Three days and 20 picks later the Boston Red Sox finished up their 2021 draft feeling pretty confident. Having their highest draft position since 1967, the team had a big opportunity to pick up quality talent to bolster their farm system. With the fourth pick, the team may have gotten the best player in the draft and may have gotten the draft’s best power hitter in the eleventh round. That said, it is always unpredictable which prospects will pan out, though it does seem like a few guys are safe bets. While there isn’t a huge profile on every guy Boston took, we take a look at the Red Sox draft highlights.
Steals in the First Two Rounds
Many had high-school shortstop Marcelo Mayer going off the board by the second pick, but somehow the Red Sox got potentially the best player in the draft. This is the fourth year in the row Boston has picked an infielder in the first round. Realistically, Mayer has the highest ceiling and has the best chance of rising to the MLB. Most see him as a five-tool player hitting from the left side. At 18 years old, the Red Sox can take their time with Mayer, especially since Xander Bogaerts shouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
MLB.com had University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian as the 23rd ranked prospect in the draft and Boston was able to get him with the 40th pick. Fabian came into the season as a potential early first round pick but a high strikeout rate caused his stock to fall. On the plus side, he hit 20 home runs this season and grades out to be a good fielder. At 20 years old, Fabian also has a high-ceiling that was too good to pass up.
Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz and the pitching class
With their fourth-round pick, Boston selected their first pitcher in Rodriguez-Cruz. The lefty is only 17 years old and is currently committed to the University of Oregon, so it will be interesting to see if he signs. In all, Boston selected eight pitchers this year, with most coming in the later rounds.
They used their seventh and eighth rounds picks on college pitchers Wyatt Olds and Hunter Dobbins. Both come with question marks. Olds finished the season with an ERA over 5.00 and Dobbins missed the season due to injury. Both guys project to throw mid-to-high 90’s and will project be relievers in the long-term.
Niko Kavadas and Other Day Three Picks
Choosing Kavadas in the eleventh round was another great pick by Boston. The Notre Dame first baseman might have the most raw-power out of the entire draft. In 2019 he led the Cape Code Baseball League with nine home runs. This year, he hit 22 home runs which was third in the entire NCAA. Believe it or not, he has even drawn comparisons to David Ortiz. Baseball America listed him as Boston’s most underrated pick of the draft. The biggest knocks against him are that he’s 23 and a poor fielder. Regardless, if Kavadas can keep hitting at a high level, he will move through the system quickly.
Another late-round guy that stands out is Phillip Sikes from TCU. Sikes his .329 this year and projects to be a contact-hitter and provide speed around the bases. Boston also picked four pitchers up on Day Three. The one pitcher that stands out the most is Jacob Webb from Miami University (OH). The righty reliever stands 6’5” and struck out 59 guys in 39 innings, finishing the year with a 2.09 ERA.