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  1. 1. Marcelo Mayer | SS
    Marcelo Mayer
    Born: Dec 12, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 188
    Signed By: J.J. Altobelli.
    Minors: .333/.386/.507 | 1 HR | 4 SB | 75 AB

    BA Grade: 65\Very High

    Track Record: Eastlake High School featured an eventual first-rounder in 2019 in third baseman Keoni Cavaco, but whenever Red Sox area scout J.J. Altobelli went to see Cavaco, he invariably started raving about sophomore shortstop Marcelo Mayer. Based on his performance as an underclassman as well as a summer with Team USA’s 18U National team in 2019, Mayer entered last spring as one of the top players in the draft class and never disappointed, batting .397/.555/.886 with 14 home runs, 31 walks, and eight strikeouts against top competition in San Diego County while showing ease and fluidity both in the batter’s box and at shortstop. He was viewed as a candidate to first overall in the 2021 draft, and the Red Sox felt the chances he’d get to them were remote. But when he remained available with the Sox in possession of the No. 4 pick, their highest in selection in more than 50 years, the team was elated and quickly selected him. Mayer signed for $6,664,000 to forgo a Southern California commitment and immediately stood out as the top prospect in the Florida Complex League in his pro debut, making the game look easy on both sides of the ball.

    Scouting Report: Mayer is a natural, graceful player with an advanced feel for the strike zone and the ability to manipulate the barrel with a sweet, lefthanded swing. His swing is mechanically sound and allows him to take a versatile offensive approach, alternately drilling line drives and turning on pitches to get to power. He will swing and miss at times, but with his strong plate discipline and good swing decisions, he should draw enough walks to post high on-base percentages while hitting for power. Though Mayer has below-average speed, his excellent instincts, smooth actions, sure hands, and plus arm strength all suggest a potential defensive standout at shortstop. He may outgrow the position, although his size and lefthanded swing drawing frequent comparisons to Corey Seager, who has remained a shortstop throughout his major league career. Mayer never lifted weights in high school, creating both the possibility of additional power as well as the risk that he gets too big as he adds strength to his lean frame and has to move off of shortstop. If he does, the additional power potential at third base, where he would project as a potentially elite defender, would maintain his status as a standout player.

    The Future: Mayer’s defense at a premium position and sound swing and approach give him an easy projection of at least an above-average regular. His ultimate ceiling will be determined by whether he stays at shortstop or outgrows it, as well as how his power develops in pro ball. Still, few who scouted him as an amateur would be surprised if he emerges as an all-star and Red Sox franchise cornerstone.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 65. Power: 55. Speed: 40. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  2. 2. Triston Casas | 1B
    Triston Casas
    Born: Jan 15, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 245
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Plantation, Fla., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Willie Romay.
    Minors: .248/.359/.457 | 6 HR | 0 SB | 129 AB

    BA Grade: 60/Medium

    Track Record: Casas has stood out for his immense raw power and mature, adaptable approach since his amateur days and was drafted 26th overall by the Red Sox in 2019 . He held his own as one of the youngest players at every level of the minors and broke out with a banner year in 2021. Casas bounced between Double-A, Triple-A, and playing for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics and performed at every stop. He posted an .877 OPS at the highest levels of the minors during a disjointed year and led Team USA with three home runs and eight RBIs in Tokyo, earning raves from manager Mike Scioscia and other Team USA veterans.

    Scouting Report: Casas is a massive presence in the batter’s box at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and possesses the plus-plus raw power expected from someone of his stature. While he occasionally sells out for power early in counts, he prides himself on being a well-rounded hitter who chokes up, spreads out his stance, and uses the whole field with two strikes. While his hit-over-power approach has impressed, many evaluators believe he’ll ultimately focus more on driving the ball in the air, with middle-of-the-order power numbers to follow. Casas should be able to make that shift given his professorial understanding of his swing and still projects to be an above-average hitter. A former third baseman, Casas has a strong arm, soft hands and solid footwork at first base, where his size makes him an inviting target.

    The Future: Casas will begin 2022 back in Triple-A and could reach the majors during the season. If his power develops as expected, he’s a potential all-star first baseman who can anchor the lineup.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 Power: 65. Speed: 40. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  3. 3. Nick Yorke | 2B
    Nick Yorke
    Born: Apr 2, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--San Jose, Calif., 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Josh Labandeira.
    Minors: .250/.331/.379 | 4 HR | 5 SB | 124 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: Most teams considered Yorke a potential second- or third-round pick in 2020, but the Red Sox went above industry consensus and made Yorke the surprise first-round pick of the draft when they took him 17th overall. Yorke entered his pro debut intent on proving doubters wrong and largely accomplished that mission. After a slow start, he caught fire during the summer to win the Low-A East batting title (.323) and OPS crown (.913) before receiving a late promotion to High-A Greenville.

    Scouting Report: Yorke’s quick, compact swing and excellent barrel control permits him the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields. He complements those physical gifts with excellent pitch recognition and plate discipline to earn consensus projections as a future plus hitter. While Yorke showed gap power early, he adjusted to create space with his body to drive the ball in the air to his pull side down the stretch, resulting in 11 homers in his final 35 games. While few doubt Yorke will hit, his defensive outlook is murkier. His fringe-average speed, which results in some difficulty making plays to his right, and long arm stroke create questions about his ability to stick at second base despite solid hands and average pure arm strength. If he can’t stay at second, he’s likely to land in left field.

