With the 251st overall selection, the Red Sox picked Zach Sterry, a first baseman out of the University of Oakland.
Here is the first of what will likely be three consecutive college senior draftees as the Red Sox attempt to create room in their draft budget for Alex Scherff and possibly Tyler Esplin. Sterry was not ranked prior to the draft by either Baseball America or MLB Pipeline.
There isn’t a ton out there on Sterry, which isn’t too surprising considering he’s a college senior who comes from a school in a small conference like the Horizon conference. He’s on the shorter size for a first baseman — I’ve seen him listed at both 5’10” and 5’11” — but is stocky at 225 pounds.
That size translates to strong offensive output, apparently. He’s been a star for the Oakland Grizzlies over the last few years, and has been particularly impressive over the last calendar year. He spent last summer in the Valley League, a league for college prospects out west. Basically, it’s a lesser version of the Cape Cod League. He shone in that league, posting a 1.187 OPS with a whopping 13 home runs in 40 games. He carried that success over into the spring, putting up a huge senior season for Oakland. In 48 games he hit .346 with a 1.084 OPS and 13 home runs, all of which were easily career highs.
As a college senior signee, there isn’t a ton of excitement here, but it appears as if the bat could be one that surprises. Scouting reports are hard to find for players of this ilk, but Sterry was named as the tenth best draft prospect in the state of Michigan. It is worth noting that his senior season ended prematurely after he broke his hand being hit by a pitch in May. Because of that, the Red Sox may not expose him to a full-time role right away. The most important part of this pick is that it should help make room for Scherff, but Sterry could surprise with the bat, too.