Red Sox’ Alex Cora on Nick Yorke being named organization’s Offensive Player of the Year: ‘What he did is what he expects’

Alex Cora has long been impressed with what he has seen from Nick Yorke since Yorke, then 18, was the youngest player at major-league spring training earlier this year.

So, when Yorke, now 19, was named the organization’s minor-league Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday after completing just his first full professional season, that did not come as much of a surprise to the Red Sox manager.

“The way he hacks, the way he goes about his business, it’s very impressive,” Cora said before Wednesday’s game against the Mets at Fenway Park. “As you guys know, I have a daughter (Camila) who is around the same age, and just to think about the way he carried himself in the clubhouse, with adults — it was eye-opening. “

After being reassigned to minor-league camp in March, Yorke later opened the 2021 campaign with Low-A Salem. The 2020 first-round draft pick out of Archbishop Mitty High School (Calif.) got off to a slow start at the plate before turning a corner beginning in June.

From June 1 on, Yorke slashed a sizzling .373/.467/.608 (185 wRC+) with 12 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 38 RBI, 50 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 33 walks, and 26 strikeouts over his final 55 games (255 plate appearances) with Salem before earning a promotion to High-A Greenville in late August.

Yorke’s production did not drop off following his promotion, though, as the right-handed hitting second baseman continued to light it up at the plate by batting  .333/.406/.571 (158 wRC+) with six doubles, one triple, four homers, 15 RBI, 17 runs scored, two stolen bases, 11 walks, and 22 strikeouts in 21 games (96 plate appearances) with the Drive before their season ended on Sunday.

“What he did is what he expects,” Cora said of Yorke. “I told [MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith] that in spring training, he’d get mad when he made an out. So his expectations are great. He’s in-tune with the game. He understands the offensive part of it. You got to run the bases, you got to play defense — he knows that. He was a sponge the whole time.”

Yorke, who does not turn 20 until next April, was among the youngest position players to appear in a game at the High-A level this season. He is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in the Red Sox farm system and the No. 63 prospect in all of baseball.

The 6-foot, 200 pounder out of California will presumably take part in Boston’s fall instructional league that begins next month and will likely receive another invite to big-league spring training come February 2022.

“We’re very pleased with the way he went about it this year,” said Cora in regards to Yorke’s 2021 season. “And we’re looking forward for him to keep getting better and get him here as soon as possible to contribute.”

(Picture of Nick Yorke: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Area scout Josh Labandeira joins the show

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox area scout Josh Labandeira, who covers Northern California for the team.

Labandeira, a former big-league infielder who played in seven games with the Montreal Expos in 2004, joined the Red Sox organization as an amateur scout in January 2015.

Among the topics Josh and I discussed are what it was like playing with future All-Stars like Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ben Zobrist when they were just prospects, what led him to pursue a career in scouting once his playing days were done, his relationship with Red Sox amateur scouting director Paul Toboni, the benefits of scouting in California, and how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way he scouts.

We also talked about the prospects he has helped the Red Sox sign over the years, including 2019 25th-round pick Karson Simas, 2021 sixth-round pick B.J. Vela, and — perhaps most significantly, 2020 first-round pick Nick Yorke.

There are plenty of great anecdotes about Yorke throughout this episode, which is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Josh for taking some time out of his busy summer schedule to have a conversation with me.

And to the listners, 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 Josh Labandeira: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Blogging the Red Sox presents: A conversation about the Florida Complex League with Ben Crockett

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to exchange emails with Red Sox senior vice president of baseball operations Ben Crockett.

Crockett, who is in the midst of his 15th season with the Red Sox organization after starting out as an intern, was promoted to his current role back in January after serving as the club’s vice president of player development the previous four years.

A native of Topsfield, Mass., Crockett was originally selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2001 amateur draft as a right-handed pitcher out of Harvard University.

After returning to Harvard for his senior season, Crockett was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the third round of the 2002 draft and spent four seasons in their system before calling it a playing career in 2006.

