Yesterday, I drafted two players, today I’ll draft eight. Maybe some of them will be the same player the Red Sox actually drafted.
Click the link above for a link to the rules. With eight picks on tap, and a word count to keep in mind, I’ll try to be brief in describing the why of my pick.
3rd Round - 100th Overall - Slade Cecconi
In reality, the Red Sox selected Durbin Feltman. He could move quickly through the system, but he’s strictly a reliever and there’s no chance I take any reliever this high. This is just a philosophical difference. He can potentially help us down the stretch this year, but I don’t want to compromise on ceiling this early. Would have been interested in the fifth or sixth round, but I don’t think he would have been available there (Astros strike me as a team that would have liked him too).
I’m taking Cecconi. What’s this? A prep pitcher? You thought I wasn’t going to take any prep players? This is a risky pick since after the first day there’s a decent chance that the guy just outright doesn’t sign, which would be killer for my draft. It’s something I’m willing to work around, though. I view him as being one of the top prep pitchers in the draft, and he has an elite arm. He has two potential plus pitches, his fastball (which goes around 97), and his slider. We’ve seen what an elite slider can do. He also has a curveball, which looks closer to average, but I think there’s still obviously room for growth. Now I just hope he signs. Otherwise I wasted a pick.
Cecconi wasn’t drafted on Day 2, which is terrible luck for me, because that means I’m probably losing the third pick and the 559,600 dollars the slot is worth. The good news is, if that’s true, next year, I should be entitled to a compensation pick, right?
EDIT - Cecconi was drafted by the Orioles in the 38th round, 1135th overall. He’s not signing with them. I’m going to lose this pick money. Welp.
4th Round - 130th Overall - Alex McKenna
The Red Sox selected Kole Cottam, and I’m not ashamed to admit I know very little about him. I know he hits for power, and I know he’s not a great defensive catcher. The Red Sox have a type, and it’s big power bats. I think this type of pick is going to be underslot, and give us more power late in the draft despite taking two prep players early on, but since I’ve only taken one prep guy (who might not even sign, whoops), I’m not concerned about signability right now.
I choose Alex McKenna. All you need to know is he played in the Cape Cod League, and he hit there. Flat out, this guy can hit. He’s a good athlete, and he has some speed too. Odds are he’s moving to the corner outfield spots, but if he sticks in center this is a huge value pick. I view him as a guy in that Austin Meadows mold of guys who can just hit. Have I mentioned he can hit?
He was drafted in real life, by the Houston Astros at 132nd Overall, so I picked him up while the getting was good.
5th Round - 160th Overall - Gage Canning
The Red Sox selected Thad Ward, who they’ve seen a few times as a Fort Myers guy. I don’t know much about him, either (which is a weird trend, since it’s mostly the Sox guys in this year’s draft that I’m lacking knowledge on). His strikeout numbers have been on the rise, and he’s a spindly tall right hander. Seems like an okay pick, but as established, we’re just going different directions. I assume the Sox will make a late splash or two. Hopefully.
My pick, Gage Canning, has excellent speed, and great skills for getting on base. In general, he is an all-around ballplayer, who has been described as being able to do all the things that a team needs for his team to win. He should stick in center field (and he’s my third outfielder taken in this draft). The concern with him is he has a fair bit of swing-and-miss in his game, but with his improved eye, I feel like this is less of a concern.
Canning was taken 161st overall by the Washington Nationals. How’s that for good luck?
6th Round - 190th Overall - Devlin Granberg
The Red Sox went with Devlin Granberg. I see no reason to argue. I was looking to take a college senior here, and I concur with the Red Sox scouts on this one. Granberg has hit well in the past, but never been drafted, and was widely seen as one of the best seniors in this year’s draft class. Another senior I liked and was on the edge of taking was last year’s whale that got away, Bryce Montes de Oca.
He generates okay power (although his hit tool is notably better), has good exit velocity, and can run surprisingly well for his build. Positionally, he could play the corner OF spots, or first, and I’m drafting him thinking about the latter. This isn’t the sexiest pick, but it’s a nice way to save up a little money for a potential splash, or to make some extra financial room for Cecconi, who may be a lost cause at this point. Have to play it somewhat safe here, if I want to be able to get a good piece in the next round or two.
