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Reviewing the Shadow Draft Red Sox

Last year, I tried my hand at drafting for the team. I’m going to do it again this year. First, however, let’s look at how poorly my picks did in their first seasons in professional ball.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
In this universe, Dombrowski didn’t trade away my prospects either.
Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

Ah, the MLB Draft. Along with the trade deadline and free agency, this is where I am happiest.

Just like last year (Part 1), I’m doing a Shadow Draft (Part 2) this year. How did my players do in their first seasons of professional baseball? Because I play by skewed rules (since I can’t actually draft for the Red Sox, and am not a genius when it comes to guessing what a player will sign for), I’m going to add a rule to my rules from last year. If a player I drafted refused to sign with their real life team, they also refused to sign with my team. Them’s the breaks. I won’t subject myself to penalties for going over the budget, though I probably should. I am fairly certain I blew by it last year.

OOLF’s Shadow Sox

  1. Alex Lange (1,925,000) - 3.64 ERA, 8.4 H/9, 0.0 HR/9, 1.7 BB/9, 7.7 K/9 in 42.0 IP at A+.
  2. Nick Allen (2,000,000) - .192/.256/.240, 8 SB, 5 2B in 38 games at A ball (at 19 y/o).
  3. Evan Skoug (300,000) - .222/.318/.400, 5 HR, 7 2B in 39 games at A ball.
  4. Jake Thompson (350,000) - 5.13 ERA, 9.5 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 7.2 K/9 in 47.1 IP at A+.
  5. Alex Scherff (700,000) - 6.68 ERA, 8.6 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 4.5 BB/9, 6.4 K/9 in 32.1 IP at A.
  6. Bryce Montes de Oca (N/A) - Did not sign.
  7. Trey Cobb (20,000) - 2.65 ERA, 11.1 H/9, 1.6 HR/9, 1.6 BB/9, 11.6 K/9 in 17.0 innings at A.
  8. Zach Sterry (5,000) - .257/.313/.324, 0 HR, 3 2B in 19 games at A.
  9. Tanner Nishioka (5,000) - .268/.354/.324 6 SB in 22 games at A- (2017).
  10. Corey Dempster (N/A) - Did not sign.

To summarize how my first year in shadow power, it was fairly mixed.

Alex Lange looks really good early on, so I’ll call that pick a win for the time being. He pitched briefly after the draft last year, at A-, and looked similarly good. I’m still fairly high on him, and think it was a great pick for the Cubs.

Nick Allen has been less than stellar, early on, although he was drafted out of HS and is a middle infielder, so he’s probably a project anyways. I wanted Griffin Canning (and he’s doing phenomenally so far, which hurts), but Allen was a nice consolation price. He hit well enough after the draft in 2017, but his 2018 season is off to a slow start at a more advanced level.

Evan Skoug needs more time, but despite the stat line, I’ve liked what I’ve seen early on. I do believe he eventually ends up at first base, as I have not been particularly impressed with his defense, but there’s still a chance he sticks at catcher, all the same.

Jake Thompson is the first pick I’m really disappointed in, thus far, and coincidentally it’s the also the first player that the Sox and I both drafted. A lot of it is that he’s shown little command of his pitch mix, and that’s key. He still looks like he could have 3 good pitches, and a total of 5 average or fringe average or better pitches, which would fit the profile of a starter, but he needs to develop quickly, or he’s going to be phased out as a reliever, due to his advanced age.

Alex Scherff has also been disappointing, but due to age, like Nick Allen, gets a pass from me for the first year or two of development. I’ve tuned in to watch Scherff’s starts throughout the season specifically, because he was my favorite pick in our real draft class. Watching him, I expect improvement. He has had mixed results, but in his last 3 games, he’s pitched acceptably, with 15 innings, 3 walks, and 12 strikeouts to go with a 3.60 ERA. He’s still young, despite being an older high school product, so he has plenty of time, but you definitely want to see more of what he’s done recently, before proclaiming anything successful.

Alex Scherff
Kelly O’Connor;

Because Bryce Montes de Oca didn’t sign, I lose my 6th round pick, and thus, about 230,000 dollars of my draft budget. Woops. I’m glad I kept putting off drafting him, because if I didn’t, and I drafted him in the 4th instead, I would have lost far more (397,800). You better believe he’s going to continue to be on my radar though.

Trey Cobb, my first college senior pick, has performed adequately, though you prefer he gives up less hits, obviously. He’s never going to be a lights out guy, in all likelihood, and he’s probably never going to crack any org’s top 30 prospects list, but he’d definitely be a nice guy to have in the system right now, with how bad our actual system is performing.

I don’t have a lot to say about Zach Sterry. He was taken for financial purposes, and hasn’t really done anything special.

Tanner Nishioka has played 5 games between A and AA this year, but the sample is too small for even this exercise to mean anything, so I pulled his 2017 numbers. You might think he’s walking a lot to get that OBP boost, but in reality, his eye isn’t as well defined as the numbers might lead you to believe, as he also struck out 20 times (as compared with his 5 walks) in that time frame. Another money pick.

I was torn on how to handle Corey Dempster, because he wasn’t even drafted. Maybe there’s a reason for that. He’s presently in independent baseball hitting .152/.273/.196. Not really inspiring. I’ll just call it and the 10th round pick (and the corresponding 131,400 dollar slot) a sunk cost.

If you add up the Montes de Oca and Dempster whiffs for not signing and not being drafted, I lose a combined 371,400 dollars off my bonus pool of $5,667,100, to leave me with 5,295,700 dollars (before the 5% cap boost before penalties) for the players I chose. The players I chose signed for a combined 5,305,000 dollars, which would be within the +5% cap.

And even if they don’t, I think Corey Dempster would have jumped at the chance to play professional baseball and signed for 5,000 dollars, giving me back his 131,400 slot value to play with.

So despite my fears, it turns out that I was actually within my budgetary constraints somehow. This was a fun exercise, and I look forward to doing it again on Monday.