Red Sox number one draft choices – failures and successes

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Andrew Benintendi
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Andrew Benintendi /
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 Is the past an indication of the future of the Boston Red Sox minor league system? Now the system appears rather barren, but that can change rapidly.

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 30: Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 30: Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

A failure is an option when projecting young players since the clear majority have a nasty habit of not living up to expectations. One site I follow is Sox Prospects that provides in-depth analysis and has their own rankings which tend to follow MLB Prospect Watch and Baseball America.

Recently BSI’s Sean Penney wrote an article on Jason Groome and Michael Chavis being the only Red Sox prospects to get honored as a top 100 on Baseball America.  Groome and Chavis also have something in common – both were number one draft choices for Boston. Does that guarantee success? Doesn’t look that way.

Baseball scouting is incredibly difficult despite all the significant changes made through the years in the evaluation process. Scouts no longer rely on a simple rubric designed for a sight evaluation.  Numbers are crunched, film studied, psychological profiles examined and for the high school player the projection of physical growth.  Manny Ramirez was a skinny 165-pound kid when he was drafted.

The Red Sox system has had incredible success and equally incredible failure with the drafting process.  I will look at how the number one selections for 2007-2012 transpired. Who made it and who failed and who is still in limbo?   Prior to 2007, the Red Sox had some excellent number one selections such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jason Place and Caleb Clay. Obviously, the last two show the hit and miss aspect.