With the June 4th First Year Player Draft quickly approaching, we at Bloody Sox decided to do a Draft preview.

First of all, as you may or not know, the Draft rules have changed.  Set bonus pools are now in place. The Red Sox have a bonus pool of $6,884,800 to spend in the first ten rounds. Last year, the bonuses in the first ten rounds added up to over 10M.

Thus, the Red Sox and teams in general might be less inclined to spend their first couple of picks on expensive signability players,  like Blake Swihart in 2011, who the Sox signed to a 2.5M bonus. The Red Sox usually pick the best player available, but they might go with some ‘easier to sign’ guys in the first round. This draft class is significantly weaker than last year’s, but like every class, good players are up for grabs. The Red Sox pick 24th, 31st and 37th on day 1, so it should be fun anyway.

Jim Callis (Baseball America) had the Red Sox picking  HS SS/3B Tanner Rahier at #24, and HS RHP Zach Eflin at #31.

Keith Law (ESPN) has Texas A&M OF Tyler Naquin at #24 and Duke RHP Marcus Stroman at #31.

Both experts are some of the best in the business, but they both have vastly different opinions on this one. Predicting the draft in very difficult as rumors usually start to float the day before Draft day. I see the Red Sox going for two college players in the first round and a slipping high upside HS pitcher in the supplemental round. Early rumors have the Red Sox interested in Rahier and Eflin, so Callis’ mock would make sense, but I don’t see the Sox taking two high school players in the first round. As for Law’s mock: Naquin should be a fairly easy sign at #24 and I could see it happen, but I certainly don’t expect Stroman to last that long. He’s basically a reliever, but he sure is an elite one and should pitch in the Major Leagues as soon as 2013 (think Drew Storen and Chris Sale).

My picks:

24) Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern, (Baseball America’s 22nd draft prospect). Victor Roache is this year’s Jackie Bradley Jr. Jackie slipped in 2011 due to injury and ineffectiveness and the Red Sox sneaked in and picked him up in the supplemental round.

Enter Victor Roache, who plays in a fairly big program and would’ve likely been a top 15 pick if he didn’t break his wrist at the start of the season. He’s a big power guy, and  a decent outfielder for his size. He does have bad K rates, but it’s hard to pass up on a talent like him.

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