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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: .280/.399/.489 | 13 HR | 17 SB | 350 AB

    Track Record: In 2019, Red Sox area scout J.J. Altobelli made several trips to Eastlake High to see eventual first-rounder Keoni Cavaco, but it was Mayer--then a sophomore--who repeatedly commanded his attention. Mayer's consistent excellence in high school and a stint on Team USA's 17U development team in 2019 established him as a clear top talent entering the 2021 season. He was the sort of player who would almost never be available to the Red Sox in the draft, but Boston's awful performance in the Covid-compressed 2020 campaign netted the organization's highest pick since 1967. While Mayer was a candidate to go to the Pirates with the top pick after a dominant senior year--he hit .397/.555/.886 with 14 homers, 31 walks and eight strikeouts--he remained on the board when the Red Sox picked at No. 4. They jumped at the chance to take him, signing him to a $6.64 million bonus. After the first two months of Mayer's first full pro season in 2022 were disrupted by a right wrist sprain, he excelled as a 19-year-old against more experienced competition with Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville. He showed impressive maturity and polish both in the field and at the plate.

    Scouting Report: Mayer's smooth lefthanded swing is the stuff of instructional videos. His ability to manipulate the barrel and adapt his swing plane to pitches of varying types and locations at a young age is captivating. He produces easy loft to left field--a trait that should eventually serve him well at Fenway Park--and the ability to hit rockets to his pull side. It's a combination that suggests a doubles machine with 20-plus homer upside. Though his 25% percent strikeout rate--and tendency to swing-and-miss on pitches below the zone--proved higher than expected, his 16% walk rate pointed to both good pitch recognition and swing decisions. Mayer showed the ability to respond to struggles in 2022. He bounced back after a tough start to his time in High-A Greenville--he hit .179 through 17 games--with a blistering .452/.553/.710 stretch to close the year. While his lack of speed limits his raw range, Mayer has excellent hands, a strong, accurate arm with the ability to vary his throwing angle, and the anticipation and well-calibrated clock of an above-average to plus shortstop. Some evaluators still wonder if he'll outgrow the position as he adds strength into his 20s, but such a move is unlikely to be considered as he moves through the minors. Though Mayer has below-average speed, his instincts allow him to play faster than his foot speed.

    The Future: Mayer likely will open 2023 back in High-A but should remain on an accelerated track that will bring him to the upper levels by the end of the year, with a potential big league ETA of late 2024. His first full pro season reinforced the sense that he's a potential cornerstone player. �From what I've seen, he's going to be a superstar,� Salem hitting coach Nelson Paulino said.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. 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: .281/.389/.500 | 12 HR | 0 SB | 278 AB

    Track Record: Neighbors of Casas' American Heritage High program were notified to move their cars during batting practice to shield property from a hail of tape-measure homers. Yet raw power was only part of Casas' game. He impressed both in high school and for 16U and 18U Team USA squads with an advanced, all-fields approach en route to being the 26th overall pick in 2018. He signed for slot bonus of $2.55 million. In 2021, Casas became a middle-of-the-order hitter for Team USA in the Olympics. In 2022, despite a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for two months with Triple-A Worcester, he tapped into increased power and made his MLB debut.

    Scouting Report: Casas is a formidable presence in the batter's box, with long levers that allow him to obliterate baseballs. Whereas in 2021 he focused foremost on contact and getting on base--often widening his stance and choking up significantly--in 2022, he hunted pitches to damage. He became more upright even with two strikes. While he maintained his characteristic plate discipline, he swung with bad intentions, showing significant jumps in exit velocities. In his MLB debut, he hit .197/.358/.408 but showed a sophisticated ability to gameplan and control the zone (20% walk rate) with considerable opposite-field power. There's some platoon risk with Casas, though he had quality left-on-left at-bats in the big leagues. Defensively, he moved well around the bag and showed a good arm.

    The Future: Casas will either open 2023 in the big leagues or get there--likely permanently--by early to midseason. He could emerge as a middle-of-the-order force who takes aim at the Green Monster for years to come.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 65. Speed: 30. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50

  3. 3. Ceddanne Rafaela | OF/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: .299/.342/.538 | 21 HR | 28 SB | 481 AB

    Track Record: As an undersized amateur in Curacao, Rafaela caught the attention of Red Sox scouts with dynamic defense, a knack for getting the barrel to the ball--with surprising flashes of pop--and incredible on-field energy. Boston signed him for $10,000, hoping he would develop into a utility player. Rafaela's career transformed in 2021 when he made a fish-to-water move from shortstop to center field and also raised his hands to smooth a hitch in his swing. He started smoking balls in the air rather than beating them into the ground. A strong second half for Low-A Salem in 2021 served as a prelude to a breakout campaign in 2022 in which Rafaela had 63 extra-base hits and 28 steals for High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland while delivering frequent web gems.

