These prospects are creating buzz in the Red Sox's system

June 24th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Ian Browne’s Red Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

BOSTON – The Red Sox will play their 81st game on Wednesday, marking the halfway point of the regular season.

Down on the farm, the affiliates are also approximately halfway home.

Boston’s Minor League system is drawing its most buzz in over a decade, when stars like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. were carving out spots as can’t-miss prospects for an eventual World Series championship team.

The players creating the most excitement these days? The big three of Marcelo Mayer (Red Sox's No. 1 prospect, No. 11 overall), Roman Anthony (Boston's No. 2 prospect, No. 16 overall) and Kyle Teel (Sox's No. 3 prospect, No. 29 overall), who are playing together at Double-A Portland.

There are many other success stories this season as well, and here is a look at the best individual performers on the farm in the first half.

Overall top player

It doesn’t always happen that the top player in the farm system is performing the best, but that is the case these last three months when it comes to Marcelo Mayer.

The shortstop has avoided the injury bug that robbed him of significant time the last two seasons and is putting his skills on display on a daily basis.

Mayer has played in 63 of 69 games for the Sea Dogs, slashing .309/.373/.482 while compiling 50 runs, 25 doubles, six homers, 34 RBIs and 12 stolen bases (in 14 attempts). Of late, Mayer – the fourth pick in the 2021 Draft – has been on fire, hitting .349 in June.

All the while, the 21-year-old has played outstanding defense, showcasing smooth range and a strong arm.

Considering that Portland is hardly the best environment to hit in, especially in those chilly first couple of months, Mayer’s season is something to feel good about. His numbers should tick up considerably once he gets promoted to Triple-A Worcester, as evidenced by his .890 OPS on the road vs. .826 at home.

For Mayer to be the difference-maker the Red Sox expect he will be at the Major League level, he will need to get better against left-handed pitching. In 55 at-bats against lefties this season, Mayer has a line of .218/.290/.309. Conversely, he has crushed righties to the tune of .335/.396/.531.

Triple-A Worcester

No. 10 prospect Richard Fitts has the potential to turn the trade of Alex Verdugo to the Yankees into a significant win for the Red Sox. While Verdugo will be a free agent at the end of the season, Fitts, the most promising of the three pitchers acquired in the trade, should be with Boston for years.

In 13 games (12 starts) for the WooSox, the righty is 5-2 with a 3.86 ERA. Fitts has logged 60 2/3 innings, walking 24 and striking out 59. Fitts was at his best on May 29, when he had a perfect game through seven innings.

High-A Greenville

Which prospect has taken the biggest leap in Boston’s farm system so far this season? The nod would have to go to No. 30 prospect Kristian Campbell, who will move up many spots in the next Pipeline ranking.

While the second baseman was promoted to Double-A on June 4, his tremendous production for Greenville is enough to make him the Player of the Half for the Drive. In 40 games and 147 at-bats before he got moved to Portland, Campbell slashed .306/.418/.558 with eight homers and 25 RBIs. To this point, Double-A pitchers can’t figure out the right-handed hitter either, who has a glittering line of .431/.526/.692 with three homers in his first 65 at-bats for the SeaDogs.

Single-A Salem

No. 4 prospect Miguel Bleis is the most toolsy prospect the Red Sox have, and he is turning those five tools into sturdy production after a slow start to the season. Bleis had 10 doubles, four homers and 16 steals for Salem before his promotion to Greenville on June 11. In the outfield, he has plus range to go with a tremendous arm.