What to expect from the top 10 Red Sox prospects in 2023
What to expect from the top 10 Red Sox prospects in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox farm system will be worth your attention in 2023.
As for whether it's among the best systems in the league, that depends on who you ask. Baseball America ranks the Red Sox' organizational talent 10th out of the 30 MLB clubs while The Athletic's Keith Law ranks it all the way down at 23rd. Obviously, those are two very different outlooks on how well Boston is set up for the future.
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Nevertheless, the top 10 prospects in the organization have plenty of upside and a few of them could help the big-league club in 2023. Boston's No. 2 ranked prospect, Triston Casas, is set to be the Opening Day first baseman after debuting in 2022.
Along with Casas, here are the Red Sox prospects you'll want to keep tabs on this year and their MLB estimated times of arrival.
Marcelo Mayer, SS
2022 stats: .280/.399/.489, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 17 SB, 68 BB, 107 SO (91 games between Low-A Salem/High-A Greenville)
MLB ETA: 2024
Mayer's first full professional season was a success. The No. 4 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft showed why he is the organization's top prospect -- and the No. 9 ranked prospect in MLB -- with an outstanding year split between Low and High-A.
A 20-year-old shortstop out of southern California, Mayer can do a little bit of everything. His plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills are advanced, his sweet left-handed swing produces plenty of pop, and he tops that off with Gold Glove-caliber defense.
He'll likely begin 2023 with High-A Greenville. If he performs up to part with his 2022 campaign, it won't be long before he's tested at Double-A. We'll likely see him finish the season with the Portland Sea Dogs, but there's a chance he flies through the ranks and ends it in Worcester.
Miguel Bleis, CF
2022 stats: .301/.353/.543, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 18 SB, 10 BB, 45 SO (40 games with FCL Red Sox)
MLB ETA: 2026
Behind Mayer, Bleis is the Red Sox prospect you need to watch closely in 2023. The 19-year-old outfielder is considered a five-tool player with the ceiling of a perennial MLB All-Star. He provided a glimpse of why he's held in such high regard during the 2022 season in the Florida Complex League.
According to @BaseballAmerica, Miguel Bleis is the top prospect in the Florida Complex League.
âThe most notable was Red Sox outfielder Miguel Bleis, who drew raves for his blend of five potentially plus tools.â - BA #RedSox â¢ #DirtyWater
— Beyond the Monster (@BeyondtheMnstr) September 3, 2022
Bleis has very few weaknesses in his game. He hits for contact and power, boasts blazing speed, and has a strong arm with a plus glove. If there's one thing he'll look to work on in 2023, it's hitting breaking balls and cutting down on the strikeouts. He'll likely spend most of the year with Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville.
Ceddanne Rafaela, CF/SS
2022 stats: .299/.342/.539, 21 HR, 86 RBI, 28 SB, 26 BB, 113 SO (116 games between High-A Greenville/Double-A Portland)
MLB ETA: 2023
Rafaela was the breakout star of the Red Sox farm system in 2022. The 22-year-old utility man was named the organization's Minor League Player of the Year after a strong season at the plate topped off by stellar defense in center field and at shortstop. The question is can he duplicate that success at Triple-A and continue his fast track to the majors.
Ceddanne Rafaela comes through with an RBI single! pic.twitter.com/W5NlwKDeF7
— Red Sox Player Development (@RedSoxPlayerDev) February 27, 2023
As great as Rafaela's season was, there are areas to work on. The strikeout-to-walk ratio stands out as the most glaring issue. If the plate discipline improves, Rafaela could take the next step toward becoming a star.
Nick Yorke, 2B
2022 stats: .232/.303/.365, 11 HR, 45 RBI, 8 SB, 33 BB, 94 SO (80 games with High-A Greenville)
MLB ETA: 2025
Yorke is out to prove his 2021 Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year honor was no fluke. The 20-year-old, who was selected No. 17 overall in the 2020 MLB Draft, took a step back in a 2022 season that was marred by injuries and struggles at the plate.
The good news is Yorke bounced back with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. He'll look to build off that performance and earn his promotion to Double-A in 2023.
Nick Yorke is hitting .345 with a .968 OPS in Arizona, his grand slam tonight: pic.twitter.com/PXOgqJYCNY
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) October 25, 2022
Bryan Mata, RHP
2022 stats: 7-3, 2.49 ERA, 46 BB, 105 SO, 83 IP (19 games)
MLB ETA: 2023
Mata and his triple-digits fastball could debut in MLB as soon as this season. The 23-year-old right-hander pitched well in his return from Tommy John surgery and could take the next step in 2023 if he continues to impress in Triple-A. His stuff is undeniable, but he'll need to improve his command in order to be effective at the big-league level as he averaged 5.0 walks per nine innings in 19 outings. Mata is the top pitching prospect in the organization following the promotion of Brayan Bello.
