Boston Red Sox prospects to watch for in 2018

01 SEP 2014: Josh Ockimey of the Red Sox during the Gulf Coast League Championship game #3 between the GCL Red Sox and the GCL Yankees 1 at the Yankees Minor League Complex in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
01 SEP 2014: Josh Ockimey of the Red Sox during the Gulf Coast League Championship game #3 between the GCL Red Sox and the GCL Yankees 1 at the Yankees Minor League Complex in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images) /
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Red Sox
01 SEP 2014: Josh Ockimey of the Red Sox during the Gulf Coast League Championship game #3 between the GCL Red Sox and the GCL Yankees 1 at the Yankees Minor League Complex in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Red Sox prospects used to be the envy of most of the sport. Under Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington, the farm enjoyed it’s best-run of sustained success, perhaps ever in the history of the franchise. Those days might be over, but could they come back?

A lot of digital ink has been spilled over Dave Dombrowski and his impact on the Boston Red Sox Farm System. And to be fair, he’s certainly done a bit of pillaging there. But it has all been in the name of maximizing the major league team’s chances in the short term. He had a reputation for moving promising kids for established veterans, and he’s certainly lived up to it. So what is left in the aftermath of Dombrowski doing what Dombrowski does to Red Sox prospects?

Not a lot, now that top prospects Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers have graduated. The Red Sox farm system is as thin as it’s been in a long time, currently ranked 23rd. That is quite the precipitous fall from 4th overall just two offseasons ago.

Benjamin Chase put together a fine Red Sox Top 10 Prospects list over the winter, but a system is more than it’s top 10. Here are six Red Sox prospects who may make the leap into the public consciousness by the end of the year.

Jalen Beeks, LHP

Red Sox
FT. MYERS, FL – FEBRUARY 22: Jalen Beeks /

Drafted in the 12th round in 2014, this left-handed pitcher throws in the low 90’s with the ability to reach back and touch 95 with some life. He has a four-pitch mix and recently picked up a cutter to replace his slider. He also has a changeup and a curveball. Beeks succeeds with deception for the most part and split the season between AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket. It was his second season at the level following 65 and ⅓ innings there in 2016.

In Portland, he posted an intriguing 2.19 ERA with a 3.18 FIP and a 10.58 K/9. Walks were an issue, as evidenced by his 4.01 BB/9. But he appeared to have taken a big step forward and was promoted to AAA.

While in Pawtucket, his walk rate dropped to 3.10, but his ERA jumped to 3.86 with a FIP of 3.77. His K/9 remained a healthy 9.13 over 95 and ⅔ innings. If he improves as much in his second run through AAA as he did with AA, expect to see him added to the short list of shuttle options for the big league club in the second half. We may even hear his name as a bullpen option.