2021 Draft

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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Didn't the reliever the Sox draft only a year ago make a MLB appearance. Durbin Feltman??? What happened to him.... was expected to "contribute immediately" as I recall
He got to AA in 2019 and gave up 8 HRs in like 50 IP and walked too many.
 

pjr

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Alex Speier

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For weeks, there’s been an expectation in MLB that 2021 draft order would be determined in typical fashion - by reverse order of 2020 standings. That decision is now official. Red Sox will pick at No 4, after Pirates, Rangers, and Tigers.
 

Hee Sox Choi

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From The Athletic:
Baseball America projects Rocker to be the No. 1 pick, with Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo, Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, Vanderbilt starter Jack Leiter and high-school shortstops Brady House and Jordan Lawlar all in the mix at the top of the draft.
 

RedOctober3829

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From The Athletic:
Baseball America projects Rocker to be the No. 1 pick, with Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo, Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, Vanderbilt starter Jack Leiter and high-school shortstops Brady House and Jordan Lawlar all in the mix at the top of the draft.
My cousin plays against Brady House in travel ball in GA. He is an absolute beast at SS and on the mound where he throws 94-96.
https://www.perfectgame.org/Players/PlayerProfile.aspx?ID=447594
 

TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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Jun 7, 2015
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Looks like just one guy's opinion. Every other mock I've read has the player the Sox pick already taken.
Yeah, looks like one Red Sox fan's dream. Texas isn't for want of left-side talent right, and Detroit has a halfway decent record of developing pitching talent. The cards would have to fall in a weird way for this to ever happen.
 

edoug

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Yeah, looks like one Red Sox fan's dream. Texas isn't for want of left-side talent right, and Detroit has a halfway decent record of developing pitching talent. The cards would have to fall in a weird way for this to ever happen.
Yeah, it would be great. He looks like a stud.
 

Manramsclan

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Jul 14, 2005
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Here is a link to Jim Callis' Mock Draft.

He has the Red Sox taking Jud Fabian, OF Florida at #4. Rocker is 1st, Leiter 7th.

He isn't particularly excited about Fabian either:

4. Red Sox: Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Fabian might be the most polarizing prospect among the eight players who seem to have separated themselves from the rest of the Draft class at this point. He could have the most usable power in the Draft and may stay in center field, but he also has hit just .250 with a 22-percent strikeout rate in two seasons at Florida.
I know drafting for need is not a winning strategy. That said if this guy at 4 is polarizing, I find it hard to see the Sox not picking Leiter, a guy who some prefer to Rocker.

I guess it all depends on whether the Red Sox are on the positive side of the pole on Fabian.
 

amRadio

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Feb 7, 2019
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Taking a guy who hit .250 in two college seasons with a 20%+ K-rate at #4 overall would be a Trey Ball-esque disaster.
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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Strongly guess the Sox will want college. I'll be stunned if they don't take Rocker SP, Leiter SP, Fabian CF, Hill SP if they have the chance. If they somehow get #2 I bet they take the player that'll take the best discount. Load up on tough signs that way.
That is how they wasted their 1st rd pick in 2020. Sox have to get a top ranked SP prospect with their pick this yr
 

nighthob

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That is how they wasted their 1st rd pick in 2020. Sox have to get a top ranked SP prospect with their pick this yr
They didn’t waste their first round pick. They drafted a guy that wouldn’t have lasted until the third and then with their third rounder grabbed a guy that floated due to signing issues. Six months later Yorke is considered a legit prospect. So they did pretty well for themselves.
 

