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SoxProspects News

June 30, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2003 Draft Retrospective: The picks

We welcome you to the first of our SoxProspects.com Draft retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each draft going back to the start of the SoxProspects.com era (and, conveniently enough, the start of the Theo Epstein era). Each retrospective will come in two parts: The first will be a pick-by-pick recap of each selection with very brief comments, including their peak rank on the SoxProspects.com Top 60, as well as some of the notable players the team passed on to make those picks. Players who signed are in bold, those who did not are in italics. Bonus numbers are included where available.

The 2003 draft is a particularly useful starting point in the context of the 2020 draft, as the Red Sox had the 17th overall selection that year as well. For all drafts prior to 2012, it is worth keeping in mind that apples-to-apples comparisons before and after that date are difficult given the presence, or lack thereof, of a cap on draft spending. In this year, Epstein's first as GM and David Chadd's second as amateur scouting director, there was a clear focus on college players, as only one of Boston's first 18 picks was used on a high school player. 

For a quick list and links to player pages, check out our Draft History page.

1 (17). David Murphy, OF, Baylor
Bonus: $1,525,000
The first pick of the Theo Epstein era was also the team’s first chance to take a first-rounder since 2000, having surrendered top picks the previous two years to sign Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. A .413/.487/.614 slash line at Baylor and ability to stick in center attracted the team to Murphy. That strategy quickly became the archetype – the up-the-middle college bat with a plus hit tool. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 5
Notable players passed on: Chad Billingsley (24), Carlos Quentin (29)

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June 24, 2020 at 9:11 AM

Podcast Ep. #184 - Maybe it worked, I don't know

Having gone outside the pod for opinions last episode, Chris and Ian got their chance to talk through the draft. The guys talk through each draft selection, and all the undrafted free agents who had signed as of the time we recorded. They go in depth on both Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan, the two high schoolers whose bats will need to carry them. Then it’s time to talk about the two college pitchers.  And of course, we read another batch of your exceptional emails!
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June 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Draft review & undrafted signings continue

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • The MLB draft is over but there will still be plenty of related content on SoxProspects.com over the next six weeks. The signing deadline for drafted players this year has been moved back from July 10 to August 1, so it may take a while before we start to hear finalized numbers for any of the four players drafted by the Red Sox.
  • It is never too early to start talking about the Red Sox draft where they selected second baseman Nick Yorke, third baseman Blaze Jordan, and left-handed pitchers Jeremy Wu-Yelland and Shane Drohan. The SoxProspects.com Podcast team brought in industry expert Jim Callis from MLB.com to discuss the Red Sox draft strategy, the shortened draft format, and his thoughts on the Boston's selections.
  • Just when it seems like the Red Sox undrafted free agent signings had slowed down, the team signed three more players this week. The first was Maceo Campbell, a right-handed pitcher from Longwood University. He is a redshirt junior after missing the 2019 season for undisclosed reasons. The six-foot, 21-year-old pitcher is a bit short for a traditional starter but worked as both a starter and reliever at Longwood. His body of work is very small, as he has only thrown a total of 22 2/3 innings between 2018 and a shortened 2019 campaign. In 2019, he threw 14 innings with 18 strikeouts and 13 walks while reportedly topping out at 96 mph. As SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall points out, he is the third player the Red Sox have signed out of Longwood, including Kyri Washington (now a pro scout with the Red Sox) and infielder Michael Osinski who finished the 2019 season in Pawtucket.
  • Next up was first baseman Cuba Bess (pictured, left) out of Grand Canyon University. The redshirt junior took his redshirt in 2018 after a knee injury forced him to miss the season, and Bess also missed the start of this season with a hamstring injury, ultimately only getting nine at-bats. Between his two injuries, Bess broke out in 2019, hitting .341/.476/.632 for GCU with 11 home runs, 18 doubles, and walking more than he struck out. 
  • According to AZCentral.com, the Red Sox have been in touch with Bess ever since his senior year of high school when he was selected in the 39th round by Colorado. Those conversations really came to life after his breakout when he led GCU in average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. As WEEI.com's Rob Bradford writes, Red Sox scout Vaughn Williams knew other teams would be after Bess, so Williams sent a recruiting video to Bess from Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts the very moment the signing period opened. Bess' father, Johnny, was also drafted and played minor league baseball, making it as high as Triple-A.
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June 19, 2020 at 11:50 AM

