Red Sox Draft Preview

Posted on Jun 8 2016 - 9:28am by Sean Agranov

As the new GM of the Sox, Mike Hazen will work alongside Dave Dombrowski. (Mike L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

We are a night away from the first draft for Dave Dombrowski as the head of Baseball Operations for the Red Sox. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from the Red Sox in the 2016 draft.

Since taking over in August of 2015, Dombrowski has actually made very few changes internally that will affect how this team drafts.  Mike Hazen was promoted to General Manager, but has been a long time member of the Sox front office, and his promotion will not really affect any change in how the Red Sox draft.  Amateur scouting director Mike Rikard, who took his current position prior to Dombrowski’s arrival last year, is the point man, decision maker, driver, man in charge, whatever name you need to call it for the Red Sox during the draft.

Rickard was the one who we can ultimately give credit to for the Andrew Benintendi pick in 2015, which was his first year in charge.  He had worked directly under the current vice president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye for the five years prior to 2015, when it was Sawdaye who was the man in Rikard’s shoes.   Sawdaye oversaw the amateur drafts that produced Mookie Betts, Travis Shaw, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, and Matt Barnes. In fact, since John Henry took over team, the Red Sox have had only had four scouting directors, David Chadd (from 2002-4), Jason MacLeod (from 2005-2009), Sawdaye (from 2010-2014), and Rikard (from 2015-present).   Rickard has been in organization since 2004, Sawdaye since 2002, and Hazen since 2006.    It is not surprising that their longevity and the success of building one of the best farm systems in baseball have coincided.

The Red Sox have two picks on the first night (the 12th overall pick in the first round and the 51st pick overall in the second round) of the draft.

Who will they pick?

Here is a quick run down of possible names the Red Sox currently are being rumored to pick:

Zach Burdi, a right-handed pitcher from University of Louisville.  Burdi is a closer who throws hard, 95-99 mph hard with exceptional control.  He could be in the majors in a few months which would make him an attractive pick for a team like the Red Sox, where he could possibly be setting up for Craig Kimbrel by August. (projected pick by Baseball America’s John Manuel)

Ian Anderson, a right-handed pitcher from Shenendehowa high school in Clifton Park, NY.  AT  6’4” he possesses a 95 mph fastball and a plus curveball. Anderson made a name for himself as a member of the Team USA 18-and-under squad that won the World Cup in Japan in 2015; However, he suffered an oblique injury and pneumonia in the spring of his senior year. (projected pick by Jim Callis)

Zack Collins, a catcher from University of Miami. ESPN lists Collins as having the best approach in the country, regardless of position.  With solid all field raw power, his bat is perfect for Fenway.  He could end up at first base instead of catcher. (projected pick by Jonathan Mayo and Bleacher Report’s Tim Daniels)

Justin Dunn, a right-handed pitcher from Boston College. Dunn has a 95 mph fastball with movement and a mid 80’s slider. As a reliever for BC he hit 99 mph but averaged around 91-94 when moved to a starter.  His control, paired with the development of a third pitch should decide which role he eventually ends up with in the majors. (projected pick by SBNation’s Minor League Ball community)

Mickey Moniak, outfielder from La Costa Canyon high school in Carlsbad, CA.   Moniak has been given a 70 grade hit tool by multiple scouts and picked by Baseball America as the best high school hitter in the draft.  He has plus speed and will be a decent centerfielder, but the downside is he lacks any raw power. (projected pick by ESPN’s Keith Law)

Matt Manning, a right-handed pitcher from Sheldon high school in California, is also the son of former NBA player Rich Manning. He is a top athlete with a 6′ 7″ frame that possesses a 97 mph fastball and a power curve.  His changeup  should be a worthy third pitch in the near future. (projected pick by Scout’s Jeff Ellis)

Other potential names include:

Nolan Jones, a shortstop from Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem, PA.   He projects to move to 3b.  Has solid plate approach and should hit for a good average with power.  Jones has a quick first step, so he should remain a plus defender in the infield regardless.

Josh Lowe, third baseman from Pope High School in Marietta, GA.  Tons of raw power with a quick swing.   His hitting has been described as ”orbit launching”.   He as has a plus-plus arm and plus speed.  It all comes down to his ability to make contact.

The one thing that is being mentioned by almost all the draft pundits is that this year’s draft will be greatly influenced by the use of money and bonus pool sign-ability.  By this, they mean that teams will be drafting some players higher than projected so teams can sign them for lower contracts. Teams will then turn around and potentially draft other players that they might not have been able to sign at lower slots by adding some of the money they saved with those higher drafted players.  Last year, the Red Sox were able to sign Logan Allen by paying him an over slot bonus.   That money had to come from them signing some of their other players for less.    How the Red Sox use this to their advantage this year is yet to be determined.

Be sure to check back here at tomorrow to read more about who the Sox actually pick in the draft!