oumbi

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That is how they wasted their 1st rd pick in 2020. Sox have to get a top ranked SP prospect with their pick this yr
Would you please provide some support for the statement that Yorke is a "wasted" pick. I checked on Soxprospects to be sure and Yorke has play zero games as a professional minor leaguer. It seems way too early to make such blanket assertions.
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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This is ridiculous and wrong on so many levels.
How is it wrong? I am not saying Yorke might not turn out to be a decent player but didn't we already acquire a guy who is our 2B of the future in the Mookie trade?? This team needs PITCHING in the worst way and Bloom has missed 2 big opportunities to acquire some. Plus it is usually pretty easy to pick up decent 2B on the FA market for a lot cheaper than quality pitchers. Overpaying for FA pitchers is what got the Sox into cap trouble to start with. Team needs to develop some of their own homegrown guys. When is the last time they developed a decent SP from their system?? To be fair it looks like we may have some good ones coming but we have heard that before. { Owens, Raunado, Kelly,} just to name a few.
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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Would you please provide some support for the statement that Yorke is a "wasted" pick. I checked on Soxprospects to be sure and Yorke has play zero games as a professional minor leaguer. It seems way too early to make such blanket assertions.
Whether I said the exact words or not I obviously meant a wasted 1st round pick.
 

amRadio

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Feb 7, 2019
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I am not saying Yorke might not turn out to be a decent player but didn't we already acquire a guy who is our 2B of the future in the Mookie trade??
Downs has barely sniffed AA. I don't think it's fair to refer to somebody as "our X of the future" when they haven't spent any time at AA. You can't project a major league career out of two single A seasons in 99% of cases. There's the occasional Pujols or A-rod type player who spends next to no time at all in the minors, but that's very rare. Downs isn't developed enough to know exactly what he is and we know nothing of Yorke's positional versatility.

It's far too early to call that pick wasted. He seemed to impress coaches at the alternate site last year, and that's as much as we could have expected. I also think the assertion that saving money in the draft is an organizational goal is absurd. It's more interesting to speculate on the players we could draft than to wring hands over our perception of the ownership group.

With that said, all I can find on Jaden Hill's shoulder injury from 2019 is a few vague mentions on the first page of google and a quote from his strength and conditioning coach that they hope adding muscle in the weight room will "stabilize his elbow." That's a pretty uncomfortable amount of smoke surrounding the health of a pitcher that young. I imagine MLB teams know a lot more than the first 5 results of google, and Hill is super interesting (6'5, 233, 98 mph heat). I feel like if there's any issues with his health he has no shot of going top 3, though. If we're all hoping for a pitcher, in a worst case scenario where Rocker and Leiter are both off the board, Hill really looks the part every bit as much as they do.
 

nvalvo

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This is a worthwhile conversation, because it raises basically all of the big controversies in drafting, both about drafting for organizational need vs. some abstract "best player available" and roster building strategies.

A very few years ago, the thinking in some of the smart front offices (notably Boston's and Chicago's) was that because, as you note at the end of your post, pitching prospects will break your heart — TINSTAAPP and all that — the best way to build a championship roster is to collect a homegrown core of position players who were presumed to be more developmentally reliable and less prone to career-derailing injuries, and then spend your money on an established Ace or two, either in free agency or by trade. This was what Theo did to build the Cubs window that is now closing, and what Cherington and Dombrowski did to build the 2016-18 Red Sox. The most important home-grown pitcher on the 2018 Red Sox was Matt Barnes, although Eduardo Rodriguez spent at least a few months in Boston's farm system. The most important home-grown pitcher on the 2016 Cubs was Kyle Hendricks, and he had been a Ranger in the low minors. The rest of that rotation was all veteran imports: Lester, Arrieta, Lackey, Hammel.

Both franchises have seen, you can build a contender and win a title that way. And as both franchises are seeing right now, even when it works, your roster totally blows up as soon as the position-player core gets up into their Arb2 and Arb3 years. So you really get three or four seasons out of it, and then you're left with old, expensive pitchers and position players you can't afford to extend, and you have to start over.

