Deep dive:

Law's prospect methodology
As always, these rankings combine my firsthand evaluation of players, copious input from MLB scouts and executives, and the players' performance to date. Age and position also factor heavily into rankings, as players up the middle are more valuable (they're scarcer) than those on the corners, and players who succeed while young for the levels in which they play tend to become better big leaguers.

Player rankings are team-agnostic: A prospect would get the same ranking or evaluation if he played for Miami that he would get if he played for Colorado. Any numerical grades assigned to players are on the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is major league average and 80 is Billy Hamilton's speed or Joey Gallo's power.

Players who have lost Rookie of the Year eligibility (more than 130 at bats, 50 innings, or 45 days on the active 25-man roster) do not count toward these rankings.
Although it may seem oxymoronic to say this about a team I have ranked in the bottom third, I like what's going on in the Red Sox's system. There are quite a few prospects here who could be top-100 fodder in a year if they just get healthy, or in one or two cases just prove something at a higher level. They had a lot of injuries to major prospects last year and some bad luck along the way, although I doubt anyone is shedding any tears for the world champs.

1. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP (just missed)
2. Triston Casas, 1B
3. Tanner Houck, RHP
4. Jay Groome, LHP
5. Michael Chavis, 3B
6. Bobby Dalbec, 3B
7. Alex Scherff, RHP
8. Antoni Flores, SS
9. Danny Diaz, 3B
10. Nick Decker, OF

Triston Casas was Boston's first-round pick, a prep first baseman who has a really advanced approach and uses the whole field extremely well. He has the physical potential for power but a swing that is more geared to hard line-drive contact than the big-fly variety. At the time they took him, I said that if he becomes a 30-homer guy, it'll be the Paul Goldschmidt kind, where he hits line drives so hard they still leave the park. I saw only fringy defense at first from him as an amateur.

Tanner Houck started the season throwing mostly four-seamers, way too many, with more velocity but mixed results and a higher arm slot that cost him some deception. In mid-May he went back to his old self, sitting 94-95 with 70 sink while still using the four-seamer to elevate. His slider can be unhittable at times as well, particularly against right-handed hitters. His delivery has always given rise to concerns about him holding up as a starter, and he still needs to improve his changeup, as lefties see the ball out of his hand and his slider can run right into their bat path. That said, he held up for all of last year, and in the second half of his season (12 starts of 23) he threw up a 2.86 ERA, 73 strikeouts and 23 walks in 69 1/3 innings.

Jay Groome might miss all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. When healthy, he had a 70 curveball and above-average fastball with a good frame and loose delivery, but needed work on fastball command and control and refining his changeup. He really hasn't been healthy for more than a few starts at a time since signing. Michael Chavis missed half of 2018 due to a suspension for a positive PED test, then played through injuries when he returned. I think he's trade bait at this point and could help everyone with a healthy first half where he shows he can use the whole field. I'm not sure he's anyone's regular at third though.

Bobby Dalbec, on the other hand, might become one -- if he can cut the strikeouts. He has 70 raw power, an 80 arm, a 55 glove and he makes a lot of hard contact, but he struck out a third of the time in 2018. He is so vulnerable to sliders low and away or velocity up that it's hard to see him getting that under control. The potential is there, at least. Alex Scherff started rolling around midyear, working mostly fastball-changeup with a fringy breaking ball, when he hurt his oblique, but he came back well in instructs and has since added a cutter. He may not need much more given his willingness to pitch inside with his fastball, but as with Groome, he has to show he can stay healthy for a full year.

Antoni Flores signed for $1.4 million in 2017 and was set to play some in the Gulf Coast League this summer, but he hurt his hamstring after one game and didn't return till instructs. He has a good feel to hit for a 17-year-old with sneaky power, and plays shortstop well enough to stay there despite fringy speed and an average arm. He seems a better bet than Danny Diaz, who signed the same day as Flores for $1.6 million and has bigger tools, especially more power, with a bigger frame and stronger arm, but could outgrow third base in time, although he's an above-average defender there right now.