    Scouting Report: Rafaela's stance has visual similarities to that of Mookie Betts. He rests his bat on his shoulder before moving it overhead as the pitcher starts his delivery, then draws it back like a slingshot as the ball is released. Despite an incredibly aggressive approach, his hand-eye coordination has always yielded a high contact rate, and in 2022 he barreled balls regularly. Walks will likely be a rarity, but if Rafaela can improve his swing decisions, he possesses average or better hit and power potential. That's a tantalizing package given his show-stopping defense. Rafaela's great jumps placed him as one of the best defensive center fielders in pro ball, and he also shows above-average potential at short. His plus speed is also an asset.

    The Future: Even with modest offense, Rafaela's defense gives him a floor in the mold of outfielders such as Jose Siri, Harrison Bader or Jackie Bradley Jr. If he becomes more disciplined, he could be an above-average regular in center or super-utility option. He should finish 2023 in the big leagues.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 60. Fielding: 70. Arm: 60

  4. 4. 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
    Minors: .301/.353/.542 | 5 HR | 18 SB | 153 AB

    Track Record: Bleis stood out as a five-tool talent who possessed what the Red Sox considered �extreme bat life� when they signed him for $1.5 million in January 2021. That was Boston's highest bonus amount for a player out of the Dominican Republic since signing Rafael Devers for the same amount in 2013. Bleis made a solid pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2021, hitting .252/.331/.420 with four homers, then delivered an electrifying performance in the Florida Complex League in 2022 in which he showed shoot-the-moon talent. He would have been promoted to Low-A Salem had it not been for lower back tightness in mid August.

    Scouting Report: Bleis mesmerized scouts with his tremendous talent in every facet of the game. When he barrels balls, he makes resounding contact, resulting in huge exit velocities that ranked atop the FCL, and he showed the ability to handle fastballs of any velocity. His strikeout rate was high at nearly 27%--a red flag for some organizations--largely due to swings and misses on breaking balls, and his 6% walk rate likewise points to a free-swinger. But Bleis is young enough that he has a chance to improve his swing decisions and emerge as an average or better hitter, with work he did to clean up a barrel drop in 2022 offering optimism about his adaptability. His speed is currently plus or better, giving him a buffer even as he continues to fill out. He's a glider in center field, with instincts that suggest he could become an above-average defender at the position or a standout in right.

    The Future: Bleis has one of the highest ceilings in the Red Sox system. His hit tool will determine how close he comes to scraping it. He's so far from the big leagues that no solid floor is apparent, but there's electrifying all-star potential.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 65. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60

  5. 5. Mikey Romero | 2B/SS
    Mikey Romero
    Born: Jan 12, 2004
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Minors: .304/.368/.506 | 1 HR | 2 SB | 79 AB

    Track Record: One year after drafting Marcelo Mayer, the Red Sox used their 2022 first-round pick at No. 24 overall on another high school shortstop from Southern California. Romero displayed a mature, well-rounded game at Orange Lutheran High, hitting .372/.419/.659 and playing solid defense at short. While his hit tool was the primary driver of his prospect status, he grew into power as the season progressed, convincing the Red Sox to take him earlier than most mock drafts forecasted. Romero signed for a below-slot $2.3 million. In his pro debut, he performed well in the Florida Complex League and then finished with an excellent showing in Low-A Salem, hitting .349/.364/.581 with seven extra-base hits in nine games.

    Scouting Report: Romero has a sweet lefthanded swing with little stride or wasted motion. His barrel is a magnet for pitches all over the zone, producing gap-to-gap, line-drive contact. While Romero was viewed as having limited power projection by many scouts, he added strength throughout his senior year. By the time he turned pro, he was able to clear the right field bullpens at Fenway Park in batting practice, suggesting an average power ceiling. At shortstop, he possesses good instincts and clean actions but with limited range. There's a chance he stays at shortstop as an average defender, but more likely he becomes an average second baseman with the ability to provide fringe defense on the other side of second. He's a slightly below-average runner.

    The Future: Romero should start 2023 in Low-A Salem, and his strong showing at the end of 2022 offers a glimpse of a teenager who could move quickly up the ladder. He projects as a table-setting everyday middle infielder who could reach the big leagues by late 2025 or early 2026.

