Red Sox have top-10 farm system in MLB, per Baseball America
Red Sox farm system gets top-10 ranking from Baseball America originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox farm system is getting mixed reviews ahead of the 2023 season.
Last month, The Athletic's Keith Law put the Red Sox all the way down to 23rd in his organizational talent rankings. His reasoning for the surprisingly low ranking was while Boston's group of position-player prospects might be in the upper half of farm systems, their group of pitching prospects is among the weakest.
On Wednesday, Baseball America provided a more positive outlook.
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The Red Sox came in at 10th in Baseball America's preseason organizational talent rankings. The explanation for the top-10 placement included the names of a handful of promising prospects.
"Slowly but surely, Boston's system is improving. The group isn't deep, but it's led by near-ready first baseman Triston Casas and talented shortstop Marcelo Mayer. Breakout prospect Ceddanne Rafaela and toolsy wunderkind Miguel Bleis add upside to the system, and Japanese import Masataka Yoshida gives Boston a plug-and-play outfielder for its new-look lineup."
Casas is set to begin the 2023 campaign as the Red Sox' starting first baseman. Mayer is the No. 9 ranked prospect in the entire league, according to MLB Pipeline. Rafaela joined the Top 100 MLB prospects list after a breakout 2022 season. Bleis, only 19 years old, is considered arguably the most talented all-around player in the system.
It's worth noting Baseball America counted Yoshida as a prospect and Law didn't in his rankings. Though Yoshida is considered a rookie, he's 29 years old and has several years of professional experience in the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
Boston's farm system has come a long way since Chaim Bloom joined the front office after the 2019 season. In 2019, Baseball America had the Red Sox dead last (30th) in its organizational talent rankings. The club rose to 20th in 2020 and 2021, 11th in 2022, and now 10th.
As encouraging as that is for the future of the franchise, it won't make fans feel any better about the current state of the club. The Red Sox are coming off a last-place finish in the American League East that was topped off by the departure of homegrown shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the offseason. They're projected to finish at or near the bottom of the division for the second straight year.
With polarizing opinions on the farm system and pessimism surrounding the big-league club, this is an organization with plenty to prove in 2023.