Baseball Prospects released it’s Top 101 Prospects of 2016 list today, and while the Red Sox aren’t featured quite as heavily as they have been over the past two years, they still have a very strong showing with five prospects. The promotions of Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Matt Barnes have understandably left the system a little thinner, as have the trade of Manny Margot and Javier Guerra. Still, according to BP, there’s reason to be optimistic about the next wave of Red Sox talent.
You’ll need to buy the Baseball Prospectus 2016 Annual to read captions about the five Red Sox players who made the list, but here’s where they ranked, along with sneak peaks as to what our scouts are thinking:
7. Yoan Moncada, 2B
“Moncada has work to do at second base and may fit better at third, where he would have more than enough arm for the position. At either spot, the bat has the potential to anchor the middle of a major-league lineup.”
35. Rafael Devers, 3B
“If he were a lock to stay on the left side of the infield, that’s a borderline All-Star profile, but he’s already stout at just 18 years old and struggles with his footwork. When he moves across the diamond to first base, the bat will be just ‘good’ there.”
46. Andrew Benintendi, CF
“A bit of a surprise pick by the Red Sox at no. 7 in the 2015 draft, Benintendi hit the ground running, putting pitchers in both the New York–Penn and the South Atlantic League to the sword.”
73. Anderson Espinoza, RHP
“Remember what you were doing at 17? If your answer doesn’t involve hitting triple digits with your fastball on the back end of a seven-figure bonus, then you and Espinoza might not have a whole lot to talk about.”
98. Michael Kopech, RHP
“The mechanics (like much of the rest of the profile) are a bit raw and he may eventually settle in as a power arm in the bullpen. Given that he won’t turn 20 until a month into the 2016 season, Kopech still has plenty of time to try sticking as a starter.”
To read the entire BP 101, click here, and to order Baseball Prospectus 2016, click here (buy my book).
Photo by Yoan Moncada/Kelly O’Connor, www.sittingstill.smugmug.com