Updated throughout the day, check back often to see who the Red Sox have drafted. I will be following at the Draft Central at 12:30 PM.
This morning, Baseball America released its predictions and the Red Sox were projected to take OF Jacoby Ellsbury, RHP Craig Hansen (a relief prospect who could advance quickly), OF Colby Rasmus, and SS Ryan Mount out of the first 48 picks. If you want to read in depth on some people, visit Fire Brand’s look at potential draftees. Away we go!
With the Red Sox’s first pick (23), OF Jacoby Ellsbury was picked. Ellsbury is viewed as a Johnny Damon clone, albeit with less power. It helps strengthen the OF in the systems and also gives Red Sox options as our OF ages. Damon is a FA after this year, Nixon after next, and Manny after 2008. OF is definitely a focus in this draft for us. He is 6’1″, 185 lbs and is a lefty both at bat and in the field. His MLB.com scouting report: “Medium frame. Live, lean, athletic build. Pure athletic. Leadoff CF profile w/ impact speed both ways. Contact hitter w/ a level, compact swing. Uses the whole field. Gap to gap power.”
At 26, the Red Sox nab RP Craig Hansen, who should advance quickly through the ranks. The 6’6″ 210 pounder could help Boston’s beleaguered bullpen in the next few years. He could advance as quickly as Cla Meredith, or quicker, perhaps by September. That’s right, September 2005. RPs going into the first always progress the quickest because of plus stuff. Street is already in the majors, Chad Cordero as well. If Hansen is promoted aggressively (for the Boston bullpen isn’t that hot) he could give the Sox a shot in the arm by Stepember. MLB.com = “Body tapers down from high, extra-wide, slant shoulders. Low elbow in delivery causes deception. Aggressive approach, challenges. Two power pitches. Explosive FB life, 93-94 mph. Sliders 85 mph. Legit weapon vs. RHH. Throws strikes. Comes right at you.”
Minnesota took 1B Henry Sanchez at 39. The Red Sox were heavily interested in him. Perhaps MIN took a look at Theo’s success with Ortiz and decided to take Sanchez … at 42, the Red Sox have nabbed SP Clay Buchholz, a surprise pick. A friend of mine who has many friends in the drafts believes Clay will never make it past AA. As he says, “that is a MONEY BALL pick.” The 6’3″ 190 lbs pitcher out of Junior College has this report on MLB.com = “Tall, lean, athletic body. Long arms. Slender hips. Similar to Gil Meche. Above avg velocity FB, quick, loose arm. Hard, sluvry-slider w/ 3/4 depth. Slower 3/4 break CB. Throws straight change-up. Aggressive approach. Attacks hitters and challenges w/ FB.” He is going to sign for much less than slot money for he is out of JC, which is a Moneyball move. NOTE: Buchholz was drafted as a RF. Interesting, we will have to see their plan for Clay, but we will operate under the fact he is a SP.
At 46, the Red Sox draft, according to said friend, an “Adam Kennedy with more range”. That is 2B Jed Lowrie. He is a 2B, which means that he might have to be moved at some point. Hanley, Pedroia, Lara and Soto are all SS’s who could be moved to 2B and 3B. However, according to this friend, Lowrie is better than Pedroia. MLB.com: “Body is athletic, lean and slender. Confident switch-hitter w/ a good eye. Sound approach. Aggressive in the zone. Hits to all fields. Smooth actions on defense, makes plays in the hole. Accurate, average arm.”
At 49, a high school pitcher, Michael Bowden, was taken. Considering the Red Sox only take high-ceiling high schoolers, you have to be happy with this move. Bowden, a lefty, is 6’3″ with 215 lbs. MLB.com has this to say: “Large, big boned frame. Broad shoulders. Long arms. Similar to Roger Clemens. Plus FB velocity, occasional heavy w/ small sink & tail. Sharp, late bite, 12-6 CB. Around plate w/ four pitches. Good presence. Power arm & body w/ three projectable plus pitches.”
Moving into the second round now, and pick 57 belongs to the Red Sox on which they use it on C Jonathan Egan, a high schooler. The 6’4″ 210 lbs. guy helps put in some more depth at catcher, which is starting to be a concern with the aging of Varitek, the emergence of Shoppach, and the continued rise of Concepcion. Egan according to MLB.com says that “Same body type as fmr ex-ML Eddie Taubensee. Serious raw power, especially the opposite way. Flashes short stroke, generates bat speed w/ overall brute strength. Aptitude as receiver behind plate.”
There are our Big Six … the ones to impact Boston for years to come, whether positively or negatively. Here they are again:
OF Jacoby Ellsbury, RP Craig Hansen, SP Clay Buchholz (as I said above, perhaps not the right move, but you know what? I think it will end up being the right one, for why else would Theo take him!?) 2B Jed Lowrie, SP Michael Bowden, and C Jonathan Egan. Time will tell how this draft pans out. In my opinon, the Red Sox could have done better, there were higher ceilings out there, but you also have to factor in attitude and progression. Perhaps the Red Sox wanted to get some speed through these picks, have them advance quickly. Time will tell, but overall is a solid draft. The rest of the picks the Red Sox have on Day One are below.
138 – William (Scott? There is a Scott Blue who seems to be a good pitcher, but MLB has him as William) Blue HS RHP – 6’2″ 215 lbs.
169 – Reid Engel HS CF (Bats L Throws R)- 6’2″ 175 lbs. BA: OF Reid Engel has outstanding speed. He runs the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds, but may run all the way to Baylor if he