Boston Red Sox 2013 first-round pick: Trey Ball (starting pitcher)
The Boston Red Sox used the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft to select Trey Ball out of New Castle Chrysler High School in Indiana.
Ball was a left-handed pitcher who the Red Sox snatched away from attending the University of Texas with a hefty signing bonus.
He never really found his way while in the minor leagues, though. Ball struggled in Rookie Ball in 2013, but that wasn't a big deal. A pitcher coming out of high school not adapting immediately after being drafted isn't a new concept.
2014 gave some glimpses of positive things. The lefty posted a 4.68 ERA, .280 BAA, and 1.50 WHIP in 100 innings at the Full-A level. Not a lot of strikeouts and some walks didn't help his case.
2015 was the same story for Ball. He was in Advanced-A now and threw 125 innings. The numbers were similar. Again, he didn't strike out many batters but was still walking (not at a crazy clip, but enough to be worrisome if he's not missing bats).
Some positive steps were made in 2016. Ball posted a career-best 3.84 ERA and 86 strikeouts over 117 1/3 innings in Advanced-A. The walks (68) were also a career-high, though. He allowed fewer home runs, but his BAA and WHIP bumped up. It was a very confusing season.
2017 saw Ball move to Double-A. He again set a career-high with 103 strikeouts in 124 2/3 innings and even managed to lower his walks to 57. His 5.27 ERA, .322 BAA, and 1.75 WHIP were not encouraging, however.
Ball's numbers leaped into "yikes" territory the next season, and it saw him actually try to convert to a two-way player. As an outfielder/DH, Ball went 1-for-9 with a double and an RBI.
In 2019, he started back in Rookie Ball, trying to reinvent himself as a hitter. Ball went 2-for-14 with one double, six RBI, and four walks (compared to four strikeouts) in five games.
That's the last the Red Sox got out of Trey Ball. He hasn't played for another Major League affiliate since then.
Ball was an exciting pitching prospect coming out of High School that the Boston Red Sox took a chance on. Any prospect comes with question marks, especially coming out of High School. That seems to be especially true with pitchers, as the competition takes such a sharp increase.
Not getting past Double-A hurts. The overall numbers don't help. And a failed attempt to switch to a position player doesn't look great. Trey Ball was an extremely talented pitcher, but everyone in the minor leagues is an elite baseball player. Sometimes it just doesn't work.
Fun fact, though, one of the first articles I ever wrote about the Red Sox was about Trey Ball. Yes, even in 2015, I was obsessed with minor league baseball.
Draft Grade: F