The draft is one of the busiest times of the entire season for the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, but it's also a non-stop portion of the season for prospect experts. They've been making phone calls, sending texts, shooting off emails, watching video, scouting teenagers, all to prepare their own version of how things should go down starting Monday at 7 pm.
"Should" doesn't mean "will", but listening to the experts is as close as we can get. We've rounded up the opinions on just who the Red Sox are going to end up with, and if there's one theme to note here, it's that there's no real consensus:
Pick 1: #24
Baseball America: Jim Callis has the Red Sox looking at various players for this slot, but if right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman is available, then Boston has "no business passing him up." Given Callis isn't sure if Stroman will even be around anymore, it's tough to say just who will be in this slot. Given that uncertainty is the common theme here, we shouldn't be surprised.
Baseball Prospectus: Kevin Goldstein says it's Cecchini the Younger who the Red Sox are likely to end up with at #24. Gavin, brother of Garin, is a true shortstop prospect, one expected to contribute defensively. He's the only one who seems to think Cecchini will last this long, and even last week Goldstein believed Cecchini would disappear in the teens instead.
ESPN.com: Keith Law says it's third baseman Stephen Piscotty, and that the Red Sox are "not on a prep arm here." He has been described as a "very good but not great" college hitter, who, thanks to a middling draft class, has defaulted into the back of the first round.
MLB.com: Jonathan Mayo gives us the only agreement at this slot, with Marcus Stroman again getting the nod.
Pick 2: #31
Baseball America: Callis says high school infielder Tanner Rahier here, an interesting name to see given other experts have stated he wasn't likely to be around after Boston's first pick at 24.
Baseball Prospectus: Goldstein goes with Zack Elflin here, a high school righty with " size, projection and plenty of right-now velocity."
ESPN.com: Law says high school righty Shane Watson, but also says Boston might go safe at #24 in order to open up their draft budget on a riskier pick later on.
MLB.com: Mayo's pick of Nick Travieso is based on the belief they'll go safe with a college arm at #24, then go with a high school pitcher here.
Things can change throughout the day, even for the mocks stated to be "final", and we'll update you as is merited. It doesn't seem like any of the experts want to touch the compensation round just yet, given the uncertainty of the first, but we'll let you know if any of that comes to light before tonight's draft.