The worst first-round draft picks in Red Sox history.
The MLB draft is more hit-or-miss than the selection process in any other sport. Much of this has to do with baseball players taking years to develop before they are ready to crack the majors. The top draft picks in the NBA and NFL can pay immediate dividends but no baseball player is ready to step in and contribute in the big leagues right away. The lengthy grooming process increases the chances of those prospects becoming a bust and the Boston Red Sox have had their fair share of wasted picks over the years.
The MLB amateur draft dates back to 1965, so we’re focused on players selected by the Red Sox under this system since then. The goal is to pinpoint years when the Red Sox made a first-round pick who didn’t pan out when a future star was still on the board at the time.
Keep in mind that there were several years when the Red Sox didn’t possess a first-round pick. They also picked near the end of the round in many years so even if they whiffed on their pick, there weren’t many selections behind them in that opening round.
While digging deeper could lead to even more fascinating finds, we’re only counting players selected in the first round. Some players are simply late bloomers. J.D. Martinez was a 36th-round pick who developed into a superstar after reinventing his swing. We can’t blame the Red Sox for not using a first-round pick on a player if every other team passed on them at least once.
We can criticize them for passing on a player identified by another organization as a worthy first-round selection in favor of one who proved to be a bust. In chronological order, here are 10 draft classes where that happened.