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Prospect Profiles: Boston Red Sox

Red Sox

MLB

Taking A Look At The Boston Red Sox Farm System

Last season the Boston Red Sox had an impressive regular season, winning the AL East with a record of 93-69. However, Boston’s post-season results were a different story as they were swept by the Cleveland Indians in the 2nd round. This off-season the Red Sox made a big move to improve their chances of a championship team by trading 4 of their prospects for all-star pitcher Chris Sale. That being said, the Boston Red Sox still have a decent farm system. According to MLB.com the Red Sox have 3 prospects in the top 100.

Andrew Benintendi, LF

This 22 year old prospect is currently ranked as the number 1 prospect in baseball. Benintendi was drafted by the Red Sox in the 1st round (7th overall) of the 2015 draft. Andrew was drafted after an impressive showing during his sophomore year where he produced a batting line of .376 AVG/ .488 OBP/ .717 SLG and led the Arkansas Razorbacks to the College World Series.

Benintendi came out of the gates hot as he rushed to Double A early in his professional career and made his MLB debut with the Boston Red Sox last season. He is a strong left handed hitter with a excellent gauge of the strike zone and should project to be a .300 hitter with 20 or more homers in a year. His offensive prowess is not the only thing that makes him the number 1 prospect, but his speed is also an important skill Benintendi possess. He swiped a total of 16 bases in the minors last season over a stretch of 97 games. Last year in the majors Benintendi showed why he is the top prospect in baseball, he produced a batting line of .295 AVG/.359 OBP/.476 SLG.

ETA: On The Major League Roster

Rafael Devers, 3B

Rafael Devers is the 16th best prospect in baseball and the top prospect at third base. Devers was signed in 2013 in the international market, the Red Sox signed him out of the Dominican Republic for $1.5 million. He spent last season in the Class A South Atlantic League playing for the Salem Red Sox, where he was noted for his impressive work ethic that has produced major growth at the plate and in the field.

Rafael posted a batting line of .282 AVG/.335 OBP/.443 SLG with 11 home runs and 71 RBIs, which backs up the scouts claims about his offensive capabilities. Devers has well above average power and impressive bat speed, couple that with his advanced hitting approach shows why he is one of the top prospects at third base. The Red Sox organization has also been impressed with his growth defensively. Last season the staff notices that he had improved arm strength and accuracy. A skill Devers is lacking in would be his speed, it’s slightly below average, but it hasn’t affected him much so far in his career as he managed to steal 18 bases last year.

ETA: 2018

Jason Groome, LHP

Jason Groome is the top left handed pitching prospect in baseball and was the top rated pick by MLBPipeline in the 2016 draft. Groome was selected 12th overall by the Red Sox for a whopping $3.65 million. He has the potential to become an ace at some point in the future. Currently, Jason throws a fastball that reaches between 90-94 MPH with the ability to reach back and hit 97 MPH, a curve ball that scouts claim is the best curve in the 2016 draft. Although he did not use his change-up much in high school, he started finding success with it during his time in the minors last season.

Groome is also considered ace material due to his 6’6″ frame and athleticism which allows him to consistently produce good mechanics. Groome was touted for his ability to use all areas of the strike zone and hit the corners with solid precision. Some scouts even say that Groome could become the best pitcher drafted by Boston since Roger Clemens.

ETA: 2019

Bobby Dalbec, 3B

Bobby Dalbec is a 21 year old prospect that was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. Known for his impressive power and arm strength, Dalbec produced solid numbers in his limited time with the Lowell Spinners in Class A last season. His batting line over 34 games last season was .386 AVG/.427 OBP/.674 SLG even though he has only had 132 at bats so far he has shown that his is a great hitter.

Scouts note Dalbec’s impressive bat speed and aggressive approach at the plate which combines with his above average power. Although he has talent when it comes to power, one of his pitfalls is how much he swings and misses. Dalbec has not shown that he can handle breaking pitches with consistency due to his aggressive batting style. He is a below average runner which may limit his ability on the base paths, but it has not affected his work in the field. Bobby’s impressive arm strength makes most scouts believe that Dalbec will be able to stay at third base throughout his professional career.

ETA: 2019

Sam Travis, 1B

Sam Travis was Boston’s 2nd round draft pick back in the 2014 draft and is currently playing with the Pawtucket Red Sox. The former Indian Hosier had done and impressive job from Class A to Double A producing a batting line of .307 AVG/.381 OBP/.452 SLG with 19 stolen bases, until he was promoted to Triple A last season where he tore his ACL early in the season during a rundown.

Travis has top notch hitting capabilities as scouts say that Travis is able to consistently make hard contact with the ball and manages the strike zone efficiently. Although he makes solid contact consistently, his power is lacking. Sam only hit 9 home runs in 2015 even though many scouts have stated that he has exceptional bat speed and strength. This could be concerning if Travis wants to stick at 1B. Travis’ weakness would be his fielding which is due to his below average speed and low arm strength that has kept him anchored at 1B.

