Red Sox fail to sign second-round-pick Jud Fabian as outfielder returns to Florida for senior season

Sunday’s 5 p.m. eastern time deadline for clubs to sign their 2021 draft selections has passed, and it can now officially be said that the Red Sox failed to sign second-round pick Jud Fabian.

Fabian, an outfielder out of the University of Florida, announced via Twitter Saturday that he would be returning to campus for his senior season with the Gators next spring.

The Sox selected the 20-year-old in the second-round of last month’s amateur draft with the 40th overall pick, knowing it would likely take more than $1,856,700 (the recommend slot value for that particular selection) to sign him.

Last week, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted that Fabian would not be signing with Boston on account of the fact that the Sox were not willing to offer the Ocala, Fla. native a signing bonus of $3 million.

Earlier Sunday, MLB.com’s Jim Callis wrote that “the Orioles reportedly would have given [Fabian] $3 million had he gotten to them at pick No. 41, but the Red Sox took him at No. 40.”

Due to their remaining pool space after already signing a number of their draft picks, the most Boston could offer Fabian without surrendering their 2022 first-round pick was approximately $2,100,680, per Callis.

This is the case because, in this scenario, the Red Sox would be exceeding their total bonus pool space by more than 5%, resulting in next year’s first-rounder being taken away from them as punishment.

Fabian, who turns 21 in September, was viewed by many as a potential first-round pick coming into the 2021 season, but saw his stock decline after an up-and-down spring in Gainesville.

Over 59 games (269 plate appearances) with the Gators earlier this year, the 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter and left-handed thrower slashed .249/.364/.560 with 10 doubles, 20 home runs, 46 RBI, 51 runs scored, six stolen bases, 40 walks, and 79 strikeouts while primarily playing center field.

Because he enrolled at Florida early and skipped his senior year of high school, Fabian will still be among the younger college prospects headlining next summer’s draft.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, will receive the 41st overall pick in the 2022 draft as compensation for not signing Fabian. That will come in addition to their own second-round selection.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Fabian is believed to be the highest Sox selection not to sign since first rounder Greg McMurtry, who the club selected at No. 14 overall out of Brockton High School back in 1986.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom had the following to say regarding Fabian returning to Florida, as transcribed by MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

(Picture of Jud Fabian: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign fifth-round pick Nathan Hickey for $1 million, per report

The Red Sox have signed fifth-round draft pick Nathan Hickey, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Per Callis, Hickey — a catcher — has signed with the Sox for $1 million, which is well above the recommended slot value of $410,100 for the 136th overall selection in this year’s draft and is tied for the highest bonus total given to any prospect taken in rounds 4-10.

Hickey, 21, was the first and only catcher taken by Boston in the 2021 amateur draft and was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 131 prospect in this year’s class, ranking 10th among eligible backstops.

A sophomore out of the University of Florida, Hickey — a native of Jacksonville, Fla. — posted an impressive .317/.435/.522 slash line to go along with 15 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 50 RBI, 40 runs scored, one stolen base, 42 walks, and 40 strikeouts over 60 games (278 plate appearances) with the Gators this spring.

While he is listed as a catcher, the 6-foot, 210-pound left-handed hitter also played four games at first base and five games at third base this season, leading to him drawing comparisons to newly-acquired Red Sox outfielder Kyle Schwarber.

According to his pre-draft scouting report from MLB Pipeline, “Hickey has raised his offensive profile to the point where he’s now being considered to be one of the best bats in Florida. He has a solid approach at the plate, drawing a ton of walks. He’s been tapping into his power and while some scouts see a bit of a max effort swing, he’s cut his strikeout rate down considerably this year. Hickey lost 20-25 pounds when he first got to Florida and has kept the weight off, making him more athletic in the box.

“The bat is going to have to play because few scouts believe he’ll be able to catch long-term. He has more than enough arm for the position, but lacks the agility or the hands to deal with high-octane pitching. The best possible defensive outcome might be for him to move to left field and let the bat carry him to the big leagues in a Kyle Schwarber type of trajectory.”

