Likely Outcomes for Sox in the 2012 MLB Draft


With two First Round picks at #24 and #31 and a Supplemental round pick at #37* in the MLB draft June 6th-8th, what is the best and worst case scenarios for the Sox?

[*Compensation for the loss of Type A free agent Jonathan Papelbon.]

BEST CASE SCENARIO

The Cardinals [at #19 and #23] decide they do not want a SS prospect; the Giants [#20], Braves [#21], and Jays [#22], also take pitching or players at non-SS positions and the Red Sox draft use their #24 slot to select Gavin Cecchini (18), the younger brother of Garin (20), who is currently playing 3b for the Red Sox A-league affiliate, the Greenville Drive.

MLB.com says about Gavin:

“Rank: 23 [MLB.com], Barbe HS (La.), Senior, Height: 6’0″, Weight: 175, Position: RHP, DOB: 12/22/1993
Bats: R, Throws: R

Bloodlines are always a good thing, so the fact that Cecchini’s brother, Garin, was a 2010 draftee and now in the Red Sox organization doesn’t hurt. The younger Cecchini, however, is more than making a name for himself.

Cecchini has a quick stroke with good extension, enabling him to make consistent hard contact. He’s got mostly gap power now and his speed plus instincts allow him to be a basestealing threat and take the extra base. Those instincts also help him defensively.

While his hands are good and he grades out as average with his arm and range, some think a move to second might be better. Either way, this scrappy middle infielder is sure to get plenty of looks in the spring.”

This is what MLB.com says about his older brother Garin:

“Cecchini was having a fine professional debut in the New York-Penn League when he was hit by a pitch and broke a wrist. Before the injury, he showed why teams were interested in him in the 2010 Draft despite the fact that he missed the spring season with a torn ACL. He can really hit, with a very good approach at the plate. More power will come as he plays more and matures. He should develop into a more-than-competent defender at the hot corner. His younger brother, Gavin, a 2012 Draft prospect out of Barbe High School in Louisiana, has the better wheels, but the older Cecchini is a very good baserunner. Giving him a full season healthy to swing the bat could be a lot of fun to watch.”

While it would make a great story line for the media about two brothers making it to play in Fenway Park for the Red Sox, the odds that Garin’s younger brother Gavin still being in the draft pool when Boston selects at slot #24, it is unlikely that the Cardinals, in need of a SS prospect would pass on him TWICE at #19, which they received from the Angels as compensation for the Angels signing Type A free agent Albert Pujols, and #23, just ahead of the Red Sox.

PRETTY GOOD CASE SCENARIO

The Cardinals take Gavin Cecchini, the Braves take some other player with their #21 slot and the Sox grab a LHP Andrew Heaney from Oklahoma State [6' 2"/175 lbs], who is rated 24th on the MLB.com rankings:

“When Heaney was coming out of high school in Oklahoma, he and Chad James were the top prep lefties in the state and both were highly thought of. James went in the first round and signed. Heaney, because of signability, slid and went on to Oklahoma State.

Teams aren’t likely to pass on him this time around. Heaney still has the easy arm action scouts loved in high school and he repeats his delivery consistently. He also has the chance to have three solid-average to plus Major League pitches. He maintains his velocity deep into starts and can run it up to 93 mph at times, plus for a southpaw. His curve is an out pitch, with sharp depth and bite. His changeup is very deceptive and has late sink.

He has advanced pitchability, throwing all three offerings for strikes and mixing them well to keep hitters guessing. Pitchability lefties always do well on Draft day. When they have good stuff to go with that, they get followed very closely.” [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/]

NOT SO BAD SCENARIO

There are two sleepers that most pundits believe will still be available when the Sox make their #24 and #31 picks. It is likely that Travis Jankowski, and OF, from the obscure Long Island school, SUNY Stony Brook, will still be available. Here is what MLB.com had to say about this Junior:

Height: 6’3″, Weight: 190 Position: OF, DOB: 09/13/1991, Bats: L, Throws: R

“If teams are looking for a top-of-the-order catalyst with speed, then they might head to Stony Brook, N.Y., in droves this spring.

That’s what Jankowski has to offer. He has excellent hitting skills, showing the ability to spray line drives to all fields, albeit without much power. He’s got above-average to plus speed and combining that with good reads and jumps on the basepaths, he’s a big-time basestealing threat. His speed helps him on defense as well, where he has outstanding range to go along with very good instincts in center field. His arm is playable in center and his accuracy makes up for average arm strength.

Jankowski knows who he is as a player, a very aggressive speedster who knows how to bunt, get on base and wreak havoc with his legs. Teams looking for a basher will look elsewhere, but Jankowski’s tools will definitely get a long look as June approaches.”

While Jankowski will probably be picked by the time the Sox make their other First round selection at the 31 slot, they may be able to pull out a plum with Butler HS (Ohio), Senior, Taylore Cherry. MLB.com says:

“Height: 6’9″, Weight: 260, Position: RHP, DOB: 06/24/1993, Bats: R, Throws: R

Typically, a high school pitcher with this size has delivery and mechanics issues. That’s not the case with Cherry, which is why he’s this high on the list.

Cherry has three pitches that all work very well. He can run his fastball up to 94 mph and sits comfortably in the 91-92 mph range. It has a good deal of heavy sink. He throws a hard curve that’s Major League average and has shown a good feel for a changeup as well. He goes right after hitters and is a consistent strike-thrower with free and easy arm action.

With his body type — think Jon Rauch — Cherry might have to work a little harder to stay in shape. Assuming he can do that, his combination of arm strength, durability and pitchability could add up to a frontline starting pitcher.”

By the time they choose their other pick at slot #37 in the Supplemental round, Cherry could still be in the pool and, with some luck, so might Jankowski.

WORST CASE SCENARIO

The Sox buy into the “experts” ratings and take three pitchers, from this list:

Lance McCullers
Ht/Wt:6′ 2″/205 lbs
Position: RHP
School: Jesuit HS (FL)

Brian Johnson
Ht/Wt:6′ 3″/225 lbs
Position: LHP/1B
School: Florida

Chris Beck
Ht/Wt:6′ 3″/190 lbs
Position: RHP
School: Georgia Southern

Lucas Sims
Ht/Wt:6′ 2″/195 lbs
Position: RHP
School: Barbe HS (LA)

By the time the draft is held in June 6th-8th the Sox will have a better idea about holes that they need to fill in their minor league organization.

[NOTE: For seam heads and M.I.T. Red Sox fans, we provide the new rules for the 2012 draft]

The MLB and MLBPA agreed on a new CBA on November 22nd, 2011, and it has some major implications on the MLB draft beginning in 2012.

Draft Pick Compensation:
1. The Elias Ranking system for ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ free agents has been eliminated.
2. A new draft pick compensation system will be put in place.
a. A player has to be with the team for the entire season for them to get compensation.
b. The former club has to offer him a guaranteed 1-year deal worth the average salary of the 125 highest paid players from the prior season. The offer must be made by the end of the 5 day ‘quiet period’ and the player will have 7 days whether to accept the offer or not.
c. A team signing a player that would require compensation will give up their 1st round pick, unless they are picking in the top 10. If they pick in the top 10, they would give up their 2nd highest pick.
d. The players former team will receive a pick at the end of the 1st round. Reverse order of winning percentage will be used in determining the order.

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Tags: 2012 A-ball Brian Johnson Chris Beck Draft Garin Cecchini Gavin Cecchini Greeneville Drive Greenville Drive June Lance McCullers Lucas Sims MLB Taylore Cherry Travis Jankowski