By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Red Sox have a new top prospect, according to the latest rankings of the team’s farm system by Baseball America.
Third baseman Bobby Dalbec, who was one of the most prolific power hitters in minor league baseball this past season, has jumped to number one on the new Red Sox Top 10 list.
Dalbec was ninth in publication’s the midseason rankings.
The 2016 fourth round pick out of Arizona saw the early part of his career slowed by a broken bone in his wrist. 2018 was his coming-out party, setting a single-season record with 26 home runs at Single-A Salem before being promoted to Double-A Portland, where he hit six more homers in 29 games.
The concern with Dalbec remains his strikeouts. He struck out 176 in 521 plate appearances in 2018.
Talent evaluators peg Dalbec as a good defensive third baseman. He saw some time at first base in the Arizona Fall League as the Red Sox look to find him as many potential paths to the big leagues as possible.
Michael Chavis, last year’s top hitting prospect, checked in at number two on the list. Chavis missed much of the 2018 season with an 80-game PED suspension.
Hard-throwing lefty Darwinzon Hernandez has jumped to third, following a breakout season in Single-A. Hernandez struck out 124 in 101 innings and was moved to the bullpen with a late-season promotion to Double-A Portland. The Red Sox say he will continue working as a starter, but some scouts believe he could be a bullpen arm in the big leagues.
Former first round pick Jay Groome fell to fourth on the list after missing all of 2018 with Tommy John surgery.
2018 first round pick Triston Cases came in at number five. He played only six innings in pro ball due to a thumb injury he suffered in his first game after being drafted.
Shortstop C.J. Chatham and pitchers Bryan Mata, Tanner Houck, and Mike Shawaryn all returned to the top 10 after making the midseason list.
The only new addition to the rankings is 18-year-old shortstop Antoni Flores, who scouts project as a high-upside player. Flores is currently in the lowest levels of the minors.
You can find the full list below:
1. Bobby Dalbec, 3B (Double-A Portland)
2. Michael Chavis, 3B/1B (Triple-A Pawtucket)
3. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (Double-A Portland)
4. Jay Groome, LHP (Low Single-A Greenville)
5. Triston Cases, 3B (Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox)
6. Bryan Mata, RHP (High Single-A Salem)
7. Tanner Houck, RHP (High Single-A Salem)
8. Mike Shawaryn, RHP (Triple-A Pawtucket)
9. Antoni Flores, SS (Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox)
10. C.J. Chatham, SS (High Single-A Salem)