Boston Red Sox 2019 Top 50 Prospects

Michael Chavis (from 2017 Carolina League All-Star Game) - Photo credit @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

Boston Red Sox Top 50 Prospects for 2019

I keep going back to Casey Stern’s coined phrase, “Prospects are cool; parades are cooler.” Say that phrase and think of the Boston Red Sox. It was the title of an aptly named article that I wrote last month which took a look at all of the prospects that Boston moved in order to build the 2018 World Series winning roster. Yep, that downtown Rolling Rally on the duck boats was a hell of a time, and that comes with another World Series championship for the franchise – its 4th in 15 years. In winning at the MLB level, the farm system has definitely taken a toll. Once one of the top ranked minor league organizations in the game just a few short years ago, is now one of the lowest ranked. If it’s not ranked 30th you can safely group Boston’s minors organization in the bottom five. The assets were promoted, or traded (Dombrowski does that), to bring value to the major league squad, and that ultimately brought Boston another championship. So I ask, isn’t that the goal?

I didn’t have any Tier 1 prospects in last year’s Red Sox 2018 Top 50 Prospects, or in my updated midseason Top 50. You’re not going to find any Tier 1’s on this list either. I was actually flirting with the idea of no Tier 2’s, but when I look at our definition of Tier 2 (below), I have to believe that at least a few of these players will reach that potential.

It certainly will be an interesting season to monitor the progress of 2018 draftees Casas, Decker, Feltman and company. What types of strides do power hitting 3Bs Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec make in their ascension to the big leagues? Can Jay Groome come back healthy (from TJS) at some point in the season and prove that his talent and stuff will eventually show us all why the Sox drafted him in the 1st round in 2016?

I do want to point out that I’m not including Ryan Brasier (a key cog in Boston’s bullpen; still prospect-eligible in most dynasty leagues with less than 50 IP in MLB) and some other players that are still prospect-eligible (1B Sam Travis, SS Tzu-Wei Lin, LHP Bobby Poyner, RHP Colten Brewer) as I want to focus on more of the younger players and didn’t want to give up valuable spots in my Top 50. These players may be on some other prospect lists and have seen some time in the majors already, and we pretty much know what we’re going to get from them – at least from their body of work so far. I’m not thinking of these players when it comes to prospects’ impact in dynasty leagues though.

Last point before I begin the rundown, I am not a scout. I’m a baseball fan and now a lover of prospects. I enjoy seeing as many minor league games as I can during the season and have seen many of these players in Hartford, Portland, Pawtucket, Manchester and Lowell over the past couple years. I sometimes rely on video, statistics, other writers’ feedback when ranking them and writing my perspective. Thanks to @JasonPennini from Prospects Live for the 2018 Instructs videos, and also thank you to some of my other prospecting contemporaries Eric Cross (@EricCross04), Ben Wilson (@TBDubbs11) and SoxProspects.com for some great coverage on Twitter. You’ll find these are not long, expansive, scouting-style blurbs. I wanted to keep them short and sweet so I could actually dive deeper than most and give you more prospects. That’s more of what my style is. So here we go. My Top 50 Red Sox prospects as we head into the 2019 season.


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:

None


Tier 2:

1. Michael Chavis, 3B (’18 midseason rank – 1)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 46 G, 194 PA, .298/.381/.538/.919, 9 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB, 26.8 K%, 9.8 BB%
Is this the year we see Chavis in the big leagues? I have to think yes, at some point. He’s put the 2018 suspension behind him. He got into a groove towards the end of last season after a slow start when he returned and showed the power that he’s known for. He was drafted as a shortstop (1st round, 2014) and then moved to third. I say move him to second and there’s your heir apparent to Pedroia. But that’s not going to happen. Guess he’ll have to battle it out with my #2 guy at the hot corner. ETA: 2019
Portland Sea Dogs Michael Chavis