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

  6. 6. 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: .231/.303/.365 | 11 HR | 8 SB | 337 AB

    Track Record: The Red Sox stunned the industry when they selected Yorke--a projected second- or third-round pick--with the 17th overall pick in 2020. After signing for a below-slot $2.7 million, Yorke quieted skeptics with a .325/.412/.516 batting line at two Class A levels in 2021. But in 2022, a succession of injuries--turf toe, back stiffness, wrist soreness--contributed to inconsistency with his mechanics, approach and ultimately his performance.

    Scouting Report: At his best, Yorke's compact, quick swing affords him the extra time needed to handle velocity while spitting on pitches out of the zone and attacking those he can drive. In 2021, he produced line drives to all fields and showed plenty of easy pull-side power. But Yorke's struggles with health and performance in 2022 left him tinkering with his swing throughout the season--with poor results. His groundball rate spiked, his previous all-fields approach became too pull-heavy, and his strikeout rate jumped from 15.6% to 25.2%. Yorke and the Red Sox are hopeful that with health, he'll reclaim his status as one of the best pure hitting prospects in the minors. There's a lot of pressure on Yorke's bat given that his range is limited--a growing concern given the shift restrictions coming to MLB in 2023. But while Yorke isn't rangy, he proved reliable in the field. He committed only one error in 68 games at second base in 2022. He has a chance to stick at second with fringy defense.

    The Future: The 2023 campaign should clarify whether Yorke is the standout hitting prospect of 2021. A rebound campaign would put him on track to reach the big leagues by late 2024, with the potential to hit toward the top of the lineup with high on-base percentages, loads of doubles and 20-homer potential. He'll open 2023 back at High-A Greenville or, with a strong spring, potentially at Double-A Portland.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 45. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 45

  7. 7. 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.
    Minors: 7-3 | 2.49 ERA | 105 SO | 46 BB | 83 IP

    Track Record: Overlooked through half of the 2015-16 signing period, Mata signed with the Red Sox for $25,000 in January 2016. Projection quickly became reality as he gained size and strength. Though Mata entered pro ball with a four-seam fastball, curveball and changeup, the Red Sox felt his natural arm slot was better suited for a sinker/slider foundation. The shift resulted in growing pains--particularly difficulties working in the strike zone--but also considerable promise in 2018 and 2019. After the lost 2020 Covid season, Mata blew out his elbow in spring training, requiring Tommy John surgery that sidelined him until mid 2022. He advanced across four levels in 2022, posting strong rates of 30% strikeouts and nearly 53% ground balls.

    Scouting Report: Mata is a formidable presence on the mound, a powerful righthander whose stuff may be unrivaled in the Red Sox system. He sits at 97 mph with his sinker, and his plus slider tunnels well off of it. He has topped out at 102 mph on his four-seamer, and his changeup has the action of a solid-average offering or better. In a vacuum, Mata's arsenal could be that of a midrotation starter with two caveats. First, his swing-and-miss numbers are below what might be expected given his underlying pitch traits, though he did make gains in his slider depth in late 2022, resulting in more whiffs. Secondly, he lacks a starter's control--he walked 13% of batters in 2022--likely capping his potential innings load.

    The Future: After finishing 2022 in Triple-A, Mata should open 2023 back in the Worcester rotation. If he makes control gains--possible as he gets further from Tommy John surgery--he could emerge as a depth starter in 2023 with a long-term future as a No. 4 with fringy command. If not, he should fit as a multi-innings bullpen weapon in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 40

  8. 8. Roman Anthony | OF
    Roman Anthony
    Born: May 13, 2004
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Minors: .306/.373/.361 | 0 HR | 1 SB | 72 AB

    Track Record: Anthony was a force at South Florida power Stoneman Douglas High, hitting .520/.589/.980 with 10 homers in 32 games as a senior and showing elite power potential combined with a sound approach at the plate. The Red Sox drafted him 79th overall in 2022 and signed him for $2.5 million--roughly triple slot value--to pass on a scholarship to Mississippi. Anthony had consistently impressive at-bats in his brief pro debut, hitting .429/.475/.486 in the Florida Complex League, then posting more walks (five) than strikeouts (four) with Low-A Salem.

