SoxProspects News

July 14, 2020 at 12:30 PM

2007 Draft Retrospective: The picks


We welcome you to the 2007 edition of the SoxProspects.com Draft Retrospective series. Over the next several weeks, we will revisit each Red Sox 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.

After strong seasons in 2003-2005, the Red Sox had their first sub-par year in 2006, finishing the season 86-76 and third in the AL East with a team focused on newly acquired third baseman Mike Lowell and right-hander Josh Beckett. After getting sub-par performances out of Alex Gonzalez and Alex Cora, the Red Sox made a move in free agency, signing 30-year-old Julio Lugo. That series of moves combined with prospect promotions would build the foundation for yet another World Series Championship team.

Lugo had strong years with Tampa before being traded to the Dodgers, but the move cost the Red Sox the 20th overall pick in the 2007 draft. However, the Red Sox were also able to add two supplemental round picks as a result of Gonzalez signing with the Cincinnati Reds and Keith Foulke signing with the Cleveland Indians. Those moves will be discussed more in tomorrow's part two of our look back at the 2007 draft. 

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

1 (20). (Pick surrendered as compensation for signing Julio Lugo)
This was the only pick surrendered in 2007 as they moved towards what would be a World Series Championship team. This pick went to the Los Angeles Dodgers who selected Chris Withrow, a right-handed pitcher out of Midland Christian High School (Texas).
Notable players missed out on: Rick Porcello (27), Todd Frazier (34), Brett Cecil (38), Sean Doolittle (41), Josh Donaldson (48).

1s (55). Nick Hagadone, LHP Washington
Bonus: $571,500
Hagadone (pictured, right) was selected in the 36th round by Seattle in 2004, but really didn't see his stock skyrocket until his junior year with Washington, where he added velocity and refined his mechanics. Despite pitching mostly out of the bullpen while at Washington, the Red Sox drafted Hagadone with the intention of turning him into a starter. He was initially very successful, dominating at stops at Lowell and Greenville before being traded to the Indians as part of a package for Victor Martinez. He made his major league debut in 2011, and overall threw 118 innings out of the bullpen through 2015 with a 4.72 ERA.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 6
Baseball America Top 100: 44 in 2010.
Notable players passed on: N/A

1s (62). Ryan Dent, SS, Woodrow Wilson (Calif.)
Bonus: $571,000
When Dent was drafted, Baseball America said he was one of the draft's best runners and athletes but was impatient at the plate without a defensive home. Dent had a long minor league career, making it as high as Triple-A, but never to the big leagues. He never really hit, with a .230/.308/.337 slash line and never found that defensive home, becoming more of a super-utility player. Dent has played independent ball for the last three years, last playing in the minors for the Cubs in 2016.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 18
Notable players passed on: Jordan Zimmermann (67), Giancarlo Stanton (76), Freddie Freeman (78)

2 (84). Hunter Morris, 3B, Virgil Grissom HS (Ala.) Baseball America said that Morris would not be signable after the sandwich round, but both he and his advisor had indicated to the Red Sox that Morris would sign for slot value at the 84th pick. However, after the draft, Morris raised his price by $50,000-$100,000. On principle, the Red Sox opted to walk away rather than sign him. Morris went to Auburn and was drafted by the Brewers in the fourth round in 2010, and never made it higher than Triple-A.
Notable players passed on: Daniel Duffy (96), Jonathan Lucroy (101)

3. Brock Huntzinger, RHP, Pendleton Heights (Ind.)
Bonus: $225,000
After being selected in the 3rd round, Huntzinger dominated at Lowell in 2008. However, after that, he did not have a sub-4 ERA at any level until he was moved to the bullpen while at Portland in 2012. He had a good year while pitching in relief in 2013 before becoming a minor league free agent after the season and signing with Baltimore. He was close to making the major league team at the start of 2014, but ultimately bounced around several minor league teams and never made the majors.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 14
Notable players passed on: Corey Kluber (134)

4. Chris Province, RHP, Southeastern Louisiana
Bonus: $120,000
Undrafted as a junior, Province served as the closer for the Lions as a senior, when he added velocity to sit in the mid-90s. As a college senior, he signed for a low bonus. A groundball specialist, his best year came in 2009 at Double-A, where he logged a 2.60 ERA over 79 2/3 innings. His last season was 2010 in the Twins system.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 16

