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2018 Red Sox top prospect voting: Alex Scherff and the intrigue of the unknown

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The 2017 draftee didn’t pitch last year, but he’s still number six on the list

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
There isn’t even a photo of Scherff available for use!
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

We continue to chug along in our ranking of this newlook and less certain (to put it kindly) Red Sox farm system. As we get deeper into the rankings, things are only going to become more and more muddled with the number of opinions growing with each vote. That attitude was exemplified in this last round with votes being spread out all over the place with six players receiving multiple votes. In the end, the victory went to Alex Scherff as the righty took 31 percent of the votes.

Breaking things down to their most basic components, there are two general philosophies around prospect evaluation and it informs everyone’s opinion with their own personal rankings. Some people prefer safety and proximity to the majors, while others will argue for upside over everything. Obviously, there is wiggle room here and other factors come into play, but most prospect debates come down to some form of this argument. Anyway, Scherff very clearly falls into the latter category of this kind of debate.

The Red Sox drafted Scherff out of Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas with their fifth round selection in last summer’s draft. He was the top prep pitcher coming out of the state famous for the pitchers it’s been home to over the years, and Scherff is exactly what you picture when someone mentions a classic Texas pitcher. Although he had a commitment to Texas A&M, it was pretty clear from the moment he was drafted that he was going to forgo that commitment to get his path to the majors started as early as possible. He eventually agreed to a $700,000 signing bonus with the team, but he didn’t take the mound in any official professional games after joining the organization.

This is actually part of what makes Scherff so interesting, because we haven’t seen him fail yet. Granted, nothing he did in his first professional season would have clouded our view of him by too much, but there’s a special kind of intrigue with a complete unknown like Scherff. More importantly, though, he looks great in scouting reports. He’s a big Texas righty standing at 6’4”, 205 pounds (per Sox Prospects) and he can throw his fastball into the mid-to-high-90’s. That’s obviously a great start, and some believe his changeup will be an even better pitch, though he didn’t get to use it much in high school. He also features a breaking ball, though it is the pitch that needs the most development as a professional.

Scherff also isn’t your typical high school pitcher in terms of age. Though he just graduated, the righty has already turned 20 with his birthday being this past Monday. (Happy belated, Alex.) He’s actually a year older than Jason Groome in terms of seasonal age, for context. Despite that age and the fact that Scherff is more polished than your typical high school pitcher, it’s no guarantee he’ll start the year in full-season ball. We are still talking about a pitcher with no professional experience, and they may not want to throw him into the fire right away. I’d expect him to see Greenville at some point in 2018, but it may be later in the year and perhaps after some starts in Lowell at the start of the summer. Wherever he pitches, Scherff is sure to be one of the more exciting players in the system to follow this year, and you could argue he has the potential to raise his stock the most of anyone in the Red Sox organization by this time next year.

Here’s our list so far:

  1. Jason Groome
  2. Michael Chavis
  3. Tanner Houck
  4. Bryan Mata
  5. Jalen Beeks
  6. Alex Scherff

Now, we move on to the seventh spot on our list. As always, head down into the comments and “rec” the comment corresponding the player for whom you’d like to vote. Make sure you’re a member of the blog before you do so of course. Additionally, if there is a player you’d like to vote for, leave a comment of your own saying “Vote for Player X here”. That comment will count as his first vote. For more information on this system, scroll to the bottom of this post. Until next time...