The 2014 MLB draft is just a day away, and with its proximity comes a last-minute wave of mock drafts from experts from all corners of the Internet.
Teams can't trade first-round picks, and drafting for need is a dubious proposition in the MLB draft. That means there are fewer drastic changes in these mocks than you'd generally find the day before the NFL draft or the NBA draft. However, as those with team connections learn more about each organization's intent, we gain a better idea of which prospects will bolster the Red Sox farm system in short order.
Let's look at the latest first-round projections from ESPN.com's Keith Law (subscription required), MLB.com's Jim Callis, Bleacher Report's Adam Wells, MLB Draft Insider's Chris Crawford and Baseball America's John Manuel and take a peek at who the Sox could be looking at with their second pick too.
Alex Blandino, 3B, Stanford
Both Law and Callis have the Red Sox settling on Alex Blandino, a college third baseman who, according to some, may profile better as a second baseman professionally. With potential above-average grades for his hit, power and run tools, Blandino doesn't have a huge ceiling but could be a fast mover, at least through the low minors.
According to Law, Blandino would represent something of a consolation prize for the Red Sox, as he doesn't think Boston "would be thrilled in such a scenario." It's interesting that both Law and Callis mention the Red Sox are looking for a proven college hitter with their first pick. As we'll see below, that's not exactly an industry consensus.
Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV
One of two pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery who were once viewed as potential top-10 picks, Erick Fedde would represent a high-upside gamble for the Red Sox. Both Callis and Wells have mocked Fedde to the Red Sox in the past, and Wells stuck with that prediction this week.
It's not hard to envision the Red Sox taking a chance on Fedde if the talented right-hander happens to fall to them at No. 26, but most mock drafts have Fedde coming off the board earlier than Boston's first selection. With teams growing more accustomed to helping pitchers along the Tommy John recovery process, his injury may not hurt his stock as much as it once might have, even with his relatively slight frame.
Still, this is something of a best-case scenario for Boston.
Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia
Derek Fisher was one of the more popular possible picks for the Red Sox early in the mock draft process, and several sources have linked him to Boston both at No. 26 and as a possibility at No. 33. That jibes with what we've heard about the Sox wanting to grab a college hitter with their first pick, and Fisher is an intriguing option who both fits that bill and is likely to be available this late on Day 1.
Crawford thinks the Sox are going with a college bat here but that "they would likely pounce on Fedde or [Jeff] Hoffman" if either arm slipped to them. He also mentions first baseman Casey Gillaspie, whom we covered last week, and prep outfielder Monte Harrison as possibilities.
Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger HS
Not many sources have the Red Sox taking a prep pitcher with their first selection, but that's how Manuel sees the board falling, with Boston taking California native Luis Ortiz at No. 26. According to Manuel, Ortiz is rising on many draft boards after "arm tenderness" knocked him out for two weeks earlier in his season.
Count Manuel's mock draft as yet another place where the Blandino-to-Boston rumor surfaces. Manuel also mentions Georgia prep infielder Michael Chavis as a possibility here, so it seems as though Manuel is more confident that Boston will go with a high school player at No. 26 than are many other prognosticators.
Rumors for Pick No. 33
Law mentions Louisiana prep catcher Chase Vallot as someone the Red Sox are "in heavy on" for their selection at No. 33, and that's not the first time we've heard Vallot linked to the Sox.
Callis has the Sox popping prep right-hander Michael Kopech at No. 33 and notes that "all of the high school arms mentioned in this first-round projection seem to be in play for Boston" with this pick.
Toolsy outfielder Marcus Wilson is Crawford's prediction for whom the Sox will take with their second pick. That means he has Boston doubling up on outfielders early on. Interestingly, he has Blandino falling to the Cardinals at No. 34.
Manuel sees Fisher falling to No. 33 and believes the Red Sox will select him there. He also mentions fellow Virginia products Mike Papi (who would make for great Boston headlines) and Nick Howard as potential fits.