Status of Boston's Farm System

DGreenwood

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Just curious - why are people afraid to rank him highly? Is it only because he's young? His numbers look fantastic.

Also, most of the experts killed the Red Sox for drafting him so high and people aren't always quick to admit when they are wrong (as Law does here):
The most maligned pick of the 2020 draft by far went out and proved all of the criticism — yes, including mine — wrong with a .325/.412/.516 line across Low A and High A, especially impressive for a 19-year-old who’d barely played since 2019.
 
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BringBackMo

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Just curious - why are people afraid to rank him highly? Is it only because he's young? His numbers look fantastic.
It’s a good question. Alex Speier, who does the Sox rankings for Baseball America, addressed this on a recent Sox Prospects podcast.

He said that Yorke’s performance in the minors last year was borderline historic. I don’t remember the exact player comps he dropped based on Yorke’s 2021 stats, but they were insane. The problem, he said, is that the overall quality of the lower minors was hard to quantify last year because of the elimination of short-season ball—which pushed a lot of players who otherwise would have been in the Penn League etc into low-A. The other complicating factor, he said, was figuring out the degree to which the pandemic affected the performance and usage of pitchers. With those questions, he decided to err on the side of caution and ranked Yorke third in the Sox minors.

Without those question, he said, Yorke would have unquestionably been at least his second-ranked Sox prospect. But with them, he went Mayer, Casas, Yorke. Interestingly, he said that even though Casas has flashed the potential to be a middle-of-the-order MLB bat, he’s yet to really put up the kind of dominant stretches in the minors that makes you think he’s a no-doubter. He, of course, raved about Mayer and said the reports from scouts have been very encouraging. Sox Prospects has it Casas, Mayer, Yorke, by the way.
 
Jul 16, 2005
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It’s a good question. Alex Speier, who does the Sox rankings for Baseball America, addressed this on a recent Sox Prospects podcast.

He said that Yorke’s performance in the minors last year was borderline historic. I don’t remember the exact player comps he dropped based on Yorke’s 2021 stats, but they were insane. The problem, he said, is that the overall quality of the lower minors was hard to quantify last year because of the elimination of short-season ball—which pushed a lot of players who otherwise would have been in the Penn League etc into low-A. The other complicating factor, he said, was figuring out the degree to which the pandemic affected the performance and usage of pitchers. With those questions, he decided to err on the side of caution and ranked Yorke third in the Sox minors.

Without those question, he said, Yorke would have unquestionably been at least his second-ranked Sox prospect. But with them, he went Mayer, Casas, Yorke. Interestingly, he said that even though Casas has flashed the potential to be a middle-of-the-order MLB bat, he’s yet to really put up the kind of dominant stretches in the minors that makes you think he’s a no-doubter. He, of course, raved about Mayer and said the reports from scouts have been very encouraging. Sox Prospects has it Casas, Mayer, Yorke, by the way.
It will be interesting to see how aggressive they are with Yorke if he continues to rake. Could we see him in Portland by the end of the year? He's so young.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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A nice bounce back season from Downs would be tremendous for a variety of reasons, but I’m curious what other prospect watchers would do with him if Mayer and Yorke look to be the core middle infield for the future.
I know there’s an significant age difference but not enough to think of Downs as anything more than two seasons ahead at most if he ends up on a ML roster in ‘23.
Personally, IF he has a great ‘22 season and Yorke continues his trajectory- both defensive and at the plate- I’d look to deal him for pitching.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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It will be interesting to see how aggressive they are with Yorke if he continues to rake. Could we see him in Portland by the end of the year? He's so young.
I would think it would be more surprising if he wasn't in Portland at some point this year. He already had a decent number of PAs at Greenville last year and did very well, so splitting the year between A+ and AA is the most likely scenario imo. And he will be 20 at the start of this season, so he really isn't that young for a top prospect. Even assuming no setbacks, he would be on track to compete for 2B job in 2024 at age 22. Pedroia was handed the job at 23, Xander at 21, Devers at 21.
 

