Prospect Lead Red Sox to World Series Title

Between 2015 to 2017 myworld had the Red Sox minor league system in the top ten of the major leagues. They traded some of those players to acquire Chris Sale (Yoan Moncada) and other prospects for Craig Kimbrel (Manuel Margot). Both those players were critical to the Red Sox winning the World Series last year. They also kept a couple (Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers) that offered significant contributions. With graduation and trades the farm system is not as stacked. They still had two players appear on Top 100 prospect lists last year but the talent drops quite a bit after them. Don’t be shocked if the Red Sox are absent any players in the Top 100 in 2019.

Michael Chavis and Jay Groome are their two players who appeared on Top 100 lists last year. Michael should provide some pop in the infield. He plays the same position as Devers so one of them will have to move. Both of them are not stellar defensive players or run fast enough to play the outfield. An 80 game drug suspension took away the first part of the season for Michael. When he returned he looked solid at the plate, but was limited to just 200 at bats. Michael hopes for a better start to the 2019 season, one that will vault him to the major league lineup.

Jay Groome missed all of the 2018 season because of Tommy John surgery. The 6′6″ lefthander who the Red Sox took in the first round in 2016 was supposed to be pitching in High A ball last year with the possibility of being promoted to AA. That would have put him a year or two from the major league club. That time table his been turned upside down. His fastball sat in the mid-90s and he had good snap to his curveball. With his 6′6″ inch frame the one thing he needed to work on was his command and that would come with repetition he missed to make sure all those moving limbs rotate with consistency. Groome should be ready by mid-season to pitch in the Rookie Leagues for some rehab and start again in Low A.

Tristan Casas was the first round pick in 2018 but he plays the same positions as Devers and Chavis. He also lacks the speed to move to the outfield. Casas played for Team USA that took the gold medal. He shows excellent power, but was unable to show that last year after hurting his thumb limiting him to just five at bats. His arm is strong but at 6′4″ his movements around third are a bit stiff.

Bobby Dalbec at least played a full season slugging 32 homeruns and driving in 109 runs. Unfortunately his best positions are third base and first base. For 2019 they can keep Chavis in AAA and have Dalbec play AA but in 2020 something has to give. The swing and miss is no stranger to Dalbec, who whiffed 176 times in just 129 games last year. The Red Sox will take that if his OPS remains above .900 as it did last year.

In the bullpen the Sox have Darwinzon Hernandez. The Venezuelan signed for a bargain basement price of $7,500 in 2013. The lefty has a fastball that flashes across the plate in the high 90s. He has the requisite three pitches to survive in the rotation, but his command is poor so the best use of his heat with the departures of the Special K’s Kelly and Kimbrel may be in the pen. Last year he threw 5 games in relief in AA after starting 23 games in High A. In 107 innings he allowed just one ball to carry over the fence.

Tanner Houck was a first round pick of the Red Sox in 2017. His fastball can jump up to the high 90s but he had trouble throwing strikes, walking 60 in 119 innings. Myworld looks for pitchers who at least have two whiffs for every walk and Tanner fell short of that. He had a rather pedestrian 4.24 ERA in High A with the opposition hitting him at a .245 clip. Drafted out of Missouri the Red Sox were hoping he would move quickly, but that may not be the case.

Two other starting pitchers who could crack the rotation are Bryan Mata and Mike Shawaryn. The Venezuelan Mata sits in the low 90s and can reach the mid-90s but he has trouble finding the plate. His 58/61 walk to whiff ratio in High A is concerning but the opposition only hit him at a .229 clip. Like Hernandez he could be another pitcher moved to the bullpen. Shawaryn is a Maryland pitcher who lacks overpowering stuff. His slider is his best pitch. He could be ready for the back end of the rotation in 2019 since he started six games at AAA last year.

Josh Ockimey could be ready to play first base for the Red Sox next year. Last year he slugged 20 homeruns, five of them in AAA. His glove makes his best position DH and his speed is border line base clogger. A power bat with lots of whiffs is what you will get from him.

C.J. Chatham had a solid season with the bat last year, hitting .314 at two A levels. Injuries in 2017 prevented the Red Sox from seeing a lot of him. At 6′4″ you would think he could hit for more power but his balls have a tendency to land into the gaps and not over the fences. Despite his height the tools are there to play shortstop.

Antonio Flores ($1.4 million) and Danny Diaz ($1.6 million) are two high priced bonus signings from 2017 out of Venezuela. Flores plays shortstop and had a standout season last year, hitting .340 mainly playing in the Dominican Summer League. Injuries limited him to just 4 at bats when he was promoted to the States. His power is light now but it could develop and the tools are there to play shortstop. Diaz plays infield corner with some big time pop in his bat. That is not a rare trait in the Red Sox farm system at third base. His arm is strong and the quickness is there to play third but nothing makes him stand out from the other corners ahead of him..

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