A week has passed since the MLB draft concluded, and while the Red Sox did not have a first-round pick. The picks they did have carried a lot of value and some of those players are going to be fast movers. Many wonder why the Red Sox did not have a first round pick. Dave Dombrowski built a team that was over the luxury tax threshold put in place by the MLB. As a result, their pick was dropped 10 spots. The pick originally at 33 was dropped to 43.
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri AP
With the 43rd pick in the draft Boston drafted Cameron Cannon. A third shortstop from the University of Arizona. Cannon was one of the players who impressed in the cape cod league last summer. The righthanded hitter has a repeatable swing that allows him to hit line drives especially into the power alleys. Cannon is one of the nations leaders in doubles and while a good baserunner is not going to steal many bases. The former Wildcat looks destined for second base and should be a middle of the order bat for Boston. He comes from the same college that produced prospect Bobby Dalbec.
With their second pick of the second round the Red Sox stayed in the infield and drafted a shortstop from Puerto Rico Matthew Lugo. Lugo is the early round player Boston hopes develops into the power hitter that every team tries to get in the draft. Already with an advanced bat with average power. As Lugo gets older and stronger, he will naturally develop more power. The seventeen-year-old comes from the Carlos Beltran Baseball academy. The academy has produced two players drafted by the Red Sox in Joseph Monge and Jeremy Rivera.
Ryan Zeferjahn from the Kansas was the Red Sox third pick. Zeferjahn was the product of one of the most prolific pitching crops the state of Kansas has ever seen. If not for his commitment to play baseball at Kansas, the pitcher would have been drafted in the top three rounds in 2016. The righthander touches 98 and has a plus changeup. The pitcher has been bitten by inconsistent results and a lot of that lies with his inability to throw consistent strikes. This pick may have been a reach, but if the minor league staff can tighten up the pitcher’s mechanics and allow him to get on top of the ball, instead of under it as he has done in the past, he could be a steal. Zeferjahn was a starter in college but looks poised for late inning short relief in the pro game.
Photo Credit: Phil Hoffmann/ HANDOUT
The fourth pick was the pick with the most upside and was arguably the best arm in the entire draft class. Noah Song from the Naval Academy has an outstanding senior season in the Patriot league. Song has topped at 96 and can stay there throughout his starts. His slider is big league ready and he pairs that with a solid changeup he can throw for strikes and a good curveball that he doesn’t throw very much. The one thing to note with Song is his commitment to the Navy. He owes the Navy two years after graduation before he can join a major league team. The Red Sox are going to want to wait on this one, as he is one of the best arms in the draft.
Finally, to round out the top five the Red Sox selected Zeferjahns battery mate in catcher Jaxx Groshans. Groshans was among the division one college leaders in both home runs and walks. The junior catcher is a good hitter and should remain consistent from the right side of the plate as he gets older. He is another player like Lugo who could develop into a power hitter and has a swing made for Fenway. It remains to be seen if he remains behind the plate as his receiving skills could use a little work, it is more likely that he becomes a corner infielder.
The Red Sox had a great draft with their top 5 picks. No player is a sure fire star but the Red Sox got value and a couple of potential stars. It is now up to the coaches to get these players in a position to succeed and hone their talents. Hopefully all of these players end up in Boston one day.