The Red Sox selected Georgia high school star Michael Chavis with their first pick in the 2014 draft. Then they took a hard-throwing righthander from a high school in Texas, Michael Kopech, in the supplemental first round.
By all accounts, they are outstanding young players, and perhaps in three or four years they’ll be significant players or prospects for the Red Sox. But it raised a question, how many of these top picks actually work out?
From 2004 to 2013, the Red Sox selected 25 players in the first round or supplemental first round of the draft. At the moment, only five of those players are in the majors and two have been All-Stars.
That may not sound like a lot, but the Red Sox are generally considered one of baseball’s best teams at drafting and developing players. It shows how capricious the draft process is in baseball.
Here’s a look at the list and where they are now:
FIRST ROUND PICKS
2013: LHP Trey Ball. Playing for Single A Greenville
2012: SS Deven Marrero. Playing for Double A Portland.
2012: LHP Brian Johnson. Playing for Double A Portland
2011: RHP Matt Barnes. Playing for Triple A Pawtucket
2010: INF Kolbrin Vitek. Retired from baseball
2009: CF Rey Fuentes. Traded to Padres in Adrian Gonzalez deal. Playing for Triple A San Antonio.
2008: RHP-SS Casey Kelly. Traded to Padres in Adrian Gonzalez deal. Playing for Triple A San Antonio
2006: OF Jason Place. Retired from baseball.
2006: RHP Daniel Bard. Released by Red Sox. Playing for Single A Hickory in Texas organization.
2005: OF Jacoby Ellsbury. Left Red Sox as a free agent. Playing for the Yankees. One-time All-Star.
2005: RHP Craig Hansen. Traded to Pittsburgh in the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay deal. Retired from baseball.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRST ROUND PICKS
2012: RHP Pat Light. Playing for Single A Salem.
2011: LHP Henry Owens. Playing for Double A Portland.
2011: OF Jackie Bradley Jr. Playing for Red Sox
2010: OF Bryce Brentz. Playing for Triple A Pawtucket
2010: RHP Anthony Ranaudo. Playing for Triple A Pawtucket
2008: RHP Bryan Price. Traded to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal. Playing for Double A Akron.
2007: LHP Nick Hagadone. Traded to Cleveland in Victor Martinez deal. Playing for Indians.
2007: INF Ryan Dent. Released by Red Sox. Re-signed and playing for Single A Salem.
2006: LHP Kris Johnson. Released by Red Sox. Playing for Triple A Rochester in Minnesota organization.
2006: RHP Caleb Clay. Released by Red Sox. Now playing in Korea.
2005: RHP Clay Buchholz. Playing for Red Sox. Two-time All-Star.
2005: INF Jed Lowrie. Traded to Astros in Mark Melancon deal. Now playing for Athletics.
2005: RHP Michael Bowden. Traded to Cubs for Marlon Byrd. Playing in Japan.
The Red Sox could yet realize some value from this list. The future certainly looks bright for Owens, and Marrero looks like a promising player. As for the rest, opinions vary.
The point is to demonstrate that the draft, while crucial to a team’s success, has such a low rate of success even for the top picks.
Good luck to Chavis and Kopech. They’ll need it.
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