    The Future: Yorke’s performance suggests a player who may be one of the best pure hitters in the minors. He profiles as a top of the order hitter and will see the upper levels of the minors in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 70. Power: 50. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.

  4. 4. Brayan Bello | RHP
    Brayan Bello
    Born: May 17, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Manny Nanita, Todd Claus, and Rollie Pino.
    Minors: 5-2 | 1.82 ERA | 52 SO | 13 BB | 40 IP

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Bello signed with the Red Sox for just $28,000 as a slender 17-year-old with a whippy arm during the 2016 international signing period. He progressively filled out as he matured and made his largest strength gains during the 2020 coronavirus shutdown, resulting in a significant uptick in velocity and stuff once minor league play resumed in 2021. Armed with newfound velocity, Bello’s strikeout rate jumped more than 10% as he rose from High-A to Double-A and earned a selection to the Futures Game.

    Scouting Report: Bello’s athleticism produces a repeatable delivery that allows him to consistently attack the strike zone with his three-pitch mix. His fastball velocity improved from the low-90s before the shutdown to now sitting comfortably in the mid-90s and touching 98 mph. Bello’s long arm path allows hitters to get a good read on his fastball, however, and its lack of movement means he has to command it to ensure its effectiveness. When he locates his fastball up in the zone, his changeup falls off of it as a plus offering, while his improving slider increasingly projects to be an above-average offering. He is in the process of developing a two-seamer to create a more complete pitch mix. Bello pounds the strike zone with above-average control and has limited his walks at every level.

    The Future: Bello is likely to progress to Triple-A during the 2022 season and could emerge as a big-league rotation option by the end of the year. He has mid-rotation potential as long as he maintains his velocity jump and improves his fastball command.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 60. Control: 50

  5. 5. Jarren Duran | CF
    Jarren Duran
    Born: Sep 5, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Long Beach State, 2018 (7th round).
    Signed By: Justin Horowitz.
    Minors: .330/.402/.540 | 3 HR | 10 SB | 100 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: A line drive-hitting second baseman in college, Duran was drafted by the Red Sox in the seventh round in 2018 with the intention of moving him to the outfield. After a strong full-season debut that resulted in a Futures Game appearance, Duran remade his swing to generate more power at the alternate training site in 2020 and posted dazzling results that led to his first MLB callup last year. But after a solid start that included his first major league home run, his inability to handle fastballs at the top of the zone led to 35.7% strikeout rate and resulted in a return to the minors.

    Scouting Report: Duran’s swing changes have transformed him from a slap hitter who used his double-plus speed to wreak havoc on the basepaths into a hitter who tries to launch balls for home runs. He incorporated a sizable leg lift and stride while lowering his hands to get in a better position to drive the ball in the air, which gave him increased power at Triple-A but made him vulnerable to elevated fastballs in the majors. He has tinkered extensively with his swing and is still trying to find the right balance between hitting for average and power, but he has a chance to be average at both. Duran is a blur at full speed, creating impact as a baserunner and allowing him to out-run indirect routes in center field. He is still learning the position but should emerge as a capable ball-tracker with a light arm.

    The Future: Duran will likely open 2022 back in Triple-A. Despite his initial struggles, he has demonstrated the athleticism and aptitude to adjust and should re-emerge as the Red Sox’s center fielder of the future.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 70. Fielding: 50. Arm: 40

  6. 6. Brandon Walter | LHP
    Brandon Walter
    Born: Sep 8, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Reed Gragnani
    Minors: 1-2 | 3.50 ERA | 49 SO | 3 BB | 36 IP

    BA Grade: 55/High

    May Update: May Update: After a breakout 2021, Walter has taken further steps forward in 2022, as he’s dominated the Double-A Eastern League competition. His three-pitch mix comprised of a low-90s sinking fastball, a sweepy low-80s slider and a plus changeup work together in harmony to give Walter a variety of ways to generate outs. His strike-throwing ability early this season has been surgical as he didn’t walk a batter the first month of the season. A late bloomer due to injuries and the missed minor league season in 2020, this is just Walter’s second full professional season, and he’s performing well in his first taste of the upper minors. Walter could debut with the Red Sox later this summer, where his pair of bat-missing secondaries, groundball-driving sinker and strike-throwing ability could fit into a variety of roles.

    Track Record: Walter had Tommy John surgery in his sophomore year at Delaware in 2017 and missed the entire 2018 season while rehabbing, but showed enough feel for pitching during his return as a redshirt junior to convince the Sox to take him as a day three selection. He was diligent in his work during the 2020 shutdown and returned as a different pitcher, with major gains in his entire arsenal that produced the most unexpected leap in the Sox system in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Walter represents an unusual case: A pitcher whose age suggests reservations about his impressive numbers at two levels of Class A—particularly given that the Sox had him open the year out of the bullpen. But his stuff and pitch data suggest reason to believe in a big ceiling, making him a popular target in trade talks. The lefty throws from a low three-quarters arm slot and is a database-breaker for hitters, particularly now that his sinker sits at 93-95 mph with a sweeping slider and changeup that plays against both righties and lefties. His 5.4% walk rate is more indicative of Walter’s ability to induce chases than control. He’ll need to throw more strikes to stay in the rotation, but his raw stuff is elite.