2. Bobby Dalbec, 3B (’18 midseason rank – 8)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AA Portland
2018 stats: 129 G, 543 PA, .257/.361/.558/.919, 32 HR, 109 RBI, 3 SB, 32.4 K%, 12.2 BB%
Dalbec, Boston’s 2018 Minor League Offensive AND Defensive Player of the Year, is one of my favorites. Don’t you love big power HR guys who strikeout a lot? I do! Seriously, if Dalbec can hit in the .250-.260 range then he’s going to be a solid major leaguer in the near future because he has easy 40+ bombs in his bat. Let’s see him put together a solid 2019 campaign and he should slide into the overall Top 100 prospects for 2020. Just bring that K% down please. ETA: 2021

3. Triston Casas, 3B (’18 midseason rank – 6)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)
2018 stats: only 2 games, 4 AB before finger injury sidelined him
I haven’t seen a whole lot of Casas, but Red Sox Nation is in love with him already. Three 3B in my top 3 you ask? Possibly, but I have a feeling this one might shift over to 1B in the coming years with Devers/Chavis/Dalbec manning the hot corner ahead of him. If you can get to New York-Penn League action this summer, take in a Lowell Spinners game and hopefully you’ll catch this 1st round pick in action. ETA: 2022

4. Jay Groome, LHP (’18 midseason rank – 5)
Opening Day Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: DNP (TJS)
Not sure what it is as I haven’t seen Groome pitch yet, but he’s one of my Sox prospects man crushes. Don’t ask me how many Groome baseball cards I have already. This kid has the talent to be top of the rotation and Boston knew that when they drafted him in the 1st round a couple years ago. He’ll miss a good chunk of 2019 recovering from TJS and let’s not rush him back. A nice track for him will be Greenville/Salem in 2020, Portland in 2021, and Pawtucket (er… Worcester by then) in 2022 when he’s still only 23-years-old. Perfect. ETA: late 2022/early 2023
Red Sox prospects cards


Tier 3:

5. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (’18 midseason rank – 11)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: AA Portland
2018 stats: 28 G, 23 GS, 9-5, 3.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 2.03 K/BB
Hernandez was en fuego in the Arizona Fall League and I expect him to be atop the starting rotation at Double-A Portland to begin the season. There are some who feel that if he can’t improve on the control he could be shifted to the bullpen, where he’d still be nasty. I wouldn’t be opposed to that considering Boston just signed Jenrry Mejia. Did I just say Jenrry Mejia? Big year for big D coming up! ETA: late 2019

6. Tanner Houck, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 4)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 23 G, 23 GS, 7-11, 4.24 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 1.85 K/BB
This could be an awesome two-headed monster for the Sea Dogs in 2019. Hernandez and Houck going 1-2 in the rotation. Houck was starting to put it all together in the second half of last year. The 2017 1st rounder looks to prove he can build upon what he found in 2018 and I’m on board. Watch for him to lower his ERA and WHIP and improve his K/9 and K/BB ratios. Buy now. ETA: 2021

7. Durbin Feltman, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 15)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 22 G, 1-1, 4 SV, 1.93 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 13.9 K/9, 7.2 K/BB
Talk about Boston baby crushes, I love Durbin! The Sox grabbed Feltman in the 3rd round of the 2018 MLB Draft and he’s projected to be one of the quickest to the majors from that draft class. He flew through 3 levels last year (Short Season Lowell, Full Season A Greenville, and High-A Salem), putting up eye popping numbers. Who’s to say he can’t duplicate that in 2019 and go through Double-A Portland, Triple-A Pawtucket, all the way to Fenway’s bullpen? Book his ticket to Boston sooner than later. Feltman is a future All-Star. Get him now in dynasty leagues or you’ll have to pay a much higher price later in the year or next offseason. ETA: late 2019

8. Antoni Flores, SS (’18 midseason rank – 16)
Opening Day Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)
2018 stats: 15 G, 62 PA, .340/.435/.528/.964, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 12.9 K%, 14.5 BB%
Flores is one of the system’s darlings heading into 2019. Have you seen his 2018 Bowman Chrome 1st autograph card prices? It looks like the 18-year-old could see time this summer at Short Season Lowell which means I’ll be making some hour and 45 minute drives to see this talent, and knowing @ProspectJesus, he’s going to bum rides off me. ETA: 2023

