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Red Sox prospects update: Kyle Teel on fire, two pitchers promoted

Red Sox prospects update: Kyle Teel on fire, two pitchers promoted originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox' long-term success hinges on the development of their top three prospects: Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, and Kyle Teel.

The trio will one day be relied on to revitalize Boston's reputation as a perennial World Series contender. For now, they're continuing their development as players and teammates at Double-A Portland.

All three prospects -- each ranked inside MLB Pipeline's Top 100 -- have had encouraging starts to 2024. Mayer has raked since Opening Day, Anthony has found his groove, and Teel caught fire in May after a slow start to the season.

They continue to give Sox fans something to look forward to, but they aren't the only prospects worth keeping tabs on this season. Here's how the Red Sox' top 10 prospects have fared through May 28 (Prospect rankings are via MLB Pipeline).

1. Marcelo Mayer, SS

2024 stats: .293/.339/.477, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 12 BB, 40 SO (43 games at Double-A Portland)

MLB ETA: 2025

Mayer's bounce-back season continued with a stellar May. Boston's top prospect leads all Double-A players in doubles (17), is tied for third in runs scored (35), and ranks fifth in hits (51).

After being nagged by a shoulder injury for most of 2023, Mayer is reminding the baseball world why he was widely considered the top overall prospect in the 2021 draft and a steal at No. 4 for Boston. At this rate, he'll earn a promotion to Triple-A Worcester by season's end.

2. Roman Anthony, OF

2024 stats: .243/.365/.392, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 29 BB, 51 SO (41 games at Double-A Portland)

MLB ETA: 2025

Anthony has looked more comfortable at the plate lately after experiencing some growing pains at Double-A. The 2022 second-rounder, who turned 20 on May 13, has an .868 OPS for his birthday month.

Anthony has serious power, especially for someone who just entered his 20s. The hope is that in a couple of years, he'll form a scary part of the Red Sox lineup alongside sluggers Rafael Devers and Triston Casas.

3. Kyle Teel, C

2024 stats: .288/.394/.455, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 22 BB, 36 SO (35 games at Double-A Portland)

MLB ETA: 2025

Teel is back to tearing the cover off the ball after a rocky start to the year with the Sea Dogs. The 2023 first-rounder has a .995 OPS with 17 RBI in the month of May.

Teel seems to have the best shot at reaching the big-league club this year of Boston's top three prospects. He's a five-tool catcher who has passed every test over his first year in the minors. If not the majors, his ascension should continue with a promotion to Triple-A Worcester later in the season.

4. Miguel Bleis, OF

2024 stats: .258/.354/.407, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 20 BB, 34 SO (39 games at Low-A Salem)

MLB ETA: 2027

Bleis is back to looking like one of Boston's most exciting prospects after missing most of 2023 due to a season-ending shoulder injury. The five-tool outfielder is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak at Low-A Salem with a .914 OPS in May.

Bleis has also showcased his speed with 16 steals in 39 games. A promotion to High-A doesn't seem too far off for the 20-year-old.

5. Wikelman Gonzalez, RHP

2024 stats: 31.2 IP, 3-2, 7.11 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 23 BB, 35 SO (nine games, eight starts at Double-A Portland)

MLB ETA: 2025

Gonzalez's second season in Portland hasn't gone as smoothly as his first. The 22-year-old righty has allowed 25 runs through 31.2 innings with an alarming 6.5 walks per nine for the Sea Dogs. He remains the top-ranked pitching prospect in Boston's system, but if he doesn't snap out of this funk, Luis Perales could pass him on MLB Pipeline's next update.

6. Nick Yorke, 2B

2024 stats: .243/.317/.351, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 16 BB, 31 SO (39 games at Double-A Portland)

MLB ETA: 2025

Yorke has cooled off after a scorching start to the 2024 season. The 2020 first-rounder has a .534 OPS for May after posting a .815 OPS in April. He'll need to be more consistent if he hopes to carve out a path to The Show.

7. Yoeilin Cespedes, SS

2024 stats: .283/.382/.544, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 10 SO (13 games at Florida Complex League)

MLB ETA: 2027

Cespedes' season started May 4 at rookie ball with the Florida Complex League Red Sox. The 18-year-old continues to be one of Boston's most exciting young prospects after signing with the club as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2023.

Cespedes should get his first taste of pro ball relatively soon. When he does, you'll want to get him on your radar. He's on track to be the organization's top prospect when the "Big Three" graduates.

8. Nazzan Zanetello, SS

2024 stats: .250/.415/.469, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 9 BB, 12 SO (10 games at Low-A Salem)

MLB ETA: 2028

Zanetello, who turned 19 on May 25, has missed time this season due to a hamstring injury. He suffered the injury on May 3 and returned to action on the 22nd. In limited action, Zanetello has showcased his intriguing hit tool along with his impressive speed.

9. Luis Perales, RHP

2024 stats: 26.1 IP, 1-2, 3.42 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 10 BB, 46 SO (Seven starts at High-A Greenville)

MLB ETA: 2026

Perales was promoted to Double-A Portland last Thursday following a sensational performance for High-A Greenville. The righty allowed just one hit while striking out 12 hitters (a career high) in five innings.

Perales boasts a ridiculous 15.7 strikeouts per nine innings through seven starts this season. The 21-year-old could soon earn the title as Boston's No. 1 pitching prospect.

10. Richard Fitts, RHP

2024 stats: 41.1 IP, 3-1, 4.35 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 15 BB, 34 SO (Nine games, eight starts at Triple-A Worcester)

MLB ETA: 2024

Fitts has looked solid albeit unspectacular through nine appearances with the WooSox. The right-hander, acquired from the Yankees in the offseason Alex Verdugo deal, could make his big-league debut later this season when Boston looks for pitching reinforcements.

Breakout prospects

Zach Penrod, LHP

Penrod was promoted to Triple-A Worcester on Monday after dominating Double-A. The 26-year-old posted a 2.80 ERA and 37 percent strikeout rate in seven starts. He isn't listed as one of MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Red Sox prospects, but he's still worth your attention as a potential Boston call-up later this year if he continues this pace.

Kristian Campbell, 2B/OF (No. 30 Red Sox prospect)

Campbell, a fourth-round pick in last year's draft, has made it look easy this season at High-A Greenville. The soon-to-be 22-year-old has nine doubles and seven homers for a .921 OPS in 35 games. Between Teel, Zanetello, and Campbell, the Boston's 2023 draft class has looked promising in the early going.