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Rolling the MLB draft dice

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Taking a look at Boston's 2016 selections

The major league baseball draft is vastly different from those of the other major sports leagues. In the NFL and the NBA and to a slightly lesser extent the NHL draft picks are expected to join their new teams and start performing more or less immediately.

Not so with MLB.

Due to the sport's massive minor league infrastructure, baseball draftees aren't immediately thrust into the spotlight with the big club. In fact, it's a rarity for a player to have any impact in the first couple of years after they've been selected. So while the other drafts feature names and faces that we're likely to see quickly, we probably won't see our team's baseball selections until a few years down the road.

Obviously, this makes draft grading an even more ludicrous prospect than it is in other sports. Predicting the future is already impossible predicting the future of a high school pitcher with great stuff and questionable maturity is even more so.

Still, it's fun to look at the choices our team makes even if we won't get the payoff for quite some time.

So why not look at some of the selections made by the Boston Red Sox in the 2016 draft?

All told, Boston took 40 guys in this year's draft. They took 18 pitchers 14 right-handers, four lefties and 22 position players, selecting 10 infielders, nine outfielders and three catchers. Sixteen of them were pulled from the high school ranks, 24 from college.

Let's look at a few of the early-round highlights:

Jason Groome, P (First round, 12th overall)

This high school left-hander out of New Jersey is considered by some to be the most talented player in the draft. He fell this far largely due to signability issues he's rumored to want big money but Boston seems to have made its other picks with that in mind. Potentially a star, but he's got a long way to go assuming he even agrees to terms.

C. J. Chatham, SS (Second round, 51st overall)

Chatham is an excellent all-around talent, having won both Conference USA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year this season at Florida Atlantic. He put up big numbers and projects to stay at shortstop. His power numbers aren't huge, but he can definitely hit. If the power comes, he could be a big-time player.

Bobby Dalbec, 3B (Fourth round, 118th overall)

This is an interesting pick. The Arizona third baseman has shown flashes of immense power potential, but is noted for his all-or-nothing approach. Strikeouts could definitely be a problem, but the payoff could be huge. Dalbec also spent time on the mound as his team's closer. Definitely a lottery ticket, but one with a massive jackpot possibility.

Ryan Scott, LF (Seventh round, 208th overall)

Sure, the Arkansas-Little Rock senior led Division I in batting average (.435) and won a mess of Sun Belt Conference awards, but he's really a guy that was picked for financial reasons. He's a senior with no leverage, so the Sox can save money toward paying off Groome.

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Of course, there are no guarantees in this draft or any other one. There's no way of knowing whether one or more of these guys will become an All-Star. And it's certainly possible that someone way down the board will turn out to be a diamond in the rough and become a superstar. It's a roll of the dice.

But hey we'll all find out together.

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 13:17

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