9. Mike Shawaryn, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 3)
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 26 G, 25 GS, 9-10, 3.44 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 3.47 K/BB
One of my 2018 man crushes, Shawaryn hasn’t really done anything to warrant my dropping him from 3 to 9 in my rankings. It’s just a matter of other talent jumping ahead of him. He made great strides last year and finished up in AAA. He’ll open 2019 in the PawSox rotation and should get the call soon. I’m thinking maybe a right handed version of Brian Johnson who fills that 5th starter role, potentially moving up to SP3 or SP4. ETA: 2019
shawaryn

10. Danny Diaz, 3B (’18 midseason rank – 13)
Opening Day Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (DSL)
2018 stats: 26 G, 113 PA, .238/.283/.476/.759, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 23.9 K%, 4.4 BB%
One of the first podcasts I was ever a guest on was @IsItTheWelsh‘s Prospect One last summer after my midseason Sox Top 50 dropped. One player he was much higher on than I was at the time was Diaz. Now I’m really intrigued because the 18-year-old does have the pedigree to be a fantasy superstar. His debut performance in the Dominican Summer League as a 17-year-old wasn’t eye popping, but I’m banking on his stateside breakout this summer in Lowell alongside Flores and Gilberto Jimenez (see below). ETA: 2023

11. Bryan Mata, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 2)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 17 G, 17 GS, 6-3, 3.50 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 1.05 K/BB
Mata was Boston’s lone 2018 Futures Game representative in Washington DC. That was pretty much the highlight of his season as his very bright future projections were dimmed with a significant loss of control (58 BB in 72 IP at High-A). Can he make it back to the Top of Tier 2 where I had him ranked #2 last August on my midseason list? Sure, but he has to prove he can put away Carolina League hitters before Double-A ball comes calling for him. 1.05 K/BB will not cut it on the path to the big leagues. ETA: 2022

Photo credit – Brendan Camp (@brendan_camp) of bloggingtheredsox.com

12. Nick Decker, OF (’18 midseason rank – 12)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)
2018 stats: only 2 games, 4 AB
Boston’s 2018 2nd round selection out of Seneca HS in Tabernacle, NJ, Decker only got into a couple games in the GCL last year so 2019 will basically be his pro debut. SoxProspects projects him to start in full season A-ball with The Drive. That’s probably the best plan since short season Lowell doesn’t kick off until mid June. ETA: 2022

13. Jarren Duran, OF (’18 midseason rank – 4)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 67 G, 302 PA, .357/.394/.516/.910, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 24 SB, 15.9 K%, 5.3 BB%
I’m going to toot my own horn and proclaim, you heard it here first. I saw Duran play in Lowell last season, just before he was promoted to Greenville. What a talent! He is Boston’s 7th round pick from 2018 and aside from the power, I’ll call him a 4-tool player. When your OPS is only points behind Chavis and Dalbec, I take notice. ETA: 2022

14. Brandon Howlett, 3B (’18 midseason rank – 45)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 44 G, 184 PA, .289/.402/.513/.915, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB, 22.3 K%, 15.2 BB%
Howlett rocked the GCL for 39 games before being promoted to Lowell to finish off the 2018 campaign. Even though he’s the 5th third baseman in my Red Sox Top 14, that doesn’t dim his prospect status at all. He’s a deep dynasty league sleeper pick for 2019, which isn’t bad for a 21st round pick. ETA: 2023

15. Travis Lakins, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 10)
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 36 G, 6 GS, 3-2, 2.32 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 3.17 K/BB
I don’t really know what to make of Lakins, but I think the Sox do. Following injuries in 2017 and early 2018, he came back last year and was moved to the bullpen. That’s when things got rolling for the Ohio State product. I’m pretty confident we’re going to see Lakins at the backend of the Triple-A bullpen and could be a major league arm and piece of Boston’s relief puzzle as early as this year. ETA: late 2019

