Boston Red Sox 2014 Draft Picks: Scouting Profiles and Analysis
Welcome to the MLB draft, baseball fans! As the coverage and importance of the annual first-year player draft has evolved over the years, outlets like MLB Network and Bleacher Report have dedicated time to bring knowledge and background on each player selected to fans.
For the Boston Red Sox, team building isn't simply an exercise in financial muscle and clout. Despite an annual payroll near the top of the sport, general manager Ben Cherington—as well as former head man Theo Epstein—routinely emphasizes the need for a deep, fertile and productive farm system.
With the No. 26 overall pick in the first round on Thursday night, Cherington and Boston's front office had an opportunity to add to the franchise that has captured three World Series championships over the last decade. Due to a compensation pick stemming from the departure of former homegrown talent Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox owned two of the first 33 selections in the 2014 draft.
Over the next few days, bookmark this page and follow along as the Red Sox attempt to add to a core of young, ascending players including Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Brock Holt, Garin Cecchini, Mookie Betts and Henry Owens.
Round 1, Pick 26: Michael Chavis, 3B, Marietta (Georgia) Sprayberry HS
With Marietta, Georgia, high school star Michael Chavis available when the No. 26 pick arrived on Thursday night, the Boston Red Sox added an infielder with upside. As Bleacher Report's Mike Rosenbaum explains in the video above, Chavis has the chance to develop into an impact hitter at the professional level.
Furthermore, the third base prospect could become a long-term solution at the position. Within time, Chavis could become one half of a dynamic infield combination with shortstop Xander Bogaerts. During MLB Network's coverage of the event, Harold Reynolds compared Chavis' ability and power to Atlanta Braves infielder Dan Uggla.
After crushing high school pitching to the tune of a .557/.580/.663 slash with 13 homers in his senior season, Chavis committed to Clemson. Barring a change of plans or contract issue with the Red Sox front office, Chavis will be headed to Boston long before Death Valley.
While Chavis is a third baseman by trade, the idea of moving to second base—a spot currently occupied by Dustin Pedroia in Boston—isn't something the prospect would be against, per Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors.
"Right now, I’d be more comfortable at third base just because I’ve played there, but down the road I think I’d be just as comfortable at second base once I get more reps in," Chavis said. "I definitely have the speed to play second base."
Round 1, Pick 33: Michael Kopech, RHP, Mount Pleasant HS (TX)
After selecting a high school infielder with the No. 26 overall selection, the defending World Series champions re-entered the youngest realm of the draft pool to select another non-college player. When Bud Selig made the announcement, Michael Kopech entered the Red Sox system.
In Kopech, Boston landed a big righty with a high leg kick. According to Tim Britton of The Providence Journal, Kopech has been known to hit 98 mph on the radar gun. Despite that velocity, his release and windup have caused repeatability issues, a problem not uncommon among young pitchers.
Although Kopech is committed to the University of Arizona, expect the Red Sox to convince him to eschew college baseball for the lure of learning to pitch and master the strike zone under the tutelage of manager John Farrell.
Recently, Big League Futures compared Kopech's size and style former big league veteran Shane Reynolds. If Boston landed anything close to the former 114-game winner, Red Sox fans can expect excellence to eventually arrive to Fenway Park.
Round 2, Pick 67: Sam Travis, 1B, Indiana
Sam Travis has been down this road before. In 2011, the current Indiana product was drafted out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds, but chose to forgo signing and enroll in the Big Ten program. Three years later, the Boston Red Sox secured a corner infielder with the potential to become a future contributor in the AL East.
After selecting a pair of high school prospects in the first round, Boston chose a college bat before the first night of the 2014 draft ended. In Travis, one of the best hitters in the country was available. During the 2014 campaign, Travis hit .347 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI.
In three seasons since passing on Cincinnati's offer, Travis crushed Big Ten pitching to the tune of a .327/.410/.544 slash line, with 31 homers in 184 games.
Bleacher Report's Mike Rosenbaum compared Travis to Toronto Blue Jays star Edwin Encarnacion in his prospect profile. If Travis turns into any sort of facsimile of what Encarnacion has become over the last few years, Boston may have a long-term replacement for Mike Napoli at first base.
Round 3, Pick 103: Jake Cosart, RHP, Seminole State
In the first round, the Minnesota Twins added to the Gordon family lineage by selecting Nick, the brother of Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon and son of former big league pitcher Tom Gordon. When the Red Sox chose Jake Cosart with the 103rd overall selection, members of the Cosart family in big league organizations doubled.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Jared Cosart is now joined by a Jake, another right-handed pitcher from the family. Much like his brother, Boston's newest Cosart is a hard thrower that has been clocked at 98 mph. The former Duke University outfielder transferred out of the ACC to become a star at Seminole State.
Despite the lineage and raw stuff, major success didn't translate to the mound during 11 starts for Seminole State in 2014. During those appearances, Cosart 11 starts posted a 5.34 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 23 walks in 64 innings, suggesting work is needed to harness potential into excellence for the Red Sox organization.
Round 4, Pick 134: Kevin McAvoy, RHP, Bryant University
When the Red Sox made a fifth selection within the first four rounds of the 2014 draft, a college pitcher sat atop the board. In Kevin McAvoy, Boston secured the rights to a Syracuse, NY native and former Cape Cod League star.
