With young core, Sox to rebuild depth via Draft

June 3rd, 2019

NEW YORK -- It isn’t hard to spot how successful the Draft has been for the Red Sox in recent years. In the middle of the batting order is American League Rookie of the Year Award candidate , who has provided a needed energy and production boost for the defending World Series champions.

The outfield is packed with homegrown talent in , and 2018 AL MVP Award winner . Right-hander , who is the team’s best reliever, came to the Red Sox through the Draft.

It is that time of year again, as Boston will look to stock the farm system with the latest wave of talent.

The 2019 Draft will take place Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 41 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, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon.

Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, mock drafts 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 43rd overall pick.

In about 50 words
The farm system is building its way back up, particularly at the lower levels, and the Sox will try to keep that momentum going with a productive Draft. With a strong core of young position players making big contributions in the Majors, the Red Sox will continue to hunt for pitchers to build their future around. Due to going over the luxury tax last season, the Sox moved 10 spots down and pick at No. 43 overall.

What they’re saying
“I’m very confident we’ll find some impactful players. I think, in general, the Draft does appear to have some depth. I wouldn’t categorize it as kind of abnormal depth, but I think ... we’ve done a good job of uncovering some more interesting players a little bit deeper down the line maybe. We’re excited. We’re in a good position to get in there Monday and have some success next week.” -- Vice president of amateur scouting Mike Rikard

Who might they take?
In the spot the Red Sox are picking in, they’ll be in good position to snag the top talent that somehow slipped through the first round. In particular, the Sox would love to get a premium arm. There are a couple of intriguing college lefties who could be there for the taking, including Matt Cronin (Arkansas) and John Doxakis (Texas A&M).

Matt Canterino (Rice), Isaiah Campbell (Arkansas) and Drey Jameson (Ball State) are three righties to keep an eye on.

Notable positions players who could still be there at 43 are second baseman Chase Strumpf (UCLA), first baseman Logan Wyatt (Louisville), third baseman Nick Quintana (Arizona), second baseman Cameron Cannon (Arizona) and outfielder Kyle Stowers (Stanford).

Money matters
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 total of $4,788,100 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $1,729,800 on their first selection.

Shopping list
The indefinite future of Dustin Pedroia leaves second base wide open as a position the Red Sox could use a long-term solution. One clear organizational weakness at the moment is catching depth, so look for the Sox to try to remedy that. And stocking the farm system with quality arms will always be a priority.

Trend watch
In the past five years, the Sox have taken three high school players and two college players with their first pick. Given how strong the Sox are in the lower Minors, this seems like a year they will look for a more advanced prospect with their first pick that can only be found in college.

The recent top picks
2018: Triston Casas, 1B, (Class A Greenville)
2017: Tanner Houck, RHP, (Double-A Portland)
2016: Jay Groome, LHP (Recovering from Tommy John surgery, return date not set)
2015: Benintendi, LF, (Red Sox)
2014: Chavis, 2B/1B/3B (Red Sox)