Boston Red Sox 2017 Midseason Top 50 Prospects

This Boston Red Sox farm system has gone through a major overhaul in Dave Dombrowski era. It’s still a solid farm system but not near the Top 5 in Major League Baseball, which is where it definitely was ranked back in the not-so-long-ago days of Moncada, Kopech, Dubon, Alexander Basabe, Espinoza, and prior to the promotions of Benintendi and Devers.  For a Red Sox fan and avid prospect follower, there are still a lot of exciting players in the pipeline and I’m lucky I get to see some of them when they roll through Hartford or Manchester with the Portland Sea Dogs, or I take the occasional trip to Pawtucket or Lowell.

For the purposes of this midseason list I’ve not included a couple players from our preseason Red Sox Top 50 Prospects (even though they may still hold rookie/MiLB eligible status) because of the amount of time spent in the major leagues this season.

  • Robby Scott (48 games MLB games as of 8.1.17) – Preseason #31
  • Deven Marrero (no longer MiLB eligible, exceeded 130 MLB AB) – Preseason #27

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

Tier 1
1. Rafael Devers, 3B (Preseason #2)
Age: 20 (DOB 10/24/1996)
Likely to surpass 130 AB this season and will lose rookie status at that time, “Raffy” has been en fuego since his call up last week. Slashing .429/.500/.714 with 2 HR in his first 7 games with Boston, he certainly looks to be the real deal and could hold down 3B in Fenway for many years.  Photo from one of his last games with Portland, at Hartford 7.3.17.

Tier 2
2. Jay Groome, LHP (Preseason #3)
Age: 18 (DOB 8/23/1998)
Formerly Jason Groome, Boston’s 1st round pick in 2016 was recently promoted from short season Lowell to full season Greenville. Has definitely struggled in his first 6 games there with an ERA over 10. Let’s keep a close eye on this could-be future ace. A strong last couple months could push him to Salem, possibly Portland, in 2018.

3. Sam Travis, 1B (Preseason #4)
Age: 23 (DOB 8/27/1993)
Has seen some PT with Boston already this year, spelling Moreland at 1B here and there. Hasn’t lit the majors on fire like Devers has, but only 43 AB under his belt. Playing full time in Triple-A Pawtucket for the most part this season, but Travis could be/should be fantasy relevant as early as next year.

4. Michael Chavis, 3B (Preseason #9)
Age: 21 (DOB 8/11/1995)
One of the biggest climbers in the rankings since January’s preseason Top 50, Chavis is killed it in Salem during the first half and was rewarded with a promotion to Double-A Portland for the second half. He’s continued his torrid pace with the Sea Dogs and has 25 HR and 76 RBI combined so far this season. With Devers at 3B do the Sox move him to 2B or OF in the near future?

5. Bryan Mata, RHP (Preseason #22)
Age: 18 (5/3/1999)
Another big jumper in the Red Sox prospect rankings. Aside from a couple sub-par outings, has been very good this season at Low-A Greenville and reports were that many teams wanted him at the trade deadline. For him not to be included in the Addison Reed trade with the Mets says a lot about how valued he is within the Red Sox organization.

6. Tanner Houck, RHP (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 21 (6/29/1996)
Boston’s 1st round draft pick this past June, Houck is starting his professional career at Short Season Lowell. As of August 1, he’s only seen action in 3 games (0-2, 6.23 ERA in 4.1 IP) but it’s way too early to assess. Look for him to get into a groove later this month and build on first season butterflies next year. At least 2, likely 3 years away from Fenway. Looked very impressive in his 3 IP, 0 H, 4 K outing on August 1 in a matchup vs. Connecticut’s Matt Manning (Nick Bradford’s Prospects1500 Detroit Tigers #2).

Tier 3
7. Josh Ockimey, 1B (Preseason #10)
Age: 21 (DOB 10/1/1995)
Promoted to Double-A Portland as of this writing on August 1, Ockimey has the tools to impress and continue rising in this organization. A solid .275/.388/.438 line in Salem this year with 11 HR, 63 RBI in 349 AB. One of my favorite Sox prospects. Scoop him up now in deep dynasty leagues if he’s unowned.

