Trey Ball? Really, Ben? REALLY ???

Trey Ball.    Really, Ben?    Really?

With your highest pick since 1993, the #6 slot in the 2013 draft, Sox fans were expecting you to hit a home run…but you took a ball.

Yes, Ben, you confounded the media experts:

Bleacher Report’s Adam Wells: HS OF Clint Frazier.

ESPN’s Keith Law: Arkansas right-hander Ryne Stanek.

MLB Draft Insider’s Chris Crawford: Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley.

Minor League Ball’s Matt Garrioch: HS RHP Kohl Stewart.

Yes, Ben, the Indians beat you to Clint Frazier, the HS OF with the quick wrists and impressive bat speed, but that other HS OF, Austin Meadows was still available; so was HS pitcher Kohl Stewart and two proven college arms: Stanek and Shipley.

Meadows was rated as a “steal” by Bleacher Report:

“Expected to be off the board by the time the Boston Red Sox picked at No. 7, at the latest, Meadows instead fell to the Pirates at No. 9.”

Yes, Ben, the 3 minute video of Trey Ball was impressive for all the wrong reasons:

Decent OF arm.

Smooth lefty swing without the classic loop in it.

Comparable to Shawn Green, not Jon Lester.

His pitching mechanics have a weird wrinkle; he jerks his lift leg and “snaps” straight out on the way to planting it.

Q:  How many times can he awkwardly “jerk and snap” that knee, before he needs a procedure for osteoarthritis, where the cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, or an operation on an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)?

[Ed. Note:  Of course we wish this young man all the success in the world.]

Ben, you have set this kid up; the fans and media will be all over him.  They won’t care that he was the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year, primarily based  on his combination of pitching and hitting skills, as a “two-way” prospect and his comparison to former 1b Shawn Green.

Ben, how many innings did Shawn Green pitch?


The media and fans will not care if you pull out that SABR analysis of the 2002-2005 draft outcomes, which showed that H.S. pitchers posted slightly better WAR averages than college pitchers [0.52 t0 0.76.] 

Wow, a .22 difference in the WAR averages! Really, Ben…Really?


Trey Ball is the pick in the end – announced as LHP. Stunner.

— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 6, 2013

“Unless Boston turns Ball into a full-time outfielder, the pick doesn’t make a ton of sense. Ball profiles as more of a pitcher than an outfielder and the Red Sox already have solid left-handed talent in their system with Henry Owens, Brian Johnson and Drake Britton.”  Benjamin Klein[]

Ben, is this the best “party line” you have for this kid?

“We viewed Trey as one of the most complete players available in this year’s Draft…His size, athleticism, competitiveness, and makeup made him attractive to the Red Sox as we watched his outstanding performance as both a pitcher and an outfielder. We were thrilled that such a talented player was available to us, and believe that Trey will excel professionally as a left-handed pitcher.”

So spake Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye, or should that be “Amateur Director of Scouting”?

Ben, do you think that you and Amiel you can blow sunshine up the skirts of the fans and media in Boston?

Really, Ben…Really?

Ben, your PR propaganda touts the kid for his “outstanding performance as both a pitcher and an outfielder.”  But, you forgot to mention that the kid only became a pitching prospect during his Senior year in High School.

Oh, maybe you think you have the next Rick Ankiel?

The kid decided to eschew basketball and focus on baseball after his Sophomore year in High School.

“Right now, I feel like my fastball is my go-to pitch,” said Ball. “I need more development work with my changeup and my curveball. I’ve only been throwing a curveball for about a year and a half now.”

While, at 6’ 6”, Ball is able to get a downward plane on his pitches and throws from a more over-the-top arm angle than most left-handed pitchers, he has only mastered one pitch, a fastball that sits in the upper-80s to low-90s and has touched 94 MPH. His curve is still a work in progress and he has not developed a changeup.

The kid is a terrific athlete, but he has a long road ahead of him to become a starter in MLB.

And, yes, Ben:

LHPs are a premium in baseball.

He will cost less than the other higher-rated players you could have taken.