5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Liberty-Eylau HS (Texas)
Bonus: $925,000
It was a surprise that Middlebrooks slipped to the fifth round, and the Red Sox were able to pounce and give him a bonus more in line with a late first-rounder. Middlebrooks was also a recruited football player out of high school and had been committed to Texas A&M. His first couple of seasons as a professional were solid but unspectacular. 2011 was his breakout year, when he hit .302/.345/.520 at Portland before finishing the season in Pawtucket, becoming both a mid-year and year-end Eastern League All-Star, playing in the Futures Game, and being named an Arizona Fall League Rising Star. He ended the year as the SoxProspects.com top-ranked prospect in a relatively thin system (ahead of then-18-year-old Xander Bogaerts, who was ranked fourth). Coming into the 2012 season as a nationally ranked prospect, he made his major league debut in May and had a strong rookie year, finishing with an .835 OPS that was the high water mark for his major league career, as he entered 2013 as the Red Sox everyday third baseman, but struggled and lost his job to Bogaerts in the 2013 playoffs. He played five more seasons with the Red Sox, Padres, Brewers, and Rangers. He signed with the Phillies in 2018 but broke his leg and did not appear in a game, ultimately retiring in 2019.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 1
Baseball America Top 100: 51 in 2012.

6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Stoneman Douglas (Fla.)
Bonus: $325,000
Looking back, it is hard to imagine that the pre-draft reports on Rizzo (pictured, left) said that his swing lacked fluidity and some teams wouldn't even consider him. In 2008, off to a solid start in his first full season with Greenville, Rizzo was diagnosed with limited state classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. He underwent chemotherapy for six months, and announced that he was in remission during the offseason. The following year, he split what was essentially his first full season between Greenville and Salem and put up a combined .297/.368/.461 line. In 2010, Rizzo was named both the Sea Dogs MVP and the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Year as a 20-year-old after hitting .263/.334/.481 with 42 doubles and 25 home runs while being more than four years younger than league average. That was the end of his Red Sox tenure, as he was dealt to San Diego as part of the package for Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres were extremely aggressive with Rizzo, promoting him to the majors in his first year, where he struggled. His development really picked up after he was acquired by the Chicago Cubs. He dominated in the Pacific Coast League and then held his own in the majors as a 22-year-old. Now after nine years in the majors, Rizzo has a career .273/.373/.488 with a 33.5 WAR and three All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 3
Baseball America Top 100: 75 in 2011; 47 in 2012

7. David Mailman, 1B, Providence Sr. HS (N.C.)
Bonus: $550,000
Mailman was considered a tough sign who would need third-round money, and the Red Sox were willing to go there. There were also concerns that he wouldn't fill out and he would never reach the power potential scouts saw, which ultimately proved true. He did start off the 2009 season well in Greenville, hitting .297/.357/.467 over the first 58 games of the season and was named a South Atlantic League All-Star, but he stalled upon his promotion to Salem. He played the next two-and-a-half seasons there, never advancing beyond the level.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 18

8. Adam Mills, RHP, UNC-Charlotte
Bonus: $25,000
Mills absolutely dominated his draft year with a 1.06 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 136 innings. However, scouts thought his stuff was fringy and were not sure it would play at the next levels. After his draft year, Mills never had an ERA under 4.29. He did make it as far as Triple-A, but he was over his head at the level with a 5.09 ERA and was released after that 2010 season.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 27

9. Kade Keowen, CF, LSU-Eunice
Bonus: $123,000
In the draft process, Baseball America said that there "was not a better athlete" in the draft than Keowen, and as you may have noticed, signing elite athletes was again a theme with the Red Sox draft selections in 2007. However, he was a very raw athlete with a long swing, as his SoxProspects.com scouting notes reflect, and that was ultimately his undoing. Over his four professional seasons, he never had an OBP over .300 or a slugging percentage over .390. He was released in 2010.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 43

10. Ken Roque, SS, P.R. Baseball Academy
Bonus: $70,000
At 17 years old, Roque was very young for his draft class and was expected to move to second base as a professional. The lefty struggled in the Gulf Coast League his first two seasons, but showed improvement and really made strides his third season. That year, he was named a SoxProspects.com All-Star at second base and hit .316 between the Gulf Coast League and Lowell. Roque made it to Greenville in 2010 but really struggled with a .498 OPS and was released after the season.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 50

11. Ryan Pressly, RHP, Marcus HS (Texas)
Pressley had a solid minor league career as a starter but was moved to the bullpen by the Red Sox in 2012 while in Salem. After a nondescript five years in the system, he was selected by the Twins in the Rule 5 draft in 2012, and not only stuck in the majors ever since, but he has turned into a very reliable reliever who at times has been among the best setup men in the game. He has been even more effective since his arrival with the Houston Astros, dominating to the tune of a 1.85 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 77 and 2/3 innings, thanks in large part to being encouraged to throw his curveball more—to the degree that he now throws it more than his fastball.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 45

