The 2015 MLB draft is a little less than a month away, which means a whole lot could change between now and then. Injuries could damage draft stock, teams could make last-minute changes to their plan, or just one organization could draft someone unexpected and wreak havoc on every mock draft out there. Even knowing this, you can see some patterns starting to emerge this far out regarding who the Red Sox want to draft. Based on everything Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and FanGraphs have been saying so far, Boston wants to draft LSU shortstop Alex Bregman.
The question, though, is whether they will actually be able to. FanGraphs' Kiley McDaniel says the rumor is that the Sox want Bregman -- who they selected in the 29th round in the 2012 draft -- to last until the seventh pick, but in his mock draft scenario, the Twins nab him at six, leaving Boston with another redrafted player in Carson Fulmer. At Baseball Prospectus, Christopher Crawford mentions a similar scenario, where the Sox want Bregman and will draft him immediately if he's still on the board, but he has the shortstop going fifth-overall to the Astros, with the Red Sox choosing high school outfielder Daz Cameron over Fulmer at seven because of it. Baseball America is the only outlet to project Bregman to the Sox, with the Twins being the team to take Cameron at six, and the Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker.
The common theme here, though, is that the Sox want Bregman if he's around. He's former teammates with current Red Sox catcher and 2011 draft pick Blake Swihart, as the two played for Albuquerque Baseball Academy in New Mexico. While he's currently a shortstop, second base is probably his future position according to Crawford in his 2015 Draftbook. That eventual move off of the position might be what sees Bregman fall out of the top five, but in a thin draft class and with his bat, someone might take that risk before the Sox can.
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Crawford sees Bregman as being a potential above-average player whose ability to hit is his greatest strength and lone plus tool. He's projected for a future 60 hit tool on the 20-80 scouting scale, with all of his other tools -- power, speed, glove, and arm -- coming in at an average 50. That might not sound sexy, but an up-the-middle player with no weaknesses in their game who can hit is something, especially in a draft class as weak as this one -- that's the kind of player who could make a few all-star teams in their day, if things break right. That very last part is the most important one, of course.
Daz Cameron, son of former major-league and Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron, projects to have a higher ceiling than Bregman, as he has a little more of everything except for the hit tool, where the two are projected equal. The major difference between them is that Cameron is a high school player, so he's further from the majors and carries the additional risk that comes with that. Don't get any ideas about Daz being his father's equal with the glove, though: on the bright side, Crawford thinks there is a lot less swing-and-miss in the son's game.
As for Carson Fulmer, who we've discussed on a couple of occasions already, the concern with him is that he's a reliever instead of a starter, but that potential future where he's a number two starter has its obvious allure.
As the first six picks in the draft start to become more and more settled over the next few weeks, we'll have a better sense of just who it is the Sox will select. Early returns suggest that who they want to select is already known, but don't get too attached to the idea just yet, because wanting Bregman and actually getting him are two very different things.