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Boston Red Sox Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects, mid-season review

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Yoan Moncada
Yoan Moncada
Charlie Drysdale, SB Nation

Continuing our mid-season prospect reviews, we turn to the Boston Red Sox.

Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.

THESE ARE PRE-SEASON GRADES.

We can discuss current Red Sox events in the comments section.

This list was originally published December 6th, 2015

1) Yoan Moncada, 2B, Grade A: Hitting .309/.420/.538 with 11 homers, 43 steals, 56 walks, 88 strikeouts in 314 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; superb prospect with tremendous combination of speed, power, and patience; glove has improved; totally legitimate and the best prospect in baseball at present.

2) Rafael Devers, 3B, Grade A-:
Hit just .138 in April but the Red Sox didn't panic and he's pulled out of the slump; now hitting .271/.331/.419 with five homers, 30 walks, 60 strikeouts in 332 at-bats in High-A at age 19; defensive statistics have improved dramatically as well.

3) Andrew Benintendi, OF, Grade A-:
Hitting .305/.372/.515 between High-A and Double-A; 14 steals, 11 triples; I expect more homers will come in time; should be Secondary Average machine.

4) Anderson Espinosa, RHP, Grade B+:
Traded to the San Diego Padres for Drew Pomeranz; 4.38 ERA in 76 innings in Low-A with 72/27 K/BB, very credible for an 18-year-old in full-season ball; scouting reports from early in the season were glowing; personally I think this is a fair trade for both teams.

5) Michael Kopech, RHP, Grade B:
Age 19, 2014 first round pick, 2015 season ended early due to PED suspension, just back on the mound now, 0.64 ERA in 14 innings in High-A with 23/7 K/BB; we need a larger sample of course but current reports are excellent; emergence perhaps made it easier to trade Espinosa.

6) Sam Travis, 1B, Grade B/B-
Torn ACL; out for the season, was hitting .272/.332/.434 with six homers in 173 at-bats in Triple-A before going down, neither bad enough to cost him much prospect status nor good enough to boost him up.

7) Brian Johnson, LHP, Grade B-/B:
3.53 ERA in 51 innings between Triple-A and short-season rehab work after taking time off to deal with anxiety; combined 48/26 K/BB; a finesse guy needs a better K/BB ratio than that to succeed at the highest levels. Hope he is doing OK emotionally.

8) Wendell Rijo, 2B, Grade B-/C+
: Traded to Milwaukee Brewers in Aaron Hill deal; hitting combined .201/.259/.270 between High-A and Double-A; capable of better with some physical tools and just age 20 but was falling behind other prospects on Bosox charts.

9) Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, Grade B-/C+:
Hitting .256/.326/.456 with eight homers, 15 steals, 28 walks, 82 strikeouts in 270 at-bats in low-A; switch-hitter starting to tap his power; very hot recently with improved strike zone judgment.

10) Michael Chavis, 3B, Grade B-/C+:
2014 first rounder,  hitting .275/.351/.443 with 15 walks, 39 strikeouts in 167 at-bats in Low-A; repeating the league but still just 20 years old; showing improved contact ability with power this year as well as better glove at third base.

11) Deven Marrero, SS, Grade C+:
Hitting .201/.244/.239 with 16 walks, 67 strikeouts in 289 at-bats in Triple-A; I thought his bat might improve but it is getting worse, not better; defense could make him utility option but time running out on the offense at age 25.

12) Mauricio Dubon, INF, Grade C+
: Age 21, gets a lot less attention than Marrero but may end up being a lot better, Sleeper prospect who deserves more notice, bat may blossom. Hitting .306/.379/.389 between High-A and Double-A; 26 steals, lacks power but controls zone well; remains an intriguing sleeper.

13) Marco Hernandez, SS, Grade C+:
Hitting .317/.364/.433 in Triple-A; .295/.367/.386 in 44 major league at-bats; leaping way ahead of Marrero as a hitter but not as skilled with the glove, still just 23. 

14) Williams Jerez, LHP, Grade C+:
Converted outfielder with 4.50 ERA in 46 Double-A innings, 40/22 K/BB, platoon splits are even so perhaps not an ideal LOOGY type; overall an undistinguished season but he's a big lefty with an arm.

15) Christopher Acosta, RHP, Grade C+:
Age 18,  was considered on par with Anderson Espinosa 24 months ago but hasn't pitched this year.

16) Pat Light, RHP, Grade C/C+: 2.22 ERA in 22 innings in Triple-A, 34/16 K/BB, 17 hits; six saves in six attempts, taking well to relief role since conversion last year; stuff seems too good for Triple-A but needs better command.

17) Nick Longhi, OF, Grade C/C+
:  Hitting .292/.361/.401 with 23 doubles, two homers in 319 at-bats in High-A at age 20; polished approach and young but hasn't tapped power/strength yet; some breakthrough potential next year.

18) Trey Ball, LHP, Grade C/C+:
3.89 ERA in High-A; 53/48 K/BB in 74 innings, 69 hits; don't have a recent report but component ratios aren't much better than last year.

19) Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, Grade C/C+:
5.08 ERA in Double-A with 54/29 K/BB in 90 innings, 106 hits; I felt he was capable of more but transition to higher levels not going well, stuff may be just a bit short for a starter. Maybe he plays up in relief?

20) Ty Buttrey, RHP, Grade C/C+:  4.84 ERA in 58 innings in Double-A with 36/35 K/BB; also disappointing with considerably weaker command than Stankiewicz.

OTHER GRADE C PROSPECTS
(Most of these guys could slot in spots 16-20 depending on your criteria). Jonathan Aro, RHP; Yoan Aybar, OF; Gerson Bautista, RHP; Ty Buttrey, RHP; Garin Cecchini, OF-3B (just designated for assignment), Sean Coyle, 2B; Edwin Escobar, LHP; Austin Glorius, RHP; Kyle Martin, RHP; Kevin McAvoy, RHP; Yankory Pimentel, RHP; Noe Ramirez, RHP; Roniel Raudes, RHP; Austin Rei, C; Chandler Shepherd, RHP; Ben Taylor, RHP; Luis Ysla, LHP

Remember, that's the pre-season view. Let's talk about current events in the comment thread.