Boston Red Sox Top 30 Prospects

February 18, 2024

The 2024 Preseason Top 30 lists are built around the idea of certainty and future Role. Similar to industry projection systems such as Future Value (FV), Overall Future Potential (OFP), and Grade, Role is a way to describe to what degree a player will add value to his organization at peak.

Our scale is a bit more conservative than other grading systems. We take into account recent seasonal performance, proximity to impact, metric/data analysis, and industry conversations to build a case for the most likely outcome for any given player.

It is important to note these Role labels are fluid and can change as a player moves up the developmental ladder. It is not uncommon for a player to change his role projection over even one month. Players jump from a Role 35 to a Role 40 quite quickly.

Things like mechanical adjustments and physical maturation can alter a player’s projection seemingly overnight. Players change. Keep that in mind.

Below is our Role chart used to place future projection on players.

20No organizational value. Non-prospect.
30Organizational value, filler. Likely peaks at Triple-A or below.
35Potential up-and-down, Quad-A prospect. Has some tools. Development necessary to secure prolonged MLB role.
40Back-up at MLB level. No. 5 starter on non-competitive team. Depth.
45Potential starter on contender. Bench player for championship-level team.
50Starter on a championship-level team. Lacks star ceiling. Steady. Potential No. 4 starting pitcher.
55Potential all-star. Some impact. Above average big-league regular. Mid-rotation starter on a contender.
60All-star level player. Impact. Middle-of-the-order bat. No. 2 starter on good team.
70Perennial all-star. Will contend for seasonal awards. Potential MVP/Cy Young upside. No. 1 starting pitcher. Ace.
80Hall of Fame upside. Generational. MVP/Cy Young Favorite some years. Organizational pillar who can carry an entire franchise at times.

You will not find players with a sub-50 Role on our Top 100 Prospect List. You are also unlikely to find any sub-35 Role players on a Top 30 board. Generally, organizations will have at least 30 players with big-league projection.

All rankings and roles by Joe Doyle
Player notes by Jason A. Churchill

While the Red Sox continue to play something other than “win baseball games” at the big league level their farm system is pretty good right now.

Marcelo Mayer remains a high-end prospect, Kyle Teel may be the steal of the 2023 Draft, and the club has three really interesting upside plays in Ceddane Rafaela, Luis Perales, and Nazzan Zanetello.

There’s not much pitching, but they may have five above-average-to-plus talent in the top 10, including right-hander Wikelman Gonzalez.

1Marcelo MayerSS60
2Roman AnthonyOF55
3Kyle TeelC55
4Ceddanne RafaelaOF50
5Wikelman GonzalezRHP50
6Miguel BleisOF50
7Nick Yorke2B45
8Mikey RomeroSS45
9Wilyer AbreuOF45
10Nazzan ZanetelloSS45

Mayer missed the final six weeks of 2023, making it two straight years he’s missed significant time due to injury.

Still, it’s a chance at a .260/.350/.460 bat at shortstop, and he just turned 21 years of age in December.

Anthony reached Double-A at age 19 on the strength of power development and projectable contact. He’s a solid glove and may stick in center for a bit, but his ability to work counts, draw walks, and hit for average are mighty tasty morsels, wouldn’t you say?

Anthony probably starts 2024 in Double-A as one of the youngest players at the level and his left-handed swing is a thing of beauty — simplicity and all.

Teel is just getting started but as a lefty-hitting catcher with a strong shot to stick behind the plate and provide above-average production with the bat — and to race through the minors makes the fact he was available at No. 14 all the more, we’ll call it fortuitous, for the Sox.

Teel’s 26 games last summer didn’t produce any power, but High-A arms couldn’t get him out in two weeks so he finished his season in Portland.

Raffaela reached the majors last season after hacking his way to big production in the upper minors. He doesn’t walk much, but limits strikeouts and his power has started to show up more.

It’s plus-plus speed and perhaps the best outfield glove in the minors for the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Rafaela, who may remind some of Mookie Betts from a size, speed, and power standpoint — and the uniform on his back, of course.

11Luis PeralesRHP45
12Yoeilin CespedesSS45
13Richard FittsRHP45
14Eddinson PaulinoSS40
15Nathan HickeyC40
16Antonio Anderson3B35
17Nicholas JudiceRHP35
18Blaze Jordan1B/3B35
19Chase Meidroth2B35
20Johanfran GarciaC35
21Allan CastroOF35
22Brandon WalterLHP35
23Justin Riemer2B35
24Cutter CoffeySS35
25Shane DrohanLHP35
26Dalton RogersLHP35
27Chris MurphyLHP35
28David Hamilton2B/OF35
29Brooks BrannonC35
30Yordanny MonegroRHP35

Perales has huge arm strength and a chance at a plus slider and changeup — the breaking ball already is performing for him. There’s not a lot of physical projection in his 6-foot-1 frame, but as he gets stronger it’ll improve his chances to hold his stuff late in games and erase some questions about his future role.

Fitts came over from the Yankees in the trade for Alex Verdugo and could squeeze into the rotation in 2024. He’s a strike thrower, but also possesses above-average fastball command, helping him get to his average slider. He’s going to need a third pitch to stay a starter and the changeup is fringey at best entering 2024, but has flashed and projects to useful levels.

Anderson was the club’s third-round pick out of Atlanta, and he may end up with five big-league tools, including a shot at 18-20 homers.

Joe Doyle
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