In the eighth round, with the 250th overall selection in this 2018 MLB draft, the Red Sox selected their second college catcher of the afternoon and their sixth college player in six picks on Day Two. After taking Kole Cottam with their fourth round pick, they took Elih Marrero out of St. Thomas University in Florida. He is a switch-hitter who just finished up his junior year and is in his age-21 season.
This seems like a very risky pick for the Red Sox, as Marrero has apparently had some off-the-field issues. He started his collegiate career at Mississippi State and was a highly-touted prospect who was ranked in the top 125 of Baseball America’s pre-draft rankings back in 2015. He struggled as a freshman, however, and barely played at all as a sophomore. According to this article from the Clarion Ledger, Marrero didn’t play after the first four games of the year due to “off-the-field issues” and then was arrested for DUI and driving without insurance in April of that year.
Apparently, that was enough to get him to transfer to St. Thomas University, an NAIA school. In other words, they are a step below NCAA competition. According to the team’s website, Marrero did hit well this season with a .370 batting average in 61 games in 2018. The Red Sox are obviously taking a risk here, but they clearly believe in the bat.
Marrero was not ranked by Baseball America, MLB Pipeline or Fangraphs.