As we sit here Tuesday afternoon, the first day of the MLB Draft is only five days away, with the first selection taking place Sunday night in Denver. The Red Sox, as I’m sure almost everyone reading this knows by now, are picking way up at number four overall. Over the last couple of weeks, it has seemed like the ideal scenario for the Red Sox is that they end up with Vanderbilt ace Jack Leiter. That doesn’t seem as likely now as it had been, though, and the latest mock draft from FanGraphs supports that.
In that latest mock draft, FanGraphs had Leiter going number two overall to the Rangers, noting that Leiter may try to up his bonus demands to fall to four — which FanGraphs had previously indicated he may do as well — but also pointing out that Texas has the bonus room to call his bluff. Whether it’s Texas or another one of the top three teams (Pittsburgh picks first, Detroit third), I am starting to increasingly feel like Leiter will not be there at four.
In his stead, FanGraphs has Louisville catcher Henry Davis going to Boston at number four. Although he is not a pitcher, which many Red Sox fans want to see added to the organization with this selection, Davis is the top college bat in the class and could move quickly through the system and to the majors. He’s a polished hitter with both contact skills and power, and while some have questions about whether or not he will stick behind the plate, it’s not a unanimous stance, and even if he does have to move the bat should play at any position.
There were some other juicy details in that Red Sox writeup as well, including the fact that they did touch base with the Marcelo Mayer camp. (We profiled the high school shortstop earlier on Tuesday.) They speculate that is to game things out a bit, making the bonus demand too high for Pittsburgh, allowing him to fall to Texas at two, which in turn could make Leiter fall to them at four. It seems a bit consulted to me, but I applaud the strategic thinking if that was indeed their plan. They do also mention the possibility of them going underslot if none of Leiter, Mayer, or Jordan Lawlar fall to them at four, which is the first I’ve heard of that in about six weeks or so.
All in all, Davis would not be a bad selection by any means and would instantly become one of the best prospects in the system, but the main takeaway for me here continues to be that there is just no clear direction in which this team will go on Sunday, and all possibilities are going to be up in the air until they’re actually on the clock.