Jay Groome and Michael Chavis are still the top two prospects in the Red Sox farm system.  How is that now possible based on their history?

Occasionally when I tire of watching reruns of outdated TV shows or the latest from TMZ and I will check MLB Prospect Watch. I happen to be a skeptic of prospect rankings and to quote Darrel Royal: “Potential means you ain’t down nothing yet.” The concise witticisms of a coach. And it summarizes my view.

I went to Prospect Watch to see how the latest adjustments were made regarding the Red Sox rankings. What I had was a sudden assault on the brain cells as the rankings for our first two prospects have remained unchanged. Michael Chavis and Jay Groome and still firmly entrenched as the first two on our once bountiful system.

Chavis is currently on the sidelines fulfilling his obligation of being suspended for 80 games over a PED issue.  Of course, Chavis said all the right or wrong things about his being nabbed, but that aside – how can a player whose breakout 2017 season now be considered valid based on what is now known? Chavis did nothing his first three years and then suddenly had 31 home runs and a .282 average. Catapulted via PED? Maybe.

What type of prospect logic airbrushed over the 2017 season?  Should not being busted suddenly place that surge into the questionable category? I wish Chavis well and sincerely hope that his ethical wandering is not the reason for his bounce up the prospect ladder.  He’ll return and we all may see if Chavis is a legitimate prospect but based on his PED bust I would have him on a prospect hiatus.

Groome had what is being a rite of passage for a pitcher – Tommy John Surgery. Tell your son or daughter to go into specialized orthopedics as TJ Surgery is a medical cottage industry. As for Groome, he has done little since being a number one draft selection and given a $3.65 MM signing bonus.

With Groome, some slack could be given since he has coped with a series of debilitating injuries since signing. Still, the idea is baseball is a results-oriented sport and with prospects, it is the dicey combination of performance and projections.  I go with Coach Royal on the latter and as far as performance? Nothing yet.

Groome will be gone for 12-18 months as the process goes forward, but I still have difficulty grasping the concept of a player who has pitched just 44.1 innings in two seasons as a number one prospect. Granted – the elite baseball scouting minds have certainly conspired to “project” Groome into future greatness. A very long list could be created of notable busts. Especially with Groome you have mediocre results. Undoubtedly there must be some type of advanced metric that enters into the equation. But there is a caveat with Groome since he still only 19-years-old.

Groome also has the given some slack that is routinely handed out to high – especially number one – draft selections. It is exceedingly difficult to not give far too much developmental time to a high draft pick. Just think Trey Ball who if he was a tenth-round selection would be long gone.

Bluntly speaking I do not consider Chavis or Groome top prospects.  Both have a long haul ahead to get that level of confidence from me. There are others in the system who are proving themselves more valuable in the immediate and near immediate. My fervent hope is that both return and prove beyond any doubt that they both are a legitimate top of the line prospects. But in the meantime one is tainted and the other is in a long rehabilitation process. They should be lower on any prospect list.