SoxProspects News

June 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

2014 Red Sox Draft Preview: Part 2 of 3


In the second installment of our 2014 Red Sox Draft Preview, we bring you a list of possible Red Sox draft targets.

While we typically cast a net by listing a handful of potential targets at each slot, I like to think that this installment of the preview has been somewhat prophetic over the past six seasons. In 2013, we listed Trey Ball as one of the top options for the Red Sox at #7 overall. Of course, it's much easier to project a few options for a higher draft slot, but we also tabbed Nick Zammarelli as a potential late round pick. In 2012, we pegged Brian Johnson as a possible pick at #31, and mentioned Pat Light and Jamie Callahan among the club’s other potential targets. They ended up being three of Boston’s top four picks.

In 2011, Matt Barnes and Blake Swihart were both among the first few players we listed, and they ended up as Boston’s two first round picks. In 2010, the first three players we listed were Kolbrin VitekBryce Brentz, and Anthony Ranaudo – ultimately Boston's first three picks of the 2010 draft. We also projected Sean Coyle (3rd round) as a potential third rounder, and discussed Kendrick Perkins (6th round) as a possible mid-round pick in our draft preview podcast. 

In 2009, we projected Reymond Fuentes (1st round), David Renfroe (3rd round), and Seth Schwindenhammer (5th round) as potential high picks, and noted Mike Yastrzemski (36th round) as a local product who could get drafted by the Sox in the later rounds. In 2008, we admittedly listed a slew of names in our preview, but we nailed nine in Casey Kelly (1st), Peter Hissey (4th), Ryan Westmoreland (5th), Ryan Lavarnway (6th), Tim Federowicz (7th), Alex Meyer (20th), Anthony DeSclafani (22nd), Seth Garrison (23rd), and Matt Marquis (29th), all of whom were selected by Boston in the respective rounds listed.

With that said, here’s a short list of players that I think could be possible targets for the Red Sox this year:

First Round & Compensation Round (26th and 33rd overall)

Spencer Adams, RHP, White County HS (Ga.) - Excellent athlete who also excelled in basketball. A tall right-hander with a loose arm and some physical projection, Adams has a lot of helium coming into the draft after showing increased velocity over the course of the season. He already has a four pitch mix as a high schooler, highlighted by a plus mid-90s fastball and a curveball with above-average potential. He is committed to the University of Georgia. 

Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State - Strong, powerful switch-hitter. Performed well in the Cape League, which has historically been an important barometer to the Red Sox front office. His brother is a third baseman for the White Sox. Patient approach for a power hitter, might be able to be a little more aggressive.  Slow runner, adequate defender at first base. 

Derek Hill, CF, Elk Grove HS (Cal.) - Well-refined game for a prep player. Outstanding defensive skills. On offense, Hill shows good plate discipline, solid pitch recognition, and an impressive ability to make contact. Power is presently below average, projects as a doubles hitter. Plus speed.  Committed to Oregon.

Marcus Wilson, CF, Serrra HS (Cal.) - High ceiling center fielder with raw five-tool potential. Plus speed, average bat, presently below-average power with average power potential, decent glove, solid range, above-average arm. Projectable frame. Has some bust potential, but might be a good high ceiling draft complement if the club takes a more established college player with its other high pick. He is committed to Arizona State.

Monte Harrison, CF, Lee's Summit West HS (Mo.) - Exceptional multi-sport athlete. Projected as a mid-first-rounder, could slip a bit due to signability. Plus speed and range.  Plus-plus arm strength. Hitting skills are very unrefined, but the tools are through the roof.  Above-average power. Outstanding makeup. Above-average defensively.  Extremely high ceiling, but there's a chance his hitting skills never develop. Committed to Nebraska for both football and baseball. Will likely require an over-slot bonus.  

AJ Reed, 1B/LHP, Kentucky - Impressive two-way player. Excellent plate approach with above-average present power. One of the top hitters in all of college baseball in 2014.  A better hitter than a pitcher.  Below-average speed. Range is limited on defense.  Plus arm won't be a huge asset at first base.

Michael Chavis, IF, Sprayberry HS (Ga.) - Refined bat with plus contact skills and raw power potential. Projects to continue to hit for average against advanced pitching.  Mid-sized frame, power comes from wrist speed and mechanics. Decent speed with excellent makeup. Defensive skills are a mixed bag at this point, seems most likely to play third base over the long term. Committed to Clemson. 

