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Red Sox top prospects 2022: Marcelo Mayer and Triston Casas give Boston two high-ceiling infielders

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Major League Baseball’s owners may have locked out the players, triggering the league’s first work stoppage since 1994-95 and bringing the offseason to a halt, but that doesn’t mean we’re letting it derail our typical offseason plans. Indeed, CBS Sports is in the process of highlighting the top three prospects for all 30 teams, as well as naming the top 50 prospects in the minors, regardless of team affiliation. 

That journey finds us today focusing on the Boston Red Sox’s farm system. 

Do note that these lists are formed after conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development folks from around the league. There is personal bias baked in, as one would expect from subjective exercises, so some disagreement is to be expected.

1. Marcelo Mayer, SS, No. 15 on MLB top 20

Mayer entered last summer’s draft ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 1 prospect on the board. He ended up going fourth overall to the Red Sox, who, in our estimation, should thank their lucky stars. Mayer’s boosters believe he’ll be a well-rounded left-handed hitter who can contribute average, on-base, and slugging once he adds enough strength to his frame to launch 15-to-20 home runs annually. While he’s not a fast runner, he is a skillful defender who has the arm, the hands, and the fluidity to remain at shortstop. Mayer’s exact ceiling hinges on his aforementioned physical maturation, but if he gets close to his peak he’ll become a two-way contributor and an All-Star.

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2. Triston Casas, 1B, No. 19 on MLB top 20

It’s hard for a first baseman to rank highly these days because of the offensive demands of the position. Casas is the exception based on his pleasant combination of hit, discipline, and power; he’s a triple threat in the batter’s box, in so many words. He homered 14 times in 86 games between Double- and Triple-A, and did so while striking out in fewer than 20 percent of his plate appearances despite being only 21 years old. Casas has a frame and swing path that might remind people of Freddie Freeman, and, health provided, he ought to break into Boston’s lineup sometime around midseason.

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The Red Sox raised eyebrows when they selected Yorke with the 17th pick in the 2020 draft. The skepticism was warranted given the pressure placed on his bat by a limited defensive projection. (One scout coined him as Justin Foscue without the SEC vetting.) Nevertheless, Yorke made the Red Sox look smart in his first professional season, hitting .325/.412/.516 with 14 home runs and 25 additional extra-base hits in 97 games across two levels. He’s never going to be confused as a defensive asset, but the Red Sox will live his flaws if he continues to hit as he’s proven capable of doing so far.

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