In signing Hickey to an over-slot deal, the Red Sox have now locked up 14 of their 20 draft picks that were made earlier this month. They have also signed Clemson University outfielder Kier Meredith and Western Oklahoma State College right-hander Jhonny Felix as undrafted free agents.

With less than 48 hours to go until the draft signing deadline (5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday), the most prevalent Boston draft pick who remains unsigned is Hickey’s college teammate in Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, whom the club took in the second round at No. 40 overall.

As noted by SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, “the maximum the Red Sox could offer Jud Fabian without exceeding the bonus pool by more than 5% is [approximately] $2.1 million,” though that number would decrease if “if they sign any of their remaining draftees for over $125,000.”

Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted that Fabian would not be signing with Boston since the Sox were not willing to offer the 20-year-old sophomore a signing bonus of $3 million.

Of course, that could just be a negotiation tactic on the part of Fabian’s camp, and the Red Sox could counter by daring Fabian to turn down what is essentially late first-round money and return to school for his junior season.

If Fabian, who turns 21 in September, were to not sign by Sunday’s deadline, the Sox would be compensated by receiving the 41st overall pick in next year’s draft in addition to their own second-round selection.

That being said (and as was discussed on the most recent episode of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast), it would be a rough look for Chaim Bloom, Paul Toboni, and Co. if the Sox were unable to sign Fabian after making him their first pick of Day 2 of this year’s draft.

(Picture of Nathan Hickey: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Previewing the trade deadline with MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox beat writer Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

Chris, who becomes the first recurring guest in Podding the Red Sox history, previews what the Red Sox could do before Friday afternoon’s trade deadline.

We also discussed the possibility of the Red Sox trading for Max Scherzer, Anthony Rizzo, and Craig Kimbrel, how Chaim Bloom weighs the club’s long-term goals with its short-term ones when it comes to making trades, what the trade deadline could mean for the likes of Bobby Dalbec and Michael Chavis — among others, what would happen if the Red Sox failed to sign second-round pick Jud Fabian, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Chris for taking some time out of his busy late July schedule to have a conversation with me. You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here, and you can check out his work for MassLive by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Devlin Granberg lighting it up at the plate since promotion to Double-A Portland

Chris Sale understandably stole the headlines in Portland on Sunday afternoon, but it was Devlin Granberg who ultimately played the hero for the Sea Dogs in their 6-5 walk-off victory over the Harrisburg Senators at Hadlock Field.

As part of a 3-for-5 day at the plate, Granberg reached base on a fielding error in the third inning and ultimately came into score on a two-run home run off the bat of Tyreque Reed, laced an RBI single in the fifth that at the time gave the Sea Dogs a 5-3 lead, and came through with the hit of the game in the bottom of the 10th.

There, with no outs and the automatic runner at second base to begin each extra inning in a 5-5 contest, Granberg wasted no time in sending that runner home.

Matched up against Senators reliever Jhon Romero, the right-handed hitter ripped the game-winning single to right-center field that drove in Pedro Castellanos and sealed a 6-5 win for the Sea Dogs to mark their third straight walk-off victory.

In racking up three more hits on Sunday, Granberg bumped his batting line on the season with Portland up to an impressive .345/.363/.564.

Granberg, 25, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2018 amateur draft as a senior out of Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas.

The 6-foot-2, 225 pound first baseman/outfielder opened the 2021 minor-league season with High-A Greenville and tore the cover off the ball, slashing .326/.416/.642 (178 wRC+) to go along with seven doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 21 runs scored, 29 RBI, one stolen base, 12 walks, and 16 strikeouts over 27 games (113 plate appearances) for the Drive before earning a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 16.

Sunday marked Granberg’s 28th game with the Sea Dogs, and the level of production the soon-to-be 26-year-old put up while in Greenville has hardly dropped off at all since he moved up the minor-league ladder.

As previously mentioned, the Hudson, Colo. native is now hitting .345/.363/.564 with seven doubles, one triple, five homers, 21 runs scored, 22 RBI, three stolen bases, three walks, and 22 strikeouts as a member of the Sea Dogs. In the month of July alone, he has posted a slash line of .370/.395/.616 and has hit four of his five home runs within the last 25 days.

