Red Sox can grab elite talent with 7th pick in MLB draft

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has a high draft pick to play with Thursday night. (Getty Images)
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has a high draft pick to play with Thursday night. (Getty Images)

On Thursday the Red Sox will do something they haven’t done since 1993 – pick inside the top 10 of the MLB first-year player draft.

The Red Sox have the No. 7 overall pick, which can be credited to their disastrous 69-win season last year. The last time the Sox had a pick that high was in 1993 when they selected Trot Nixon.
This is entirely new territory for the Sox as they’ve only had one pick inside the top 20 (No. 19 in 2011) since 2003. The organization is very excited about the opportunity to grab an elite young player.

“Yeah, as everyone knows there are no guarantees in the draft and good players come from all parts of the draft, but if you look at it historically the odds of getting a really good player are higher than they would be,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. “It’s an opportunity to choose from a different pool than we usually would.”

Cherington along with Amiel Sawdaye, Director of Amateur Scouting, work extensively together throughout the draft process. Although Cherington has the final say, Sawdaye plays a significant role in the pick. This is their second draft together, and Sawdaye’s fourth in his current role. His past selections could give some hints as to what kind of player the organization could be targeting with their top pick.
The Red Sox have never selected a high school player with their first pick in Sawdaye’s drafts, and of the five first rounders overall, just one was a high school player (catcher Blake Swihart in 2011). Going by the past Sox trends, and with roughly 50 percent of top 10 MLB picks coming from college in the past five years, it’s likely the player the team selects is a current collegiate player.

Although baseball is the most unpredictable sport to predict when it comes to how players will pan out once they become professionals, there have been a number of quality players selected at No. 7. Young pitching stud Matt Harvey of the Mets was selected at this spot in 2010, as well as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw back in 2006. Other players include Troy Tulowitzki (2005) and Nick Markakis (2003).
Very rarely do these players selected in the draft make impacts to the organization in the short-term, but the Red Sox have had a number of their selections work out well.

“We take players we like, that is the way we like to do it,” Sawdaye said. “Even later in the draft we’re pulling names of guys we like and guys we’ve seen. Typically you get a lot of those guys.”

Jackie Bradley Jr. was the 40th overall pick in 2011, Ryan Lavarnway was their sixth round pick in 2008, Will Middlebrooks was taken in the fifth round in 2007, Jacoby Ellsbury No. 23 overall in 2005, Dustin Pedroia in the second round of 2003, and Jon Lester in the second round of 2002.
 The first round of the draft begins Thursday night (7, MLB Network) and continues throughout the weekend with the remaining 39 rounds.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Local

Kevin Kayvon Edson: Finish line hoax suspect sent…

The man who allegedly left a backpack near the finish line on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was due in court on Wednesday.

Local

Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers, a fast casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg and subject of a new A&E Network’s original series, “Wahlburgers”, announced expansion plans in North America,…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

THEATER The Wholehearted Thursday through April 27 Paramount Center 559 Washington St., Boston $25-$49, 617-824-8400 www.artsemerson.org This conceptually rich show from Stein | Holum Projects,…

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.