    The Future: Walter likely will be pushed to Double-A to open 2022, and the upper levels will give a greater indication of whether he’s a late-blooming starter or if 2021 was a mirage. If his stuff holds and he harnesses his pitches in the zone, he may challenge the Sox to put him on an aggressive development track.

  7. 7. Jeter Downs | 2B
    Jeter Downs
    Born: Jul 27, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Miami Gardens, Fla., 2017 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Hector Otero (Reds).
    Minors: .220/.331/.433 | 7 HR | 7 SB | 127 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Originally drafted by the Reds in 2017, Downs was traded to the Dodgers in the deal for Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp after the 2018 season and had a standout campaign in his lone year in the Dodgers’ system, leading the Red Sox to acquire him in the trade that sent Mookie Betts to Los Angeles. Downs spent all of 2020 at the Red Sox’s alternate training site and made his highly-anticipated organizational debut in 2021, but he was overmatched for much of the season in Triple-A. His low point came during a shocking 52-game stretch from July through mid-September in which his approach unraveled completely and he hit .117/.207/.211.

    Scouting Report: At his best, Downs has an efficient, righthanded swing that allows him to let pitches travel deep. He drives balls hard from left-center to right-center with above-average power when he connects, but he is prone to stretches of poor pitch selection and giving away at-bats. He started pressing in 2021 and made poor swing decisions that led to both an alarming number swings and misses and an inordinate amount of weak contact. While Downs flashes the traits of an average hitter, the lack of consistency in his approach has yielded a career .248 batting average in the minors. Defensively, Downs is an average defender at second base with decent hands and an average arm and can play shortstop in a pinch. He has just average speed but is a dangerous base-stealer with his advanced reads and instincts.

    The Future: Downs will get a do-over in Triple-A in 2022. He is young enough to re-establish himself as a potential everyday middle infielder.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  8. 8. Blaze Jordan | 1B/3B
    Blaze Jordan
    Born: Dec 19, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Southaven, Miss., 2020 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Danny Watkins.
    Minors: .248/.300/.388 | 3 HR | 1 SB | 129 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Jordan’s power made him a YouTube sensation as a 13-year-old, but there were enough reservations about his all-or-nothing approach and future position to cause him to fall to the third round of the 2020 draft. The Red Sox stopped his slide there and signed him away from Mississippi State for an overslot $1.75 million bonus. Jordan delivered a positive early return on that investment in his pro debut, batting .362/.408/.667 with 12 extra-base hits in 19 games in the Florida Complex League to earn a quick promotion to Low-A Salem.

    Scouting Report: Jordan’s plus-plus power is a show-stopper. He hits towering home runs to all fields and gets to his power even with a disconnect in his upper and lower halves that should get smoothed out over time. Though he lacks any real semblance of an approach, he sees the ball well, allowing him to remain more controlled in the batter’s box than might be expected. Jordan projects to be no more than a fringe-average hitter, but his pitch recognition gives him the foundation to get to his power enough to be an everyday player. Defensively, Jordan is a third baseman now but is likely to move to first base with his strong, physical frame at a young age. The Red Sox believe he can continue developing at third, which he does have the plus arm strength for.

    The Future: Jordan is set to open 2022 in Low-A and is likely to move deliberately through the system. If everything clicks, he could emerge as a player with considerable power and run-production capabilities in the bottom half of the order.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60

  9. 9. Chris Murphy | LHP
    Chris Murphy
    Born: Jun 5, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: San Diego, 2019 (6th round).
    Signed By: J.J. Altobelli.
    Minors: 1-2 | 1.95 ERA | 47 SO | 15 BB | 37 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: The Sox took Murphy in the sixth round of the 2019 draft believing that he had swing-and-miss weapons and better command than his 12% walk rate at San Diego suggested. The lefthander has largely rewarded that view, emerging as a steady performer who at times dominated after his late-season promotion to Double-A in 2021. He went 8-5 with a 4.62 ERA between High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland in 2021, with a 30.2% strikeout rate on the year that included a 34.1% mark in Portland.

    Scouting Report: Murphy leans hard on a 92-94 mph fastball—occasionally running it up to 96-97—that hitters struggle to pick up at the top of the zone, but sometimes the pitch loses ride and becomes vulnerable to hard contact, contributing to the 21 homers allowed in just over 100 innings. His best secondary offering is an above-average changeup that dives away from righties for swings and misses, while he features a curveball that shows average potential. His slider is currently a below-average offering, and may ultimately be reshaped into a cutter. Sox officials rave about his competitiveness, believing that his makeup will allow him to work past transitional bumps in the big leagues, and that his openness to pitch design work will help him find the arsenal he needs to be effective.

    The Future: Murphy’s dominance against lefties gives him a solid reliever floor, but so long as he throws enough strikes, Murphy’s four-pitch mix gives him a chance to emerge by late 2022 or early 2023 as rotation depth with a No. 4 starter’s ceiling.

  10. 10. Jay Groome | LHP
    Jay Groome
    Born: Aug 23, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 250
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Barnegat, N.J., 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ray Fagnant.
    Minors: 1-1 | 3.45 ERA | 29 SO | 12 BB | 32 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Groome was considered arguably the top high school pitcher in the country when the Red Sox drafted him 12th overall in 2016, but his career has been sidetracked by injuries. Groome missed all of 2018 and most of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery and saw his full-season return delayed when the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 minor league season. He finally had a full, healthy season in 2021 and was inconsistent across outings but still rose to Double-A Portland.