To put it simply, Granberg is enjoying a breakout season of sorts in his second full year of pro ball. He may not be regarded as one of the top 30 or so prospects in Boston’s farm system, but he has caught the attention of some within the industry, such as FanGraphs‘ David Laurila.

In a conversation with Laurila earlier this month, Granberg delved into several aspects of his approach at the plate, including his unique swing that SoxProspects.com describes as short and compact as well as very direct to the ball.

“I’ve got one of the more interesting swings out there,” Granberg said. “It’s not very conventional. I would say it’s pretty rotational, yet not totally rotational. It’s kind of like those combo swings — not too crouched, maybe a little bit open, and then I stride into it. I’m trying to hit the ball middle/opposite field most of the time.”

Granberg, who turns 26 in early September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter if he is not added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster by the November 20 deadline.

(Picture of Devlin Granberg: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox sign first-round pick Marcelo Mayer

The Red Sox have signed first-round draft pick Marcelo Mayer, the team announced Thursday evening.

Per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Mayer — a shortstop — has signed with the Sox for $6.664 million. He is currently at Fenway Park with his family for Thursday night’s game against the Yankees.

Mayer, 18, was selected by Boston out Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, Calif.) with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 MLB first-year player draft earlier this month.

The recommended slot value for the fourth overall selection in this year’s draft was $6.664 million, meaning the Red Sox are signing Mayer to an at-slot deal.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, the left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing infielder had been committed to play college baseball at the University of Southern California, but will instead unsurprisingly go pro out of high school.

Going into this summer’s draft, Mayer was regarded by many as the top prep prospect, if not the top overall prospect in a class that included the likes of Louisville catcher Henry Davis and Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter.

With that sort of reputation, it seemed as though Mayer could land with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had the top overall pick but instead took Davis. The Texas Rangers followed by selecting Leiter, and the Detroit Tigers took high school right-hander Jackson Jobe, allowing the Red Sox to draft Mayer at No. 4.

In his senior season with the Eastlake Titans this spring, the Southern California native slashed .392/.555/.886 along with six doubles, 14 home runs, 45 RBI, 46 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases over 34 games and 137 plate appearances, per MaxPreps.

By selecting Mayer with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, the Red Sox made — and have now signed — their earliest selection in a draft since 1967, when they used the third overall pick on right-hander Mike Garman.

Mayer, who does not turn 19 until December, will already be one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system as soon as he reports to the club’s spring training complex in Fort Myers within the coming days.

Earlier Thursday, in his midseason top-50 prospects list, The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked Mayer as his No. 14 prospect in baseball, writing that “there was no runaway top prospect in this year’s draft class, but Mayer was the closest thing we had to a consensus No. 1, bringing the mix of floor and upside that tends to separate the best high school prospects from the rest.

“Mayer, who went fourth overall to the Red Sox, is a true shortstop who should develop into a plus defender there,” Law added, “and has the potential to hit for both average and power once he fills out.”

With Mayer signed and set for pro ball, the Red Sox have now signed five of their 20 draft picks, according to SoxProspects.com. Mayer joins the likes of Tyler McDonough, Daniel McElveny, Matt Litwicki, and Jacob Webb.

The deadline for clubs to sign their draft picks — as well as undrafted free agents — is August 1 at approximately 5 p.m. eastern time.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign sixth-round pick Daniel McElveny for $200,000, per report

The Red Sox have signed sixth-round draft pick Daniel McElveny, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Per Cotillo, McElveny — who is listed as a utility player — has signed with the Sox for approximately $200,000. He is currently on his way to the club’s spring training complex in Fort Myers.

McElveny, 18, was selected by Boston out of Bonita Vista High School (Calif.) with the 166th overall pick in the 2021 MLB first-year player draft last week.

The recommended slot value for the 166th overall selection in this year’s draft was $306,800, which means the Sox will save approximately $106,800 in signing McElveny to an under-slot deal.

Listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, the right-handed hitter and thrower was committed to play college baseball at San Diego State University, but instead opted to go pro out of high school.