Podcast Ep.: #183 - Jim Callis from MLB.com Talks Draft

Chris and Ian welcome Jim Callis to the pod (his fifth appearance on the podcast!) to talk all things MLB Draft. And as always, he’s got plenty of knowledge to bring to the table! Jim shared his thoughts on Boston’s draft strategy, his thorough thoughts on the players the Sox picked in the draft, and the abbreviated draft in general. And of course, we got to your emails!

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June 16, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Can Feltman Bounce Back After Lackluster 2019?

The latest SoxProspects scouting report update includes new information on a quintet of pitchers (most notably, Durbin Feltman and Hunter Haworth) and a pair of catchers. Feltman was drafted in the third round in 2018 and was thought to be a candidate to be the first player from his draft class to reach the majors. His 2019, however, did not go according to plan, as his report details. Haworth was a late-round pick (22nd) in 2017, but has shown flashes of intrigue that, if sustained more consistently, could help him fill a role at the major league level.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Durbin Feltman, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Short, stocky frame. Average build with minimal remaining projection.

Throws from an over-the-top arm slot. Max effort delivery. Starts on the third base side of the rubber and doesn't use a windup. Very quick arm. Short, stiff arm action behind. Hides the ball well.

92-96 mph. Topped out at 99 mph in college. Sat 94-96 mph after signing in 2018, but velo was down in 2019, often sitting 92-94 and only touching 96. Reports from spring training 2020 had his velocity down even more to the low-90s. At its best, the pitch explodes out of his hand and has late life, making it tough to square up. Club had him work on locating the pitch up in the zone early in 2019 after he had focused on locating it down in the zone in college and in 2018 pro debut. After struggling through the adjustment, particularly with his command and with needing to sacrifice velocity to locate the pitch, returned to locating it lower in the zone near the end of the season, with improved statistical results. Command still needs improvement and is inconsistent from outing to outing. Potential plus offering.

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June 15, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: 2020 draft class nearly finalized

Here are Monday's minor league notes:
  • All eyes were on the MLB Draft last week, and there was a lot of discussion about the Red Sox first-round pick. Boston selected Nick Yorke, a high school second baseman from San Jose, CA, which was a surprise to everyone. The most bullish ranking for Yorke was from Baseball America, who had him ranked 96th, while Perfect Game USA ranked him at 236th. No media outlet had him ranked close to his 17th overall selection. 
  • Chris and Ian recorded a podcast after the first night of the draft, discussing Yorke in more detail as well as going over the different strategies the Red Sox could employ on day two of the draft. 
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June 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM

2020 Draft Recap: How Boston's picks ranked

With the high school and college seasons being cut short in March, the rankings across the publications varied greatly this year. The Red Sox had only four picks in this draft, and all were ranked in the Baseball America Top 500, Perfect Game USA Top 400, and the Fangraphs Top 230. Only three ranked in MLB.com's Top 200, with fourth-rounder Jeremy Wu-Yelland not making the cut. While the majority of the players were ranked, their final rankings varied by around 100 slots depending on which outlets you are looking at. 

The full list of this year's draft selections can be found over at the SoxProspects.com Draft History page. This page will be updated with any undrafted signees, so be sure to check back during the signing period. 

