Former Red Sox prospect Jay Groome named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week; left-hander has posted 3.48 ERA since being traded to Padres

Former Red Sox pitching prospect Jay Groome was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the week of September 12-18 on Monday.

In his last start for Triple-A El Paso, Groome scattered three hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts across six scoreless innings in a 13-0 win over the Round Rock Express.

Since joining the Chihuahuas’ rotation last month, Groome has posted a 3.48 ERA and 4.52 FIP with 36 strikeouts to 18 walks over eight starts spanning 41 1/3 innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting .277 with a .777 OPS off the left-hander.

A former first-round selection of the Red Sox in 2016, Groome was dealt to the Padres in exchange for veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer and fellow prospects Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier at the trade deadline.

At that time, Groome was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The 24-year-old southpaw is now ranked by the publication as the No. 10 prospect in San Diego’s farm system, which ranks sixth among pitchers in the organization.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds, Groome operates with a 90-94 mph fastball that touches 95-96 mph, a 76-80 mph curveball, a 79-82 mph changeup, and an 85-87 mph slider. The New Jersey native is already on the Padres’ 40-man roster and will have just one minor-league option remaining after this season.

Taking that into account, MLB Pipeline notes that the Padres could elect to use Groome out of the bullpen if they no longer believe he has starter potential.

(Picture of Jay Groome: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Max Ferguson homers for first time since being acquired from Padres

Max Ferguson hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox organization in High-A Greenville’s 9-4 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Sunday afternoon.

Batting ninth and starting at shortstop for the Drive, Ferguson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored. His homer came off right-hander Anthony Molina with two outs in the fifth inning and was good for three runs.

That performance wrapped up a solid weekend for Ferguson, who — over the course of three games — went 3-for-10 with two singles, the three-run home run, and two runs scored. He also drew three walks while not striking out at all.

Since being acquired from the Padres earlier this month, the versatile left-handed hitter has batted .225/.392/.325 (110 wRC+) to go along with one double, one home run, six runs driven in, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, and 11 walks to 11 strikeouts in his first 12 games (51 plate appearances) with the Drive.

Defensively, Ferguson has seen playing time at three different positions while in Greenville. The 6-foot-1, 180 pounder has logged 25 innings at second base, 51 innings at shortstop, and 27 innings in center field.

Ferguson, who turns 23 on Tuesday, was originally selected by the Padres in the fifth round of last year’s amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee. The Jacksonville, Fla. native signed with the club for approximately $324,100.

At that time, Baseball America ranked Ferguson as the No. 168 prospect in the 2021 draft class. The publication noted that The Bolles School product is “a good athlete and a plus runner who has always stolen bases at a high success rate.”

Since making his professional debut in the Arizona Complex League last July, Ferguson has stolen 73 bases in 79 attempts across 140 minor-league games. The speedster began his first full season with Low-A Lake Elsinore before earning a promotion to High-A Fort Wayne in late June. He then proceeded to slash .162/.270/.343 in 27 games with the TinCaps through the end of July.

Shortly after the calendar flipped from July to August, Ferguson and teammate Corey Rosier were traded to the Red Sox along with veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer. In return for those three, the Padres acquired pitching prospect Jay Groome.

So, between Fort Wayne and Greenville, Ferguson has appeared in 39 games at the High-A level this season. Among the 338 hitters who have made at least 170 trips to the plate across the three different High-A leagues, Ferguson ranks 25th in speed score (8.1) and 75th in weighted stolen base runs (0.6), per FanGraphs.

While his speed and athleticism certainly stand out, Ferguson is not yet regarded by Baseball America as one of the top 30 prospects in Boston’s farm system. SoxProspects.com, on the other hand, ranks Ferguson one spot below Rosier at No. 57.

(Picture of Max Ferguson: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Red Sox promote pitching prospect Jay Groome to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted pitching prospect Jay Groome from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the team’s minor-league transactions log.

Groome, who turns 24 next month, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization.

