We are through one day of the MLB Draft, and in a normal year that would mean we have two days to go. This is, of course, not a normal year however, so tonight is actually the finale of this year’s event with the final four rounds taking place. Things kick off at 5:00 PM ET tonight, but you’ll have to wait a bit before the Red Sox pick as they are without their second round pick as a result of the sign-stealing scheme punishment from a few months ago. The first pick of the night will be number 38 overall while Boston’s first pick comes at number 89. They also have picks 118 and 148.
There are a whole lot of mocks leading up to the draft that cover the first round, and even a few that might go into the second round, but beyond that it’s anybody’s guess. That said, this is going to be the day on which the Red Sox draft is judged after they made an underslot selection with their first pick. They are hoping at least one big talent falls to them today, so let’s take a look at some of the names to watch for today. The way I’m going to do this is I’ll look at the three best players still available from the four types of prospects — college hitter, college pitcher, high school hitter, high school pitcher — as well as one prospect that caught my eye outside Baseball America’s top 100 and another from outside the top 200. The latter two categories will be names to watch if the Red Sox want to save even more money for one of these three picks today.
Dillion Dingler, C, Ohio State University
Dingler’s fall outside the first day of the draft was one of the more surprising developments so far. The Buckeyes catcher lost an opportunity to solidify his stock with a full 2020, but there is plenty to like here with a strong offensive profile as well as big power, though there are questions with the consistency of the hit tool. That obviously can affect the power output as well.
Casey Martin, SS, University of Arkansas
Martin is exactly the type of player the Red Sox would like to see fall and may have the chance to fall, although I wouldn’t necessarily bet on it. He has some very loud tools including plus athleticism, a big arm and legitimate raw power, but the consistency with which those tools show up on the field can be frustrating.
Daniel Cabrera, OF, LSU
Cabrera is an all-bat prospect, with his ceiling defensively likely being that of a solid left fielder. But the bat is enticing enough to overlook the potential lack of defensive value. Cabrera is a sweet-swinging lefty who can hit line drives all over the field and has some above-average raw power, though he hasn’t always tapped into it as much as you’d like.
Outside the top 100: Tyler Keenan, 3B, University of Mississippi
The Red Sox love a big power hitter on the corners having drafted Triston Casas, Bobby Dalbec and Nick Decker, among others, in recent years. Keenan would be one to follow that tradition. He was off to a bananas start before the pandemic shut down the college season with a .403/.488/.791 line. He’s also listed at 6’5, 250 pounds, so I’m not sure that power is a fluke. However, given that size sticking at third base is likely a longshot as well.
Outside the top 200: Hudson Haskin, OF, Tulane
Haskin is a very interesting prospect as a draft-eligible sophomore who is very athletic, should stick in center field and has done nothing but hit in college. The issue is that his swing is, well, ugly, getting comparisons to Hunter Pence by Baseball America. It’s worked for him so far, though, and given the Red Sox’s success developing position players they could find the right balance between tweaking the mechanics and letting him be him.
Cole Wilcox, RHP, University of Georgia
Wilcox has been on big league radars since high school with a big fastball slider combination, but the polish hasn’t really taken the step forward teams wanted to see in college. The big stuff is still there and there is at least a solid chance at a very good reliever if starting doesn’t work. I think he’ll probably be off the board early in Day Two.
JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State University
Ginn was a first rounder out of high school just a couple of years ago and was well on track to be there again this year as a draft-eligible sophomore. However, he went down with an injury early this spring and needed surgery on his elbow, which has scared teams off. At this point I could see him holding out for a larger bonus or going back to school to rebuild some of that stock for next year, which could play into Boston’s favor because this kid does have big stuff.
Chris McMahon, RHP, University of Miami
This is one that I would be very surprised to see fall to the Red Sox at 89. McMahon already has big stuff and that stuff plays up even more if you look at it through analytical eyes with things like spin rate. Throw in a few very intriguing secondaries, and I suspect he’ll be among the first names called today as well.
