It’s draft day 2018! So what better day to look back and see what successes the Red Sox have had in the first round throughout their history?
With the major league draft kicking off at 7PM tonight, this seemed like a good time to take a look back. We’re going to rank the top 10 all time first round picks for the Boston Red Sox. This list will include Baseball Reference’s verson of WAR, but it will not be the determining factor. And since compensation picks have, historically, technically been considered part of the first round, they will be included in this look.
One of the things this list will tell you is that the best players don’t always come from the first round. Plenty of them do, of course, but you can find very high quality players later in the draft as well. Fred Lynn, Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia were all second round picks. Mike Greenwell was picked in the third. Jeff Bagwell went in the fourth round of the 1989 draft. Jonathan Papelbon was in the fourth 14 years later. Dwight Evans and Mookie Betts were both fifth round picks! So there’s plenty of reason to pay attention beyond the first. Or even the end of the night which takes us through two competitive balance rounds and the second round as well.
And for those wondering if he got missed in the preceding paragraph, Wade Boggs was selected in the 7th round of the 1976 draft.
The nuts and bolts…
When looking at players drafted in the first round, we will be using several criteria to determine where they fall. And some of the players listed are still playing. It’s possible their placement could shift given more time. Not every player listed here will be popular with Boston Red Sox fans. But that’s okay. We’re looking for the best first round picks. Not the most endearing to fans.
And there were a number of players who just missed the list. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 2016 season, in which he earned 5.5 rWAR forced some consideration. David Murphy earned a similar amount of rWAR for over his career. He was also an important piece of a few playoff runs in Texas. Scott Hatteberg had a long career and was mostly a productive player. Even Daniel Bard was worth thinking about for the sheer dominance he put on display in 2010. But in the end, these are the ten that made the cut.
Next: #9, 10