Was Nomar Garciaparra the most fruitful Draft pick ever?
In 1994, the Red Sox selected Nomar Garciaparra with the No. 12 pick in the Draft. By 2016, they'd managed to turn him into
The Sox drafted Nomar in 1994, and he made his debut in 1996. While with Boston, he made the All-Star team five times and became nearly synonymous with the franchise (at least for Jimmy Fallon). Then came …
On July 31, the Red Sox traded Nomar away in a four-team deal. From the Boston Globe:
You may remember 2004 as the year Boston finally broke an 86-year-old curse and won the World Series. They got there thanks in no small part to Cabrera:
In January, Cabrera signed with the Angels. Under the old rules governing free agency, the Red Sox got two compensation Draft picks. With pick No. 23, they drafted
Ellsbury picked up a second ring with Boston in 2013, then signed with the Yankees that winter.
After losing Ellsbury to New York, the Sox got the No. 33 pick in the 2014 Draft as compensation. The team picked up RHP
During the Winter Meetings, the Red Sox announced a blockbuster trade --
If the Sox had never drafted Nomar, they never could have traded for Cabrera. That doesn't necessarily mean that they don't win the World Series in 2004, but it does mean they don't get the Draft pick that brings Ellsbury to Boston. Ellsbury was a big part of both the 2007 and 2013 championship teams, and the key that eventually brought Sale the strikeout machine to Fenway.
In the bleakest possible scenario, without Nomar, the Sox are out three World Series titles and seven seasons of Ellsbury, and certainly aren't in the Sale sweepstakes in 2016. But Nomar was drafted, and that single pick is still bringing returns to Boston. Does that make it the most fruitful draft pick ever?