Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (2) | 2013 (6) | 2012 (10) | 2011 (17) | 2010 (5)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [71-91] AL East
AAA: [79-65] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [88-54] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [68-68] Carolina League – Salem
A: [60-79] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss): [37-38] New York-Penn League – Lowell
The Red Sox may have landed the biggest fish this offseason when they signed 19-year-old infielder Yoan Moncada for over $60 million. With five plus tools, he immediately becomes the best prospect in their system and a top 10 prospect overall. This farm is still loaded with great fantasy prospects after Moncada though. They have a nice balance of MLB-ready guys like Rusney Castillo and toolsy youngsters like Manuel Margot. Not to mention that they also have some solid pitching prospects including two southpaws that could join the rotation in the next year or so. But the Red Sox player I’m most interested in this year is Xander Bogaerts. The former top prospect will enter his sophomore season looking to pick up where he left off last September (.313 with four homers).
Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1. Yoan Moncada, 2B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2017
Oh hey, how’s it going? So you just got here from Cuba and haven’t played in a year, but your tools are so good you’re a top ten prospect already? What’s that? You’re only 19 and can pretty much play anywhere on the diamond? Well sign me up. Moncada is a no-brainer #1 in dynasty first-year player drafts. He’s plus everything and worth the hype with potential impact in all five fantasy categories. With a strong debut in the States and some graduations, he’s going to be a top 5 prospect overall this time next year. Don’t confuse him with some of the other recent Cuban imports like Abreu, Castillo, and Tomas however – he’s not major league ready. Even a mid-2016 ETA is aggressive with 2017 much more likely. He’ll start his career as a second baseman at Single-A Greenville.
2. Rusney Castillo, OF | Age: 27 | ETA: 2015
I went over the Tomas/Castillo dynasty debate earlier this offseason. Looking at tools alone, Castillo brings a nice combination of average power and plus speed. How that translates into games is a question mark, and he’s currently in an outfield logjam in Boston along with Mookie Betts. Steamer is giving him 11 homers and 13 steals in just over 450 plate appearances for 2015. I think there’s more like 15-18 homers in the bat and there’s a good chance he runs into a couple of 20/20 years with a full-time job. It’s a little strange to talk about him here in a prospect list since he has pretty much skipped the minors and is already 27 years old. Castillo is an easy top 3 pick among the 2014 signees.
3. Blake Swihart, C | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015
I don’t usually give much love to the catching prospects on these lists, but Swihart is one of the exceptions. Along with Alfaro in Texas and Schwarber in Chicago, the offensive tools are loud enough to make him desirable in fantasy. He’s also pretty close to major league ready and there’s a chance we see him in Boston late this season. We’re mainly concerned with his offense, and Swihart has solid tools in that department. He can hit and hit for power – think .280 with 15-20 homers if he pans out. Put him in a solid lineup at Fenway and he’s got top 10 fantasy backstop written all over him. At this time next year, he’ll be the sneaky catcher grab we’re making in the late rounds of redraft leagues.
4. Rafael Devers, 3B | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018
Yes, it’s going to be a while before we see Devers in the majors. But he’s got upside to spare as an 18-year-old with 25-homer potential and an above average hit tool to accompany it. Right now he’s a third baseman, but he could slide across the diamond to first base in time. I’d expect him to rise up prospect lists quickly with another good year and his left-handed power should play perfectly in Fenway one day. If he hits a level per year starting with an assignment in Single-A this season, we could see him in the majors as a 21-year-old.
5. Manuel Margot, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017
By the time the Red Sox figure out their current outfield, they could be in another clusterjam with the 20-year-old Margot. He’s still a couple of years away, but Margot is another fantasy stud in the making from this system. The standout tool is his double-plus speed, but he also has average power and the potential for an above average hit tool. I’d take 15 homers and 30 steals all day every day and twice on Sundays. In 2014 Margot got a brief taste of High-A Salem where he hit .340/.364/.560 in 16 games. He’ll head back to High-A to start 2015 and should see his fantasy stock rise even further by midseason.
6. Henry Owens, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015
Owens is going to draw comparisons to Cole Hamels since he’s a southpaw with a good feel for a nasty changeup. I’m not sure he’s the second coming of my man in Philly, but he’s the best pitching prospect in this loaded system. Owens tore through Double-A in 2014, striking out 126 batters in 121 innings pitched and earning a promotion to Triple-A for 38 innings by season’s end. Look for him to return to Triple-A Pawtucket to start this season with a major league call-up sometime this summer if a spot opens up in the Red Sox rotation.
7. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016
Rodriguez’s 2014 was a tale of two seasons. There was his not-so-great start to the year with the Orioles (82.2 IP, 4.68 ERA, 69 Ks) and then there was the solid finish he had after being traded to the Sox (37.1 IP, 0.96 ERA, 39 Ks). Part of his early-season struggle was related to a knee injury which may have funked up his mechanics, but he got back into the groove mid-season. His velocity returned and he started carving up Double-A hitters. With a plus fastball that sits 92-94, “E-Rod” has #3 starter potential and should be a part of the 2016 rotation. Some MLB innings in late 2015 would not surprise me either.
8. Michael Chavis, INF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018
The Red Sox took Chavis 26th overall in last year’s draft. The 19-year-old had a solid debut in the Gulf Coast League and should be a late first/early second round pick in first-year player drafts as long as you don’t mind the longish ETA. Chavis is worth a look in fantasy thanks to his above average power and speed. The tool that ties it all together though is his ability to hit, which would make him a possible 5-category contributor from the infield. That’s pretty tasty, and likely comes at a more reasonable price than the guy at the top of this list. He should start 2015 in the Sally league for his first full season.
9. Garin Cecchini, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015
Cecchini is close to the majors and would probably have had a look this year if the club hadn’t acquired Pablo Sandoval. He’s not going to hit for a ton of power, but ~15 homers is doable. It’ll come paired with a high average too, since most reports slap a 60 on his hit tool (.280+). The 23-year-old could still see some major league action later in 2015, but he’ll likely spend most of it in Pawtucket if he stays with the Red Sox. I like him in deeper formats, especially on teams that are looking for the less flashy/higher probability types that they can slot into a major league roster soon.
10. Wendell Rijo, 2B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018
Rijo spent the entire 2014 season in the Sally, where he was the second youngest player in the league at 18 years old. He’ll likely get pushed again this year and start the 2015 season in High-A. Rijo’s mostly projection at this point and while his tools aren’t as loud as Moncada or Chavis, he’s holding his own against older competition. He’s an aggressive hitter that might get exploited against better arms, but we’ll find out soon enough. I doubt he’ll cost much to acquire in most dynasty formats right now, and his stock could take off with another strong season.