Boston Red Sox 2021 MLB Draft Report Card
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Best Pure Hitter: There is a strong case to be made that shortstop Marcelo Mayer (1) was the best pure hitter in the entire 2021 class, so he’s an easy nod for this category for Boston’s draft class. He had a strong pro debut in the Florida Complex League, hitting .275/.377/.440 with three home runs, a triple and four doubles.
Best Power Hitter: First baseman Niko Kavadas (11) was one of the better power hitting bats in the college class and hit 22 home runs in 47 games with Notre Dame this spring after hitting seven in just 13 games during the shortened 2020 season. There are some questions about his swing-and-miss, but no one has ever doubted his massive raw power from the left side.
Fastest Runner: Center fielder and second baseman Tyler McDonough (3) was eligible in 2020 but went unselected in the shortened, five-round draft. He upped his draft stock this year after tapping into more power but has always been a good runner who stole 30 bags in 36 tries (83.3%) in his career with North Carolina State.
Best Defensive Player: Mayer was voted the best defensive infielder in the high school class by scouting directors prior to this spring season and while he isn’t the rangiest shortstop, he has exceptional sure and reliable hands, a well above-average internal clock and an ease and fluidity to his game that’s fun to watch. He has a chance to be a plus defender at shortstop with a plus arm to go with it.
Best Fastball: The Red Sox prioritized bats at the top of the draft and their first pitcher selected—LHP Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz—is a projection arm more than a now-stuff pitcher, but righthander Christopher Troye (12) has a fastball that’s been up to 99 mph.
Best Secondary Pitch: Righthander Wyatt Olds (7) has a power slider he throws in the upper-80s with solid tilt. The pitch is an above-average offering that is also difficult to pick up and square up thanks to a lower arm slot.
Best Pro Debut: Third baseman and first baseman Tyler Miller (9) had a breakout spring season with Auburn and carried that over to his pro debut. In 27 games between the FCL and Low-A East, Miller posted a .327/.409/.525 slash line with three home runs, two triples and seven doubles. Outfielder Phillip Sikes (18) put up gaudy numbers in the FCL as a 22-year-old, with a .392/.464/.622 slash line, three home runs and eight doubles while playing center field.
Best Athlete: McDonough’s athleticism should help him add value as a versatile defender who is capable of handling a few up-the-middle positions. He’s a player who feels like he’ll get the absolute most out of his toolset.
Most Intriguing Background: Florida catcher Nathan Hickey (5) led the Gators in most offensive categories this spring, but he did the same thing back in high school. Typically that wouldn’t sound too impressive, but Hickey was teammates with Reds 2019 third rounder Tyler Callihan at Providence High in Jacksonville. The two would switch out at catcher and shortstop while creating plenty of stress for opposing pitchers.
Closest To The Majors: McDonough and Hickey are the highest-bonus college players in the class and could both move quickly depending on the defensive requirements Boston will ask of them in the next few years.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): Righthander Tyler Uberstine (19) had an interesting path to professional baseball in his own right, after trying to walk on at Southern California and then transferring to Northwestern where he carved out a role for himself. He threw just 7.2 innings in his debut in the FCL, but posted a 1.17 ERA while striking out eight batters and walking one.
The One Who Got Away: Florida outfielder Jud Fabian (2) is the obvious name here after the two sides couldn’t agree to a deal in the second round. Fabian was one of the youngest players in the college class so heading back to Gainesville shouldn’t hurt him too much on models that prioritize age. Boston also didn’t come to terms with shortstops Zach Ehrhard (13), Payton Green (15) and Josh Hood (20).