In 16 appearances (14 starts) for the Sea Dogs this season, the 23-year-old left-hander posted a 3.52 ERA and 4.92 FIP to go along with 81 strikeouts to 38 walks over 76 2/3 innings of work.

Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, Groome ranks 11th in strikeout rate (24.9%), fourth in batting average against (.206), and fifth in ERA, per FanGraphs.

Originally selected by Boston with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey, Groome has endured plenty of ups-and-downs throughout his professional career. His first full season in pro ball was mired by arm injuries, ultimately resulting in him undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2018.

Upon returning from Tommy John, Groome made a handful of rehab starts to close out the 2019 campaign. Then in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the minor-league season altogether. Limited to working out at the Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket, Groome was later added to the club’s 40-man roster that November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

After splitting 2021 between High-A Greenville and Portland, Groome returned to the Sea Dogs’ starting rotation for the start of the 2022 season and now finds himself on the cusp of the major-leagues.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 257 pounds, Groome throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a low-90s four-seam fastball that has topped out at 95 mph, a 76-80 mph curveball, a 79-82 mph changeup, and an 85-87 mph slider, according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Groome, who will wear the No. 77 with the WooSox, becomes the latest Red Sox starting pitching prospect to make the jump from Portland to Worcester this year. The lefty joins fellow southpaws Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy as well as right-hander Brayan Bello.

(Picture of Jay Groome: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Latest mock draft has Red Sox taking American Heritage left-hander Brandon Barriera with top pick

In his latest mock draft for the Baseball Prospect Journal, Dan Zielinski III has the Red Sox selecting American Heritage High School left-hander Brandon Barriera with the 24th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

If American Heritage sounds familiar to you, it should. It’s the same Plantation, Fla. high school top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas attended before Boston made him a first-round draft choice in 2018.

Barriera, meanwhile, is currently committed to play his college baseball at the esteemed Vanderbilt University — the same school Casas’ younger brother, Gavin, attends — upon graduating from American Heritage this spring.

In eight starts for the Patriots this season, Barriera posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 68 strikeouts to 11 walks over 37 innings pitched.

As of now, the 18-year-old southpaw is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class, which ranks third among pitchers and seventh among high schoolers.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Barriera “has electric arm speed and the stuff to match,” per his Baseball America scouting report.

“He’s been up to the 95-96 mph range at peak and sat in the 92-93 mph range in short outings last summer,” it reads. “He throws a slider in the low to mid 80s as well and the pitch gets plus grades, with hard lateral movement and two-plane bite at its best. While he threw a changeup less frequently than his fastball/slider combination, scouts with history on him believe it’s a real weapon that he throws with fastball arm speed and could become an above-average offering. Barriera draws praise for his fiery and competitive demeanor on the mound.”

According to MLB Pipeline, which has Barriera as its 15th-ranked prospect, “the only concern around the Vanderbilt recruit is about his size and whether he will hold up as a starter, but his stuff and feel for the strike zone have had scouts running to south Florida all spring and puts him firmly in first-round conversations talent-wise.”

Barriera, who does not turn 19 until next March, would be the first prep pitcher taken by Boston in the first round of a draft since Jay Groome was selected with the 12th overall pick out of Barnegat (N.J.) High School in 2016.

That being said, the 2022 draft does not get underway in Los Angeles until July 17, so there is still plenty of time for things to change. With that, it is worth mentioning that the recommended slot value for the Sox’ top pick this year comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

(Picture of Brandon Barriera: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Top Red Sox pitching prospects Brayan Bello, Jay Groome returning to Double-A Portland for start of 2022 season

Two of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system are returning to Double-A Portland for the start of the 2022 season.

As part of a flurry of roster moves made on Monday, the Sox announced that left-hander Jay Groome and right-hander Brayan Bello had been transferred from Triple-A Worcester to Double-A Portland.

