We are officially in mock draft season with the actual MLB draft less than a month away, and this time around we are looking at the first mock draft from John Sickels of Minor League Ball. While the Red Sox farm system is probably most bereft of position player prospects — particularly in the middle infield and behind the plate — there’s no reason to ever draft for need. This is especially true in the first round. You take the most talented player you can and move from there. With that in mind, Sickels has the Red Sox selecting Alex Lange, a right hander out of LSU, with the 24th overall pick.
Sickels doesn’t go into much detail on the college junior in the mock draft post, but the prospect guru did do a write-up on Lange earlier in the spring. In it, he mentions that the righty is up to the mid-90’s with his velocity while also featuring a breaking ball and an inconsistent changeup.
Lange has thrown 83 innings across 17 starts this season for LSU, pitching to a 2.92 ERA with 100 strikeouts and 28 walks. He has set career-highs in strikeout rate, walk rate and (obviously) strikeout-to-walk ratio. For what it’s worth, Baseball America ranked him as their 32nd best draft prospect at the beginning of May.
Lange has a starting pitcher’s build, standing at 6’3” and weighing 200 pounds. Here is some video from 2016 on the reigning SEC Player of the Week, courtesy of Matt Czechanski.
What do you think? Is a college arm the best use of this late first round pick?