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MLB Draft 2017: A Shadow Draft (Day 2)

Can Day 2 go as well as Day 1 in our Fake Sox draft?

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
No, we aren’t drafting Trey Ball a second time.
Photo by Gail Oskin/Getty Images

Yesterday, we started the Shadow Draft. There are still a lot of interesting talents left, and I know something about some of them! So I’m going to try to draft some more, because I do so enjoy my fake job.

I’m going to also kind of low-key add a rule here. If the Red Sox pick a player I’ve never heard of, I reserve the right to just take their guy if I like him more than I like my guy. After all, I’m the drafter, not the scouter. If their scouts recommend I take Mike Trout, it would be foolish to not consider their proposition.

3rd Round - 101st Overall - Evan Skoug

I really wanted K.J. Harrison to fall to me here. I didn’t think he would, but I couldn’t justify a second round pick on him. Jacob Pearson also came off the board, and we knew I was considering him as well, the previous round. Harrison went to the Brewers, and Pearson to the Angels, who are becoming my draft nemesis.

I’m not terribly interested in Brett Netzer, the player we drafted in real life. He might be a decent player, but I fully expect to sign Nick Allen, my previous pick, and don’t want to tie up too much money in the middle infield this early in the draft.

I believe Skoug is the best pick I can make in the third round. He’s a junior at TCU, who was drafted in the 34th round by the Nationals back in 2014. He’s a first-round talent, who fell due to a slow start and was able to recover enough to be justifiably a second or third round pick.

I think Skoug is signable, though I’ll have to compromise on later picks. He should go slightly over slot based just on talent alone, though with him being a college junior it may not be as much a slam dunk as I think it is. His only other option is to go back to school as a college senior, and severely hurt his bargaining stock. If he were a high schooler, I would not take him here, since there’d be no chance he signs.

What I like about Skoug, is that he’s a catcher with some serious firepower. Surprisingly for a power catcher, he also has a good defensive arm on him, nabbing a decent amount of opposing baserunners. While Vazquez and Swihart seem to have the position locked up for the time being and down the line, you can’t be too careful. The one issue is he may not stick at catcher, if he can’t improve his ability to catch the ball (which gets in the way of being a catcher, in case you weren’t sure). It’s not a certainty, but I believe his bat will play well enough that even if he moves to first base, he will be a worthwhile pick here.

I also considered the following names with this pick: Garrett Cave, Bryce Montes de Oca, Michael Gigliotti, Jake Magnum Alex Scherff, and Matt Whatley (who would get drafted by the Rangers in the same round). I’m hoping at least one of those names is available in the fourth round.

Skoug was taken by the Chicago White Sox 207th overall, in the 7th round.

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

4th Round - 131st Overall - Jake Thompson

The Giants took Garrett Cave right out from under me, which hurts, and Gigliotti has also been swiped (by the Royals).

I wanted to draft Bryce Montes de Oca here, and I could have, but I also had Thompson on the periphery, and I really wanted him. He might only be a reliever, but given the premium being paid for bullpen arms in the game today I think this might be the new draft efficiency.

I’m probably not going to get to pick Montes de Oca in the 5th round (but I definitely wouldn’t get Thompson in the 5th if I pass now), so who is this Jake Thompson? Not to be confused with the Phillies arm, Thompson features a 95-ish mph fastball, a potentially plus slider, and a good changeup, all of which could play up better in the pen if he does end up needing to make the transition.

If he does move to the pen, he could move fairly quickly through the system, at least in my eyes, and could be seen as my answer to the real-life Tanner Houck pick (remember, I went with Lange, instead), where you potentially get a guy in that mold.

I again, considered Montes de Oca, Scherff Magnum, Donovan Casey, Jared Oliva, and Tommy Mace. Really hoping I get to take Montes de Oca or Scherff in particular.

5th Round - 161st Overall - Alex Scherff

Well I was right about one thing, I’m not going to get to pick Montes de Oca here. Not because he was drafted, either.

They did it again, and I’m happy, this time. I wanted to draft Montes de Oca here, but now, I might need to pass on him entirely, just due to basic logic. While I’m not worrying about signing bonuses, there’s a reason I can’t just take the best player available every single round.

I love the Scherff pick. He’s a first round talent, and if he signs we’re getting a steal here. There’s not much I dislike about him. He’s hit 98 on the radar gun with his fastball and he could have a plus changeup in addition to it.

The biggest concern is his lack of a true breaking pitch. However, there’s definitely time to get one to a decent enough level to start long-term. Another (albeit relatively minor) issue is his advanced age for a high school player. Some will complain about the loss of a year of development, but ultimately, I think once you get to the 5th round, this is an acceptable risk to take.

He could end up going to Texas A&M, but since the Sox drafted him, I’m not too worried we’ll find common ground.

I also might just have a type. I love these big arms. Draft more pitchers, in my opinion.

I also considered: Montes de Oca (sorry!), Magnum, Casey, Oliva, Mace, and Will Kincanon.