Baseball America: 9
ESPN: 8 8
MLB Draft Insider: 13
Minor League Ball: 17
Scouting Baseball: 14

Perfect Game [See below.]

Baseball America, named him the top lefty in the draft and ranked him ninth among all draft prospects. BA also said that Ball has “no red flags” and that this is a “rarity” for a high school arm. Did BA watch this:

In 2002 you hit the jackpot with a high school lefty Jon Lester.

But, with the #6 pick:  Trey Ball?    Really, Ben?    Really?

Oh, wait! I get it!

You finally figured out a way to exorcise the Curse of The Bambino.

This “two-way” athlete will start as a left-handed pitcher and then turn into the next Babe Ruth.


Trot Nixon was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 1993 amateur draft.

“This is a guy whose athleticism and upside would not make him available deeper into the first round in any draft, we don’t believe,” Cherington said. “It just so happened that when we picked at No. 7, he was the top player remaining on our board.”

Perfect Game ratings:

Easy AA and already up to 93 mph @ WWBA. Very good runner and left handed hitter as well. High level 2-way talent

Rawlings All Americans and All Regions

PG Underclass All Americans and All Regions










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Tags: 2013 MLB Draft Ben Cherington Trey Ball

  • John Fahrer

    They had Frazier work out for them. Chances are they just weren’t blown away. Always better to go for a pitcher because you can never have enough pitching. The Red Sox seem to a have a projected future OF in place with Brentz, Bradley, and possibly Bogaerts. The same could probably be said about a future rotation, but once again: you can never have enough pitching.

  • Harry Burnham

    Well, Kohl Stewart was actually already gone when the Sox picked at number 7. Not only that, but Braden Shipley is new to pitching as well, so that is hardly a gripe to hold against the kid.
    Ball was the top two way player, not to mention the top left handed pitcher in the draft, hence the red sox selection.

  • Michael Macaulay-Birks


  • Paul Prims

    This is why I hate saber metrics. “The numbers” tell us this is a shaky/lousy pick therefore it must be gospel! Can we let this kid play an inning in the system first? Like the guy above said, Jeez.

    • Aidan Flynn

      Actually, I don’t see where the numbers say this is a shaky pick (am I missing a link or something?). The WAR totals Earl list actually favors HS pitchers over college, if those are the numbers you are referring to (although at a .22 difference, its basically a wash). If anything, sabermetrics on the whole realize that the draft is basically a crapshoot. Most old-school minds will say “this kid can become this all-star…this kid become that all-star…” and its just highly improbable and borderline ridiculous. Also, the Sox had the seventh pick yesterday, not the sixth.

  • Rick M

    Come back in 5 years and see how the draft worked out.

    • John Fahrer

      Usually the case with high school players. Never know. Maybe he progresses quickly like Madison Bumgarner.

  • Paul V. Suffriti

    We can always trade him to the Yankees…..maybe he will turn out to be another Babe Ruth…

    • John Fahrer

      And what exactly do the Yankees have that’s worth our first round pick?

      • Paul V. Suffriti

        “This “two-way” athlete will start as a left-handed pitcher and then turn into the next Babe Ruth.”

        It was a jab at what the Red Sox did almost 100 years ago when they traded a left-handed pitcher named George Ruth and he turned out to be a prolific power hitter for the Yankees.

        • John Fahrer

          I get that. Have a feeling he’ll stick at pitcher though. NYY has nothing appealing to trade up for him though. At least with Ruth, the money went towards paying for Fenway.

  • Willy W

    Confused by this article. Though Im not thrilled with our 1st pick in the 1st rd I would hardly call it a stretch to have picked him where we did. The writer of this column may feel the same way I do about Ball but that doesnt take away from the fact that the kid was expected to go somewhere around 7-14, so it wasnt a stretch at all. I would also add that I hate any reference to Lester as hitting a HR, really? He has always been the most overrated pitcher on our staff & honestly I cant wait for him to be gone. And that first sentence in this column is even more confusing>

    “With your highest pick since 1993, the #6 slot in the 2013 draft”
    This sentence doesnt make any sense. We picked 7th not sixth this year & if you wanted to say we picked 6th in 1993 then just say that.

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