Braxton Davidson, 1B/OF, Roberson HS (N.C.) - Above-average hit tool with plus power potential. Smart hitter who should continue to develop a nice approach, which is already solid for a prep player. Slow with limited range and defensive skills.  Could be an adequate first baseman or left fielder. Committed to UNC. 

Second & Third Rounds (67th and 103rd overall)

Keaton McKinney, RHP, Ankeny HS (Iowa) - Played for Team USA in 2013, and the Red Sox front office has a tendency to like Team USA vets. Big right-hander with a 90-94 mph fastball, a fantastic changeup, and a workable curveball. Average control. Committed to Arkansas.

Andrew Suarez, LHP, Miami - Lefty with a low-90s fastball that has topped out at 95 mph. Also throws a major league caliber slider and a decent changeup. Above-average control. High floor. Profiles well as a back-of-the-rotation starter. Strong candidate for Red Sox if they go with prep players with previous two picks.

Chase Valot, C/1B, St. Thomas More HS (La.) - Solid bat with plus raw power but questionable plate approach and pitch recognition. High ceiling. Catching skills may or may not carry over to the next level. Plus arm. Slow, but probably athletic enough to play 1B or LF. Committed to Mississippi State. May not be around at #67. 

Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson - previously drafted by Boston out of high school. Mixes a mid-90s fastball with an excellent curveball.  Other secondary pitches aren't pro caliber at this point. Small frame, profiles as a reliever. Would be good value in the third round. 

Pat Connaughton, RHP, Notre Dame - Athletic righty also starred in basketball. Still raw for a college pitcher, but projectable. Low 90s fastball could add velocity. Secondary offerings are not refined. 

Lukas Schiraldi, RHP, Texas - Calvin Schiraldi's son.  Dominated Cape League in 2013. Low-to-mid-90s fastball with a major league changeup. Smart pitcher with a calm demeanor on the mound. Knows how to pitch. 

Dylan Cease, RHP, Milton HS (Ga.) - First round talent may slide due to elbow injury and strong commitment to Vanderbilt. Mixes 94-96 mph fastball with an above-average curveball and a decent changeup. 

Matt Imhoff, LHP, Cal Poly - Candidate to go at #33, outside chance he'll still be around at #67. Pitched for Team USA in 2013. Has posted outstanding results in college, but stuff is not elite. Low 90s fastball with fringy secondary stuff. 

Later Rounds

JB Bukauskus, RHP, Stone Bridge HS (Va.) - Late first round talent could slip due to signability concerns. Very strong commitment to North Carolina. Red Sox left draft bonus money on the table in 2013 and didn't have enough backup options to spend it on. It's quite possible the club picks some additional signability players this draft cycle.

Isan Diaz, IF, Springfield Central HS (Mass.) - Top Massachusetts prep player. Decent-sized infielder with a nice left-handed bat and gap power. Profiles best at second base. Fourth or fifth round talent.

Andrew Chin, LHP, Boston College - Newton (Mass.) native played for Chatham in the Cape League. Boston College ace.  Low 90s fastball.  Sixth to tenth round profile. 

Sikes Orvis, 1B, Ole Miss - drafted by Boston in 2011. Decent power, but likely will not be a disciplined contact hitter. The Red Sox have taken a few flyers on college first baseman in this mold recently. Possible late rounder. 

Evan Dougherty, OF, Bishop Verot (Fla.) - Center fielder committed to Duke.  Fort Myers native. Top line speed, good instincts.  Another late round possibility. Possible deadline signing if there is bonus money left open.

Jimmy Allen, 3B, Cal Poly - had a very impressive career at Cal Poly. Turned down offer from Red Sox in 2013 to return for senior season.  Smart player. Possible senior sign in the sixth to tenth round range.

Patrick Mahomes, RHP, Whitehouse HS (Tex.) - three sport star, son of former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes. Texas Tech commit open to signing for what likely be an overslot bonus. Some team might take a flyer on him as early as the firth round, but likely to slip further than that. 

Mike Hollenbeck, C, Louisville - another former Red Sox draft pick and possible low-bonus senior sign. Has shown the ability to put the bat on the ball in college, but defense is not stellar. If he doesn't go in the seventh to tenth round , where the Red Sox have picked up low bonus senior signs in the past two years in attempt to game the system, he's a candidate to slip out of the draft and become an undrafted free agent target.

Mike Andrews in the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeAndrewsSP.

 
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