Three Red Sox prospects cracked the updated list: Marcelo Mayer (No. 9), Triston Casas (No. 18) and Jarren Duran (No. 26).
Mayer obviously is a newcomer to the rankings, having just been selected in July with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft. Yet MLB Pipeline clearly is bullish on the 18-year-old shortstop, placing him between Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez and New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez in the midseason top 10.
Casas and Duran each made a sizable jump, a product of both their strong seasons to date and 27 players graduating from the preseason rankings to the majors. Duran probably won’t appear on the list for long, though, as he’s currently in the big leagues with Boston.
In fact, Duran, who turns 25 in September, didn’t even appear on MLB Pipeline’s 2021 preseason list. But the outfielder’s hot start at Triple-A Worcester sure turned heads, ultimately resulting in his promotion to the majors, where he’s already flashed his game-changing speed and overall potential.
Casas’ stay on the list, meanwhile, might be a bit longer, although he, too, is nearing a call-up. The hulking slugger probably won’t appear in the majors this season, but he definitely could factor into Boston’s 2022 plans, especially with the club still searching for an answer at first base.
Of note: Jeter Downs, acquired by the Red Sox from the Dodgers in the trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles, dropped out of the rankings. The 23-year-old middle infielder has struggled offensively at Triple-A this season.
Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman now is considered the No. 1 prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline, with Tampa Bay Rays infielder Wander Franco arriving in The Show. He’s joined in the top five by Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners, Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals, Spencer Torkelson of the Detroit Tigers and Marco Luciano of the San Francisco Giants.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis notes in his breakdown of the new Top 100 that calculating “Prospect Points” (100 for the No. 1 prospect, 99 for No. 2, 98 for No. 3, etc.) is a “quick if imprecise way to gauge the strength of star talent in a farm system.” The Red Sox — with Mayer, Casas and Duran in the top 26 — rank fifth among all MLB organizations according to that methodology.