by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The future is extremely bright for the Red Sox, though it likely is still at least a year or two away. They have three prospects who, when paired with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, could form an offensive core that could compete with any team in baseball come 2018. Who are they? Who else in the system warrants our attention? Let’s take a look:
1) Yoan Moncada – 2B
ETA – 2017
One of the most hyped imports ever, it took Moncada a bit of time to adjust to the minor leagues. Once he did, though, he took it by storm. The 20-year old spent the season at Single-A (306 AB) hitting .278 with 8 HR, 38 RBI, 61 R and 49 SB. The switch hitter had 45 SB in his final 56 games and should also add power as he gets older and matures (as it is he had 19 doubles and 3 triples). A few other impressive tidbits:
- He was caught stealing just 3 times
- He posted an 11.6% walk rate
We’d like to see him cut down the strikeout rate (22.9%), but once he arrives he could produce scary numbers.
2) Manuel Margot – OF
ETA – 2017
If it hadn’t been for the signing of Mocada we would be talking about Margot as the next big thing in Boston. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A he hit .276 with 6 HR and 39 SB over 439 AB. He may never be a 20+ HR hitter, but double-digits are a realistic expectation having added 27 doubles and 9 triples. Throw in just 53 K (12.8% strikeout rate at Double-A) and you have the makings of a real menace hitting atop a batting order.
3) Anderson Espinoza – RHP
ETA – 2019
This is an aggressive ranking, but there is a ton to like about this 17- year old (he will turn 18 in March) who has drawn comparisons to Pedro Martinez. He produced 65 K vs. 14 BB over 58.1 IP this past season and should continue to gain in his “stuff”, as he grows (only 160 lbs. right now). As it is he already reaches the upper 90s with his fastball, so further growth is pretty scary. Don’t be surprised to start hearing his name in comparison to the Dodgers’ Julio Urias.
4) Rafael Devers – 3B
ETA – 2018/2019
The 18-year old (he’ll turn 19 in late October) spent the full season at Single-A hitting .288 with 11 HR, 70 RBI and 71 R over 469 AB. Adding 38 doubles and 1 triple shows that there is even more room to grow in the power department and his 16.5% strikeout rate, at his age/level, is highly impressive. In most organizations he would likely be in the Top 2 prospects, which speaks volumes to the upside of the three guys ahead of him.
5) Brian Johnson – LHP
ETA – 2015
He struggled in his one Major League start, but thrived at Triple-A (2.53 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 8.44 K/9, 3.00 BB/9 over 96.0 IP). An elbow issue ended his season, so that’s going to be something we have to watch closely.
The Next Five:
6) Javier Guerra – SS
7) Michael Kopech – RHP
8) Andrew Benintendi – OF
9) Deven Marrero – SS
10) Logan Allen – LHP
Special Note – This is a stretch, but when a pitcher debuts and posts 26 K vs. 1 BB over 24.1 IP we have to take notice.
Make sure to check out our previous Top 10 Prospect Lists: