BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters for the Red Sox, provide an example each day of the value a team can get from picking right in the Draft. Boston will try to find the next wave of homegrown stars this week.The 2018 Draft
BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters for the Red Sox, provide an example each day of the value a team can get from picking right in the Draft. Boston will try to find the next wave of homegrown stars this week.
The 2018 Draft will take place through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET today. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Red Sox, whose first selection is the 26th overall pick.
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
In about 50 words
The Red Sox have developed a plethora of impact position players in recent years, but the opposite has been true with starting pitchers. There is some urgency within the organization to find some impact arms who can become key rotation members down the road. Jay Groome, who was selected 12th overall two years ago, could certainly become one, but he is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Last year, while picking 24th, the Red Sox grabbed a strong righty starter in Tanner Houck. The club could find another big arm picking two spots lower. A college pitcher could certainly help the Red Sox sooner than a high school arm. This is Mike Rikard's fourth season leading the Draft board for the Red Sox, and he came up with Benintendi with the seventh overall pick in his first year.
MLB Pipeline gurus Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis both have the Red Sox taking a corner infielder with their first pick. Mayo thinks the Red Sox will take Clemson first baseman Seth Beer, who can also play the outfield and is known for his power. Callis is projecting the Sox will snag Magnolia high school (Texas) third baseman Jordan Groshans, one of the best young bats in the country.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
This year, the Red Sox have a pool of $ $5,723,300 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $2,552,800 to spend on their first selection.
After trading major prospects to land Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox are looking to shore up the farm system with bats and arms. Under Rikard, the club has seldom drafted based on positional need and will simply try to stock the system with as many impact players as it can find. This Draft is a crucial one for Boston in trying to re-establish its farm system.
While the Sox definitely favored college players during Theo Epstein's time as general manager, the club has taken a much more balanced approach in recent years. Two years ago, they got perhaps the most talented arm in the Draft in the first round with Groome. Last year, they went back to college with Houck. Given the need for more pitching in the immediate future, the Red Sox could lean to the college ranks for arms, but take a longer-term approach on bats.
Talk about rising fast. Benintendi was drafted just three years ago and is in his second season as a full-time outfielder and top-of-the-order hitter for the Red Sox. The reason Boston was able to grab Benintendi, however, was due to a last-place finish in 2014. The club would prefer to keep finishing in first place and try to find a solid Draft pick toward the end of the first round.
J.D. Martinez was a 20th-round pick of the Astros in 2009, and is now one of the best hitters and sluggers in the game. The late-round selection of Martinez is a reminder to the Red Sox and every other team to stay equally focused on Days 2 and 3 of the Draft.
In the show
Betts, Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart, Matt Barnes, Christopher Johnson and Austin Maddox are all current Red Sox players the team acquired through the Draft. The Sox will try to keep that momentum going by getting several more future Major Leaguers this year.
The Red Sox's recent top picks
2017: Tanner Houck, RHP, (Class A Advanced Salem)
2016: Jay Groome, LHP (Recovering from Tommy John surgery, won't pitch in 2018)
2015: Andrew Benintendi, LF, (Red Sox)
2014: Michael Chavis, 3B (Double-A Portland)
2013: Trey Ball, LHP (Double-A Portland)
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.