Status of Boston's Farm System

Cesar Crespo

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I tend to mix up Kutter Crawford with Kason Gabbard a lot too. Hopefully Kutter has a better career.
 

billy ashley

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That list is close to mine. I probably wouldn't have Bleis in the top 10 (and you make note that you're high on him), yet, my ranking might almost exactly match the other 9. Bleis is also the type of guy that could be top 3 by season end, so betting on him makes some sense. I'd just maybe swap him out for Groome instead of Downs.

It's a good system for sure. They probably are a little thin on 5-10 but their top 5 is excellent, and they have 40 or so guys who are at a minimum interesting. It wasn't long ago that someone like Hamilton or Spears would be on every top 20 list for this team.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Speaking of Bleis, it's his 18th birthday today. I tend to favor upside and he has loads of it (as you noted with top 3, though that will be hard with Casas/Yorke/Mayer). Still has a long way to go.

I've said it before (maybe in this thread), but after the top 5 or 6 prospects on a team, it makes more sense to lump players into tiers rather than to individually rank them. Even if one did that, I am still high on Bleis and Law is high on Lugo, but not crazily so. I'm probably a bit down on Downs too. Though, the fun thing about individual rankings is you get the occasional Lugo or Bleis at 8.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think that everyone is pretty clear on who the top 3 are, and most have the same order (Casas, Mayer, Yorke).

There are other guys who probably have decent to better careers, but we just don't know who they are yet. Hell even Meyer and Yorke could flame, and Casas could be a 200K guy for all we know.

System at least has some high ceiling guys now. It has markedly improved in the last couple of years.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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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.
Just saw this. I don't know about other teams, but Triston Casas only had 7 PA in A+ (2 games) in 2019 and started 2021 in Portland.
 

billy ashley

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Re Downs and giving him a break for last season due to it being a strange year.

I think this approach is totally fair when discussing Down's ceiling as a player. He had a brutal year (though he looked better at SS then previously thought and maybe just maybe could still there). But the underlining reasons to like him going into 2021 remain and I think we can all agree the circumstances were really strange for him. As Cesar Crespo points out, others were able to manage or even thrive, despite this, but I think it's okay to give him a some rope, especially in terms of his upside.

Where I think there has to be a lot of re-evaluation though is his floor. He went into last year, looking almost certain to be 2nd division starter. The multiple reports of how Downs looked dejected and defeated when he came to the plate, how he just wasn't even having competitive at-bats at all (nevermind the results), etc. should absolutely make us rethink what Down's downside si.

His downside is a guy who never makes the majors. That wasn't really in the conversation last Spring. It's pretty significant and that's why it is fair that he's slipping in the rankings. I just would keep him in the top ten, given the upside and recent success.

It's strange. You could tell me that he's a major league contributor in 2023, or not even in the top 40 in 2023, and I wouldn't be surprised either way.
 

jon abbey

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Amazing job by Chaim building back depth so quickly, wow. NY still has 15 guys 45 or above in FG to Boston's 10, but BOS has 51 guys ranked 35+ or over (the whole list) and NY only 39.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Sox Prospects updated their list. Pretty minor tweaks. 1-3 stayed the same (Casas, Mayer, Yorke). Flipped Bello (new 4) and Duran (5). Walter jumped from 9 to 6, while Groome fell from 6 to 10. Mata and Bleis stayed at 7 and 8, respectively. Wikelman Gonzalez moved to 9 from 11.
Biggest jump came at the bottom of the list with two Portland players: pitcher AJ Politi from not ranked to 54 and catcher Cole Kottam from 59 to 52. Salem pitcher Tyler Uberstein jumped six spots, from 51 to 45. Portland pitcher Frank German jumped five spots from 35 to 30, and Greenville SS Matthew Lugo went 29 to 24.
Complete list at https://soxprospects.com/.
 

grimshaw

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They have 3 hitters with an FV at 55 or better. No other team has more than 2.

I hope they go pitching heavy this draft.
 

jmcc5400

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Incredible rebuild by Bloom while remaining competitive in the majors.
I get what you mean, but part of the reason the system has rebounded is that the team was historically noncompetitive in 2020 and it just happened to be a year that was forgettable for myriad reasons. That led directly to Mayer, Downs and Wong. But, yes, Chaim certainly gets credit for restoring the team to competitiveness in 2021 and 2022 while still developing the farm.
 

Apisith

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I get what you mean, but part of the reason the system has rebounded is that the team was historically noncompetitive in 2020 and it just happened to be a year that was forgettable for myriad reasons. That led directly to Mayer, Downs and Wong. But, yes, Chaim certainly gets credit for restoring the team to competitiveness in 2021 and 2022 while still developing the farm.
The system's also ranked highly because it has guys like Winckowski, Binelas, German and Seabold. They're here because of Bloom trading away major league players (Benintendi, Renfroe, relief pitchers to Phillies). That's what I meant about staying competitive while rebuilding the farm system. Three of the top 10 prospects (based on fangraphs' rankings) are here through trades, not the draft. I consider that a significant (and positive) contribution by Bloom. It's his 'alpha', basically.
 

