Reading the short item about the Red Sox re-signing LHP Reading the short item about the Red Sox re-signing LHP

At MLB Draft: Is Boston Franchise Picking Stars, or its nose?

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Reading the short item about the Red Sox re-signing LHP Andrew Miller, drafted in 2006, 6th overall by Detroit [one of 1,500 players drafted over 50 rounds], made me wonder how the Boston franchise has fared in the MLB drafts since 1965, the year that the Red Sox announced their first ever selection in Round One, #5 slot pick: “Boston selects, outfielder Billy Conigliaro.” [See bio notes, end of post]

At the conclusion of my research to quaff my curiosity, this retired Professor and life-long student of The Game of Baseball, came up with a single-word to write, with a RED Sharpie marker, on the organization’s “Boston Red Sox MLB Draft History” term paper:

FAIL

Sure, Billy Conigliaro is an example of how difficult it is for any organization to evaluate talent for the MLB draft; the Red Sox used their only Round One pick on him, but with the exception of three years in Boston (1969-71), his career was short and did not merit such a high draft pick.

But, more than most organizations, Boston, presumably due to poor scouting, squandered their Round One, #1 picks. To wit: How many of these guys do YOU remember? [Do you still have ANY of their Rookie cards locked in your safe?]

1999 Rick Asadoorian, of, #17
1998 Jeffrey Everett, ss, #12
1995 Andy Yount, rhp, #15
1989 Greg Blosser, of, #16
1988 Tom Fischer, lhp, #12
1986 Greg McMurtry, of, # 14
1982 Rob Parkins, rhp, # 18
1981 Kevin Burrell, c, # 25
1975 Otis Foster, 1b, # 15
1974 Edward Ford, ss, # 20
1973 Ted Cox, ss, # 17
1972 Joel Bishop, ss, # 16
1970 Jimmy Hacker, 3b, # 16
1969 Noel Jenke, of, # 13
1968 Thomas Maggard, c-of, # 20
[link to full list http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/draft/first_picks.jsp?feature=bos]

[NOTE: In the 1965 draft, of the Top Ten selected, Rick Monday (#1, Oakland) and Ray Fosse (#7, Cleveland) were the only two who had better careers than Billy C.]

In the last 10 drafts they had one hit in Round One: 2005, #23 pick, Jacoby Ellsbury, CF. Most scouts outside the Boston organization expect two Red Sox picks to play in the majors: 2009, #28 pick Reymond Fuentes, CF and 2008, #30 pick, Casey Kelly, SS, who successfully switched to pitching and was traded to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez package. MLB [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2011/] rates First Round, #39, 2010 pick, RHP Anthony Ranaudo #3 and First Round, #36, 2010 pick, Bryce Brentz #2 in the Boston organization.

Other Top Ten prospects in the organization, according to MLB, were signed outside the MLB draft system as International prospects:

Felix Doubront
Rank: 4 (Boston organization)
Navegantes del Magallanes
ETA: 2011
LHP, Age: 24, Bats: L, Throws: L

Jose Iglesias
Rank: 5 (in Boston organization)
ETA: 2011
SS, Age: 21, Bats: R, Throws: R

Stolmy Pimentel
Rank: 8 (in Boston organization)
Estrellas de Oriente
ETA: 2013
RHP, Age, Bats: R, Throws: R

Oscar Tejeda
Rank: 9 (in Boston organization)
Gigantes del Cibao
ETA: 2013
2B, Age: 21, Bats: R, Throws: R

In fairness, the Red Sox have signed at least two players who were not First Round picks, who most scouts say have a shot at making it to the Majors:

Will Middlebrooks
Rank: 1 (Red Sox prospects)
ETA: 2013
Position: 3B
Bats: R, Throws: R
Drafted: 2007, 5th Round (174)

Jose Iglesias
Rank: 5 (in Boston organization)
ETA: 2011
SS, Age: 21, Bats: R, Throws: R

Even though the Red Sox spending [$161,407,476] is #3 of 30 in MLB with the Yankees at #1 [$201,689,030] and the Phillies at #2 [$172,976,381], Red Sox fans are complaining that the franchise is affecting the role of the Penurious Victim, while it is really simply stingy and unwilling to open its wallet to spend money on Free Agents, any one or whom may make the difference between a Playoff slot or a long winter.

Perhaps, as a means of spending their budget wisely AND fielding a contending team, the Red Sox management needs to turn its attention to improving its scouting and the way it evaluates talent for the MLB drafts, where bargains, “diamonds in the rough,” “off the radar, “sleepers” future major leaguers can be gleaned?

To wit: In the 1999 MLB Draft, the player selected in the 13th round, the player taken after 401 others had been drafted by the “experts,” the pride of Maple Woods Community College, in Kansas City, was “José Alberto Pujols Alcántara” –better known as Albert Pujols.

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BILLY CONIGLIARO, BIO [Wiki-pedia]
William Michael Conigliaro (born August 15, 1947 in Revere, Massachusetts) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played in the American League for the Boston Red Sox (1969–1971), Milwaukee Brewers (1972) and Oakland Athletics (1973). He is the younger brother of Tony Conigliaro; Billy and Tony were Red Sox teammates in 1969 and 1970.
Conigliaro showed great promise as a hitter in his years in Boston, totaling 42 doubles and 29 home runs as a Red Sox outfielder in 1970 and 1971. He finished 8th in the American League in doubles in 1971, his most productive year in the majors. In 1970, he was 10th in American League in being hit by pitches with 7. His most memorable game may have been on July 4, 1970, when both Billy and Tony homered against the Cleveland Indians.
After the 1971 season, Billy was traded from the Red Sox to the Brewers in a blockbuster deal that also included Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, George Scott, Tommy Harper and Marty Pattin. Billy, who idolized his older brother Tony, had been highly critical of the Red Sox for trading his brother to the Angels, especially after Tony’s remarkable 36 home runs during the 1970 season after his famous “beaning” incident in 1967. Unhappy in Milwaukee, he announced his retirement from baseball in the middle of the 1972 season. He came back to baseball in 1973 as a part-time player with the eventual World Champion Athletics, making brief appearances in the American League Championship Series and the World Series. Once again Billy became disgruntled with ownership, (this time in Oakland), and retired at the conclusion of that season. He attempted a comeback with the A’s several years later, but ultimately retired for good after being assigned to their triple A affiliate on what was to be a “temporary” basis.

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