    Scouting Report: Groome’s best stuff never fully came back following surgery, but his arsenal remains plenty potent. His fastball sits at 90-94 mph and touches 95-96 and he commands it to all quadrants of the strike zone. Though Groome’s fastball lacks elite spin rates, hitters don’t seem to pick it up, resulting in late swings and swings and misses. His formerly elite curveball has not regained its bite since surgery but still works as an average offering. He’s developed a slider that flashes above-average and an average changeup he can use below the zone. Groome has ballooned from 220 to 250 pounds, and his conditioning and stamina are issues. He often dominates early in outings only to fall apart after a few innings. He has reverse splits and dominates righthanded hitters while struggling against lefties.

    The Future: The visions of Groome as a top-of-the-rotation starter have faded, but getting through a healthy 2021 represented a step forward. He could still emerge as either a back-of-the-rotation starter or a late-inning reliever if he remains healthy.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 55.

  11. 11. Bryan Mata | RHP
    Bryan Mata
    Born: May 3, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: Alex Requena/Eddie Romero.

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Mata signed late in the 2015-16 international signing period for a $25,000 bonus but quickly shed his low profile when size and strength gains helped him develop the most powerful arsenal in the Red Sox’s system. After a strong 2019 campaign, he showed an electric pitch mix at the alternate training site in 2020 to put himself in position to be a potential contributor in 2021. Instead, he suffered a forearm injury that required Tommy John surgery in April and wiped out his first year on the 40-man roster.

    Scouting Report: Mata featured huge stuff prior to surgery, starting with a mid-to upper-90s two-seamer and nasty, plus slider that darts out of the same tunnel. Both produced ground balls and swings-and-misses and largely kept batters in check on their own. Mata also has a four-seamer, average changeup and below-average but usable curveball at his disposal, allowing him to work to all quadrants of the strike zone. The movement he generates on his pitches can make it difficult for him to keep them in the strike zone, but he was making his delivery more compact to address his below-average control before he got hurt. While Mata has a sturdy starter’s build and the pitch mix to stay in the rotation, he has yet to demonstrate he can stay healthy through a full season.

    The Future: Mata will spend most of 2022 rehabbing and could return to an affiliate by mid-year. If his stuff comes back, he could emerge as a late-inning reliever or a carefully managed starter by 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 40. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 40.

  12. 12. Josh Winckowski | RHP
    Josh Winckowski
    Born: Jun 28, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 202
    Drafted/Signed: HS—Estero, Fla., 2016 (15th round).
    Signed By: Matt O’Brien (Blue Jays).
    Minors: 1-0 | 2.10 ERA | 28 SO | 6 BB | 26 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: Winckowski was an unheralded 15th-round pick of the Blue Jays out of Estero (Fla.) High in 2016 and spent his first four pro seasons in the low minors throwing strikes with a low-90s fastball and slider. His velocity jumped into the mid-90s at 2020 instructional and he showed improved action on his changeup, leading teams to target him in trades. Though Wincowski went unpicked in the Rule 5 draft, the Mets acquired him in the deal for Steven Matz prior to the 2021 season and the Red Sox acquired him two weeks later in the three-team that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals.

    Scouting Report: Winckowski attacks the strike zone with a well-rounded repertoire. His above-average four-seam fastball sits 94-96 mph at times and gets swings and misses in the strike zone. He sometimes works below that velocity but is still effective when he does. He also uses a two-seam fastball in the low-90s to create different movement profiles and keep batters guessing. Winckowski’s average slider and changeup both come in firm in the mid-80s and feature enough movement to spread the zone to both his arm and glove sides. He’ll reshape the slider into a cutter to vary looks. Winckowski throws all his pitches for strikes with above-average control and is extremely efficient, allowing him to work deep into starts despite the lack of an overpowering, putaway pitch.

    The Future: Winckowski is a lock to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason and is likely to make his big league debut in 2022. He may break in as a reliever but has the potential to be a solid No. 4 or 5 starter.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 55.

  13. 13. Wilkelman Gonzalez | RHP
    Wilkelman Gonzalez
    Born: Mar 25, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 167
    Signed By: Wilder Lobo/Rollie Pino
    Minors: 1-1 | 3.16 ERA | 31 SO | 16 BB | 26 IP

    BA Grade ""Track record: When the Sox scouted Gonzalez in Venezuela, they saw a slender pitcher with a mid-80s fastball, feel for a changeup, the ability to spin a curveball and plenty of projection as he filled out. After a respectable DSL debut in 2019, he used the shutdown to build strength and impressed in instructs in 2020 when he sat in the low 90s and topped out at 95. In 2021, he had a strong showing in the States, forging a 2.91 ERA with a 30.6% strikeout rate and 7.4% walk rate while logging 52.2 innings in the Florida Complex League and with Low-A Salem.

    Scouting Report: Gonzalez features an easy, compact delivery that makes his fastball—which averages 93-94 mph and tops out at 97—appear to jump on hitters. He repeats his mechanics well and attacks the strike zone with his three-pitch mix. His changeup is currently his best secondary pitch and has plus potential, while his curveball remains inconsistent but flashes depth and sweep to give it above-average projection.

    The Future: Gonzalez shows the potential for three above-average or better pitches, giving him mid-rotation potential if he can remain healthy and build upon his considerable development of the last two years.""

