Boston Red Sox 2021 Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Red Sox Top 50 design by @designsbypack on Twitter

For a playoff contender like the Red Sox, it is great to see the state of the system climbing with the shrewd leadership of Chaim Bloom. The Red Sox have bolstered their farm through numerous and creative ways, especially highlighted by a recent draft class that made fans forget the brutality of the 2020 season. The Red Sox have amassed depth while staying disciplined on trading away prospects, leaving them in a position to strike on the trade market with the approaching trade deadline.

Three rookies have surpassed rookie eligibility this season: Bobby Dalbec (January rank #3), Garrett Whitlock (January rank #25), and Hirokazu Sawamura. Dalbec has shown his customary power but has yet to show the consistency with the hit tool to grab the 1B job outright. Whitlock and Sawamura have each become key members of the Red Sox bullpen who were acquired in the Rule 5 Draft and international market respectively.

For this list, the Red Sox have way more than 50 names that could have been considered, especially in Tier 5. This speaks to the impressive way that the Red Sox have reinforced their system in a significant manner since January. Ranks from our Top 50 Red Sox prospects (and other teams’ ranks if applicable) from back in January are listed next to each player’s name.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1:
 Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above-average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

Editor note: updated 8/3 to reflect changes since MLB Trade Deadline and MLB Draft signing deadline, the following players are no longer included in this column:
Jud Fabian was ranked 12th – didn’t sign
Aldo Ramirez was ranked 15th – traded for Kyle Schwarber
Marcus Wilson was ranked 26th – DFA’d and claimed by Seattle

*= signifies member of 40-man roster

Tier 1

1. Jarren Duran, OF (January rank #4)
Age: 24
Current Level: MLB
Duran took the minors by force yet again and has forced their hand into one of MLB’s best OF, where his game-changing power/speed combination is jolting the Red Sox lineup as they make a run for the pennant.


2. Marcelo Mayer, SS (January rank N/A)
Age: 18
Current Level: N/A (Drafted 1st round, 4th overall in 2021 MLB Draft)
In conversation to go 1st overall in this draft class, Mayer (pronounced “Myer”) is the franchise cornerstone potential the Red Sox were hoping for with the 4th overall pick.


3. Triston Casas, 1B (January rank #1)
Age: 21
Current Level: AA
Casas and his top shelf power will be on display for Team USA in the Summer Olympics, and the 20-year-old is showing an all-around game that is not too far off from mashing in the middle of the MLB lineup.

Tier 2

4. Jeter Downs, SS/2B (January rank #2)
Age: 22
Current Level: AAA
One of Boston’s 2021 Futures Game representatives, Downs hasn’t killed it in Triple-A Worcester, with his BA hovering around .200 he’s not on the fast track to Fenway just yet.

5. Tanner Houck*, RHP (January rank #5)
Age: 25
Current Level: MLB
Houck should be graduating from this prospects list soon, but for now, he’s one of the top young arm in the system, currently back from injury and working some SP and RP roles for the big league club.

6. Brayan Bello, RHP (January rank #19)
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Bello replaced an injured Emerson Hancock on the AL’s Futures Game roster, and he’s split 2021 between Greenville and Portland, sporting a +12 K/9 at both stops so far.

Tier 3

7. Gilberto Jimenez, OF (January rank #6)
Age: 21
Current Level: Low-A
The swing adjustments from the Fall that were geared for increased power seem a distant memory, as Jimenez has maintained his customary bat-to-ball ability and game-changing speed but with little extra-base hit thump.

8. Jay Groome*, LHP (January rank #12)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A
Groome is on a hot stretch where he’s showing 1st round pedigree and improved bat missing ability (at least 7 K in 7 of 9 starts), and he could jump into Tier 2 if he can match this performance in the high minors.

9. Nick Yorke, 2B (January rank #9)
Age: 19
Current Level: Low-A
Opening the season as the only teenager in the starting lineup for Low-A Salem, Yorke is scorching hot with the bat and showcasing his advanced hitting ability on a daily basis.

10. Brainer Bonaci, SS (January rank #11)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)
If you look back at Red Sox prospect rankings over the last year or so, Bonaci is moving up these lists as he’s just getting going in Rookie ball (Florida Complex League) this summer. Grab one of his 1st Bowman autographs!

11. Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B (January rank #13)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)
The exit velocity powerhouse slugger is keeping the K’s in check (25%) while playing primarily at 3B during his first taste of professional ball in the Florida Complex League.

12. Bryan Mata*, RHP (January rank #7)
Age: 22
Current Level: AA (IL)
Mata underwent Tommy John surgery and will hold his 40-man roster spot while enduring an extended time frame from professional mound action.

13. Connor Seabold*, RHP (January rank #15)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA
Seabold and Nick Pivetta were the return from Philly for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree, and after missing most of 2021 due to injury he’s back, and with some impressive AAA outings, he could help Boston this year.

14. Thad Ward, RHP (January rank #8)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA (IL)
Ward debuted in Portland where he, unfortunately, succumbed to Tommy John surgery after two starts, and the injury will make for an interesting 40-man roster decision this winter.

