The first round of mock drafts told us that the Red Sox were not going to be able to get the player they wanted the most, and instead would have to most likely look like Vanderbilt right-hander Carson Fulmer instead. It made sense for multiple reasons, even outside of the whole the Red Sox have been scouting him thing: they drafted him back in the 2012 draft but couldn't come to terms, and he's maybe the player with the best shot at a big-league career among the available players near the top of this year's pool.
The Sox can't draft Fulmer if he's taken off the board before the seventh-overall pick comes up, however, and if Baseball America's latest mock draft is any indication, that's a real possibility. The Diamondbacks have the first pick in the draft, and could take Fulmer there. While Fulmer was never previously thought of as a number one overall type, his high ceiling and the fact he can be signed well under slot make him attractive to the D-Backs, who have the unenviable task of picking first overall after basically everyone suited for the spot ended up hurt or disappointing or both this spring.
Picking Fulmer first would not only get the D-Backs a pitcher with the ceiling of a number two starter who could be an elite reliever should the rotation not work out, but the savings from signing him under slot would allow them to spend heavily on picks later in the draft, to take more risks on high-upside high schoolers who are thinking about attending college instead, for instance -- the same situation Fulmer was in when the Sox drafted him in 2012.
It's not as obvious a win as the Astros doing the same to get Carlos Correa and the under slot flexibility he afforded them back in 2012, but that draft wasn't ravaged by injuries and ineffectiveness like the 2015 version has been.
As for how this affects the Red Sox, Baseball America's John Manuel sees it playing out in Boston's favor: if Fulmer goes first, it could start a chain reaction that leads to the player the Sox reportedly want the most, Alex Bregman, still being on the board at seven. Bregman, like Fulmer, was drafted in 2012 by Boston, but the Sox failed to sign him. Now he's at LSU, and while Blake Swihart's former high school teammate might not stick at shortstop, he has real potential with the bat that could very well make him a top-five selection.
It's a fascinating situation, really. Baseball America might not end up being correct here -- a whole lot of things could change in the weeks leading up to the draft -- but the possibility of Fulmer going first overall shows you just how unsettled the start of the 2015 draft will be. You might not want to fall in love with any one potential Sox pick too much, because as things stand, they could end up with any of about four players at seven, depending on what the Diamondbacks end up doing to kick things off.