After taking college player after college player, the Red Sox have finally broken their streak with the 238th pick in the 2016 draft, selecting 18-year-old defensive-minded catcher Alan Marrero out of Puerto Rico.
If this sounds at all familiar to you, it's probably because eight years ago the Red Sox selected another Puerto Rican defensive-minded catcher in the later half of the top-10 rounds. His name is Christian Vazquez, and he'll be starting behind the plate tonight in Minnesota.
But Vazquez is a rare talent defensively, and if Marrero is the top defensive catcher in Puerto Rico, that still leaves him with a ways to go. Still, he has the build for it, and seems to know his way around behind the plate. It's just a question of if there's anything there with the bat. Baseball America paints a decent picture:
There are questions about the strength of Marrero's bat, but he shows promise at the plate. The righthanded hitter creates solid bat speed that portends more power in the future.
But the reality is that this, combined with his defense, still left him squeaking into their top-500.
What will be interesting is how much it might take to sign Marrero. Ranked in the 400s, it's easy to imagine that Marrero wasn't expecting much in the ways of a bonus, but could see the Red Sox as a better path for development over the next few years than Alabama State, where he's committed. With it being common practice for teams to cover tuition for players who forsake scholarships to sign as draftees should they ever leave baseball and return to school, Marrero wouldn't necessarily be risking the promise of an education should he opt for the professional path instead, even if the bonus is not terribly large. And with the slot value of the pick sitting at $180,300, that could be some extra insurance for landing Jason Groome.