15. Brandon Howlett, 3B (January rank #34)
Age: 21
Current Level: High-A
One of the system’s best turnarounds, Howlett is putting together an All-Star season (11 HR, .857 OPS at press time) following a rough 2019 and no season in 2020.


16. Freddy Valdez, OF (Mets’ January rank #12)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)
A power-hitting corner outfielder acquired from the New York Mets as a key piece of the Andrew Benintendi three-team trade package, Valdez carries considerable ceiling but volatility in the ultimate outcome.

17. Noah Song, RHP (January rank #10)
Age: 24
Current Level: Unassigned (Military)
There hasn’t been much news out of the Song camp and Red Sox Nation is patiently awaiting his service completion and gauging where he’ll be assigned as a 25-year-old in 2022.

18. Ronaldo Hernandez*, C (Rays’ January rank #21)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA
Hernandez’s max outcome is leading the next catching tandem in Boston, as the offense-first backstop has shown power with the stroke but with limited on-base ability.

19. Josh Winckowski, RHP (Blue Jays’ January rank #23)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA
Winckowski has been among the organization’s most consistent starting pitchers in 2021, and the sinkerballer could emerge in 2022 as a multi-inning presence in the Sox bullpen.

20. Connor Wong*, C/IF (January rank #23)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA (MLB Debut in 2021)
When MLB backup catcher Kevin Plawecki had an IL stint in July, Wong was the first call and has the org’s trust in handling the pitching staff.

Tier 4

21. Matthew Lugo, SS (January rank #14)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A
Boston’s 2nd round pick in 2019, Lugo is holding his own as a 20-year-old in Low-A, and 13 SB will keep scouting eyes on him as well.

22. Hudson Potts*, IF (January rank #17)
Age: 22
Current Level: AA
Potts has exclusively been playing 3B in Portland, but struggling at the plate in 2021 and will need to show more contact, but still only 22 in Double-A so there’s time.

23. Chih-Jung Liu, RHP (January rank #28)
Age: 22
Current Level: Low-A
Making his organizational debut after a highly anticipated signing last year, Liu proved all he needed at the Complex level and is showing good secondary offerings so far as a starter in Salem.

24. Chris Murphy, LHP (January rank #26)
Age: 23
Current Level: High-A
Murphy had a stellar debut in Lowell in 2019 after being drafted in the 6th round, and now he’s just getting in the groove in High-A Greenville (10.5 K/9, 3.1 BB/9) after 13 starts.

25. Jeisson Rosario*, OF (January rank #16)
Age: 21
Current Level: AA
While Rosario has shown his customary defense and on-base skills hitting atop the order, he has impacted the baseball at a concerning low slugging percentage hovering around .300.

26. Miguel Bleis, OF (January rank N/A)
Age: 17
Current Level: Rookie (DSL)
Bleis debuts on our rankings here as he wasn’t signed yet back in January for our preseason list, and this summer should be his first taste of pro ball for Boston in the Dominican Republic.

27. Eduard Bazardo*, RHP (January rank #21)
Age: 25
Current Level: MLB
Bazardo earned a 40 man spot in the offseason and two games to show his wicked curveball out of the big league bullpen earlier this year before landing on the 60 day IL.

28. Eduardo Lopez, OF (January rank #30)
Age: 19
Current Level: Low-A
Lopez joined Yorke as the only other teenager on the Low-A roster, where the recent promotion from the complex shows a clear indication of the Red Sox positive regard for his game.

29. Cameron Cannon, SS/2B (January rank #32)
Age: 23
Current Level: High-A
The 2019 2nd round pick has had his first successful run in professional baseball in Greenville, highlighted by a 13 game hit streak in June and contributing solid power and speed while playing primarily 2B.

30. Jacob Wallace, RHP (January rank #20)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A
We don’t want to slap a “closer of the future” moniker on Wallace (as we did with Feltman a couple years ago), but the UConn product definitely has the arsenal to be a key cog in the bullpen, although he’s struggled mightily out of the gate in Greenville this season.

31. Jonathan Arauz*, IF (January rank #22)
Age: 22
Current Level: AAA
The former Rule 5 pick has scuffled with the bat for Worcester, but Arauz still holds hope with his tools that he can be a 2B starter in the big leagues with a useful utility infielder floor.

32. Kaleb Ort, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 29
Current Level: AAA
The tall right-hander has served as Worcester’s primary closer, and he’s on the shortlist for a promotion (barring outside acquisition) should the Red Sox need a one inning arm due to injury in the bullpen.

Tier 5

33. Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)
Promising hurler doing well in the Complex League, with a 35:5 K/BB ratio through his first 25.1 IP.

34. Ceddanne Rafaela, IF/OF (January rank #31)
Age: 20
Highest Level: Low-A
Keep your eyes on Rafaela, a 20-year-old in Low-A, with speed and he’s growing into some power too.

35. Johan Mieses, OF (January – unranked)
Age: 26
Current Level: AAA
The slugging corner outfielder pummeled AA with 11 HR in 23 games, and he could emerge as a bench power option likely in a different organization.