12. Eammon Portice, RHP, High Point
With a violent delivery and live arm, Portice was always going to be a work in progress. The Red Sox tried having him pitch exclusively from the stretch and also converted him to the bullpen. Portice always had very good swing and miss stuff, including sticking out 141 in 2009 while at Salem, but high WHIPs ultimately lead to high ERAs with a 4.45 career ERA. After being released in May of 2012 by the Red Sox, he pitched for the Dodgers for the remainder of 2012.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 35

13. Justin Grimm, RHP, Virginia HS (Va.)
Grimm was only considered signable out of a commitment to Georgia in the first five rounds after he popped up with increased velocity his senior season. The increased velocity did earn him success in college, and the Rangers took him in the fifth round in 2010. Grimm did pitch seven seasons in the majors, but without much success (-2.4 WAR).

14. Jake Cowan, RHP, Roswell HS (Ga.)
Another tough sign, Cowan too passed on signing and pitched at San Jacinto College (Texas) and the University of Virginia. He was selected in the 10th round in 2010 by the Baltimore Orioles and had some success in the low minors, but struggled against upper-level hitters and never made it past Double-A.

15. Scott Green, RHP, Kentucky
Yet another tough sign as a draft-eligible sophomore, Green had extra leverage in negotiations and returned to Lexington. After a successful junior year, he was selected in the third round by the Detroit Tigers. Despite the high selection, Green pitched exclusively out of the bullpen as a pro and never made it higher than High-A. He was out of baseball by 2012.

16. Austin Bailey, RHP, Pratville HS (Ala.)
Bonus: $285,000
The Red Sox paid to sign Bailey away from Alabama. Unfortunately, in his first start of 2008, he tore his labrum and missed the season. Continuing issues with his attitude and commitment to baseball led to his suspension and ultimate release.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 42

17. Jaren Matthews, 1B, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) According to Baseball America, after allegedly agreeing to a $250,000 bonus to sign with the Red Sox, Matthews changed his mind the day before the signing deadline and instead went to Rutgers. There he was a two-time All-Big East first baseman and was drafted in the 32nd round by the Reds in 2010. He played only three minor league seasons, hitting .235/.312/.409 between rookie ball, A, and High-A. 

18. Hunter Strickland, RHP, Pike County HS (Ga.)
Bonus: $123,250
Stickland was beginning to establish himself in the system when he was traded to the Pirates in exchange for Adam LaRoche in July 2009. He was added to the 40-man roster by Pittsburgh but ultimately was placed on waivers in March 2013 and claimed by San Francisco. He has had a solid career as a reliever, and from 2013 through 2018 threw 226 innings with a 2.91 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He struggled in 2019, initially with Seattle before being traded to the Nationals.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 33

19. David Marks, RF, Edmonds CC (Wash.)
Marks initially showed a good feel for the strike zone but was unable to tap into his power potential. He had his best season in 2008 for Greenville with a .753 OPS but did not perform when he repeated the level in 2009 and was released midway through the season.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 59

20. Dan Milano, C, Northeastern
A Rhode Island-native who stayed local with the Huskies, Milano only had one season with the Red Sox, playing 10 games for Lowell before missing the rest of the season with injuries and ultimately being released. 

21. Aaron Reza, SS, Oklahoma
A shortstop who could play all over the field, he worked his way up to High-A over the course of three seasons, succeeding mostly when repeating a level and often old for the level. He retired after the 2009 season.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 59

22. Will Latimer, LHP, Trinidad State JC (Colo.)
Latimer had early success in the lower levels of the minors more with feel than stuff, with a fastball that sat under 90 mph. He started in his first year with the organization before moving to the bullpen. His best year came in 2013 when he was named an Eastern League All-Star after throwing 33 innings with a 2.18 ERA despite a 1.61 WHIP. He became a free agent after the season and did not sign with another team.

