(Photo Credit: mlb.com)
By David Little – @DLittleMLB
Prospects is sort of my thing. I can’t get enough. Constantly reviewing and watching the systems around the league, I find it intriguing to watch who’s new, who could possibly make an impact in the league, and more importantly for our team.
With the MLB draft just passing, we have a new crop of prospects to look at, prospects who could potentially impact our major league team. That in mind, I would like to take a look at some notable draft picks by the Red Sox, and offer everyone a bit of insight into who they are, and why they were drafted.
With our first pick, the Sox selected Triston Casas, a high school third baseman who will transition to first base as a pro. He was born in 2000, which makes me feel very old. The 18 year old from Florida is a big kid, already weighing in at 238, and 6’4 in height. Of interest, though it lacks relevance really, is he was the MVP of the world baseball softball confederation. Casas has arguably the best power bat in the draft, but at times lacks the ability to make contact, meaning he could be a streaky hitter. He threw 92 MPH off the mound, meaning he has a big arm, something that could lead him to stay at third base longer then expected. He’s also a good athlete, and more agile then you would expect for being such a huge kid. He’s a left handed bat, which I always appreciate as its nice to have some variety to the lineup.
As of right now, I would sit the new first rounder at about 3rd or 4th in the system, behind Michael Chavis and Jay Groome. Overall I like the pick as I am a big fan of the power bat. He reminds me of Joey Gallo, although with probably slightly less power.
With our second pick, the Red Sox again took a left handed bat, Nick Decker, who projects as an outfielder. MLB.com notes that the only other prep bat from New Jersey to go prior to the fifth round was Mike Trout.
Decker is 6’1 200 and again brings another potentially good power bat to our system. He looks like he will be a left fielder in the Majors, as he has a decent arm, and average running skills. He has a Corey Dickerson look and feel to me.
With the third pick, the Red Sox selected a pitcher out of Texas Christian. 21 years old and 6’1 190, Durbin Feltman has a plus fastball and above average slider. He drew the most attention as a power closer, but also is a two way player with some good pop in his right handed bat. He’s small in frame, so I see him remaining as a reliever if he’s to stay as a pitcher. It is also noted that he is a very intelligent and competitive player, something that everyone has to appreciate. Feltman throws at 95-97 and tops out around 99mph. His slider is more of a power slider, but adding that plus a change-up could deepen his aresenal. We currently have a power arm with almost an identical frame on the roster. Hopefully this kid can become if 60% of the man, the myth and the legend, Craig Kimbrel.
With the fourth pick, the Red Sox selected another position player, University of Kentucky Catcher, Kole Cottam. Kole is 21 years old, and was originally brought on in school as a defensive catcher. With increased playing time, however, he developed more of a bat, and now splits time between first base and catcher. Cole ranks a bit lower on most draft boards and prospect lists, but his bat is a pretty big deal at his position. If he can regain some of his defensive prowess, this could be a huge steal for the Sox.
I offered the previous analysis to you of some but not nearly all of the players we drafted. Now its time to watch the baby birds get their wings so to speak. Years of development still remains ahead of them. They all face a daunting uphill battle into professional sports, attempting to break into the big league roster. Tracking their progress will be truly interesting, as we will observe, listen, and read about the ups and downs of their journeys.
Time to sit back and watch it all unfold. It’s a long road but I hope every one of them gets a shot.
ICYMI: AVIDBOSTON PODCAST EPISODE 53!!!
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