How Brainer Bonaci’s 2024 suspension affects Red Sox’s farm system

Polar Park Inaugural Game Worcester Red Sox  v. Syracuse Mets
Polar Park Inaugural Game Worcester Red Sox v. Syracuse Mets / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

After being pulled from the Arizona Fall League earlier this offseason, Red Sox prospect Brainer Bonaci's suspension was announced Wednesday.

Bonaci has been disciplined for a violation of Minor League Baseball's domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, and further information concerning the nature of his infraction has not been released.

Bonaci was ranked as Boston's No. 12 prospect by MLB Pipeline and he will be falling down the list if the organization doesn't opt to cut ties altogether. A yearlong absence from Red Sox baseball activities will severely hamper his development.

Bonaci is a switch-hitting shortstop in a farm system chock full of promising infield prospects. His absence likely won't hurt the Sox too much as he was a few solid years from a major-league debut.

How will the Red Sox farm system fare without Brainer Bonaci?

There are also a fair few players with the same position to play in his stead. Marcelo Mayer, Ceddanne Rafaela, Mikey Romero, Nazzan Zanetello, Yoielin Cespedes, David Hamilton and Franklin Arias are all potential shortstops in varying levels of Boston's system itching for the break they need. With so many other infielders in the system, Bonaci's path to the bigs was never a definite, although he's ranked higher than a few names in the hunt for a roster spot at shortstop.

Bonaci is just 21 years old and he hasn't seen any playing time in Triple-A. He batted .297/.354/.464 in his 2023 season with Greenville and Portland and he's regarded as a player who will hit for average with some occasional power.

Overall, Bonaci's suspension isn't ideal as he's rather highly ranked, but if the Red Sox organization was shy on infield prospects, it would be far worse. With so many other options to fill in and Boston's No. 1 overall prospect, Mayer, sharing the same position as Bonaci, his absence likely won't ripple through the organization or harm its plans for the future. If anything, he could've served as a nice trade piece sometime soon, which, again, is teams should always capitalize on dealing prospects atop their value if the right opportunity comes along.

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