23. Drake Britton, LHP, Tomball HS (Texas)
Bonus: $700,000
Committed to Texas A&M, Britton (pictured, right) entered the year as one of the top high school lefthanders, but mixed performance over his senior season saw him drop in the draft. The Red Sox paid him a bonus more in line with a pick in the top two rounds. His minor league career was a roller coaster, as we will explore tomorrow. In short, Tommy John surgery in 2008 preceded great success in Greenville in 2010 followed by great struggles in 2011 and '12 in Salem. Promoted during the 2012 season to get him a change of scenery, he perhaps hit his lowest low in spring training 2013, when a well-publicized DUI made his first impression with many fans a negative one. He got his career back on track that season though, being named an Eastern League All-Star and making his major league debut that season. He saw time there again in 2014, but lost the strike zone and was eventually designated for assignment, being claimed by the Theo Epstein-run Cubs in 2015. He signed with the Tigers that offseason and late in the year was suspended 50-games for a violation of the drug policy, which was the last time he appeared for a major league organization.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 4
Baseball America Top 100: 97 in 2011

24. Matt Presley, OF, Cheyenne MT. HS (Colo.)
Presley had strong high school performance against subpar competition and was considered a tough sign at this point in the draft. He ended up playing at the University of Arizona and was not drafted again.

25. Seth Garrison, RHP, Texas Christian The six-foot-five Garrison decided not to sign and return to school, but in 2008 gave consent for the team to draft him again and that is just what the Red Sox did. More on Garrison to come in the 2008 draft retrospective, presumably written by Mr. Hat.

26. Deshaun Brooks, 3B, Benedict
Reporting to Lowell after signing, Brooks struggled that year and in 2008 when repeating the level. Brooks chose to retire in 2009.

27. Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami Springs (Fla.) After migrating from Cuba to Miami, he entered the draft as one of the best high school catchers, and he could have gone as high as the second round. He ended up at the University of Miami before being the 12th overall selection in the 2010 draft by the Reds. By 2012, he was considered one of the top 75 prospects in the country after dominating three levels in 2011. He was then one of the key pieces in the trade to San Diego to acquire Mat Latos, and he was later dealt to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp. He signed a four-year, $73-million deal with the White Sox this offseason, making him the third highest-paid catcher in baseball.

28. Nick Tepesch, RHP, Blue Springs HS (Mo.) Tepesh was described by Baseball America as in the Chris Carpenter mold with a fastball/curveball combination and the feel for a changeup. He was the 2006-2007 Gatorade Player of the Year for Missouri. He didn't sign after slipping all the way to the 28th round and instead attended the University of Missouri while playing two summers in the Cape Cod League before being drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 14th round in 2010. In four seasons over five years, he accumulated with a 4.71 ERA over 238 and 2/3 innings and was forced to miss the 2015 season after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. His career highlight was when he combined with Jimmy Reyes to throw a no-hitter while in High-A in 2012. He now works at The Edge Baseball Training in Kansas City. 

29. Juan Carlin, LHP, Riverview HS (Fla.)
Carlin attended the University of South Florida after not signing and was drafted in 2011 by the Angels in the 20th round. He had a stellar year his rookie season in the Pioneer League but never could put it together after that.

30. Will Vazquez, C, Kent State
Vazquez was a defense-first catcher who filled the role of an organizational player willing to play other positions as well, but never had enough of a bat to profile as much of a prospect. He retired in June 2011 after playing in 658 games over five minor league seasons.

31. Dan Buller, LHP, Fresno CC (Calif.)
This was the second time being drafted for Buller, one of the few second-time draftees for the Red Sox in this draft, after being drafted in the 49th round by the Mets in 2004. Buller dealt with arm troubles for both his professional seasons, ultimately only throwing 43 2/3 innings before retiring in January 2009. 

32. Ridge Carpenter, RF, Kalani HS (Hawaii)
Carpenter did not sign and was not redrafted. He played college ball at Cal State Northridge, and then with the independent Winnipeg Goldeyes and the Sioux Fall Canaries.

33. Garrett Larsen, RHP, Navarro College (Texas)
After not signing, Larsen went 12-0 at Navarro in 2008 and then played for one season with Texas Southern, making only one appearance after injuring his ankle. He was not redrafted.

34. Tony Bajoczky, RHP, Duke
Bajoczky split time between the rotation and bullpen while at Duke and did the same once he turned pro. His command and control are what got him drafted and that continued to be his calling card, as he walked only 18 over 165 2/3 professional innings. While pitching at The Hangar in Lancaster in 2008, he retired  suddenly in June to go enroll in law school at the University of Florida that fall. He now practices law in Tallahassee.

35. Sean Tierney, LHP, Clover Hill School (Va.) After being drafted, Tierney remarked that it was both an honor and surprise as he was fully committed to going to college, plus he is a lifelong Yankees fan. He originally played at the University of Virginia but after a tough first season, he transferred to nearby James Madison University.

