BOSTON -- While the Red Sox have had an underperforming season at the Major League level, things are looking bright on the farm.
Boston’s farm system -- which was re-ranked by MLB Pipeline this week -- includes three of MLB’s top 37 prospects.
There are seven new additions to the team’s Top 30 list, including four from this year’s Draft. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has prioritized building the farm system into one of baseball’s best since the day he was hired in 2019 -- and that quest will never stop.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Ceddanne Rafaela, OF (Preseason: 28 | Midseason: 4) -- The ascension of Rafaela from fringe prospect to one of Boston’s best in the course of one season has been amazing to watch. In 2021, Rafaela’s slash line was .251/.205/.424 and he hit 10 homers in 394 at-bats at Low-A Salem. This season? Through games played on Saturday, Rafaela had a line of .305/.354/.551 with 18 homers and 63 RBIs in 390 at-bats -- almost perfectly split between High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland.
Fall: Jeter Downs, SS-2B (Preseason: 7 | Midseason: 26) -- Downs, who joined Alex Verdugo and Minor Leaguer Connor Wong in the trade from the Dodgers for Mookie Betts, has not progressed as the Red Sox had projected, particularly on offense. Downs hit under the Mendoza line (.190) for Triple-A Worcester last season and is in danger of doing so again, carrying a .199 average into play on Aug. 14. Due to injuries in Boston this season, Downs got called up and even played for a while. He hit .154 with a homer and four RBIs in 41 plate appearances.
Though the Red Sox just grabbed Eric Hosmer in a salary dump by the Padres, Casas is their future at first base. The 2018 first-round pick from a Florida high school isn't having a monster year (.255/.361/.475, nine homers in 56 games), but he's also a 22-year-old in Triple-A and combines prodigious power potential with a disciplined approach.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Marcelo Mayer (Nick Yorke)
Power: 65 -- Triston Casas
Run: 60 -- Ceddanne Rafaela
Arm: 70 -- Brainer Bonaci
Field: 60 -- Ceddanne Rafaela (Marcelo Mayer)
Fastball: 70 -- Frank German (Luis Perales)
Curveball: 55 -- Luis Perales (Wikelman Gonzalez, Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz)
Slider: 60 -- Brandon Walter (Bryan Mata, Thad Ward)
Changeup: 60 -- Connor Seabold (Brayan Bello)
Control: 60 -- Brandon Walter