16. Denyi Reyes, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 14)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 27 G, 24 GS, 12-5, 1.97 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 7.63 K/BB
Reyes, the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2018, is one of my favorite Boston prospects, although I kept getting sniped on selecting him in my Diamond Duos dynasty leagues minors drafts this month. The right-handed Dominican seemingly came out of nowhere and burst onto the scene in 2018 and posted a 10-3 record in Single-A Greenville, with 122 K in 123.2 IP and a stellar 1.89 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. His great season culminated with 6 starts for High-A Salem and I’m pumped to watch him toe the Portland Sea Dogs rubber in 2018. ETA: 2021

17. C.J. Chatham, SS (’18 midseason rank – 9)
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 114 G, 472 PA, .314/.350/.389/.739, 3 HR, 52 RBI, 18.2 K%, 5.1 BB%
If you haven’t seen Chatham play (I haven’t) and are only looking at his stats (pretty solid), you might see a future All-Star. I’d put him in Tier 2 if I actually believed that. Here towards the lower part of Tier 3 I see Chatham as a future major leaguer but more of a utility/Brock Holt-type of player. I’ll be able to report back with solid evidence after seeing him play this season, likely in Double-A Portland. ETA: 2021

18. Josh Ockimey, 1B (’18 midseason rank – 7)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 117 G, 481 PA, .245/.356/.455/.811, 20 HR, 71 RBI, 1 SB, 31 K%, 14.6 BB%
Another 30% K-rate guy, but could have major league pedigree. Ockimey put together a solid campaign, splitting time between AA/AAA. Boston has PLENTY of 3B prospects so there’s definitely a place for a power-hitting 1B. If he can get that K-rate down to 25% and up his contact rate slightly, then we could be looking at a platoon-type MLB bat. ETA 2020
Josh Ockimey

19. Nick Northcut, 3B (’18 midseason rank – 19)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 47 G, 188 PA, .223/.303/.319/.622, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 29.3 K%, 8.5 BB%
Another 3B prospect? Indeed. Northcut was Boston’s 11th round selection in last year’s MLB Draft and as a 19-year-old spent most of his 2018 debut in Florida’s GCL before getting 6 games in Lowell before the season ended. SoxProspects.com project him to start in A-ball Greenville alongside Decker. We need to see a full season in pro ball to better understand what type of offensive asset Northcut can be. ETA: 2023
Nicholas Northcut

20. Gilberto Jimenez, OF (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 18
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (DSL)
2018 stats: 67 G, 284 PA, .319/.384/.420/.804, 0 HR, 22 RBI, 16 SB (CS 14), 14.1 K%, 6.7 BB%
One of Boston’s recent heralded International signings, Jimenez possesses a projectable hit tool that should build some power as he develops. The Red Sox Latin Program Position Player of the Year doesn’t walk much but he also keeps the strikeouts down and makes contact. Don’t sleep on him. Keep tabs on him later this summer in Short Season ball for his stateside debut. ETA: 2024

21. Kutter Crawford, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 21)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 27 G, 27 GS, 7-7, 3.26 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 3.27 K/BB
Crawford was definitely one of Boston’s breakout prospects in 2018, following his being drafted in the 16th round in 2017. He spent most of the year in Greenville (A) and was named to the South Atlantic League (SAL) All-Star squad, posting a 2.96 ERA and 120 K in 112.1 IP. The promotion to Salem (A+) came in August where he was challenged a bit more from the next level’s hitters, but actually increased his K/9 to 10.6, up from a very good 9.6 in Greenville. He’ll look to build on 2018’s success, likely returning to Salem to start 2019. ETA: 2022