Saints Rest

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A nice bounce back season from Downs would be tremendous for a variety of reasons, but I’m curious what other prospect watchers would do with him if Mayer and Yorke look to be the core middle infield for the future.
I know there’s an significant age difference but not enough to think of Downs as anything more than two seasons ahead at most if he ends up on a ML roster in ‘23.
Personally, IF he has a great ‘22 season and Yorke continues his trajectory- both defensive and at the plate- I’d look to deal him for pitching.
I remember a certain 2B prospect tearing up the minors, with no chance of making it to the big club at that position. I think they moved him to the OF. Whatever happened to him?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I remember a certain 2B prospect tearing up the minors, with no chance of making it to the big club at that position. I think they moved him to the OF. Whatever happened to him?
I’m trying to figure out which one of Downs or Yorke you’re trying to parallel to Mookie and I just can’t do it
 

billy ashley

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Yeah, Yorke is a far better prospect than Betts was at this point in their minor league careers. Betts was a good athlete who posted awesome BB rates but absolutely zero power. His second (full) season featured possibly the greatest stretch of any minor leaguer in recent memory and ended in the high minors. He was in the majors the following year for good. That's not a normal ascension. It was so rapid and so different than what he'd previously demonstrated that many prospect hounds at the time remained skeptical that the power was real until he continued mashing in the majors.

His move to the OF had much more to do with the fact that his bat was so freak'n good, a space was needed for him to play. It speaks to how amazingly unique Betts was that he was able to move to a new position on the fly, and be elite there from the jump.

I totally understand and agree with the decision to trade him but god damn it I don't miss watching him play.


Anyway, Betts could have stuck at 2B. He was a well-regarded SS prospect as a HS player. The only drawback was that he had a subpar arm, which is why he slid to 2B (he and Yorke have similar arms).


I'm about as big a Yorke fanboy as you can find, but comparisons to Betts are a bad idea. If Yorke were to move to the OF it wouldn't be because he was blocked by a borderline hall of fame. It would be because though a good athlete, and a hard worker by almost every account, Yorke is reported to have lacked fluidity at 2B with his footwork. Personally, I would be willing to bet on his work ethic (it's allegedly great) and age allowing him to become passable there, but he's never going to be a defensive standout.
 

LogansDad

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Mookie put up a .960 OPS at AA/AAA as a 21 year old. Trying to use him as an example for why Downs shouldn't be traded is kind of weird to me. I still think Downs can turn into a solid player, but Mookie's floor was a lot higher than Downs' is right now.
 
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I would think it would be more surprising if he wasn't in Portland at some point this year. He already had a decent number of PAs at Greenville last year and did very well, so splitting the year between A+ and AA is the most likely scenario imo. And he will be 20 at the start of this season, so he really isn't that young for a top prospect. Even assuming no setbacks, he would be on track to compete for 2B job in 2024 at age 22. Pedroia was handed the job at 23, Xander at 21, Devers at 21.
I hope you're right. Age 20 is young for the Eastern League. Devers might be a better comp than Pedroia, who played three years of high-level college ball before being drafted. But if Yorke continues to hit as well as he has, he'll move quickly.
 

billy ashley

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I know you're kidding, but it's important to field a AAA team with guys who in theory could be fill ins in case of injury. From FanGraphs in 2020:

By major league standards, Ramos has 70-grade raw power, but the rest of his game is much less refined, particularly his speed (graded as a 30 by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel in December), defense (40), and hit tool (35 present value, 40 future value), due largely to a high strikeout rate (32.9% in 228 PA at Double-A, 28.0% in 503 PA at Triple-A). Heading into 2019, both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline saw him as a 45-grade prospect, but Longenhagen and McDaniel graded him as a 35+ in December. Translation: stock falling on a Quad-A type who has power but not the speed to play anywhere but first base (though multiple evaluators have noted his soft hands).

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/roberto-ramos-youth-and-power-stand-out-in-the-kbo/

To me, this looks like a Josh Ockimey replacement, which sucks only because every person who has ever spoken about Josh Ockimey has highlighted how much of an awesome human being he is. But Ramos probably has a more useful profile as an emergency option, assuming he doesn't he doesn't feature Ock's awful woeful historically terrible platoon splits.
 

chrisfont9

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At the Athletic, Keith Law has ranked the Sox' farm system. It's paywall protected, and I guess I will respect the content there, but briefly, he has reshuffled things a bit to:
1. Marcelo Mayer
2. Nick Yorke
3. Triston Casas
4. Brayan Bello
5. Jeter Downs
then Duran, Groome, Walter, Lugo, Mata. First four in top 100. Cool to see Yorke up there so high. I guess the first three you could reshuffle in any order, although nobody has Yorke #1 yet. He notes that Downs raked in the AFL but that the pitching there was terrible, so still waiting and seeing.
Link:
https://theathletic.com/3127620/2022/02/15/red-sox-top-20-prospects-for-2022-keith-law-ranks-bostons-farm-system/
 

Cesar Crespo

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Interesting that the 3 of them are rated quite highly but that no other Sox prospect is in the top 114.
 

billy ashley

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i mean, apart from Bello, Duran, and Downs, there is no one on the list who should be considered. I'd imagine most folks are gun shy about the later, two.