8. Bobby Dalbec, 3B (Preseason #5)
Age: 22 (DOB 6/29/1995)
An organizational star last year in his first season at Lowell (.386/.427/.674, 7 HR, 33 RBI), Dalbec has struggled in 2017 but has the skill set to rebound and move up the ladder over the next couple years. Currently with Low-A Greenville he’s playing regularly and it will be interesting to see how he improves on his less-than-stellar first half numbers. Nice power here.  Be patient.  Get one of his 2017 Bowman Mega Box refractor autographs.  I did!

9. Daniel Flores, C (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 16 (DOB 10/20/2000)
One of Boston’s two big International signings this July, Flores is MLB Pipeline’s #2 International prospect. Likely years away from the big leagues, this teenager reportedly has all the tools (hit, power, fielding, speed) to make a big impact at the major league level.

10. Mike Shawaryn, RHP (Preseason #11)
Age: 22 (DOB 9/17/1994)
Shawaryn and the next two players listed are my three favorite Red Sox pitching prospects. With the departed Anderson Espinoza, Michael Kopech, Shaun Anderson and Stephen Nogosek, Shawaryn has what may be the best stuff in Boston’s farm system. You have to love the strikeout numbers – 133 in 100.2 IP so far this season in Low-A/High-A combined, with a career 11.9 K/9.

11. Jalen Beeks, LHP (Preseason #24)
Age: 24 (DOB 7/10/1993)
Beeks shined at Double-A Portland this year (5-1, 2.19 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 58 K in 49.1 IP) and has continued to impress at Triple-A Pawtucket. Similar numbers in 10 game with a 2.89 ERA and 58 K in 56 IP with the PawSox. Not likely to see the Majors this year but could compete in Spring Training 2018.

12. Travis Lakins, RHP (Preseason #25)
Age: 23 (DOB 6/29/94)
In 7 games at High-A Salem early this year Lakins was awesome. 5-0 with 2.61 ERA, 43 K in 38 IP and got the promotion to Double-A Portland. Since then he’s really struggled. I was in Hartford on July 3 (photo above) which happened to be his last start (currently on the DL) but hopefully he’s able to bounce back when healthy to improve on his 6.23 ERA/1.81 WHIP.

13. Brian Johnson, LHP (Preseason #7)
Age: 26 (DOB 12/7/1990)
I almost removed Johnson from this list but he’s showed some flashes of brilliance and still has only pitched in 6 major league games in his career (5 this season and 27 IP). He’s currently the ace of the Pawtucket rotation and only an injury or call away from being back in the majors this season.

14. C.J. Chatham, SS (Preseason #8)
Age: 22 (DOB 12/22/1994)
2nd round pick in 2016, Chatham is battling injuries, somewhat derailing any major progress in 2017. Got 27 games in Short Season Lowell last year but has only played 7 games so far this season, 6 with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox (Rookie) and 1 with Greenville.

15. Cole Brannen, OF (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 18 (DOB 8/4/1998)
Brannen, Boston’s 2nd round pick this year, is off to a nice start with the GCL Rookie league, posting 5 HR and a .294 BA in 21 games so far.

16. Lorenzo Cedrola, OF (Preseason #38)
Age: 19 (DOB 1/12/1998)
Clearly THE biggest jump on this Red Sox prospects list, moving up 22 spots. Cedrola is a favorite among deep dynasty leaguers claiming him for farm system depth. Following up a couple nice seasons in Rookie league, Cedrola is playing well at Low-A Greenville in 2017. In 87 games he’s hitting .294, with 46 R, 4 HR, 33 RBI and 17 SB. Could be cracking some overall Top 100’s in the next year or two.  I have to give a shout out to @jonfgaskins of Tampa, FL (owner of teams in our Diamond Duos and Diamond Duos II dynasty leagues) who loves Cedrola and honestly thinks he was the first dynasty league owner to “find” Cedrola.

17. Roniel Raudes, RHP (Preseason #6)
Age: 19 (DOB 1/16/1998)
Boston’s 2016 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Raudes hasn’t been as good this year in High-A Salem as he was in Low-A Greenville last year. The good news is that his July numbers were very much improved from what we saw in April through June. Raudes should be owned in any dynasty league that rosters 200 or more minor leaguers.

