While the MLB season was officially imposed by the owners on Monday and that is at the forefront of our mind, we are also not too far removed from the draft with that happening just under two weeks ago. That is enough time for people to let the dust settle and form some opinions on the draft class. That was the focus around this weeks Reacts poll that went out to fans, simply asking fans to grade the draft class of their favorite teams. We threw in a couple of Rob Manfred questions as well.
How do you grade the first round?
This seems about right. If this poll was taken among Red Sox fans immediately after the selection was made, this grade would be worse. I think a few things have happened since then, though. For one, the team has done a good job at talking Nick Yorke up. That’s not to say they’re lying or manipulating people or anything so cynical. I have no idea how good Yorke is. It just means they’ve done a good job at getting a little more PR on their side. I think people have also gotten a better grasp on the strategy of the draft in using your money more spread out rather than at the top. I think C is probably where I’d go here as well.
How do you grade the whole draft?
I think I’m a little bit surprised to see the overall draft grade getting such a clearly higher mark than the first round. Obviously it’s only one letter grade moved up and no one voted for A, but a clear majority did vote B, and that surprised me. I gave the draft a C+, and my criticism remains less about the actual players — I can talk myself into all four players drafted individually — but rather with the profiles. There is not big upside type of player here, and I think they had an opportunity at that. It’s more about personal preference at the end of the day.
How soon to make an impact?
This is, frankly, a weird question because it obviously depends on what kind of player was drafted. The first two picks for the Red Sox were high schoolers, and I wouldn’t expect them up in the next couple of seasons, particularly without minor league baseball this year. For college players, I think 2023 is probably more reasonable but that can vary, again, based on individual players. With the taxi squad expected to be implemented this year, someone like Spencer Torkelson could actually make his debut this summer.
What should Manfred do?
This is, uh, a little dated.
How bad is Manfred?
I think it’s probably pretty hard to argue with these results right now! The other sport I follow closely is basketball, and while the love Adam Silver gets is certainly over the top in my eyes he’s still far and away better than Manfred. Given the state of baseball right now and how it seems Manfred actively doesn’t like the sport, I’d probably put him behind Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman as well, though I admittedly don’t follow either sport closely enough to have a strong opinion on that ranking.