Before the start of the 2024 season, is evaluating several noteworthy prospects in the Boston Red Sox organization, using insight and analysis from industry experts to gauge each player’s outlook for the upcoming campaign. Next up: Miguel Bleis.

The Red Sox already are building around two stars from the Dominican Republic — Rafael Devers and Brayan Bello — and Miguel Bleis has the potential to follow in their footsteps as a franchise pillar.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed. Especially after the year Bleis had in 2023. But we’re talking about a supremely talented prospect who just turned 20 years old and has the ingredients to develop into something special.

Here’s everything you need to know about Bleis.

Story continues below advertisement

Bleis, like Devers and Bello, joined the Red Sox organization as an international free agent. He was just 16 years old when he signed on the dotted line in 2021, but he ranked No. 21 on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top 30 international prospects during that signing period and landed the largest bonus ($1.5 million) of any player the Red Sox signed in that international free agent class. The team obviously saw something.

Of course, Bleis was years away from reaching the majors when he joined the system. And he still needs more seasoning as we enter the 2024 season. But the Red Sox have had success on the international market — Devers and Bello both signed contract extensions and Aruba native Xander Bogaerts recently had an awesome decade-long run with Boston — and the importance of infusing such talent into the pipeline can’t be overstated.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Bleis immediately turned heads in the Dominican Summer League thanks to his raw tools but really caught the attention of scouts with his performance in the Florida Complex League in 2022 — so much so that he entered 2023 as a consensus top-100 prospect across baseball.

Unfortunately for Bleis (and the Red Sox), 2023 basically was a lost year. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in June after appearing in just 31 games with Single-A Salem. The numbers in that short sample weren’t great, either, casting more uncertainty over his long-term outlook.

Story continues below advertisement

So, 2024 marks an important point in his career. His stock could go one of two ways over the next several months, creating a fascinating situation with major implications.

Bleis’ progress this season not only is important for his own development. It also could affect the collective standing of the Red Sox farm system. Because if he blossoms into a truly elite prospect — soaring up top-100 rankings, for instance — Boston will have another extremely valuable asset in its pocket.

Scouting report
The next Ronald Acuña Jr.? That might be a stretch, obviously. But we use the comparison to give you an idea of Bleis’ all-around skill set. He legitimately has five-tool potential. It’s a matter of harnessing the talent.

“There are still scouts who think he’s a borderline top-50 guy in baseball, because his raw ability — he’s got the highest ceiling in the organization, in my opinion, still,” Ian Cundall, director of scouting for, recently told

Story continues below advertisement

Cundall identified Bleis as a breakout candidate before the 2022 season. That evaluation looked spot-on heading into 2023, with MLB Pipeline, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and The Athletic’s Keith Law all including Bleis among their top 100 prospects. Bleis’ stock subsequently took a hit, thanks to the aforementioned shoulder injury, but it’s probably premature to sound any alarms.

“His batted-ball metrics in 2021 were insane for a guy his age. He was putting up major league-quality exit velocities as an 18-year-old,” Cundall said. “Last year, he was putting up middling exit velocities. The only thing I can come up with to explain that drop is the injury. So, I just think I’m writing the entire season off due to injury.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me how a guy can go from showing raw tools left and right and hitting the ball at 104 miles per hour — or 105, 106 miles per hour — as an 18-year-old to last year barely breaking 100 on a lot of his balls in play. That just doesn’t add up there. So, I think the injury was playing a big part last year. I’m kinda writing that off.”

Bleis, when healthy, is super athletic. He has power. He has speed. He plays a premium position in center field, showing both range and a strong arm.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s no wonder some scouts dream on a superstar outcome. Bleis’ one apparent weakness at this stage is his hit tool — there’s some swing and miss to his game — but even that could evolve into a strength over time with more minor-league at-bats.

“He looks like he’s made some adjustments with his swing and his setup, which were all encouraging,” Cundall said. “One of the things we saw last year was he was getting a little aggressive at the plate and there was a lot of swing and miss in there. He just needs to get back to what he was doing in 2022. And if he’s healthy, that’s definitely a possibility.”

Bleis slashed .301/.353/.543 with five home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 40 FCL games (167 plate appearances) in 2022.

“He’s got the highest ceiling in the organization, in my opinion, still.”

Ian Cundall, director of scouting for, on Miguel Bleis

Most-likely outcome: Regular starting outfielder.

Story continues below advertisement

This is difficult because Bleis’ profile lends itself to such a wide range of outcomes. It’s the epitome of high ceiling, low floor.

“There’s just so much variance there,” Cundall said. “There’s a chance he never makes it out of A-ball. There’s also a chance he gets up to the big leagues and is an All-Star.

“It’s scary, but it’s exciting, in the sense that you don’t know what you’re going to get. There’s a big fear of the unknown, but with him, the risk is worth the reward. You’ve got to see what you have there because if everything breaks correctly, he’s the type of guy who can change the future of a franchise for several years.”

Story continues below advertisement

As such, let’s pinpoint something in the middle, with Bleis becoming a starting-caliber center fielder who can impact the game a number of different ways. It could just depend on the day.

Best-case scenario: All-Star center fielder.

Last year, we dared to get borderline irresponsible with our best-case scenario for Bleis. This year, we’ll largely stick to our guns, because, again, 2023 was such a wash. And even then, it did nothing to diminish the best-case scenario. The talent is still the talent. And Bleis has it in spades.

The Acuña comp might sound silly, especially with the Atlanta Braves star coming off one of the most impressive statistical seasons in MLB history. But it’s simply to drive home the point that Bleis is someone who, if/when his talent fully actualizes at the big-league level, could become a valuable source of home runs, steals and more. He’s raw but dynamic.

“It’s scary, but it’s exciting, in the sense that you don’t know what you’re going to get.”

Ian Cundall on Miguel Bleis

SoxProspects ranking: No. 5
Bleis entered last season at No. 3 in’s rankings, trailing only Triston Casas and Marcelo Mayer. Casas since graduated to the majors, and Roman Anthony leapfrogged Mayer for the No. 1 spot. Bleis now sits behind Anthony, Mayer, Kyle Teel and Ceddanne Rafaela.

But for how long?

“He’s the kind of guy that I don’t think he’s on a lot of national top-100 lists — maybe he’s on a few — but he could easily be in the top 25 by midseason if he goes out and has the year we were kinda expecting him to have last year,” Cundall said. ” … If he goes out and hits .280, shows power, shows speed, shows consistent contact ability, makes a ton of hard contact, cuts down on the swing and miss, shows a better approach.

“Because that was the thing last year that was also pretty discouraging — his approach seemed to back up. He was getting overly aggressive early in counts. He was just swinging and missing at a lot of stuff. If he can get back to what he was doing a couple of years ago and start making that consistent hard contact, then he’s someone who could shoot up the rankings by midseason.”

Fenway forecast
We’re still probably a couple of years away from Bleis becoming part of the MLB discussion. That we’re talking about him now, at such a young age, speaks to his prospect potential. But 2026 seems like a realistic timeline.

Bleis might begin the 2024 season with either Salem or back in the FCL, depending on the status of his shoulder recovery. After that, we could see him earn a promotion to High-A Greenville or even Double-A Portland.

Staying healthy and refining his skills are of the utmost importance this season, though. It’s time for Bleis to get back on an upward trajectory.

Featured image via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images