After taking a college bat and a high school bat with their two Day One selections on Monday to kick of their 2019 draft, the Red Sox started off Day Two with a college arm. They looked to the Big 12 to get their guy, selecting right-handed junior Ryan Zeferjahn. The 21-year-old was ranked as the 57th best prospect in this draft class by Baseball America, as the third-best college pitcher not among the top-138 draft prospects by Fangraphs and as number 84 by MLB Pipeline.
The University of Kansas product has made 15 starts in his junior year, pitching to a 3.97 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 44 walks in 88 1⁄3 innings. The ceiling is extremey intriguing for Zeferjahn, who Baseball America says has flashed the potential for three plus pitches. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has gotten up to 97 as well as a slider and a changeup, each with real potential. However, consistency in both command and mechanics are big issues. He’s walking almost five guys per nine innings this year, and that’s been a consistent issue throughout his career. He also has a tendency to lose his arm slot as games go on. All of that makes some scouts see a future in the bullpen for Zeferjahn, though it’s certainly worth a shot to see if they can help find some consistency. The likelihood of him reaching his ceiling probably isn’t all that great, but if he does it’ll be exciting. Of course, the Red Sox have shown in recent years they aren’t afraid of potential relief profiles.