Most teams try to be more balanced: NYY and LAD, for example, have a lot of homegrown talent on both sides of the ball and have brought in high-priced talent likewise on both sides. Other teams try to do the opposite: produce a homegrown rotation, and then complement with star position players. The Phillies are trying this right now: a mostly home-grown rotation of Nola, Elflin, and Velazquez backed up by a star-studded lineup of FA position players in Harper, Realmuto, Gregorius, and McCutchen. So far the results have been pretty grim. My own view, I think, is that the overly-theorized approaches to roster building are too clever by half. A team should draft and sign amateurs they think are likely to be good players, and then go from there, opportunistically.

But there's at least a chance that it's not just noise, and there's an organizational strength in developing position players and a weakness in developing pitchers. Maybe that's because we've spent draft capital on position players, and we should tilt back towards pitchers. Or maybe it's real. We spend a #7 pick one year on a position player and get Andrew Benintendi; we spend the same pick another year on a pitcher and get Trey Ball.

The Boston farm system has been astonishingly productive, and this has driven our recent success. At least until Pedroia officially retires, we're still (I think) at the top of the table for career WAR among active players we drafted or signed, driven mostly by stars with 30+ WAR like Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Jon Lester, Xander Bogaerts and Anthony Rizzo, but also a long tail of useful big leaguers: Josh Reddick, Jed Lowrie, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Christian Vazquez, Travis Shaw, Jose Iglesias, Yoan Moncada, Raffy Devers, etc., etc. But it's heavily tilted towards position players. Lester and a couple relievers (Workman, Barnes, J.B. Wendelken, Jalen Beeks, Ty Buttrey?) are the pitchers, at least until Kopech gets going.

In that case, maybe it makes sense to align your draft capital with your organizational strengths. Maybe we should draft mostly position players, because we develop them into good big leaguers at a pretty great clip! Maybe drafting promising pitchers and feeding them into the wood chipper of the Sox player development system is a waste.

I honestly don't even know how you would make that decision. Thoughts?
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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Downs has barely sniffed AA. I don't think it's fair to refer to somebody as "our X of the future" when they haven't spent any time at AA. You can't project a major league career out of two single A seasons in 99% of cases. There's the occasional Pujols or A-rod type player who spends next to no time at all in the minors, but that's very rare. Downs isn't developed enough to know exactly what he is and we know nothing of Yorke's positional versatility.

It's far too early to call that pick wasted. He seemed to impress coaches at the alternate site last year, and that's as much as we could have expected. I also think the assertion that saving money in the draft is an organizational goal is absurd. It's more interesting to speculate on the players we could draft than to wring hands over our perception of the ownership group.

With that said, all I can find on Jaden Hill's shoulder injury from 2019 is a few vague mentions on the first page of google and a quote from his strength and conditioning coach that they hope adding muscle in the weight room will "stabilize his elbow." That's a pretty uncomfortable amount of smoke surrounding the health of a pitcher that young. I imagine MLB teams know a lot more than the first 5 results of google, and Hill is super interesting (6'5, 233, 98 mph heat). I feel like if there's any issues with his health he has no shot of going top 3, though. If we're all hoping for a pitcher, in a worst case scenario where Rocker and Leiter are both off the board, Hill really looks the part every bit as much as they do.
You make some good points but you have not convinced me that Yorke was a good pick at #12 overall. There were MANY MANY eyes raised throughout MLB over that pick. At worst it is very likely he would still have been there with our #2 pick.. If Hill has medical issues I would hope the Sox would do their due diligence on his health records. But if I am making this pick I am taking what I perceive to be the BEST pitching prospect available. The only exception might be at the C position because I don't think we are that deep there either. Wong was the 3rd ranked LA catching prospect. I think Vaz has 3 years tops left at his current level so I would be looking to add top C depth too but PITCHING remains my #1 priority.
 

LostinNJ

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Jul 19, 2005
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Yorke was the # 17 pick. I too was very annoyed when they took him -- I was thrilled to be able to get Garrett Mitchell that late, and when they picked a guy I hadn't heard of, I shouted something unprintable. But now I'm thinking this might turn out well -- Yorke could be a sleeper, and if Blaze Jordan turns out to be useful, then great. But there's certainly the possibility they were too clever for their own good, just as they did with Trey Ball.

