The Red Sox haven’t moved any of their top nominees as of this year’s trading deadline, but they’re all on the hunt for two prospect rankings from two major media outlets.
Marcelo Mayer still retained his title as the Red Sox’s highest-ranked pick in both rankings, a claim he’s held since the team picked him 4th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft. However, he had to accept a slight deficit in the overall ranking of both publications.
Baseball America ranked Mayer No. 16 overall in baseball, falling from No. 8. MLB Pipeline ranked Mayer 11th in its recently released midseason rankings, down two spots from where the season started.
Mayer started the season at High-A before being called up to Double-A Portland in late May, where he struggled a bit with the plate. The shortstop bats just .189 with a .609 OPS, along with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 43 games. However, he is struggling with a shoulder injury that recently put him on the injured list after a 21-1 defeat.
While Mayer is generally the top pick in the Red Sox system, most evaluators see Roman Anthony as the biggest mover. The 2022 draft pick not only made it into the top 100 prospective list, but has also climbed into the top half of it.
Baseball America ranked Anthony 20th overall, up 15 places from the last ranking. Meanwhile, MLB Pipeline ranked Anthony 37th overall after not including him in the preseason rankings.
The 19-year-old outfielder has impressed many with his shots at high-A balls. He bats .284 with an OPS of 1,049, along with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs at this level this season.
“His combination of punching speed, strength and the leverage in his still projectable 6ft 3 body give Anthony well above average raw power,” MLB Pipeline wrote in his profile by Anthony. “He’s bolstered his left-handed swing and toned down his aggressive approach without sacrificing his ability to deal damage, and he walked more than he punched in his 20-game pro debut.”
“He has a similar offensive profile to fellow Stoneman Douglas and 2007 Red Sox sixth-rounder Anthony Rizzo at the same stage in their careers, although Anthony is a far better athlete.”
2023 Red Sox first-round pick Kyle Teel also made his debut in both judges’ top 100 rankings. Baseball America ranked Teel the 95th best candidate in its rankings, while MLB Pipeline ranked him 88th.
The catcher has starred in Virginia for the last few years, hitting 13 homers with a 1,130 OPS that helped him become one of the top picks in the 2023 draft class. The left-hander has only played five games in the Red Sox system on Saturday, but he performed well, hitting a .529 home run and a 1.365 OPS between rookie-ball and high-A-ball.
What Baseball America and MLB Pipeline did not agree on was the placement of the Red Sox’s two most respected outfield candidates. Miguel Bleis was ranked the 82nd best young player in baseball by Baseball America, while MLB Pipeline ranked Ceddanne Rafaela the 78th best young player in baseball in its ranking.
The 19-year-old Bleis has struggled with Low-A Salem this year after excelling in rookie ball last season, hitting just .230 with an OPS of .607. His season ended prematurely, however, as he suffered a left shoulder subluxation that required surgery.
Meanwhile, Rafaela has proven to be one of the most exciting candidates in the Red Sox system. The 22-year-old hits .317 with an OPS of 1.025 and has hit 12 homers and 33 RBIs in his first 35 games with Triple-A Worcester. He recently hit a five-game home run streak, proving his strength. Earlier this year, Rafaela showed his pace at Double-A Portland when he recorded 30 stolen bases in 60 games.
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