Jim Callis writes for Baseball America, and as a Baseball America prospect expert would do at this time of year,released a mock draft on Thursday. It's always exciting to see who prospect analysts think is going to be end up selected by the Red Sox, but with Boston choosing in the top-10 for the first time since 1993, when Trot Nixon got the nod at #7, things are that much more intriguing: high-end talents reside here, the kind the Red Sox aren't always able to draft, and the right selection could make 2012 almost seem worth it.
Callis has picked Loganville High School outfielder Clint Frazier as Boston's pick at #7 in the June amateur entry draft. It's no surprise given he's projected at #7 and will be just 18 years old on draft day, but Callis describes him as a "high-ceiling" talent that would allow the Red Sox to "maximize the opportunity" given to them with this early selection.
Frazier has been given quite a bit of attention, again, not surprising for a potential top-10 pick. ESPN's Keith Law discussed him in a minute-long segment on ESPN earlier in the month, video of which we've embedded below:
Law says that Frazier has some of the "best bat speed I have ever seen from an amateur prospect." He's likely to move to an outfield corner according to Law, which one ultimately determined by how the tendinitis he's dealing with turns out -- if the arm is in good shape, then right field is a definite possibility. He's raw, as you'd expect, but as Baseball Prospectus' Nick Faleris details, there are plenty of reasons to like his potential.
On the 20-80 scouting scale, Faleris grades Frazier's future hit tool at 50-55, with his future power at 60. His arm, defense, and speed are all in the same neighborhood, giving the impression that Frazier, while he might not excel at any single thing, could turn into a very well-rounded, and very productive, major-league outfielder if he develops as expected. Unlike Law, Faleris thinks Frazier possesses the tools to become an above-average center fielder as he becomes more accustomed to playing the outfield. Like Law, he loves the bat speed, saying Frazier has "the best bat speed in the entire draft class" and is already showing off impressive in-game power despite his amateur status.
An outfielder with the potential to be a quality hitter with above-average defense in center, and more than enough offense to handle a corner should that initial plan fail? It's understandable why Callis believes the Sox could be interested. There are sure to be plenty of other names thrown out between today and the actual June draft, but unlike in past years, they won't have to necessarily hope someone they want slips through the cracks, as they did with Anthony Ranaudo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and even Deven Marrero.
For what it's worth, Callis sees the Indians, who select at #5, taking Braden Shipley, the college arm that Kiley McDaniel pegged for the Red Sox in his own mock earlier in the week. If these two were both to slip to #7, what would your preference be: high-school outfielder with center-field potential and incredible amateur bat speed, or potential high-ceiling arm with college experience and innings behind him?
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