Looking At The Red Sox’ Options In The 2012 Amateur Draft
By Conor Duffy
Draft-mania is beginning to hit as the 2012 MLB amateur draft will be Monday night at 7:00 pm. As in recent years, the Red Sox don’t have a very high pick so it looks as if they’ll have to draft smart– something they haven’t had a problem with over the years. The Red Sox scouting program has produced several Red Sox stars such as Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, and Will Middlebrooks in recent years and there’s no reason not to expect the same in 2012. The Red Sox will have the 24th, 30th, and 37th picks in the first round and I’ve compiled some predictions for whom they may take.
Zach Eflin- On MLB.com’s 100 prospects for this year’s draft, Eflin ranks 25th and could be just what the Red Sox are looking for. He is a tall right hander– listed at 6’5″ and 200 lbs– and has a great form to be a solid pitcher. Now, the Red Sox do not usually draft high schoolers with their first pick, but they may make an exception for Eflin. Eflin shapes up to be a strong future starter, as he throws gas in the low-to-mid 90’s, topping out at around 95 mph. He has a change, which could be a future out pitch and a slider that needs some work. However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Red Sox take Eflin with the 25th pick, if he’s still around.
Walker Weickel- Weickel is another high school pitcher, ranking at 31st on MLB.com, that I feel the Red Sox could make a play on with the 30th pick in the draft. Much like Eflin, Weickel is a lanky right hander– listed at 6’6″ and 195 lbs– and in many ways he is very similar to Eflin. Like Eflin, he throws a low-to-mid 90’s fastball that he can run up to around 94 mph. He probably has better off speed stuff than Eflin, throwing a very good curve that, while a bit slow, breaks quite a bit and he can control it. Like Eflin, he has a change that could become a future plus pitch and he ought to be a guy the Red Sox are looking into.
Lewis Brinson- With their 37th pick in the draft, I have a feeling that they could go after high school outfielder Lewis Brinson– ranked 39th on MLB.com’s board. Brinson is a speedy, raw outfielder that could develop into a 5-tool player. He already has the speed, and is a good fielder with a strong arm. He has good bat speed and drives the ball well to all fields. MLB.com compares him to Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler, who is batting .281 with 8 home runs and 4 steals to start the year. Brinson looks like a guy who could be very popular on draft boards, but if he falls to the Red Sox, he would be a great option to take with that pick.