Red Sox have 4 prospects in latest Baseball America rankings update
The Boston Red Sox have four of the best prospects in baseball
Baseball America has revealed their updated rankings of the top 100 prospects in baseball, which includes four players from the Boston Red Sox farm system.
Chaim Bloom has done a remarkable job rebuilding the farm system. While he has stockpiled solid depth throughout the organization, their top prospects are the primary reason why the Red Sox were deemed the most improved farm system in 2021.
The four prospects on this list are the same four who appeared in the last version of Baseball America’s rankings in September but the order they appear on the list has drastically changed.
Shortstop Marcelo Mayer is now the top Red Sox prospect, landing at No. 15 on the top 100 list. The fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft made a leap from 29th in the September rankings based on a strong pro debut in the Florida Complex League. Mayer hit .275/.377/.440 with three home runs, four doubles and a triple in 107 plate appearances. The 19-year-old is several years away from the big leagues so his move to the top of the organizational prospect list is a sign of his immense upside.
The rise of Mayer moves him ahead of first baseman Triston Casas, who falls slightly from 15th to 19th in the updated rankings. The slight dip in rank has more to do with other ascending prospects like Mayer than anything Casas did to warrant moving down a few spots. Casas had a strong season, hitting .279/.394/.484 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 86 games split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester. He also boosted his stock with an impressive performance for Team USA in the Olympics. Casas is knocking on the door to the big leagues and should make his debut sometime this year.
The largest leap belongs to Nick Yorke, who moves up from 63rd to 31st. The second baseman put to rest any questions about the Red Sox selecting him in the first round of the 2020 draft with an outstanding season. Yorke hit .325/.412/.516 with 14 home runs, 20 doubles and five triples in 442 plate appearances split between Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville. His production actually improved slightly when he moved up a level and he could rise quickly through the Red Sox system.
The hype train has slowed down since Jarren Duran was ranked 37th in the last version of these rankings. He still makes the cut in the updated list but has fallen all the way to 91st. Duran struggled in his first taste of the big leagues, hitting .215/.241/.336 in 112 plate appearances. He showed flashes of the power that led to his rapid rise in previous editions of prospect rankings but not consistently. He wasn’t on base nearly enough to take advantage of his blazing speed. Most concerning was a 35.7 K% that would have been the worst in the majors if he had enough plate appearance to qualify.
It was a small sample for a young outfielder getting his first experience at the major league level. We can’t overlook that the cancelled minor league season in 2020 stalled the development of many prospects and made the gap between Triple-A and the majors wider than usual. Duran clearly has much to work on but he still has enticing upside.
Duran will get another shot in the majors and could join Casas in the same Red Sox lineup at some point in 2022. With two prospects on the verge of being ready for the majors and two other elite options in the lower levels of the system, the Red Sox have a nice blend of prospects for the present and the future.