And with the fourth pick, you don't go for need. You pick the best player available.
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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Yorke was the # 17 pick. I too was very annoyed when they took him -- I was thrilled to be able to get Garrett Mitchell that late, and when they picked a guy I hadn't heard of, I shouted something unprintable. But now I'm thinking this might turn out well -- Yorke could be a sleeper, and if Blaze Jordan turns out to be useful, then great. But there's certainly the possibility they were too clever for their own good, just as they did with Trey Ball.

And with the fourth pick, you don't go for need. You pick the best player available.

Poop don't even remind me about Trey Ball. ABSOLUTE DISASTER PICK !! And i agree that in the 4th rd you go with the best player available.
 

nighthob

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Sorry yes of course you are right about that. Shame on my bad memory. Still don't agree with the Yorke pick at #12 though. In fact that fact we didn't have a 2nd rd pick makes it even worse IMO.
They got a guy that wouldn’t have lasted until the third round and got a top 50 draft prospect in the third round. And Yorke has shown enough playing against advanced competition at the alternative site last year that he’s gotten serious buzz. It doesn’t matter that Downs will make the majors first, because in MLB you always need plans B, C, D, and E if plan A turns out to not be worth his post-arb deal.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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Poop don't even remind me about Trey Ball. ABSOLUTE DISASTER PICK !! And i agree that in the 4th rd you go with the best player available.
With the 4th pick you take the best player, not best player at a position of need. I don’t care who they take or what position, just as long as they are top 4 ranked.
 

billy ashley

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RE Yorke: Bloom stated repeatedly that the organization felt that had the season not been upended by COVID, he'd be a seen as a first rounder. As others have pointed out, the success he showed in the Alternate Site shouldn't completely define him (it was around 10-15 PAs) but how well he did certainly demonstrated that he's a top draft talent.

It's interesting that almost every publication that tracks minor leaguers is higher on Yorke than they are on Blaze Jordan, despite Jordan being much higher on draft day. This was true before the Alternate Site, as well.

I think these publications, as good as they are (BA, Perfect Game, etc.) lag behind organizations, as major league organizations have a much smaller scope (ID who we like rather than rank everyone) and vastly more resources committed to the job. This isn't to say I'm not grateful for the coverage. You and I wouldn't know a damn thing about draft prospects otherwise, but it seems clear there is a gap in how those two types of institutions evaluate talent.

If I had to grumble at all about last year's draft, I'd preferred using the savings on a player that wasn't Blaze Jordan. He's fine as a third round pick, but he's really risky due to his bat first 1B profile. That coupled with a bat first middle infielder (who is a hell of a lot bigger than most of us thought on draft day) makes these picks a little riskier than I'd like... but Jordan was the name available on the board at the time, so it is what it is.
 

DJnVa

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Sorry yes of course you are right about that. Shame on my bad memory. Still don't agree with the Yorke pick at #12 though. In fact that fact we didn't have a 2nd rd pick makes it even worse IMO.
Maybe stop apologizing for mistakes (you have like 7 posts in here, 2 of them are you saying sorry for getting things wrong) and put more thought into things.
 

Scoops Bolling

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And we wonder why there is a lack of new blood at SOSH.
Well it's certainly not because of how we respond to poorly written, factually wrong posts. If anything, the board is worlds more genteel in its response to such than it was in its hayday.

Returning to the point at hand, a couple of things to note. First, as @nvalvo touched on, ceteris paribus hitting prospects are more valuable than pitching prospects. Their expected return is considerably higher than similarly ranked pitchers, largely as a function of lower bust rates. More statistically inclined publications will typically factor that into their organizational rankings (i.e. Fangraphs), more scouting oriented publications (i.e. BA, MILB) are less likely to do so. Beyond that, when it comes to value to a given organization, ceteris paribus you'll opt for up the middle talent over otherwise identical corner talent; basically, if you have a lot of MI and CF prospects, you're more likely to be able to fill any organizational hole than if you tried to diversify prospects by each position, because players will shift down the positional spectrum as they advance and physically progress. So while you can look at Nick Yorke and Jeter Downs and go "hey, why are we piling up 2B!", the answer is because you're really piling up guys who may ultimately project anywhere from 2B, 3B, LF with an outside shot at SS, CF, RF. Hell, some guys start at SS and end up at 1B.