18. Alex Scherff, RHP (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 19 (DOB 2/5/1998)
Scherff was Boston’s 5th round pick in 2017. With an ETA of 2021 there’s a lot of minor league time in his future, but he should put up some great numbers soon. He’s currently assigned to GCL Rookie Red Sox but hasn’t pitched yet following a 15-0, 0.73 ERA season at Colleyville Heritage High in Texas.

19. Danny Diaz, SS/3B (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 16 (DOB 1/2/2001)
Diaz is MLB’s 13th ranked International prospect and also 19th in their Red Sox Top 30. Only 16, he has plenty of time to hone his skills and get acclimated to Minor League Baseball. He’s yet to be assigned to a team in Boston’s farm system. According to MLB, has one of the best combinations of hitting ability and power from this 2017 International class.

20. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (Preseason #34)
Age: 20 (DOB 12/17/1996)
Has shown flashes of brilliance this season at A-Full Season Greenville Drive. Recently two consecutive 5 IP, 0 ER outings. His 80 K in 72 IP this season shows he has good strikeout stuff. Hernandez is only 20 and still a few years away but should continue to climb through the system and could be up in Salem for the 2018 season.

21. Jake Thompson, RHP (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 22 (DOB 9/22/1994)
The Red Sox drafted Thompson in the 4th round this June (131st overall) and he’s the 71st ranked draft prospect on MLB Pipeline. Scheduled to make his professional debut August 2 for the Lowell Spinners (Short Season-A).

22. Tzu-Wei Lin, SS (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 2/15/1994)
Lin had his cup of coffee earlier this season and got into 19 games and produced (.280, 2 3B, 7 R, 8 BB) and I actually saw him hanging out in Manchester, NH at the Eastern League All Star Game on July 12 during his stint with the Red Sox. Is currently manning the infield at Triple-A Pawtucket, ready for some more utility role work in the majors.

Tier 4
23. Chandler Shepherd, RHP (Preseason #15)
Age: 24 (DOB 8/25/1992)
2017 at Pawtucket (AAA) – 40.1 IP, 42 H, 20 ER, 14 BB, 48 K, 4.46 ERA, 1.39 WHIP. ETA late 2017, more likely mid 2018.

24. Williams Jerez, LHP (Preseason #29)
Age: 25 (DOB 5/16/92)
2017 Eastern League All Star. 2017 at Portland (AA) – 51.1 IP, 50 H, 18 ER, 17 BB, 47 K, 3.16 ERA, 1.31 WHIP. ETA 2018.

25. Josh Tobias, 2B (Preseason #43)
Age: 24 (DOB 11/23/1992)
The man acquired from Philadelphia for Clay Buchholz. 2017 between Salem (High-A) and Portland (AA) – .288/.349/.384, 22 2B, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 39 R, 7 SB. ETA 2019.

26. Austin Maddox, RHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 26 (DOB 5/13/1991)
2017 between Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA) – 39.1 IP, 26 H, 14 ER, 19 BB, 34 K, 3.20 ERA, 1.14 WHIP. Currently in 3rd stint with Red Sox in 2017.

27. Jake Cosart, RHP (Preseason #19)
Age: 23 (DOB 2/11/1994)
2017 at Portland (AA) – 38 IP, 21 H, 15 ER, 36 BB, 38 K, 3.55 ERA, 1.50 WHIP. ETA 2019.

28. Tyler Hill, OF (Preseason #14)
Age: 21 (DOB 3/4/1996)
2017 at Low-A Greenville – .268/.333/.385, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 54 R, 31 SB. ETA late 2019.

29. Hector Velazquez, RHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 28 (DOB 11/26/1988)
Is he even still a prospect? I was still in high school when he was born! Got his first taste of the majors earlier this season. Pitched in 4 games going 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA and a respectable 1.19 WHIP. No reason to remove him from this list at this point but depending on what he does the rest of this season will go a long way in determining if he’s on the preseason 2018 list.

