After taking a look at all four of the 2011 first round picks signed by the Red Sox, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the current roster and see where everyone came from. You’ll notice a bit of home-grown talent as well as some former first rounders brought in via trade or free agency. All-in-all, the Sox are rostering 11 former first round picks (supplemental first round included), but, obviously, not all are have turned out to be stars.

Below is the current roster with each player’s draft information as well as some quick notes on a few of them. 
Listed as: Position, player, year drafted, round drafted, overall pick and team drafted by

Starting Offense/Defense
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia - 2003, 1st round (36th), Braves
1B Adrian Gonzalez - 2000, 1st round (1st), Marlins
2B Dustin Pedroia - 2004, 2nd round (65th), Red Sox
SS Marco Scutaro - 1994, amateur FA, Indians
3B Kevin Youkilis - 2001, 8th round (243rd), Red Sox
LF Carl Crawford - 1999, 2nd round (52nd), Devil Rays
CF Jacoby Ellsbury - 2005, 1st round (23rd), Red Sox
RF Josh Reddick - 2006, 17th round (523rd), Red Sox
DH David Ortiz - 1992, amateur FA, Mariners

  • First rounder Jarrod Saltalamacchia hasn’t lived up to star-level expectations, but he’s shown a big improvement this season, providing 2.3 fWAR to-date. 
  • It took a few years for A-Gon to really flourish, but he’s clearly become one of the best offensive threats in the game today. In 2003, he was traded from the Marlins to the Rangers as part of a package for reliever Ugueth Urbina. About three years later he was traded from the Rangers to the Padres for starting pitcher Adam Eaton, reliever Akinori Otsuka and career minor league catcher Billy Killian. Despite being such a high draft pick, and now an all-star level player, A-Gon was traded this past offseason for the third time in his career. The Sox are happy to have him.
  • Both Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis have outplayed their draft positions over the last few years. Youk was made famous even before he reached the majors by being mentioned as “The Greek God of Walks” in the book Moneyball. He may have been an eighth round pick, but the selection crushed A’s GM Billy Beane, who had Youk as a high target on his draftboard all along.
  • Marco Scutaro was feauted in the 2005 minor league documentary “A Player to be Named Later“.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury is turning into the star than many envisioned when he was taken 23rd overall by the Sox in 2005. His power, however, has developed more than almost anyone expected it to.
  • It’s always fun to look back at how the Sox acquired David Ortiz after he was flat-out released by the Twins. 
SP1 Jon Lester – 2002, 2nd round (57th), Red Sox
SP2 Josh Beckett – 1999, 1st (2nd), Marlins
SP3 John Lackey – 1999, 2nd round (68th), Angels
SP4 Erik Bedard – 1999, 6th round (187th), Orioles
SP5 Tim Wakefield – 1988, 8th round (200th), Pirates
SP/RP Andrew Miller – 2006, 1st round (6th), Tigers
CL Jonathan Papelbon – 2003, 4th round (114th), Red Sox
SU Daniel Bard – 2006, 1st (26th), Red Sox
RP Alfredo Aceves – 2001, amateur FA, Blue Jays
RP Matt Albers – 2001, 23rd round (686th), Astros
RP Dan Wheeler – 1996, 34th round (1024th), Devil Rays
RP Franklin Morales – 2002, amateur FA, Rockies
  • Only three of the current members of the Sox pitching staff are home grown, two are relievers.
  • Jonathan Papelbon, as we clearly remember, never could hack it as a starter, but his move to the bullpen has obviously allowed him to thrive from a fourth round selection to an all-star. We’ll see if the Sox are willing to open their checkbooks for him this offseason, or if this is the end of his career in Boston.
  • Daniel Bard was a starter in college, but even his high-90s fastball didn’t translate as a starter in the minor leagues due to poor control and the lack of an effective third pitch. As a reliever, he was able to harness his stuff, move quickly through the system and become a huge part of the current and future bullpen.
  • The lowest round pick currently on the Sox roster is Dan Wheeler. He has had a very long and productive career for someone taken 1024th overall back in 1996. His career earnings top $13 million.
  • Andrew Miller is clearly the biggest bust of this group. That’ll happen when you go sixth overall, regress with your control and then fail to show much improvement the following five seasons.
C Jason Varitek – 1994, 1st round (14th), Mariners
UT Jed Lowrie – 2005, 1st round (45th), Red Sox
UT Mike Aviles – 2003, 7th round (192nd), Royals
OF Darnell McDonald – 1997, 1st round (26th), Orioles
DH Ryan Lavarnway – 2008, 6th round (202nd), Red Sox
RF J.D. Drew – 1998, 1st round (5th), Cardinals
SP Clay Buchholz – 2005, 1st round (42nd), Red Sox
SP Daisuke Matsuzaka – 2006, international FA, Red Sox
RP Bobby Jenks – 2000, 5th round (140th), Angels
RP Rich Hill – 2002, 4th round (112th), Cubs
  • Remember when the Sox traded Heathcliff Slocomb to the Mariners for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe? That was a good one!
  • Former first rounder Darnell McDonald was once ranked as the 21st best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He spent parts of 14 seasons in the minor leagues, including parts of 11 years at triple-A.
  • J.D. Drew was one of the most controversial draftees of all time. He was taken second overall by the Phillies in 1997, but refused to sign, instead opting to play a season of independent league ball. He’s still booed in Philly to this day. Overall, his career has been a disappointment, but a lot of that has to do with injuries. When he was on the field, he usually produced, as evident by his .874 career OPS.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz Daisuke Matsuzaka Daniel Bard Darnell McDonald David Ortiz Dustin Pedroia J.D. Drew Jacoby Ellsbury Jason Varitek Jed Lowrie John Lackey Jon Lester Jonathan Papelbon Josh Beckett Josh Reddick Kevin Youkilis Marco Scutaro Ryan Lavarnway Tim Wakefield

Charlie first started writing about baseball back in 2008 when he opened Fantasy Baseball 365. Since graduating college with a degree in English, he has spent time coaching baseball as well as working in several minor league front offices. He also writes for The Outside Corner and contributes to Project Prospect and ESPN's Sweet Spot. Writer from August 3, 2010 - May 6, 2012

2 Responses to “11 Former First Round Picks on the Current Roster” Subscribe

  1. top ramon August 24, 2011 at 10:24 PM #

    doesn't include clay

    • top ramon August 24, 2011 at 10:25 PM #