Farty Barrett

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They have 3 hitters with an FV at 55 or better. No other team has more than 2.

I hope they go pitching heavy this draft.
Fangraphs seems reluctant to tag 60 FVs on pitchers. Looking at their Board of top prospects, only 4 of the 18 60+ prospects are pitchers.

Four of the top 10 Red Sox prospects on FG are pitchers. Six of the top 13.
25 if the 51 on the list pitch
To me that Fangraphs seems to think we have a nice crop
The list was created early in the season and Bello was projected to be a relief pitcher. His stock has risen since March.

I’m not sure Bloom needs to go heavy on pitching this draft, but if he likes an arm, I trust him. There’s a lot to be excited about with this farm system and the man in charge
 

BaseballJones

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Incredible rebuild by Bloom while remaining competitive in the majors.
Yeah, he's done a phenomenal job. Last year got to game 6 of the ALCS. This year in playoff contention. All while rebuilding the system into a monster.
 

nvalvo

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MLB.com just did a sort of late midseason update to their top 100 and team top 30 lists.

Red Sox in the top 100:

Mayer #8
Casas #26
Bello #37

And... Sox top 30. I think this is just Ian Browne's opinion, so FWIW.

Meyer
Casas
Bello
Rafaela
York
Bleis
Mata
Walter
Romero
Jordan
Anthony
Murphy
Lugo
Paulino
Gonzalez
Ward
Bonaci
C Coffey
Valdez
Hickey
Koss
Kavadas
Seabold
Abreu
Binelas
Downs
Brannon
German
Perales
Rodriguez-Cruz
 

Cesar Crespo

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I wonder how much difference there is between say the 5th best farm and the 11th best farm. Is that like an extra top 100 prospect? Sox have 2 top 20 types and a top 40 type in Bello. After that, they have a bunch of guys close to top 100 prospects but are on the outside looking in (Bleis, Yorke, Walter, Rafaela).

The average team would have 3.3 top 100 prospects, 1 in the top 30, 2 in the top 60. Sox have 2 in the top 30, 3 in the top 60. They could actually have less top 100 prospects than the average team.

The Sox really do have an interesting farm. Normally 3 players in the top 40 puts you comfortably in the top 10, if not top 5. A lot of publications have the Sox placed 11-15, though they are mid season rankings.

I'm sure once the end of season lists come out, the Sox will have 6-7 guys who ranked in the top 100, but not on the same lists. With Yorke's off year, it leaves a lot of debate who the Sox 4th best prospect is. I've seen Bleis (mine), Yorke and Rafaela at 4.

Like, if Rafaela finishes the year on a tear and ends up with an OPS of .900+ in AA that isn't luck assisted... or if Bleis has a hot stretch and gets his OPS north of 1.000... how far do they jump up the prospect rankings? And how much would it impact the Sox ranking if one of them went from fringe top 100 prospect to legit top 100 prospect? Or in simpler terms, if Rafaela jumped from 125th to 75th... The Sox farm goes from 11th to? I'd guess 9th but that's a WAG.
If they both jumped into the top 100, close to top 5?


Orioles have 2, 4, 14, 43, 80, 92
Dodgers have 9, 27, 44, 45, 69, 77, 81
Indians have 16, 32, 56, 72, 78
Reds 15, 18, 55, 63, 76
Dbacks 3, 12, 13, 95

Sox 8, 26, 37.

As far as being "top heavy" (lowest sum of top 3 players) the Sox would be 4th, behind the Orioles, Dbacks and Mets. If Yorke hadn't struggled this year, I'd venture to guess the Sox would have been closer to 5.

It's much better to have a top heavy farm so I'm kinda surprised to see the Sox at 11th. The difference between 8 and 24 is bigger than the difference between 25 and 100. The further away you get from the top, the more subjective lists become. Is Nick Gonzales really any better than Rafaela? He's more than a year older, at the same level, at a worse position and isn't performing nearly as well. But he has pedigree (7th pick in 2020) and mashed in 2021 as an old player at A+. I could easily see someone preferring the younger, faster, more versatile Rafaela.

Arizona being 5th is odd too. I get it, I just don't agree with it. If someone told me to look at just rankings and forced me to pick a farm system, I'd be taking the Diamondbacks 2nd. Give me 3 top 15 prospects over a bunch of 40-100s.

Anyway, long story short... I'm thinking the gap between 11 and 5 is roughly a top 100 prospect.
 

GB5

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I hate to say it, but give the Yanks a lot of credit. They have traded 24 prospects in the last two years and haven’t dropped off at all. They seem to be able to draft guys, develop them and then know which ones to trade off. Job well done.
 

moondog80

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Baltimore graduates the #1 prospect (who has delivered and then some) and still has the top ranked system, TB and Toronto with lots of young talent on the ML roster and some more and reserve, and the Yankees will continue to be the Yankees. Going to be a rough 5 or years in the AL East.