Red Sox 2013 Draft Recap
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By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): Follow @ryandana1
The First-Year Player Draft in the MLB (also known as the “Rule 4 Draft”) can make or break organizations. Drafting well will provide sustainability for even the smallest market teams, but drafting poorly could leave any team in a drought of epic proportions.
The Red Sox have had some good and some bad picks in recent drafts, but the 2011 draft was the end of the draft as we previously knew it. 2012 was the 1st year of a new draft system.
So before I get into the 2013 draft I want to talk a little about the Red Sox 2012 draft because not only is that draft over, but the signing period is over and the prospects are all in the Minors developing, so you can see a team’s strategy and how is working out so far.
I won’t get too into the rules of the new system because that could warrant a whole article itself, but feel free to ask any questions about it that you have and I will answer. I’m easy to get a hold of via twitter usually.
Anyway the Red Sox had a somewhat conservative 2012 draft. They weren’t overly aggressive going after “tough signs”, that is players who were likely to choose college over signing a pro contract. They took Deven Marrero a college Shortstop who slid down the 1st round of the draft due to a down year at Arizona State.
They took only 2 high school players in the first 10 rounds, one of which RHP Jamie Callahan, did not require them to spend over slot like a lot of high school players might. So the team ended up drafting a bunch of seniors in the top 10 rounds that they could sign for under slot bonuses to save up for their 1 real tough sign, RHP Ty Buttrey.
Buttrey was a high school pitcher who commanded an above slot bonus in order to forgo college and turn pro. They took a chance on him and were able to sign him with the money they saved elsewhere in the first 10 rounds so they had the extra pool money to land a top talent like Buttrey.
This was a solid strategic move that was their real win of the 2012 draft. Other than that they got some solid prospects, but like I said, it wasn’t an overly aggressive draft. They took a couple chances on tough sign, high school prospects in later rounds like OF Jamal Martin, RHP Carson Fulmer, and 2B Alex Bregman for example, but were unable to sign them as could have been expected.
One other notable strategy the Red Sox employed in 2012 was loading up on Pitchers early. After picking Marrero with their 1st pick, they chose 8 straight pitchers.
In 2013 the Red Sox had a much different draft in their second go-around at this new draft system. They were extremely aggressive drafting a lot of high school players, a lot of whom are tough signs, meaning they won’t be able to sign a good amount of these guys.
In the 1st round, the Red Sox selected 7th overall. This was the highest they have selected since 1993 when they took Trot Nixon. With the rare opportunity to draft high in the 1st round the Red Sox used their pick on Trey Ball.
Ball is a two way player out of high school as a LHP and OF. The Sox drafted him as a Pitcher. Drafting high school pitching is always a high risk, high reward type of pick. This pick is no different, but the hope is that Ball will be their future Ace for years to come once he reached the Majors.
In the 2nd round the club drafted Teddy Stankiewicz a RHP out of junior college. He projects as more of a middle of the rotation type, but here is one place strategy comes into place.
Stankiewicz was considered by many a top 100 prospect in this draft, and the Red Sox took him 45th overall, which was a little early maybe, but it is the assumption that he will sign for below slot and the team can use that money on other players.
One of those players would be 3rd round pick Jon Denney, a Catcher out of the high school ranks. He was largely considered a 1st round talent so he may very well require 1st round money in order to pass on college. While Ball will likely sign around slot, and Stankiewicz will likely sign below slot, the Red Sox will almost certainly need to go over slot to sign Denney, which they planned for.
Knowing they could use a little more “extra” pool money, the Red Sox used rounds 4-10 to accomplish this. Rounds 4 and 5 the Red Sox took college juniors, RHP Myles Smith and LHP Corey Littrell, who should be fairly easy signs. Then they took a high school CF Jordan Austin in round 6, followed by 4 straight college seniors to finish out their top 10 rounds. (LHP Mike Adams, CF Forrestt Allday, RHP Kyle Martin, RHP Taylor Grover)
Like I mentioned, high school players often require over slot bonuses to sign, but to counteract this, a lot of teams will do what the Red Sox did and draft a bunch of college seniors, or senior signs, to save money for the tougher signs.
I don’t think they will have too much trouble signing their first 10 picks. However, one intricate thing the team did was draft Jon Denney after Teddy Stankiewicz. While logic may say Denney was the better prospect and they should have taken him first. If you don’t sign a player you lose that slot’s bonus money, so in the chance that the Sox can’t sign Denney it will cost them less of their bonus pool than if they had drafted him earlier.
