Is there a draft in here?

Today is the MLB draft! You can scope it at ESPN2 at 2:00 p.m., or follow along live at MVN. There is a special two-hour event over at MLB Draft University with live blogging and a live web TV broadcast with comprehensive team reports, prospect profiles, interviews with MLB Draft experts and real-time reaction to the first round picks as they are announced.
Who could the Red Sox pick? Good question.
MLB Draft University projects the Red Sox taking shortstop Reese Havens, as does Keith Law. Havens, South Carolina, would have been drafted by the Red Sox as their first round pick out of high school, but declined $1.25 million and went to college. Havens is 6’1″, 195 lbs.
Havens struggled as a freshman and sophomore, but then went to the Cape League and thrived due to former UNC head coach Mike Roberts lowering Haven’s hands, amongst other tweaks. Havens went on to hit .314 and Roberts said he had never seen someone improve as much as Havens did in such a short time in his 30 years coaching.
He hit .357 with 16 HR after 56 games this year at USC, but defense is a problem and will most likely have to be moved off short, and whispers are that the Red Sox would convert him to catcher (a position Victor Martinez, Russell Martin and other current catchers played at some point).
Law ranks him as the 25th best prospect, and says his ultimate role would be as a bottom of the order hitter.
The Red Sox are also interested in Ryan Westmoreland, according to Keith Law. Westmoreland has asked for $1.6 to $2 million in bonus money to forego college. Westmoreland is from Portsmouth, Rhode Island and “boasts plus hit, run and throw tools.” He is likely to drop due to his demands and could be a late pick, with the Sox dangling seven figures. He doesn’t rank upon the top 75 prospects, so look for him late in the day.
Jason Castro is a lock to be picked by the Sox… if he drops to them. It is unlikely the New York Mets will let him get past them (they have two picks: 18 and 22). Castro is a catcher from Stanford. He’s ranked 20th by Law and is projected as an everyday starter, saying that “behind the plate, he’s solid-average in all respects: hands, arm, plate-blocking. His upside is as an average regular catcher in the big leagues, unless he develops more power. He has a very high probability of making it as a backup.”
With a weak college crop overall, more high school players could be taken by the Sox. In addition, expect the Sox to draft a starting pitcher within their first few picks, as they always do. They will also look for corner bats with power.
I’ll set up a draft thread later today where we can all chat about the picks and as the Sox make them, One of us Fire Brand writers will get QuickPosts up as fast as possible with who we picked. Again, There is a special two-hour event over at MLB Draft University with live blogging and a live web TV broadcast with comprehensive team reports, prospect profiles, interviews with MLB Draft experts and real-time reaction to the first round picks as they are announced. Really, check it out.

Categories: Amateur Draft Players Jason Castro Reese Havens Ryan Westmoreland

Born on the 37th anniversary of the the day Babe Ruth died (1985) which later became the day Jimy Williams was fired in 2001 (a monumental event at the time), Evan was too young to experience the pain 1986 brought, but a deep wound was sowed in 2003. Since then, Fire Brand has become a blog that Red Sox “club officials read,” as per Peter Gammons. Evan enjoys working out, writing, reading, quality television, science fiction and history and being newly married. He is a professional baseball journalist as well as president of a state non-profit and member of the Board of Directors for a national profit. (Twitter.)

12 Responses to “Is there a draft in here?” Subscribe

  1. Jaredk June 5, 2008 at 5:04 AM #

    If Havens is gone I am hearing we may go safe in round 1 (we usually load up on 1st/2nd/3rd round talent that are considered tough signs in late rounds) with Daniel Schlereth…son of Mark Sclereth, former NFL player and current NFL analyst on ESPN. He throws up to 97, he's a lefty and has a wipeout slider. College relieveres with power fastballs and great sliders have not worked out as well as hoped (Hansen/Bryce Cox) but would still prefer it to a catcher with limited upside. My personal pick, although I have not heard the Sox being in on him, would be Texas prep leaguer Ross Seaton…6'4 200lbs, already working at 92-95 mph with room to add 15-20 lbs.
    Anyone interested in checking out the top prospects should go to MILB's scouting reports, the pull down menu on the right will give you individual scouting reports.

