Ben Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team” has a gaping hole at 1b.
In Part One [http://bosoxinjection.com/2013/09/10/next-great-sox-1b-cheringtons-choices/], we covered options 1 and 2; in Part Two, we covered options 3 and 4 [http://bosoxinjection.com/2013/09/11/next-great-sox-1b-cheringtons-choices-part-two/], so we now take up option #5 Draft a college player from the June 2014 MLB class.
What are his options?
- Promote a player from his farm system.
- Make a trade for an available 1b prospect from another team.
- Make a trade for a 1b on the 40-man roster of another team.
- Sign a Free Agent from the 2014 pool.
- Draft a college player from the June 2014 MLB class.
We will provide some basic stats and information about each of the three finalists and reveal our choice in Part Four: Who Ben Cherington should select in the 2014 MLB Draft to the 1b on his “Next Great Red Sox Team” tomorow.
We scanned his list and, ignoring HS players, who would be too young to play1b for Ben Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team” [perhaps as soon as 2015], we found 6 college players who could fill Ben’s gaping hole at 1b; from former catcher, Kyle Schwarber at #21 to pitcher A. J. Reed at #46 and stopped at slot #143, where we found Kevin Cron, whose brother is Angels’ 1b prospect C. J. Cron.
|143||Kevin Cron||1B||JR||Right||Right||6’4″ 225||225|
After looking up stats and bios on the above 6 college players, we honed the list of possible Red Sox 1b to three:
[Feel encouraged to go to the list and strongly disagree with this analysis.]
Kyle Schwarber is the first college 1b on the list and the shortest by 4” and the best comparable former MLB player would be, former hockey phenom, outfielder, first baseman, designated hitter, and pinch hitter, Canadian—Matt Stairs. In his career, Stairs played for more major-league teams than any position player in major league history .
Sox fans may recall that Stairs began his Major League career in 1992 with the Montreal Expos, playing in just 19 games in 1992 to 1993. He was sold on February 18, 1994 to the Boston Red Sox and assigned to Double-A New Britain for the 1994 season.
He started the 1995 season with the Pawtucket farm club until being called up to the major leagues in June 1995. He played in 39 games for the Red Sox, hitting .261 with 1 HR and 17 RBI. At the end of the season, he accepted a FA offer from the Oakland Athletics.
Like Stairs, Schwarber throws R and bats L and is built like a street corner mailbox, although Matt was 3 inches shorter at 5’ 9” and lighter by 15 lbs at 200.
The striking thing about Kyle Schwarber is that he is a winner and a clutch hitter; all the teams he played for won a title and his clutch HRs played a significant part.
He started out as an OF in H.S., but, when the teams catcher went down, he stepped in and he used his bat to drive his team to a championship.
He was recruited by Indiana University, where he was adequate behind the plate and spectacular in the batter’s box, and where he again was the offensive dynamo for his team that went to the College World Series this year  and he is rated
“one of the top power bats in the country.”
Then he was immediately on the road with Team USA’s Collegiate National Team’s summer tour, where he led the squad with 7 doubles and ranked second with 16 RBI and batted .301, helping the team run up a 20-3 record.
Just 24 hours after the final Team USA game, Schwarber arrived in Wareham, Mass. to play in the vaunted Cape Cod League for the hometown Gatemen. True to form, he led his semi-pro team to the league championship with his bat.
|CCBL Playoffs 2012||Wareham Gatemen||7||29||10||8||3||0||2||5||3||10||3||.276|
|CCBL 2012||Wareham Gatemen||44||172||30||59||10||2||8||38||24||30||4||.343|
Although his lack of defensive dexterity behind the plate, especially his inability to throw out baserunners, will require a shift to 1b, he has the athleticism to make the switch and as the cliché says—“His bat will play anywhere.”
Coming out of High School, Reed was a highly-rated “Two-Way” player as a pitcher and First baseman and, when just a Sophomore at the University of Kentucky, he played for the USA Collegiate National Team, where he once lead the team with three RBI, batting 4-for-10 with a double and 2 walks.
