As the 2020 MLB Draft got underway, Wednesday evening, the Red Sox picked 17th and chose a player who would’ve likely been available with their next pick.
Last night saw the opening round of the 2020 MLB Draft take place. Under the circumstances going on in the world, this year’s draft structure is set up a bit differently. For the Boston Red Sox, the loss of their second-round pick due to the sign-stealing scandal means that they have to be a bit more careful than others.
The Red Sox were on the clock with the 17th pick of the draft. A lot of mock drafts had the Sox taking RHP Mick Abel with their selection, but he was selected 15th by the Phillies, leaving a decision to be made by Chaim Bloom in his first draft with the Red Sox.
He could’ve gone with the best available option, which would’ve seen OF Garrett Mitchell out of UCLA join the farm system, but the decision saw the Sox bring in MLB Pipeline’s 139th ranked prospect just a few rounds early.
This prospect’s name is Nick Yorke, a hit-first second baseman out of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA. He’s a player that the Red Sox reportedly had their eye on for a while, and with them not having their second round pick, this was the only way to make sure of the selection.
Financially speaking, Yorke will likely sign for an amount less than the recommended value of $3.61 million for the 17th pick and this is why Bloom ultimately decided to go along with this pick – saving some salary for their third, fourth and fifth rounders.
From a baseball standpoint, a positive outlook for fans is that Baseball America had him in their Top-10 sleeper picks, which, if everything goes accordingly, could see the Sox pick up a good prospect here.
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However, it is hard to look at this positively at the moment. The Red Sox selected someone at seventeen that could’ve well been available with their third round pick, or even their fourth-rounder. The whole point was to save salary, but whoever they selected would’ve signed for $3.61 million anyway.
Passing on Mitchell was a move that could become very regretful down the line. MLB had Mitchell as their sixth ranked draft prospect and Bloom deciding to go with someone ranked in the mid-hundreds isn’t a great look for him. Yes, he’s known as a guy who can make it work with a smaller payroll and lesser players, but when the talent is available for just a slightly costlier price, then you take the best you can, especially when the Red Sox farm system is in the state that it’s currently in and you’re moving your ball-clubs best players to change things up.
You don’t have a second-rounder, so pick the best talent there is and deal with the financial implications when you get deeper into the draft. The whole point of a rebuild is to set things up as well as you can for the future, and this selection doesn’t reflect that at all, no matter how good the pick turns out to be.
For now, there will be more flexibility in with Boston’s next three selections, but it is questionable when you’re trying to build from the bottom up why Mitchell was passed on. Yorke has good upside, but it’s also a tremendously risky pick when all is said and done, and it’s questionable on why he played it this way.
Draft’s aren’t as important in baseball as they are in other sports as they don’t have that straightforward effect on a franchise, but down the line they can be as important as any. This was an easy way to put the farm system back on the right path and we won’t know if the decision was a wise one for a while, but it doesn’t look all that promising right away.