clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Boston Red Sox Top-10 Fantasy Prospects

New, comments

In recent years Boston’s farm system has graduated elite talents such as Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. There’s even more help on the way.

Our Basis

With fantasy prospect rankings, the key to knowing the usefulness of a specific player is how large and deep of a league you would need to be in for them to end up as a fantasy starter. We will be ranking 10 prospects in each system, but that doesn't mean that every one of them is useful if you play in a 12-team mixed dynasty league. With that said, we're aiming to provide useful information whether you play in a 10-team mixed, a 15-team AL-only, or a 24-team mixed.Prospect rankings also come with the same caveat that must be rehashed every year. They represent a snapshot of how we view the players at the time of publication. There will inherently be more information published throughout the off-season, and so how we view a player may evolve significantly over time. We're going to get some of these right, we're going to get some of these wrong, and in general my reminder is to find information you trust, and use it to your advantage. If that comes from us, that's great and we're happy you're here. If it doesn't, we'll continue to work and hope that you'll keep checking in to see how we're doing.

The Tiers

The tiers are here though to provide some clarity when comparing players between different teams. It's by no means a perfect system, but the goal is to give you a general idea of which players we think are in a similar range in terms of value and ranking. Since the tiers are also expected to be relatively consistent across teams, there may be tiers that do not have prospects for certain teams.

Tier 1 - The Elite Prospects

These prospects are expected to be in the top-50 prospects overall, and have the potential to be among the top options at their position regardless of format or league size.

#1 - Yoan Moncada (2B)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2017

Moncada should enter 2017 as the consensus #1 prospect in baseball. Acquired by the Red Sox in 2015 as an amateur free agent from Cuba, the 21-year-old second baseman appears well on his way to justifying the $63 million total price Boston paid for his services. At 6’2” and 205 lbs., Moncada boasts the elite athleticism and tools of a future perennial All-Star. In 2016, between High-A and Double-A, he slashed .294/.407/.511 with 15 HR and 45 SB in 106 games. That performance earned him a September callup to Boston. Dustin Pedroia is signed through 2021, so it looks as if Moncada will make the permanent switch to third base and could open 2017 at Fenway. Fantasy owners no doubt will appreciate 20-25 HR and 50 SB from the hot corner.

#2 - Andrew Benintendi (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 22

ETA: 2017

The seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft, Benintendi looks to be Boston’s left fielder of the present and future. An excellent debut (.313/.416/.556 in 54 games) cemented his standing as one of the top bats in the 2015 class. He followed up that debut with an outstanding 2016 campaign (.312/.378/.532) that ended with a callup to Boston, where he slashed .295/.359/.476 in 34 games. He even homered in Game 1 of the ALDS. Though he lacks Moncada’s pure speed, Benintendi does have an elite hit tool that should allow him to bat .300 and develop into a 20/20 threat, which, like Moncada, will make him a future All-Star.

#3 - Rafael Devers (3B)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 20

ETA: 2018

Along with Cubs’ OF Eloy Jimenez, Devers has emerged as one of the elite hitters from the 2013 international class. Playing the entire 2016 season as a 19-year-old at High-A Salem, Devers slashed .282/.335/.443 with 32 doubles, 11 homers, and a surprising 18 steals--and this after a very slow start. His sweet, left-handed swing generates plus power to all fields and, coupled with a plus hit-tool, makes him the best middle-of-the-order fantasy prospect in Boston’s system. With Yoan Moncada likely to man third base for the foreseeable future, Devers appears ticketed for a move across the diamond to first base. His bat can handle the move and will carry him to the majors, where it is easy to envision him wearing out the Green Monster with opposite-field doubles as he learns to tap into the raw power that will make him a 30-homer threat.

Tier 2 - The Top 100 Candidates

These prospects are expected to be in the discussion for the top 100 prospects overall, and are expected to be starting options in all formats.

#4 - Jason Groome (LHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 18

ETA: 2019

Arguably the top talent in the 2016 draft, Groome fell to Boston at pick #12 overall due primarily to concerns over his makeup. As concerns go, that’s a pretty big one for a young pitcher. On the other hand, no one doubts Groome’s physical tools. At 6’6”-220, with a fastball that sits in the low-90s, an advanced curveball, and a developing changeup, Groome is not the sort of young pitcher who grows on trees. His elite talent was too much for the Red Sox to overlook. Furthermore, he has time on his side, as he did not turn 18 until late August. The Red Sox are not shy about challenging their best teenaged pitchers--think Anderson Espinoza (pre-trade) and Roniel Raudes (see below)--so there’s a good chance Groome could open 2017 at Low-A Greenville.