Round-Pick: Player, Position (Rank)

1-17: Nick Yorke, 2B (BA: 96; MLB: 139; PG: 236; FG: 165)
3-89: Blaze Jordan, 3B (BA: 90; MLB: 42; PG: 35; FG: 115)
4-118: Jeremy Wu-Yelland, LHP (BA: 261; PG: 202; FG: 183)
5-148: Shane Drohan, LHP (BA: 189; MLB: 147; PG: 104; FG: 202)

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June 11, 2020 at 10:22 PM

Red Sox select Shane Drohan with fifth-round pick

With its fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft, Boston has selected Shane Drohan, a left-handed pitcher out of Florida State University. He is ranked 189th by Baseball America, 147th by MLB Pipeline, and 104th by Perfect Game USA.
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at 9:03 PM

Red Sox select Jeremy Wu-Yelland with fourth-round pick

With the 118th overall selection, the Red Sox drafted left-handed pitcher Jeremy Wu-Yelland out of the University of Hawaii. Coming into the draft, the Seattle native was not especially highly rated, ranked 261st by Baseball America, 183rd by Fangraphs, 176th by Perfect Game, and did not crack the top 200 draft prospects according to MLB.com.
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at 7:40 PM

Red Sox select Blaze Jordan with third-round pick

With their third-round pick in the 2020 draft, the Red Sox selected Blaze Jordan, a third baseman out of DeSoto Central High School in Mississippi. Jordan was one of the top-ranked players left on the board when the Red Sox were on the clock at pick 89, ranking 42nd by MLB.com, 90th by Baseball America, and 35th by Perfect Game USA

Listed at 6-foot-2 220 pounds, Jordan reclassified into the 2020 draft class in May 2019, making him one of the youngest players in the class as he will not turn 18 until December. His carrying tool is his power, with rumors of him hitting 500-foot home runs when he was just 13. Jordan won the High School Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game last July and has recorded exit velocities well over 100 mph in game action. 
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at 11:13 AM

Podcast Ep. #182 - 2020 Draft: Night 1 Recap

With the 17th selection of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft, the Boston Red Sox threw us all a curveball when they selected California high school infielder Nick Yorke. Wondering what happened? Want the dish on the newest Red Sox draftee? Chris and Ian have the answers. Ian shares the consensus on Yorke’s hit tool and makeup, both of which are highly regarded. The guys talk through the draft strategy behind the pick, including expectations of how the next 3 picks will shake out. They shared their impressions of the conference call with Chaim Bloom and Paul Toboni. And we close with a great email.

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at 10:00 AM

2020 Draft talk on the SportsHub

SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield joined the Adam Jones Show on 98.5 The SportsHub to talk about the Red Sox 2020 draft picks. Check it out!
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June 10, 2020 at 10:44 PM

Best players available: Day two

The first day of the MLB first-year player draft has wrapped, and the Boston Red Sox selected Nick Yorke with the 17th overall selection. Boston will have three picks on Thursday during Day 2 of the draft, starting with pick number 89 in the middle of the third round followed by picks 118 and 148. Currently, 25 players remain who are ranked in the top-60 of Baseball Americas's Top 500 and there's a chance one could slip to the Red Sox at 89 (rankings are via Baseball AmericaMLB.com, and Perfect Game USA).

