BOSTON — The Red Sox refuse to exhibit tunnel vision.
There are a lot of different directions the Red Sox could go in with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. General manager Ben Cherington and Co. are considering all of their options without closing the door on any. It?s all about landing the best player.
?I think the draft is really difficult,? Cherington said Friday during a conference call. ?I think one of the hardest things we do is try to project amateur talent and (director of amateur scouting) Mike (Rikard) and his staff have been working hard, really hard, to do that all spring.
?So whatever our selection is on Monday night, as Mike said before, is going to be based on what we feel is the best player for the Red Sox, not with any particular vision on when that player might get there.?
The MLB draft is unique in that teams are asked to select players who, in many cases, won?t reach the majors for several years. As such, teams don?t draft based on need, which differs from drafting philosophies often implemented in other sports, and determining a player?s ceiling can prove tricky.
One of the biggest debates regarding the MLB draft is whether there is an advantage to drafting a college player versus a high school player, and vice versa. The Red Sox aren?t likely to be steered in any direction based on a player?s background or years of experience, though. Other factors clearly carry more weight in the organization?s player evaluations.
?It could lead us to a college player, it could lead us to a high school player, it could lead us to a player from some other place,? Cherington said. ?We just have to take the player we think is best for the Red Sox.?
Rikard, who was promoted to Red Sox director of amateur scouting over the offseason when Amiel Sawdaye was promoted to vice president of amateur and international scouting, is entering his first draft in his new position. He, like Cherington, noted Boston?s open-mindedness, saying the Red Sox are ?still considering a lot of options? with their first-round selection.
?I think this draft class may be a little non-typical, just because there still is some uncertainty in front of us,? Rikard said. ?There maybe hasn?t been those guys at the top of the draft that have kind of solidified themselves. So there is some gray area as far as what maybe the teams may do in front of us, but we?re trying to just continue to weigh out all the options and we?ll continue to do so for the next few days.?
The Red Sox also picked seventh overall in 2013. They selected left-handed pitcher Trey Ball out of high school. Ball, now 21, is stationed at High-A Salem, with his minor league career yielding mixed results to this point.
It?ll be a while before Boston knows whether it made the right decision in scooping up Ball. And it might be even longer before the Red Sox can say whether they hit the nail on the head in 2015. But this year?s high draft pick obviously represents an opportunity to add a very talented player to the organization.
The Red Sox plan to do everything they can to take advantage of it.