ETA: 2017

Marco Hernandez, SS/2B

Marco Hernandez was acquired as a player to be named later from the Chicago Cubs back in 2014. The 24 year old infielder spent 6 years in the minors, but made it to the majors last season and produced some solid numbers. Over 51 at bats, he posted a batting line of .294 AVG/.357 OBP/.373 SLG with 5 RBIs. Scouts are divided on whether Hernandez should be playing shortstop or second base.

The Red Sox currently have Dustin Pedroia signed through 2021 so Hernandez’s odds of playing second base are slim, but if Hernandez is moved to shortstop many scouts note his average fielding ability and question the accuracy his arm has at shortstop. Hernandez’s batting style is more contact based and lacks power. He has yet to hit more than 10 homers in a season so far his professional career. Another knock on Hernandez is his speed, the number of stolen bases, he has been able to take has declined significantly as he has moved up in his professional career. This has led many scouts to believe Hernandez will likely be a utility player at the major league level.

ETA: On The Major League Roster

Roniel Raudes, RHP

Roniel Raudes is a 19 year-old pitcher that was signed by the Red Sox in July, 2014 and has been progressing extremely well. Raudes led the Dominican Summer League with a 63/3 K/BB ratio in his professional debut in 2015 and has only been improving. He has moved from the Dominican Summer League and currently plays in Class A with the Greenville Drive.

Since signing with the Red Sox in 2014 he has added around 5 MPH to his fastball that now usually reaches from 89-91 MPH, but maxes out at 93 MPH. Along with the fastball Roniel throws a curveball with a lot of drop and a change-up that fades away from hitters. Many scouts believe that Roniel’s fastball will improve and get faster as he adds more muscle training at the professional level. He is very advanced for a 19 year-old prospect and many scouts believe that he could become a middle rotation starter in the future.

ETA: 2019

C.J. Chatham, SS

C.J. Chatham was drafted by the Red Sox in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft out of Florida Atlantic. He was selected 51st overall which netted him a $1.1 million dollar contract. Chatham currently plays with the Lowell Spinners in A Short. He is pretty big for a shortstop as he stands 6″4″ and weights 185 pounds, but he has above average speed, which makes many scouts think he will be able to stay at shortstop.

Although he only had a limited amount of time in the minor leagues, his numbers have been somewhat disappointing. He posted a batting line of .242 AVG/.299 OBP/.417 SLG with 19 RBIs. Scouts say that he has more power than most shortstops and has a good feel when hitting with wooden bats so his hitting should develop with more time in the minors. C.J. is not much of a threat on the base paths, even though he has above average speed. The biggest tool Chatham has is his fielding. He possesses a strong arm coupled with excellent accuracy which is likely to carry him throughout his major league career.

ETA: 2019

Michael Chavis, 3B

Michael Chavis was drafted in the 1st round (26th overall) of the 2014 MLB draft and currently plays with the Salem Red Sox. The 21 year old prospect was one of the most impressive hitters coming out of high school in 2014, but has struggled at the plate in low class A during his career. Although his numbers took a dive in 2016 many scouts still believe that his power is there and he can hit upwards of 20 homers a year if he lets his power come naturally.

Last year with Salem, Chavis’ batting line was somewhat underwhelming (.244 AVG/.321 OBP/.391 SLG with 74 strikeouts), but the staff says he has improved his pitch recognition and plate discipline since last season. His bat speed is impressive and adds to his power, which makes many scouts think he can hit 20+ home runs a year. His fielding is considered average due to having some trouble in the field, but he has a very accurate arm. Chavis showed his work ethic, when he joined an instructional league in order to improve his fielding. Some scouts think Chavis will be moved to 2B or the outfield while others believe he will remain at third base.

 Josh Ockimey, 1B

Josh Ockimey is a 21 year old prospect that was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 draft. He plays with the Greenville Drive in Class A and made a splash at the 2015 instructional league. Ockimey is noted for his above average power, but he has not shown much in his 2 years in the minors.

Scouts say that Josh is one of the best power hitters in the Red Sox farm system, but he gets over aggressive at the plate which lead to his poor batting line in 2016 (.226 AVG/.367 OBP/.425 SLG). He needs to work on cutting down on his 32% strikeout rate and continue to work in the field. He has below average speed and many scouts think he will need to stay at first base. The Red Sox staff thinks that Ockimey is on the rise and should be making better contact during the 2017 season.

ETA: 2019

Just Missed:

Travis Lakins, RHP: A former Ohio State Buckeye that was drafted in 2015. He had trouble in the minors initially due to the types pitches he threw. Now with a more simple pitch selection Lakins could make a big splash in the minors in 2017.