  2. Troy June 5, 2008 at 6:46 AM #

    Well at least Cox and Hansen are still Young.

  3. Daniel Rathman June 5, 2008 at 6:49 AM #

    I've seen Schlereth pitch in games at Stanford and Cal. Filthy, filthy stuff. Hansen and Cox probably looked the same way in college, but I could see Schlereth helping the pen as soon as sometime next year.
    I'm also not sure if Havens will drop to the Sox, but he'd be hard to pass up if he does.
    FWIW, Castro is wearing a Red Sox jersey in his Facebook photo. Not that that means the Mets won't take him, but I definitely wouldn't mind him slipping.
    I could also see the Sox waiting to get a catcher, and taking this guy a few rounds later:

  4. Jaredk June 5, 2008 at 6:57 AM #

    Probably was not a fair statement and certainly not saying that they won't be good, just that they have not moved as fast as most would have expected (probably not fair/entirely true with Hansen). Cox is almost 24 and in A ball (although he is doing well he is old for the level and should be dominating, also was a thrid rounder)…Hansen seems like he may be on the cusp.
    Another interesting development to watch is where Tanner Scheppers will end up. Was probably a lock to go 10-15 in the first but has had shoulder problems…reports vary on the severity. Kind of an Andrew Brackman situation where a team that rolls the dice and commits to his rehab may get a very good talent. Scheppers can back for a senior year and apparently still wants early first round $$. He throws 92-95 mph and has a plus slider.

  5. Evan Brunell June 5, 2008 at 7:04 AM #

    Word is the Mariners have locked in on Scheppers.

  6. Jaredk June 5, 2008 at 7:16 AM #

    I did hear that, I read in BA or somewhere that the Mariners doctors were not as concerned as other teams after evaluating him. Despite the shoulder injury there is not much mileage on his arm as he was recruited as a short-stop…
    A guy the Sox have reportedly scouted is Tyler Sample, a Colorado high school pitcher. I imagine they are looking at him with their supplemental first rounder (if he is still available)…here is what his MLB report says:
    "If you're looking for a big right-hander with power stuff, Sample might be your guy. He's got a fastball that cranks up to 95 mph and a hammer curve. He doesn't use the change much, but it should be a pitch for him in the future. He's never going to be an above-average command guy, but he should throw enough strikes to be successful. He might be a bit of a project, but at 6-foot-7 with that kind of stuff, someone will be willing to try and see it through."

  7. Jaredk June 5, 2008 at 7:27 AM #

    Sorry about the reposts on 1-3…it was not going through this morning. Feel free to erase #1 and #2

  8. Daniel Rathman June 5, 2008 at 7:41 AM #

    Same with mine on #6…having some internet issues. sorry about that.

  9. Shawn Medeiros June 5, 2008 at 7:45 AM #

    This draft is going to be exciting and a lot better than the NFL one. I love this draft last year so I can imagine it is going to be just as good.

  10. Lyndsay June 5, 2008 at 9:58 AM #

    a shortstop – THANK GOD!
    Jaredk – the last thing the Sox need right now is another pitcher. they do need a decent and long-term shortstop though.

  11. Lyndsay June 5, 2008 at 9:59 AM #

    can I ask a dumb question? is the first-year draft the same thing as the Amateur Draft? or is that something separate?

  12. Jaredk June 5, 2008 at 2:22 PM #

    Lyndsay, you have to go Best Player Available for the most part in baseball drafts. This is not a strong draft for short stops outside of the two Beckham’s and many people are unconvinced that Reese Havens can stay at short…actually the Sox have reportedly discussed making him a catcher if they chose him. High upside pitchers with projectability like Ross Seaton (already throws four pitches), if available should be taken. If this team should target anything it should be power hitters, regardless of position.