Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Red Sox Draft Notes - Part One

Most people, normal people, don't even know when the MLB amateur draft is. Disturbed people like me watch MLB draft tracker whenever the opportunity arises during the day, then recap it at night. Why? To some degree because Jason Schmidt is so unhittable right now that I don't have to really pay attention to the Giants, my adopted west coast team. To a larger, more accurate degree, because following the kids up the ladder is infinitely more satisfying than watching the big league club drop should-win games to lacklustre teams.

The amateur draft is one of the great crap shoots. First you gotta navigate "signability" which is an amalgam of the kid's willingess to sign a contract within reason (versus for example going to college or having Scott "Satan" Boras as an 'advisor') and Selig's office's determination of what the slot's bonus money should be for his draft position. Occasionally Bud will give you a ring if you're looking to overpay, and will whine. Good overview of how this last part plays out here. Next, the kid has to have a true major league ceiling. Most won't make it. Lastly, especially for pitchers, they have to stay healthy. I tend to believe this gambling element is what makes it so much fun. They're all underdogs.

Anyway, a quick recap of the Sox picks today with a great heaving sigh of thanks to The Boomer over at SOSH for doing the keystrokes for us:

(1st) 27. Jason Place -47
(1st) 28. Daniel Bard -15
(supp) 40. Kris Johnson -45
(supp) 44. Caleb Clay -90
(2nd) 71. Justin Masterson -24
(3rd) 83. Aaron Bates - 99
(3rd) 103. Bryce Cox
(4th) 133. Jon Still
(5th) 163. Dustin Richardson
(6th) 193. Zach Daeges
(7th) 223. Kris Negron
(8th) 253. Rafael Cabreja
(9th) 283. Ryan Kalish -95
(10th) 313. Kyle Snyder
(11th) 343. Brandon Belt -67
(12th) 373. Ryan Khoury
(13th) 403. Jordan Craft -119
(14th) 433. Matt LaPorta -38
(15th) 463. Jorge Jimenez
(16th) 493. Ty Weeden
(17th) 523. William Reddick
(18th) 553. Lars Anderson -41

The numbers adjacent to the names indicate their Baseball America ranking. These rankings are much-debated from what I've seen, but nevertheless, the Sox have 10 guys in the top 100 here. That's good. When you see a guy go in the 18th round but he was ranked #41, it's a pretty good indicator there is a signability issue - this is the case with Lars Anderson, a well-liked high school bat. Ditto with LaPorta at overall pick #433. These are guys that most teams feel they won't be able to sign, so they fall to the uber-rich teams who can afford to take fliers on them, like the Sox. Still, in most cases these guys will be elsewhere than rookie or A-ball next year.

There are a lot of interesting draftees to look at, and I'll cover a few of the ones that interested me tomorrow or the next day. Meanwhile, take a look at the MLB Draft Tracker and enjoy! You can go to the Teams tab and select the Red Sox via their icon links and get a good listing and some commentary on each pick. Good times for the whole family.

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