  14. 14. Matthew Lugo | SS
    Matthew Lugo
    Born: May 9, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Manati, P.R., 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Edgar Perez.
    Minors: .305/.366/.547 | 5 HR | 6 SB | 128 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track record: The Red Sox drafted Lugo in 2019 and signed him for $1.1 million with the hope that he could develop as a solid defensive middle infielder—likely a second baseman—with above-average pop. Early in his pro career, his defense advanced ahead of expectations while his bat came around slowly. But after a rusty beginning to the 2021 season, Lugo closed his first full season of pro ball with a .303/.383/.429 line in his final 61 games in Low-A Salem.

    Scouting Report: Lugo lets the ball travel and has a direct-to-the-ball swing that represents both a strength and limitation. On one hand, at a young age, he shows good pitch recognition that allows him to draw walks and limits his strikeouts. On the other hand, the approach results in a lot of ground balls and hinders his ability to take advantage of his considerable strength. Even so, his ability to hit for average and get on base down the stretch in 2021 suggested a player who is making gains, with the possibility that power (beyond the four homers and 28 extra-base hits he had in 105 games) will follow. Defensively, Lugo showed fluidity and good arm strength at shortstop that provides hope that he can remain an option at the position, though he has yet to develop the diversity of arm slots that characterizes most who excel at the position. The nephew of Carlos Beltran, Lugo is considered very mature in his work ethic and habits.

    The Future: Given the relatively limited game exposure Lugo received in Puerto Rico, he may follow a level-to-level progression, with an assignment to High-A Greenville for much or all of 2022 likely. If he develops 15-18 home run power, he’s a potential everyday middle infielder.

  15. 15. Kutter Crawford | RHP
    Kutter Crawford
    Born: Apr 1, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 192
    Signed By: Willie Romay.
    Minors: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 2 SO | 0 BB | 4 IP

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Crawford transferred to Florida Gulf Coast after two years at Indian Wells (Fla.) JC and delivered the best season (7-1, 1.71 ERA, 10.6 strikeouts per nine) in the program’s history by anyone outside of Chris Sale. After the Red Sox took him as a 16th-round pick in 2017, Crawford delivered solid performances despite pitching through persistent discomfort as he moved up to Double-A, ultimately having Tommy John surgery at the end of 2019. He returned from the procedure in 2021 having improved his direction to the plate and with increased extension and velocity, allowing his arsenal to play up. He posted a 34.4% strikeout rate with a 5.2% walk rate across Double-A and Triple-A en route to his big league debut.

    Scouting Report: Crawford holds his hands low while easing into the start of his delivery before seemingly jumping at the hitter, resulting in hitters mistiming and swinging through his 93-96 mph fastball at the top of the zone. He also has a cutter (which he sometimes reshapes into a slider) that can get swings and misses. He’s working to develop an average third pitch, with some hope of doing so with a splitter.

    The Future: Crawford represents near-term big league depth. At the least, he is capable of helping as a multi-inning reliever, but if he gets a reliable third pitch, he has a chance to emerge as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

  16. 16. Tyler McDonough | SS
    Tyler McDonough
    Born: Apr 2, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Kirk Frederiksson
    Minors: .242/.349/.469 | 6 HR | 7 SB | 128 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: McDonough returned to school after getting bypassed as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2020, a decision that proved wise when he emerged as one of the more reliable bats in the 2021 draft while hitting .339/.423/.631 with 15 homers in a season where he had a 53-game on-base streak. He hit the ground running in pro ball, hitting .296/.397/.491 while splitting time between second and center in 31 games in the Florida Complex League and Low-A Salem.

    Scouting Report:McDonough showed a full array of skills both in college and pro ball, emerging as the sort of versatile, switch-hitting, multi-positional player now coveted in baseball. He shows solid bat-to-ball skills, strike zone recognition and modest pop from both sides of the plate. His average speed combined with strong instincts suggests a multi-dimensional player who can contribute in center or at second with low-teens power totals and double-digit steals—the sort of utility profile that once suggested a valuable reserve but that now fits a versatile everyday depiction.

    The Future: McDonough could open 2022 in High-A, where he’ll continue his development at both second and center while potentially incorporating more positions down the road. He is perhaps the most polished player drafted by the Red Sox in 2021, and his versatility could help him find a spot in the big leagues at some point in 2023.

  17. 17. Alex Binelas | 1B/3B
    Alex Binelas
    Born: May 26, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 225
    Signed By: Jeff Simpson (Brewers)
    Minors: .245/.401/.518 | 9 HR | 6 SB | 110 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track record: Binelas was one of the top freshmen performers in the country in 2019, but required surgery to repair a broken hamate that ended his sophomore year prior to the pandemic. He struggled badly at the start of 2021, hurting his draft stock. But he rebounded to put up huge numbers—including 15 homers in his final 27 games—to convince his hometown Brewers to take him in the third round. He had a monster pro debut, hitting .309/.390/.583 with nine homers in 36 games (mostly in Low-A). The Brewers shipped Binelas and David Hamilton to the Red Sox along with Jackie Bradley Jr. for Hunter Renfroe in December.

    Scouting Report: Binelas has what Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom called “special power.” Paired at Louisville with Henry Davis, Binelas produced similar exit velocities and launch angles to the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, driving the ball out to all fields and handling fastballs in the bottom half of the strike zone with a fluid swing. That said, the length in his stroke creates swings and misses on elevated pitches and creates questions about his future offensive profile. Defensively, he showed limited range at third but made routine plays. He’s likely to spend most of his time at first but perhaps with cameos at third.

