Snap out of that egg nog coma…we’ve got more prospects to cover! Hopefully everyone had a safe and happy holiday. The Red Sox are the next minor league system to step to the plate, and while it’s not exactly the sexiest system in town, it’s doable. It’s corner infielder heavy with all three Grade A specs manning either first or third. After that, it gets a bit pitching happy with a few more corners mixed in for kicks. Maybe we’ll get a Christmas miracle and Prospector Rowf will chime in. I hear he’s a big Sawx fan!
1. Michael Chavis, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
Chavis has been around since I left Razzball to become a traveling snake milker in 2016, so there might be some legit fatigue associated with him. He’s a relatively high-risk/high-reward player with plus power. 2018 wasn’t his greatest year, hitting nine homers and striking out in 27% of his appearances in a suspension-shortened season. Good chance to buy low if you like him. Evidence to stay away if you don’t.
2. Bobby Dalbec, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
If Chavis’s strikeout rate concerns you, then Dalbec’s 32% will downright make you pee down your leg. It’s a very similar profile…plus power, suspicious hit tool, and no wheels. In another system, these guys might get lapped by players with better bats, but their proximity and power do enough to make them relevant for fantasy and keep them atop this system.
3. Triston Casas, 1B/3B | Age: 18 | ETA: 2022
Casas does have a better grade on his bat, but he’s also 18 years old and has a lot of development ahead of him. The Grade A ranking is based on his potential to hit for both power and average down the road, no matter which side of the diamond he lands on. I’d look to snag him in the late second/early third round in first year player drafts this winter.
4. Bryan Mata, RHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2020
Mata’s stuff is average to a tick above right across the board, which means he’s not the most exciting pitching prospect you’ll ever see, but it also means he’s got a good chance to make it as a starter and contribute in fantasy. He works mainly from a fastball/curve combination that does net some strikeouts. He should move pretty quickly and reach the upper minors as soon as this year.
5. Jay Groome, LHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2020
Groome is one of those players that’s tough to rank. His raw stuff is great (especially his curve), but he didn’t make any appearances in 2018 due to Tommy John surgery in May. You’re betting on the big upside and risking more injury issues, similar to a Hunter Harvey over in Baltimore. Personally, I avoid these guys, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t recognize Groome’s ability. Worth a stash if you can get him cheap.
6. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019
Hernandez had a real nice Arizona Fall League performance that ticked his stock up a notch (he struck out a crazy 24 batters in 11 innings as a reliever). His control and command need some work (five walks per nine last year), but I really like the strikeout potential for fantasy. He started 23 games in the Sally in 2018, and punched out over 11 per nine. To be fair, there’s also some legit bullpen risk here.
7. Tanner Houck, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019
Another arm with some decent strikeout potential in the middle of a rotation is Houck. He does it with a fastball/slider combination and solid control/command. It’s not the gaudy numbers that Hernandez puts up, but Houck probably has the higher floor of the two.
8. Danny Diaz, 3B | Age: 17| ETA: 2023
Diaz is a long-term project at 17 years old, but the bat and power both show the potential to be plus down the road. He popped six homers in about 100 plate appearances in 2018. The arm should keep him at third (he’s already switched off of short). Speed is a weakness, so he won’t be able to impact every category, but the ceiling is a middle-of-the-order run producer if you have the patience to let him develop.
9. Nick Decker, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2022
Decker slides down some lists because of his speed and defense, but his bat should carry him as a corner outfielder. The Sawx took him in the second round of the 2018 draft and Decker’s ability to hit for power and average should be on display next year in his first full season of pro ball. He’s a nice sneaky pick in the later rounds of first year player drafts.
10. Sam Travis, 1B | Age: 25 | ETA: 2019
Shout out to the old guys. Yeah, 25 is pretty old for a prospect list. Still, Travis should contribute in some shape or form this season, and he could run into a few homers with some playing time. He’s most likely missed his chance to make an impact, but in some formats you just need a depth piece to have waiting in the wings.