With the 41st overall pick in the 2022 MLB first-year player draft, the Red Sox have selected Liberty High School (Bakersfield, Calif.) shortstop Cutter Coffey.
The Red Sox were rewarded with the 41st selection in this year’s amateur draft after failing to sign second-round pick Jud Fabian out of the University of Florida last summer.
Coffey, 18, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 65 prospect in this year’s draft class, 11 spots behind first-rounder Mikey Romero, who hails from California himself.
Unlike Romero, though, Coffey hits from the right side of the plate. In his senior season with the Patriots, Coffey batted a stout .442/.581/1.021 to go along with 13 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs, 32 RBIs, 42 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 28 walks, and 17 strikeouts over 31 games spanning 129 trips to the plate.
Per his Baseball America scouting report, Coffey “made significant improvements as a hitter this spring” and is an “excellent athlete.” He “has average raw power to his pull side and began making more contact this spring to tap into it, but whether he’ll make enough contact remains an open question. At times he flashes the bat speed, strength and ability to make adjustments to project to be an above-average hitter, while at others he takes long, jagged swings that lack timing and balance and invite questions about whether he will be even a below-average hitter.”
On the other side of the ball, it should be noted that Coffey was a two-way player who also pitched in high school, though it seems like he is fully focused on being a position player now. According to Baseball America, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder “has the natural actions for shortstop and a good internal clock. He has plenty of arm strength for the position and demonstrates an advanced feel for manipulating his arm stroke. His lateral range is a tick below-average, but he has a chance to stay at shortstop and projects to be an impact defender at either second or third base if he has to move.”
Coffey, who does not turn 19 until next May, is currently committed to play college baseball at the University of Texas. On that note, Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser reports that the infielder is “widely expected to sign for significantly above slot.” Glaser also relays that Romero is “expected to be an under-slot signing.”
The recommended slot value for the 41st overall pick in this year’s draft comes in at roughly $1,905,500 million. The Red Sox will make one more selection at No. 79 on Sunday before Day 1 of the draft comes to a close.
(Picture of Cutter Coffey: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)