30. Kyle Martin, RHP (Preseason #16)
Age: 26 (DOB 1/18/1991)
2017 at Pawtucket (AAA) – 42.2 IP, 42 H, 17 ER, 20 BB, 38 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, did get called up and appeared in 2 games earlier this season with Red Sox (2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)

31. Zach Schellenger, RHP (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB 1/9/1996)
Boston’s 2017 6th round draft pick, assigned to Gulf Coast League (Rookie) Red Sox.

32. Yoan Aybar, OF (Preseason #20)
Age: 20 (DOB 7/3/1997)
2017 between Lowell (A-Short Season) and Greenville (Low-A) – .215/.243/.318, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 27 R, 6 SB. ETA 2021.

33. Ben Taylor, RHP (Preseason #18)
Age: 24 (DOB 11/12/1992)
14 games with Red Sox so far this season, 5.19 ERA, 1 SV, 18 K in 17.1 IP. Currently disabled with left intercostal strain and will likely see more time at Triple-A Pawtucket.

34. Hildemaro Requena, RHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 20 (DOB 7/20/1997)
2017 at Greenville (Low-A) – 59.1 IP, 50 H, 18 ER, 20 BB, 57 K, 2.73 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

35. Brett Netzer, 2B (Preseason – N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB 6/4/1996)
3rd round draft pick out of UNC Charlotte, 2017 at Lowell (A-Short Season) – In first 22 games, .317/.376/.390, 0 HR, 14 RBI, 11 R

Tier 5
36. Aneury Tavarez, OF (Preseason – Unranked, selected by Baltimore in Rule 5 draft, then returned to Boston)
Age: 25 (DOB 4/14/1992)
2017 Minors – .272/.341/.406, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 26 R, 9 SB

37. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP (Preseason #36)
Age: 23 (DOB 11/25/1993)
2017 at Portland (AA) – 103.2 IP, 124 H, 51 ER, 27 BB, 78 K, 4.43 ERA, 1.46 WHIP. 2013 2nd round pick.

38. Trey Ball, LHP (Preseason #26)
Age: 23 (DOB 6/27/1994)
2017 at Portland (AA) – 96.2 IP, 122 H, 58 ER, 45 BB, 82 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.73 WHIP. 2013 1st round pick.

39. Roldani Baldwin, C (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB 3/16/1996)
2017 at Greenville (Low-A) – .297/.325/.530, 27 2B, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 35 R

40. Ty Buttrey, RHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 24 (DOB 3/31/1993)
2017 between Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA) – 49 IP, 48 H, 28 ER, 24 BB, 59 K, 5.14 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

41. Danny Mars, OF (Preseason #40)
Age: 23 (DOB 1/22/1994)
2017 Eastern League All Star. 2017 at Portland (AA) – .306/.355/.414, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 47 R, 10 SB

42. Yankory Pimentel, RHP (Preseason #23)
Age: 23 (DOB 9/29/19993)
2017 between Salem (High-A) and Portland (AA) – 29.1 IP, 29 H, 8 ER, 10 BB, 27 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

43. Kyri Washington, OF (Preseason #28)
Age: 23 (DOB 7/11/94)
2017 at Salem (High-A) – .250/.308/.350, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 1 SB in only 18 games, disabled since May 17.

44. Marc Brakeman, RHP (Preseason #30)
Age: 23 (DOB 6/15/94)
2017 at Salem (High-A) – 29 IP, 35 H, 22 ER, 16 BB, 32 K, 6.83 ERA, 1.76 WHIP. Side note that intrigues me – Brakeman is Carson Cistulli’s “Guy” on Fangraphs 2017 Red Sox top prospects list for any player who received less than a 40 FV.

45. Victor Garcia, RHP (Preseason #46)
Age: 20 (DOB 6/15/1997)
2017 at GCL Red Sox (Rookie) – 11 IP, 13 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 12 K, 4.09 ERA, 1.82 WHIP

46. Pedro Castellanos, 1B (Preseason #39)
Age: 19 (DOB 12/11/1997)
2017 at GCL Red Sox (Rookie) – .378/.426/.489, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 10 R in 90 AB (28 games).