Boston,as you know, has a ton of really interesting guys who could make it next year.
 

nighthob

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I’m not sure there’s any way you can keep Yorke out of Fenway for three more years.
 

billy ashley

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RE Downs - that's by far the most pessimistic take I've seen on him. Most folks think he has excellent offensive tools, and his issues last season were driven by approach (which was a new problem) and potentially pressing.

EL may be right, but if he is, he's the first person to flat out say that potential isn't there.

RE Yorke and Mayer, 2025 is realistic to maybe little conservative. Mayer's well rounded skill set and advanced approach will probably lead to him moving fast. Yorke on the other hand has some serous questions that need work (defense, specifically) but his bat is so advanced that it's not unlikely that he'll push himself up the ladder.
 

nighthob

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They won’t be leaving him stagnating in AAA due to sub-Gold Glove defense. It’s not like he’s Michael Chavis out there. He had arm strength issues due to major shoulder surgery and needed to be moved off of SS. He needs to adjust to 2B, but it’s not going to take him three more years.
 

Cesar Crespo

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2025 seems really conservative when Yorke could easily be in Portland at the end of the 2022 season. Hell, maybe the start.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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RE Downs - that's by far the most pessimistic take I've seen on him. Most folks think he has excellent offensive tools, and his issues last season were driven by approach (which was a new problem) and potentially pressing.

EL may be right, but if he is, he's the first person to flat out say that potential isn't there.

RE Yorke and Mayer, 2025 is realistic to maybe little conservative. Mayer's well rounded skill set and advanced approach will probably lead to him moving fast. Yorke on the other hand has some serous questions that need work (defense, specifically) but his bat is so advanced that it's not unlikely that he'll push himself up the ladder.
Yeah, while this may be a make or break year in terms of Downs' ultimate upside, I just don't know how heavily last season should be weighted. He played 12 games in AA Tulsa to finish his age 20 2019 season, and the next time he played minor league baseball was spring 2021 in AAA Worcester. I'd be curious to see if highly rated prospects across the league were treated similarly, i.e. being advanced as if they'd played in 2020 at the expected level. A+ to AAA is a massive jump under any circumstances, and certainly if you include a year off in between.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I get that Downs was young but a 191/272/333 is beyond horrific for anyone. Jonathan Arauz is a week older, and put up 246/326/365 and I don’t think anyone thinks of him as a prospect.

Granted, it was an unprecedented situation. Clearly this year is a big year for him but can understand the uncertainty given how bad he was last year.
 
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nighthob

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2025 seems really conservative when Yorke could easily be in Portland at the end of the 2022 season. Hell, maybe the start.
They have a tendency to start young guys in warm weather, so I’m expecting him to start the year in Greenville, but I agree that he’s on the fast track to Portland. He’ll be there next summer. He’s going to be playing in Fenway early ‘24 at the latest. But I’m expecting him to be in Boston before Labor Day in ‘23.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Given the last few lists, I can't really argue that Yorke is underrated anymore.
I’ve been trying to come up with a good Sox comp for Yorke. I thought maybe Carney Lansford, but Yorke actually looks to have better plate discipline (but less speed; Lansford stole over 200 bases?!). Best and closest upside comp? Bobby Doerr.

Others?
 

koufax32

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I’ve been trying to come up with a good Sox comp for Yorke. I thought maybe Carney Lansford, but Yorke actually looks to have better plate discipline (but less speed; Lansford stole over 200 bases?!). Best and closest upside comp? Bobby Doerr.

Others?
I never would have guessed CL’s SB total. 37 in 1989??
 

