With so many things currently going on in the world of sports, including the Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, Celtics rumors for days, and a surprisingly powerful Red Sox team, the MLB Draft could very easily be overlooked. Many of these kids will never throw a strike or record a hit in a major league game, but the Red Sox held the 12th overall pick. With such a high pick, the Red Sox have the opportunity to draft a potentially franchise-changing player. Now many of these kids are 17- or 18-years old and will not see a major league diamond for at least three years, but who doesn't love obsessing about kids that can't even buy scratch tickets yet?
Lets bring it around the table and get what the BBS staff thought of last night's festivities.
Biggest stud drafted?
Will: Definitely have to go with Jason Groome at No. 12, for several reasons. The Clayton Kershaw comparisons are evident; he throws high-90s, and as Keith Law noted, his curveball is absolutely filthy. MLB.com had him as their No. 1 overall prospect. Sox filled a major need...and if you needed another reason to like Groome, he's a lifelong Red Sox fan.
Pete: I have a big IF on this question. If Jason Groome signs with the Red Sox, then I think he will fly through the majors and become the next great pitcher of his generation. However, if Groome decides to go to college, then I believe that the next best thing is the #1 overall pick, Mickey Moniak. Why? Well, the last OF to be drafted #1 overall was Bryce Harper. That worked out well.
Biggest bust drafted?
Will: This pick was seen as a steal by some, but I'm going with Delvin Perez. He's a shortstop taken at No. 23 by the Cardinals, and MLB.com ranked him at No. 9 on their prospect list. But having failed a PED test earlier this week, there are already blatant character concerns. Add that to the fact that he's an average hitter (albeit a fantastic fielder), and he's destined to break quite a few hearts in St. Louis.
Pete: I am going to go with the Detroit Tigers' #9 overall pick, right hander Matt Manning. I like the fact that he is a multi-sport athlete, as he has played basketball in his high school career as well, but at this point he is only a really good athlete. It does not take much to throw a baseball hard. Just ask Joe Kelly. However, it is a whole other world to become a good pitcher. Good luck, kid.
Best future hitter?
Will: Though the Phillies think the answer is Mickey Moniak (by taking him at No. 1), I'm going with Kyle Lewis, taken by Seattle at No. 11. He has great power, but also hits well for average and has sensational plate discipline. It's easy to see why MLB.com had him at No. 3 overall.
Pete: I am not sure if U-Miami catcher Zack Collins is going to stay at his position, but he is already one of the best hitters in the draft. Collins can hit for power and average, but, unlike many power hitters nowadays, he can also draw walks. If the Chicago White Sox can figure out how to develop him behind the plate, he could be an all star.
Best future pitcher?
Will: Groome, for all the reasons listed above. But aside from him, I have to go with A.J. Puk, who was selected by Oakland at No. 6. He pitched very well at Florida, and though he wasn't quite as sensational as hoped, the same organization that has produced Sonny Gray should have a likewise successful result with Puk.
Pete: How can I not pick the guy that the Red Sox landed? Jason Groome is going to be the next Clayton Kershaw, end of discussion. Like I said before, however, if Groome goes to college, I have major doubts about him. Another great pick was Stanford's Cal Quantrill. The talented righty had Tommy John surgery, which has limited his workload the past two seasons, but he is still a stud with a plethora of good pitches.
Player with the most potential?
Will: Given the deserved Kershaw comparisons, Groome seems the most logical choice. But fellow high school star pitcher Riley Pint is right up there with him. Though he'll have to pitch for the Rockies at hitter-friendly Coors Field, the No. 4 selection throws three plus-pitches, including a triple-digit fastball.
Pete: I am going to go with the Seattle Mariners' #11 pick, Mercer OF Kyle Lewis. As Will already noted, he is MLB.com's #3 overall pick, and has been getting comparisons to Adam Jones. Because of his mix of size, strength and speed, there are questions as to whether or not he will stay in center field. Nonetheless, he has dominated in college baseball and in the Cape Cod League. I think he is the most surefire pick in the draft, but also has the most upside.