MLB Pipeline has released their annual Top 100 Prospects lists, and six Drive alums were recognized among the top 25.
Highlighting the list was outfielder Andrew Benintendi (2015), who was listed as the number one prospect in baseball. Benintendi, who was selected seventh overall in the 2015 draft, finished the 2016 season in the Red Sox outfield, capping a meteoric rise through the Boston system. He quickly established himself as a key member of Boston's future, and he homered in his first playoff at-bat in October. He hit .295 in 34 games with the Red Sox after hitting .312 with nine homers and 76 RBI in the minor leagues.
The Drive also saw an alum take the number two spot on the list. Infielder Yoan Moncada (2015) is no longer a member of the Red Sox, as he was moved to the Chicago White Sox in the Chris Sale blockbuster trade in December. Before the trade, he made his debut in Boston in 2016 after a monster season that ended with his selection by Baseball America as the Minor League Player of the Year. He smacked 15 homers, stole 45 bases and hit .294 with a .407 on-base percentage.
Right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech (2015) joined Moncada in the trade to the White Sox, and he ranked 16th on MLB Pipeline's list. Despite making only 12 starts in the minors this season, Kopech dominated to the tune of 86 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings, and he followed that up by going 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in six starts in the Arizona Fall League. He has been the talk of the minor leagues this winter after being clocked at 110 miles per hour during an offseason workout.
Third baseman Rafael Devers (2015) was named the 17th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. Devers continued to show an advanced hitting approach for his age, as he hit .282 with 32 doubles, eight triples, 11 homers and 71 RBI in A-Salem this year despite playing the entire season at 19 years old. He was also selected by the Red Sox as their Minor League Defensive Player of the Year for his continued improvements at the hot corner.
Coming in at number 23 on the list is outfielder Manuel Margot (2014). Sent to the San Diego Padres last winter in the trade that brought Craig Kimbrel to Boston, Margot shined in 2016, culminating in a trip to the major leagues in September. He hit .304 in AAA this season with 12 triples, six homers, 55 RBI and 30 RBI, and he hit .243 in a 10-game stint in San Diego. He may break camp in 2017 as the Padres starting center fielder.
Another Drive alum and current Padres farmhand made the list at number 25. Right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza (2016) was dealt to San Diego in July in exchange for Drew Pomeranz, and prior to his trade, he logged a 4.38 ERA in 17 starts with the Drive in 2016, including an 11-strikeout performance against Augusta on May 5th. He finished the season with 100 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings.
In addition to the former Drive players on the list, a potential member of the 2017 Drive roster appeared on the list as well. Left-handed pitcher Jason Groome, who was selected 12th overall by the Red Sox last summer out of a New Jersey high school, was ranked by MLB Pipeline at number 41.