The Red Sox announced the signings of five additional draftees on Friday – the deadline to reach agreements with the draft class of 2019 – with perhaps the most intriguing name being a player whose next step will be not to one of the team’s affiliates but instead onto the gridiron.
The Red Sox announced the signings of 12th rounder Brendan Cellucci (a lefthanded pitcher), 13th rounder Shane Loubier (a high school righty who was signed for $500,000), shortstop Karson Simas (25th round), 31st rounder Feleipe Franks, and 32nd rounder Bradley Blalock (a righthanded pitcher).
Franks represents a fascinating wild card. The 6-foot-6, University of Florida starting quarterback hadn’t played baseball since high school. But the Red Sox took a flyer on him – much as they did another Gator quarterback, Jeff Driskel, in 2012 – on day three of the draft.
Franks signed for $40,000. His football future is somewhat up in the air. If he ends up playing his way into NFL draft consideration, then he may never join the Sox. But he’s expressed interest in coming to spring training and pursuing a career on the mound. After the draft, Franks stepped on a mound for the first time in five years and, according to a source, touched 94 m.p.h.
Loubier is considered the highest-ceiling member of the group, a long-term starting pitching prospect, a righty with a fastball, curve, and changeup that have the appearance of a starting pitcher’s arsenal, but with the need to develop strength and power on that pitch mix if he is to achieve that ceiling.
Cellucci was a lefthanded reliever with a big fastball at Tulane. He’ll report to Lowell. Simas is a middle infielder out of high school in California who shows athleticism, solid bat-to-ball skills, and has a chance to stay at shortstop. His father is a coach in the Dodgers organization. Blalock has a starter’s delivery and athleticism who represents a deep-projection pick with a chance to develop over the long haul.
Loubier, Simas, and Blalock will report to the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League.