In his time with the Red Sox as an executive, Crockett — now 41 — has undertaken a variety of roles that primarily revolves around player development. As the club’s senior vice president of baseball operations, Crockett “assists in all areas of baseball operations, with a focus on player development, performance, and baseball systems.”

One area in particular that Crockett assists in would be how Red Sox minor-leaguers are doing in the rookie-level Florida Complex League (formerly the Gulf Coast League) down at the team’s spring training facility in Fort Myers.

To this point in the season, the Florida Complex League Red Sox are 20-11 and owners of the fourth-best record in the FCL.

Among those within Boston’s farm system who have played for the club’s FCL affiliate so far this summer include include a number of the organization’s top prospects, such as 2021 first-round draft pick Marcelo Mayer, Wilkelman Gonzalez, and Brainer Bonaci.

I made sure to ask Crockett about the Sox’ premier prospects, but I wanted to ask about some under-the-radar-type players as well. So, without further ado, here is a quote-unquote transcript of the conversation we had through email.

Has the loss of the New York-Penn League changed the way the organization looks at how prospects just out of college are performing in the Florida Complex League? For instance, do you take [2021 18th-round pick] Philip Sikes batting .438/.500/.625 or [2021 ninth-round pick] Tyler Miller batting .409/500/.545 thus far with a grain of salt based off the level of pitching they faced while at Texas Christian University and Auburn University?

Ben Crockett: We try not to put too much stock in small samples of performance, especially in a player’s first year with a mid-July draft, but are happy with the debuts of many guys, including those you mentioned like Miller and Sikes.

The following question has to do with the players to be named later the Red Sox acquired from the Royals and Mets in June as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City back in February:

With Josh Winckowski and Grant Gambrell pitching at more advanced levels, what have you made of the way right-hander Luis De La Rosa and outfielder Freddy Valdez have acclimated to a new organization after coming over mid-season?

Crockett: Both Luis and Freddy have made positive first impressions. They’ve worked hard, been willing to communicate, and shown the positive physical qualities our scouts identified prior to acquiring them.

What makes infielder Eddinson Paulino and right-hander Wilkelman Gonzalez stand out and what did they do during the COVID shutdown last year to get off to such a strong start this season? Paulino is hitting .377/.476/.609 while Gonzalez has posted a 3.90 ERA through seven starts.

Crockett: Both have taken steps forward in 2021, taking full advantage of their time with us and during their preparation at home. We’ve been really pleased with the underlying qualities that have led to the success they’ve seen on the field.

How has the organization gone about evaluating those prospects who had lost seasons last year because of the pandemic, such as former international signee Brainer Bonaci or former 2019 25th-round draft pick Karson Simas? Both Bonaci and Simas are infielders.

Crockett: Simas has done great work physically and has matured into his body, allowing some of his actions to translate into performance on the field. He’s shown great athleticism and versatility.

Bonaci has built on a positive 2020 at the academy, and has made some positive adjustments from his time in instructs last fall. He’s controlled the zone, made good contact from both sides, and continues to improve his defense at shortstop.

Has the addition of Marcelo Mayer to the Florida Complex League roster created any buzz around the Fenway South complex? What about when 2020 third-round pick Blaze Jordan was there prior to his promotion to Salem?

Crockett: The FCL group has done a great job keeping the energy high throughout the season, transitioning well from extended spring when their game reps were limited at times. I think they are really excited to be playing well and realize they have a very talented group of players.

The following question has to do with right-handed pitching prospect Eduard Bazardo, who made his major-league debut for Boston back in April, but had been sidelined with a right lat strain since late May. The 25-year-old was sent out on a rehab assignment with the FCL Red Sox last Friday:

How goes Eduard Bazardo’s rehab and would you expect him to get any more big-league consideration before season’s end?

Crockett: His rehab is going well, getting back into games now and bouncing back well.

Thank you to Ben Crockett for taking time out of his busy in-season schedule to answer these questions and for also making this possible in the first place.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Bryan Green/Flickr)

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)