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July 2, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2004 Draft Retrospective: The picks

We welcome you to the 2004 edition of the 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. 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.

Headed into the 2004 draft, the landscape looked much different for Boston than it did in 2003. A year after having four picks in the top 52, the Red Sox would not be selecting at all until the 65th-overall pick. After coming tantalizingly close the World Series the previous year, the team gambled that bolstering the major league bullpen with an elite reliever in the short term would be worth a potential sacrifice in long-term value. 

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

1 (24) (Pick surrendered as compensation for signing Keith Foulke)  
For the third time in four years, the Red Sox did not have a first-round pick due to the signing of a free agent. Foulke had only one effective season with Boston, but it was one of obvious historical importance to the franchise. The Oakland Athletics used this pick to select catcher Landon Powell from the University of South Carolina. 
Notable players "passed" on: Gio Gonzalez (38), Huston Street (40) 

2  (65). Dustin Pedroia, SS, Arizona State
Bonus: $575,000
Dominant in the Pac-10 despite being undersized and with an uppercut swing, Pedroia proved Boston scouts correct. His 51.6 bWAR for the Red Sox is 10th best in team history and fourth all-time among players they drafted. Only Justin Verlander has a higher mark among 2004 draftees. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 3
Baseball America Top 100: 77 in 2006
Notable players passed on: Kurt Suzuki (67), Jason Vargas (68) 

3 (95) Andrew Dobies, LHP, Virginia
Bonus: $400,000
A college lefty with a solid three-pitch mix, Dobies was often effective but rarely dominant in his long stint in the organization. He moved to the bullpen in 2007 in Double-A after a tough start to the season and showed some promise, but an arm injury caused him to miss the entire 2008 season. Dobies appeared in 70 games over four seasons with Portland before getting traded in April 2010 to the White Sox organization. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 9
Notable players passed on: Chris Iannetta (110)

4. Tommy Hottovy, LHP, Wichita St.
Bonus: $110,000
Seemingly always linked with Dobies as college lefties who climbed the ladder together—not quite the RoseandPavano of the aughts, but something along those lines—Hottovy was a college reliever who started in the low minors and had success when he went back to the 'pen. He was having an excellent 2011 season with Portland and Pawtucket when he finally got the call to the majors to debut on June 27 of that year. Hottovy moved to coaching after retiring as a player in 2014 and is entering his second season as pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs (a recurring pattern of draftees now working for Theo Epstein, as seen with 2003 and Matt Murton). 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 10

5. Ryan Schroyer, RHP,  San Diego St.
Schroyer had been a teammate of Pedroia (as well as 2003 draftees Jeremy West and Beau Vaughan) at Arizona State before transferring to SDSU in 2004. Another college reliever taken in the top 10, Schroyer was a South Atlantic League All-Star with Greenville in 2005 but struggled after that. After his release in 2007, he became a firefighter in Hendersonville, Tennessee. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 22

6. Cla Meredith, RHP, Virginia Commonwealth
The Red Sox finally hit on their college reliever who could dominate the minors in such a way that he could fly through to the majors quickly, and then soured on him once he hit some resistance. The sidearmer went from little-known pick to dominant minors reliever to high-leverage reliever in the majors to afterthought to key piece of an emergency trade for Doug Mirabelli to cautionary tale about being patient with prospects all in the span of about two-and-a-half years. Like Schroyer, Meredith also became a firefighter in his post-playing days. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 8

7. Patrick Perry, C, N. Colorado
Perry starred in Northern Colorado’s first year in Division I baseball, leading the nation with a .478 batting average. That success eluded him in the pros as he appeared in only 63 games over two seasons. He now works as a scout for the Texas Rangers.

8. Kyle Bono, RHP, Central Florida
After a solid start to his career with Lowell and Wilmingon, Bono was dealt to Arizona in the deal that brought Jose Cruz Jr. to Boston. The timing was unfortunate for Bono, as he got a look at the hitter-friendly environs of Lancaster two years before his fellow draftmates. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 26

9. Matt VanDerBosch, OF, Oral Roberts
Joining Pedroia as an undersized position player with a good hit tool, VanDerBosch rode a .400 OBP with Lowell in 2004 to the Spinners’ Player of the Year recognition. He followed that with a solid season between Greenville and Wilmington in 2005 but struggled against Double-A competition. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 28

10. Steve Pearce, 1B, South Carolina
Another position player under six-foot, Pearce opted not to sign, instead returning for his senior year at South Carolina. The Red Sox were successful bringing Pearce aboard 14 years later, dealing for the eventual World Series MVP at the 2018 deadline. He retired after his 2019 encore was shortened by injury. 