22. Jhonathan Diaz, LHP (’18 midseason rank – 47)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 27 G, 27 GS, 11-9, 3.09 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 3.68 K/BB
I admit I was not high on Diaz as late as this past August when I ranked him down near the bottom of my midseason Top 50. All he did was post solid stats across the board in High-A and now he has my attention. As of early September, Diaz was 8th in ERA among Boston’s farmhands with at least 50+ innings pitched. I can picture him as a future 4th or 5th starter, especially if he keeps his K/9 and K/BB ratios in line with what we saw last season. ETA: 2021


Tier 4:

23. Devlin Granberg, 1B (’18 midseason rank – 49)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 61 G, 256 PA, .300/.383/.435/.818, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 8 SB, 19.1 K%, 9.8 BB%
Granberg is another 2018 draftee that caught my eye in Lowell last July. I really like his bat and this boy has some wheels too! (8 SB in 9 attempts) We don’t have a crystal ball but I wouldn’t be surprised if this 2018 6th rounder surpasses Ockimey on the 1B depth chart in the next 2-3 years. Only downside I see right now is his age (23) which will be a bit old for A-ball. ETA: 2023

24. Alex Scherff, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 17)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 15 G, 15 GS, 1-5, 4.76 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, 2.25 K/BB
The 20-year-old showed some flashes of brilliance in 2018, yet there were periods of missteps as well. He certainly wants to forget his June 12th performance (2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER) but closed the season on September 3rd with a 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 K outing vs. Lexington which gave him that mental momentum heading into the offseason. Boston’s 2017 5th rounder will likely be part of Greenville’s rotation to start 2019. ETA: 2023

25. Eduardo Lopez, OF (’18 midseason rank – 36)
Opening Day Age: 16
2018 Highest Level: Hasn’t debuted stateside yet
2018 stats: DNP
We don’t have much to report with Lopez yet, but Boston gave him a $1.15M signing bonus this past July when they inked him during the J2 signing period. Lopez was the 20th ranked International prospect at the time, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler. I’m at least intrigued enough to bump him up 11 spots since my 2018 midseason Top 50. Years away, the 16-year-old is a switch hitter with an above-average hit tool and projectable power, so says SoxProspects.com. He should play this year in the Dominican Summer League. ETA: 2025

26. Chase Shugart, RHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 4 G, 4 GS, 0-1, 1.13 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 10.1 K/9, 9.0 K/BB
Another exciting 2018 draft pick (from the University of Texas – Hook ’em Horns!), Shugart only tossed 8 innings in his pro debut last year, but this is one arm to keep an eye on. Don’t let other owners in your dynasty leagues sneak up on you and grab Shugart before you do. One of the biggest climbers on my list as he debuts in this spot after not being ranked last August. This pitcher could move quickly through the system and look for him to start this season in Greenville (Full Season-A). ETA: 2022

27. Brayan Bello, RHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: Rookie
2018 stats: 14 G, 13 GS, 7-2, 1.60 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, 7.4 K/BB
SLEEPER ALERT! Bello will likely not be on many others’ radar, so click that “watch player” option on your dynasty league’s website. He posted sick numbers last summer and was in contention for Rookie ball Pitcher Prospect of the Week of several occasions. I’m really excited to see what’s in store for the 19-year-old Dominican right-hander, although we’ll probably see him go another season in the GCL. ETA: 2024

28. Marino Campana, OF (’18 midseason rank – 44)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 111 G, 459 PA, .246/.309/.440/.750, 16 HR, 69 RBI, 2 SB, 26.1 K%, 7.0 BB%
Campana has some nice pop, and his 184 total bases led the Drive and tied for 18th among Sally hitters in 2018. Just don’t let that K-rate climb any higher Marino. You’ll likely get tested in High-A Salem this coming season. ETA: 2022

29. Roldani Baldwin, C (’18 midseason rank – 20)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 53 G, 223 PA, .233/.282/.371/.653, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 2 SB, 20.0 K%, 4.5 BB%
Baldwin is probably one of the best catcher prospects in the system, although he struggled in High-A last year following a very solid showing in Full Season A-ball in 2017. A big part of that struggle can be contributed to an injury-riddled season though as he only played in 53 games, compared to 95 the year before. 14 HR and 66 RBI was very good production in Greenville and that dropped to only 7/27 in Salem. Give him another shot in High-A. ETA: 2022