Both Bello and Groome are on Boston’s 40-man roster and were invited to big-league camp at the onset of spring training. When they were reassigned to minor-league camp last month, the Sox announced the move by saying they had been optioned to Worcester. So the fact that they were transferred from Worcester to Portland on Monday should not be viewed as a demotion since they were expected to begin the season in Double-A to begin with.

Bello, 22, and Groome, 23, are currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 and No. 10 prospects in Boston’s farm system, respectively. The former ranks first among pitchers in the organization while the latter ranks fourth. They both began last season with High-A Greenville and ended the year in Portland.

Bello, a former international free agent signed out the Dominican Republic in 2017, posted a 2.27 ERA and 2.82 FIP to go along with 45 strikeouts and seven walks over six starts (31 2/3 innings pitched) with Greenville before earning a promotion to Portland on June 8.

With the Sea Dogs, the righty produced a 4.66 ERA — but much more respectable 3.12 FIP — with 87 strikeouts to 24 walks over 15 starts spanning 63 2/3 innings of work. He also represented the Red Sox in the All-Star Futures Game and was named the organization’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.

Groome, a former first-round draft pick out of Barnegat High School (N.J.) in 2016, posted a 5.29 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 108 strikeouts to 32 walks across 18 starts (81 2/3 innings) with the Drive before being promoted to Portland in early September.

Although it came in a smaller sample size, Groome’s stint with the Sea Dogs last year went more swimmingly than Bello’s. In three starts to close out his season, the lefty pitched to the tune of a 2.30 ERA and 1.15 FIP to go along with 26 strikeouts and just four walks over 15 2/3 innings of work.

Bello, who turns 23 in May, has three pitches in his arsenal: a fastball, changeup, and slider. Groome, who turns 24 in August, operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider.

The two hurlers made just one appearance each in Grapefruit League play this spring, but still showed why they are as highly-touted as they are. It would not be unreasonable if one of the two, or maybe even both, made it up to Worcester by the end of the year.

In the meantime, though, Bello and Groome figure to lead a talented Portland pitching staff that will feature the likes of Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Victor Santos, Franklin German, Chase Shugart, and Jacob Wallace, among others.

The Sea Dogs open their season against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) at Hadlock Field this coming Friday, April 8. One would have to figure Bello or Groome will get the starting nod on Opening Day.

(Picture of Brayan Bello and Jay Groome: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospect Jay Groome has struck out 19 of the first 39 batters he has faced since promotion to Double-A Portland

Red Sox pitching prospect Jay Groome has been on an absolute tear since his promotion to Double-A Portland, with his stellar outing on Sunday being the latest instance.

Matched up against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets affiliate) in his second start for Portland, Groome tossed six scoreless innings while scattering just two hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with nine strikeouts on the afternoon at Hadlock Field.

The left-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before issuing back-to-back one-out singles to Antoine Duplantis and Ronny Mauricio to put runners at the corners, but he got out of it by retiring the final two batters he faced in order to preserve the shutout.

Of the 84 pitches Groome threw on Sunday, 61 went for strikes. Six of his nine punchouts were swinging strikeouts, while the other three were looking.

Groome, who turned 23 in late August, initially began the 2021 minor-league season at High-A Greenville, where he posted a 5.29 ERA and 4.00 xFIP over 18 starts (81 2/3 innings pitched) before earning a promotion to Portland earlier this month.

In his Sea Dogs debut, which came against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Groome fanned a season-high 10 batters while walking none over five solid, scoreless innings of work.

While he had to wait more than a week to make his next start for the Sea Dogs, the 23-year-old southpaw was yet again impressive on Sunday. In picking up nine strikeouts in his latest outing, Groome has now fanned 19 of the first 39 hitters he faced at the Double-A level.

It’s a small sample size, of course, but among Double-A Northeast pitchers who have thrown at least 11 innings this season, Groome ranks second among them in strikeout percentage (48.7%), third in walk percentage (2.6%), and third in xFIP (1.89), per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox originally selected Groome with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey. He underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2018 and was added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds, Groome is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks fourth among pitchers in the organization.