  • Jared Kelley (12 BA, 12 MLB, 17 PG): RHP, Refugio HS (Texas)
  • J.T. Ginn (23 BA, 44 MLB, 62 PG): RHP, Mississippi State
  • Cole Wilcox (24 BA, 23 MLB, 14 PG): RHP, Georgia
  • Dillon Dingler (27 BA, 24 MLB, 31 PG): C, Ohio State
  • Chris McMahon (30 BA, 29 MLB, 26 PG): RHP, Miami
  • Casey Martin (38 BA, 30 MLB): SS, Arkansas
  • Carson Montgomery (40 BA, 34 MLB, 28 PG): RHP, Windermere HS (Fla.)
  • Jared Jones (41 BA, 55 MLB, 47 PG): RHP, La Mirada HS (Calif.)
  • Daniel Cabrera (42 BA,38 MLB, 39 PG): OF, Louisana State
  • Cole Henry (44 BA, 45 MLB, 51 PG): RHP, Louisana State
  • Alex Santos (45 BA, 56 MLB, 48 PG): RHP, Mount St. Michael Acadamy (NY)
  • C.J. Van Eyk (46 BA, 39 MLB, 42 PG): RHP, Florida State
  • Masyn Winn (47 BA, 54 MLB, 27 PG): RHP/SS, Kingwood HS (Texas)
  • Kevin Parada (48 BA, 48 MLB, 54 PG): C, Loyola HS (Calif.)
  • Isaiah Greene (49 BA, 62 MLB, 40 PG): OF, Corona HS (Calif.)
  • Gage Workman (51 BA, 73 MLB, 84 PG): 3B, Arizona State
  • Daxton Fulton (52 BA, 43 MLB, 56 PG): LHP, Mustang HS (Okla.)
  • Jeff Criswell (53 BA, 58 MLB, 65 PG): RHP, Michigan
  • Logan Allen (54 BA, 46 MLB, 58 PG): LHP, Florida International
  • Chase Davis (55 BA, 83 MLB, 90 PG): OF, Franklin HS (Calif.)
  • Nick Garcia (56 BA, 70 MLB, 67 PG): RHP, Chapman Junior College
  • Colt Keith (57 BA, 87 MLB): SS, Biloxi HS (Miss.)
  • Clayton Beeter (58 BA, 51 MLB, 22 PG): RHP, Texas Tech
  • Victor Mederos 59 BA, 99 MLB): RHP, Westminster Christian Academy (Fla.)
  • Alejandro Rosario (60 BA, 71 MLB, 89 PG): RHP, Miami Christian HS (Fla.)

Live coverage of the draft begins Thursday on MLB Network and ESPN2 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Follow all of the action at SoxProspects.com.

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.

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at 10:24 PM

2020 MLB First Year Player Draft picks No. 1-37

The first round and Competitive Balance Round A for the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft have been completed. This year has a significantly shorter format than a typical draft, with five rounds over two days instead of the standard 40-round, three-day affair. Scouts had less opportunity to make final judgments on players and as a result, many of the top selections were college players who had a month of regular season play, whereas many high school seasons had barely gotten started when they were halted due to COVID-19. Overall, 18 of the 29 first-round picks were from the college ranks, including each of the first seven selections. Teams also preferred to take hitters over pitchers, with another 18 of those selections being hitters.
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at 8:54 PM

Red Sox select Nick Yorke with the 17th overall pick

With the 17th overall pick in the 2020 First-Year Player MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected Nick Yorke, a second baseman from Archbishop Mitty High School (Calf.). Yorke is ranked 96th by Baseball America, 139th by MLB.com, and 271st by Perfect Game USA.

Yorke is a bat-first middle infielder whose hit tool is his carrying tool. Per Baseball America scouts say that York has one of the best hit tools on the west coast. MLB.com gave his hit tool a future 55 grade and described his swing as pure with an advanced approach. While he doesn’t have much current power and projects to have below-average power moving forward, reports had his power improving during the shortened spring season. At 6-feet, 200 pounds, the 18-year-old has a mature frame. He was announced as a second baseman, but he played shortstop in high school. Industry sources say that he has the hands, range, and instincts to play there, but he had shoulder surgery in 2018 which forced him to DH his entire junior season, and the arm strength has not yet fully returned.
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at 12:13 PM

2020 Draft: Mock Draft Round-up

One of the most fun exercises leading up to the MLB First-Year Player Draft each year is keeping up with draft experts' mock drafts, an exercise in guesswork destined to be constantly tweaked and revised right up until draft day itself (and several times that day, by some outlets). And even despite the tweaking (and MLB draft picks not being tradeable, which one might think brings a greater sense of certainty) mocking a draft each year very much an inexact science. Consider that Friend of SoxProspects Jim Callis's correctly predicting the first 18 picks of the 2005 Draft is to this day considered a staggering achievement compared without (too much) exaggeration to Joe DiMaggio's hit streak and Orel Hershiser's scoreless streak.

