MLB Pipeline released their long-anticipated Top-100 list this past Saturday, with Michael Chavisbeing the Red Sox lone representative. This writer isn’t surprised with this result, as trades, internal graduation, and absurdly bad injury luck have put the Sox farm in a tough spot. However, there is plenty of hope for the future. I thought MLB Pipeline would also release their top-30 prospects by team. They didn’t, so I’m here to do the work for them. The Red Sox future is bright, so I’m here to put together my personal Boston Red Sox Top-30 Prospects.
2019 Boston Red Sox Top 30 Prospects
The Top Five
- Michael Chavis (Scouting Report)
DarwinzonHernandez (Scouting Report)
- Bobby Dalbec (Scouting Report)
- Tanner Houck (Scouting Report)
- Triston Casas (Scouting Report)
Michael Chavis, as the lone member of the top-100, earns the top spot. Chavis doesn’t have a superstar ceiling, but he has a safe floor and could contribute as soon as 2019. He’s a bat-first prospect but is capable of playing serviceable defense at first or third. He’s a good player to have in your lineup.
I’m higher on Hernandez than most, but nobody can deny his special pitch tool. Hernandez has a mid- to high-90’s fastball and a devastating curveball. If he had better control, he’d easily be a top-100 prospect. His high walk rate might push him into the bullpen, but worst-case scenario he’s an elite late-inning arm.
Dalbec has the highest ceiling of the bunch, but he has a fairly low floor. Dalbec is easily the best power hitter in the system and his former coach says he hits the ball harder than Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Yoan Moncada, and all of the other recent greats in the Red Sox farm. However, he strikes out at a high rate and he’ll need to work on that.
Tanner Houck entered the 2017 draft with a nasty two-seamer. For some reason, the Red Sox told him to ditch his best pitch in favor of a four-seam fastball. The results weren’t great, and Boston had Houck go back to using his two-seamer midway through 2018. Since then, he’s posted a 2.86 ERA and a 2.98 FIP in 12 starts. Houck should see his stock rise dramatically throughout 2019.
2018’s first-round pick missed basically the entirety of his rookie season, but Triston Casas has all the goods to climb through the system. According to all reports, he can hit and field at a high level and should dominate with the Greenville Drive in 2019.
You heard it here first – Antoni Flores will be a top-100 prospect by the end of 2019. Flores is a fantastic all-around player who dominated at the rookie ball and short-season level. He’s battled some minor injurie but is always one of the best players on the field when healthy. At 18 years old, he should only continue to improve and has an outside shot to finish 2019 with AA Portland.
Placing Jay Groome on this list is hard. His upside is easily the highest, as his stuff is filthy. If he ever stays healthy, his stuff is good enough to make him a top-10 pitcher in baseball. However, he can’t stay healthy. Groome has yet to pitch a full season and is coming off Tommy John surgery. He’s still a long way from being ready to contribute in the majors.
At age 19, Bryan Mata is one of the more promising arms in the minors. Mata has a fantastic pitch tool but struggles with control. Ideally, he’ll make it as a starter, however his erratic command might push him to the bullpen.
Durbin Feltman is easily the safest and most pro-ready guy on this list. Feltman possesses an elite pitch tool and is simply unhittable at the minor league levels. He’ll never be a starter, which limits his upside a little, but he should find his way into the major league bullpen at some point in 2019.
Danny Diaz is Rafael Devers lite. He doesn’t have the same ceiling, but the 18-year old has a similar profile. I’m higher on him than most, but he should prove me right with a full year in the minors.
11. Nick Decker (Scouting Report)
12. CJ Chatham (Scouting Report)
13. Mike Shawaryn (Scouting Report)
14. Jarren Duran (Scouting Report)
15. Brandon Howlett (Scouting Report)
16. Travis Lakins (Scouting Report)
17. Nick Northcut (Scouting Report)
18. Josh Ockimey (Scouting Report)
19. Alex Scherff (Scouting Report)
Decker, just like Triston Casas, missed basically the entirety of his rookie year. I’m just going off what he expected to be coming out of school. CJ Chatham is a defensive whiz who can play all over the infield, but subpar bat makes him more Deven Marrero than Brock Holt. That said, I’m lower on Chatham than most, so maybe there is something there that I’m just not seeing. Mike Shawaryn probably doesn’t have the stuff to be anything more than a back-of-the-rotation starter, but he’s a great fill-in who will probably find a home as a long arm in the bullpen or a late starter in a bad rotation. Basically, think Brian Johnson.
Jarren Duran and Brandon Howlett were both late-round picks in the 2018 draft who dramatically outplayed their draft positioning. They need to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, but they have the measurables to suggest they’re capable of repeating their 2018 success.
Nick Northcut, while a promising player, is on the back end of the third base logjam. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him shipped off in a trade. Josh Ockimey is a limited prospect with a subpar glove at first. That said, he has fantastic power and can crush righty pitching. He probably won’t ever be a major league starter, but he could be a bench piece.
Alex Scherff has a decent pitch tool but struggles to get the most out of it. Conversely,Denyi Reyes has a fairly underwhelming pitch tool but uses his elite command and brains to get batters out. Despite never pitching above the High-A level, the Red Sox put him on their 40-man roster.
21. Gilberto Jimenez (Scouting Report)
22. Tzu-Wei Lin
23. Chase Shugart (Scouting Report)
24. Pedro Castellanos
25. Kutter Crawford (Scouting Report)
26. Sam Travis
27. Zach Schellenger (Scouting Report)
28. Bobby Poyner (Scouting Report)
29. Colten Brewer (Scouting Report)
30. Josh Taylor (Scouting Report)
I won’t lie, there’s not much to talk about here. Everyone knows who Tzu-Wei Lin is, and he’ll probably take over Brock Holt’s role in 2020. Kutter Crawford is the most interesting name here, as he came out of nowhere to have a fantastic 2018. If he can do it again, he’ll soar up in these rankings. Zach Schellenger would be a great reliever if he could stay on the mound, but nothing to date suggests he can stay healthy for an extended period of time.
Bobby Poyner and Colten Brewer both have the chance to break camp with the Boston Red Sox. Neither player is an elite arm by any means, but both guys can serve as early-inning relief arms at the major league level. Josh Taylor is on the 40-man roster, but he’s a pretty underwhelming arm. If he pitches significant innings with Boston, something has gone horribly wrong.
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com
(Nov. 6, 2017 – Source: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images North America)
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