Having to undergo Tommy John surgery forced Groome to become a different pitcher, but his ceiling is still relatively high.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, the lefty “has the raw materials of a left-handed starter, including a powerful build, a controlled, repeatable delivery and giant hands that allow him to manipulate the ball.”

Additionally, Groome operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-95 mph fastball that “has missed a ton of bats” this year, a curveball that “has been more of an average pitch” post-Tommy John, a recently-added slider, and a changeup.

According to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, “there’s a belief in the Red Sox organization [that Groome’s] slider has become his best secondary pitch, especially to left-handed hitters.”

(Picture of Jay Groome: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox promote top pitching prospect Jay Groome to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted top pitching prospect Jay Groome to Double-A Portland, per MiLB.com’s transaction wire.

Groome, 23, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in the Sox’ farm system, ranking fourth among pitchers in the organization.

Boston originally selected the left-hander with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft out of Barnegat High School (N.J.) and later signed him for $3.65 million that July.

After an injury-riddled 2017 season, Groome underwent Tommy John surgery the following spring, resulting in him missing the entirety of 2018 and the majority of the 2019 campaign.

While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Groome from pitching in any meaningful games last year, the New Jersey native still got work in at the Red Sox’ alternate training site and fall instructional league before being added to the club’s 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

Invited to his first major-league camp earlier this spring, Groome opened the 2021 season at High-A Greenville and posted a 5.16 ERA and 4.13 FIP to go along with 75 strikeouts to 24 walks over 12 starts spanning 52 1/3 innings pitched through July 7.

At that time, Groome stepped away from the affiliate for the birth of his daughter and did not return until July 30. In six starts with the Drive since then, the lefty put up a 5.52 ERA and 4.76 FIP — as well as a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 33:8 — over 29 1/3 total innings of work.

Among High-A East pitchers with at least 80 innings under their belt this season, Groome ranks first in strikeouts per nine innings (11.9), first in strikeout rate (30.8%), and third in xFIP (3.97), per FanGraphs.

Despite some of those numbers being underwhelming, Groome has still earned himself a promotion to Portland and will make his highly-anticipated Sea Dogs debut as they face off against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) in Manchester on Saturday night.

Per his Baseball America scouring report, the 6-foot-6, 251 pound hurler operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 92-95 mph fastball that “has missed a ton of bats” this year, a curveball that “has been more of an average pitch” post-Tommy John, a recently-added slider, and a changeup.

As he prepares to make his first start at the Double-A level on Saturday night, Groome will don the No. 46 with the Sea Dogs.

UPDATE: Groome’s first start with Portland went well, as he scattered just two hits and zero walks to go along with a career-high 10 strikeouts over five innings of work. 53 of the 83 pitches he threw went for strikes.

(Picture of Jay Groome: Billie Weiss/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Jaxx Groshans evaluates some of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system

He’s caught them. He’s hit against them. When it comes to some of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the Red Sox organization, there aren’t many better people to ask about them than catching prospect Jaxx Groshans.

When speaking with BloggingtheRedSox.com earlier this week, the 22-year-old backstop shared his thoughts on the likes of Jay Groome, Noah Song, and Ryan Zeferjahn, all of whom are regarded by SoxProspects.com as top-15 pitching prospects within Boston’s farm system.

Here are those thoughts put into writing.

LHP Jay Groome (SoxProspects’ No. 7 pitching prospect)

“I’ve faced off against Groomy multiple times and I got to catch him when I was in Lowell and at fall instructs both years (2019 and 2020). His stuff has grown a long way, man. He’s got big-league caliber shit, and I think that’s going to carry him for a while.”

RHP Noah Song (SoxProspects’ No. 6 pitching prospect)

“I caught Noah in his debut in Aberdeen… As far as Songy is concerned, that’s some of the best pure stuff I think I’ve ever seen. I applaud him for going back and serving [in the Navy] like he was supposed to, but that’s a damn shame because that kid probably could have been in the big-leagues this coming year. He probably could have made an appearance in the league out of the ‘pen last year to be honest with you, because his stuff is that good.”