#5 - Michael Kopech (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 20

ETA: 2018

Kopech’s brief career already includes a 50-game suspension for a banned stimulant and a broken hand due to a spring-training fight with a teammate, so there’s a knucklehead factor here. There’s also jaw-dropping talent. In fact, it’s difficult to say what should have fantasy players more excited, Kopech’s fastball-slider combo or his eye-popping numbers at High-A Salem. His fastball sits high-90s and touched an incredible 105 MPH in one start, and his hard slider is becoming a wipeout pitch. At Salem in 2016 he finished 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 82 strikeouts in only 52 innings. One of the best arms in baseball, Kopech has the potential to become a fantasy stud if he can avoid the judgment-related hiccups that so far have slowed his development a bit.

Tier 3 - The Next Group of Starters

These prospects would likely slot into the 100-200 range on an overall ranking list, and would be starters in mid-depth formats, like 12 and 14 team leagues.

#6 - Luis Alexander Basabe (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 20

ETA: 2018

In 2016 Basabe had a very good season at Low-A Greenville, slashing .258/.325/.447 as a 19-year-old. While the average is a bit low and the strikeouts (116 in 105 games) are a bit high, it’s Basabe’s power-speed combo that gives him the potential to develop into an outstanding fantasy player. On the strength of an impressive second half, which included a short stint at High-A Salem, Basabe finished with 26 doubles, 9 triples, 12 homers, and 25 steals. The only question at the moment is where, if at all, he might fit into Boston’s loaded outfield. For now, he should open 2017 at Salem with a chance to reach Pawtucket or even Fenway by September.

Tier 4 - Single League and Deep Format Plays

These prospects would likely slot into the 200-300 range on a ranking list, and would have the most value to mixed leagues with 16+ teams and single-league formats with 12+ teams.

#7 - Sam Travis (1B)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 23

ETA: 2017

A second-round pick in 2014, Travis has moved quickly through the Red Sox system and likely would have reached Fenway in 2016 were it not for a season-ending ACL injury he suffered in late May. The 23-year-old first baseman has the hit tool to excel at the highest level. In 2015 he slashed .307/.381/.452 across High-A and Double-A. As a first baseman, he will need to generate more power to become a major-league regular and legitimate fantasy player. There’s also the question of where he fits in Boston’s future plans. A trade could be helpful.

#8 - Roniel Raudes (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 19

ETA: 2019

Raudes entered 2016 as one of the more unheralded players in Boston’s low minors, but an aggressive assignment to Low-A Greenville opened some eyes, and an excellent performance from the 18-year-old raised his stock even more. In 2016 he finished 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA and 104 strikeouts with only 23 walks in 113.1 IP. With above-average control and a solid three-pitch mix, he shows an advanced feel for his craft--perhaps the most advanced in the entire system. He will need to add muscle to a young, lanky frame, which should provide an uptick in fastball velocity--he currently sits 89-91. Assuming physical maturity, he has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter, for his development as a pitcher is well ahead of schedule.

#9 - Mauricio Dubon (SS)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 22

ETA: 2017

Dubon might become a better baseball player than fantasy player, but he makes our list thanks to an above-average hit-tool and the potential to steal 20-25 bases. In 2016 Dubon split his time evenly between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He slashed a combined .323/.379/.461 with 31 doubles, 9 triples, 6 homers, and 30 steals. The lack of power will turn off some fantasy owners, but it is worth noting that he hit all six homers following his midseason promotion to Double-A. Otherwise, his average and speed should be quite useful at the middle-infield position. Like others on this list, Dubon lacks an obvious place to play once he reaches the majors, which could happen in late 2017. He is, nonetheless, an interesting young player who should not be overlooked.

#10 - Bobby Dalbec (3B)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2019

Boston’s fourth-round pick in 2016, Dalbec opened eyes in the New York-Penn League, where in 34 games he slashed .386/.427/.674 with 7 homers and 33 RBI. He also struck out 33 times, but the potential in his bat is obvious, particularly if he continues to hone what has become a more patient approach. Although he was a very good college pitcher, Boston will develop him as a third baseman, where his raw power will play well. Power is perhaps the scarcest commodity in the modern game, so fantasy owners should pay close attention to Dalbec, whose power bat ranks second to none in the 2016 draft class.