BringBackMo

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At the Athletic, Keith Law has ranked the Sox' farm system. It's paywall protected, and I guess I will respect the content there, but briefly, he has reshuffled things a bit to:
1. Marcelo Mayer
2. Nick Yorke
3. Triston Casas
4. Brayan Bello
5. Jeter Downs
then Duran, Groome, Walter, Lugo, Mata.
Late to this, but Law’s ranking of Matthew Lugo really caught me by surprise. It looks like he has him at 9 in the Sox system, ahead of Mata. That strikes me as quite an outlier opinion. (Law loves those, of course.) Sox Prospects, for instance, has him at 28 in the system.

Lugo had a fairly pedestrian 2021 in his age 20 season, slashing .270/.338/.364 in 418 AB at low-A Salem, with 4 HR and 15 SB. Sox Prospects sums him up this way: ”Chance to develop into a five-tool shortstop, but is several years away and will need attention on development, particularly with approach against offspeed pitching and refinment of raw power and shortstop fundamentals.” They note that he has the potential to develop above-average power, that he is fast and athletic, and that he has an above-average arm. But they also believe that an eventual move off short isn’t out of the question.

Lugo is one of those prospects I always seem to keep an eye on, because he has so much potential…but he’s yet to give any reason for real excitement. So Law’s ranking definitely has me intrigued. Can anyone who subscribes post a summary of his comments?
 

sean1562

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Boston’s second-round pick in 2019, out of a Puerto Rico high school, Lugo started to fill out and showed more doubles power in 2021, his full-season debut. He’s an athletic shortstop who should get to at least average power, and showed solid zone awareness last year in Low A, with just a 20 percent strikeout rate despite having played just two games outside the complex league before last year. His defense at shortstop has improved significantly, and the quality of his at-bats also improved over the course of 2021. He might be a level per year guy but projects to be an everyday player at shortstop when he gets there.

I have 5 30 day free guest passes if anyone wants one.
 

BringBackMo

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Boston’s second-round pick in 2019, out of a Puerto Rico high school, Lugo started to fill out and showed more doubles power in 2021, his full-season debut. He’s an athletic shortstop who should get to at least average power, and showed solid zone awareness last year in Low A, with just a 20 percent strikeout rate despite having played just two games outside the complex league before last year. His defense at shortstop has improved significantly, and the quality of his at-bats also improved over the course of 2021. He might be a level per year guy but projects to be an everyday player at shortstop when he gets there.

I have 5 30 day free guest passes if anyone wants one.
Thanks so much for this. Most appreciated!
 

Jimbodandy

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Late to this, but Law’s ranking of Matthew Lugo really caught me by surprise. It looks like he has him at 9 in the Sox system, ahead of Mata. That strikes me as quite an outlier opinion. (Law loves those, of course.) Sox Prospects, for instance, has him at 28 in the system.

Lugo had a fairly pedestrian 2021 in his age 20 season, slashing .270/.338/.364 in 418 AB at low-A Salem, with 4 HR and 15 SB. Sox Prospects sums him up this way: ”Chance to develop into a five-tool shortstop, but is several years away and will need attention on development, particularly with approach against offspeed pitching and refinment of raw power and shortstop fundamentals.” They note that he has the potential to develop above-average power, that he is fast and athletic, and that he has an above-average arm. But they also believe that an eventual move off short isn’t out of the question.

Lugo is one of those prospects I always seem to keep an eye on, because he has so much potential…but he’s yet to give any reason for real excitement. So Law’s ranking definitely has me intrigued. Can anyone who subscribes post a summary of his comments?
FWIW, this is pretty consistent stuff with Law. He prioritizes guys ceilings, with less consideration for how close they are to contributing. There are always people who differ in ranking based on how likely someone is to hit their ceilings too.

The fact that Casas is 3 on his list and 1 on SP is another example. I love Mayer and Yorke, but the error bars are wider there. Law doesn't care about that. But he does like the tools that guys like Lugo (28SP) and Walter (17SP) bring.
 

Cesar Crespo

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FWIW, this is pretty consistent stuff with Law. He prioritizes guys ceilings, with less consideration for how close they are to contributing. There are always people who differ in ranking based on how likely someone is to hit their ceilings too.

The fact that Casas is 3 on his list and 1 on SP is another example. I love Mayer and Yorke, but the error bars are wider there. Law doesn't care about that. But he does like the tools that guys like Lugo (28SP) and Walter (17SP) bring.
It's the correct way to rank people. I always thought it was weird when X was lighting up A ball and people wouldn't rank him 1 only because he's in A ball. Mookie Betts rankings were also suppressed because people were afraid to put him ahead of Garin Cecchini after one good year.