RHP Ryan Zeferjahn (SoxProspects’ No. 11 pitching prospect)

“Zef’s a good dude, man. He’s got some electric stuff, too. I’m very, very excited to see how his career pans out because I think he can be a successful big-leaguer for a long time, especially if he figures out control of all his pitches and finetunes them. We’ll just have to wait and see from here. Like I said, he’s got a lot of special stuff and he’s very blessed with the arm he has.”

Groshans and Zeferjahn both played college baseball together at the University of Kansas. They were both selected by the Red Sox within hours of each other during Day 2 of the 2019 MLB first-year player draft.

“Before we got drafted, we were in Bricktown (Oklahoma City) playing Kansas State in the Big-12 tournament,” Groshans recalled. “Me and Zef were sitting on the bench, and Zef was like ‘Man, how cool would it be if the both of us got drafted by the same team? It would be sick because I’d get to throw to you and we’d be teammates again.’

“And I was like ‘Yeah, dude. That would be sick. That would be awesome,'” continued Groshans. “Then I saw Zef got picked by the Sox in the third [round], and I was like ‘Damn, okay. What’s going to happen? How’s this going to go?’ Then my agent texted me and he was like ‘Red Sox.’ So, I kind of kept it in for a second and as soon as my name got called, Zef was one of the first people to text me. He was like ‘Let’s freaking go! That’s awesome, man!’ I was like ‘Yeah, meet me in Florida and let’s have some fun.'”

BONUS: Former University of Oklahoma outfielder and Oakland Athletics first-round draft pick Kyler Murray, who is currently the starting quarterback for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals

“I know Kyler. I grew up around the same area — before I moved to Houston — that he was from. So I was from Plano, he was from Allen (Texas). I met him off and on the field, too. He’s a freak athlete, man.

“I saw something the other day where they were putting out on SportsCenter: Who of these NFL athletes would be successful in the minor-leagues if they played?’ It’s Kyler 100% hands down,” Groshans said. “He’s said it before. I don’t believe his time in baseball is done yet. I think if at any point he decides to come back, he could definitely do it. 100%.”

(Picture of Jaxx Groshans: Kelly O’Connor/ sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox add top pitching prospect Bryan Mata, 6 others to 40-man roster ahead of Rule 5 Draft

The Red Sox added seven minor-leaguers to their 40-man roster on Friday in order to protect them from being eligible for this December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Right-handers Bryan Mata, Connor Seabold, and Eduard Bazardo, left-hander Jay Groome, catcher Connor Wong, infielder Hudson Potts, and outfielder Jeisson Rosario were all added to Boston’s 40-man roster.

Going into Friday, the Sox’ 40-man roster was at 36 players, meaning three players had to be removed in order to make room for the seven names mentioned above.

The three players removed from Boston’s 40-man roster on Friday were left-handers Kyle Hart and Matt Hall, and right-hander Ryan Weber. Hart has been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, while Hall and Weber were designated for assignment.

Both Hart and Hall made their Red Sox debuts in 2020, and both struggled mightily in limited action.

In what was his first taste of the big-leagues, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Hart allowed 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits and 10 walks over just nine innings pitched through his first three starts after getting called up in mid-August.

A demotion to the bullpen did not do any wonders for the former 19th-round draft pick either, as he surrendered six earned runs over two innings of relief against the Braves on September 1 before his season came to an end a day later due to a left hip impingement.

Hall, meanwhile, was acquired by Boston in a trade that sent minor-league catcher Jhon Nunez to the Tigers back in January.

The 27-year-old looked impressive at summer camp, but that did not translate well to his first season with the Sox.

Making just four appearances (one start), the southpaw posted a dismal 18.69 ERA and 7.92 FIP in 8 2/3 innings of work.

As for Weber, this comes as somewhat of a surprise considering the notion that the Red Sox have always seemingly been high on him as well as the fact that he held opponents to a .656 OPS against over his last 14 outings (two starts) of the year.

