If Baseball America’s latest Red Sox prospect accurately foresees what’s to come, the franchise should be very excited about the future of its infield.
The Red Sox have five potential infielders – all in the top seven – of the team updated top 10 prospect rankings for the 2022 season, which was released Wednesday morning by Baseball America. Their top three prospects could realistically represent Boston’s future infield: Shortstop Marcelo Mayer is the Red Sox’s top-ranked prospect, followed by first baseman Triston Casas and second baseman Nick Yorke.
Mayer was selected No. 4 overall by the Red Sox in the July amateur draft, and the high school shortstop rose to the top of the rankings to replace Casas with the top spot. Mayer, who turns 19 in December, began his professional career in the Florida Complex League shortly after being drafted and was due to start the 2022 season in Single-A.
Casas experienced a breakout season in 2021, helping Team USA win the silver medal at the Olympics before being promoted to Triple-A in September. The soon-to-be 22-year-old powerhitter was due to start 2022 in Worcester with a chance to break into the big leagues by the end of the season. Yorke, the Red Sox’s offensive minor league player of the year in 2021, jumped from No. 8 to No. 3 on the new rankings while his rapid rise continues.
The top 5 in the rankings are rounded off by Jarren Duran as No. 4 and right-handed pitcher Bryan Bello as No. 5. Duran made his big league debut shortly after last season’s All-Star break, but the midfielder had a hard time offensively. and defensively in his short time in Boston before being sent back to Worcester. He will likely start 2022 back in Triple-A, where some more development is needed to become a consistent contributor in the big leagues.
Jeter Downs was ranked No. 6 and Blaze Jordan jumped to No. 7. Bryan Mata reached No. 8 as he continues to retrain after the Tommy John surgery he had in April. The right-handed player may return in the middle of the 2022 season.
Josh Winckowski, part of the return of last winter’s Andrew Benintendi’s trade, was ranked ninth after an impressive 2021 season in which he was promoted to Triple-A for his last two season starts. He produced a 3.94 ERA with 101 strikeouts for 33 walks in 112 innings between Double-A and Triple-A and could make his major league debut in 2022.
Jay Groome rounded out the Red Sox ‘Top 10. The 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft, injuries have derailed the left-handed starter’s development, but he will look to build an entire season up after being promoted to Double-A in September.
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