30. Zach Schellenger, RHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 15 G, 1 GS, 1.65 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13.8 K/9, 6.25 K/BB
Another big mover and shaker on my list, the not-rated on my midseason list pitcher focused on relieving, had some crazy success, and now goes into 2019 as one of my new RP favorites in Boston’s minor leagues. Schellenger is looking to throw a full season as he’s only tossed 16.1 IP in the previous two. The 2017 6th round pick out of Seton Hall could slot into a late inning major league role at some point in the next 2-3 years. ETA: 2021

31. Eduard Bazardo, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 28)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 14 G, 14 GS, 6-5, 2.67 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 10.5 K/BB
Bazardo killed it in 9 starts for the Lowell Spinners and then made the jump to Greenville and notched 5 more good outings to round out the 2018 campaign. He’ll probably start in Greenville again but hopefully can move up to High-A, possibly Double-A, in his upcoming 23-year-old season. You have to like the numbers he put up and if that trend continues, don’t be surprised to see Bazardo crack my Top 20 come midseason. ETA: 2022

32. Brett Netzer, 2B (’18 midseason rank – 22)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 124 G, 532 PA, .270/.325/.360/.684, 2 HR, 50 RBI, 3 SB (but 8 CS, ouch!), 21.6 K%, 7.0 BB%
I guess I could be lazy and use my 2018 midseason write up for Netzer…
Boston’s 3rd round pick in 2017 just hits. Netzer doesn’t have any power (yet) but looks like a contact, .300 hitter in his short career so far. He hit .286 across Short Season and Full Season A ball last year. He’s hitting .296 in High-A Salem this year. Just don’t expect him to be a great base stealer. 1 for 8 in SB attempts in 2018 (6 for 11 in his career).
Not much has changed since I wrote that on August 2nd, but I will add this. Boston liked Netzer enough when they drafted him in the 3rd round in 2017 that they’re probably going to move him up to man 2B at Double-A Portland. ETA: 2021

33. Roniel Raudes, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 30)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 11 G, 11 GS, 2-5, 3.67 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 5.8 K/9, 1.84 K/BB
At first I had Raudes penciled into my Tier 5, but I have to believe the Red Sox 2016 MiLB Pitcher of the Year is going to bounce back from a couple disappointing seasons and make the 40-man roster at some point in the near future. With an inconsistent or bad first half of 2019, he will drop to Tier 5 or completely off my Top 50. He’s lost control and isn’t striking out batters like he was 2-3 years ago. When your K/9 over 4 seasons goes from 9.7, to 8.3, to 7.4, to 5.8, there’s reason for concern. Could be a safe drop in dynasty leagues at this point until he proves otherwise. ETA: 2022, maybe

34. Matthew Kent, LHP (’18 midseason rank – 38)
Opening Day Age: 26
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 28 G, 24 GS, 11-8, 3.69 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 3.58 K/BB
Not a superstar, but a quietly productive SP. Kent is one of the older prospects on this list, but he’s reached the AAA level which is what you’d hope to see at this stage. Splitting time between AA and AAA last year, he logged 148.2 innings following 164 and 168 the two seasons prior. No specific pitch or stat stands out for Kent, but continued mid-3’s ERA and close to 8 K/9 could give him a shot as a MLB LOOGY, which is why he sneaks into my Tier 4. ETA: 2020

35. Tanner Nishioka, 3B (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AA Portland
2018 stats: 87 G, 353 PA, .322/.398/.511/.909, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 4 SB, 20.7 K%, 8.8 BB%
I’m confident in saying you will not find Tanner Nishioka on any other Red Sox top prospects list, that is, unless they’re going 35+ deep like I do. The 9th rounder (2017) Honolulu, HI native spent most of 2018 in A-ball, but did get a few games at AA in early June. With Dalbec set to man 3B in Portland, I expect Nishioka to cover the hot corner in High-A Salem to start this season. He could move quickly and remember where you read about him first! ETA: late 2021/mid 2022

