The day everyone (or at least a small portion of Red Sox Nation) has been waiting for has finally arrived! After waiting for an entire off-season, MLB.com finally updated and released their top-30 prospects within the Boston Red Sox system. I had recently taken a stab at my own top 30 list earlier in the off-season, but let’s look at what the experts say about the Boston Red Sox 2019 prospects.
Boston Red Sox 2019 Top 30 Prospects, per MLB.com
The Top Five
1. Michael Chavis (Scouting Report)
2. Triston Casas (Scouting Report)
3. Bobby Dalbec (Scouting Report)
4. Darwinzon Hernandez (Scouting Report)
5. Jay Groome (Scouting Report)
Michael Chavis doesn’t come as a surprise, as he was the only player to crack the league-wide top-100 prospect list earlier in the season. While he lacks a superstar upside, he has a safe floor and should be a regular in the major league lineup by 2020.
Giving Triston Casas the number two spot is a little premature in my eyes. 2018’s first-round pick has all the talent in the world, but the third baseman missed basically the entirety of the 2018 season with an injury. I have him at five, simply because his complete inexperience makes him a complete unknown.
Bobby Dalbec has the highest upside of just about anyone in Boston’s farm system. Dalbec is a fantastic fielder and might have the best pure power at any level of the organization. He led the minors in home runs in 2019 and has the chance to truly be a special player. However, he can’t hit a curveball to save his life and he strikes out far too often. He’s a high-ceiling, low-floor player who could end up being Aaron Judge or Mike Napoli.
It’s impossible to place Jay Groome on a list like this. His upside is easily the best in Red Sox system, as he has the stuff to be a top-10 pitcher in all of baseball. However, Groome’s coming off Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready for the start of the season. He’s yet to stay healthy and probably won’t be a full-go until 2020. There’s a great pitcher in there, but it will take a while before the Red Sox see it at the major league level.
6. Tanner Houck (Scouting Report)
7. Antoni Flores (Scouting Report)
8. Bryan Mata (Scouting Report)
9. C.J. Chatham (Scouting Report)
10. Jarren Duran (Scouting Report)
Tanner Houck should see his prospect stock rise considerably over the 2019 season. Houck entered the 2017 MLB Draft with a nasty two-seamer which made him a first-round pick. However, for some inexplicable reason, Boston made Houck ditch the pitch for the first year and a half of his career. Houck started using his two-seamer again late in 2017, and his numbers improved dramatically. This improvement should continue into 2019.
If anyone in the Red Sox system makes it on the 2019 top-100 list, it’s shortstop Antoni Flores. Flores has battled injuries throughout his short career but has been fantastic when on the field. If he can stay healthy, he could end the season as the top prospect in Boston’s system.
Bryan Mata, like just about every pitcher in Boston’s system, has strong stuff but struggled to stay in the strike zone. He’s entering his age-20 season, so he still has plenty of time to fix his control problems. Eight is just right for him, as he could be a starter, but he’ll more-than-likely end up in the bullpen.
I am not a C.J. Chatham person. The defensive-oriented shortstop is a good contact hitter, but hasn’t shown any power throughout his career and struggles to draw walks. His only path to the majors probably comes as a defensive-oriented bench piece a la Devin Marrero or Tzu-Wei Lin
I had Jarren Duran as my 14th-ranked prospect, but I love seeing him at 10 on this list. Duran was a seventh-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft but dramatically outplayed his draft positioning. He’d be higher on my list, but he needs to prove that his success wasn’t a short-season fluke. If he can do it again, he’s a top-five prospect in the system.
11. Nick Decker (Scouting Report)
12. Durbin Feltman (Scouting Report)
13. Mike Shawaryn (Scouting Report)
14. Danny Diaz (Scouting Report)
15. Brandon Howlett (Scouting Report)
16. Gilberto Jimenez (Scouting Report)
17. Travis Lakins (Scouting Report)
18. Nick Northcut (Scouting Report)
19. Denyi Reyes (Scouting Report)
20. Kutter Crawford (Scouting Report)
Nick Decker, just like Triston Casas, missed basically all of his rookie year. He has a fantastic profile and reportedly looked good in instructional camp, but his ranking is based on nothing more than projection.
Durbin Feltman is only this low because he’s a pure reliever. Feltman is the most “sure thing” in the Red Sox farm system, as Boston’s elite relief prospect stands an outside shot of making it on the Opening Day roster. Mike Shawaryn doesn’t have the most exciting pitch tool, but he’s good at making the most of what he has. He’ll probably start the season as Pawtucket’s Opening Day starter and should have a major league role as a long arm in the bullpen or an up-and-down spot starter.
Danny Diaz and Brandon Howlett are both a part of Boston’s third-base logjam. Howlett came out of nowhere as a 21st-round pick in 2018 to make a name for himself in the minors. He’s only played in 44 games, so he still has a lot to prove. Diaz, meanwhile, is one of Boston’s top International Free Agent signees. Both players could push for the top-10 with strong seasons.
Travis Lakins doesn’t have the same ceiling as a guy like Feltman, but he should compete for a spot in Boston’s Opening Day bullpen. He probably won’t be a closer, but he has an impressive fastball with decent secondary pitches. Nick Northcut is exactly where he belongs at the bottom of the Red Sox third base logjam.
21. Alex Scherff (Scouting Report)
22. Bobby Poyner (Scouting Report)
23. Colten Brewer (Scouting Report)
24. Brayan Bello
25. Josh Ockimey (Scouting Report)
26. Pedro Castellanos
27. Zach Schellenger (Scouting Report)
28. Yoan Aybar
29. Roldani Baldwin (Scouting Report)
30. Jhonathan Diaz (Scouting Report)
Alex Scherff has a fantastic pitch tool but battled injury throughout the 2018 season. Something of a forgotten man, Scherff has the ability to climb up the Red Sox internal rankings. Bobby Poyner and Colten Brewer are both early-inning relievers battling for a spot in the Red Sox bullpen.
19-year old Brayan Bello has yet to make it out of rookie ball, but the international free agent has done everything right when on the mound. The righty pitched 67.1 professional innings in his young career, allowing just 12 earned runs in that time while striking out 9.51 batters per nine innings. His command leaves a lot to be desired and his fastball isn’t anything elite.
Zach Schellenger has all the makings of a great reliever, but he spends more time on the DL than the mound. There’s no reason to believe he can stay healthy, but if he does he could climb into the 15-20 range. It’s interesting to see