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Meet the new guys: Boston Red Sox 2020 MLB Draft

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Despite the fact that the Major League Baseball season has yet to begin due to the circumstances of the pandemic (and a fair amount of contentiousness between the players’ union and the owners, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish), the MLB draft took place this week.

Granted, it’s a drastically different draft than any we’ve ever seen, lasting just five rounds and featuring any number of caveats and alterations. It is an historic event – and not in a good way.

Still … even with no games, the game marches on.

Let’s take a look at Boston’s 2020 draft, a collection even more truncated than most thanks to the loss of their second-round pick as part of the organization’s punishment for sign-stealing. Instead of two dozen or more new additions, we’re looking at just four. And yet, even with that low number of selections, the Red Sox and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom managed a few surprises.

Nick Yorke, 2B – Archbishop Mitty HS, CA (1, 17)

This selection was the first – and perhaps biggest – surprise of the night. Yorke wasn’t among the top 50 prospects on most pundits’ list, so 17th overall looks like a reach at first blush. However, apparently the Red Sox have an under-slot contract plan in place, allowing them later flexibility. In addition, they believe that had Yorke’s senior season played out, he would have been much higher on everybody’s list. They like his bat and think he will be able to remain in the infield at the next level.

Blaze Jordan, 3B – DeSoto Central HS, MS (3, 89)

Jordan is one of the youngest players in the entire Class of 2020 – he’s not even 17 1/2 yet – but scouts from all over MLB have been captivated by his raw power potential since he was in middle school. Big – 6’2”, 220 – and likely to get bigger, he projects to carry forward that home run swing. He might not stick at third, but with that bat, it won’t matter. He was ranked as high as the low 40s by many services; it was another surprise that he fell to Boston in this spot.

Jeremy Wu-Yelland, LHP – University of Hawaii (4, 118)

The first pitcher and first collegian for the Red Sox in the 2020 draft, Wu-Yelland is a junior who spent time in both the rotation and the bullpen during his time in Hawaii. It remains to be seen which role he ultimately winds up in at the professional level – his stuff is impressive enough to start (high 90s fastball, low 80s change, high 70s slider with decent break), but he reportedly has some command issues that might make the pen a better fit. Had a great start to the season before the shutdown.

Shane Drohan, LHP – Florida State University (5, 148)

Lastly, the Red Sox took this lefty in the fifth round. Drohan had hit the ground running in 2020, starting the first four weekends for an FSU team that was ranked top-10 nationally in strikeouts … and he led the team. With his low 90s heater and a rapidly developing curveball and changeup, Drohan might well have gone a round or two higher had he had the chance to maintain his early success. He projects to be a starter as a pro.

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And there we have it. Two high school infielders and two college pitchers. That’s the entirety of the 2020 Red Sox draft class. As to whether Bloom and company were successful with their first draft, well … we’ll just have to wait and see. Don’t be surprised if we see one or both of the pitchers in action with the big club at some point during the shortened season (assuming there is one), thanks to almost-certainly expanded rosters, but it’ll be years before we see if Yorke and/or Jordan pan out.

It ain’t game action, but it’s something – I’ll take it.

Last modified on Saturday, 13 June 2020 11:14

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