The 2014 MLB Draft takes place next week on June 5, and we're starting to see some different names appear as potential picks for the Red Sox. In MLB.com's latest mock draft, Jim Callis predicts that right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde will fall to Boston at 26th overall. This would be intriguing, because Fedde is a far better talent than the 26th slot: he underwent Tommy John surgery, however, which could theoretically cause him to slip.
Callis' reasoning is that the Sox are in a position to "gamble" on the Las Vegas product and his elbow given they also have a pick at 33. In a draft class where players with obvious flaws have been projected to the 26th spot, seeing the Sox pick Fedde and hope he returns to the form that had scouts excited about him in the first place makes a lot of sense, especially since the Sox typically draft from a place where high-upside, number-two-caliber starters are not available -- Baseball America suggested Fedde was possibly a top-10 pick prior to the procedure on his elbow.
Fedde also fits other Red Sox qualifications, as he's a former Team USA guy who has spent time in the Cape Cod League. As they have two first-round picks and the extra budget that comes with it, the Sox are also in a good position to hand Fedde more of a bonus than some other teams who could draft him late. The 10th pick in the draft has a budget value of $2,970,800, whereas the 26th pick is valued at $1,870,500. The Sox could draft under slot at 33 to funnel some of the difference to Fedde at 26, or they could do what they did in 2012 (and to a lesser degree in 2013) and load up on college seniors who can be handed minimal bonuses in order to set aside money for the star attraction, which in this case would be Fedde.
Remember, too, that the Sox can overspend their budget by up to five percent without incurring any penalty outside of taxes. They have around an extra $318,000 just from that to toss at Fedde in the hopes of enticing him to sign.
While there is a danger to a degree that Fedde won't sign, between what the Sox are able to offer him through strategic drafting and budgeting and the fact he'll miss his senior year recovering from Tommy John, chances are good he would agree to a deal. If the sense is that he would not agree, well, you probably won't see the Sox pick him at 26 even if he's on the board, because failure to sign Fedde would result in the Sox losing the full value of the 26th pick from their draft budget.
Callis also projected the Red Sox with their second of two first-round picks, and sees A.J. Reed, a first baseman from Kentucky, going there. Reed leads NCAA Division I in homers, and as Callis mentions, plays a position the Sox have little in the way of prospect help at. Granted, teams don't necessarily draft for need like that, but if the most intriguing prospect left on the board (in Boston's eyes) also happens to play a position of need, then cool. Callis also sees the Sox possibly grabbing a college pitcher here -- one wonders if their desire to do so is tied to whether they manage to grab Fedde.