Reed was a star two-way player at Terre Haute South High School, the 2011 Indiana High School Player of the Year, and finished his hitting career with a .425 average, 159 hits, 110 runs, 31 doubles, 41 homers and 150 RBI. On the mound he was 26-10 with a 1.88 ERA, 390/70 K/W ratio in 260 innings.
As a senior in 2011 he batted.585 with 48 hits, 45 runs, 10 doubles, 16 homers and 48 RBI and a 8-1 record with a 1.06 ERA.
In Reed’s stellar two-year career for UK, the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has hit .290 with 17 doubles, two triples, 17 homers and 95 RBI at the plate and a 7-11 record and a 3.44 ERA on the mound in 30 games and 19 starts.
At U.K. he was consensus first-team freshman All-America, a semifinalist for the John Olerud two-way player of the year award, given to the NCAA’s top two-way star, named to the All-SEC freshman team at DH and 1B.
Had a breakout summer on the mound in the Cape Cod League, with a 2.32 ERA and a 3-1 record in 8 starts, In 42.2 innings: 37 hits, 41/10 K/W ratio.
In a July 12 win, worked 7 shutout innings, 4 hits, 8 Ks. Worked 5 shutout innings with 7 Ks in a win on July 5.
He allowed 7 earned runs in his final 6 starts and had the third-best ERA in the CCBL, utilizing his fastball command, a wipeout breaking ball and an effective changeup.
At bat, he shows tremendous raw power and an ability to drive the ball to all fields at the plate.
Kevin, the younger brother of Angels’ prospect C. J., who is a serious contender to backup Pujols next season, was previously drafted in the 2011 MLB Draft in the 3rd round by the Mariners.
“Kevin is a massive guy with a wide muscular frame, who should be a good deal bigger than his brother CJ, but carries it well. He shows plus-plus raw power and the bat speed is displayed in BP. [At bat] he needs to stay back and start working to right field… Kevin showed a pull oriented swing in game at bats this spring, a fastball-only swing that rolls over on any break. He has trouble with the outside, [a] clear hole in the approach…Gets weight over too quickly, leaving him off balanced with poor swings on change ups and sliders…The kid is a strong ox and it does not take much behind his swing to connect with power. [With some] ironing out in the approach,
he could grade out in the first round.”
[Don Olson, 6/18/2013, http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/archives/]
Cron was drafted in the 3rd round coming out of high school and a year ago , he looked like one of the top power bats available in the 2014 draft, but his hitting tailed off in 2013.
>>> UPDATE: This summer in the 2013 Cape Cod League: 157 ABs, .350, 4/32 for Falmouth.
While this concludes out 3-part series “Ben Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team” has a gaping hole at 1b,” we will publish a related article tomorrow and reveal which of these three prospects we think Ben Cherington should select in the 2014 MLB Draft in June.
1b?1b?1b?1b?1b?1b?1b?1b?1b?1b?1b? 1b?1b?1b?1b?1b? 1b?1b?1b?1b?1b? 1b?1b?1b?1b?
POP QUIZ: Can you name 12 former Red Sox First basemen? [no peeking down below…]
List of 36: Best Red Sox First Basemen of the Past 36 years
1. Carl Yastrzemski
2. Mo Vaughn
3. Kevin Youkilis
4. Tony Perez
5. Cecil Cooper
6. Bill Buckner
7. George Scott
8. Jack Clark
9. David Ortiz
10. Victor Martinez
11. Carlos Pena
12. Tony Clark
13. Rico Brogna
14. Mike Easler
15. Nick Esasky
16. Kevin Millar
17. John Olerud
18. Carlos Quintana
19. Dave Stapleton
20. Jose Offerman
21. Doug Meintkiewicz
22. Todd Benzinger
23. Brian Daubach
24. Sean Casey
25. Reggie Jefferson
26. Sam Horn
27. David McCarty
28. Rick Lancellotti
29. Larry Parrish
30. Bily Jo Robidoux
31. Andy Abad
32. Jeff Bailey
33. Morgan Burkhart
34. Jack Baker
35. Juan Diaz
36. Danny Cater