Also teams value a guy who was a legitimate 2nd round talent like Stankiewicz (was drafted in 2nd round by the Mets in 2012 too) that will not be too difficult to sign, so he may have been off the board by their 3rd round pick. Denney was probably only available due to his question of signability.
In rounds 11-40 the Red Sox drafted a total of 19 high school players. This is where they were really aggressive. They will never be able to sign all of them. I doubt they sign half. However, a lot of them were highly rated, much higher than the round they were taken, but fell due to signablility issues. They also added a solid stable of arms early again this year using 7 of their first 10 picks on Pitchers.
I can’t tell you how highly each was ranked, or how signable they all are, but I can tell you if the Red Sox could sign half a dozen of them, their strategy would have probably paid off. While RHP Jordan Sheffield (13th round pick) and CF Ryan Boldt (22nd round pick) are very tough signs, if they could sign either one, it would be a huge win to validate the aggressive strategy.
It was suggested to me that even their 32nd round pick Matt Thaiss, another well rated high school Catcher, would be a huge sign and a little more plausible than the 2 previously mentioned players.
After filling out their lower Minor league affiliations with some solid college players from the 2012 draft the Red Sox were in the perfect situation to take a chance in 2013, and they didn’t squander it at all. They got some more solid senior signs, and signable college juniors, but they should also be able to put a handful of top high school talent into their system thanks to some smart strategy.
The Red Sox draft in 2013 has me very excited about the future of the organization. They already have a highly ranked farm system with a bunch of talent moving up close to the Majors, but this draft will replenish the lower Minors quite well, diminishing the chances of a gap in talented prospects greatly.
The Red Sox nabbed the 8th ranked prospect in the draft in Trey Ball, 20th Jon Denney, 39th Ryan Boldt, 88th Teddy Stankiewicz. Even if they don’t sign Boldt which is the expectation, getting the 8th, 20th, and 88th overall ranked prospects in the draft when they held picks 7, 45, and 81 isn’t bad at all. (Rankings were done by Jonathan Mayo, I believe)
Jordan Sheffield and Matt Thaiss both of which I already mentioned as extremely talented tough signs are ranked in the top 300 prospects on nearly any list you will find. Sheffield is much higher on some, but fell on others due to his Tommy John Surgery this spring.
Another highly ranked tough sign is SS Trever Morrison, who is ranked 139th by Baseball America. And one seemingly impossible sign is RHP Derek Burkamper who was ranked 302 on BA’s list but has already said he plans on honoring his commitment to Nebraska even after being drafted.
After the tough signs, there are guys like RF Joseph Monge who is a top 500 prospect on Baseball America’s list and is almost a certain sign as he hasn’t even committed to playing for a college to this point.
Ultimately like I’ve already said, the Red Sox should be able to sign their top 10 picks which will give them a solid base for the 2013 draft class. In rounds 11-40 they have some solid signable college players and even a few high school players, and then there are a bunch of guys they will simply not have the bonus money to be able to convince them to sign.
If they can get a couple tough signs from rounds 11-40 on board, then it will really give the Red Sox a good draft and influx of talent into their farm system.
Another part of this new draft system is a shorter time to sign the draft picks so we should be able to better judge how the Red Sox did overall in the 2013 draft. Signing deadline is now July 12.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to our baseball writer Ryan Dana for preparing today’s featured article. Ryan is senior studying physical education with a concentration in coaching at Bridgewater State University.
He has been playing baseball since he was 7 and coaching since he was 14. Ryan wants to be a college baseball coach once he graduates. Ryan is, and always will be, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. Secondary to baseball, he is a big health and fitness enthusiast. You can find Ryan on Twitter . Follow @ryandana1
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Posted on June 10, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged alex bregman, baseball america, boston, carson fulmer, corey littrell, derek burkamper, deven marrero, draft, forrestt allday, jamal martin, jamie callahan, jon denney, jonathan mayo, jordan austin, jordan sheffield, joseph monge, kj trader, kyle martin, matt thaiss, mike adams, myles smith, red sox, ryan boldt, taylor grover, teddy stankiewicz, Tommy John Surgery, trever morrison, trey ball, trot nixon, ty buttrey. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Red Sox 2013 Draft Recap.