The Boston Red Sox organization is looking wildly different than it did a few days ago, as Mookie Betts and David Price are both Los Angeles Dodgers, while Jeter Downs and Alex Verdugo have made the trip up north. The Boston farm system, long one of the most underwhelming in the league, just got a major shot in the arm after picking up shortstop prospect Jeter Downs in the Betts deal. Downs is at the front of what appears to be an ascending system.
10. C Connor Wong
Wong, acquired in the Betts trade, showed his skill at the dish with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers last season, as he managed to hit .281 with 55 extra-base hits, 82 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. His defensive skill as a catcher needs some fine tuning, but the obvious power and bat control make it obvious why Boston coveted him in trade talks.
9. RHP Tanner Houck
The tall, stringy Houck finally made it to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox last season, but he was used as a reliever more than he was as a starter. No matter when he comes into the game, Houck will flash a mid-90s two-seamer, wicked slider, and electric curveball. That three-pitch mix will serve him well in 2020, when he will likely make his pro debut.
8. RHP Noah Song
Song is currently embroiled in a dispute with the US Navy, as the Naval Academy graduate is seeking to have his mandatory service requirement deferred in order to pitch for the Red Sox. Given his 99 MPH fastball, Red Sox fans are hoping that he'll find a way to push his service back. No matter when he starts his baseball career, his stuff is up there with anyone in the Boston system.
7. OF Gilberto Jimenez
Jimenez was part of Boston's vaunted 2017 international signing class, and he fulfilled every but of hype with the New York-Penn League's Lowell Spinners. Jimenez hit .359 and stole 14 bases in 59 games, showing a tantalizing preview of the speed/contact combo he will lean on in his pro career. It'll be a while before we see him in the majors, but everything we've seen from him so far has led us to believe that he will be a star in the pros.
6. OF Jarren Duran
Duran was simply too good for the Single-A Adv. Salem Red Sox, as he was hitting .387 at the time he was called up to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. While his production tapered off at the next level, Duran showed that his batter's eye, fielding, speed, and contact will all translate as he continued to improve. The 23-year-old appears to be one of the safest bets in the entire system.
5. LHP Jay Groome
Groome was in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but he fell to the Red Sox at No. 12 amid signability concerns. Since then, injuries have limited Groome to just 20 ineffective games and 66 total innings in four seasons. Even with ALL those injuries, his smooth delivery and terrific four-pitch mix is so enticing that the Red Sox will keep giving Groome every opportunity to succeed.
4. 3B Bobby Dalbec
If you're in the market for raw power at the hot corner, Dalbec is your kind of prospect. With 27 home runs last year and 32 the year prior, Dalbec's batting average might not be as high as Jimenez or Duran's marks, but his raw strength is unmatched in Boston's entire system. If he ever learns halfway decent plate discipline, the sky is the limit for this powerful infielder.
3. RHP Bryan Mata
Red Sox fans got a little glimpse of Mata in the 2018 Futures Game, and the best pitcher in Boston's system showed the stuff that has made him a top three prospect. His fastball has plenty of late life, and both his slider and curveball have shown flashes of what could be extremely plus pitches in the MLB. He needs to learn how to keep the ball in the ballpark, but his strikeout stuff is worth nurturing.
2. 1B Triston Casas
Casas shot right to the top of most Red Sox prospects lists when he was drafted, and it is easy to see why. Casas might only be 20 years old, and he's still mired in the lower levels of the minors, but hitting 20 home runs at that age while showcasing the knowledge of the strike zone that he has makes him one of the most coveted prospects in all of baseball. In two or three years, he'll be ready to man first base for a decade.
1. SS/2B Jeter Downs
Downs was always a good hitter with plus defense and speed, but his newfound power stroke that helped him hit 24 home runs has been fascinating to watch develop. Downs has all the necessary ingredients that a five-tool guy needs to have, and he could make the majors in a year or so. Hopefully the expectations of trying to replace Mookie don't hurt Downs' career.