On Thursday afternoon, the MLB released its latest Top 100 Prospects list. Red Sox first round pick (fourth overall) Marcelo Mayer came in at number nine on the list, ranking number one among members of his draft class. 2018 first-rounder Triston Casas ranked 18th, and rookie outfielder Jarren Duran came in at 26th.
Mayer, a shortstop out of Eastlake High School, possesses a plus hit tool from the left side of the plate and a pure swing. His bat-to-ball skills ranked among the best in this year’s draft, and he is expected to grow into his power. According to mlb.com, Mayer’s hitting profile is expected to be similar to that of Dodgers SS Corey Seager.
The 18-year-old has plus hands, plus footwork, and a plus arm at shortstop. His natural instincts and impulses allow him to be a smooth and effective defender. According to Baseball America, the argument could be made that he is the best defensive shortstop in his draft class.
Through his first six games with the FCL Red Sox (rookie affiliate), Mayer is batting .182 (4-for-22) with one RBI and three runs scored. He has drawn four walks to raise his on-base percentage to .308. His best game came on August 12th, when he went 2-for-5 with a double.
First baseman Triston Casas has had a solid season for Double-A Portland, batting .280 in 54 games with six homers and 35 driven in. He carries an OBP of .362, along with a .425 slugging percentage.
The 21-year-old started all four games for Team USA at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier. He hit .400 (6-for-15), driving in three runs and scoring three. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Casas led the USA team to a silver medal nailing a trio of homers in the tournament, driving in eight. As a result, he was one of five Americans named to the All-World Team.
Jarren Duran has appeared in 24 games for Boston this season. The lefty bat is hitting .222, with two homers and eight RBIs. Despite his recent struggles, the Red Sox organization has been impressed with his maturity and preparedness.
Duran also possesses top speed that will benefit the Red Sox should they make the postseason. On an in-the-park home run in late July that was ruled a triple and an error, Duran reached 29.3 feet per second (according to mlb.com). The little league home run is one of his two triples on the season.
Not appearing on the MLB Top 100 Prospects list was shortstop Jeter Downs. Downs, who was acquired as part of the Mookie Betts trade, is batting just .183 on the season for Triple-A Worcester. He has posted a .271 OBP, along with an abysmal .595 OPS.
Despite his struggles, Downs has hit 11 roundtrippers in 268 at-bats, driving in 27. Additionally, he has stolen 13 bases, with a SB% of 81% (3 CS).
Chaim Bloom has transformed a Red Sox farm system that was depleted upon his arrival in 2019. Baseball America recently ranked the Sox as having the ninth-best prospect pipeline in baseball, up 11 spots from the start of the season. Even more impressively, Bloom has managed to bolster the farm system while maintaining a competitive on-field product in 2021.
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