To return to the draft, there is a further breakdown in bust rate and expected value based on whether it's a HS or College player, their position, and their draft placement, but it's a similar story for the most part. IIRC, the general order of value is something like HS Hitter*/College Hitter/HS Pitcher/College Pitcher. You can get even more niche and break it down by positional type (for instance, high school catchers almost never work out; the track record over the last 25+ years is staggeringly bad), but overall, if you have a hitter and a pitcher identically ranked, you'll opt for the hitter, and similarly if you have a high school and college prospect ranked identically, you'll probably opt for the high schooler. Now obviously each draft is it's own entity, so you're not going to draft by prospect actuarial tables based on historical values, but that is probably going to be a data point that you keep in mind. Ultimately you draft for the best player available.

The Sox have a pretty mediocre farm system at present. Focusing on hitters, which have a higher expected value/lower bust rate, makes a lot of sense, particularly when you look at the Sox' track record of producing high quality MLB hitters. Pitching is ultimately a numbers game; even the highest ranked pitching prospects have a fairly spotty track record, and many of the best pitchers in the league were middle of the road to unranked prospects. Just ask the Indians. Spending high picks on, and trading MLB value, for pitching prospects is a great way to end up with nothing. Chaim's strategy has been on the money to date.
 

johnnywayback

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I feel like the team will have access to its own proprietary scouting and projection tools, and we won't, and that'll make it impossible to predict what they'll do or even fit what they wind up doing into one of these theoretical frameworks (pitchers vs hitters, HS vs college, draft for need vs best player available). It's not like pro scouting where we can look at the same statistics or Trackman data and try to reverse-engineer and second-guess their plan. It's all "black box" stuff.

All these theoretical arguments are still interesting -- for example, I always instinctively prefer position players with strong hit tools and pitchers with big fastballs even if they don't project to start. And God knows I certainly still plan on developing a bitterly-held opinion about the 2021 prospects based on, I don't know, Twitter or whatever. But my guess is that the reason they do something we don't expect in the draft is usually that they saw something we can't have seen.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I will be highly disappointed if the Sox wind up going with Callis' pick at #4. There are far better/safer options that will be there at #4.
 

Scoops Bolling

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All these theoretical arguments are still interesting -- for example, I always instinctively prefer position players with strong hit tools and pitchers with big fastballs even if they don't project to start. And God knows I certainly still plan on developing a bitterly-held opinion about the 2021 prospects based on, I don't know, Twitter or whatever. But my guess is that the reason they do something we don't expect in the draft is usually that they saw something we can't have seen.
I'm on the opposite side of the fence; big fastballs are just more likely to result in arm injuries to me. There's a lot of ways to skin the starting cat, and I certainly have my profile weaknesses (plus sinkers and plus changeups always get my attention, as I think both are heavily underrated by analysts; they don't get the acclaim of a plus fastball or plus breaking ball, but can offer similar upside ceteris paribus), but I think velocity is widely overrated, particularly when it comes to high school pitchers. To me at least, the Riley Pint profile is the single most overrated draft prospect in the MLB; if they're cracking triple digits as a teenager, I want no part of them, because their arm is practically a 50-50 bet to crack in half by the time they're 20.
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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Maybe stop apologizing for mistakes (you have like 7 posts in here, 2 of them are you saying sorry for getting things wrong) and put more thought into things.