Still, the 30-year-old hurler’s 2020 season had plenty of down moments as well, and it appears that Boston no longer deems him worthy of a 40-man roster spot.

Because they were designated for assignment, Hall and Weber will have to clear waivers if they are return to the Red Sox in a lesser capacity unless they opt for free agency instead.

So, the removals of Hart, Hall, and Weber decreased the Sox’ 40-man roster size to 33, thus opening the gateway for all seven of Bazardo, Groome, Mata, Potts, Rosario, Seabold, and Wong to be added Friday evening.

Groome, Mata, Potts, Rosario, Seabold, and Wong were all expected to be protected from this winter’s Rule 5 Draft, leaving Bazardo as the most interesting addition listed here.

The 25-year-old was actually eligible for last year’s Rule 5 Draft, too, but he did not get selected.

Despite not being added to the Sox’ 60-man player pool at any point in time this past season, Bazardo impressed enough at fall instructs to earn himself a spot on the 40-man.

The Venezuela native originally signed with Boston for just $8,000 as an international free agent in 2014.

Most recently, he posted a 2.21 ERA and .206 batting average against in 38 total relief appearances and 73 1/3 innings pitched between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland in 2019.

Listed at 6-foot and 155 lbs., Bazardo could very well make his major-league debut out of the Red Sox bullpen at some point next season. He certainly will be one of the more fascinating hurlers to monitor during spring training once camp breaks in February.

With Friday’s round of transactions complete, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is now at full capacity at 40 players. That does not mean that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will continue to make moves, though, as this could make for an eventful winter depending on how the free agent and trade market plays out.

Long story short, Bloom and the Red Sox are not close to done in terms of 2021 roster construction. There will be plenty more to come.

Red Sox Set To Kick off Fall Instructional League This Week With Bevy of Top Prospects in Attendance

The Red Sox are set to kick off their fall instructional league in Fort Myers on Monday. And according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, several of the club’s top prospects will take part in these offseason activities.

Among the 62 minor-leaguers who will report to Fenway South starting this week, several had just spent at least part of their summers at the Red Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket. Those names, per Speier, include pitchers Bryan Mata and Jay Groome, infielders Triston Casas, Nick Yorke, and Hudson Potts, and outfielder Jeisson Rosario.

As for the prospects who did not receive an invite to the alternate site this season, there are right-handers Brayan Bello and Thad Ward, left-hander Chris Murphy, infielders Brainer Bonaci and Matthew Lugo, and speedy outfielder Gilberto Jimenez.

On top of that group of players, infielder Blaze Jordan and pitchers Shane Drohan and Jeremy Wu-Yelland — the rest of Boston’s 2020 draft class — are also expected to attend this offseason program that will run until November 12.

Although it is not yet clear if teams will be allowed to play games against one another due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these instructional leagues do allow the Red Sox, as well as the other 29 clubs, to get back in contact with the core of their minor-league talent.

Speaking of minor-league talent, as of September 1, the Sox had the No. 25 farm system in baseball according to MLB Pipeline.

As underwhelming as that ranking may be, there appears to be optimism from within the organization that things in that developmental area are steadily improving. PawSox manager Billy McMillon opined as much when speaking with reporters this past Friday via Zoom.

“I think it’s very promising right now,” McMillon said regarding the state of the Red Sox farm system. “Some of the returns that we got back in some of the various trades and offseason acquisitions, I think that’s going to raise the level of our minor-leagues. We saw some guys develop, get a little bit better. There’s encouraging news from guys that impressed on the mound to seeing how some of the position players developed. I think the cupboard is getting full again, and I think there’s reason for optimism with some of the guys that we saw in the alternate camp.”

Expect the full list of Red Sox minor-leaguers who will be attending fall instructs to be released relatively soon.

UPDATE: Here’s the full list of the 62 Red Sox minor-leaguers who will be at full instructs, courtesy of SoxProspects.