11. Ryan Phillips, LHP, Barton County CC (Kan.)
At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Phillips had a prototypical pitcher’s build and a solid fastball/changeup mix. Injuries sidetracked a promising career and he retired in 2008. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 16

12. Michael Rozier, LHP, Henry County HS (Ga.)
Bonus: $1,575,000
The first prep player taken by the Red Sox also received the largest bonus the team gave out in order to convince him to play pro baseball rather than quarterback for North Carolina. Unfortunately, Rozier saw his fastball deteriorate from the 90s to the high 80s as he struggled with injuries and conditioning. He spent most of his career in A ball, making a single start for Double-A Portland in 2007. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 10

13. Matt Ciaramella, OF, Utah
A switch-hitting college outfielder, Ciaramella turned in a very strong .302/.360/.422 slash line while getting regular reps in the Greenville outfield in 2005. The following winter he was dealt to the Cubs for Jermaine Van Buren, the reigning minor league reliever of the year. 

14. RJ Swindle, LHP, Charleston Southern
Swindle was cut in Spring Training 2005 despite an impressive pro debut at Lowell (during which he became the first professional baseball player ever interviewed by our current Executive Editor, Chris Hatfield). After bouncing around the independents and getting cut by the Yankees, the soft-tossing left-hander would reach the majors in 2008 and 2009 with the Phillies and Brewers. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 17

15. Dustin Kelly, SS, Cuesta College (Calif.)
The Red Sox nabbed Kelly following a campaign in which he hit .401 on his way to Player of the Year honors in the Western State Conference. He spent three years in the system, reaching as high as Double-A in 2006. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 32

16. Matt Clarkson, C, Arkansas-Fort Smith
This marked the second time the Red Sox drafted Clarkson after having made him their 29th-round pick two years prior. It was also the second time they failed to sign him, as the backstop enrolled at Oklahoma State. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 20th round of the 2005 draft.

17. Jeremy Haynes, OF, Madison County HS (Fla.)
After the Red Sox had signed 14 of their first 15 picks, Haynes followed Clarkson in not inking a deal.  Haynes enrolled in Tallahassee Community College, where he played for one season before getting picked by the Angels in the 2005 draft. He went on to have a seven-year career in the minors, much of it spent in the uncompromising California League. 

18. Randy Beam, LHP, Florida Atlantic
Another college lefty, Beam was a starter at FAU but worked exclusively out of the bullpen in the pros. He had a standout first full season in the system, posting a 2.25 ERA at Wilmington followed by a 2.53 mark after a promotion to Portland. He continued to show development as he cut his walk rate during his 2006 season with the Sea Dogs, but longball issues inflated his ERA. An injury knocked him out for the 2007 season and he did not pitch again professionally. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 18

19. Logan Sorensen, 1B, Wichita State
A teammate of Tommy Hottovy's on a Shockers squad that reached the Super Regional round of the College World Series, Sorensen slugged his way to MVC co-Player of the Year honors. The pop he displayed in college did not translate in the pros. He spent two years with Greenville before finishing his career in the Nationals system. 

20. Brian Van Kirk, C, Westminster Acad. (Fla.)
Van Kirk opted to enroll in the University Tennessee instead of signing. He transferred to Oral Roberts where he earned All-American honors for  hitting .414/.505/.734 in 2008. The Blue Jays picked in him the 21st round that year and he played seven seasons, including parts of four seasons for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.  

21. Chuck Jeroloman, SS, Auburn
Jeroloman spent four years in the system as a strong-armed utility infielder, splitting time evenly between shortstop, second, and third. He played four years in the independent leagues and then moved over to coaching. He is currently an assistant at the University of Florida. His younger brother, Brian, had a lengthy minor league career in the Toronto and Washington organizations. 

22. Tim Burgess, 1B, Georgia State
The 18th college player selected by Boston, Burgess signed quickly and filled a first base hole at Low A Augusta. He showed good plate discipline but limited power during his short time in the system. Burgess joined the coaching staff at his alma mater after a short stint in the independent Frontier League. 