So I forgot the Sox didn't have a 2nd round pick. Big DEAL !! That doesn't change my view on our 1st rd pick one bit. If you don't think the Sox need to develop some homegrown pitching then you can stick to that opinion while Bloom keeps signing AAAA pitchers. You probably think if the best player available when we pick #4 is another 2B or 3B that we should take that guy too even if a P is ranked just behind him??
 

Randy Red Sox

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Nov 28, 2020
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They got a guy that wouldn’t have lasted until the third round and got a top 50 draft prospect in the third round. And Yorke has shown enough playing against advanced competition at the alternative site last year that he’s gotten serious buzz. It doesn’t matter that Downs will make the majors first, because in MLB you always need plans B, C, D, and E if plan A turns out to not be worth his post-arb deal.
Enlighten me as to who the top 50 prospect we got was??
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I almost did it the last round but you've got a week off to think about raising quality and lowering quantity, there are a LOT of people here who know at least as much as you about the state of the Sox. That's not to say stop posting, but be calmer about it, you definitely only have a fraction of the info that Bloom and friends do, as was explained to you at length above.
 

opes

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Enlighten me as to who the top 50 prospect we got was??
Do you have an opinion on a specific pitcher they should have drafted at #17? The Red Sox had roughly $5 million in draft pool money. They got Yorke for 1 million below slot value at $2.7 million and Blaze for 1.75 million. So their top 2 picks cost about 4.5 million total. Now you have $500,000 left to play with.
Now the crux of the matter is, If they drafted a pitcher at 17, that slot value was $3,600,000. There is no way they would have been able to pay for just their 2 top picks alone, much less signing a 4th and 5th rounder.
This was a money issue. They got 2 solid picks on discount, and were able to toss some cash to two left handed pitchers.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Do you have an opinion on a specific pitcher they should have drafted at #17? The Red Sox had roughly $5 million in draft pool money. They got Yorke for 1 million below slot value at $2.7 million and Blaze for 1.75 million. So their top 2 picks cost about 4.5 million total. Now you have $500,000 left to play with.
Now the crux of the matter is, If they drafted a pitcher at 17, that slot value was $3,600,000. There is no way they would have been able to pay for just their 2 top picks alone, much less signing a 4th and 5th rounder.
This was a money issue. They got 2 solid picks on discount, and were able to toss some cash to two left handed pitchers.
I agree with your points and agree that this is the approach the Sox took. However, it’s worth noting that there were three college pitchers taken later in the first round, beginning with the next pick, who cost less than $2.7m to sign (Jarvis, Shuster, Miller), each of whom seemed to be ranked higher than Yorke. https://www.mlb.com/draft/tracker/2020 https://www.mlb.com/prospects/draft/
So the Sox could have gone a different route.

I just think they really liked Yorke’s bat. Their thinking probably went something like: Yorke’s a top 10-15 bat in this draft. He might last because of defense, but he won’t get out of the 2d round. We don’t like any of the available pitchers as much in Rd 1, or any other player enough more to blow our whole draft budget on him. So we’re taking Yorke now and saving some ammo to get a faller in rd 3 to whom we can give slightly over slot money.
 
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nighthob

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Yeah, Yorke might not end up being a middle infielder due to glove concerns, but there are places down the defensive scale for him. If he can really hit there’s a place for him in the majors.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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From The Athletic:
Baseball America projects Rocker to be the No. 1 pick, with Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo, Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, Vanderbilt starter Jack Leiter and high-school shortstops Brady House and Jordan Lawlar all in the mix at the top of the draft.
bringing this thread back to the 2021 thread, I’m mildly surprised that Hill is not listed. Personally I would prefer Hill over Leiter as he is bigger and I have less concerns over his arm long term than Leiters (purely based on size and not science, but I’m concerned with Leiter being slight and throwing that hard). Leiter could turn into the next Pedro and prove me wrong, I just have concerns.

For me it’s 1.) Rocker 2.) Hill 3.) Lawlar 4.) Fabian and I would be thrilled with any of the 4 at pick 4.