Outside the top 100: Stevie Emanuels, RHP, University of Washington
If you are looking for a prospect to break out from outside the top 100, you can either look for big stuff or solid growth. I’m going with the latter. Emanuels has taken legitimate steps forward throughout his college career and was dominant to start this season before it was cancelled. He needs to work on his changeup, but he has a real chance to stick as a starter and has shown he knows how to take the steps necessary to improve.
Outside the top 200: Braden Olthoff, RHP, Tulane
I’m avoiding the flashy, big stuff, likely to be reliever arms here as well, instead opting for a somewhat unusual prospect in Olthoff. He didn’t start pitching until his senior year of high school and his stuff doesn’t really stand out, but he has four pitches that are very solid and very good command. That is something to work with for what would probably be a cheap signing bonus.
High School Hitters
Masyn Wynn, SS/RHP, Kingwood HS (TX)
Not every scout sees Wynn as a position player as he has the ability to both pitch and hit, which certainly makes him that much more intriguing. He could be developed as a shortstop with plus power or a pitcher with a big fastball or a two-way player. This would be a risky pick, but one that could pay huge dividends.
Kevin Parada, C, Loyola HS (CA)
Parada’s bat is what makes him an intriguing player with big time power to all fields and a chance to make a lot of contact as well. That’s an exciting sentence for anyone and doubly so for a catcher. However, that last part is more in question and a move off the position is expected by some.
Isaiah Greene, OF, Corona HS (CA)
Putting aside the concerning name of that high school in today’s world, Greene is a really intriguing prospect with a sweet swing from the left side that gets comparisons from BA to Michael Brantley and Garrett Anderson. The power is probably more on the average side and his arm might move him to left field, but there is plenty to work with here.
Outside the top 100: Cole Foster, SS, Plano Senior HS (TX)
Foster is not going to be the type of high-upside toolsy player you may be looking for from the prep ranks, but that doesn’t mean he’s not exciting. He’s a high IQ type of player whose instincts should keep him at short and while the power isn’t there his hit tool and approach certainly are.
Outside the top 200: Brady Kasper, SS, Capistrano Valley HS (CA)
This is the toolsy player you may be looking for from the prep ranks. Kasper was a big-time football player in high school as well which leaves him a little bit raw, but he has the athleticism to stay at either shortstop or move to center field, and the contact ability to rack up hits. He needs refinement, but the Red Sox can handle that.
High School Pitchers
Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (TX)
Kelley is the best player remaining on the board for my money, and at this point he could be the type of player to hold out for a big bonus or honor his commitment at Texas. He is a big, prototypical Texan righty with a huge fastball, but also very clean mechanics. This is the ideal scenario for the Red Sox at 89.
Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere HS (FL)
Montgomery is more of a project, but that’s not really a bad thing as much as it is the expectation for a pitcher from high school. He does have two very good pitchers under his belt at this point with a fastball and slider, but the changeup needs to be developed.
Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada HS (CA)
Jones has a little bit of good and a little bit of bad. The good is his fastball/breaking ball combination that gives him a very good base, as well as strong bloodlines with multiple family members who have played professionally. The bad is that he is almost 19, so on the older end for a prep player, and also needs to develop a changeup.
Outside the top 100: Patrick Reilly, RHP, Christian Brother Academy (NJ)
Reilly is a little bit of a pop up guy having added some muscle to his frame last year that brought with it a few extra ticks to the fastball. Scouts haven’t seen a ton of looks of him with the new fastball so there are questions about how long he can sustain it through starts, but the stuff is here for a very good pick. He’s also committed to Vanderbilt, which speaks to the talent on its own.
Outside the top 200: Magdiel Cotto, LHP, Nation Ford HS (SC)
Cotto is a very big kid, coming in listed at 6’4, 230. There is some concern about maintaining that kind of body, but if he can that is a good frame to stick as a starter. There are some consistency issues that need to be worked out here, but he has a chance at a solid three-pitch mix from the left side including a fastball that gets up to the mid 90s and could sit there consistently with a little more work.