The Red Sox started their draft off with a bang, grabbing arguably the top overall player at pick number four with Marcelo Mayer falling to them. But things don’t stop there, as there are still 19 more selections for Boston to make before the draft is over. Right now, we don’t know what the financial situation will be around the Mayer selection. He will likely command something at least slightly overslot, and we can probably get an idea of how far overslot he’ll be going based on what they do today.
It should also be mentioned that there are more college seniors available this year due to the extra year of eligibility being handed out by the NCAA after the 2020 season was cut short due to COVID. College seniors generally can be signed for below slot to save money, as they simply have less leverage as other players in the draft. All of that is to say that, even after picking Mayer at four, another high schooler could certainly be in play with their second pick at 40th overall.
To that end, before we get started on Day Two of this draft, we’ll take a look at some of the top players available. We’ll take quick looks at five of the best college players available, five of the best high schoolers, and then five more I like for later in the day or on Tuesday, ranked 250 or lower on the Baseball America class rankings.
- Jud Fabian, OF, University of Florida: Fabian entered this season as a potential top 10 pick, and he is a guy that the Red Sox were connected to a few times earlier in the process. He’s young for a college draftee, not turning 21 for a couple more months, and he plays a good center field to go with big raw power. The issue is that there were concerns with his hit tool coming into the year, and those concerns were not alleviated through the college season. Still, there’s big upside here and the Red Sox have shown a willingness to take on power hitters who have trouble making contact.
- Adrian Del Castillo, C, University of Miami: While Henry Davis entered the draft as the clear top catcher in the class, it was Del Castillo holding that mantle back in the spring. Like Fabian, he was seen as a potential top 10 pick before seeing his draft stock fall a bit through the college season. He has a strong hit tool, but there are questions about the power and defense. If he can stick behind the plate, the solid power will be enough for him to be an impact bat at the position. But if he has to move, he doesn’t have the athleticism to play up the middle and he’d really need that power to jump a grade for the bat to really play.
- Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU: Continuing the theme of potential top 10 picks sliding into the second day, the story for Hill is a bit different than the others. While Fabian and Castillo failed to make scouts feel better about their holes, Hill unfortunately suffered an injury. The righty underwent Tommy John just seven starts into the season, which has understandably scared away teams at the top of the draft. That said, while the severity of Tommy John can sometimes be underestimated, pitchers do have a pretty strong track record coming back. It’s not clear if Hill is going to hold out for a higher bonus and go back to school, but if not the Red Sox can get a talent that had the potential to go in the top five for a second round price.
- Matt Mikulski, LHP, Fordham: Mikulski doesn’t have the high profile that these other three above possess, but he is an intriguing senior pitcher who could probably be had for underslot money. The southpaw didn’t face the best competition in the world at Fordham, but he struck out 124 batters in 68 1⁄3 innings against Division I hitters. That is no small thing. Mikulski has a good fastball to go with a changeup and a slider, though his delivery has some worried he’ll ultimately end up in the bullpen.
- Cody Morrisette, 2B, Boston College: The local connection here. is a good start, but Morrisette is a strong player as well. Sometimes overshadowed by his teammate and first round pick Sal Frelick, the infielder is more of a high floor than a high ceiling. There isn’t a ton of power here, and it’s hard to see him shifting to the left side of the infield, but he has a good hit tool, huge speed, and success at the high levels of college baseball.
High School Players
We should note that Bubba Chandler and Will Taylor are two of the highest high schoolers remaining, but each have commitments to play football as well as baseball at Clemson, and after selecting Mayer it could be tough for the Red Sox to also entice them away from those commitments.
- Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS (MA): Baez is the best high school prospect to come out of Massachusetts in quite some time, and would be an ideal second pick for the Red Sox. The local ties are enticing, but the talent is as well. Baez just turned 18 within the last couple of weeks, and he already has massive power that could turn into a plus-plus tool. He’s a center fielder now, but most see him moving to a corner when he starts to mature. But there is a ton of upside, even if it’s even more raw than your typical high schooler since he’s coming from the Northeast. He’s committed to Vanderbilt.
- Edwin Arroyo, SS, Central Pointe Christian Academy (FL): Arroyo isn’t as highly ranked as some of the other names on this list, but he was one of two high school shortstops mentioned by Kiley McDaniel of ESPN as potential Round Two targets. (The story where that was mentioned has been edited to remove the write-ups.) Arroyo is even a little bit younger than Baez, and is a fantastic defensive shortstop and a good athlete, though he is still raw at the plate. He’s committed to Florida State.
- Payton Green, SS, Crossroads Flex HS (NC): Green is even lower on the BA rankings than Arroyo, and could even fall after the second round based on those rankings, but he was also mentioned by McDaniel with a connection to Boston. They may shy away from the high school shortstops after Mayer fell to them, but that’s not guaranteed. Green is a big shortstop who will probably move off the position at some point, but there is real potential with the bat if the power develops well. He’s committed to NC State.
- Anthony Solomento, LHP, Bishop Eustace Prep (NJ): The top high school pitcher remaining on the board according to BA, Solomento is a lefty who actually pitched at Fenway late last summer in a showcase event. He has a fastball that can touch the mid 90s and should be able to do so more when he develops, as well as a slider that can turn into a major weapon. He needs some refinement on both of those offerings as well as with his changeup, but the potential could be too much to pass up. Solomento is committed to UNC.
- Peyton Stovall, SS, Haughton HS (LA): Another high school shortstop, he’s likely to move off the position sooner than later as his arm likely won’t play on that side of the infield. Offensively, though, there is a ton to like, with BA even calling him potentially the best pure hitter in this class. He has a smooth swing from the left side that produces above-average power, and the package with the bat should be enough to alleviate concern about his future defensive home. Stovall is committed to Arkansas.
Later Names to know
- Gordon Graceffo, RHP, Villanova: He’s a high-floor pitcher without top-end stuff but great control.
- Scott Randall, RHP, Sacramento State: Another command-oriented, mid-tier stuff kind of pitcher who could settle in as a back-end arm.
- Alex Toral, 1B, University of Miami: He’s a big power who needs that power to come close to maxing out given his lack of defensive value.
- Rene Lastres, C, Calvalry Christian HS (FL): A good combination of potential power and defense, Lastres is a ways away but could be a steal in the middle of Day 2. He’s committed to Florida.
- Tyree Reed, OF, American Canyon HS (CA): He is a good athlete, but one who is coming off injuries and very raw at the plate. He’s committed to Oregon State.