In the spirit of crowdsourcing the experts' views and providing an archive of what folks were thinking at the time of the draft, we present the following round-up of various experts' mock drafts going back as far as May 11.
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at 10:00 AM

Follow the Draft on SoxProspects.com

Day One of the MLB Draft is just a few hours away! You can follow along with the draft this evening at SoxProspects.com, where we'll bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of the first round. Look for a preview of the best players available on Day Two tomorrow morning. Similar coverage will continue through Day Two as well.

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June 8, 2020 at 2:19 PM

Podcast Ep. #181 - Draft Preview with BA’s Carlos Collazo

A sense of normalcy returns Wednesday as Major League Baseball holds its annual Rule 4 Draft. This year’s draft is a truncated affair: 5 rounds instead of 40. But as Chris and Ian discuss with Carlos, the class has remarkable depth. The guys ask Carlos about draft strategies, especially in light of the Sox’ lack of a second-round pick. Carlos previews some players that might be in play for the Sox at pick 17. And all three guys answer your excellent collection of draft questions. We really appreciate the awesome questions from you all. And while you’re getting ready for the draft, be sure to check out our own 2020 Draft Preview!

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June 3, 2020 at 8:45 AM

Podcast Ep. #180 - We’re going to try to talk baseball… again

At a time when there are more important things to focus on in all of our lives, we felt that recording a 97-minute distraction might not be the worst thing for a temporary respite. Will we have to wait much longer before baseball returns? Chris and Ian have some thoughts and updates as we enter June. First up, they look at the state of negotiations between players and owners. Some hurdles have been cleared, but we have a long way to go. Next up they go through a round of cuts. With the transaction freeze over, teams have been making some personnel decisions. They quickly pivot to reports on what teams may do instead of a minor league season. And after a brief word on the coming draft, it’s time for your awesome messages when Chris and Ian open the mailbag. Keep the terrific emails coming, everyone.

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June 2, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Minor Notes: Red Sox commit to minor league aid amid pandemic uncertainty

Here are Tuesday's minor league notes:

  • The MLB Draft is just around the corner and that means SoxProspects' draft coverage is back again for another year. Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews kicked things off with his annual draft preview which took an in-depth look at the Red Sox potential options in each round as well as undrafted free agents that may interest the team. Make sure to check the SoxProspects news page in order to keep up with all the site's upcoming draft coverage. 
  • Elsewhere on SoxProspects, the scouting team continued to update their scouting reports on players throughout the system. The most recent round of updates was highlighted by pitchers Jay Groome and Tanner Houck (pictured) as well as infielders CJ Chatham and Nick Lovullo in addition to a number of lesser-known prospects such as Elih Marrero.
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June 1, 2020 at 12:28 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Houck, Chatham could fill meaningful roles

The latest SoxProspects scouting report update shines a light on two recent early-round draft picks—2017 first-rounder Tanner Houck and 2016 second-rounder CJ Chatham. Both players have steadily improved and progressed through the organization since signing, and both project to fill meaningful roles on the big league squad in the near future, as expounded upon within their scouting reports.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Tanner Houck, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Tall, athletic pitcher's frame. Type of frame you look for in a pitcher. Minimal projection left.

Mechanics: Throws from a low three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the first base side of the rubber. Unique delivery with a lot of effort, but it works for him. Steps toward third base and finishes with back leg continuing in that direction. Used to step even more towards third and then swing back leg around toward first base, coming across his body with a lot of east-west movement, but has worked on staying squarer to the plate with very obvious improvements. Very quick arm. Long arm action including elbow climb in the back and high leg kick. Mechanics are very tough on right-handed hitters.

92-95 mph. Tops out at 98 mph. In college, he worked almost exclusively off a two-seam fastball regarded as among the best in the 2017 draft. In 2018, organization attempted to work with Houck to instead rely primarily on a four-seam fastball, based in part on Trackman data, but he struggled in the first half of the year and returned midseason to primarily throwing the two-seam while mixing in the four-seam more often. Two-seam shows arm-side run and heavy sink down in the zone. Four-seam routinely in the 95-97 mph range, but pitch is straight and hit hard when in the zone. Fringe-average fastball command profile. Potential above-average pitch. May add a cutter eventually.
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