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The 2017 MLB draft is an important one for the Red Sox

They’re all important, but this draft seems particularly crucial.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

The goal in every sport is the same for every organization: Win championships. That’s championships, plural. Obviously, that’s much easier said than done and most us of will settle for a single championship in any given generation, but the ultimate goal is sustained success. It’s a rare achievement for any organization, but with the right approach it is possible for everyone. Clearly, the key to achieving this goal is to keep a steady flow of young talent running through the organization. It’s not always possible to keep that flow going, as the major-league roster is always priority number one and there are times when you need to sacrifice youth to keep the top level populated. Generally speaking, though, a well-stocked farm system is important for every baseball team.

All of this starts with the draft. It’s not the only way to get young talent into an organization, but it’s the simplest. Every team goes into the draft thinking this is the year they restock their farm system, and it’s an important day for every organization in the majors. This year, it seems particularly important for the Red Sox.

The reasoning, honestly, is pretty straight forward. Boston’s farm system isn’t in great shape right now. It’s not the worst farm system in the league — the Angels and Marlins are making sure no one else can lay claim to that title — but it’s not up to the standards that we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. Some of the reasons were inevitable and positive. The top prospects graduated, and guys like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley and Eduardo Rodriguez are still big parts of the future without being included in prospect rankings.

Then, there are the trades. Oh, the trades. We all know about Dave Dombrowski’s propensity to trade, and he’s done a hell of a lot of that since joining the Red Sox. As a result, a lot of the top prospects from the last two years are now in different organizations. This isn’t inherently a bad thing — Craig Kimbrel and Chris Sale are pretty rad, to be honest — but it leads to a weaker farm system. When you combine the graduations, the trades and the restrictions the organization has had in the international free agent market over the last couple of years, you get the current state of the farm system.

The good news is there is still some elite talent in Rafael Devers and Jason Groome. Neither of those are perfect, of course, with the former graduating soon and the latter hardly pitching at all since being drafted a year ago. However, they are elite-level talents that teams can only hope to find in any given draft. On top of that, the Red Sox are coming off a very solid draft class from a year ago. Groome headed that group, of course, but pitchers Shaun Anderson, Mike Shawaryn and Stephen Nogosek are looking like potential major leaguers, even if they’re not stars. Bobby Dalbec showed huge upside last year, too, though that hasn’t shown up this season. It was a step in the right direction, at least.

The real reason it’s so important for the Red Sox to have a big draft is because more trades are almost certainly coming this summer. This is a team that wants to and should contend, but they’ll need at least one more piece from outside the organization. That’s going to cost prospects in a trade, and that’s the cost of doing business. Such a deal will hurt a lot less if they can restock the system this week.

Now, this is the year for Dombrowski and the rest of the front office to rebuild the system. Part of that is because of lifted restrictions in the international market, but it also comes down to the possibility of a strong draft. Every team is looking to infuse a fresh new wave of talent into their organization this week. It’s an important time of year for all thirty organizations. But given the recent loss of prospect talent in the Red Sox organization and the likely continuation of that trend this summer, a big time draft class in 2017 would be a huge boost to the ultimate goal of sustained success.