6th Round - 191st Overall - Bryce Montes de Oca

I’m taking him even though it’s not all that realistic, just so I stop talking about him as a guy I would have drafted. I don’t know where he’s actually going to go in the draft, but the longer things go, the more likely it looks like he’ll be a guy drafted in the 11th round with the extra money a team has saved.

There’s a chance he goes back to school — he’s only a junior at Missouri — and while he might lose a bit of money he’d have a good chance of getting paid next year anyways. Montes de Oca could be a starter, but I think it’s more likely he’s a reliever. And if he is, he’s a big arm out of the pen with a future closer profile. He’s flashed 100 on the gun in his short stints, and I believe he could dial it up a tick further. Adding to this, his fastball has sinking action.

Additionally, his curveball has improved drastically since he was originally drafted as a high schooler, to the point where you can project it as being plus down the line. His changeup is still below average, but working on it could see it progress to being an average pitch.

Obviously, the flaw here is that he’s got a decent chance of being a reliever rather than a starter but as established, I don’t think that’s an issue. He’s had an unfortunate injury history, though. Tommy John around the 2014 draft, and nerve transposition surgery this past year have dinged his star a slight, but he still looks to be a future major leaguer to me.

I really like who the Red Sox actually picked, Zach Schellenger. He isn’t too far off from my expectations of Montes de Oca, and will probably cost less. He too has closer potential, but I feel like his talent is below that of Montes de Oca. That’s not a bad thing to have, but not what I was looking for here.

I considered Magnum, Casey, Oliva, Mace, and Kincanon here. I’m probably going to drop Magnum off my board, as I don’t think it would be realistic at all to get him and all the players I’ve drafted previously. I like him as a talent, and think as far as two-way guys go, he’s solid. He’s a sophomore though, and I don’t see us having the money to get him unless he signs lower than expected. Close to dropping the others off as well.

Montes de Oca was not drafted on the 2nd day. This post will be updated if he is drafted tomorrow.

EDIT - Montes de Oca was drafted in the 15th round, 463rd overall, by the Washington Nationals.

7th Round - 221st Overall - Trey Cobb

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We’re at the part of the draft where you take college seniors, and a lot of these guys are just there for their draft pool considerations. We aren’t likely to get much of anything at this point, and with all the studs I took earlier, we need some money. So we’re taking Cobb, a college senior, hoping for the best, and thanking him for the money.

Cobb isn’t chopped liver, and the reason his name jumped out at me was the whole “Cobb” thing, as I was perusing Baseball America’s Top 500 prospects. He was ranked 452, so yeah, this is a reach!

Cobb was a reliever at Oklahoma St., and this is a role I fully expect him to continue in the minor leagues. He struck out 36 batters in 26 23 innings this season, and only walked 9 guys, in comparison.

I like the guy the Sox actually picked, Tyler Esplin, but I have too many guys that will cost too much money, so I have to unfortunately pass on him. It’s a shame, but considering the players I have, I’m perfectly fine with this result.

There isn’t really any other player I’m considering right now, I mostly am making up my mind as it gets to the pick, since I 100% plan to take college seniors.

Cobb was drafted by the Tigers 247th overall in the 8th round.

8th Round - 251st Overall - Zach Sterry

I guess I’ll just take the guy the Sox drafted in this case. He’s a college senior, and he has some serious pop. The scouts tell me they like him, so I’ll trust the scouts on this one!

I mean, there’s not much to say here.

9th Round - 281st Overall - Tanner Nishioka

I’ll be honest, I had no idea who this guy was, but upon doing some research, I’m going to agree with the Red Sox scouts.

He wasn’t even on the Baseball America Top 500.

Nishioka is a utility player though, who has some pop in his bat. I’ve only taken one infielder this draft (Nick Allen), so Nishioka makes sense from my perspective.

I will take it, because the Red Sox did.

10th Round - 311th Overall - Corey Dempster

As heart-warming as it is to get Frank Wren’s son in reality, I’ll take a different college senior, who I don’t believe has any ties to the Red Sox. Mostly because I don’t want to copy the Red Sox. I’m sure Wren is an interesting talent in his own right, but it’s no fun if I just agree with the Sox.

Ranked 446 on Baseball America’s Top 500 Draft Prospects, Dempster isn’t exactly great, but he’ll do the important thing, and sign for very little. If he works on his eye, professionally, he could do some damage, but otherwise, he could quickly flame out.

He appears to have a strong arm, defensively, but that could just be me. In any case, the second day is now over.

Dempster was not drafted on day 2, but this post will be updated if he is drafted on day 3.

Although the draft is over for me (we still have 30 rounds tomorrow, but we’ve gotten to the point where I only know the big names, and few fringe guys), I do have an honorable mention that I would have drafted had I just a bit more money to work with.

Honorable 11th Round Pick - Brock Deatherage

You’ve heard of Death and Taxes. But have you heard of DEATH RAGE?*

*don’t quote me on this but I think you pronounce his name as “deh-thu-rej”.