After posting their worst winning percentage (.400) in 55 years in 2020, the Red Sox returned to the playoffs and came within two victories of the World Series last October. Though their temporary struggles are now forgotten, they helped Boston replenish its system.
Since turning MLB Pipeline's No. 1 farm system in mid-2015 into a World Series championship three years later, the Red Sox have been trying to restock their Minor League talent. Their 2020 performance landed them the No. 4 overall pick -- their highest since 1967 -- and they turned it into shortstop Marcelo Mayer, the Draft's consensus top prospect. All that losing two years ago also led Boston to increase its depth via trading veterans for youngsters, most notably right-handers Josh Winckowski and Connor Seabold.
The strength of the system is infielders, highlighted by Mayer and fellow first-rounders Triston Casas and Nick Yorke. Casas is a potential Rookie of the Year candidate for 2022, when the Red Sox also could get big league contributions from outfielder Jarren Duran and a number of their better pitching prospects.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2021 preseason list to the 2022 preseason list.
Jump: Brandon Walter, LHP (2021: NR | 2022: 9) -- A 26th-round pick as a Delaware redshirt junior, he came back from the pandemic layoff with an improved fastball and slider and continued to pound the strike zone.
Fall: Noah Song, RHP (2021: 14 | 2022: NR) -- He looked like he might become the best mound prospect in the system during his brief foray into pro ball, but he reported to Navy flight school in June 2020 and hasn't pitched since.
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: 65 -- Nick Yorke
Power: 65 -- Triston Casas
Run: 70 -- Jarren Duran (Gilberto Jimenez)
Arm: 70 -- Brainer Bonaci (Ronaldo Hernandez)
Defense: 60 -- Ceddanne Rafaela (Marcelo Mayer, Gilberto Jimenez)
Fastball: 65 -- Bryan Mata
Curveball: 55 -- Jay Groome (Kutter Crawford, Wilkelman Gonzalez)
Slider: 60 -- Brandon Walter (Bryan Mata, Thad Ward, Josh Winckowski)
Changeup: 60 -- Connor Seabold (Brayan Bello)
Control: 55 -- Connor Seabold (Brandon Walter)
How they were built
Draft: 15 | International: 9 | Trade: 6
Breakdown by ETA
2022: 10 | 2023: 7 | 2024: 10 | 2025: 3
Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 2 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 3 | SS: 5 | OF: 6 | RHP: 8 | LHP: 3