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Red Sox select Alex Scherff with their fifth round pick

San Francisco Giants v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

With the 161st overall selection, the Red Sox picked Alex Scherff, a right-handed pitcher out of Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas.

Here, the Red Sox made their biggest pick of the day, taking one of the premier prep arms in the draft class with a pick far beyond his ranking. Baseball America had the 19-year-old ranked as their 59th best prospect in the entire draft while MLB Pipeline had the righty ranked 52nd. Listed at 6’2” and 209 pounds, Scherff certainly doesn’t look like your typical high school graduate.

He also doesn’t throw like your typical high school graduate. He has shown a big-time fastball at various showcases in front of scouts, reaching and possibly exceeding 95 mph with the heater. To go along with the plus fastball, some scouts have also placed a plus grade on Scherff’s changeup. There is little difference in his arm speed when throwing the fastball compared to the changeup, giving the offspeed pitch serious deception. He also features a breaking ball, though it is still a work in progress and it still isn’t clear whether or not it’s a slider or a curveball. The 19-year-old also has seen major improvement in his velocity and his ability to maintain it throughout his starts, a fact he attributes to better conditioning as he’s gotten older.

High school stats aren’t always dependable, but Baseball America offers one impressive note. At one point this spring, Scherff tossed five perfect innings in one start before throwing five no-hit frames in his next one. He faced 30 batters during that run, striking out a whopping 27 of them. I don’t think I need to tell you this, but that is bananas.

There are some concerns with the righty, however. For one thing, he transferred multiple times in his high school career, pitching at three different schools in his four years. He tried to transfer again for his senior year, but that was nixed by the powers that be in Texas. The reasons for the constant movement aren’t clear, but it’s a strange enough phenomena to give scouts pause. There is also concern with Scherff’s command and delivery. He’s had spotty command in the past, and that combined with his mechanics lead some to believe he will ultimately end up in the bullpen. Of course, he is still plenty young enough to get that straightened out.

Scherff is committed to Texas A&M next season, and the Red Sox will certainly need to go over the $296K bonus slot to put Scherff into their organization. Expect them to work out plenty of underslot deals in other places in this draft to ensure this will happen.