Red Sox have 3 top-40 prospects in latest MLB.com rankings

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MLB.com released its updated Top 100 Prospects rankings on Wednesday, and for the Red Sox it’s a story of quantity over quality.

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Boston has three prospects in the top 100, which, mathematically, is basically league-average. But it’s where in the top 100 those three prospects are ranked that should excite Red Sox fans.

All three rank in the top 40, with shortstop Marcelo Mayer leading the way at No. 8. First baseman Triston Casas comes in at 26, while right-handed pitcher Brayan Bello rounds out the group at 37.

The Red Sox are one of just five organizations to have three prospects in the top 40, joining the Mets, Orioles, Nationals and Diamondbacks. The Dodgers have the most prospects overall in the top 100 with seven.

MLB.com also includes a “Prospect Points” system that assigns 100 points for the No. 1 prospect, 99 for No. 2, and so on. Using that system, the Red Sox’ 232 points rank ninth.

The 19-year-old Mayer was the fourth overall pick in 2021. He is hitting .281/.399/.495 (.894 OPS) with 11 home runs, 45 RBIs and 16 steals in 74 Single-A games in his first full professional season. MLB.com projects him to reach the majors at some point in 2024.

Casas, 22, is hitting .254/.358/.460 (.818 OPS) with nine homers and 30 RBIs in 58 games for Triple-A Worcester this season. While those numbers may not jump off the page, Casas has picked it up since returning from an ankle injury in late July, including ripping a walk-off wall ball on Wednesday.

The Red Sox’ addition of Eric Hosmer at the trade deadline lessened any temptation to rush Casas to the majors this season, but a late-season call-up still shouldn’t be ruled out, especially if Hosmer doesn’t pick it up at the plate (.206 average, .584 OPS in 10 games with Boston).

Bello, 23, made his major league debut on July 6, but struggled in five appearances (three starts), giving up 16 runs in 17 innings for an ugly 8.47 ERA. His numbers in the minors this season still offer plenty of hope, though. He has a 10-4 record, 2.36 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 91.2 innings across 17 appearances (16 starts) split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester.