The MLB Amateur Draft is now just over a month and a half away. For the second time in three years, the Red Sox are the owners of a top ten pick (seventh, to be exact) and, thus, have the opportunity to add some elite talent to an already impressive farm system. With the draft coming up on the horizon, rumors have begun to circulate regarding who the Red Sox might aim to pick with that seventh overall pick. According to Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel, who recently released updated draft rankings, the Red Sox have been connected to Vanderbilt right-hander Carson Fulmer and LSU shortstop Alex Bregman.
Interestingly, the Red Sox have had connections to both players for quite a while now as the Red Sox drafted both players in the 2012 draft, selecting Fulmer in the 15th round and Bregman in the 29th round due to signability concerns. Both players have moved up the draft board this season due to strong performances in a weak draft class that seen two top pitching prospects (Michael Matuella and Brady Aiken) undergo Tommy John Surgery. But though neither player might go in the top ten of normal drafts, Fulmer and Bregman each bring an interesting skill set to the table.
Some scouts see Fulmer as a future reliever due to his small frame and high-effort delivery, but he brings a higher ceiling than most available pitchers. Fulmer’s fastball sits in the mid 90’s and, between his excellent curve and passable change, he has three viable pitches. His command has been shaky at times and its development could ultimately determine whether Fulmer ends up in the rotation or bullpen. In his junior year at Vanderbilt, he has gone 7-1 with a 1.98 ERA, 9.4 K/9, and 4.1 BB/9.
Though Bregman doesn’t have Fulmer’s high ceiling, he is a much better bet to reach that level of play. As an elite contact hitter who sports decent power and speed, to go with a competitive makeup and hard-nosed style of play, he draws obvious comparisons to Dustin Pedroia. He has played shortstop with LSU, but he may have to move to second base at the professional level due to his lack of raw athleticism (much like Pedroia). So far this season, he has slashed .329/.419/.601 with 8 home runs and 23 stolen bases.
Of course, it’s very early in the draft season and the image will be significantly clearer by the time the Red Sox actually make their first pick on June 8. Both Fulmer and Bregman appear to be solid picks for the Red Sox, though, with Fulmer giving the high-end potential that GM Ben Cherington grabbed with his previous 7th overall pick (when the Red Sox selected Trey Ball in 2013) while Bregman offering the high-floor college shortstop (similar to Deven Marrero, whom Cherington selected 22nd overall in 2012). This is a very early outlook of the draft, but either player would certainly add depth to the Red Sox organization.