3 AL East rookies who Red Sox must prepare to face in 2022
The Red Sox have an elite rookie class to deal with in their division
Most of our focus during the offseason is directed toward how teams will improve by adding players through free agency or the trade market but some upgrades will be found internally. While the Boston Red Sox will use their farm system as a resource, several division rivals are expected to call up their top prospects during the 2022 season to present new challenges from within the AL East.
Last year saw the Tampa Bay Rays promote Wander Franco, who was widely considered the top prospect in baseball at the time. His late-June call up prevented him from running away with the Rookie of the Year award but he still finished third in the race based on his strong 70-game debut. Franco was arguably the best position player on the field during the ALDS, a series where the Red Sox defeated the Rays in four games. Even as a rookie, Franco’s performance threatened to shift the balance in the American League.
Triston Casas is expected to make his major league debut for the Red Sox at some point this year. The first baseman has star potential with plus raw power in his bat, solid contact skills and an advanced recognition of the strike zone. Jarren Duran is still eligible as a rookie and the speedy outfielder should improve upon the underwhelming production from his brief major league debut. Both players can be found on many top 100 prospect lists, potentially providing the Red Sox with two valuable internal upgrades.
A few other teams in the AL East have their own highly-touted prospects who can make an impact as rookies this year so the Red Sox should expect to get plenty of exposure to these future stars.