    The Future: Binelas should open 2022 at High-A Greenville, with a chance to advance to Double-A by the end of the season if he can control his strikeout rate. He profiles as a bottom-half-of-the-order power hitter with enough thunder to remain valuable even if he’s limited to first base.

  18. 18. Miguel Bleis | OF
    Miguel Bleis
    Born: Mar 1, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2021.
    Signed By: Eddie Romero/Manny Nanita

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: The Red Sox signed Bleis to a $1.5 million bonus in January 2021 based on his size, athleticism and what assistant general manager Eddie Romero described as “extreme bat life.” His solid performance in the DSL as a 17-year-old in 2021 (.252/.331/.420 with four homers and seven steals) did nothing to dispel that perception.

    Scouting Report:Bleis has the hands and wrists to generate outstanding bat speed and loud contact with atypical frequency at a young age. He often features a fairly significant leg kick in his load, but has the athleticism and balance to make it work. He’ll also adjust his swing and approach from that power-generating load, showing the ability to make mechanical adjustments to create a solid hit tool. In the outfield, he glides to the ball with speed and routes that seem suited to sticking in center.

    The Future: Bleis is among the most exciting prospects in the system. He’ll start progressing in the States in 2022. He’s years away from the big leagues but has the potential to be an everyday player in center.

  19. 19. Brainer Bonaci | SS
    Brainer Bonaci
    Born: Jul 9, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Manny Padron/Junior Vizcaino/Eddie Romero.
    Minors: .287/.420/.362 | 0 HR | 3 SB | 94 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track record: The Red Sox believed that Bonaci had the potential for a well-rounded skill set when they signed him for $290,000, and that view remains intact after the switch-hitter posted a .245/.336/.383 line with 20 extra-base hits and 12 steals in as many attempts over 49 games between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Salem in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Bonaci had good feel for both sides of the ball as an amateur, and then added muscle after signing in 2018. While he lost some of his physical gains during the pandemic (something he planned to address by working out in the offseason in Florida), as an 18-year-old, he showed feel to hit and unusual plate discipline given his age. While he moved from short to second to accommodate Marcelo Mayer, Bonaci adapted well to that position and appears capable of developing at both middle-infield positions, with a chance to develop into average or better power given his feel for the barrel and approach. He runs well and shows good instincts on the bases.""

    The Future: Bonaci seems likely to open 2022 back in Low-A Salem, but with a chance to move up at midseason and remain on a more aggressive development path than peers in his signing class. He has the potential to emerge as an everyday middle infielder with near-average or better tools across the board who, as a switch-hitter, may avoid platoon confinement.

    ""

  20. 20. Thad Ward | RHP
    Thad Ward
    Born: Jan 16, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 192
    Drafted/Signed: Central Florida, 2018 (5th round).
    Signed By: Stephen Hargett.

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track record: The Red Sox saw untapped potential when scouting Ward as a sinker/slider swingman in college. Improved velocity and the development of a cutter in 2019—as well as work on a changeup and four-seamer—gave him a mix that contributed to one of the lowest ERAs (2.14) and highest strikeout rates (29.9%) of any pitcher to throw 100 innings. But after the shutdown of 2020, Ward made just two appearances in Double-A Portland in 2021 before blowing out his elbow in May and having Tommy John surgery in June.""

    Scouting Report: In 2019, Ward worked largely at 93-96 mph with his sinker while showing a slider with plus potential. Both the cutter and slider tunneled well off his sinker. The changeup was a point of emphasis for Ward during the 2020 shutdown. He is a good athlete with a repeatable delivery that created the expectation of control gains—but, of course, the return from Tommy John could set back that anticipated progression.""

    The Future: Ward seemed a candidate to fast-track after 2019, but the lost 2020 season followed by Tommy John surgery altered that trajectory completely and resulted in the Red Sox leaving him off the 40-man (and Rule 5 eligible) after the 2021 campaign. Pre-surgery, he had a No. 4 starter’s ceiling with a middle-innings floor and a potential 2021 or 2022 big league debut. Now, it would represent success for him to return to the mound in games in 2022.""

  21. 21. Connor Seabold | RHP
    Connor Seabold
    Born: Jan 24, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Cal State Fullerton, 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Demerius Pittman (Phillies).
    Minors: 3-1 | 2.45 ERA | 37 SO | 10 BB | 37 IP

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track record: The Red Sox acquired Seabold and Nick Pivetta from the Phillies in August 2020 in exchange for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree, an imbalanced trade that could become more lopsided if Seabold emerges as a big league contributor. Though slowed by elbow inflammation to start the year, Seabold—true to the form he’d shown in the Phillies system—displayed a good feel for a four-pitch mix while going 4-3 with a 3.50 ERA, 22.9% strikeout rate and 8.4% walk rate in 54 Triple-A innings. He also made his big league debut (a three-inning start) in September.

    Scouting Report: At his best, Seabold features a low-90s fastball that tops out in the mid 90s, but his velocity fluctuated (perhaps a reflection of his elbow issue), as he sometimes pitched closer to 88-91 mph. His changeup has swing-and-miss action though when his velocity is down, it becomes easier to spoil or put in play. Seabold also throws a slider and added a curveball to his mix in 2021. While the changeup shows potential as an above-average offering, his strongest attributes are his feel for sequencing and the ability to command his pitches in the zone. Durability and health are concerns for the slight righthander, who has thrown just over 150 professional innings since the start of 2019.""

