The Red Sox completed the 2013 MLB draft by taking a number of high school players who could be tough to sign, highlighted by a couple of high-end talents who fell due to signability and injury concerns.
On the day, the Sox took 19 high school players, two junior college players and nine college players. By comparison, they took 15 high schoolers in the same range last year, but signed only four of them. Of the 30 picks the club made today, 13 were ranked in Baseball America's top 500 draft prospects, including two in the top 100. Among the draftees were 11 pitchers, four catchers, 10 infielders and five outfielders.
For the entire draft, the numbers break down as follows: age -- 22 high schoolers, three junior college players, 15 college players; position -- 18 pitchers, five catchers, 10 infielders, seven outfielders.
The biggest names picked as the club made its selections in Rounds 11-40 on Saturday were two high schoolers: Minnesota outfielder Ryan Boldt and Florida right-hander Jordan Sheffield. Boldt, from Red Wing High School, was ranked as the 58th-best player in the draft by Baseball America and 45th by Perfect Game. He is a potential five-tool player and was named MVP of the Perfect Game All-American Classic, going 2-for-3 with a triple.
The 18-year-old Boldt, listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, missed nearly his entire senior year with a partially torn meniscus in his right knee, getting hurt in the second game of an already weather-delayed season. He had minor surgery on the knee that found no major damage, and began a rehab program this week, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. However, scouts from the Red Sox and other clubs saw plenty of Boldt last summer, when he lead off for a U-18 Team USA squad that won a gold medal at the IBAF World Championships.
Boldt has signed to play with Rochester of the Northwoods League this summer, and one option, if he is healthy enough, would be for him to go play for a month before the MLB signing deadline on July 12.
Sheffield, who turned 18 a week ago and is Gary Sheffield's nephew, is a 5-11, 162-pound righty with a big arm, throwing a fastball clocked last summer as high as 97-98 mph. He also showed aptitude with a slider and changeup. Unfortunately, his spring season was cut short by injury as well, as he threw just three innings before suffering from a sore elbow. Eventually, he had Tommy John surgery in early April. Despite the injury, Baseball America had him ranked as the draft's 88th-best prospect, while Perfect Game dropped him all the way down to 217th. Also complicating matters is Sheffield's commitment to Vanderbilt, a school with a reputation for getting its commits to bypass signing and attend school.
Both players will take large bonuses to sign -- Boldt reportedly was asking for at least $2 million before the draft, and Sheffield will likely take no less than half of that to sign and likely more. Thus, whether the Sox can meet those demands and sign one or both will come down to how much less than the allotted bonus total for the first 10 rounds the club spends.
Although the Sox figure to go below slot on several players drafted in the first 10 rounds, they will need to spend a lot of that extra money to sign third-round pick Jon Denney, a high school catcher. To be honest, the most likely scenario in which either Boldt or Sheffield signs would be if Boston is unable to sign Denney, and even still, Boldt would need to come down from his pre-draft demands.
Here is the full list of Boston's Day 3 selections:
11th Round: SS Carlos Asuaje, JR, Nova Southeastern
Ranked No. 208 by Baseball America. Asuaje is originally from Venezuela. Small at 5-9, 165 pounds. Played shortstop this spring but has mostly played second base and is a better fit there, even though he won a D-II South Region Gold Glove at short. Had 32 steals in 47 games this spring, but BA reports he has average speed that plays up due to good instincts.
12th Round: LHP Jake Drehoff, SO, Southern Mississippi
Draft-eligible sophomore turned 21 on Wednesday. 6-4 lefty had only OK numbers at Southern Miss: 5-5, 3.54 ERA, 69 strikeouts to 30 walks in 81 1/3 innings.
13th Round: RHP Jordan Sheffield, Tullahoma HS (Tenn.)
See above. Vanderbilt commit had Tommy John surgery this spring. Will be difficult to sign and likely will ask for seven figures.
14th Round: C Jake Romanski, SR, San Diego St.
Threw out 48 percent of attempted base stealers this spring while hitting .303 with a .397 OBP. Not much power. SDSU's coach is Tony Gwynn.
15th Round: OF Bryan Hudson, Mill Creek HS (Ga.)
Committed to Darton State College, a juco. From Dacula, Ga., the same hometown as current Sox minor leaguer Shannon Wilkerson.
16th Round: RHP Jalen Williams, Westminster Christian Academy (La.)
Ranked No. 352 by Baseball America. 6-3, 200-pounder also played wide receiver, and he has committed to Nicholls State to play football. Fastball works in upper 80s. Has never played baseball full-time, fitting the profile of one type of player the Sox have taken a chance on late in drafts in recent years.
17th Round: OF Joseph Monge, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)
Ranked No. 451 by Baseball America. Above-average speed and arm strength make his defense in center the strongest part of his game right now. Potential for average power. Notably, Monge is not committed to a college, and thus is almost certain to sign.
18th Round: RHP Joe Gunkel, JR, West Chester
At 6-6, fits mold of tall pitchers that the Sox have been targeting lately. Struck out 76 and walked 11 in 77 1/3 regular season innings this spring. Great under pressure: is 4-0 with a 0.25 ERA in four postseason starts at WCU, unscored upon in last 30 playoff innings. Led WCU to the Division II national championship as a sophomore with a five-hit shutout in the championship game against Delta State. Was named tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
19th Round: LHP Gabe Speier, Dos Pueblos HS (Calif.)