36. Josh Taylor, LHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 25
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 48 G, 0 GS, 3-7, 13 SV, 3.35 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 10.1 K/9, 2.61 K/BB
Originally not on this list, I wanted to group Taylor with the others who I kept off (Brewer, Poyner, et al) but decided to keep him here since he hasn’t made his MLB debut yet. 13 saves last year gets your attention, as does a K/9 over 10. I hear rumblings that he could be a bullpen piece this year. ETA: 2019


Tier 5:

37. Pedro Castellanos, 1B (’18 midseason rank – 34)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 88 G, 365 PA, .302/.334/.387/.721, 1 HR, 34 RBI, 1 SB, 13.7 K%, 3.3 BB%
I’m not as high on Castellanos as some others are. He’s a .300 hitter with no power, but don’t you want power for a corner infield player? ETA: 2023

38. Yoan Aybar, LHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 17 G, 0 GS, 2-1, 0-2 SV OPP, 4.13 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 1.93 K/BB
Cool transition project here. Outfielder getting a shot at relief pitching. ETA: 2023

39. Jake Thompson, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 25)
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 26 G, 26 GS, 5-13, 5.30 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, 2.04 K/BB
Thompson is trending in the wrong direction, but does have the pedigree to turn things around but dropped 13 spots since the midseason list. You never like to see minor league pitchers with double-digit losses as that means as a starter he didn’t do his job to keep the team in games early. The Oregon State Beaver (4th round pick in 2017) could be on his way to the Salem bullpen for 2019. ETA: 2021, maybe 2022

40. Tyler Esplin, OF (’18 midseason rank – 34)
Opening Day Age: 19
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 52 G, 208 PA, .217/.303/.348/.651, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 5 SB, 25.5 K%, 11.1 BB%
I was expecting some better results for Esplin in his first taste at NYPL action last year. He should get a shot to play left field for Full Season Greenville but let’s hope the K-rate doesn’t climb towards that 30% mark. ETA: 2023

41. Kole Cottam, C (’18 midseason rank – 43)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 32 G, 133 PA, .236/.278/.390/.668, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 2 SB, 21.1 K%, 3.8 BB%
The University of Kentucky backstop garnered Boston’s 4th round selection in 2018’s MLB Draft. They started him off in Lowell (A-) where he got 31 pro games under his belt, with one game in A-ball for the Drive. I still like Baldwin’s bat as my catcher of preference in the system, but with a nice 2019, Cottam moves up this list. ETA: 2023

42. Garrett Benge, 1B (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 23
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 41 G, 171 PA, .333/.450/.461/.911, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 1 SB, 14.6 K%, 17.5 BB%
2017 13th round pick. No real power to speak of but he sure does make contact. Not sure who’s going to be the main 1B in Salem, but Benge could outplay Castellanos and lay claim. ETA: 2022

43. Thad Ward, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 46)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 11 G, 11 GS, 0-3, 3.77 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 2.25 K/BB
5th rounder from last year. Had a successful debut in Lowell and will probably move to Greenville and take a spot in the Drive’s rotation to start 2019. ETA: late 2022

44. Matthew Gorst, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 40)
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 40 G, 0 GS, 3-4, 9 SV, 1.84 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 3.41 K/BB
Gorst had an All-Star season in 2018, closing out games across 3 levels. I should probably have him up in Tier 4 but don’t know that he has the swing and miss stuff I want a closer to have. ETA: 2020

45. Tyler Dearden, OF (’18 midseason rank – 35)
Opening Day Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 47 G, 187 PA, .306/.364/.459/.822, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 32.1 K%, 6.4 BB%
One of the pleasant Red Sox minor league surprises of 2018 was Dearden. The 29th round pick (2017) put together a very impressive campaign which will likely earn him a promotion to Greenville (A) this spring. ETA: 2023

