As of this publishing, we are just nine hours away from the start of this year’s MLB Draft, with the first round and the first competitive balance round taking place tonight. For our purposes, the Red Sox are picking fourth, the highest they’ve selected in over a half-century. Over the last couple of months as draft season has really heated up, we’ve seen a number of different projections for the team with their first selection. Things are still up in the air to some extent, though the picture has become clearer. As we look ahead one more time before we finally know what will happen, we have one final roundup of mocks from around the interwebs.
Henry Davis, C, Louisville
As I said, things are clearing up, and while all five of these mocks indicate the Red Sox could go in a different direction and none are 100 percent certain this will be the pick, it seems to be where the winds are blowing right now. Davis is the top pure hitter in the class and should be a safe, quick-moving player. There are questions about his defensive home, but he seems to be consensus number four player in the class right now, so it makes sense he’s projected here by so many. All of these mocks indicate Jack Leiter is still their preferred pick, but it’s looking less likely he’ll be around at four. Other names in these mocks are Kumar Rocker, Jordan Lawlar, and Marcelo Mayer, with Law indicating the college players (Davis, Leiter, and Rocker) are the top choices.
McDaniel also throws in two possibilities for their second pick with Payton Green and Edwin Arroyo, both shortstops. Over at FanGraphs, they mention the possibility of targeting high school catcher Harry Ford on an underslot deal, though they think it’s just a backup plan if they can’t get either of Leiter or Davis.
Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
As I said above, pretty much everyone expects the Red Sox to go with Leiter if he’s available. It’s just a matter of whether or not he’ll be there when they pick. Most mocks have him going in the top three, but Collazo actually has him falling to Boston at four. He does mention there is a chance he goes number two to the Rangers — that is where three of the four mocks above have him going, with Law putting him third to the Tigers — in which case he indicates the Red Sox could pivot to either Davis or high school shortstop Brady House.