Boston Red Sox: 10 biggest first-round draft pick disasters
Red Sox 2013 Draft
No. 7 – Trey Ball
No. 9 – Austin Meadows (Pirates)
The Red Sox have rarely selected as high as No. 7 overall in the draft. The last time they picked in that spot it turned out pretty well with Andrew Benintendi. Two years earlier, they completely whiffed with Trey Ball.
Ball owned a 33-46 record and an ERA north of 5.00 in six minor league seasons. The Red Sox converted him to a reliever in Double-A but he was even worse in that role. He became a two-way player by spending some time in the outfield but he couldn’t hit either. Ball appeared in only five games as an outfielder last year and didn’t pitch at all. He was let go when his contract expired after the season. When taking into account how high he was selected, Ball is arguably the biggest bust on this list.
Boston probably didn’t pass on any future Hall of Fame players in the first round that year but several who were selected after Ball had breakout years in 2019. Austin Meadows leads the way as the only one of that group who made an All-Star appearance. He was having a solid rookie season the previous year before the Tampa Bay Rays stole him from Pittsburgh in the ill-fated Chris Archer deal.
By selecting Ball early in the first round, Boston passed on Hunter Dozier (selected No. 8 by the Royals). He belted 26 homers and led the league with 10 triples last year. Tim Anderson (No. 18 overall) won a batting title for the White Sox last season.
I made the point of sticking only to players selected in the first round but I’d be remiss not to mention that 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger was selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round that year. Every other team passed on Bellinger multiple times so we can’t be too hard on the Red Sox for not pulling the trigger on him with the 7th overall pick.
Still, looking back at the previous slide, it’s hard not to notice that the Red Sox potentially could have had the NL MVP from each of the last two years in their lineup right now if they drafted wisely.