The Athletic’s Keith Law released his 2023 top 100 MLB prospects list Monday, and it serves as additional evidence the Boston Red Sox’s farm system is trending in the right direction.
Four Red Sox prospects cracked Law’s rankings: Marcelo Mayer (No. 11), Ceddanne Rafaela (37), Triston Casas (40) and Miguel Bleis (72).
The names aren’t all that surprising, as the same quartet appeared on the top 100 list Baseball America recently dropped. But their placement is notable. Clearly, Law is buying into Rafaela’s breakout 2022 season, as the 22-year-old landed 34 spots higher on Law’s list than on Baseball America’s list (71). Rafaela could make his way to the majors at some point this season.
Mayer’s standing as the Red Sox’s top prospect (and among the top prospects in all of baseball) checks out. Boston selected the shortstop with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft, and he’s since been as advertised, offering hope he might someday blossom into a star for Boston.
Whereas Mayer, who turned 20 last month, probably is a couple of years away from reaching the majors, Casas, 23, already debuted with Boston in 2022 and figures to be the Red Sox’s starting first baseman to begin the 2023 season. As such, Casas soon will lose prospect eligibility. But for now, he qualifies (fewer than 130 MLB at-bats or 45 days on the active big-league roster) and definitely has the potential to develop into a core player for the Red Sox in the coming years.
Bleis, who will turn 19 in March, likely is the furthest of the four from reaching the majors. He’s a newcomer to top 100 prospects lists this offseason, and thus there’s inherently more uncertainty surrounding his long-term future. The outfielder’s stock is rising, though. And it wouldn’t be shocking to see him garner even more national attention as he progresses through the Red Sox system.
It should be noted Masataka Yoshida, a 29-year-old outfielder the Red Sox signed this winter, appeared on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list, at No. 87. Yoshida technically is a rookie, but Law chose to exclude free agents from Japan’s NPB or Korea’s KBO, as they’re not “prospects” by his definition based on the players’ extensive experience overseas.