47. Austin Rei, C (Preseason #48)
Age: 23 (DOB 10/27/1993)
2017 at Salem (High-A) – .237/.328/.370, 26 2B, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 34 R, 1 SB

48. Trenton Kemp, OF (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB 9/30/1995)
2017 at Salem (High-A) – .316/.369/.504, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 22 R, 4 SB. *Deep sleeper alert*

49. Kervin Suarez, UT (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 18 (DOB 12/19/1998)
2017 at GCL Red Sox (Rookie) – .280/.328/.374, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 19 R, 6 SB in 107 AB (25 games).

50. Bryce Brentz, OF (Preseason #49)
Age: 28 (DOB 12/30/1988)
2017 at Pawtucket (AAA) – .278/.351/.531, 21 HR, 62 RBI. Has 117 HR and 439 RBI in 8 seasons in the minors with only 87 career MLB AB.
Only reason Brentz didn’t fall off this list is because he won the Triple-A HR Derby last month which is pretty cool, especially if you’re a Sox fan and was in Tacoma, WA for the event, like our Joe Rush was back on July 10. I’m going to repeat Ace Casey’s preseason blurb because in my opinion nothing has changed.
Brentz hasn’t exhausted his prospect eligibility just yet, but at this point, he is your definition of a AAAA hitter. I suppose there is a really cruel possible future reality where injuries decimate the Sox outfield and Brentz is called upon to become the next Killer B, and if that does indeed happen, I think it may be a blessing in disguise, as Brentz would finally get over the at-bat threshold and we would no longer have to write about him on prospect lists ever again!

Others considered, would be my 51-60 in no particular order:
Edgar Olmos, LHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 27 (DOB 4/12/1990)
2017 Triple-A All Star, 2017 at Pawtucket – 7-2, 70.2 IP, 55 H, 24 ER, 27 BB, 57 K, 3.06 ERA, 1.16 ERA

Joseph Monge, OF (Preseason #37)
Age: 22 (DOB 5/18/1995)

Austin Glorius, RHP (Preseason #35)
Age: 23 (DOB 5/10/1993)

Junior Espinoza, RHP (Preseason #41)
Age: 19 (DOB 9/16/1997)

Jhonathan Diaz, LHP (Preseason #42)
Age: 20 (DOB 9/13/1996)

Tate Matheny, OF (Preseason #33)
Age: 23 (DOB 2/9/1994)

Devon Fisher, RHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 5/10/1993)

Matthew Kent, LHP (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 24 (DOB 9/13/1992)

Chad De La Guerra, 2B/SS (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 24 (DOB 11/24/1992)

Justin Haley, RHP (Preseason – Unranked, selected by LA Angels in Rule 5 draft, traded to SD, then to Minnesota, then returned to Boston)
Age: 26 (DOB 6/16/1991)

Plus one extra prospect you’re not likely to find on any other Red Sox prospect list:
Santiago Espinal, 2B/SS (Preseason – Unranked)
Age: 22 (DOB 11/13/1994)

Dropped from list since the Preseason Top 50:
Nick Longhi (Preseason #12) – Traded to Cincinnati 7.2.17
Shaun Anderson (Preseason #13) – Traded to San Francisco 7.26.17
Luis Ysla (Preseason #17) – Traded to Los Angeles Dodgers 7.29.17
Gerson Bautista (Preseason #21) – Traded to New York Mets 7.31.17
Stephen Nogosek (Preseason #32) – Traded to New York Mets 7.31.17
Jagger Rusconi (Preseason #44) – Began 2017 with Greenville (Low-A), currently on rehab assignment in GCL
Jordan Procyshen (Preseason #45) – Currently with Portland (AA)
Jake Romanski (Preseason #47) – Began 2017 with Portland (AA), assigned to Pawtucket (AAA) on 8.1.17
Christopher Acosta (Preseason #50) – Has not pitched since August 2015

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear any and all comments you might have about my list. Please hit me up on Twitter at @Scotty_Ballgame or tag @Prospects1500. Or you can leave comments below on this page. Go Red Sox! #RedSoxNation

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.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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