The Boston Red Sox’ best prospects were named to MLB Pipeline’s Top-100 Prospects midseason update.
MLB.com released their midseason top-100 prospects update, and as expected, Rafael Devers and Jason Groome were there to represent the Red Sox farm system. Of course, Devers is in a different echelon than most prospects and is consistently regarded as one of the game’s elite. Expected to make his major league debut Tuesday night, the young third baseman is fourth on MLB’s list – behind only Yoan Moncada, Amed Rosario, and Gleyber Torres.
MLB’s list isn’t the first to consider Devers as one of the elite talents in the minor leagues, though. A few weeks ago he placed sixth on Baseball America’s midseason update as well. The general consensus surrounding his potential is a natural ability to drive the ball gap-to-gap, which has translated well across all levels he’s competed in this season. With raw power to spare, Devers slugged 20 home runs in 86 games between Double-A and Triple-A before earning a call-up over the weekend. In addition to being the top-ranked Red Sox prospect, he’s also the best third base prospect in baseball.
While talent evaluators are in agreement on Devers, the outlook on Jayson Groome is less decided. MLB’s preseason ranking viewed him had him at 41, but a lat strain that forced him to miss the first half of the season and a 10.47 ERA when healthy have knocked him down to 48. Baseball America’s midseason update was much more pessimistic than MLB’s, dropping him from 41st to 87th. Since an injury derailed the start of his pro career and he’s been inconsistent since returning, it’s understandable why Still, his ability to push 97 with a fastball that runs in on left-handed batters in addition to a 6-foot-6 frame will keep him among the better left-handed pitching prospects in baseball.
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Since an injury derailed the start of his pro career and he’s been inconsistent since returning, it’s understandable why evaluators are struggling to come to a consensus on the 2016 first round draft pick. Still, his ability to push 97 with a fastball that runs in on left-handed batters in addition to a 6-foot-6 frame will keep him among the better left-handed pitching prospects in baseball. While his fastball will draw attention on the radar gun, his best pitch has really been his curveball, which many scouts believed to be the best in his draft class.
One Red Sox player that was left off the list but could make a strong case for inclusion is third baseman, Michael Chavis. He earned inclusion on Baseball America’s top-100, placing 96th after failing to crack even the Red Sox organizational top-10 prior to the season. To be fair, he’s struggled to find consistency since being drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft, and only just started to break out in High-A this year. Since making the jump to Double-A he’s seen his progress regress though, posting a .270/.297/.486 slash line with six home runs in 30 games. He was hitting .318/.388/.641 with 17 home runs before the promotion.
All in all, the list doesn’t feature anything surprising for those that have been following the development of the Red Sox’ top prospects. Devers and Groome have been featured on every top-100 list thus far, and will likely continue to do so until they exceed their rookie eligibility. In the mean time, let us know what you think of the rankings in the comments below. Should Devers or Groome be higher? Does Chavis have a case for inclusion?