The Red Sox have finally signed all of their draft picks from the first round of the 2013 MLB draft, according to WEEI's Alex Speier. Myles Smith, the fourth-round selection and final holdout from the top-10 of the draft class, has reportedly signed a deal for $400,000, or $54,800 under slot. That leaves the Red Sox $590,300 dollars under their budget with the rest of deadline day in front of them, and that doesn't count the roughly $342,000 they still have to spend on top of that before incurring the loss of a draft pick in next year's draft.
Getting Smith was important, for multiple reasons. For one, the value of his draft slot was $454,800, and if the Red Sox failed to sign him, they would have lost that money, leaving them with less than $100,000 left to spend from their budget, and little chance at securing some of the picks from rounds 11 through 40 that require more than the $100,000 limit on those signings. Now, though, they not only signed him, but earned a little extra room to work with in their budget in the process.
The second reason is that Smith represents more than just budget savings: he's supposed to be a pretty good prospect. Smith ranked #108 on Baseball America's pre-draft top-500, and Boston selected him right around there with pick #113.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder had a dominant season (11-3, 1.51) and has improved since junior college. Smith's breaking ball remains his third pitch, but when he throws it harder it morphs into a useful cutter, scraping the upper 80s. His velocity is more consistently in the 91-95 mph range this spring, touching 97, and the changeup is a plus pitch with late fade.
Of the players the Red Sox managed to both draft and sign, Smith ranks fourth, right in line with his round. The Sox might like him a bit more than that, too, if amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye, courtesy of Speier, is any indication:
"We saw him last year as an 88-93 (mph) guy, and the stuff definitely ticked up this year. Towards the end of the year, I think we had him touching 97 or 98, but sitting 95-96. Very good athlete. He moves well on the mound. His arm works exceptionally well. He's got a quick arm. He has a hard, late-breaking slider. I think he's still learning to pitch. This guy doesn't have a ton of innings under his belt. He's 21 years old, but he doesn't have the arm of a 21-year-old pitcher. He almost has the arm of a 17-year-old pitcher. He's kind of just learning the craft, but with the athleticism and the way the arm works, we're excited to have him in the fourth round."
It's unclear where or when Smith will start his professional career, but the hardest part, bringing him aboard to begin with, is mercifully over. Whether this represents Boston's final signing for the 2013 draft class is unknown, but, at the least, they managed to ink all of their first 10 picks, as well as a few intriguing options later on in the draft.
Read more Red Sox:
- MLB All-Star Game 2013: Jose Iglesias isn't Yasiel Puig, but that's okay
- What to expect from Red Sox prospect Brandon Workman
- It's time for change in the Red Sox rotation
- MLB Trade Deadline: How can the Red Sox fix their bullpen?
- Should the Red Sox sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia to an extension?