36. Scott Lyons, SS, Mt. San Antonio College (Calif.)
Lyons had transferred from Cal State Northridge to Mt. San Antonio as a sophomore, and after not signing here, transferred to Arkansas for his junior and senior seasons. Undrafted in 2008, he had a good senior season in 2009 and was selected in the 15th round by Kansas City. He signed but never played a game.

37. Scott Lonergan, RHP, Rice
Another player being drafted for the second time, Lonergan was also selected by the Padres in the 30th round way back in 2002. He was one of the oldest players in the 2007 draft after both redshirting and sitting out a year after transferring from Santa Clara. Poor control and lack of an elite pitch yielded poor results and he was released after the 2008 season.

38. Derrick Stultz, RHP, Wharton HS (Fla.)
Stultz was the second player in the class who the Red Sox lost to the University of South Florida. After sitting out 2010 and 2011 with a shoulder injury, Stultz had to wait until 2012 to be drafted by Diamondbacks in the 14th round. He threw only 72 1/3 innings over two years as a pro.

39. Jonathan Roof, SS, St. Mary's
Roof denied the Red Sox this time, but they would get their man eventually. He went to Michigan State and after a very good junior year was drafted in the eighth round by the Rangers in 2010. After playing in both the Padres and Phillies organizations, the Red Sox were able to acquire Roof through the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft in December 2013. In his two years in the system, he played at Salem, Portland and Pawtucket, but after putting up a .592 OPS in 2015, he elected free agency and was not signed by another organization.

40. Ryan Fischer, RHP, Lodi HS (Calif.)
Fischer was selected as a draft and follow. According to the Lodi News, after following him during the 2007 summer, the Red Sox declined to offer him a contract. Saddened by the result, Fischer enrolled in the University of the Pacific with the intention of playing baseball, but after just one semester and an arm injury, Fischer believed college was not for him and instead took a 9-5 job laying hardwood floors. It was only after helping his dad coach high school baseball that he found his love for the game again. After that, he decided to play baseball at San Joaquin Delta College, a community college close to his Lodi home, but it is not clear if he ever played.

41. Mike Bourdon, C, NW Catholic HS (Conn.) Described by Baseball America as "looking like Joe Mauer in a uniform," Bourdon chose to go to college at the Univerity of Tampa. He was then drafted by the Rays in the 42nd round in 2011. He struggled his rookie year in the Gulf Coast League with only a .616 OPS and retired during his second season. 

42. Chad Povich, RHP, Dixie State
Armed with a 93 mph fastball, good slider, and good control, Povich made the SoxProspects.com rankings and had a good year for Greenville in 2008 as both a starter and reliever. In 2009, he moved to the 'pen full time and couldn't find his footing in any of the three levels he played at that season. He was released in April 2010.
SoxProspects.com peak rank: 41

43. Scott Cure, LHP, Idalia HS (Colo.)
Cure's high school performance was impressive, as he got 16 varsity letters and capped it off with a senior baseball season where he went 5-1 with a 0.93 ERA and 105 strikeouts. Cure did not sign and redshirted while at Kansas State in 2008. In 2009, he moved to Hutchinson Community College and threw 21 innings, and finished his college and baseball career at the University of Northern Colorado.

44. Manny Solano, SS, Miami-Dade CC (Fla.)
Solano was 25 shortly after being drafted, another player very old for this draft class, and after playing in only 28 games in 2007, he was released in May 2008.

45. Pete Gilardo, C, Dominican College
Gilardo had a very similar profile to Will Vazquez, only taken 15 rounds later. His defense-first profile was highlighted by a big arm, one so impressive his SoxProspects.com profile wondered if he could have success as a pitcher. He never got the chance, and after two years and a .639 OPS, he was released by the team.

46. Garrett Young, CF, Liberty
Young was the last of the players taken by the Red Sox who were being drafted for the second time. He was drafted by the Mets in the 39th round in 2003. He was a second-team Big South All-Conference team and Tournament Team and was 62nd nationally with a .389 batting average. He chose not to sign and did not play professional baseball.

As teams sometimes did back when the draft was 50 rounds, the Red Sox opted not to use their final four picks. They weren't alone in stopping early, as only 23 teams even made picks in the 46th round, and one more team tapped out by the end of the draft.

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Raw totals: 
Players drafted: 47
Players signed: 28
Baseball America Top 100 prospects: 4
Signed players who reached majors: 6

Photo Credit: Nick Hagadone, Anthony Rizzo, and Drake Britton by Kelly O'Connor.

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

 
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