In their first mock draft of the year, Baseball America has the Red Sox taking prep infielder Kevin McGonigle with their top pick at No. 14 overall.
McGonigle, 18, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the 21st-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class. The left-handed hitting shortstop is coming off a junior season with Monsignor Bonner High School (Drexel Hill, Pa.) in which he batted .457/.582/.975 with five doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, 47 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 21 walks, and two strikeouts in 27 games (110 plate appearances) for the Friars.
According to his Baseball America scouting report, McGonigle ” has a stellar offensive track record and dominated the travel ball circuit in both 2021 and 2022, on top of performing well against New Jersey high school competition and with Team USA’s 18U National Team. The consistency of his at-bats and production, no matter the competition, places him as one of the best pure hitters in the class.”
On the other side of the ball, 5-foot-11, 185-pounder is described as being “a high-IQ player who is more likely to be a steady defender than a flashy, impactful one. A shortstop now, McGonigle has turned in some above-average run times, but is more of a fringy or below-average runner out of the box. That lack of range could make him a better fit for second base, where he has solid hands, fluid defensive actions and requisite arm strength for the position.”
Because of his offensive and defensive profile, McGonigle has drawn comparisons to other talented, yet undersized infield prospects who went in the first round of their respective drafts, such as the Mariners’ Cole Young or the Yankees’ Anthony Volpe. McGonigle himself has said that he models his game after Phillies legend Chase Utley.
As for why Baseball America projects the Red Sox to take McGonigle in this summer’s draft, one scout writes that the Philadelphia-area native ” has one of the best hit tools in the high school class, which the Red Sox have seemingly prioritized in recent years at the top of the draft.”
Draft writer Carlos Collazo concurs with the scout’s point, noting that Boston has used its last three first-round picks on high school infielders with plus hit tools in Mikey Romero (2022), Marcelo Mayer (2021), and Nick Yorke (2020). The only difference between these three and McGonigle is that the latter does not call California home.
McGonigle, who does not turn 19 until August, signed his letter of intent to play college baseball at Auburn University last November. At that time, he told Dawn Timmery of Fox 29 Philadelphia: “I think going to Auburn is going to help me mature more and get better at the game. It would be a great opportunity to go to the MLB and play with a team. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
As of now, the slot value for the 14th overall pick in the 2023 amateur draft is not yet known. Last year, it was worth roughly $4.24 million. The Red Sox, of course, landed the 14th pick in this year’s draft in the first-ever MLB Draft lottery back in December.
The 2023 MLB Draft will take place in mid-July before All-Star Game festivities get underway in Seattle. In other words, it is still a little less than four months away, so plenty could change between now and then.
McGonigle, meanwhile, will get his senior season with Monsignor Bonner underway later this month.
(Picture of Kevin McGonigle: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)