In his senior season with Bonita Vista, which is just down the road from where Red Sox first-round pick Marcelo Mayer played his high school ball, McElveny posted a .435/.580/.764 slash line to go along with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, 22 RBI, 37 runs scored, 23 stolen bases, 20 walks, and 15 strikeouts over 29 game played (119 plate appearances) this past spring.

As noted by MLB.com’s Ian Browne, the Southern California native was the only one of 612 prospects taken in this summer’s draft who was designated by their respective team as a utility player.

That being the case because the Red Sox worked out McElveny, who primarily played shortstop in high school, at a plethora of different positions at Fenway Park in the weeks leading up to the draft, as the club’s director of amateur scouting Paul Toboni explained to reporters (including Browne) last Tuesday.

“We worked him out at Fenway and he hopped in at right field, he hopped in at second base, third base, shortstop, he was catching,” Toboni said of McElveny. “I don’t know how that’s going to play out in the long term, but for now, he’s going to have a lot of ways to keep his bat in the lineup and hopefully string together some really quality at-bats.”

While McElveny was not regarded as one of the top draft-eligible prospects by industry publications such as Baseball America, he was listed by Perfect Game USA as the No. 52 prep prospect in the state of California going in to the draft.

That being said, the Red Sox got one of their first looks at McElveny during a Perfect Game showcase event last summer, and they got additional eyes — including those of area scout J.J. Altobelli — on him when he and Mayer’s schools played one another on a couple of occasions this spring.

“Daniel McElveny is a cool story. I think he probably first got on our radar in June of last year at an event called PG National,” Toboni said. “We liked his feel to hit. He was kind of a grinder that we thought played the game the right way. We just followed him along the way.

“He played in a couple more events,” added Toboni. “We saw him in the spring, scouting him and only him, and we also saw him match up with Marcelo, which allowed us to see him a little bit more. We were just drawn to the competitor, the feel to hit, the feel for the stone, and the versatility he had on defense.”

Per his Perfect Game scouting report, which was written sometime in 2020, McElveny “hits from a straight stance with good balance and direction through contact” and “has loose fast hands through the ball and plenty of extension for future power,” which is something the Red Sox were clearly drawn to.

“We just saw him play so much. He’s got a really simple swing. He has really good barrel feel,” said Toboni. “Everything in both batting practice and games seems to find the barrel.”

The Red Sox managed to ink McElveny, who does not turn 19 until next April, to an under-slot deal with a little less than two weeks to go until the August 1 signing deadline.

Thus far, Boston has signed four of its 20 draft picks (Tyler McDonough, Matt Litwicki, Jacob Webb, and McElveny) to contracts, while they also signed Clemson University outfielder Kier Meredith as an undrafted free agent, according to SoxProspects.com.

In total, the Sox have approximately $11,359,600 to work with in regards to signing as many draft picks as they please, though they could bump that amount up by 5% (to $11,927,580) if they were willing to incur some tax-related penalties.

On that note, Toboni did say last week that he would expect 13-15 of the Red Sox’ draft selections to sign with the club, so there should be more announcements being made in the coming days.

(Picture of Daniel McElveny: Daniel McElveny’s Instagram)

Red Sox sign Clemson University outfielder Kier Meredith

The Red Sox have signed Clemson University outfielder Kier Meredith as an undrafted free agent, Clemson Baseball announced on Thursday.

Meredith, 21, is a redshirt sophomore who spent four years at Clemson after not signing with the Chicago Cubs despite being selected by them in the 28th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Robert B. Glenn High School (N.C.).

This past spring with the Tigers, the North Carolina native slashed .283/.387/.422 with eight doubles, four triples, three home runs, 25 RBI, 33 runs scored, six stolen bases, 12 walks, and 28 strikeouts over 47 games spanning 218 trips to the plate.

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, Meredith — a left-handed hitter — has experience in both left and center field, though he missed a majority of the 2018 and 2019 campaigns due to a plethora of injuries.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Meredith “has the speed and defensive profile you look for, but future potential will be determined by how much he hits. Has a knack for getting on base and solid feel at the plate. Strong makeup and work ethic. Strong leadership skills, leaves it all on the field night after night. Type of person every organization strives to have.”

While 15 total stolen bases over 86 career games with Clemson may not seem like much, Meredith is certainly well-known for his speed, as he explained to The Clemson Insider on Thursday.

“First of all speed has always been my best tool so in order for me to have success at the next level I need to utilize that as much as I can,” said Meredith. “I need to continue to develop as a better defender and continue to develop as a better hitter. If I do those three things it will help me have as much success as I’m going to have.”

A three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member, Meredith graduated from Clemson with a degree in psychology this past May. He will report to the Red Sox’ spring training complex in Fort Myers next week.

At the moment, Meredith is the only confirmed undrafted free-agent the Red Sox have signed thus far, according to Baseball America. Undrafted free-agents can sign with clubs for up to $20,000.

Last year, Boston was one of the more active teams in the UDFA market at the conclusion of the shortened 2020 draft, as they signed a grand total of 16 prospects.

When speaking with reporters earlier this week, Red Sox director of amateur scouting Paul Toboni hinted that the club would once again be right in the thick of things when it came to potentially scooping up those prospects who were passed on during the draft.

“We are going to try to be active to the extent that we can and to the extent that we can accommodate whatever number of players there are,” Toboni said on Tuesday. “We think it’s a really good opportunity to find undervalued players on a market where maybe the value — for whatever reason — might be suppressed a little bit.”

(Picture of Kier Meredith: Dawson Powers/TigerIllustrated.com)

Red Sox’ 11th-round pick Niko Kavadas identified by Baseball America as underrated draft selection

Of the 15 college players the Red Sox selected in the 2021 MLB first-year player draft this week, 10 attended schools that are in Power Five conferences (the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC).

While the likes of University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian stick out in regards to big names Boston took from the college ranks in this year’s draft, their 11th-round selection has garnered some attention as well.

To kick off the third and final day of the draft on Tuesday, Boston took University of Notre Dame first baseman Niko Kavadas with the 316th overall pick.

Kavadas, 22, was regarded by Baseball America as the 158th-ranked draft-eligible prospect coming into the week, and one BA writer in particular views the Fighting Irish slugger as perhaps the most underrated member of Boston’s 20-man draft class.

“Calling Kavadas underrated seems odd considering he was one of the best and most successful players in college this year,” Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote on Wednesday. “But he was an 11th-round pick, so he fits the bill. Kavadas has massive power and he draws walks. That’s pretty much the extent of his plus tools, but it’s a very important skill and one that can carry a player all the way to the big-leagues.”

In his senior season for Notre Dame this spring, Kavadas — an Indiana native — produced a slash line of .302/.473/.767 with eight doubles, 22 home runs, 64 RBI, 42 runs scored, two stolen bases, 50 walks, and 55 strikeouts over 47 games (220 plate appearances).

While Kavadas is known for what he can do at the plate, there is some concern regarding the left-handed hitter’s defensive range as well as his speed on the base paths.

Per his Baseball America scouting report from earlier this year, Kavadas “is a well below-average runner with limited range who will be limited to first base or DH at the next level. He has the raw power to profile there and he can send the ball out of the park in any direction, and he did a nice job getting into hitter’s counts and then hammering fastballs this spring.

“He did struggle more against breaking and offspeed stuff and was also less successful than scouts would have liked to see against 93-plus mph velocity, which are valid concerns for his pure hit tool at the next level.”

On top of that, Kavadas turns 23 in October, so he is a bit older than the prototypical college prospect. That being said — or as BA noted, “there’s real power for a team that thinks he’ll be able to regularly get to it at the next level with a wood bat.”

Red Sox amateur scouting director Paul Toboni seems to buy into this philosophy as well, as he told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) on Tuesday that Kavadas’ power tool is at “the top of the scale” already.

“If he were in the major-leagues right now, my guess is that the power would line up with the best of them,” Toboni said. “He’s an interesting player and a great kid.”

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, it’s safe to say Kavadas is an intimidating presence when he steps in the batter’s box.

By taking Kavadas in the 11th round of this year’s draft, the Red Sox can sign the slugging corner infielder for up to $125,000 without tapping into their bonus pool total.

If they do exceed the $125,000 limit in order to sign Kavadas (which seems to be a legitimate possibility based off speculation within the industry), or any other Day 3 pick, that would require them to dip into their bonus pool.

As things currently stand, Boston has $11,359,600 in total bonus pool space to work with, though that cap could increase to approximately $11,927,580 if the club was willing to incur some tax-related penalties by surpassing the limit by up to 5%.

The Red Sox, like all major-league teams, will have until 5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, August 1 to sign as many of their draft picks as possible, though Toboni did say he only expects 13-15 of the club’s draftees to actually sign.

(Picture of Niko Kavadas: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune via AP)

Red Sox Draft: Who did Boston take from Rounds 11-20 on Day 3?

The third and final day of the 2021 MLB first-year player draft has come to a close following the conclusion of Round 20.

With 10 more selections to make on Tuesday, the Red Sox wound up taking three college position players, three college pitchers, one junior college position player, one junior college pitcher, and two high school position players.

Here is a rundown of each of the 10 prospects Boston selected, starting with their 11th-round pick.

Niko Kavadas, 1B, Notre Dame

The Red Sox selected University of Notre Dame first baseman Kavadas with their 11th-round pick at No. 316 overall.

Kavadas, 22, was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 158 prospect coming into the draft. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, the left-handed hitting and right-handed throwing senior has experience at both corner infield positions.

Over 47 games (220 plate appearances) with the Irish this past spring, Kavadas hit .302/.473/.767 with eight doubles, 22 home runs, 64 RBI, 42 runs scored, two stolen bases, 50 walks, and 55 strikeouts.

To summarize the Indiana native’s Baseball America scouting report, Kavadas has limited defensive range and is a below-average runner, but his power potential certainly appealing despite his age (turns 23 in October) and peripherals.

The recommended slot value for the 316th overall pick, as well as the remainder of the picks, in this year’s draft is approximately $125,000.

Christopher Troye, RHP, UC Santa Barbara

The Red Sox selected University of California, Santa Barbara right-hander Christopher Troye with their 12th-round pick at No. 346 overall.

Troye, 22, was not ranked by Baseball America — or any other major publication for that matter — heading into the draft.

At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Troye, a senior, split time between the starting rotation and bullpen in his four seasons with UCSB.

Most recently, the California native posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in addition to a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 29:25 over 15 appearances (four starts) spanning 18 innings of work for the Gauchos this spring. He also spent part of his summer on Cape Cod with the Cotuit Kettleers.

Zach Ehrhard, SS, Wharton (FL) HS

The Red Sox selected Wharton High School (Tampa, Fla.) shortstop Zach Ehrhard with their 13th-round pick at No. 376 overall.

The first prep prospect taken by Boston on Day 3, Ehrhard is an 18-year-old high school shortstop who is currently committed to play college baseball at Oklahoma State University.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, the right-handed hitting Florida native slashed .438/.562/.700 with 12 doubles, three home runs, 21 RBI, 29 runs scored, 26 stolen bases, 23 walks, and 10 strikeouts over 26 games (106 plate appearances) during his senior season at Wharton, per his MaxPreps page.

According to Perfect Game, Ehrhard was the No. 500 prep prospect coming into this year’s draft, ranking 177th among all high school shortstops and 29th among high school shortstops in his home state of Florida.

Jacob Webb, RHP, Miami (OH) University

The Red Sox selected Miami (Ohio) University right-hander Jacob Webb with their 14th-round pick at No. 406 overall.

Webb, 22, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 246 pounds, and is the fourth of six seniors Boston took in this year’s draft.

The Ohio native began his collegiate career at Sinclair Community College in Dayton before transferring to Miami for his junior season in 2020.

This past spring, Webb posted a 2.08 ERA and 1.00 WHIP to go along with 59 strikeouts and 14 walks over 18 relief appearances spanning 39 innings of work for the RedHawks. He also spent part of his summer pitching for the Willmar Stingers of the Northwoods League.

Payton Green, SS, Green Hope (NC) HS

The Red Sox selected Green Hope High School (N.C.) shortstop Payton Green with their 15th-round pick at No. 436 overall.

Green, 18, was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 113 prospect heading into the draft. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, the right-handed hitting infielder is committed to play college baseball at North Carolina State.

According to Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo, Green “seems very unlikely to sign” with the Red Sox on account of where he was taken in the draft as well as his strong commitment to play college ball for the Wolfpack.

Per his BA scouting report, “Green has solid actions and should be able to play either second or third base if he outgrows the position. The teams that like Green are buying into his improved swing this spring and believe he has the skill to turn into a solid-average or better hitter, while those that are more skeptical saw a lot of swing and miss last summer on the showcase circuit, with a bat path that was too steep at times.”

B.J. Vela, 2B, Reedley JC (CA)

The Red Sox selected Reedley College (Reedley, Calif.) second baseman B.J. Vela with their 16th-round pick at No. 466 overall.

Vela, 21, is listed at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, and he played his high school baseball at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico.

Per Reedley College’s website, the right-handed hitting freshman posted a .481/.560/.821 slash line to go along with 11 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 35 RBI, 47 runs scored, nine stolen bases, 15 walks, and four strikeouts over 27 games played for the Tigers this spring.

While there is not too much information available pertaining to Vela’s peripherals or anything of the sort, he did attend the same junior college as Buffalo Bills star quarterback Josh Allen, so there’s that.

Luis Guerrero, RHP, Chipola College (FL)

The Red Sox selected Chipola College (Marianna, Fla.) right-hander Luis Guerrero with their 17th-round pick at No. 496 overall.

Guerrero, who turns 21 next month, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, and he played his high school baseball at Juan Pablo Duarte Bani School in the Dominican Republic.

This past spring with the Indians, Guerrero produced a 3.72 ERA while striking out 96 over 14 appearances — five of which were starts — over 58 innings of work, per his school’s website.

In addition to his college work, the young righty also pitched in the MLB Draft League this year, where he posted an 8.59 ERA to go along with 21 strikeouts to 17 walks over five outings (four starts) and 14 2/3 innings with the Frederick Keys.

On top of that, Guerrero spent part of last summer with the Brockton Rox of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

Per a Prep Baseball Report spotlight from May, Guerrero’s pitch arsenal consists of a 93-96 mph fastball, a 78-81 mph curveball, a mid-80s slider, and a low-80s splitter that sits between 82-84 mph.

Phillip Sikes, OF, TCU

The Red Sox selected Texas Christian University outfielder Phillip Sikes with their 18th-round pick at No. 526 overall.

Sikes, 22, was regarded by baseball America as the No. 463 prospect coming into the draft.

A former 33rd round selection of the Diamondbacks out of Pima Community College in 2019, the 6-foot-2, 190 pound right-handed hitter — who began his collegiate career at the University of New Mexico — opted to transfer to TCU prior to the start of the 2020 season.

This spring with the Horned Frogs, Sikes, a native of Texas, slashed .329/.427/.620 with 19 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, 63 RBI, 56 runs scored, 12 stolen bases, 26 walks, and 45 strikeouts over 58 games and 255 plate appearances.

According to his Baseball America scouting report, the senior outfielder “has a solid, well-rounded tool set,” as he is “a plus runner who has demonstrated that he can catch up to a good fastball, although he can be enticed to chase a tantalizing slider.

“Sikes has a short, direct swing that is geared more for hitting for average than power, but he has enough strength to drive balls to the right field power alley as well. Sikes is a well-rounded outfielder who can play center field in a pinch and is average in the corners. His arm is fringe-average but accurate.”

Tyler Uberstine, RHP, Northwestern

The Red Sox selected Northwestern University right-hander Tyler Uberstine with their 19th-round pick at No. 556 overall.

Uberstine, who turned 22 last month, also participated in the MLB Draft League this summer after wrapping up his senior season in Evanston.

With the Wildcats this spring, the 6-foot-1, 200 pound righty pitched to the tune of a 5.90 ERA and 1.84 WHIP while striking out 38 and walking 20 over nine starts spanning 39 2/3 innings of work.

With the Williamsport Crosscutters of the Draft League, Uberstine yielded a total of four runs on 10 hits, nine strikeouts, and zero walks over four appearances and nine innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 4.00.

