File this one away in "alternate histories": Clint Frazier, the Indians' first-round draft pick last year, would have gone to the Red Sox had the Indians passed on him. From a Fangraphs interview with the vaunted prospect:
"I was going to the Red Sox if the Indians didn't pick me. I had a deal set up with them, and everything. My neighbor is [Red Sox] minor league hitting coordinator, Tim Hyers. I live less than two minutes from him and have been working with him since eighth grade. I thought I was going there, but I‘m happy to be with Cleveland."
Had Frazier made it past the Indians, who picked fifth in 2013, only the Marlins would have stood between the Red Sox and the toolsy outfielder. As it turned out, the Red Sox opted to go in a completely different direction once Frazier was off the table, drafting left-handed pitcher Trey Ball.
The exciting Greenville Drive
The Red Sox farm system will be wonderful one to watch in 2014, and the team in Greenville will be particularly fun to follow.
Unlike most of these "could have been" stories, though, we're getting the story before much of an opinion can be formed either way. Usually you hear about this sort of thing ten years after the fact: "how [superstar A] was nearly with [team B]." Right now there's no telling how their careers will develop. Frazier still has a reputation as an aggressive hitter who could find himself taken advantage of at higher levels. Trey Ball has pitched all of seven professional innings.
Still, if nothing else, this is a reminder that the Red Sox--and baseball teams in general--don't put much weight in system needs. Clint Frazier would have nicely filled a hole in Boston's farm, providing a bat that could easily play in a corner outfield position even if the glove might be worthy of more. They didn't get a shot at him, however, and rather than pick someone in the same vein--Austin Meadows, perhaps--the Red Sox picked up a pitcher, with Jordon Austin their first outfield pickup in the sixth round.