The Boston Red Sox are one of the deepest organizations in Major League Baseball. Keith Law’s 2014 minor league rankings over at ESPN are the latest reminder.
Law ranked the Red Sox fifth in his 2014 rankings of minor league talent. Only the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs have better farm systems than the Red Sox, according to Law.
Law’s ranking system considers only the players who currently are in their organizations and who have not yet exhausted their Rookie of the Year eligibility. That means Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. both factored into Law’s assessment of the Red Sox’ minor league system despite both players tasting the majors in 2013.
The Red Sox are one of just a handful of organizations that have both high-ceiling prospects and depth beyond their top-tier farmhands. Nine Red Sox players — Bogaerts, Bradley, Henry Owens, Allen Webster, Garin Cecchini, Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, Matt Barnes and Trey Ball — appeared on MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list that was released last week.
Law wrote the following about the Red Sox’ farm system:
“They rival Houston for the best top 10 of any team, with as many prospects on the top 100 as the Astros have, and while they don’t have Houston’s depth, Boston’s system is pretty deep, with at least a half-dozen pitching prospects who reasonably project (that is, not just pie-in-the-sky forecasting) as No. 4 starters or better.”
Law also pointed to Christian Vazquez — considered a future major league catcher despite not ranking among Boston’s top 10 prospects — as proof that the Red Sox are doing things right.
The Baltimore Orioles ranked 10th among Major League Baseball’s 30 teams, while the rest of the American League East has some work to do in the player development department. The New York Yankees (20th), Tampa Bay Rays (23rd) and Toronto Blue Jays (24th) had subpar showings in this year’s rankings.