Bryan Mata 10 K, 15 swing and misses this afternoon pic.twitter.com/pmG56486SH
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) September 24, 2022
Brandon Walter, LHP
2022 stats: 3-3, 3.59 ERA, 7 BB, 75 SO, 57.2 IP (11 games between Double-A Portland/Triple-A Worcester)
MLB ETA: 2023
Walter dominated Double-A Portland last season but made only two starts at Triple-A before landing on the injured list with a neck issue that kept him out the rest of the year. The 26-year-old southpaw, like Mata, underwent Tommy John surgery and has pitched well ever since. He has outstanding command, which was shown last season when he averaged 11.7 strikeouts and only 1.1 walks per nine innings in 11 starts. He'll begin the season with Worcester and could contribute to the big-league club at some point in 2023.
Red Sox LHP Prospect Brandon Walter (#6 on @SoxProspects) was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Month.
Walter posted a 1.17 ERA, 29 Ks, 0.61 WHIP (0 BB) & .169 BAA in 29 innings for the Sea Dogs.
He also has a .259 BABIP & 1.20 FIP this season.pic.twitter.com/WpjxxNzSnj
— Big Sox Guy (@BigSoxGuy) May 4, 2022
Mikey Romero, SS/2B
2022 stats: .304/.368/.506, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 8 BB, 15 SO (19 games between FCL/Low-A Salem)
MLB ETA: 2026
Romero was selected by the Red Sox with the 24th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Like Mayer, he's a left-handed hitting shortstop out of southern California who impresses both at the plate and in the field. The 19-year-old hit .349 with four doubles and three triples while driving in 11 runs in nine games with Low-A Salem. He'll look to pick up where he left off and earn a promotion to High-A Greenville this year.
Congrats to #RedSox 2022 1st round pick Mikey Romero (@mromo32) on his 1st career home run! A three-run home run in the 9th inning. #DirtyWater pic.twitter.com/RztBzRUaND
— Florida Prospect Report (@FLProspectPod) August 19, 2022
Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B
2022 stats: .289/.363/.445, 12 HR, 68 RBI, 48 BB, 94 SO (120 games between Low-A Salem/High-A Greenville)
MLB ETA: 2026
Jordan is one of the most exciting players in the Red Sox system due to his ability to hit moonshots. The 20-year-old was heralded for his power as a high schooler and that enticed Boston to select him in the third round of the 2020 draft. Through his first two minor league seasons, he has mostly lived up to the hype with a .296/.364/.472 slash line and 18 homers in 148 games. Jordan will look to improve defensively while showcasing more power in 2023. If he does that, he should spend a good part of the season with Double-A Portland.
Blaze Jordan with a little matinee ðª
The No. 6 @RedSox prospect tees off for his fourth jack with the @salemredsox.
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/6or1LHB03G pic.twitter.com/tpv3cyvlRi
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 14, 2022
Roman Anthony, OF
2022 stats: .306/.373/.361, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 8 SO (20 games between FCL/Low-A Salem)
MLB ETA: 2026
The Red Sox selected Anthony with the 79th pick in the 2022 draft. The 18-year-old is a left-handed hitter with serious raw power, and he'll look to prove that in his first full professional season after going homerless in 2022. He will look to improve his bat-to-ball skills in 2023 as there is plenty of swing and miss in his game, but the power makes him a potential breakout star for Boston's farm system.
A 450-foot blast by a 17-year-old!
An absolute no-doubter from @OleMissBSB commit Roman Anthony in tonight's @MLB/@USABaseball High School All-American Game. pic.twitter.com/ZoRlCKxQKz
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 10, 2021
Chris Murphy, LHP
2022 stats: 7-11, 4.03 ERA, 72 BB. 149 SO, 152 IP (30 games between Double-A Portland/Triple-A Worcester)
MLB ETA: 2023
Murphy, 24, is another pitching prospect who could contribute to the major league club at some point this season. The left-hander doesn't have the dominant stuff of Bello and Mata or the command of Walter, but he has been effective in the minors and is especially useful against left-handed hitters. He has the potential to be an effective multi-inning reliever in The Show.
The #RedSox have promoted lefty Chris Murphy to Triple-A Worcester.
ð¹4-5 in 76.2 IP#DirtyWaterÂ â¢ ð@SoxSpectsPod pic.twitter.com/bZC72vnjgi
— SoxSpects (@SoxSpects) June 27, 2022