According to Baseball America’s latest organizational talent rankings, the Red Sox have one of the top farm systems in baseball heading into the 2023 season.
Baseball America ranked the Red Sox 10th in its annual rankings. Each year, the publication “looks at the totality of a farm system’s talent, with an emphasis on top prospects but also factoring in the depth of the organization’s prospect ranks.”
As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox have steadily climbed Baseball America’s organizational rankings since Chaim Bloom took over as the club’s chief baseball officer in October 2019. Bloom inherited a farm system that finished dead last (30th) in 2019. They were ranked 20th in both 2020 and 2021 before making the jump to No. 11 last year. This time around, the organization cracked the publication’s top-10.
“Slowly but surely, Boston’s system is improving,” Baseball America wrote. “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.”
In January, the Red Sox landed five players on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list. Mayer is currently ranked 10th, Casas is ranked 28th, Rafaela is ranked 71st, Yoshida is ranked 87th, and Bleis is ranked 88th.
That Yoshida is considered by the publication to be a prospect is certainly interesting when you consider the fact that he is 29 years old, played in Japan for seven seasons, and signed a five-year, $90 million contract with Boston in December. Other experts within the industry, such as Keith Law of The Athletic, do not view Yoshida as a prospect even though he is a rookie with no major-league experience.
Taking that into consideration, though, Yoshida will likely graduate from his prospect status before long since he projects to be Boston’s starting left fielder. The same can be said for Triston Casas after the 23-year-old first baseman debuted last September. Right-hander Brayan Bello, who pitched 57 1/3 innings last season, has already graduated from his prospect status after exceeding his rookie limits in 2022.
Finishing in front of the Red Sox in this year’s preseason organizational rankings are the Orioles, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Guardians, Mets, Rays, Nationals, Reds, and Cardinals. Rounding out the top-15 are the Pirates, Rangers, Brewers, Rockies, and Yankees. The only other American League East team not yet mentioned, the Blue Jays, were ranked 17th.
(Picture of Wilyer Abreu, Matthew Lugo, and Ceddanne Rafaela: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)