Red Sox: Best and Worst MLB Drafts of this century
By Mike El-Far
Worst Honorable Mentions
While there have been some great drafts for the Red Sox, some have been not so pleasant. In general, player development is one of the hardest jobs to do in professional sports. Not every draft is going to have the next Ken Griffey Jr. or Mike Trout.
The 2001 draft was the last draft of former GM Dan Duquette. While Duquette laid the groundwork for what became the 2004 World Series Championship team, he whiffed on this draft. The only player of relevance was Kevin Youkilis. While Youk was great at getting on base, he was average for most of his career. The first pick by Boston was Kelly Shoppach, who was a below average catcher at best.
The 2nd pick was Matt Chico, a high school pitcher out of California. If you have never heard that name, it is because he never signed with Boston. He made appearances for the Nationals, but barely had a cup of coffee in the majors. Also, four of the next five picks made by Boston did not ever make the majors. The one that did? He didn’t sign with Boston.
Also, the 2008 Draft was not one for the record books. The only reason this did not make the worst draft since 2000 is because of one player: Christian Vazquez. Other than him, this draft is filled with “what could have been”.
Casey Kelly and Ryan Lavarnway were two highly touted prospects who never amounted to their expectations at the MLB level. Both players were seen as impact players one day, but never developed into that. Also, an outside force derailed another player’s career.
Ryan Westmoreland, a Rhode Island native, was drafted out of high school because he has all the tools of a major league player. After seeing some success in the low levels of the minors, a brain tumor sidelined him for the rest of a season. The tumors kept coming back, and Westmoreland was forced to retire from professional baseball. In a class act, the Boston Red Sox promised to help Westmoreland with his medical expenses.
But, there is one more draft that was something to forget for the Boston Red Sox.