5 dream targets for Red Sox in Rule 5 draft

Boston could address key holes on its roster by adding high-level prospects this week
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Carlos De La Cruz (35) plays
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Carlos De La Cruz (35) plays / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Ian Bedell, RHP, Cardinals

Bedell hasn’t played a single game above High-A, but making that jump to the majors is far more reasonable for pitchers than position players. Plus, when you have a pitcher of Bedell’s caliber, that’s a risk you’re certainly willing to take.

The 24-year-old is a Missouri product who was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He made 27 appearances (19 starts) at High-A last season, amassing a 2.44 ERA, 9.94 K/9, 3.19 BB/9, and 39.3 percent ground ball rate.

Bedell does have potential as a starter, but Boston would presumably deploy him as a reliever. Out of the bullpen, he could keep his velocity higher and rely more on his plus curveball. For what it’s worth, MLB Pipeline ranks Bedell as the Cardinals’ No. 16 prospect, so there is certainly optimism about the right-hander throughout the industry.

Carlos De La Cruz, OF, Phillies

De La Cruz ranks sixth among MLB Pipeline’s top Phillies prospects and is an amazing physical specimen at 6-foot-8. Despite his large frame, he possesses impressive range and athleticism. Capable of making highlight reel plays, De La Cruz might be able to stick in center field long term.

Through 129 games last season (all at Double-A), De La Cruz slashed .259/.344/.454 with 24 home runs and a 118 wRC+. He struck out a bit more than you’d like from a Double-A hitter, but he has very good reverse splits while boasting tremendous athleticism and power.

De La Cruz will likely open 2024 at Triple-A if he’s with the Phillies, but you could argue that he’d be ready for MLB action with a new club if he gets a full Spring Training’s worth of reps. Boston doesn’t have a major need for outfield reinforcements, but it’s hard to ignore such an athletic, high-upside prospect.