23. Matt Goodson, RHP, Texas
A tall right-hander whose fastball reached into the 90s, Goodson was one of nine members of the College World Series runners up to be drafted in 2004. He showed some promise but was beset by injury. His best season was 2006 when he posted a 3.92 ERA in 19 outings for Wilmington and made a pair of solid starts after a late-season promotion to Portland. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 17

24. Matt Spencer, 1B, Morristown West HS (Tenn.)
Spencer did not end up signing and instead began a run as a baseball vagabond. He enrolled in North Carolina where he played for two years before transferring to Arizona State. He was a key member of the Sun Devils squad that year, hitting .378 and appearing in 11 games on the mound. The Phillies made him a third-round pick in 2007 as a position player, then traded him to Oakland as part of the deadline deal that brought Joe Blanton the following summer. He was on the move again 15 months later, headed to the Cubs as part of a deal for infielder Aaron Miles and Jake Fox. After struggling in 2011 in his first exposure to Triple-A, Spencer remained with the Cubs but moved to the mound. Control troubles ended the pitching experiment and his run in affiliated ball. He played in 2013 in the independent Atlantic League for three teams as a position player. 

25. Mike Jones, OF, Arizona Western
An old-fashioned draft-and-follow, Jones did not sign until the spring of 2005. He was on the older side for his level throughout his rise in the system, but his consistent production kept him on the radar as he earned SoxProspects.com All-Star recognition in 2006 with the GCL Sox followed by All-Star bids in the New York-Penn League (2007) and South Atlantic League (2008).
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 26

26. Jake Renshaw, RHP, Ventura College (Ariz.)
Renshaw returned to Ventura. He was picked by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2006 draft and later traded to the Orioles along with Rocky Cherry in a 2008 deadline deal that brought Steve Trachsel back to Chicago.

27. Justin Phillabaum, RHP, Royal Palm Beach HS (Fla.)
It was the first of three times being drafted for Phillabaum, who would go on to be taken in the 24th round by the Yankees out of Indian River (Fla.) CC in 2005 and by the Nationals out of Florida Atlantic in the 29th round in 2007. He went on to have a five-year career in pro ball with the Nats and Blue Jays.

28. Mike James, RHP, Connecticut
UConn’s closer before moving to their rotation in 2004, James became something of a fixture in the system. He appeared in 213 games over five years, including 101 with the Sea Dogs in 2007 to 2008. He was a South Atlantic League All-Star in 2005 and followed that up by earning All-Star honors from both the Carolina League and SoxProspects.com in 2006. James remains the career leader in saves for the Huskies with 23. 
SoxProspects.com Peak Rank: 43

29. David Seccombe, RHP, UNLV
One of the stranger tales of the 2004 draft, Seccombe was released in 2005 without ever having thrown a pitch with the Red Sox. He had been diagnosed with a loose elbow joint, an injury the team thought could lead to a much more severe arm injury. A second opinion indicated the joint was stable, and Seccombe hooked on with the Yankees organization. He pitched for two years in their system and three additional years in independent ball. 

30. Drew Ehrlich, RHP, Stanford
Ehrlich had a short professional career as a ballplayer, appearing in just 16 games in 2004. However, his post-playing career has been more distinguished: he is co-founder and owner of award-winning Strike Brewing Company in San Jose. 

31. Brendan Winn, RHP, South Carolina
It was the third time being drafted by Winn, who elected again not to sign. After a beaning, Winn found his calling elsewhere, enlisting in the Marine Corps and serving two tours in Afghanistan. 

32. Brad Hertzler, LHP, East Providence HS (R.I.)
The younger brother of 2003 draftee Barry Hertzler, Brad opted not to sign, instead enrolling in Community College of Rhode Island before transferring to the University of Maine. Oakland picked him in the 15th round of the 2007 draft and he spent two years in the A’s system. 

33. John Wells, LHP, Timbercreek HS (Fla.)
Along with Mike Rozier, Wells was one of only two prep players who ended up signing with the Red Sox in 2004. He never threw a pitch for the team, spending 2005 on the suspended list and getting released the following spring. 

34. Andrew Pinckney, 3B, Emory
A left-handed hitting third baseman with a good arm, Pinckney was an All-American at Emory, hitting .415 and slugging .721 his senior year. He was named the 2005 Offensive Player of the Year by SoxProspects.com for his .311/.362/.535 effort in his full-season debut at Greenville. He followed that with a solid campaign at Wilmington but struggled in his two years with Portland. 
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 20

35. Bo Lanier, RHP, Georgia
Lanier, a 5-foot-11 right-hander, opted to stay at Georgia for his senior year. The Reds took him in the 10th round in 2005 and he pitched in their system for three years, reaching High A Sarasota. 

