The next wave of Red Sox prospects had a strong showing on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, which was released on Friday, with Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi and Anderson Espinoza all making the cut.
Of the promising young quartet in a loaded Boston farm system, Moncada is the most high-profile prospect and comes in at No. 7. The second baseman was in Class A last year, and after some initial struggles, he had a solid second half. He batted .278/.380/.438 in 81 games for Greenville.
The annual ranking of baseball's Top 100 Prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2016 season are eligible for the list. The rankings follow the guidelines laid out by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in terms of who falls under the international pool money rules: Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Devers, who made the jump from No. 97 a year ago to No. 17 in this year's preseason list, is a third baseman known for a great offensive approach. The 19-year-old struck out just 84 times in 115 games in 2015.
Benintendi, who was ranked at No. 25 overall, was the Red Sox's first-round pick and has quickly moved up among their top prospects. The outfielder debuted on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects midseason list at No. 62 and could move quickly through Boston's farm system. The 21-year-old out of Arkansas started out in the New York-Penn League in his first pro season, but he was promoted to Greenville, where he batted .351 with four homers and 16 RBIs in just 19 games.
Espinoza, who is No. 39, is the youngest of the group at 17. The right-handed pitcher played at three levels last season, pitching to a 1.23 ERA in 15 games. Signed to a Minor League contract in August 2014, Espinoza ended last season with one start for Greenville.
MLBPipeline assigns "prospect points" to each player on the list (100 for No. 1, 99 for No. 2, 98 for No. 3 and so on). With its four prospects on the list, Boston ranks fourth in the Majors with 316 points.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.