Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Baseball Amateur Draft Ten Days Away

The 2012 Baseball Amateur Draft is a week from Monday on June 4th.  Overall, this year's crop is considered a weak year by baseball scouts and other insiders.  This is to a large degree due to this year's new strict slotting of draftee's bonuses.  This change was heavily rumored to be on the horizon a year ago, consequently many high schoolers who may have gone onto college or junior college signed while the money was there, as did the college juniors diminishing this year's pool.

The new slotting system allows each team a set amount of money to sign their picks.  The first overall pick in the draft is slotted at 7.2 M, and all of the following picks through the first ten rounds are calculated as a percentage of the first pick.  The teams with extra picks get to spend extra money as each pick is worth a certain amount.  Red Sox are 10th in money to spend at about 6.8M, interestingly the Rays are 4th from the bottom, and Yankees are also in the bottom 10.  Teams do not need to stick at the slot for any given pick, but must come in at or under the allotted total draft budget.  Failure to do so will result in penalties up to losing a future first round draft pick.  For example if a team's first round pick is slotted at 1.5M, they could pay the player 4M ( or any other amount), but they must not spend this excess on later picks.  This has lead to two schools of thought on this draft.  First some teams will try to draft someone early who will sign for underslot, and save the cash to nab tougher signees who slide.  Or in the example above, teams will spend big early and not sign some later picks at all or for short money.

The Red Sox have two first round picks, 24 and 31. #24 is their own and they have the Phillies #31 for the Paplebon signing.  The Sox also have #37 as part of the Paplebon compensation.  The Sox also pick at 87 and 118 in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

With ten days to go there seems to be no consensus in the mock draft media world on who the Sox may covet.  While perusing Baseball America, ESPN, Sox Prospects, and other amateur baseball blogs, two dozen names or so are thrown out as Red Sox possibilities.  Additionally, with the draft not coming into focus beyond the first 6 picks or so, many if not most names suggested as Sox draft picks are also shown as being taken before the Sox' #24 in other mock drafts.

Here is a list of players mentioned as Sox first round picks at 24 or 31, with very brief info:

Matt Smoral, LHP Ohio HS, was considered a sure op 15 until a broken foot slowed his HS senior year

Tanner Rahier  SS, SoCal HS, good offensive player, may need to move to 2B or 3B

Chris Stratton, RHP Mississippi State, 93MPH fastball, good command, '12's Barnes/Ranaudo ??

Stephen Piscotty 1B/3B Stanford, doubles not home run hitter, RH John Olerud

Ty Hensley, RHP Santa Fe NM HS up to 96 fastball with plus plus curve.

David Dahl OF Alabama HS power/speed combo

Lewis Brinson OF Coral Springs, FL HS

DJ Davis OF Mississippi HS, super-fast, fastest, most athletic player in draft

Joey Gallo, 3B Nevada HS  best HS pure power prospect in draft

Cory Seager, 3B, North Carolina HS, good lefty power, at shortstop now, brother of M's Kyle Seager.

Brian Johnson, LHP U Florida , described as solid, safe pick without large upside.

Jamie Jarmon, OF Delware HS

Chris Beck P Colorado HS

Victor Roache, OF Georgia Southern, considered best corner OF hitting prospect in draft, broken wrist derailed his Jr. season after a monster Soph season

Lance McCullers, Jr.  RHP Florida HS, projects as a MLB reliever as was his dad.

Tyler Naquin OF Texas A&M best pure hitter in the draft, plus a very strong arm.

Walker Wechel,  LHP Washington state HS

Lewis Brown, OF high schooler with plus power/plus speed, compared to Cameron Maybin

Carson Kelly  3B/SP  Oregon, C. Kelly torn between mound and infield. Sound familiar?

Clate Schmidt, SP HS

Nolan Fontana, SS U Florida, considered a solid MLB SS, no impact skill

Zach Elfin. RHP Florida HS fastba ll hits 96,triceps tendinitis this year dropped him from top 15

Addison Russell, SS Florida HS, also rumored as a Yankee pick, Boras client w/ Auburn commitment

Pat Light RHP MOnmouth 6'6" 94-96 fastball projects as  potential closer

Four other names not linked specifically to Boston but ones to watch:

Gavin Cecchini- younger brother of 2010 Sox high draftee Garin Cecchini he is projected to be drafted from 12-20 usually.  But if the Louisiana HS SS drops to 24, I bet the Sox would pounce on him.

Travis Jankowski, OF from Stony Brook.  An America East guy, he is projected to go right before the Sox 24 pick or to Tampa at 25 in several mock drafts.  Good defender, speedy with some gap power.

Lucas Giolito-- A California HS pitcher was considered to be in the running for the overall #1 pick when his senior year started.  In March, he sprained the pitching elbow ligament, and has not pitched since.  In addition, his father is a Hollywood TV/movie producer, so the theory is Giolito is less likely to be bought out of his commitment to UCLA.  Baseball America is now projecting between the injury and UCLA he will not go in the first round, maybe not even be drafted. However, one or two persons have speculated the the Red Sox may use  pick 31 or 37, or lower if he is still there to take a shot at him.

Luke Bard RHP Georgia Tech, the younger brother of Daniel, the Sox took him three years ago out of HS, but he passed and went to college.  He throws a little less of a fastball than Daniel, but projects to reliever in the bigs,as he has done often at Tech.  Baseball America rates him s the #93 prospect, and the Sox pick at 87.  Could there be a match?

As the next ten days go on, I will update with any other rumors concerning the Sox draft intentions.


  1. Just a quick clarification of the budget each team has to spend. The amount each team is budgeted, ( Boston's is 6, 884, 800 ) is the amount they have to spend on picks in the first ten rounds, not the entire draft. Any pick after the tenth round will not count towards the budget UNLESS they are signed for more than $100,000. Then the money would come out of the budget.

  2. The new draft rules will certainly make things a little more interesting and involve a little more strategy. Deacon, If you had to pick one who do you think the Sox will take? I think the Texas A&M outfielder sounds interesting and fills a need in the organization. A good hitting OF with a strong arm is something we don't have a lot of.

  3. The person I would like the Sox to get at 24 is Chris Stratton, RHP from Mississippi State, but they would need him to fall to them like Barnes did last year unexpectedly. One prediction is to expect the Sox to take one college and one HS player with their 2 first round picks. In the last ten years the only time they did not split their first two picks this way was in 2010, when they took two college players in the first round: Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz.

  4. In Keith Law's latest mock draft he has the Sox taking Tyler Naquin, Texas A&M OF at 24 , so Barry you may have wished for the right guy.

    1. I won't pretend to know anything about this guys, but when I read your breakdown of the prospects the terms "best pure hitter" and "strong throwing arm" caught my eye. Both of those are things that I see as areas of need in the organization, but of course I just hope they take the best player available.


    Good piece on the Red Sox draft strategy this year with the new rules.