36. Cooper Eddy, RHP, New Mexico
Eddy appeared in 21 games out of the Lowell bullpen in 2004, posting a 4.29 ERA. 

37. Glenn Swanson, LHP, Cal-Irvine
The ninth left-handed pitcher taken by Boston, Swanson returned for his senior year at Irvine. He was taken by the Rangers in the 49th round of the 2005 draft and spent four years in that system. 

38. Colby Summer, RHP, Hawaii
The Red Sox took a flier on Summer, who had undergone Tommy John surgery in 2003 and had missed the entire 2004 season. He did not sign, returning for a senior season in which he struggled. 

39. Zak Farkes, SS, Harvard
Farkes returned to Harvard for his Senior year before signing with Boston as an undrafted free agent in 2005. Before going to Harvard, Farkes had starred up the street at Buckingham Brown & Nichols High School. The Red Sox attempted to convert him to catcher unsuccessfully, and he spent most of his five year professional career as a utility infielder.  

40. Nick Francona, LHP, Lawrenceville Prep (N.J.)
The son of the then first-year manager, Francona spent three injury-plagued years at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, he served in the Marine Corps, then worked in the Dodgers and Mets organizations in player development. He had acrimonious splits from both organizations, and is now an outspoken critic of Major League Baseball on Twitter.

41. Steven Edlefsen, SS, Barton County CC (Kan.)
Though Red Sox drafted Edlefsen as a shortstop, the two-way player moved primarily to the mound in 2007 at the University of Nebraska. San Francisco picked him in the 16th round that year as a hurler, and he reached the majors four years later. He pitched in 27 major league games over two seasons, earning a World Series ring in 2012. 

42. Kyle Peter, CF, Archbishop O'Hara HS (Mo.)
It was the first of four times being drafted for Peter, who would be selected in each of the next three drafts by the Detroit Tigers. He appeared in 216 games over four years in the Detroit system.

43. Tyler Latham, RHP, Hewitt Trussville HS (Ala.)
Latham is the son of then-Red Sox scout (and current Dodgers scout) Bill Latham. He does not appear to have perused a baseball career. 

44. Beau Mills, 3B, Golden West HS (Calif.)
With all due respect to the two other legacy picks taken before him, Mills was a notable prospect with major league aspirations. The son of bench coach and longtime Terry Francona confidante Brad Mills, Beau played for two excellent years at Fresno State, but left the school due to academic issues. After a year at NAIA Lewis-Clark College (a recommendation of Keith Foulke), the Cleveland Indians selected him with the 13th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Mills stormed through the low minors but encountered some resistance at Double-A, needing two-and-a-half years to complete the level. He appeared in 74 games over two seasons at Triple-A, but fell short of the majors. 

45. Adam Campbell, 3B, British Columbia
Campbell opted to continue his schooling rather than play professional baseball, earning his Ph.D. at British Columbia studying kinesiology, neuromechanics, motor control, biomechanics, and postural control. Sounds like a lot of work to never have to try to hit a curveball again. 

46. Tom Caple, OF, San Diego
It was the second consective year Caple was drafted by Boston, and this time he was brought into the fold. A two-way player in college, Caple played the outfield for the GCL Red Sox and hit .282/.385/.362. 

47. Austin Easley, 1B, Florida
Easley (listed as Jesse Easley when he was drafted) acheived some local notoriety defeating fellow Gator and top prospect Matt LaPorta for the Cape Cod League home run derby title. Easley popped seven in 62 games with Greenville in 2005. 

48. Felipe Garcia, C, Cal State-Fullerton
Garcia starred on the College World Series-winning Fullerton squad, going 24 for 55 (.436) with 18 RBI. After he returned for his senior year, the Yankees took him in the 34th round in 2005. He played one year in the Yankees system and two for the Indians. 

49. Blake Tillett, LHP, Brandon HS (Fla.)
The Red Sox were unable to pry Tillett, the 11th left-handed pitcher they drafted, out of a commitment to play at South Florida. He saw regular action as a freshman, making 15 appearances including 10 starts. He suffered a shoulder injury his sophomore year. 

50. Raudel Alfonso, RHP, Hialeah Senior HS (Fla.)
Boston’s final pick in the 2004 draft did not sign, enrolling instead at the University of Miami. Alfonso pitched for two years at The U, appearing in 13 games. 


Raw totals: 
Players drafted: 49
Players signed: 27
Baseball America Top 100 prospects: 1
Signed players who reached majors: 4

Photo Credit: Dustin Pedroia, Tommy Hottovy by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is Managing Editor of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesDunneSP.