As the Red Sox continue to pile up wins, the memories of their abysmal 2020 season are quickly fading away. However, one stark reminder of their 24-36 record is right around the corner in the MLB Draft, in which the team owns the fourth pick.
This year’s draft presents a unique opportunity for the organization – they haven’t had a pick this high since 1967, when they took pitcher Mike Garman third overall. The team has had just three top-10 picks in the last 54 years, all of which were seventh overall (Trot Nixon in 1993, Trey Ball in 2013, and Andrew Benintendi in 2015).
In a draft that has a consensus top tier five players deep, Chaim Bloom will be at the mercy of the draft board but also have some options. That top-5 includes two high school shortstops, two Vanderbilt pitchers, and a catcher from Louisville.
Will Bloom be able to land one of the heralded college pitchers? Or will he make someone the highest-drafted position player in Red Sox history? Here are the names to know when the Red Sox are on the clock Sunday night.
While there is the consensus top-5, the MLB Draft is as unpredictable as any in sports. If the Red Sox decide to reach a bit with their pick – as they did last year when they took Nick Yorke – here’s a few more players that could be in play.
What should the Red Sox do?
It’s been decades since the Red Sox had a chance to pick in the top-5, and given their organizational resources, they shouldn’t be back in this range any time soon. It’s imperative that Chaim Bloom and his staff make the most of what should be a rare opportunity.
The best way to capitalize on the pick, given the current makeup of the team’s overall roster, is likely to go with a college prospect over a player out of high school. College prospects usually present less risk and can contribute sooner, which would help the team take advantage of the window of their current young talent such as Rafael Devers, Alex Verdugo, and Nick Pivetta, as well as players who will likely be called up soon such as Jarren Duran and Tanner Houck.
With 20 rounds this year, there will be other opportunities to take chances on high-upside project high school players. But this year’s college group – especially at the top end of the draft – is special, and the Red Sox are in position to take advantage of that.
For more on the MLB Draft, check out the latest episode of Hardcore Baseball with Matt McCarthy: