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Boston Red Sox: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

fantasy baseball prospects MLB prospects rookies call-ups

The Boston Red Sox will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will certainly see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

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Quick Synopsis

This is a weak system and the short draft in 2020 did the club no favors. Since scoring Xavier Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, the Sox also haven’t had much luck with the international market.

1. Jeter Downs, SS/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 84
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

I’m a big fan of Downs and the Dodgers’ fantastic development system had a year to sprinkle some of its magic on him before he headed to the Red Sox in last winter’s blockbuster Mookie Betts deal. Likely more of a second baseman, he should hit for a solid average and provide at least 15 home runs. Downs has stolen more than 60 bases over the past two seasons but he’s more of a smart base runner than a true speedster so the MLB stolen base totals will likely be more 12-15 per year before he slows down. His willingness to take a walk gives him a boost in on-base leagues.

2. Triston Casas, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 154
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Casas has a chance to be a special player if he continues to develop on his current trajectory. The hulking, young athlete has plus raw power and a solid approach at the plate for such a young slugger. He has significant opposite-field power and isn’t afraid to go the other way. Like Jeter Downs above, Casas is another Red Sox prospect that will take a healthy number of free passes. The Red Sox organization has dabbled with trying to get more value out of him on the defensive side of his game by having him play some third base but he’s a long-term first baseman due to his size and lack of quickness.

3. Gilberto Jimenez, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  162
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

I knocked Boston above for not doing very well on the international market in recent years but Jimenez could be a good news story in a few years — and they paid him just $10,000 to sign. He’ll likely never develop into a power-hitting prospect but he’s a strong athlete with blazing speed. Jimenez could steal 30-40 bases on his prime, hit .280, and score a whack of runs while playing premium defense. But he also needs to get stronger to realize his full potential.

4. Bryan Mata, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 174
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

I’m not the biggest Mata fan around but he has a chance to play a key role in Boston in the future. The right-hander will need to watch his weight and conditioning if he has any hope of sticking as a starter and reaching his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter. He has a blazing fastball and a promising slider but his command and control are both inconsistent. For me, he has the makings of an excellent closer if he can tighten up the command/control but the Sox will likely continue to deploy him as a starter for the foreseeable future.

5. Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  187
MLB ETA: 2020

Dalbec isn’t much of a hitter (future .220-.240 MLB batting average) but he is loaded with power and will take a walk so he fits in perfectly to this era of baseball. With that said, he did show some signs of improvement in making contact in 2019 by striking out *just* 25% of the time in Double-A so there is hope that he’s learning that he doesn’t have to let it rip from his heels to send the ball over the fence. Dalbec has a very strong arm and, f he shows the ability to play third base in the Majors, he has additional fantasy value.

6. Jay Groome, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 191
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2023

A 2016 first-round pick, Groome has pitched just 66 innings as a pro due to a litany of injuries. At this point, I’d look to maximize my investment by moving him to the bullpen and letting him focus on his two plus offerings in his fastball and curveball, while keeping the innings numbers down in an effort to avoid further injuries.

7. Jarren Duran, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 207
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A former seventh-round selection, Duran had an excellent first year-and-a-half in pro ball but hit a bit of a wall when he reached the more age-appropriate Double-A ball. He has plus speed but needs to make consistent contact to take full advantage of it — something he didn’t do well in High-A ball when his strikeout rate jumped to 24%. Duran will never be a big home run hitter but he can sting the ball and could eventually produce solid extra-base power with 20-30 steals.

8. Tanner Houck, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 236
MLB ETA: 2020

Houck is another Boston pitcher that potentially profiles better in the bullpen than in the starting rotation. He performed both roles in the minors in 2019 and found more luck as a reliever. He has two good solid pitches as well as the ability to induce above-average ground-ball rates. This former first-round pick’s ceiling may be that of a high-leverage set-up man.

9. Thad Ward, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

A former fifth-round pick, Ward has a chance to outperform a number of the organization’s first-round pitching selections. He’s not flashy but he overpowered A-ball hitters with two above-average offerings and solid (but inconsistent) command/control. If Ward’s secondary offerings continue to develop and he further sharpens his command/control then there is No. 4 starter potential here.

10. Matthew Lugo, SS

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2023

Lugo has a lot of potential as a toolsy, quick-twitch athlete and he was excellent value as a late-second-round selection in 2019. Lugo has a fair bit of untapped value in his bat and shows a solid approach despite his inexperience. He also has 15-20 home run potential and the ability to compile double-digit steal totals.

*Noah Song omitted due to his military commitment.

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