By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
After going going back-to-back with high school sluggers with their first two picks of the 2020 MLB Draft, the Boston Red Sox went back-to-back with left-handed pitchers from the college ranks to close out their 2020 draft class.
On the clock with the No. 118 overall pick, the Red Sox first grabbed Jeremy Wu-Yelland out of the University of Hawaii.
Utilized out of the bullpen in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the 6-foot-2 lefty finished the season as Hawaii’s lone pitcher to hit double-digit innings (13.0), and posted a 0.69 ERA with two saves. Wu-Yelland also held opponents to a collegiate career-best .200 over his 13-inning run for the Rainbow Warriors. (What an incredible team name, by the way.)
Command issues certainly exist (Wu-Yelland has issued 55 walks and hit 14 batters in 88.2 total innings through his first three years of college ball), which may project him as a bullpen option as a big leaguer, but Red Sox amateur scouting director Paul Toboni noted that the organization is interested in beginning Wu-Yelland’s professional career as a starter.
The Washington-born talent has a 4-8 record, three saves, and a 4.67 ERA in 40 career appearances at Hawaii.
Staying within the college ranks in the fifth and final round of this year’s abbreviated draft, the Red Sox grabbed high-ceiling Florida State product Shane Drohan with the No. 148 overall pick.
Originally drafted by the Phillies with a 23rd-round pick in 2017, Drohan elected to instead honor his commitment with the Seminoles, and was one of the staff’s top pitchers prior to the cancelation of the spring season in 2020, with a team-best 27 strikeouts in 17.2 innings over four starts.
Ranked as the 147th-best prospect entering this year’s draft, MLB.com seemed to like Drohan’s ceiling given his athleticism as a quarterback-turned-pitcher.
“Drohan is still learning how to pitch, meaning there’s still ceiling to reach,” his official draft profile read. “He’ll touch 95 mph with his fastball at times and sits 92-93 consistently. He hides the ball well and that deception leads to a lot of swings and misses on the pitch. He has the chance to have an above-average curveball, with good three-quarter break to it and his changeup continues to improve.”