Lugo also started to hit considerably better as the season went along. I started paying closer attention to him in July of last year.
Start-6/30: 44 games, 195 PA, .228/.273/.278, .280 BAbip, 10bb/38k, 6 xbh
7/1-end: 61 games, 274 PA, .303/.383/.429, .379 BAbip, 28bb/56k, 22 xbh

Another interesting split
vs R: 103 games, 387 PA, .295/.367/.402, 34bb/72k, 27 xbh
vs L: 49 games, 82 PA, .160/.198/.187, 4bb/22k, 1 xbh

Brutal.
 

billy ashley

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I have a soft spot for Law. I think he's an incredible writer, funny, and much more likely to make declarative statements without hedging than most. Better yet, when he does that, and he's wrong, he's the first to admit it (I'm sure every team has examples, but two prominent examples for Sox fans are Yorke and Pedroia). He along with Jim Callis got me into prospects, close to 15 years ago. I like the guy a lot.

But sometimes I think he places too much value on a player being a SS while emphasizing players likely destined for the corners or bullpen.

Boston's system has a glut of pitching prospects 10-20, most of whom profile as BP arms. They also have a handful of very interesting position prospects:

-Blies
-Binelas
-Blaze (who should by in the top ten, I think)
-Jimenez (who had a bad year and regressed approach wise)
-Bonaci (a fellow shortstop, but less likely to stick than Lugo)
-Rafaela

I think you could make an argument for any of those guys over Lugo. Law is either the absolute high man on Lugo's offensive profile (he could be, and he could be not wrong) or IMO, he's placing a little much of a premium on Lugo being a clear SS prospect.

-would offer up also that in 2013, it would have been defensible to rank Cecchini above Betts. Cecchini was coming off a .900 OPS season and had impressive pedigree (he was seen as a top 10 draft prospect before getting hurt). He was a really good prospect. The jump to AAA is where it all sputtered out (2014). If folks were ranking Betts below him at that point, they'd have been crazy.
 
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billy ashley

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not included in the above list are the low ceiling guys who have a clear path to being MLB contributors, who I think should be ranked above Lugo.

Connor Wong seems to have settled the questions about his defense as C enough to be a viable back up with some potential upside.
Tyler McDonough should move very fast in the minors and has some intriguing skills

Then there are all those pitchers... I'd rank a number of them ahead of Lugo, too. But I get it when it comes to pitching prospects and health and bullpen risk (hell most of them profile as relievers, even if they're starting as it is)
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I guess it depends on what you are ranking them for. Wong has already played in the majors, but does he have any kind of significant value? Same goes with the reliever prospects- those guys seem to be a dime a dozen. Lugo has a relatively low chance of making the bigs, probably, but better odds of being an impact player; I’d imagine he also has much more trade value than a Wong or a Kutter Crawford or whomever.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I guess it depends on what you are ranking them for. Wong has already played in the majors, but does he have any kind of significant value? Same goes with the reliever prospects- those guys seem to be a dime a dozen. Lugo has a relatively low chance of making the bigs, probably, but better odds of being an impact player; I’d imagine he also has much more trade value than a Wong or a Kutter Crawford or whomever.
The difference between 8 and 26 is probably less than the difference between 2 and 7. Once you get past a teams top 5-6 prospects, there's going to be a bit of variance. I haven't compared too many top 10 lists of the Sox but I'm guessing after Bello/Downs, there is a bit of variance. Scouts are all over the place on Jay Groome, for example.

It's weird though because if you are going by impact, you'd think he'd have Blaze Jordan higher. Maybe he is just down on Blaze Jordan or wants a bigger sample.
 

nighthob

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FWIW, this is pretty consistent stuff with Law. He prioritizes guys ceilings, with less consideration for how close they are to contributing. There are always people who differ in ranking based on how likely someone is to hit their ceilings too.
I normally say that he prefers the toolsy guys, but it amounts to the same thing. I don't think that Lugo is likely to stick with Boston, but it's because X is in front of him and Mayer's going to pass him in the near future (FWIW I think Law's right about Lugo needing a year per level). But with his tools, and given his improvement over the season last year in full season ball, I'd say that he looks like a good bet to make it to the majors, and a toolsy SS has a lot more value than a relief pitcher, no matter how well that RP has performed in the minors.
 

nighthob

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The difference between 8 and 26 is probably less than the difference between 2 and 7. Once you get past a teams top 5-6 prospects, there's going to be a bit of variance. I haven't compared too many top 10 lists of the Sox but I'm guessing after Bello/Downs, there is a bit of variance. Scouts are all over the place on Jay Groome, for example.