A native of California, Uberstine attended Chaminade College Preparatory School in Los Angeles, the same school that has produced major-league talent such as Kevin Pillar and Dan Runzler, both of whom spent time in the Red Sox organization in some capacity over the course of their respective careers.

Josh Hood, SS, Pennsylvania

The Red Sox selected University of Pennsylvania shortstop Josh Hood with their 20th-round (and final) pick at No. 586 overall.

Hood, who turns 21 next week, came into the draft regarded by Baseball America as its 453rd-ranked prospect.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, the right-handed hitting infielder did not play collegiately this spring on account of there being no Ivy League season. He did however play for both the Holly Springs Salamanders of the Coastal Plain League and Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

With Harwich specifically, Hood has slashed .194/.257/.258 over nine games (35 plate appearances) for the Mariners so far this summer.

Per Baseball America, the New Jersey native is transferring to North Carolina State next season and could take over as the Wolfpack’s starting shortstop, meaning he could improve his draft stock for 2022 if he opted to remain in school.

Between Days 1, 2, and 3 of the 2021 MLB first-year player draft, the Red Sox — whose drafting efforts are led by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and amateur scouting director Paul Toboni, among others — selected four high school position players, one high school pitcher, one junior college position player, one junior college pitcher, eight college position players, and five college pitchers.

It’s no guarantee that all 20 of these players will sign (Toboni said he expects 13-15 draftees to do so), but Boston will have approximately $11,359,600 in total bonus pool space, though they could surpass that limit by 5% ($11,927,580) if they are willing to incur some tax-related penalties, as noted by SoxProspects.com’s Mike Andrews.

That being said, the deadline to sign drafted players arrives at 5 p.m. eastern time on August 1, leaving clubs slightly less than three weeks to work out deals with their draftees.

Additionally, clubs can sign an unlimited number of undrafted free-agents for no more than $20,000, as was the case last year. The same August 1 deadline applies for that as well.

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign third-round pick Tyler McDonough for $831,100, per report

The Red Sox have signed third-round draft pick Tyler McDonough, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Per Cotillo, McDonough — a second baseman out of North Carolina State — will sign with the Sox for $831,100.

McDonough, 22, was selected by Boston with the 75th overall pick in the 2021 MLB first-year player draft on Monday afternoon.

The recommended slot value for the 75th overall selection in this year’s draft was $831,100, meaning the young infielder will sign for full slot value, as Cotillo noted.

Coming into the week as Baseball America’s 127th-ranked draft-eligible prospect, McDonough is listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds and proved to be a versatile weapon in his time with North Carolina State.

This past season alone, the switch-hitting junior slashed an impressive .339/.423/.631 to go along with 21 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs, 45 RBI, 58 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases across 55 games (267 plate appearances) for the Wolfpack while seeing playing time in both center field and at third base. He has prior experience at second base as well.

A product of the same high school that produced the likes of Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin in Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, McDonough — an Ohio native — did not waste any time in going pro, as he could have opted to return to campus in Raleigh for his senior season if he so chose.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, McDonough draws a comparison to former Red Sox utility man and fan favorite Brock Holt for the way he goes about his business on the field.

“A switch-hitter, McDonough was more of a hit-over-power guy in the past but has gotten stronger and is driving the ball more consistently this spring, especially against left-handers,” his scouting report reads. “He has taken a more aggressive approach but still controls the strike zone well and could develop into a .270 hitter with 15 homers per season. He has slowed a bit as he has added muscle but still has solid speed and good savvy on the bases. 

“McDonough’s quickness and instincts also translate into range in center field, where he’s a solid defender. He has an average arm and may profile best in a super-utility role where he’d shuttle between all three outfield spots as well as second and third base as needed. Scouts love his makeup and compare his game to those of grinders Adam Eaton and Brock Holt.” 

Since he is coming out of college, one would have to wonder if McDonough will be assigned to Low-A Salem out of the gate, though he certainly could start out for the Florida Complex League Red Sox in Fort Myers depending on what the club wants to do with him.

(Picture of Tyler McDonough: NC State Athletics)