Red Sox

"20 Under 25" Boston Red Sox Candidates for 2022

Red Sox
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For several years during Dave Dombrowski's tenure as Boston Red Sox general manager, the club's farm system was barren. Most of the top prospects were shipped out of town for veteran talent as Dombrowski's front office had only one goal in mind: a championship.

They succeeded in that endeavor. The Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018 to earn their fourth World Series title in 14 years. But after missing the playoffs in 2019, Red Sox brass decided it was time for the team to put an emphasis on its future.

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Chaim Bloom was hired as the Red Sox' chief baseball officer shortly after Dombrowski's departure. Formerly the Tampa Bay Rays' senior vice president of baseball operations, Bloom brought an anti-Dombrowski mentality to Boston's front office. Rebuilding the farm system became a priority.

The result is a Red Sox farm system that went from being ranked 20th in the league, per Baseball America, all the way up to 9th. A number of the team's top prospects shined during the 2021 season and showed the future of the franchise is in good hands.

A handful of them made it onto our list "20 Under 25" candidates for 2022. Below, you'll find the six Red Sox prospects on the ballot this year followed by a form to cast your vote.

Triston Casas, 1B

LAST YEAR: 24 | RATING: 70.72

Casas is one step closer to making his debut in The Show after a memorable 2021 campaign. The 26th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft impressed for Double-A Portland and took his talents overseas to lead Team USA to a silver medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 

The 6-foot-4 first baseman, who turns 22 in January, is Baseball America's No. 2 Red Sox prospect heading into the 2022 season. As a left-handed slugger, he often draws comparisons to Atlanta Braves MVP and World Series champion Freddie Freeman. It doesn't get much more flattering than that.

We could see Casas with the big-league club as early as the upcoming MLB season.

Marcelo Mayer, SS

LAST YEAR: N/A

Just how promising of a prospect is Marcelo Mayer? Put it this way, he immediately was ranked as the team's No. 2 prospect after being drafted fourth overall in 2021, and he's overtaken Casas for the top spot heading into 2022. He was widely expected to be the first overall selection in the draft.

Mayer, 18, is a smooth-fielding shortstop with a sweet left-handed swing. His common comp is Brandon Crawford mixed with Corey Seager. Not a guy who's going to hit 30-plus homers a year, but a well-rounded hitter with Gold Glove upside.

Mayer spent his first pro season with the Florida Complex League Red Sox, hitting .275 with three homers and 17 RBI in 26 games. It'll be at least a couple of years before we see him take the field at Fenway Park, but his journey to the big leagues will be worth keeping tabs on.

Jeter Downs, INF

LAST YEAR: 17 | RATING: 73.71

Downs was acquired by the Red Sox as part of the 2020 trade that sent superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He heads into the 2022 season as the No. 6 Red Sox prospect in Baseball America's rankings.

Last year was a rough one for Downs with Triple-A Worcester. The 23-year-old hit just .190, though he did show off his power potential with 14 homers in 99 games.

As a major piece of the Betts trade, there's plenty of pressure on Downs to bounce back in 2022. If he returns to form as one of the top hitters among middle-infield prospects, there's a chance he'll be promoted to the big-league roster by the end of next season.

Nick Yorke, 2B

LAST YEAR: N/A

Yorke was named the Red Sox' minor league offensive player of the year after an outstanding season with Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville. The 19-year-old slashed .325/.412/.516 with 14 homers and 62 RBI in 97 games.

When Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox selected Yorke with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, many considered the pick to be a reach. Yorke proved those naysayers wrong with his 2021 campaign and will look to duplicate that success next year. He enters the 2022 season as the team's No. 3 prospect, per Baseball America.

Jay Groome, LHP

LAST YEAR: 33 | RATING: 68.0

It's been a tough few years for Groome since he was selected 12th overall by the Red Sox in the 2016 MLB Draft. The talented southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018 and has had his fair share of ups and downs since.

The 23-year-old struggled with High-A Greenville last season, posting a 5.29 ERA in 18 starts. But after his promotion to Double-A, he began to show why he was one of the most coveted hurlers in the 2016 draft. Groome went 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in three starts with the Portland Sea Dogs.

 

He comes in at No. 10 in Baseball America's Red Sox prospect rankings.

Brayan Bello, RHP

LAST YEAR: N/A

Bello might be one of the lesser-known names on this list, but he deserves your attention. The right-hander was named the Red Sox' minor league pitcher of the year in 2021 and has earned himself the No. 5 spot in Baseball America's latest Sox prospect rankings.

Bello, 22, dominated at High-A Greenville with a 5-0 record and 2.84 ERA in six outings. He wasn't quite as successful after his promotion to Double-A Portland, where he went 2-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 15 starts. Still, with a fastball that reaches triple digits and a killer changeup, Bello is emerging as arguably the most promising pitching prospect in Boston's system.

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Cast your "20 Under 25" votes below!