox prospects
Baseball America ranking: 2
Hit: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 70. Fielding: 50. Arm: 70. ETA: 2017.
The debate will rage on for years – should the Red Sox have kept Moncada and dealt Benintendi instead? Time will tell, but at least according to these rankings, it appears Dombrowski choose wisely. It helps that Benintendi hit the ground running in Boston, while Moncada struggled in his brief debut.
Moncada was also blocked for the foreseeable future at his natural position of second base. Boston transitioned him over to third, but the bright future of Devers makes dealing Moncada away easier to swallow.
Baseball America ranking: 21
Fastball: 70. Changeup: 70. Curveball: 60. Control: 55. ETA: 2019.
Seeing Espinoza ranked higher than any pitcher in the Red Sox farm system isn’t going to make anyone feel better about the Drew Pomeranz trade. Dombrowski pulled the trigger on that deal knowing his team needed another reliable starter down the stretch, but Pomeranz wasn’t able to carry over his All-Star first half with him to Boston.
There are a number of reasons to be optimistic that Pomeranz will turn things around this season, but the addition of Sale has created a logjam in the rotation, meaning Pomeranz isn’t guaranteed a spot. If he ultimately settles in at the back of the rotation or out of the bullpen, while Espinoza develops into a star a few years from now, we’ll look back at that deal as a disaster.
Baseball America ranking: 24
Hit: 60. Power: 40. Speed: 60. Fielding: 70. Arm: 55. ETA: 2017.
The speedy outfielder was shipped to San Diego in the Kimbrel trade. Margot projects to become an elite defensive player who brings an impact bat to the lineup.
Margot should become a very good player for the Padres, but he was unlikely to crack Boston’s star-studded outfield. That made him expendable, while the Red Sox acquired a flame-throwing closer they can trust to lock down the ninth inning.
Baseball America ranking: 32
Fastball: 80. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 45. ETA: 2018.
Boston may feel a tinge of regret about letting Kopech get away when they see his 100+ mph fastball blazing by hitters at some point next year, yet trading him as part of the package for Sale was still the right move. Kopech may be great one day, but Sale already is one of the best pitchers in the league.
Next: Early look at PawSox roster
With Sale on board, joining two other Cy Young candidates, two more that were All-Stars last year, plus the emerging Eduardo Rodriguez, this is already a crowded rotation. If Boston managed to keep Kopech out of the Sale trade then the right-hander would still struggle to earn a spot on this loaded staff.