Nick Decker, the team's second-round pick out of a New Jersey high school, also missed most of the summer because of an injury, but came back for instructs and showed a better approach than anyone expected given the bad competition he'd faced in the spring (and how often he was pitched around). He's a hitter with power, rather than a power-over-hit type, with a plus arm that will let him stay in right field.

Mike Shawaryn (11) has a reliever's delivery with a low slot and high elbow in back of his arm action, but he's succeeded and stayed healthy up to Triple-A, working with an above-average fastball and changeup as well as a plus slider, throwing enough strikes albeit with about 45 command. He could be a depth starter for Boston this year, or a long reliever, or maybe a trade piece to a team that needs a starter who doesn't make any money. Right-hander Bryan Mata (12) saw his velocity jump to the mid-90s this year, and he already had an average curveball and changeup, with plenty of deception from a tough-to-repeat arm action -- and then he walked 58 guys in 72 innings this year. I'm not sure he can pitch with that delivery and this kind of arm speed and get to starter-level command.

Third-rounder Durbin Feltman (13) has a plus slider and fastball up to 99, with a delivery that says "get him to the majors before he breaks." He does throw strikes and missed a ton of bats for TCU, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Boston this summer. Travis Lakins (14) moved to the bullpen with promising results last year after several seasons of injuries as a starter, allowing him to focus more on working with his fastball and cutter. Lakins didn't pitch on consecutive days, so this is a transition still in progress, but his stuff is big league ready, and he throws enough strikes to help a major-league team in the right role. Shortstop C.J. Chatham (15) had a nice bounce-back season after missing nearly all of 2017 with hamstring injuries, hitting .315/.355/.384 for high-A Salem while playing above-average defense, but he has below-average power. He isn't a high-walk guy, so he projects more as a utility infielder.

Third baseman Brandon Howlett (16), the team's 21st-round pick in 2018, was very impressive in his pro debut this summer, with a .402 OBP between the GCL and a week in short-season Lowell. He's less toolsy than other prospects in the system but more advanced at the plate and is likely to stay at third. Right-hander Denyi Reyes (17) has exceptional control and well above-average command at age 22, working with a bucket of average pitches but locating everything, with just 19 walks allowed in 155 innings. He'll have to prove this works at higher levels, but he has some fourth-starter potential.

Eighth-rounder Elih Marrero (18), son of former big leaguer Eli Marrero, is a strong catch-and-throw guy whose bat is light, although he's a switch-hitter with enough contact skill to play himself into a backup role. Right-hander Zach Schellenger (19), Boston's sixth-round pick in 2017, has been hampered by injuries since he signed, but his slider is a wipeout pitch and his delivery makes his fastball tough for right-handers to see as well, getting him some Carson Smith comparisons. He faced 42 right-handed batters last year and struck out 17 of them. Nick Northcut (20), an over-slot signing in the 11th round last year, turned 19 just after the draft and has big power but also a big swing with some holes in it, and he's a work in progress at third base.

Right-hander Jake Thompson (21) has a couple of above-average pitches but doesn't miss bats at all, and may have to move to the bullpen to see if anything ticks up for him. Kole Cottam (22), their fourth-round pick last year, could be a backup catcher thanks to his power and some idea of the strike zone, although he's a fringy defender.

2019 impact: Feltman and/or Lakins could pitch in the major-league bullpen this year, but that's probably it unless a regular gets hurt.

Sleeper: That's still Scherff, who could be a top-60 prospect in a year if he just stays healthy for a full season and if his new cutter is indeed the weapon it appears to be.

The fallen: I hate to bury a guy just 18 months out of the draft, but Cole Brannen, the team's second-round pick in 2017, was atrocious in his full-season debut, earning a demotion to short-season and just failing to make quality contact at any level.