During the 2014 season at Bryant, McAvoy owned a 2.62 ERA across 99.2 innings. During those outings, he registered 94 strikeouts compared to only 28 walks. For a young pitcher, that kind of strikeout-to-walk ratio is impressive and something the Red Sox can build upon during the early portion of McAvoy's professional development.
Last summer, McAvoy made five starts for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League, likely making his name familiar to some of Red Sox Nation.
Round 5, Pick 164: Josh Ockimey, 1B, SS Neumann-Goretti HS (PA)
For the Red Sox, this pick was likely more about first-hand knowledge than anything a scout could have observed about a high school slugger. As detailed in an in-depth article on Ockimey's draft potential by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Red Sox worked out this prospect at Fenway Park.
Upon his arrival to the historic park, Ockimey left his mark by drilling home runs over the right field wall in plain view of the Red Sox brass, per Rick O's piece.
"To do that at a historic ballpark was pretty special," Ockimey said. "I think one of the shots measured about 420 to 430 feet."
After also being courted by team representatives and scouts from the White Sox, Twins, Rays, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays, it was clear that the Red Sox had to act fast in order to land a player that could have been chosen soon.
Round 6, Pick 194: Danny Mars, OF, Chipola College
The Florida State University commit hit .380/.460/.584 at junior college in 2014. As a switch-hitting outfielder with speed, perhaps the Red Sox are envisioning a future version of Shane Victorino.
Round 7, Pick 224: Reed Reilly, RHP, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
After being selected in the 18th round by the Orioles last year, the draft-eligible sophomore returned to college for one more season. Now, Reilly enters the Red Sox organization after posing a 2.29 ERA across 59 innings out of the bullpen in 2014.
Round 8, Pick 254: Ben Moore, C, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
One of the best hitters in the SEC, Moore crushed opposing pitchers to the tune of a .305/.367/.481 slash line, including 23 extra-base hits for the Crimson Tide. The right-handed swinger has also played outfield in the past.
Round 9, Pick 284: Kevin Steen, RHP, Oak Ridge HS (TN)
The Tennessee commit possesses a four-pitch repertoire, including a fastball, curveball, changeup and slider. Across 36 innings for Oak Ridge HS, Steen owned a sterling 1.56 ERA.
Round 10, Pick 314: Cole Sturgeon, OF, Louisville
Much like fellow Red Sox draft pick Kevin McAvoy, Sturgeon is a former Cape Cod League standout. In fact, the Louisville product played two summers in the Cape league, undoubtedly catching the attention of the local big league club. At Louisville, Sturgeon was both a pitched and an outfielder, giving the Red Sox options for this immediate and long-term future.
Round 11, Pick 344: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida
Round 12, Pick 374: Jalen Beeks, LHP, Arkansas
Round 13, Pick 404: Chandler Sheperd, RHP, Kentucky
Round 14, Pick 434: Jordan Procyshen, C, Northern Kentucky University
Round 15, Pick 464: Trenton Kemp, CF, Buchanan HS (CA)
Round 16, Pick 494: Michael Gunn, LHP, Arkansas
Round 17, Pick 524: Jeremy Rivera, SS, El Paso CC (TX)
Round 18, Pick 554: Jordan Betts, 3B, Duke
Round 19, Pick 584: Tyler Hill, CF, Delaware Military Academy
Round 20, Pick 614: Devon Fisher, C, Western Branch HS (VA)
Round 21, Pick 644: Ian Rice, C, Chipola College (FL)
Round 22, Pick 674: J.J. Matijevic, SS, Norwin HS (PA)
Round 23, Pick 704: Derek Miller, CF, University of Texas
Round 24, Pick 734: Cisco Tellez, 1B, University of California-Riverside
Round 25, Pick 764: Gabe Klobosits, RHP, Galveston College (TX)
Round 26, Pick: 794: Ryan Harris, RHP, Florida
Round 27, Pick 824: Taylor Nunez, RHP, Southern Mississippi
Round 28, Pick 854: David Peterson, LHP, Regis Jesuit HS (CO)
Round 29, Pick 884: Josh Pennington, RHP, Lower Cape May Reg HS (NJ)
Round 30, Pick 914: Jeren Kendall, CF, Holmen HS (WI)
Round 31, Pick 944: Alex Mckeon, C, Texas A&M International University
Round 32, Pick 974: Case Rolen, RHP, Sherman HS (TX)
Round 33, Pick 1004: Luis Alvarado, RF, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Round 34, Pick 1034: Kuehel McEachern, RHP, Flagler College
Round 35, Pick 1064: Ross Puskarich, 3B, Liberty HS (CA)
Round 36, Pick 1094: Bradley Wilpon, RHP, The Brunswick School (CT)
Round 37, Pick 1124: Hector Lorenzana, SS, University of Oklahoma
Round 38, Pick 1154: Brandon Show, RHP, University of San Diego
Round 39, Pick 1184: Mike Gretler, SS, Bonney Lake HS (WA)
Round 40, Pick 1214: Joseph Winterburn, C, University of La Verne (CA)
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