46. Cole Brannen, OF (’18 midseason rank – 18)
Opening Day Age: 20
2018 Highest Level: A Greenville
2018 stats: 66 G, 289 PA, .169/.261/.205/.466, 0 HR, 15 RBI, 21 SB, 31.1 K%, 10.4 BB%
There isn’t much more to say than 2019 is a make or break year for Brannen. Boston’s 2017 2nd rounder had a season to forget, hitting well below the Mendoza line, fanning more than 30% of the time, and slugged only .205. Having started the year in Greenville, he was demoted to Lowell for the second half of the year and didn’t show improvement. Stay tuned. ETA: 2023, if that

47. Emmanuel De Jesus, LHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: A+ Salem
2018 stats: 25 G, 19 GS, 8-7, 1 SV, 4.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 3.91 K/BB
Excited to see what De Jesus can do in Salem’s rotation to begin 2019. The lefty’s been around since 2014 but is still only 22. ETA: 2022

48. Alexander Montero, RHP (’18 midseason rank – 48)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 4 G, 4 GS, 0-1, 1.86 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 5.25 K/BB
Montero is an exciting, hard-throwing J2 signing from 2017 who could find himself in full season Greenville’s rotation with Scherff, Shugart, Ward and Bazardo. Sleeper alert! ETA: 2023

49. Yasel Santana, RHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 21
2018 Highest Level: A- Lowell
2018 stats: 11 G, 11 GS, 3-1, 1.78 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, 4.90 K/BB
I kept seeing Santana’s name when I checked Gulf Coast League scores last summer, and get this. Only 9 walks in 45.2 innings there! That’s control! Give this kid a chance in Lowell so I can go watch him pitch this summer! ETA: 2023

Photo credit – Bryan Green on Flickr

50. Miguel Suero, RHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 22
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)
2018 stats: 14 G, 10 GS, 3-2, 1 SV, 1.56 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 6.13 K/BB
Suero was the Red Sox Latin Program Pitcher of the Year in 2018. Signed in late 2017, Suero made his debut last season and really impressed. Like Santana, look for him in a Spinners uniform this year. ETA: 2023

2 bonus guys:
51(a). Jordan Weems, RHP (’18 midseason rank – NR)
Opening Day Age: 26
2018 Highest Level: AAA Pawtucket
2018 stats: 43 G, 0 GS, 4-3, 5 SV, 3.36 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 1.85 K/BB
I’m still debating whether I want Weems on my list or not. Don’t have a strong feeling that he’s going to see Fenway, but should contribute in the back end of Pawtucket’s bullpen. Another 26-year-old who could be a Quad-A guy. ETA: 2020, or not

51(b). Trey Ball, LHP/OF?
Opening Day Age: 24
2018 Highest Level: AA Portland
2018 stats: 34 G, 1 GS, 4-4, 7.58 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 2.15 K/BB
Ball, who fell off my Top 50 last year, finished off a disastrous 2018 with some ugly stats. So why the change of heart? The 2013 1st rounder is supposedly getting a chance to go two ways and try his hand in the outfield. He played two games as DH to close out last season (went 1-9 and logged his first pro base hit). Now I’m a little intrigued and want to give him a chance. MiLB.com had a nice article about Ball’s transition a couple weeks ago. ETA: unsure


The Next 10:

Joan Martinez, Dedgar Jimenez, Kervin Suarez (Boston’s MiLB Baserunner of the Year), Juan Carlos Abreu, Daniel Gonzalez, Kyri Washington, Victor Acosta, Brian Brown, Aldo Ramirez, Angel Maita

Juan Carlos Abreu – photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr
About Scott Greene 22 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 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

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Wednesday, January 30, 2019 – Fantasy Baseball Links | FantasyRundown.com
  2. 2-Way Players – Here to stay? If so, what does it mean for Fantasy Baseball? | Prospects1500

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