It's weird though because if you are going by impact, you'd think he'd have Blaze Jordan higher. Maybe he is just down on Blaze Jordan or wants a bigger sample.
I think he might be evaluating Jordan as one of those single tool players with the sketchier tool. Put another way, someone with Yorke's hit tool might be a better bet to develop some power than Bobby Dalbec is to be more than a marginal 1B. And he might be seeing Jordan as a guy with monster power but little else (FTR I'm higher on Jordan as a hitter than most).
 

Cesar Crespo

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My top 10 would look like this.
1. Casas
2. Mayer
3. Yorke
4. Bello
5. Duran
6. Groome
7. Jordan
8. Bleis
9. Wilkelman Gonzalez
10. Brandon Walter

Then in no real order to top out the top 20-25: Gilberto, Kutter, Downs, Mata, Binelas, Murphy, Song, Winckowski, Brainer, Lugo, Rafaela, Castellanos.

Pretty good depth. Out of that list, I could see Song, Lugo and Rafaela moving up the rankings a bit next year... but maybe not as there probably won't be very many graduates. Lugo and Rafaela both had solid 2nd halves they can build off. I also have an irrational (and well documented) like of Pedro Castellanos, who started to hit for power at the end of 2019 and carried it over in 2021.

I'm not very high on Gilberto or Downs but they both have potential. I don't think Gilberto will hit for enough power and I don't think Downs will make enough contact. I think Mata is a bit overrated due to his age and being a hold over of a poor system in prior years. His stuff has never translated to strikeouts.

Murphy has great stuff but I'm not sure he'll ever figure out how to control it. I'm not high on Winckowski but I like strikeouts and he's not a strikeout pitcher. I'm very high on Kutter Crawford. I think he was a completely different pitcher in 2021 than he had been the rest of his career and showed far more control than pre TJ. His overall numbers are also bogged down by 2 awful back to back starts. While you can't just ignore those starts, given they were his 4th and 5th start at a new level. He pitched in the DoWL this offseason, compiling a 0.42 ERA in 21.1 ip, 15 hits, 3r/1er, 1 HRA, 8bb/23k.

Binelas I don't really know enough about to comment but I can't really keep him off the list.

As for the top 10, the first 3 are pretty standard choices. 4th, maybe not so much. I've been pushing Bello forever on this board and suggested in April or May that scouting reports were lagging behind on him mightily. It looks like they've caught up some. Bello is a huge binky of mine and I've been following his progress closely for some time. I think he sticks as a starter.

Duran at 5 is pretty standard. His debut was a bit worrisome with the 4bb/40k in 112 PA being the most glaring. I think if Groome didn't have the history, I'd might rank him as high as 4th. Scouts are all over the place on his stuff this year, though reports were more positive at years end. After a rocky start, he settled down nicely and was mowing hitters down in Portland to end the season.

Jordan at 7 is standardish. He had a good debut with the bat we'll need to see what he can do with a full season.

I'm high on Bleis at 8. I think he's going to fill out and be a very well rounded player with no real weakness to his game.
I'm somewhat high on Wilkelman at 9. I love his arm and he's flashed 2 plus pitches and an average one. He needs to build up arm strength to maintain velocity deeper in games, but even later in games, he sits at 93-95. He doesn't turn 20 until later this month (3/25). He'll probably start the year in Salem (he ended it there in 2021) which is pretty remarkable considering 2020 was a washed year. But now that I think about it, I just haven't fully adjusted to the smaller minor leagues.

I'm with Law on Walter. I love what I saw this year. His ERA is also incredibly misleading. He has 2 terrible starts where he combined for 7.2 ip, 17 hits, 17r/15er, 3bb/12k, 4 HRA. Outside of that, he was just nasty. 81.2 ip, 50 hits, 25r/14er, 17bb/120k, 0.89 WHIP, 37.4% K rate, 5.0% BB rate, 1.54 era.


I'm sure I missed someone but that's ok. I didn't forget the Connor's, though maybe I should have Seabold in there somewhere. He has compelling stuff.

Anyway, TL;DR: Nice to have a farm system again.