The draft is quickly approaching with the first two rounds set to take place a week from Memorial Day. We already spent the past week looking back at some previous Dave Dombrowski-led drafts to see if we could find any trends, and in the coming week we’ll take a look at who the team could be targeting in 2019. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun today to look at where the Red Sox are picking in the first five rounds of this draft to see if any big-time talent has been picked by them or anyone else in these slots before. This is not meant to be predictive or anything, as the context around different drafts and different rules in different eras mean teams have different approaches at the same spot in different years. This is more for a fun look back.
43rd Overall Pick
Red Sox Picks: Scott Hatteberg, Chris Cross
Hatteberg is probably best known for being played by Chris Pratt in Moneyball, but before that he had a solid little career as a backup catcher for the Red Sox. Cross, meanwhile, is not a rap duo who wear their clothes backwards but instead a catcher who spent a few years in the minors in the 60s and 70s.
Best Pick: Bob Knepper
Knepper finished his career with 21.9 career bWAR with his best years being spent in the 80s with the Astros. He was one of those very good starters who doesn’t get the long-term legacy but had plenty of moments in his time.
Others of Note: Mark Prior, Wade Miley, Taijuan Walker
Prior was selected by the Yankees with the 43rd overall pick in 1998 but obviously didn’t sign. He’d eventually get drafted by the Cubs after heading to college and was one of the best pitching prospects in recent memory. Miley is, of course, an old friend who also dominated the Red Sox on Friday. Walker was a top prospect not too long ago who has been set back by injuries.
Red Sox Picks: Scott Cooper, Eric Glaser, Mickey Rivers
Cooper was the only Red Sox pick at the nicest selection to make the majors, making two All-Star Games in the early-to-mid-90s for the Red Sox after replacing Wade Boggs in the lineup. Glaser and Rivers both stalled out in the minors.
Best Pick: Tim Salmon
This is a damn good pick this late in the draft, with Salmon being one of the more forgotten hitters of his era. The Angels outfielder was never the best all-around player, but the former Rookie of the Year was a machine at the plate with an eight-year peak producing a 138 OPS+ as an everyday player. He was scary to face in the 90s.
Others of Note: Bronson Arroyo
Red Sox Picks: David Renfroe, Shawn Senior
Neither player the Red Sox have taken with this pick made the majors, with Renfroe making it as far as Salem in 2013 and Senior making it to Double-A Trenton in 1996.
Best Pick: Clyde Wright
Unsurprisingly, there hasn’t been a ton of success at this pick. Wright, the Angels selection back in 1965, made the All-Star team in 1970 and received Cy Young and MVP votes that year as well.
Others of Note: Brandon Workman, Josh Rutledge
Workman was picked in this spot out of high school by the Phillies before heading to college instead of signing and eventually getting to the Red Sox in the draft a few years later. Rutledge is another old friend, taken in this spot by Colorado in 2010.
Red Sox Picks: Tim Mitchell, Glenn Bannister
Once again, neither player here ever made the majors. Mitchell played two years in the GCL with the Red Sox while Bannister made it to A-Ball with the organization.
Best Pick: Joe Crede
The only player with any real success at this pick, Crede was far from a superstar but spent a decade as a solid role player for the White Sox in the aughts. He was a starter on their 2005 championship team, won a Silver Slugger in 2006 and made the All-Star team in 2008, his second to last in the league.
Others of Note: None
Red Sox Picks: N/A
This will be the first time in franchise history the Red Sox have made a selection at this exact point in the draft. History!
Best Pick: Willie Randolph
How about this one for a diamond in the rough. Out of all the picks the Red Sox are making in this year’s draft, the one among the first five picks that had the best career came with that fifth selection. Randolph was worth a whopping 65.9 career bWAR, making him a legitimate Hall of Fame Candidate. He spent most of his career with the Yankees, making six All-Star teams between the 70s and 80s.
Others of Note: None