‘Tis the season for updated prospect rankings.
Now that the Major League Baseball trade deadline is in the rearview mirror, and several notable farmhands recently either changed teams or debuted in The Show, we’re starting to see an influx of midseason evaluations, wherein prospect gurus assess the current state of affairs.
ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel on Thursday revealed his midseason Top 50 prospects list, and two Boston Red Sox prospects made the cut: Marcelo Mayer (No. 29) and Triston Casas (No. 47).
Mayer, selected fourth overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, just made his professional debut Thursday in the Florida Complex League. He’s only 18 years old, with plenty of development ahead of him, but McDaniel clearly thinks very highly of the young shortstop, whom many experts had projected to go No. 1 overall.
“My second prospect in the 2021 draft went No. 4 overall and is a projection bet, so don’t look for big power numbers in the next year or two,” McDaniel wrote in his new rankings.
Casas, meanwhile, is in the midst of his fourth season with the Red Sox organization after being drafted 26th overall in 2018. The 21-year-old slugger has flashed his offensive upside at Double-A Portland in 2021 and now is garnering global attention while performing well for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Casas has had 30-homer-caliber raw power since he was about 15 years old, and he’s slowly been proving it at each higher level,” McDaniel wrote. “There’s a good shot he’s in the Red Sox’s lineup at some point in 2022, and he may be there awhile.”
The Red Sox’s pipeline has been on an upward trajectory since Chaim Bloom took over as Boston’s chief baseball officer in October 2019. Not only is the system deeper now. The top-end talent also is evident, with Mayer and Casas representing two of the franchise’s most intriguing prospects.
Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays, Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles and Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals currently are the top three prospects across MLB, per McDaniel’s midseason rankings.