3 Red Sox prospects in MLB Pipeline's new Top 40

January 29th, 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.

A glance at MLB Pipeline’s recently released preseason Top 100 list projects a bright future for the Red Sox. Three of Boston’s prospects are in the Top 40. Only five teams have more than the four prospects the Red Sox have in the Top 100. In addition, the 249 prospect points that MLB Pipeline tallied for Boston is seventh best in the Majors.

Here is a closer look at the three Red Sox prospects who are generating so much excitement.

2024 preseason ranking:
Ranking at end of ’23 season: 11

The skinny: Mayer dropped four spots mainly due to durability issues the last two seasons. However, the Red Sox feel just as good about his future as they did when they took him with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 Draft. The left shoulder impingement that held Mayer to 78 games and 314 at-bats last season appears to be a thing of the past after the 21-year-old had a productive offseason. And if you’re worried about the way Mayer’s offensive numbers dipped after his promotion to Double-A Portland, that seemed to be more a product of already playing hurt prior to that with High-A Greenville.

A quote: “I think a lot of that's on me not really knowing my body and not knowing how to handle a full season or communicate with my trainers in a way,” Mayer said. “I'm looking forward now. It's in the past. My shoulder's in a great spot.”

When will he debut? There’s a chance Mayer could make it to Fenway Park by late season if he can stay healthy. Look for Mayer to be promoted to Triple-A Worcester by May or June. It’s hard to imagine Mayer will debut for the Red Sox any later than 2025.

2024 preseason ranking:
Ranking at end of ’23 season: 35

The skinny: The gifted 19-year-old has roared through the Red Sox’s farm system in the last year. Consider that he wasn’t even in MLB’s preseason Top 100 a year ago. The left-handed hitter has handled every challenge thrown his way, including a 10-game cameo at Double-A at the end of last season which saw him slash .343/.477/.543 with four doubles and one homer in 35 at-bats. Anthony can hit for average and power while also playing solid defense and showing good instincts on the bases. Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow hasn’t been shy in mentioning that Anthony, Mayer and catcher Kyle Teel could be cornerstones in Boston.

A quote: "It's an honor to be counted on and it's an honor to be mentioned. I think that you always got to take that as a positive, obviously,” Anthony said. “But none of us have gotten there yet. We've got a lot of work to do and a long ways to go before we're there.”

When will he debut? Given the lack of projectable power in Boston's outfield, it’s possible Anthony will join the Red Sox as early as the 2024 stretch run. Given that he went right from high school to pro ball when the Sox took him in the ’22 Draft, it is more likely Anthony will get his first callup in ’25.

2024 preseason ranking:
Ranking at end of ’23 season: 82

The skinny: The top-rated catcher in the 2023 Draft benefited from the high-level environment he played in at the University of Virginia. The Red Sox were impressed enough to vault Teel up to Double-A less than two months after they took him with the 14th pick in the Draft. Imagine the strides Teel could make in Spring Training when he gets the chance to work with Red Sox coach and former captain Jason Varitek? While Varitek will work with Teel on his defense, the left-handed hitter has offensive ability that’s hard to find with catchers. Teel goes to all fields, and scouts think he will hit his share of doubles and homers.

A quote: "I would say Virginia definitely prepared me in regards to all aspects of catching and offensively,” Teel said. “And also pitch calling to scouting reports. These are all things I've done in the past at Virginia and that experience, I think, is the reason why it is going the way it is for me.”

When will he debut? In 2016, Andrew Benintendi was promoted to the Majors just 13 months after the Red Sox made him the No. 7 pick in the 2015 Draft. Could Teel have a similarly accelerated timeline? There’s definitely a chance. Teel isn’t a finished product in terms of development, but he might not have that far to go. He should be catching at Triple-A Worcester by midseason at the latest.