Ranked No. 265 by Baseball America. Just 6-0, 175 pounds. Can sit 88-91 mph, touching 93, but has tended to lose velocity deep into games. Has shown a good power curveball, and changeup projects as average. His MLB.com profile refers to the curve as a slider. Committed to UC Santa Barbara, where his grandfather was a football star and his uncle, current Reds bench coach Chris Speier, played baseball.
20th round: RHP Derek Burkamper, Muscatine HS (Iowa)
After being selected, Burkamper said on Twitter that he would not sign, instead honoring his commitment to attend Nebraska. Ranked No. 302 by Baseball America.
21st round: 2B Reed Gragnani, SR, Virginia
The Red Sox drafted Gragnani out of high school in 2009, and he reportedly turned down a six-figure bonus to attend college. Played mostly outfield at UVA in his first three seasons, where he battled injuries, before settling in as the club's starting second baseman this year. Played in the Cape Cod League for Orleans.
22nd round: OF Ryan Boldt, Red Wing HS (Minn.)
See above. Seen as a first-round talent before knee injury cost him essentially all of his senior season. Unlikely to sign due to his probable bonus demands. Committed to Nebraska.
23rd round: 2B Jimmy Allen, JR, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Ranked No. 300 by Baseball America. Played third base for Cal Poly, but does not project to play there in the pros. Had a stronger sophomore season (.345/.372/.507) than junior season (.272/.311/.352), but some scouts still were high on his short, right-handed stroke, particularly after he played better in the season's final month. Not much power, but above-average arm and speed.
24th round: 3B Jantzen Witte, SR, Texas Christian
Started all 57 games for TCU. Hit .293/.383/.428.
25th round: RHP Derik Beauprez, Cherry Creek HS (Colo.)
Another tall pitcher: 6-5, 215 pounds. Has been clocked up to 93 mph. Has shown feel for a curve and changeup. Committed to Miami.
26th round: SS Mauricio Dubon, Capital Christian School (Calif.)
A foreign exchange student from Honduras who has been in the United States for two years.
27th round: RHP Mark Nowaczewski, Reed HS (Nev.)
Ranked No. 440 by Baseball America. Reportedly sat in the mid-90s in his first start of the year, but his velocity was way down in his next start and he settled in at 88-92 for the rest of the year. Secondary pitches are currently lacking. Another tall pitcher at 6-4. Also played quarterback in high school. Committed to Nevada.
28th round: 3B Nick Zammarelli, Lincoln HS (R.I.)
Rhode Island's top high school prospect. Committed to Elon.
29th round: OF Jeff Driskel, SO, Florida
Better known as the starting quarterback for the Gators, and has not even played baseball in college. Said of being selected that he "did not see that coming" on Twitter. Draft-eligible sophomore because he redshirted. The Red Sox similarly picked Arizona State LB Brandon Magee (since signed with the Cowboys) and Southern Miss QB Austin Davis (who was a backup for the Rams this season) last year. To be fair, Driskel was a top baseball recruit out of high school, but chose to focus on football.
30th round: OF Nick Longhi, Venice HS (Fla.)
Ranked No. 296 by Baseball America. Quick, compact swing with good raw power from the right side. Committed to LSU. May also pitch for the Tigers if he goes to school. Could be a tough sign.
31st round: 1B Ryan Rippee, FR, Jefferson College (JC) (Mo.)
Big at 6-5, 225 pounds. Hit .333/.414/.526 for Jefferson, a junior college. Also starred at basketball in high school.
32nd round: C Matthew Thaiss, Jackson Memorial HS (N.J.)
Ranked No. 224 by Baseball America. One of the top catchers in the Northeast, draws praise for his work behind the dish. Solid arm and good at blocking balls in the dirt. Hits left-handed. Like most of the prep players ranked in the top 500, expected to be a tough sign. Committed to Virginia.
33rd round: SS Andrew Rosa, Owasso HS (Okla.)
Named Jim Thorpe Player of the Year in baseball by the Oklahoma Coaches Association. Committed to Oklahoma State.
34th round: C Danny Bethea, SR, St. John's
A two-year starter for St. John's after transferring from Palomar College, where he played as a sophomore, and Grand Canyon University, where he played as a freshman.
35th round: 3B Rafael Oliveras, Loaiza Cordero Del Rosario HS (Puerto Rico)
36th round: RHP Pat Goetze, Wake County Home School (N.C.)
No. 19 draft prospect in North Carolina, per Baseball America. Another tall pitcher at 6-6. Had Tommy John surgery as a junior. Committed to Louisburg College, a juco.
37th round: RHP Max Watt, FR, Hillsborough CC (Fla.)
Takes the Sox's penchant for tall pitchers in this draft to the extreme at 6-8. Underwhelming numbers this season, but starred at Babylon High School in New York.
38th round: SS Trever Morrison, Archbishop Murphy HS (Wash.)
Ranked No. 139 by Baseball America. Above-average speed. Smooth at short. At 5-11, 165 pounds, needs to mature physically. Strong commitment to Oregon State makes it unlikely he will sign.
39th round: RHP K.J. Trader, Delmar HS (Del.)
Top high school prospect in the state of Delaware, per Baseball America. In nine games for Delmar posted a 1.68 ERA. Reportedly struck out 62 of 173 batters faced this spring, more than one of every three batters. Also played basketball and football at Delmar. Committed to Chipola Junior College in Florida.
40th round: C Ryan Lidge, Barrington HS (Ill.)
No. 14 draft prospect in Illinois, per Baseball America. Committed to Notre Dame.