Because of Major League Baseball’s current lockout, there is no Rule 5 Draft this year. However, career Minor League players are not part of the MLB Players Association, meaning the MiLB portion of the annual draft could still be held, which it was on Wednesday.
The Red Sox made two selections during this year’s draft, taking left-handed pitcher Austin Lambright in the first round, and right-handed pitcher Brian Keller in the second. Boston had the 23rd pick in each round.
Lambright comes to the Red Sox from the Kansas City Royals, drafted him in the 10th round in the 2018 entry draft. The Central Oklahoma product recorded a 3.49 ERA in two-plus seasons as a reliever in the minor leagues, reaching High-A in 2019. He posted a 1.54 WHIP and 2.02 strikeout to walk ratio in 69.2 innings.
However, he hasn’t pitched since, with the COVID-19 Pandemic canceling the 2020 Minor League season, and then losing this past year to an injury. Now 27 years old, Lambright will look to bounce back with the Red Sox in 2022. Before getting hurt, he threw a mid-90’s fastball that he paired with a “hammer curveball.”
Keller had been with the New York Yankees since they drafted him in the 39th round of the 2016 entry draft. The 27-year-old spent last season with Triple-AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he recorded a 2.77 ERA and 1.608 WHIP in 26 appearances, 11 of which were starts. He struck out 65 hitters in 55.1 innings.
The Red Sox did not have any of their players selected by other teams in the draft. Last year, they took pitcher Garrett Whitlock in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft, then pitcher Kaleb Ort and first baseman Tyreque Reed in the minor league portion.
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