7th Round - 220th Overall - Bryce Montes de Oca
In real life, the Red Sox decided to take another player I have limited knowledge of, Jarren Duran. He’s supposedly an on-base machine, with a lot of speed, which is all well and good, but I felt Canning already has that covered. So I’m going to pass on Duran, even though there’s a chance he goes under-slot himself.
Instead, I’m gonna re-draft my white whale, Montes de Oca. Earlier, I passed on Durbin Feltman, and I stated that the third round was too early to go for a pure reliever with no ceiling as a starting pitcher. Montes de Oca is another example of a player that is “probably” purely a reliever. He had Tommy John Surgery a while back, but he has a 100 MPH fastball (with sink) and what is described as a wipeout slider. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it should. Feltman also has a good fastball (though not nearly as hard) and a great slider. For bonus points, Montes de Oca is roughly 6’7”. If he sticks at reliever (which isn’t a given, he could still be developed as a starter, theoretically), he could move extremely quickly, similarly to Durbin. The flaw, and why he wasn’t taken to this point, is that simply put: He’s not as good as Durbin. Durbin got results that de Oca did not this season. I like the 7th round for these types of guys. I might take another in the 8th. Also, he’s a college senior, so there’s a chance of underslot, even this late.
The Mets selected Montes De Oca 260th overall.
8th Round - 250th Overall - Tyler Cropley
The Red Sox selected Elih Marrero, a catcher. He’s a college junior. He was highly touted back in 2015, ranking in at 124th on the BA list back then. Beyond that, I don’t know a lick about him. There’s the possibility that there’s other problems with him, but I guess it’s entirely possible there’s another Elih Marrero who happens to be the son of Eli Marrero. Either way, I try to avoid this type of thing.
I’m going to choose a player I do know something about, Tyler Cropley. He’s a college senior, so he’ll be relatively easy to sign, and on top of that, he grades out as having good power, and a gritty defensive reputation. He’s a good blocker, and this should be enough to keep him behind the plate. The biggest flaw with him is his long swing, but this is all about signability. Helps I think he’s really good.
Cropley was selected 251st overall by the Washington Nationals, who I’m convinced are watching over my shoulder as I shadow draft.
9th Round - 280th Overall - Niko Hulsizer
The Red Sox selected Brian Brown, a college senior. He’s six feet tall and has a plus changeup. He’s a super crafty lefty, and that would be enticing, but I feel like I can get a better player right now who will actually sign, hopefully. If not, oh well.
My pick is Niko Hulsizer. He was the NCAA D1 HR champion in 2017. This season he was injured. Even so, he’s come back strong and shown just as much power as ever. His power is crazy, and feels pretty close to what the Red Sox were targeting in reality, early on. I just think you can get better value later on. You can guess what his weakness is, and that’s poor contact ability. I’m more comfortable taking this risk in the 9th than in the 1st. There’s a risk he’ll bet on himself (and he should, because if he stays healthy, even as a college senior he could make more than he will if he settles for this slot) and go back to college, but I’m less concerned about it than I probably should be.
If/when Hulsizer is drafted, this post will be updated.
EDIT - Hulsizer was drafted by the Dodgers in the 18th round, 554th Overall
10th Round - 310th Overall - Matt Frisbee
The Red Sox selected Grant Williams, a college senior. It’s clear what they are going for. I feel like my guys aren’t going over-slot (and I’m also fine with the penalties next year if I accidentally DO go over), so I’m fine taking more of a risk here. Williams doesn’t have much going for him offensively, although he’s a bit pesky, so this is 100% just for signability purposes.
My pick, Matt Frisbee, is a little more promising. He’s 6’5”, can rear back his fastball for 97 MPH, and is a big strikeout arm out of the bullpen. Because I passed on Durbin, earlier, I felt the need to double dip on bullpen arms. Frisbee is at 116 strikeouts in 91.1 IP as a starter. If put into the bullpen, his stuff plays up more, not difficult stuff. Plus, imagine a dude named Frisbee throwing frisbees at Fenway Park. Practically puts butts in seats by itself.
If Frisbee is drafted on Day 3, this post will be updated.
EDIT - Frisbee was drafted by the Giants in the 15th Round, 436th overall.