With their highest draft pick in more than two decades, the Red Sox chose one of the most versatile players on the board, selecting left-handed pitcher/outfielder Trey Ball seventh overall Thursday night.
Ball has been called the best two-way player in this year’s draft class, boasting both a 91-94-mph fastball and considerable power with the bat.
As a senior at New Castle High School, the 18-year-old compiled a 0.76 ERA with 93 strikeouts (14.2 per nine innings) while also clubbing 10 home runs to earn Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year honors.
The Red Sox intend to use the 6-foot-6, 190-pounder as a pitcher, but Baseball America’s Jim Callis projected that Ball likely would have still been a second- to third-round pick as an outfielder. He pitched and played right field during the Under Armour All-America Game last summer.
“I don’t think I’m going on a limb by saying he will not be there by pick 11,” MLB Network draft analyst Greg Amsinger told The Star Press earlier this week. “He is a top 10 pick. There’s just too much projectability here. You’re looking at a kid that could be your ace. You’re looking at a kid that could be your cleanup hitter. So whatever you want, it’s right there in Trey Ball. I think he could [move] into the top five, to be quite honest with you.”
Ball will need to decide whether to sign with Boston or attend the University of Texas, where he has signed a letter of intent to play baseball.
Right-hander Mark Appel went first overall to the Astros, followed by third baseman Kris Bryant (Cubs), right-handers Jonathan Gray (Rockies) and Kohl Stewart (Twins), and outfielder Clint Frazier (Indians) to round out the top five.
Check out an analysis of Ball’s skills in the video below.
Photo via Facebook/Trey Ball