Nick Longhi is unassuming, perhaps more so than is really fair.
He was drafted in the 30th round in 2013. This is not where stars are picked. But he signed for $440,000, which is around what you'd expect a fourth-round pick to get. Yes, the late-round, high-bonus picks still exist, but they're harder to notice these days with all the slots and bonus pools since you just don't expect as many of them.
So Longhi entered the system with some amount of anonymity. Noticed, but not highlighted despite being the fourth most expensive pick the Sox would make that year. Overshadowed by the likes of Trey Ball--Boston's highest pick in many years--and slugging catcher Jon Denny.
Boy, 2013 was not a great year for the Red Sox in the draft. Good that the other thing happened, then. You know, the one in October? But I digress...
If Longhi should have grabbed some spotlight, it probably should have come in 2014. He got off to a big start in Lowell, hitting .330/.388/.440 through his first 109 at bats. He was ready to transition into full-season ball, when suddenly a thumb ligament gave out and that was that. See you in 2015.
Last year..well, it was fine. It was the sort of season that would probably disappoint a bit if Longhi had continued his 2014 success all the way to the finish line, but as a 19-year-old making his full-season debut, Longhi held his own, hitting .281/.338/.403 in Greenville. There were no parts that particularly stood out--he was a little better in April, a little worse in May, but generally from start to finish Longhi was consistently fine.
And that's kind of the story for Longhi. Nothing does stand out for him. He doesn't play a valuable position, but plays the easier positions--somewhere on the corners, inevitably, be it in the infield or outfield--fairly well. He doesn't crush the ball, but he can put the bat to it and generate some amount of pop. He's no Greek God of walks, but he's also going to turn down one that's offered.
What more can you ask for? Well, quite a bit. Our view of players and prospects tends to be warped by the promise of huge things down the line. We see the phenoms and judge against them. We see Nick Longhi and we shrug and move on, then wonder how it is we couldn't find someone better than Mauro Gomez to give 111 plate appearances to in 2012.
Baseball teams need Nick Longhis. Often more than they realize. And while the Red Sox would hope to never be desperate for a player like him, the reality is they have been. Recently, and often. So let's hope he's still looking up to the challenge when the time comes.
- Yoan Moncada
- Andrew Benintendi
- Rafael Devers
- Anderson Espinoza
- Michael Kopech
- Brian Johnson
- Sam Travis
- Luis Alexander Basabe
- Deven Marrero
- Michael Chavis
- Pat Light
- Nick Longhi
Unlucky 13 time. Do you go for your actual pick? Or is this where everyone writes in Allen Craig to protect said pick?
Please do not write in Allen Craig.