36. Nick Decker, OF (January rank #24)
Age: 21
Highest Level: Low-A
Seemingly a 4th-5th OF unless things change in the next year or two, the 2019 2nd rounder needs to have a consistent summer in Salem and hope to see High-A ball next year.

37. Devlin Granberg, 1B/OF (January – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AA
One of the pleasant Red Sox prospect surprises of 2021, Granberg is hitting .337 with 12 homers combined between Greenville and Portland.


38. Frank German, RHP (Yankees’ January rank #37)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA
German had a tough transition early season in Portland but has delivered solid innings of late who still carries a potential multi-inning future.

39. Grant Gambrell, RHP (Royals’ January rank #33)
Age: 23
Current Level: High-A
Acquired from Kansas City as part of the Benintendi haul, Gambrell has missed bats this year and provides similar upside to German as a backend starter or long reliever depending on development.

40. Shane Drohan, LHP (January rank #27)
Age: 22
Current Level: Low-A
The 2020 5th round pick needs to improve his command, and an uptick in K’s would be good to see before moving up the ladder to High-A.

41. Jeremy Wu-Yelland, LHP (January rank #44)
Age: 22
Current Level: Low-A
The lefty has been used as mostly a 3-4 inning starter, where he has limited contact and missed plenty of bats (10.5 K/9) with some wildness (5.5 BB/9).

42. Tyler McDonough, 2B/OF (January rank N/A)
Age: 22
Current Level: N/A (Drafted 3rd round, 75th overall in 2021 MLB Draft)
McDonough was an under-slot selection after the Red Sox drafted Mayer and Fabian, who is most compared to gritty former fan favorite Brock Holt with his versatility and bat-to-ball skills.

43. Christian Koss, IF (January rank #29)
Age: 23
Current Level: High-A
The utility infielder acquired from Colorado has been blazing with the bat in July with 9 multi-hit games (and counting) and an OPS over 1.100, as Greenville’s shortstop could force his way into a promotion in the last half of the season.

44. Pedro Castellanos, 1B/OF (January rank #41)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA
Not calling this a make-or-break season for Castellanos, but with several other corner infielders ranked ahead of him, and Tyreque Reed manning 1B in Portland, he needs a strong season in LF (.303, 9 HR, .871 OPS so far).

45. Luis De La Rosa, RHP (January rank #27)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)
An intriguing young arm plucked from the Royals in the Benintendi trade, De La Rosa is a smaller framed righty who our Royals Correspondent, Michael Kelley (@MKelley_ND), was very high on as the news of the trade broke.

46. Joe Davis, 1B (January – unranked)
Age:24
Current Level: High-A
Possibly the surprise in this Red Sox Top 50, Davis, although a bit old for the level, is putting together a stellar season, having recently been promoted to Greenville after squashing Low-A pitching through 32 games.

47. Durbin Feltman, RHP (January rank #42)
Age: 24
Current Level: AAA
After a challenging 2019 season, Feltman is showing some of the stuff that Boston brass liked when they drafted him in the 3rd round in 2018, posting a 12.2 K/9, 6 wins and a 3.29 ERA in 22 games for Portland, earning a promotion to AAA Worcester.

48. Juan Chacon, OF (January rank #49)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (DSL)
Chacon is a great name to target in dynasty as his walk numbers far outweigh his strikeouts at this juncture, and he possesses the athletic potential and high international scouting pedigree as the largest bonus of the Red Sox 2019 international class.

49. Niko Kavadas, 1B/3B (January rank N/A)
Age: 22
Current Level: N/A (Drafted 11th round in 2021 MLB Draft)
Power hitter out of the University of Notre Dame, should get some Rookie ball action this season.

50. Kutter Crawford, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AA
Back from injury this season, Crawford has pitched well at Double-A Portland (3.30 ERA, 12.4 K/9, 12.8 K/BB) and was recently promoted to Triple-A Worcester.

The Next 10

51. Bradley Blalock, RHP (January rank #59)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A

52. Tyreque Reed, 1B (January rank #45)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA

53. Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP (January rank #33)
Age: 23
Current Level: Low-A

54. Jorge Rodriguez, LHP (January rank #39)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A

55. Bryan Gonzalez, OF (January rank #40)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)

56. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (January rank #35)
Age: 27
Current Level: AAA

57. Darel Belen, OF/1B (January rank #46)
Age: 21
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)

58. Eduardo Vaughan, OF (January rank #48)
Age: 19
Current Level: Rookie (FCL)

59. Luis Perales, RHP (January rank #52)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (DSL)

60. Andrew “AJ” Politi, RHP (January rank #55)
Age: 25
Current Level: AA




About Scott Greene 41 Articles
President of Prospects1500. Commissioner of Diamond Duos dynasty fantasy baseball leagues. Founder of MLB Fantasy Playoffs Parlay. Participant in more than a dozen other dynasty/fantasy baseball leagues. Account Manager for Reminder Publishing in real life. Huge Bruce Springsteen and pro wrestling fan. Along with his wife and two boys, lives in Longmeadow, MA. Follow on Twitter at @Scotty_Ballgame

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