A couple familiar names made the list, but one surprise player landed on the Top 100 for the first time.
The last time Baseball America released their list of the Top 100 Prospects in the game was May 11. That list contained just two Red Sox players – Rafael Devers and Jason Groome – following the graduation of Andrew Benintendi. At the time, there weren’t any 2017 draft picks or international signings to talk about, so just a month into the season the list was more or less as expected. Nearly two months later, that’s no longer the case.
Devers and Groome made it again, but there is one man that not many would have predicted to crack the Top 100. Michael Chavis, in the midst of a huge breakout in the Red Sox minor league system, made the list for the first time in his career.
Before we get into evaluating the three prospects that made the Top 100, it’s worth noting that there was a strong showing of future Red Sox on the Top 10 International Prospects as well. Catcher Daniel Flores and shortstop Danny Diaz, both out of Venezuela, ranked second and seventh respectively.
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As for the prospects already in the Red Sox farm system, it’s only natural to start with their blue chip piece – Rafael Devers. At this point, there isn’t much more than can be said about the budding star. The torrid pace he’s been on in Double-A has moved him up to 6th on the list (previously 14th), below Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez and above Brendan Rogers of the Rockies. He was recently selected to his second All-Star Futures team in as many years and is poised to reach the majors at some point this season. With a .944 OPS and 18 home runs, it’s only a matter of time until we see him in Boston.
Following Devers, there’s only one other name in the farm system that would be expected to rank this highly. A first-round pick in 2016, Jason Groome has all the talent to be a force in the big league rotation one day but hasn’t really had a chance to let that show this season. He’s started just five games due to injury. After placing 41st on the May 11 update, he’s fallen to 87th on the midseason report – which is understandable given the time he’s missed. He is healthy now though, and if he’s able to keep it together for the rest of the season his talent will undoubtedly bring him back to the top-half on any end-of-season lists.
Lastly, there’s third base prospect Michael Chavis. The 2014 first-round pick has taken some time to develop after getting drafted out of high school but has put together a quality season between High-A and Double-A in 2017. He’s never really gotten much recognition from Baseball America in the past, having consistently ranked outside the Red Sox’ top 10 in each of his three previous seasons, so it’s funny that they’re just now giving him some credit. To be fair, he’s never posted an OPS above .772 at any level until this season.
The numbers he’s put up between Salem and Portland have made him impossible to ignore, though, explaining his placement at 96 by Baseball America. In 59 games in the Carolina League, he hit .329 with 17 home runs, 56 RBIs, and 18 doubles. Since being promoted, he’s hit .288 with a .821 OPS and 3 home runs in 15 games against Eastern League pitching. His breakout season is being recognized and rightfully so. If anything, Chavis is another reminder to be patient with prospects.