MLB Draft 2013: Jonathan Denney a match for the Red Sox?

Mike Stobe

Will the Red Sox target high school catcher Jonathan Denney with the seventh pick in this year's MLB draft?

Houston Astros fans have a reason to be invested in the upcoming draft. After all, when June 6th rolls around, it will be the Houston Astros making the first selection. So while fans of most franchises are obsessing over the season currently in progress, the folks over at Crawfish Boxes have taken the time to do a mock draft.

The Red Sox are, of course, one of those teams with fans obsessing over the regular season. At 19-8, there are clearly playoff aspirations in the air, pushing an impressive start for the farm system into the background, and the draft even further. This year, however, the draft is an unusually big draw for Boston and its fans, because while the Red Sox are back in the land of the contenders, it was only last year that they were one of the worst teams in baseball. And all those losses has earned them one high draft pick. The seventh, to be precise.

So, what will Boston's final payout be for all that awfulness in 2012? The folks at Crawfish Boxes are predicting the answer will be Jonathan Denney.

Of course, unlike with the NFL and NBA drafts where all the potential top picks tend to be household names courtesy of their time in college sports (and the hoopla surrounding those drafts), there are few enough MLB draftees who are instantly recognizable, and Denney isn't one of them. That's no surprise given that he's just 18 years old. Don't let that scare you off, though. There's a lot to like about Denney.

Here's the explanation for the pick over at Crawfish Boxes:

We also considered Kohl Stewart, but given the way Boston's front office chased signability with their early picks last year (Brian Johnson, Austin Maddox, et al), Kohl wouldn't have really fit their MO. Denney would add some great talent at the C position in the Boston farm, which is important as Blake Swihart is no sure thing and may not be a long term catcher. -kyuss94

They're not wrong when it comes to Boston's strategy. In the past, the Red Sox were often the guys spending big at all times, but at least with their first crack at the new system the Sox preferred to hold back some money early on, allowing them to go overslot later on the likes of Ty Buttrey.

They're also not wrong when it comes to Swihart. He's definitely still a prospect, and was off to a decent start before an 0-for-8 slide. But he's also definitely an upside pick, and one who could easily find his way into the outfield.

Denney, on the other hand, is a catcher through and through. And if Christian Vazquez is starting to turn a couple of heads with strong throws and a good start in Portland, he doesn't scream star like Denney does. A defensive whiz with what some consider a bat to match it (or better), Denney seems like the type of talent a team would expect to get when drafting in the top-10.

Of course, especially in the MLB where prospects take so long to reach the majors, drafting for need is ill-advised. But it does make sense to snap up big talent that can play catcher, shortstop, or center field. It's nearly impossible to find the first two on the market these days, and any center fielders who can actually play the position cost a ridiculous premium.

Only the people in the front office can really say whether Denney is even on the team's radar. But it wouldn't be a surprise if his name is being read out for the Red Sox just over a month from now.

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