    The Future: Seabold represents big league-ready, optionable depth for the Red Sox entering the 2022 season, with a chance to emerge at some point as a back-of-the-rotation option if healthy.""

  22. 22. Ceddanne Rafaela | SS
    Ceddanne Rafaela
    Born: Sep 18, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'8" Wt.: 145
    Drafted/Signed: Curacao, 2017.
    Signed By: Dennis Neuman/Rollie Pino/Todd Claus.
    Minors: .309/.348/.584 | 9 HR | 10 SB | 149 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Rafaela has commanded attention since signing for $10,000 as someone whose tools vastly exceed his size. He’s posted solid numbers throughout his career, including a .251/.305/.424 line with 10 homers and 23 steals in 102 games in Low-A Salem in 2021. Yet it was his defense that truly stood out. Rafaela, who’d moved around the infield in 2018-19, emerged as a dazzling outfielder in 2021, grading as easily the best in the system while opening a path as a super-utility player.

    Scouting Report: Rafaela’s unexpected bat speed is particularly apparent against lefties (.267/.304/.627 with four homers). His speed shows up on the bases and in the field, where Rafaela takes excellent routes and jumps on hard-to-reach contact to the outfield. His arm grades as above-average to plus in both the infield and outfield. His bat-to-ball skills are a double-edged sword, as he had a reasonable 18.3% strikeout rate but with a tendency to chase pitches on which he made weak contact. His 5.8% walk rate is concerning, and he’ll need to hone his approach to have a chance to be more than a glove-first reserve.

    The Future: With greater selectivity, Rafaela could become a super-utility player who is a plus defender at every position. If that doesn’t happen, he looks like a valuable reserve who can fill in anywhere.""

  23. 23. Nathan Hickey | C
    Nathan Hickey
    Born: Nov 23, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Dante Riccardi
    Minors: .246/.412/.410 | 2 HR | 0 SB | 61 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Hickey posted a .316/.436/.539 line with nine homers in 60 games as a draft-eligible redshirt freshman in 2021. The Red Sox made a bet on his ability to continue catching, signing him to a $1 million bonus after taking him in the fifth round.

    Scouting Report:Hickey features an unusual offensive profile for a catcher. He knows both the strike zone and his strengths within it, resulting in a 15.3% walk rate in college in 2021 compared to a strikeout rate of 14.2%. He makes plenty of hard contact, especially on pitches down in the zone, with the potential for an above-average hit tool and strength to suggest untapped power potential. He’s far from a sure bet to stay behind the plate, where he lacks agility and technical polish when both receiving and blocking. While he has solid arm strength, he ended his 2021 college season at third base.

    The Future: Hickey may move more deliberately than other college players with his offensive profile given the need to develop behind the plate, but he’ll be given every chance to develop into a bat-first everyday catcher. If he can’t stay at the position, he could fit in a corner.

  24. 24. David Hamilton | SS/2B
    David Hamilton
    Born: Sep 29, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Texas, 2019 (8th round).
    Signed By: K.J. Hendricks (Brewers).
    Minors: .265/.356/.444 | 4 HR | 17 SB | 117 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Hamilton’s defense and on-base skills impressed as a sophomore at Texas, but a torn Achilles created concern that his exceptional speed might be diminished. The Brewers took him in the eighth round and signed him for $400,000. With the 2020 minor league season canceled, he played in an independent league, going 20-for-20 in steals. The Red Sox acquired him with Alex Binelas after the season in a trade sending Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee.

    Scouting Report:Hamilton has standout speed and timing, helping him both as a basestealer and giving him good lateral range in the middle infield. He has advanced pitch recognition and a good sense of the strike zone with strength in his swing, but he sometimes gets in trouble making hollow contact while trying to elevate the ball. He’s at his best drilling firm liners to the gaps, something he did a lot against righties but not so much against southpaws. He has the lateral range for short but a fringy arm.

    The Future: Hamilton’s contact, speed and defense offer an old-school top-of-the-order skill set, while likely making him a valued part-timer against righties now.

  25. 25. Gilberto Jimenez | OF
    Gilberto Jimenez
    Born: Jul 8, 2000
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Eddie Romero/Manny Nanita.
    Minors: .265/.308/.469 | 5 HR | 8 SB | 113 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Since signing for $10,000, Jimenez has stood out as one of the best athletes in the system. The Red Sox hoped that his athleticism, hand-eye coordination and high contact rates would lead to five-tool impact. He hit for average at Low-A in 2021 but with little power.

    Scouting Report: Jimenez, a natural righthanded hitter, took on switch-hitting upon entry into the Red Sox system and is still working to define his swing. He’s a free-swinger who has produced a sky-high groundball rate. The Red Sox are trying to get him to be more upright in the box to gain leverage and tap into his considerable raw strength. Though he possesses double-plus speed once underway, it hasn’t translated yet to stolen bases, creating concern about his reads. Speed and a powerful arm give him the chance to be an above-average outfielder in center or right.

    The Future: Jimenez still has the tools to put the ball in play and use his speed to make an impact on the bases and defensively, but he’ll need to start squaring up the ball to maintain that outlook.""