    Scouting Report: While Anthony shows plus to double-plus raw power and can clear fences with ease, he controls at-bats in impressive fashion, particularly for a player with his stout frame. While his raw power is obvious, there's less consensus around Anthony's pure hitting ability. He showed swing-and-miss tendencies during the showcase circuit in high school but made adjustments during the spring and also performed well in a brief pro debut. He already has size and strength but projects to get bigger. Anthony's ability to maintain mobility in his next 15 pounds represents a key that will determine whether he stays in center field, though the safest bet would be an eventual move to right field. Still, his bat projects well in a corner, as does his arm.

    The Future: In a system deep in up-the-middle athletes with balanced skill sets, Anthony stands out for his middle-of-the-order potential that could slot him as a run-producer, if his mature approach as a young hitter remains intact as he moves up and fills out. He most likely will become a power-hitting corner down the road, though the Red Sox won't rush him off center field. Anthony will open 2023 in Low-A Salem, with the possibility of a 2025 or 2026 big league ETA.

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

  9. 9. Brandon Walter | LHP
    Brandon Walter
    Born: Sep 8, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Reed Gragnani
    Minors: 3-3 | 3.59 ERA | 75 SO | 7 BB | 58 IP

    Track Record: When Walter returned from Tommy John surgery in his 2019 draft year, his fastball only got to the mid-to-high 80s, but his movement, command and ability to change speeds impressed area scout Reed Gragnani and convinced the Red Sox to draft him in the 26th round. He built strength during the Covid shutdown, and in the spring of 2021, the Red Sox were floored when Walter threw mid-90s sinkers. His bullpen dominance led to a shift to the rotation, and he struck out 36% of batters in 2021. Walter opened 2022 in the Double-A Portland rotation, posting a 68-to-3 strikeout-to-walk rate in 50 innings before a May promotion to Triple-A. But his season ended in early June after just two starts in Worcester due to a bulging cervical disk.

    Scouting Report: Walter creates an extreme angle with a whippy, cross-body delivery from a low three-quarters arm slot. He confuses hitters with a three-pitch mix that generates grounders and whiffs. Walter works relentlessly in the strike zone with his sinker--mostly 88-90 mph in 2022, down from 92-94 mph in 2021--to set up a devastating low-80s slider that has elite plate-wide sweep, as well as an above-average changeup with depth and fade. Even at his lower 2022 velocity, Walter beat hitters in the strike zone with three pitches, suggesting a rotation profile so long as he can stay healthy. Still, between the Covid year and his 2022 injury, Walter enters 2023 as a 26-year-old with just 180 career innings, making his ability to handle a starter's workload unknown.

    The Future: Walter likely will open 2023 in the Triple-A Worcester rotation, but if he's healthy he may be Boston's best depth starting option. His mix profiles as that of a No. 4 starter if he can handle the workload. Otherwise, he could be a nasty multi-innings reliever for one time through the order.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Slider: 70. Changeup: 55. Control: 60

  10. 10. Eddinson Paulino | SS/3B
    Eddinson Paulino
    Born: Jul 2, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 155
    Signed By: Esau Medina/Eddie Romero
    Minors: .266/.359/.469 | 13 HR | 27 SB | 463 AB

    Track Record: Paulino's hand-eye coordination stood out when the Red Sox signed him for just over $200,000 in 2018. In pro ball, that trait has been evident in tandem with a discerning eye and impressive bat life that permits him to generate steady, hard contact to the gaps. Paulino has had strong performances in each of his three minor league stops. He put up a .985 OPS in the Dominican Summer League in 2021. He had 58 extra-base hits for Low-A Salem in 2022 and ranked top 10 with a .203 isolated slugging percentage among players in their age-19 seasons or younger. Signed as a shortstop, Paulino has moved all over the field in pro ball, playing short, second base, third base and center field in 2022.

    Scouting Report: Though physically unimposing, Paulino is live-bodied, controls the strike zone well (12% walk rate), makes reliable contact (19.5% strikeout rate) and has a good sense for those pitches that he can hit hard, with lots of well-struck line drives interspersed with occasional pull-side pop. He's a good athlete who plays solid defense at second and third base with the ability to fill-in as a starter at shortstop with fringy defense. Paulino started getting time in center field in 2022. While he's at a very early stage of his development there, he has the athleticism to have a true super-utility profile. Paulino shows solid speed on the bases, contributing to a well-rounded profile.

    The Future: Paulino has a future as a solid bottom-of-the-order super-utility player. He should open 2023 in High-A Greenville, with a likely big league ETA in 2025. Boston's depth of middle infield options could make him a trade candidate, but his versatility makes that something other than a foregone conclusion.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 40. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50

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