Boston Red Sox 2020 MLB Draft Review

Boston Red Sox
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 02: The Red Sox logo seen outside of Fenway Park on what would have been the home opening day for the Boston Red Sox against the Chicago White Sox April 2, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. In response to the pandemic, Major League Baseball suspended the remainder of Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Following Dave Dombrowski’s departure from the team during the 2019 season, the Boston Red Sox 2020 MLB Draft would be executed with a different captain at the helm for the first time since 2016.

The Red Sox instead looked to Chaim Bloom to run the show on June 10th and 11th.

After spending 15 years with the Tampa Bay Rays, who are known for their exceptional drafting and player development skills, Bloom looked to apply the same strategies and techniques he learned to the Boston Red Sox in the 2020 MLB Draft.

Following the offseason which saw Mookie Betts and David Price traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in an attempt to get under the luxury tax threshold, Bloom definitely had his work cut out for him.

While the Red Sox major league roster is still very competitive and features almost everyone but Betts and Price from the 2018 World Series Champion team, Dombrowski left the farm system depleted, trading a total of 31 prospects over his five-year tenure with the Sox.

Due to the coronavirus-shortened draft, the Red Sox came out of the draft with four new players. Two are infielders and two are left-handed pitchers.

Round 1, Pick 17: Nick Yorke, 2B

When the Boston Red Sox selected Nick Yorke with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, it was newsworthy to say the least.

Yorke, a second baseman out of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California, was ranked 139th in MLB Pipeline’s top 200 prospect list.

However, Chaim Bloom’s strategy on this pick was understandable- Yorke was clearly their guy. 

Bloom knew that by selecting Yorke in the first round, he would be inclined to sign with the Red Sox. Yorke is not expected to follow through with his commitment to play college baseball at the University of Arizona.

The Red Sox obviously saw something great in Yorke. With one pick in the first two rounds, they were willing to use that pick on him. They may be on to something with Yorke. He hit .457 with 134 hits, 100 runs, and 77 RBIs through 94 high school games.

He is the eighth player to be drafted from Archbishop Mitty, where he most notably followed in the footsteps of Mariners OF Mitch Haniger.

Compared to Youkilis

Yorke drew high praise from those within the Sox organization. Red Sox director of amateur scouting Paul Toboni compared the six-foot, 195-pound right-hander to Kevin Youkilis

“He’s got that rugged, advanced hit tool,” Toboni said (via Masslive.com). “When I say rugged, that rugged look about him. He’s a really physical kid and we think he’s going to get to power.

“That type of offensive profile, but different in that he can play in the middle of the field.”

Drawing a comparison to Youkilis strikes a different kind of chord in the heart of Sox fans. Youk was a beloved player and grinder who embodied what it meant to be a team-first guy. He put himself above the team, often bodying up balls at third base and taking BBs and HBPs in order to get on base, boasting a career OBP of .382.

Similarly, Yorke boasted a whopping .590, .587, and .632 OBP in his last three years of high school ball. He struck out less than he walked in all four of his varsity seasons.

Round 2, No Pick MLB Punishment

Due to the MLB’s punishment over the alleged sign-stealing, the Red Sox did not have a second-round pick. Therefore, their next pick was an 89th overall selection in the third round. Yorke is much more likely to sign for the slot value of $3.5 million dollars at 17th overall rather than a mere $600,000 at 89th overall.

Round 3, Pick 89: Blaze Jordan, 3B

Now, this is an exciting pick. The Red Sox again chose a raw talent out of high school, this time going with DeSoto Central High School 3B Blaze Jordan.

Jordan is a power-hitting prospect who is 17 years, 5 months of age. He won his first national home run derby when he was 11 years old. He hit the longest home run of that derby, measuring in at 395 feet.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pound right-hander was ahead of his time physically back then and still is today.

Through 100 high school games, he hit .440 with 131 hits, 98 RBIs. Jordan also hit 33 doubles, 19 home runs, and six triples according to MaxPreps.

Jordan was Ranked No. 42 by MLB Pipeline. Boston Red Sox management said they were surprised to see him still on the board at 89th overall.

“We were really, really excited to have the opportunity to select him,” Red Sox director of amateur scouting Paul Toboni said (via Masslive.com). “Quite frankly, we didn’t think he was going to make it that far in the draft, and we were thrilled. He’s a unique talent.”

Round 4, Pick 118: Jeremy Wu-Yelland, LHP

The Red Sox took their first pitcher and college player in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB draft, selecting the University of Hawaii lefty Jeremy Wu-Yelland.

Wu-Yelland spent time as a reliever and starter in his three-year career at the University of Hawaii. He made seven appearances in the 2020 shortened season and allowed only one run over 13 innings.

His repertoire includes a 92-97 MPH fastball, a 79-83 MPH slider, and a 81-83 MPH changeup.

Wu-Yelland pitched in the Cape Cod Baseball League last summer, where he went 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA for the Chatham Anglers. He compiled 26 Ks and 15 BBs through 25.2 innings.

With stuff and delivery similar to Andrew Miller who spent four years in a Red Sox uniform, Wu-Yelland will look to develop himself as a starter, but a bullpen role is not out of the question.

Like Miller, Wu-Yelland features a unique arm angle from the left side of the rubber which is nearly un-hittable to lefties and almost equally as unique to righties.

Round 5, Pick 148: Shane Drohan, LHP

The Red Sox double-dipped on lefty arms in the 2020 MLB Draft, this time selecting another college lefty- Shane Drohan out of Florida State.

Drohan was ranked the 147th best available prospect by MLB Pipeline. The 6-feet-3-inch, 195-pound junior led Florida State with 27 Ks through 17.2 innings.

Like Wu-Yelland, Drohan also pitched in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

His repertoire includes a fastball that sits mid-to-low 90s, an above-average curveball, and a changeup.

While this may be a stretch, the first player that comes to mind when watching Drohan pitch is Clayton Kershaw. Like Kershaw, his curveball is absolutely filthy, and his fastball can sit in the low 90s with exceptional command.

Summary

The Red Sox first-round pick may have been a question mark for some. But Chaim Bloom clearly selected the player he wanted at the only opportunity he felt he had.

In their first two selections of the 2020 MLB Draft, the Red Sox went after two high school players.  Both Yorke and Jordan have raw talent. With the 2020 MLB season up in the air, there is no rush to acquire talent that can contribute within the next couple of years.

These are special talents who will need some time to develop but will hopefully be standout players. The two picks will immediately bolster the Red Sox farm system which is depleted after the departure of Dave Dombrowski.

The next two picks made by the Red Sox were an attempt to acquire solid left-handed pitchers with a college track record who have above average stuff. While control may be an issue for Wu-Yelland and Drohan, the Sox obviously feel as if this issue can be addressed and the players can be developed in the farm system properly.

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