Baseball America – the bible of baseball coverage – has updated their top-10 prospects lists for each major league organization, and the new rankings reveal more troubling details for the Boston Red Sox farm system.
None of the players on the updated Red Sox list appeared in the publication’s midseason top-100 overall prospects rankings, indicating president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski could have trouble competing on the trade market with contending teams that have more robust farm systems at their disposal.
Lefty Jay Groome, who is done for the season with Tommy John surgery, remains the Red Sox’ top prospect despite his injury.
In what can be looked at as a telling sign that the system is in rough shape, 2018 first-round pick Triston Casas debuted at No. 2 on the list. Casas played just six innings this year in professional baseball before suffering a season-ending thumb injury, yet still ranked higher than every other player down on the farm for the Red Sox except Groome.
Michael Chavis, who entered the season as the organization’s top hitting prospect, dropped to No. 3 after being suspended 80 games for a failed drug test.
Single-A righties Bryan Mata and Tanner Houck checked in at four and five, dropping from their preseason rankings of four and three, respectively.
Mata was the Red Sox representative at the Futures Game last week and has had a respectable season (16 starts, 6-2, 3.42 ERA, 71 innings pitched, 60 strikeouts), but has struggled with command (57 walks).
Houck (4-11, 4.80 ERA) had a disastrous first-half, but has improved a bit after the Red Sox scrapped an ill-advised plan to alter the 2017 first round pick’s mechanics and pitch arsenal.
Jalen Beeks, shortstop C.J. Chatham, and third baseman Bobby Dalbec all were added to the list.
Dalbec has legitimate power (23 home runs in 93 games), but has major strikeout issues (121 in 322 at-bats).
Chatham, a second-round pick in 2016, is in the middle of his best season so far in the minors. He has hit .302 in time split between Low Single-A Greenville and High Single-A Salem.
Pitchers Mike Shawaryn and Darwinzon Hernandez stayed on the list after cracking the top-10 to start the season.
Shawaryn, who has drawn some comparisons to Brandon Workman, has turned in a solid season for Double-A Portland with a 3.52 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .232.
Hernandez is sporting a 3.90 ERA in Salem and has struck out 94 batters in 80 innings of work.
The new Baseball America Red Sox top-10 list is below:
- Jay Groome (LHP) Low Single-A Greenville
- Triston Casas (1B/3B) Rookie-level Gulf Coast League
- Michael Chavis (3B) Double-A Portland
- Bryan Mata (RHP) High Single-A Salem
- Tanner Houck (RHP) High Single-A Salem
Jalen Beeks (LHP) Triple-A Pawtucket(UPDATE: Traded to the Rays for Nathan Eovaldi)
- Mike Shawaryn (RHP) Double-A Portland
- C.J. Chatham (SS) High Single-A Salem
- Bobby Dalbec (3B) High Single-A Salem
- Darwinzon Hernandez (LHP) High Single-A Salem
— By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com