  26. 26. Christian Koss | SS
    Christian Koss
    Born: Jan 27, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 182
    Signed By: Jon Lukens (Rockies)
    Minors: .274/.306/.393 | 3 HR | 3 SB | 117 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Koss had a strong Cape Cod League summer in 2018 but a junior year struggle dropped him to a 12th-round pick by the Rockies in 2019. He bounced back with a strong debut in the Pioneer League with impressive defense at short. The Red Sox acquired him after 2020 in exchange for lefthander Yoan Aybar, and Koss delivered a solid all-around season with High-A.

    Scouting Report:Koss makes hard contact with a compact righthanded swing that is geared more for an up-the-middle approach with all-fields contact than power. That said, even while he grades as below-average in terms of power, he does have the strength to clear the fences from left to center. Koss spent all of 2021 at shortstop and showed the ability, body control and athleticism to make plus plays with a solid arm at the position. He’s already seen time in pro ball at second and short, and some evaluators believe that he has the speed and reads to add outfield to his repertoire. He is an above-average runner.

    The Future: Koss has the defensive ability and hit tool to project as a utilityman with at least the ability to get in the lineup against lefties and could make more contact against righties than a pure platoon player.

  27. 27. Freili Encarnacion | SS
    Freili Encarnacion
    Born: Jan 26, 2005
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Encarnacion’s offensive upside stood out as an amateur in the Dominican Republic. While the Red Sox gave Dominican shortstop Fraymi de Leon slightly more money ($1.2 million), Encarnacion—signed for $1.1 million on Jan. 15, 2022—is their most exciting player from that international class.

    Scouting Report:Encarnacion’s swing, approach and power all stand out for a 17-year-old. He has plus raw power, and while a lot of strongly-built players his age who can crush the ball in batting practice don’t necessarily translate that juice against live pitching, Encarnacion has shown the ability to tap into that power in games. He has a sound swing and a mature, all-fields approach, with the ability drive the ball out of the park to right-center field or pull his hands inside the ball to drive the ball with impact to left field. A fringe-average runner, Encarnacion is at shortstop now but his range will probably slide him over to third base, where he has the hands and strong arm to play.

    The Future: Encarnacion has the upside to be an impact hitter, with the combination of hitting ability and power that point toward what should be a strong pro debut this year in the Dominican Summer League.

  28. 28. Eddinson Paulino | SS
    Eddinson Paulino
    Born: Jul 2, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 155
    Signed By: Esau Medina/Eddie Romero
    Minors: .259/.338/.446 | 2 HR | 3 SB | 139 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Signed for just over $200,000 on the day he turned 16, Paulino has what one evaluator described as “special hand-eye coordination” that, in tandem with good swing decisions, has allowed him to excel in the DSL in 2019 and the Florida Complex League in 2021.

    Scouting Report:Though Paulino looks like someone who might be knocked over by a fastball, he consistently finds the barrel against heaters in the strike zone, resulting in hard contact. He possesses a line drive stroke best geared for singles and doubles, projecting for below-average power despite his ability to square up pitches. His 11.3% walk rate and 15.8% strikeout rate highlight both his bat-to-ball skills and his plate discipline. He shows the agility to move around the infield with the potential to be average at multiple positions and his solid speed should result in some exposure in center field as he progresses.

    The Future: After his standout performance in the FCL, Paulino should get his first taste of full-season ball in 2022. He joins the growing list of versatile, athletic, multi-positional Red Sox infielders.

  29. 29. Connor Wong | C
    Connor Wong
    Born: May 9, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 181
    Drafted/Signed: Houston, 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Clint Bowers (Dodgers).
    Minors: .190/.282/.206 | 0 HR | 3 SB | 63 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: The Red Sox acquired Wong from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade, believing he had both growth potential behind the plate as well as the athleticism to move around the field in a reserve role. He stayed behind the plate all year and made his big league debut.

    Scouting Report:Wong has wiry strength that helped contribute to solid power totals in the Dodgers system, but against Triple-A competition, pitchers exploited his pull-heavy approach by pitching away and getting weaker contact. He showed the ability to diversify his swing and line the ball to the opposite field in his big league cameo, giving hope that he could develop into a fringy hitter, though perhaps without much power. Wong is a terrific athlete who has emerged as a capable presence behind the plate. He’s refined his receiving to the point of being at least average behind the plate, and while he has just average arm strength, his quick feet and transfer allow him to do a decent job of controlling the running game.

    The Future: Wong’s defense has developed to the point where he should have a future as a backup catcher—with the potential to add to his profile by moving around the infield.

  30. 30. Ronaldo Hernandez | C
    Ronaldo Hernandez
    Born: Nov 11, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 230
    Drafted/Signed: Colombia, 2014.
    Signed By: Angel Contreras (Rays)
    Minors: .119/.140/.202 | 1 HR | 0 SB | 84 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: The Red Sox acquired Hernandez from the Rays prior to the 2021 season. He hit .326/.369/.568 with 10 homers over his last 63 games at Double-A and Triple-A.

    Scouting Report:Hernandez has significant raw power that shows up in games when he gets the barrel to the ball, something that can be challenging despite his solid contact rate due to a lack of plate discipline. Still, if he remains at catcher, his power would allow his offense to stand out at the position even if he grades as a 35 or 40 hitter. There’s industry skepticism about his ability to stay behind the plate given technical shortcomings as a receiver and blocker, but the Red Sox were encouraged by progress he made in his receiving at the bottom of the zone and his blocking after going to one knee.

    The Future: If Hernandez stays behind the plate, he could have a long career as a backup. The 2022 season is his last with an option.

View Players 11-30

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