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Five college players to watch for in Day Three

It’s the last day of the draft. Who’s left out there?

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Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The first two days of the draft are generally the biggest every year, as these are the picks with slot values assigned to them and the selections that almost always sign. But there is still one more day to go, albeit an abbreviated day compared to years prior. Before the changes to the draft that started last year, there were 30 selections made by each team on Day Three. That has been cut all the way down to 10 today. While these players are not as likely to sign as the earlier picks, you can still grab real talent at this point in the draft. Just over the last few drafts (not counting 2020’s event), some notable Day Three selections for the Red Sox have grabbed Joe Davis, Brandon Howlett, Kutter Crawford, and Tyler Dearden with this pick.

With that in mind, here are a few players still available for Day Three that the Red Sox could look at. We’re going to focus our attention to the college ranks for this post. It doesn’t appear the Red Sox saved any significant amount of money in the first two days, grabbing a couple of guys who might go a little over slot and only one college senior. The 11th round is typically one where teams can take a high schooler and use money saved in the first two days, so Boston could still go that route, but I’d expect to see them mostly focus on college players here. A special shoutout to Baseball America’s best player available tracker for help here.

Isaiah Thomas, OF, Vanderbilt

The name alone is enough here, as the Boston sports scene has just been begging for another Isaiah Thomas to root for. But it’s not just the name, as Thomas is an intriguing talent as well, coming from the best program in college baseball. He was drafted out of high school, but he decided to go to college, where he has shown big tools, though with some worries along with it. He hit well in 2021, slashing .337/.396/.648 while going 12 for 12 in stolen bases. The issue is that his plate discipline leaves a lot of pressure on his bat-to-ball ability. A lot of his profile relies on him handling center field, and there is a split as to whether or not that will happen, but on Day Three it’s worth taking a chance on a guy who put up these numbers against the best competition in college baseball.

Chase Silseth, RHP, Arizona

Silseth is an interesting arm from Arizona, first getting attention at the JuCo level before joining the Wildcats rotation this past year. The results weren’t great — he finished with an ERA over 5.00 — but there is plenty to like. The makeup gets good reviews, and he has a strong three-pitch mix with a fastball, curveball and changeup. That said, BA indicates his command does take a hit the deeper he goes into games, which does not bode well for a future in the rotation. But even so, it seems there’s the potential making for a solid reliever here if starting doesn’t work out.

Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas

One of my favorite types of players to target after the first five rounds or so are sluggers without a real defensive home. Recent Red Sox draftees that fit this mold include the aforementioned Davis, as well as guys like Devlin Granberg and Dominic D’Allesandro. Melendez could join them, though not as a senior sign like the other three. Melendez has DH’d for Texas in 2021, but BA indicates some see him being able to handle first base. He has plus power, but there are some questions about how his game will translate to the pros, as scouts haven’t seen him in a wooden bat league. Still, it’s worth taking a chance on the power at this point in the draft, if he’s willing to sign. (That if applies to everyone here, for what it’s worth.)

Brandon White, RHP, Washington State

White is listed at 6’8, 240 pounds, which is enough to grab my attention. He is absolutely an imposing presence on the mound, though the fastball velocity isn’t as consistent as you’d expect from someone this size. That said, he has gotten up to 97, and perhaps a professional coaching regiment would allow him to sit there in outings. He also has a really strong changeup, though his search for a third pitch hasn’t gone well. He’ll probably end up as a reliever, but given the size, he could be a force in that role if developed well.

Corey Rosier, OF, UNC Greensboro

We end things with my favorite kind of player, an up-the-middle hitter who relies on contact over power. Rosier did put up solid power numbers in 2021, but scouts generally believe that won’t be part of his potential game in the majors. Instead, he has a great understanding of the strike zone and makes a lot of contact on pitches in the zone. BA indicates he almost never missed a fastball over the course of the college season. It doesn’t appear there’s a huge ceiling here, but it’s an intriguing high-floor profile that could move quickly if all goes well.