When Chaim Bloom took the reigns as Chief Baseball Officer in October of 2019, the Red Sox farm system was in disarray. He succeeded Dave Dombrowski, someone certainly not afraid to trade away a top prospect for a proven player, as he did when he traded #1 prospect Yoán Moncada for Chris Sale. While this trade and others won the Red Sox the World Series with Dombrowski at the helm, it left their prospect pool in shambles. What Bloom inherited was ranked by MLB.com as the #25 farm system in all of baseball. Fast forward to today, Baseball America has ranked four Red Sox prospects in the Top 100 heading into 2022.
Red Sox Prospects
#15 Marcelo Mayer
This is the most entries that the Red Sox have had on the list since 2016, Dombrowski’s first full season in Boston. Boston’s presence on the list is headlined by 19-year-old shortstop Marcelo Mayer, who the Red Sox drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft. Though many draft experts projected him to be the first pick of the draft, he was passed on by the Orioles, Rangers, and Tigers before being selected by Boston. He debuts at #15 on the list with the potential to be a cornerstone for the Red Sox franchise for years to come.
#19 Triston Casas
Just four spots behind Mayer at #19 is first baseman Triston Casas. A household name to many Sox fans as the 1B of the future, this is Casas’ third year on the list after coming in at number 70 and number 47 in ’20 and ’21, respectively. Casas showed off his power to the world last summer at the Tokyo Olympics, representing the USA and hitting three home runs and driving in eight runs in just six games to earn a silver medal. Heading into 2022, Casas seems primed to be a midseason call up with the opportunity to take over as the full-time first baseman going forward.
#31 Nick Yorke
Next up for the Sox on the list is second baseman Nick Yorke at #31. The surprise first-round pick for the Red Sox in 2020 really cemented himself as one of the best hitters in the minor leagues last season. He batted .325 with a .928 OPS and a 149 wRC+ between Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville. Just 19 years old, Yorke has a ways to go before he gets to the big leagues. However, with the potential that he has shown, an infield of Casas-Yorke-Mayer-Rafael Devers could be a lock for the Red Sox for a long time.
#91 Jarren Duran
The last member of the Red Sox on the list is outfielder Jarren Duran at #91. Sox fans got a look at Duran with the big-league club for parts of 2021, but he was unable to secure a permanent spot in a crowded outfield. In 33 games in Boston, he batted .215 with two home runs and two stolen bases. Of batters with at least 110 PAs in 2021, his 35.7% strikeout rate was the 15th worst in the majors. Duran does have a chance to compete for a spot on the big-league roster in 2022, but he will have to cut down on his strikeouts in order to make his stay in the majors permanent.
Off the List
There are two members of the Red Sox organization who were on this list last year who are no longer on it. First baseman Bobby Dalbec graduated from the prospect list after an inconsistent, but promising rookie campaign. On the other hand, infield prospect Jeter Downs, acquired in the Mookie Betts trade, was on the list the past two years at #86 and #71. A poor 2021 campaign has pushed Downs off the list. He hit just .191 with and OPS of .606 over 99 games with Triple-A Worcester. A strong 2022 season could see Downs return to the list in 2023, but a crowded infield could hurt his chances of making it to Boston.
In addition to the aforementioned prospects, the Red Sox also have some other names that could find their way on to the list in the coming years. Heading that group of players is Blaze Jordan. Jordan was drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft and he has come on strong in his first full season in the minors. The 19-year-old corner infielder batted .324 with an OPS of .959 and six home runs over 28 games.
Coming into the 2021 season, the Red Sox were thought to have been in the early stages of a rebuild. After finishing 22 games over .500 and beating two division rivals on their way to an ALCS appearance, they are no longer in rebuild mode. Paired with a strong major league roster, these Red Sox prospects give fans a reason to be hopeful for 2022 and beyond.
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Photo: (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)