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June 3, 2012; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Oklahoma Sooner pitcher Jonathan Gray (22) pitches against the Army Black Knights in the first inning in game three of the Charlottesville regional at Davenport Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Laferriere-USA TODAY Sports

Upcoming MLB Draft: What Positions Do The Sox Need To Fill?

About the only silver lining when you have a season in which your team becomes completely unhinged and finishes dead last is the draft the next year. This year, for the first time in 20 years, the Red Sox will have a first round pick. Boston will be drafting seventh overall.

Admittedly, the individual players and the draft tactics are one of my weakest areas. Fortunately, I am surrounded by BSI writers who follow this beat hot and heavy and are very astute observers of the college and minor league ranks. See Harry Burnham’s article to get up to speed. Also check out The Bleacher Report’s top 10 fastest rising 2013 draft prospects.

While I may not know the players I can say what the Red Sox should be looking for. Allow me to set a modest table and let the team to bring on the smorgasbord.

Catching
Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s shortcomings are well-documented and he’s fast wearing out his welcome. David Ross is a solid backup catcher and a great club house guy and nothing more. Ryan Lavarnway can’t hit big league pitching period and he’s a defensive liability. Sure, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart are in the wings but may be a way off before their readiness is determined.

First Base
With Mike Napoli perhaps a one and done or at the very least a short-term solution, Boston will need to address first base sooner rather than later. Pedro Ciriaco won’t be the answer. Others say Middlebrooks will move over to first base when Xander Bogarts is ready for prime time, which I think is good move. And speaking of third base…

Third Base
Middlebrooks’ brief injury last week clearly revealed that Boston’s quality and depth at a position that requires both solid defense and a steady bat is lacking. If Napoli doesn’t hang around, Middlebrooks moves to first and Bogaerts moves to third Boston will be thin at two positions.

Corner Outfielders
Jonny Gomes? Nah. Daniel Nava? Love the guy but I don’t think he can be every day productive. I believe Ellsbury will walk at the conclusion of this season regardless of his numbers. Sure, they’ve got Victorino for two more years but will need at least one outfielder, especially in left once Jackie Bradley comes up for good and eventually takes over in center field.

What do you think? How can Boston improve the club in this year’s June 6-8 2013 draft?

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