Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Red Sox, whose first selection is the seventh overall pick.
In about 50 words
For the second time in the last three years, the Red Sox have the seventh overall pick. They need to make this one count. Due to signing free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, Boston doesn't make its second pick until No. 81 overall. The Red Sox are looking for the next generation of homegrown players to help fuel a championship, like the teams they fielded in 2007 and '13.
Power arms and power bats. The Red Sox would like to fill their farm system with more players in both of those categories, and this year's Draft could be key in that pursuit. While some teams look for near instant gratification in their first pick, the Red Sox aren't shy about taking a player who might take a while to develop if he's truly the player they want.
MLB.com Draft gurus Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo both have the Red Sox taking a pitcher at No. 7. Callis has the Sox taking Louisville right-hander Kyle Funkhouser, who could be close to having three plus-pitches. Mayo thinks the Sox will take high school lefty Koby Allard (San Clemente, Calif.). Allard has the top-ranked prep arm in this year's Draft.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
The Red Sox have been assigned a pool of $6,223,800, which ranks 22nd in the Majors. The value assigned to the Red Sox's first-round pick is $3,590,400.
The Red Sox have some impact pitching on the way, as well as five-tool sensation Yoan Moncada. Boston could use a stud first baseman and shortstop in the system.
There was a time the Red Sox placed a heavy priority on college players. In recent years, that has no longer been the case. In fact, the Sox took high school lefty Trey Ball with the first pick two years ago. Current starting position players Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart were also selected out of high school. Look for the Red Sox to go with the most dynamic player available in most rounds.
RECENT DRAFT HISTORY
When he was drafted out of high school in 2011, it was hard to imagine Betts would be a top-of-the-order hitter for the Red Sox this quickly. But his combination of athleticism and work ethic helped fast-track him. Lefty Brian Johnson, drafted just three years ago, could be one of the next starting pitchers called on by the Red Sox if a need develops at the Major League level. Shortstop Deven Marrero, taken that same year, already plays Major League-caliber defense. Now it's just a matter of his bat catching up.
Red Sox lefty Craig Breslow was taken in the 26th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002. Here we are, 13 years later, and Breslow is still going strong as an effective Major League reliever.
In The Show
The Red Sox have an impressive collection of homegrown players, including Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, Swihart, Xander Bogaerts, Justin Masterson, Matt Barnes, Betts and Ramirez. All of those players were drafted by the Red Sox with the exception of Bogaerts and Ramirez, who were signed as international free agents in their youth. Ramirez was traded to the Marlins in 2005 for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell and reacquired this winter. Masterson was dealt by the Sox for Victor Martinez in 2009, and brought back as a free agent in December.
The Red Sox's recent top picks
2014: Michael Chavis, 3B-DH, Class A Greenville
2013: Ball, LHP, Class-A Salem
2012: Marrero, SS, Triple-A Pawtucket
2011: Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox
2010: Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Not in pro baseball